The Culture of the Sacred Purge

The Culture of the Sacred Purge Part One: The Legacy of Latter Rain Eschatology  

APOSTOLIC AUTHORITARIAN IDEOLOGICAL TREND GAINING PROMINENCE

Many ‘apostolic statements’ made from the Latter Rain movement onward have implicitly communicated that God’s ordained gov’t is apostolic, and this is where the blessings flow and divine order established for the purposes of God in the earth, elitism a potential and often troubling, unBiblical, illegal, false exercise of authority. Downplaying or dismissing this ‘apostolic’, theological, ideological trend is to turn a blind eye to the encroaching, increasing authoritarian threat that is gaining prominence, in spite of the noble endeavours of such as Michael Brown and Joseph Mattera to shift mindsets and re-write the apostolic movement’s script. This apostolic authoritarianism is feeding right into the subject of this paper.

With all of the discussion on NAR of late with Michael Brown, and media, his issue with NAR not having a conspiratorial, world dominance perspective, the following research has revealed, that in fact, definitive, militant mindsets, birthed in some quarters of the early ‘Latter Rain’ movement, in which reading these accounts, gives clear evidence of a spiritual/militant ‘uprising’ eschatology within parts of some movements, being staged in preparation for a convergence of New age/occult, esoteric gnosticism with the pseudo, quasi christian mysticism and political activism. These papers provide ample evidence of Jane Lead’s direct influence into this ‘converging culture of sacred purge‘.

by Steve Montgomery, 2022, June 9 

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

The words of Voltaire, the 18th century French historian and philosopher, can be applied to this task of understanding violent apocalyptic goals that hide behind the illusive abstractions of esoteric discourse.

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These insights into Latter Rain tracings, going back to Jane Lead, (covered below), (1624 -1704), a 17th C. English mystic, and founder of the Philadelphian Society, clearly ties the Latter Rain movement and heresies back to Jane Lead and her mystic, gnostic, occult, pseudo christian spiritualism. It is important to understand this connection, as much of Lead’s gnostic/occult ideologies were deliberately propagated and practiced by leading figures in the Latter Rain movement, covered in these documents, thoroughly, extensively researched by Steven Montgomery.

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The Culture of the Sacred Purge Part One: The Legacy of Latter Rain Eschatology  

by Steve Montgomery (2022, April 22) 

Introduction 

I like music. It can entertain, sooth, and admonish. And it can be very instructive. For instance, as a professional guitar and bass player, I often think in song lyrics that fit whatever situation I find myself. Lately, when attempting to communicate the seriousness and the potential danger of what I call the culture of the sacred purge, the words to the James Gang’s 1971 song Walk Away ring in my ears; “Seems to me, you don’t wanna talk about it,” you just turn your head and “walk away.” I guess the reluctance to hear bad news is understandable. But recently, because I feel an urgency to be understood, I have another song bouncing around in my head. This time it’s John Lennon’s song of 1967, Strawberry Fields Forever, where “living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.” 

 Unfortunately, this denial of reality seems to be the easiest option for many. Like the illusory quest for enlightenment in Joni Michell’s 1974 song Barangrill, they desire to have “No trouble in their faces, not one anxious voice, none of the crazy you get from too much choice.” Too much choice can be unsettling. On the other hand, the choice to grapple with when confronting the information presented in this paper will be as simple as deciding whether or not 1 + 1 = 2. To conclude otherwise is to sweep the facts away and remain “comfortably numb,” as the Pink Floyd song of 1979 passively acquiesces.   

To conjure up a more comfortable set of alternate facts is to call down numbers from the sky and plead that they align themselves in a kinder, gentler sum. This might alleviate the trouble and anxiety of facing what is truly crazy and ugly, but it will also be the action of inaction, a recipe for complicity. With eyes closed, you might be able to blindly walk away, but you will take the chance of misunderstanding what must be seen.  

Comment on the Use of Parentheses 

I have made a point to avoid the overuse of parentheses for words such as “prophet,” “apostle,” “end-times,” “taking dominion,” “executing judgment” and the “ungodly.” I do not concur with the worldview of those who freely apply these terms to themselves or others. For this reason, I use parentheses to emphasize an important idea that bares repetition, when it seems necessary to the meaning I am trying to convey, when the context has changed giving the term or phrase additional shades of meaning, or to signify that I am making a direct quote from a primary source material and not just expressing my opinion. In this way, I hope to remain fair, accurate and balanced in my explanations of what can at times be convoluted and metaphor-rich writings. 

The Purpose of this Paper 

Hands On – Over-Realized Eschatology

In Christianity, eschatology deals with topics relevant to the “end-times.” Included in this field are themes such as the “second coming of Christ,” the establishment of the “Kingdom of God” on earth, the “perfection” of believers, the death and destruction of “the Tribulation,” and the “Judgment Day.” In this report, I will describe potentially dangerous precedents set by the “hands on” eschatological perspective which has been passed down from the “prophetic” writings of the 17th century mystic Jane Lead to the increasingly politically active Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians of today. By hands-on eschatology, I mean the establishment of the “Kingdom of God” on earth by “taking dominion” politically and then “executing the written judgments of God,” events thought to be soon carried out through the human agency of an elite group of Christians. This perspective cannot be seen as anything other than a precedent for a religiously motivated purge in search of a political opportunity to become a reality. So is a Christian-based sacred purge possible? The answer is yes, if the prescribed eschatology allows for it. 

In the process, I will trace the influence Jane Lead’s eschatological perspective has had on (1) five influential, first generation “Neo-Pentecostal” prophets of the so-called Latter Rain movement of 1948 (2) the politically active prophets of the “Kingdom Message” of the 1980’s (3) the teachings of several prominent Bible-based cults and (4) the current-day, politically involved, self-described apostles and prophets of the so-called New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) as is witnessed in several affiliated megachurches, such as Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer (IHOP). In this way, the conceptual line of thought from Jane Lead to the present should be apparent. 

‘Hands On’ Extremist Ideological Eschatology

Normalization of Radical End-Time Theology

I will also include reflections on the inroads which current-day NAR advocates of Latter Rain, hands-on eschatology have made into non-Charismatic, denominational Christianity. This brings an extremist ideology, that was at one time on the periphery of Christianity, into a position to exert a greater influence on a wider, generally acceptable and established expression of the Christian faith, and thereby afford the denizens of its madness the opportunity to bring potentially dangerous fulfillments of their end-time goals.

The normalization of this radical theology is facilitated by the NAR’s proposal that all Christians should come into “unity” through the virtually universally accepted themes of “effective” prayer, “vibrant” praise and worship, evangelism, church growth, and making a positive impact on society through political means. Through these rallying points, denominational churches are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the proponents of hands-on, Latter Rain-influenced eschatology, particularly as is advocated by leading prophets of the NAR. This makes unaware Christians inadvertently complicit in the NAR’s agenda of “taking dominion” politically and, ultimately, fulfilling their goal of “executing the written judgments of God” in a literal purge of those deemed to be the ungodly. Finally, in Appendix I and II, I will examine four extreme and unusual ideas of Jane Lead’s ideological ancestor, the 2nd century Gnostic Valentinus, and the possibility of hints of their presence in Lead’s writings and in those of her disciples in the Latter Rain movement of 1948.  

Finally, in The Culture of the Sacred Purge Part Two, I will present a brief examination of the legacy of a similar hands-on eschatology as seen in the world of what is often referred to as “Western Esotericism.” I will also delineate the path that Western Esotericism has made in its observable convergence with the Jane Lead-influenced, Latter Rain-based ministries of Christianity and with those on the radical fringes of the Far-Right.  

About my Journey into the Strange World of Latter Rain Eschatology

I am an ex-member of a Charismatic congregation in the Boston area. This particular group, known as The Lord’s Gathering, was influenced by the Latter Rain movement and followed the Science of Mind-influenced “positive confession” teachings of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Upon leaving the group, with the help of some “exit counselors,” I began to go through the slow process of asking questions about what I had experienced, gradually putting the pieces of my life together again. This included reviewing and analyzing the writings of numerous Bible-based cults and movements, communicating with others doing similar research, speaking at a national anti-cult conference about Latter Rain-based eschatology and its presence in Bible-based cults, interviewing members, ex-members, and leaders of cults influenced by Latter Rain eschatology, consulting with both Christian and secular cult experts, and helping to counsel people out of such groups. The result was that over the last 40 years I, and those with whom I have collaborated, have become aware of a certain potentially dangerous take on end-time teachings that were not present to any substantial degree in Evangelical Christianity prior to the influence of Jane Lead on the Latter Rain movement of 1948 (Nichols, 1980; personal communications, Riss, 1985; DeWaay, 2021; Collins, 2020; Kinyon-Szendrey, 2020; et al).  

What is this “New” Perspective on Eschatology?  

As a part of my journey to understand how this particular interpretation of eschatology developed, along with the implications of its past impact on individuals and its potential future on society, I interviewed twenty leaders and adherents affiliated with the Latter Rain movement. I asked all of them the same question; will “chosen” and “perfected” members of the “corporate Body of Christ” take dominion politically and then physically remove those deemed to be the ungodly in a ministry of executing the “written judgments” of God? The results of this endeavor were beyond belief. One relatively sane individual seemed surprised and said, “no!” He then asked, in an appropriate state of disbelief at the absurd nature of my question, “What are you talking about?” Another said that “if you’re gonna talk judgment,” you’re going to first have to “come into perfect love.” However, amazingly, eighteen respondents answered in the affirmative and freely gave their scriptural support for this radical viewpoint (personal communications, Hamon, 1985; Varner, 1985; Osbourne, 1985; Rodriguez, 1985; Cronquist secretary, 1985). 

Apart from what has been established by my interviews, the doctrinal points of the Latter Rain-based eschatology of 1948 have been observed and defined by others (Nichols, 1980; personal communications, Riss, 1985; DeWaay, 2021; Collins, 2020; Kinyon-Szendrey, 2020; et al). According to this belief system, all things to be achieved in the end-times, will be by an elite group of Christians. This includes (1) taking dominion politically to establish the “theocratic” state of the kingdom of God on earth (2) becoming “sinless,” or “perfected,” Christians referred to as the “incorruptible” “manifest sons of God” and (3) executing the “written judgments” of God through the human agency of the “army of God” in a physical, literal removal of those deemed to be the ungodly. Once these three goals have been achieved, the individual, personal Jesus Christ, it is said, would then be “allowed” to return to receive a “glorious kingdom” established and “cleansed” by the “corporate Christ” of elite believers (Dager, n.d.; DeWaay, 2007; personal communication, DeWaay, 2021; personal communication, Kinyon-Szendrey, 2022). 

The influence of these doctrines carried through to the 1980’s with the so-called Kingdom Message of Earl Paulk of Harvester Chapel Church in Decatur, Georgia, Bob Weiner of Maranatha Ministries, and John and Anne Gimenez of Rock Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Dager, n.d.; DeWaay, 2007; personal communication, DeWaay, 2021; personal communication, Kinyon-Szendrey, 2022). 

The Latter Rain torch of hands-on eschatology was then passed on to the influential present-day apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, aka the NAR (DeWaay, 2007; personal communication, Kinyon-Szendrey, 2022; Childers, 2007; personal communication, DeWaay, 2021; Pivac, 2014; Pivac, 2017; personal communication, Pivac, 2020). Principle among the NAR prophets that I will focus on are Bill Hamon, Cindy Jacobs, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, and Gwen Shaw.  

For the purpose of this report, I have chosen to focus on the end-time theme of “perfected” Christians executing judgment in the context of taking dominion politically. In this way, I hope to clearly demonstrate the potential danger of the NAR and its ideological ancestry and accurately present them as participants in the culture of the sacred purge.  

Why Worry about these Sorts of Extreme Ideas? 

Maybe nothing bad will happen, right? Just let it go; live and let live. After all, there have always been fanatics and end-time prophets full of doom and gloom. True. However, prior to the influence of the prophets of the 1948 Latter Rain movement, they have never said that an elite group of super Christians would be the ones to attempt to take control politically and then carry out a literal ministry of executing judgment on the “ungodly” and uncooperative Christians.  

Hard Pill To Swallow-Current Inferences Ridiculed

Does this sound like I’m promoting a conspiracy theory? I wish that the beliefs of this take on end-time events were that easy to discount, but the answer is no, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I’m simply relaying the contents of a very bizarre belief system. There does appear to be a growing awareness, however, that some of the folks involved in the January 6th attack on the Capitol in 2021 were driven by conspiracy theories. And it is possible that a segment of the mob participating in this assault were motivated by hands-on, Latter Rain eschatology (Posner, 2011; Tabachnick, 2011). Pertaining to these sorts of extreme actions that follow the beliefs of extremists, much has been written about the propaganda used to motivate and “justify” the atrocities of the Third Reich (Shirer, 1960; Lifton, 2017).

Is it possible that some with Latter Rain-inspired eschatology might attempt to put their beliefs into action in a similar way, making their beliefs about bringing about the removal of the ungodly a reality? Are they setting the ideological precedents for what would amount to a sacred purge? History provides the lessons, but the future will tell.  

According to my understanding of the analysis of totalitarian regimes and millennial movements made by scholars such as Dr. Robert J. Lifton, author of Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China (1961), Dr. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, author of Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the Politics of Identity (2002), William L. Shirer, author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960), and the FBI’s Project Meggido report on white supremacist-driven “domestic terrorism” (1999), asking the question about the possibility of wholesale killing for God is neither rhetorical nor far fetched. But what is a certainty is that an ideological position that seeks to purge society of undesirables gains the possibility to realize its goals when given access to political power, especially when that political power is conceived of as the theocratic state of the “kingdom of God” on earth, as is forwarded by Latter Rain eschatology.  

A Little History

Influential forerunners to the Latter Rain which shared this approach to eschatology and then continued to develop it within the movement were William Branham and Franklin Hall (Collins, n.d.). At its inception, “God,” through “prophecy,” told the adherents of the Latter Rain, in a very Gnostic sort of way, to keep quiet about the “new thing” that he was doing. After all, God reasoned, other Christians would not understand the “deep revelations” and the spiritual awakening would fall into disrepute. As a result of the new things that were revealed, the Latter Rain revival supposedly “restored” the “lost” offices of apostles and prophets to the Church in 1948 (personal communication, Riss, 1985; Riss, 1987). 

The apostles were given greater authority, along with the potential for abuse of this newfound authority. The prophets received revelations from the “spirit” to unlock the secrets of the “deep things of God.” Much of their revelations had to do with dominionist eschatology with an eliminationist touch which, in reality, can be primarily attributed to the influence of the “prophetic” writings of the 17th century mystic Jane Lead (Dager, n.d.; DeWaay, 2007; Jacobs, 2016; personal communication, Jacobs, July 1, 2020).  

Some of the groups widely recognized as destructive “cults” that advocate the central tenets of this very controversial spiritual outpouring of 1948 include William Branham’s Branhamites aka “The Message,” John Robert Stevens’ The Church of the Living Word aka “The Walk,” Jim Jones’ The People’s Temple, later relocated in Guyana and known as Jonestown, “Moses” David Berg’s The Children of God aka “The Love Family,” and Sam Fife’s The Body of Christ aka “The Move” (Dager, n.d.; DeWaay, 2007; Jacobs, 2016; personal communication, Jacobs, July 1, 2020).   

With the Latter Rain acting as something like a Petri dish, other “new” doctrines concerning the end-times were born. For example, by following “ongoing revelation,” some verged into teachings more at home in the Esoteric World, such as numerology, pyramidology, the “secrets” of The Book of Enoch, spiritism, reincarnation and Ufology, while others discovered the “present truths” of Neo-Gnosticism and Neo-Nazi theories about the Aryan race, along with the virulent white-supremacy advocated by so-called Christian Identity and the Alt-Right (Larson, 1992).

Driven By Pursuit Of Never Ending Revelations

Driven by “ongoing revelations” and through “borrowing” and plagiarizing the written works of the Esoterically-inspired, 17th century mystic and “prophetess” Jane Lead, in order to fill the transience of this void, these “prophets” of the Latter Rain developed the idea that “all things” to be achieved in the “end-times” would occur through the essentially deified “corporate Body of Christ,”composed of an elite group of Christians, prior to the literal, physical, personal return of the individual Jesus Christ. The inspiration provided by Lead is of no small significance in that her unorthodox brand of “mysticism” was forged by an eclectic collection of beliefs including “Christian Kabbalah,” Neoplatonism, astrology, numerology, spiritism, the works of her spiritual mentor, the mystic and alchemist Jacob Boehme, the tutelage of her actual mentor, the spiritist John Pordage, and an ongoing series of “visions” with the reputed source of all of her revelations, the “Great Goddess” and “spouse of God, “Sophia.” (Jacobs, 2016, et al; Hessayon, 2016).  

The key figures that adopted and developed, to varying degrees, the new doctrines of Latter Rain eschatology include the prophets William Branham, Franklin Hall, George Hawtin, Bill Britton, Royal Cronquist, and J. Preston Eby (Dager, n.d.; DeWaay, 2007; Jacobs, 2016; personal communication, Jacobs, July 1, 2020; personal communication, Collins, 2020; personal communication, Kinyon-Szendrey, 2020; Tabachnick, 2011).  

Accordingly, the beliefs of these six influential men follow a straight line from the influence of Jane Lead and the precedents she set for taking dominion politically and executing judgment literally, and are consistently reflected in the teachings of the prophets of the current-day NAR (DeWaay, 2007; personal communication, Jacobs, July 1, 2020).  

The 17th Century Mystic & Prophetess Jane Lead 

And so we start where it all began, with Jane Lead’s “prophetic” teachings that inspired the Latter Rain apostles and prophets and influenced their hands-on eschatology of taking dominion politically and executing judgment in a literal purge.  

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Jane Lead’s 1st Encounter With ‘Sophia’

Profoundly influenced by the mysticism of Jacob Boehme, Jane Lead (1624 – 1704) was a visionary mystic, a prolific author, and the leader of the Philadelphian Society, a religious group named for one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation. In her evangelical mission, Lead directed the Society toward “the Reformation of Manners, for the Advancement of an Heroical Christian Piety, and Universal Love towards All.”[1] By the time the existence of the Philadelphians was made public in 1697, Lead was seventy-three-years old and rapidly losing her eyesight. Nevertheless, she continued to guide the Society until her death in 1704.

Inspired by Pordage, Lead’s understanding of Sophia is deeply indebted to Boehme who takes Sophia literally as a divine person. This was new theological territory in early modern times, potentially heretical. Boehme’s notion of Sophia is very complex. She is, in one sense, a spiritual analog for the Virgin Mary, who in turn becomes a kind of earthly Sophia-figure. As Mary’s participation with God in effecting the Incarnation of Christ, according to the traditional Christian understanding of the event, was necessary for the salvation of the world, so, according to Boehme, is Sophia’s participation in the individual soul necessary for individual salvation:

B.J. Gibbons has observed that with the abandonment of Marian devotion that was a feature of the Reformation an “emotional vacuum” opened up which Boehme and his followers filled with their sophiological speculations.[3] There is certainly something to be said for such an opinion. Indeed, Boehme’s sophiological considerations have more than a few similarities to Catholic Marian devotion, just as his Mariology is never far from the idea of Sophia. As he writes in Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Sonne of God, “And so the Outward Mary became adorned and blessed with the Highly blessed heavenly Virgin [i.e., Sophia], among all Women of this World. In her, that which was dead and shut up of the Humanity, became living again; and so she became as highly graduated or Dignified, as the first Man before the Fall, and became a Mother of the Throne-Prince.”[4] But what is important about this has even more personal and individualized ramifications—and just as significant. “Understand it right,” Boehme tells his readers,

“The Deity, hath longed to become Flesh and Bloud; and although the pure cleer Deity, continueth Spirit, yet is it become the Spirit and Life of Flesh; and worketh in the Flesh; so that we may say, when we with our Imagination enter into God, and wholly give up ourselves into him, WE ENTER INTO GODS FLESH AND BLOOD, and live in God.“[5]

The notion of “God’s flesh and blood” would eventually become very important to Lead.

Sophia, God’s Eternal Virgin-Wisdom

Lead’s first vision of Sophia occurred in April of 1670, not long after her husband’s death. While on a visit to a friend in the country, she was preoccupied with religious questions, “contemplating the happy State of the Angelical World; and how desirous I was to have my Conversation there.” (Fountain, 1:17). Lead’s contemplation was suddenly interrupted:

“… while in this debate within my Mind, there came upon me an overshadowing bright Cloud, and in the midst of it the Figure of a Woman, most richly adorned with transparent Gold, her Hair hanging down, and her Face as the terrible Crystal for brightness, but her Countenance was sweet and mild. At which sight I was somewhat amazed, but immediately this Voice came saying, “Behold I am God’s Eternal Virgin-Wisdom, whom thou hast been enquiring after; I am to unseal the Treasures of God’s deep Wisdom unto thee, and will be as Rebecca was unto Jacob, a true Natural Mother.” (1:18)

a https://www.thecenterforsophiologicalstudies.com/post/an-introduction-to-jane-lead-freedom-and-sophiology

It was at this time, however, that she had her first vision of the “Virgin Sophia“, the Feminine Aspect of God (a heretical idea that many developed)…who promised to unfold the secrets of the universe to her. Lead declared herself a ‘Bride of Christ‘ and proceeded to transcribe her subsequent visions in much the same way as her predecessor, Hildegard of Bingen. Her final output amounted to many volumes of  visionary mysticism.

a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Lead

Lead spent the rest of her life basically channeling messages from ‘Sophia’, her ‘spirit guide.

As we will learn below, many of the leading Latter Rain proponents, very intentionally embraced, plagiarize, and propagated much of Jane Lead’s ‘revelations, as Kenneth Hagin did E.W. Kenyon.

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In her Alarm to the Lamb’s Holy Warriors, Lead provides clear insights into the role she played as the predecessor, guiding light, and godmother of those who were to later follow in her footsteps in the Latter Rain movement. For example, her eschatology prompted her to say that the “the Holy Warriors here upon earth” will “take vengeance on all those that have usurped the Dominion and Kingdom from Him, whose right it is in His Saints to reign.” These “Holy Warriors,” she proclaimed, will “smite on this hand and on that hand” (Lead, 1700).  

In Now Follows the VISION of the Seven Churches, from her A Message to the Philadelphian Society, we learn that Lead, like her disciples in the Latter Rain, the Kingdom Message, and the NAR, believed that Christ is “held in the heavens” pending the actions of elite, perfected members of the Church on earth. She wrote that Christ must “first be brought forth in some chosen” “Vessels,” which she also refers to as “Bodily Vehicles,” before his literal, “distinct and Personal Appearance.” The key to understanding Lead’s position and its significance is in seeing that “taking vengeance” and reestablishing the “dominion” of the “saints” are placed in the hands of human agency, meaning those of the “Holy Warriors,” prior to the return of Christ who is “held in the heavens” (Lead, 1696). Likewise, in The Enochian Walks with God, Found out by a Spiritual – Traveller, Whose Face Towards Mount – Sion Above was Set, Lead let it be known that these elite members of the Church will “turn the World upside down” (Lead, 1694). 

Who, according to Lead, would have the responsibility to carry out this hands-on eschatology? In The Ascent to the Mount of Vision we get the answer. Lead tells us that it will be those who “shall be counted worthy to Personate his Reign upon the Earth” as the “inChristed,” for they will be “all godified.” They will have the power to heal or kill using “special Endowments and Spiritual Gifts,” such as those the Apostle Peter had when he “perceived the perverse design of Ananias and Sapphira” and caused them to die (Lead, 1699). 

From Metaphorical Language to Literal Action: The Normalization of Fringe Extremism 

Language Esoteric, Opaque By Design

One of the reasons it is difficult to find evidence in texts that specifically and clearly outline an eschatology in which (1) an elite group of Christians is to literally “take dominion” politically and then (2) literally “execute the written judgments of God” through a purge of undesirables, is that these sorts of teachings are generally stated in symbolic language with metaphors that unfold and contexts that collapse; revelation often comes by way of implication through “types and shadows” that are dispensed “line upon line, precept upon precept.” In this way, loaded language becomes loaded doctrine, and meaning comes through putting together pieces of the puzzle; a composite picture of the nightmare must be uncovered layer by layer. However, this does not nullify the ability to comprehend in a crystal-clear way the desire that the advocates of the sacred purge have to make their dreams come true. It only means that their language is esoteric by design and requires careful analysis that deconstructs what is opaque in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of the intended meaning. 

Radicalized Into Absurdities Leading To Atrocities

 The words of Voltaire, the 18th century French historian and philosopher, can be applied to this task of understanding violent apocalyptic goals that hide behind the illusive abstractions of esoteric discourse. He aptly stated that “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” So then, what are the absurd beliefs that need to be in place in order to bring about the atrocities of a Christian sacred purge? They include (1) the belief in the future divinization of an elite group of Christians, whether corporately, individually or both, making the harbingers of the purge morally superior and justified in their actions (2) a belief that a literal purge is necessary and that it is indicated in scripture or through private revelation (3) the political power needed to facilitate the purge (4) the belief that the purge will be carried out literally through human agency, not divine intervention and (5) for the adherents of these sorts of extremist views to become weary of waiting for the Kingdom of God to arrive by divine intervention. Instead of waiting, as Dr. Robert J. Lifton explains, they may set their minds on carrying out future “violent actions in order to hasten the appearance of the Messiah” through “action prophecy,” which is the “idea of acting immediately” to “force the end” (2003). 

Viola Larson also draws attention to the possibility of moving from the shadows of symbolic prophecy to taking actions that “force the end.” For example, the Latter Rain penchant for “moving on with God” by following the revelations of their prophets is inherently predisposed to guide adherents to embrace beliefs more at home in the world of Esotericism, along with those of violent, anti-Semitic, white-supremacist, Christian Identity groups and individuals like Wesley A. Swift. Those on this fringe of the fringe are ready and willing to function as the “tip of the spear” and as the “foot soldiers” of a cleansing purge. As Larson puts it: 

Because many Identity adherents are people with a history of looking for ‘new truths,’ they often come to Identity from other religious movements, bringing some of their unique doctrines with them [which] include the fringe teachings of the ‘manifest sons of God’…an elite group of the church [which they say will] bring in the kingdom. 

Larson recognizes this as the Latter Rain modus operandi in which “God is restoring lost doctrines to the church,” such as those pertaining to the long-awaited perfection attained by becoming a “manifest son of God” (2017). This perfectionism that is often a prerequisite to taking dominion and carrying out a sacred purge is described in an online article titled Divinization (Christian):  

Revival of the concept of theosism, often called ‘manifest sonship’

There has been a modern revival of the concept of theosism, often called ‘manifest sonship’ or ‘Christedness,’ among Christians…especially those with a background in the charismatic Latter Rain Movement or even the New Age movement [who] believe that the ‘return of Christ’ is a corporate body of perfected human beings who are the ‘Manifested Sons of God’ instead of a literal return of the person of Jesus, and that these Sons will reign on the earth (n.d, n.p.).

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BRIAN SIMMONS – WE ARE THE RE-INCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE EARTH

This is precisely what Brian Simmons, author of the ‘Passion Bible, has stated, and many in the apostolic movement, endorse his ‘bible,’ as well as himself, indicting themselves, as endorses of heresy, and locating them in Lead’s passed down aberrant theology, and militant eschatology.

a’ https://thewordlikefire.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/the-passion-translation-author-we-are-the-reincarnation-of-christ/

BILL JOHNSON’S – WE ARE THE ‘CHRISTED ONES’

Bill Johnson in his dubious christology says; …The outpouring of the Spirit comes to anoint the church with the same Christ anointing that rested upon Jesus in His ministry so that we might be imitators of Him…101The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified.  This was His quest.  Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience there could be no title.105

(101- Johnson, Face to Face, p 77 105 – Johnson; Face to Face, p 109)

a https://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/bill-johnsons-christology-a-new-age-christ-part-iiia/

Cosmic humanism forms the basis of the New Age Movement and related religious expressions, particularly Eastern mysticism.  It says that man is evolving toward a state of higher consciousness that will result in the attainment of godhood…

…Many have…adopted a form of cosmic humanism, believing that they are capable of achieving the same anointing of Christhood that Jesus had.  Their beliefs are predicated upon a new Gnosticism which appears so very Christian as to deceive even the elect if possible.  Through close examination, however, they are found in an error so serious that it threatens the stability of the churches in which these people fellowship and, in some cases hold positions of leadership.

– Albert James Dager, Vengeance Is Ours85

Influence precedents have had on six influential, first-generation prophets of the Latter Rain movement of 1948

In the process of uncovering the potentially dangerous precedents set by Jane Lead’s eschatological perspective, I will trace the influence that these precedents have had on (1) six influential, first-generation prophets of the so-called Latter Rain movement of 1948 (2) the politically active prophets of the so-called Kingdom Message of the 1980s (3) the current-day, politically involved, self-described apostles and prophets of the so-called New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and (4) the teachings of several prominent Bible-based groups often identified as “cults.” In this way, the conceptual line of thought from the precedents set by Jane Lead to the present should be apparent. 

I will also include personal reflections on the inroads which current-day NAR advocates of Latter Rain, hands-on eschatology have made into non-Charismatic, denominational Christianity. This brings an extremist ideology, that was at one time on the periphery of Christianity, into a position to exert a greater influence on a wider, generally acceptable and established expression of the Christian faith. It creates the potential for the dangerous end-time goals of hands-on eschatology to find fulfillment, even if in a limited way.  

“New age” disciple of the “Christian esotericist” Alice Bailey, Ramsey points out the similarities of “new age” and Latter Rain-based doctrines on the “manifestation of the sons of God, encouraging contact and collaboration!”

To place things in perspective, Bill Britton’s, (a primary player in the Latter Rain heresy) views on eschatology, and other matters, were considered so extreme and heterodox that he was “defrocked” as a minister in the Pentecostal denomination of the Assemblies of God.   

In regards to Britton and Warnock, it is of further interest to note that in Ernest Ramsey’s The Neo-Pentecostals and their Amazing New Age Teachings (1982), which was written from the perspective of a “new age” disciple of the “Christian esotericist” Alice Bailey, Ramsey points out the similarities of “new age” and Latter Rain-based doctrines on the “manifestation of the sons of God” of Romans 8. He says that both perspectives, one Christian and the other “new age,” teach that there will be a final “third” salvation in which “perfection” is achieved prior to the arrival of “the Christ,” and references Britton’s Jesus the Pattern Son and Warnock’s The Feast of Tabernacles as source materials for this “revelation.” 

Ramsey goes on to urge those with a “new age” background to have an open mind toward these Latter Rain-based teachings, and says that contacts and collaborations should be made with them! He points out that these teachings, which are more spiritually “evolved” than those of other Evangelicals, are disseminated from “centers” which he identifies as Bill Britton’s “House of Prayer” in Springfield, Missouri, and John and Anne Gimenez’s “Rock Church” in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  

Again, one of the questions raised is this; how is it that a conduit, a funnel, an open door to some of the most rancid, unchristian teachings that have plagued Charismatic Christianity since 1948 have made their initial introductions to the orthodox, Evangelical, Bible-based denominational churches of today? This brings us to the obvious follow-up question; with a knowledge of the Latter Rain eschatology and an understanding that it has no place in the faith of the Church, what should be done?

The Normalization Of This Radical Theology

The normalization of this radical theology is facilitated by the NAR’s proposal that all Christians should come into “unity” through the virtually universally accepted themes of “effective” prayer, “vibrant” praise and worship, evangelism, church growth, and making a positive impact on society through political means. Through these rallying points, denominational churches are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the proponents of hands-on, Latter Rain-influenced eschatology, particularly as is advocated by leading prophets of the NAR. This makes unaware Christians inadvertently complicit in the NAR’s agenda of “taking dominion” politically and, ultimately, fulfilling their goal of “executing the written judgments of God” in a literal purge of those deemed to be the ungodly. Finally, in Appendix I and II, I will examine four extreme and unusual ideas of Jane Lead’s ideological ancestor, the 2nd century Gnostic Valentinus, and the possibility of hints of their presence in Lead’s writings and in those of her disciples in the Latter Rain movement of 1948.  

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Latter Rain Movement – Doctrines Of Demons

When one understands and acknowledges Jane Lead’s influence in the Latter Rain movement, and the adherents intentional embrace of her ‘revelations’, there is undeniable, irrefutable evidence, that the Latter Rain movement was in reality, doctrines of demons.

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The Prophets of the Latter Rain Movement of 1948 

The Prophet William Branham 

According to Dr. Bridget A. Jacobs, Branham made more than one visit to “Mary’s House of David,” a community deeply immersed in Lead’s writings, something that he made mention of at least four times in his taped sermons (Jacobs, p.222).   https://www.maryscityofdavid.org/html/jane-leade.html

The Prophet Franklin Hall 

According to Bill Mackenstadt’s research, Hall “plagiarized Jane Lead’s prophecies” (Bayith Ministries, n.d.). Hall’s position as an influencer should be seen as an alarming example of the precedents set by Lead’s eschatology. For example, in his Miracle Word, Hall said that “the unrighteous have to be exterminated.” Those who are “taken away will be killed. Taken away, mind you, with death.” But how will this come about? “[A]s a group from the Church take up their authority and rulership of the planet that God gave them, they will be able to choose whom they will to occupy it” (1946, p. 13). These are clear indicators that Hall, as one influenced by Lead, adopted the themes of dominion and purge. 

From The Horse’s Mouth-Frying Pan Into The Fire

The Prophet Bill Britton

  The influential Latter Rain prophet Britton used the writings of Jane Lead as a source of inspiration, something apparent in his writings and which was verified by Dr. Bridget Jacobs’ research and through a phone call I had with Britton’s daughter, Becky Britton-Voltz who told me that her dad circulated A Prophecy out of the Past, which was in fact Lead’s 60 Propositions. (Jacobs, 2016, June 26; personal communication, Britton-Boltz, 2020, August 9).  

Setting the precedent for a divinization that qualifies one to rule and purge, on p. 133 of Sons of God Awake! Britton asks, “Who is this Christ?” On p. 111 of Hebrews: The Book of Better Things, we are told that “only through union with mother earth could He [God] bring forth Sons and produce out of that which is earthly a divine company in His own image.” On p. 36 Britton foresees “the body of Christ coming forth in power to put an end to this age…until every enemy is destroyed.” On p. 155 we learn, incredibly, that “The wrath of God is the love of God.” On p. 34 he says that we are at the hour for the new age to begin!” 

On p. 13 of Treasures of the Snow that in Exodus 9: 18 – 19 a precedent was set for hands-on eschatology: 

[T]here was a great slaughter [when] God cast hailstones down upon them so that more died by the hailstones than were slain by the sword. These Old Testament references to hail are symbolic of the judgments of God upon the wicked world in the last days being administered by God’s army of  overcomers. [They are] the treasures of hail God has reserved unto the day of battle and war. [They will cause] the destruction of God’s enemies (italics mine). 

On p. 14 we are told that elite Christians are the “mighty and strong ones, none other than God’s sons in action. This is the destructive part of the restoration. For first the evil forces in this world must be destroyed before creation can be restored.” But on p. 15 it is unequivocally stated that they are “the saints of God [who will] execute judgment upon the enemies of God.”  

On p. 21 of Jesus the Pattern Son, initially speaking in general terms, Britton writes that “There must be judgment upon the earth to cleanse the earth of its corrupt and rotten sin.” But on p. 22 we learn that this will be carried out by “the Sons of God, His great Army [which] goes forth conquering [and] bringing forth the Judgments of God until the Church is purified and perfected and the whole earth is cleansed” (1956). In Reach for the Stars, under the subtopic of “Mature Sons,” Britton says that “the enemies of God…have a powerful operation indeed, but thank God they are destroyed by the brightness of His coming, as He is revealed in His Sons (1970, January 1).  

Britton’s hands-on eschatology was also made clear in a conversation I had with one of his associate pastors, David Tice. Tice told me that an elite group of the Church, which he called the “manifest sons of God,” would come into political power and carry out a literal purge (personal communication, 1985). Likewise, Roy Ralph, another Britton associate pastor, told me by letter that “the enemies of God will be destroyed by the brightness [of] His appearing first and foremost through his saints [since] Jesus Christ is going to come in His saints” (personal communication, 1985). The operative words here are “enemies,” “destroyed,” “through,” and “saints.” 

The Prophet Royal Cronquist  

Cronquist lets it be known that he approves of fellow Latter Rain/Manifest sons of God and New Apostolic Reformation “prophet” Bill Hamon when, in 1994, under the subheading “THE CYCLES OF GOD’S TIME,” he tells us that we will better “understand the operations of prophesying” after reading Hamon’s book Prophets and Personal Prophecy

Cronquist was at one time the right-hand-man of the apostle John Robert Stevens, the Latter Rain influenced leader of the “cult” known as The Walk, aka “The Church of the Living Word” (Nichols, 1980; personal communication, Kinyon-Szendrey, 2020). Revealing Lead as one of the sources that influenced him, Cronquist’s Epistle 155 references “A PROPHECY GIVEN IN 1679” by a “Scribe-Prophetess named Jane Leade.” In paragraph 2 of his Epistle 25 when Cronquist says, “My called ones are now being prepared and are almost ready to go forth in My anger” (1982, March 3).  

In paragraph 2 of Epistle 164, Cronquist makes it clear that through these “vengeful ones [I will] remove the disobedient and ungodly from the face of the earth” (1986, August 22). In paragraph 4 of Epistle 171 the indiscriminate nature of the slaughter is described; “many will eventually be killed along with the ungodly” (1987, July 19). In paragraph 2 of Epistle 206 we learn this means that “The present Church…shall be reduced by two-thirds” and that “millions…will be killed because of immaturity and ignorance.” Clearly establishing the human agency of the purge, in paragraph 16 Cronquist says this will be the vengeance and wrath of God incarnate…ministering through His corporate Manchild/Brethren/Bride people” (1990, January 22). In paragraph 5 of Epistle 240 Cronquist nails the coffin shut, telling us thatNow is the time for correct preparation. If they will not, they will perish, be physically killed by the coming judgments” (1995, December 8).  

In paragraph 1 of Epistle 61; “If you are one who is not set into the Divine Order of My Kingdom [of] theocratic government…then you will not…remain alive. (1982, July 9).  

Interestingly, in a phone call I made to Cronquist’s church in Spokane, Washington, I asked if the “manifest sons of God” would physically remove the ungodly in death after taking dominion of governmental institutions. I was told by an associate pastor, with nervous laughter, that “yes,” that was the message on which Cronquist had just recently preached. She then went on to quote him directly, saying that we should “be prepared to live, or be prepared to die,” and that I should order a copy of the taped sermon (personal communication, Cronquist associate pastor, 1985). 

The Prophet George Hawtin 

Hawtin is often considered the “founding father” and apostle of the Latter Rain at its inception in 1948 (Riss, 1987). I corresponded with him for a period of a couple of years in the early to mid-1980s. He would send me installments of his Jacob Boehme and Jane Lead-influenced Treasures of Truth along with, to my surprise and disgust, several racist tracts. These included Living Creature: Origin of the Negro, which claimed that black people are actually sub-human “beasts of the fields” who were created for a life of servitude to white people (personal communications, Hawtin, 1982-85). The influence of the precedents Lead set for a hands-on eschatology is evidenced by Hawtin’s reference to her “remarkable prophecy, given in the year 1619.” (Treasures of Truth, p. 103. Volume 9 “Here is the Mind That Hath Wisdom”).  

In Treasures of Truth, Volume 1, “God’s Great Family of Sons,” Book 37, we get the answer. Similar to Bill Britton and Kelley Varner, it is said that The dreadful scene of destruction which Ezekiel saw is going to be re-enacted at the end of this age.” Hawtin explains, saying “Certainly, there will be slaughter as Ezekiel saw in his vision.” In Treasures of Truth, Volume 1, “God’s Great Family of Sons,” Book 34, Ezekiel 9:1-7 is quoted; “Go…through the city and smite: Let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children and women [and] fill the courts with the slain.”  

In Treasures of Truth, Volume 1, “God’s Great Family of Sons,” Book 17, Hawtin says that there are “mighty works which Jesus, the first Son, began [but which] will be completed by the other sons” 

Did this King of kings attempt to set up a kingdom and govern the world? Did He ever call all the nations before Him and set up a judgment seat? No, He did not – not because He could not, but because God has reserved these greater works [for] those sons of God…who appear at the end of the age.  

According to Treasures of Truth, Volume 3, “The Mystery of Christ and Our Union With Him,” Book 34, the “enchristed” believers are “one with the Christ, because they, with Jesus, ARE GOD’S CHRIST! (Hawtin, n.d., n.p.).   

The Prophet J. Preston Eby 

Eby is yet another Latter Rain prophet who was under the spell of the precedents Jane Lead set for hands-on eschatology. On p. 212 of her The “Chosen Seed”: A Print Culture Study of Jane Lead From the Eighteenth Through Twenty-First Centuries (2019), Dr. Bridget M. Jacobs writes that Eby “became connected with the Latter Rain in the early 1950s” and that he “first learned of Lead through his association with brethren in the Latter Rain movement [such as] Bill Britton [and] George Hawtin.” In Looking for His Appearing, Part 94, Eby references “Jane Leade, a wonderful prophetess of the 1670’s.” On p. 1 of Part 3 we are told that there will be “vengeance upon those who do not know [God] and upon those who ignore and refuse to obey.” On p. 4 of Part 32, “The Sign of Aquarius,” he saysI can assure you that there are vast numbers of preachers who will be eliminated in that day”

Purging is getting rid of unwanted and unnecessary material. When Hitler came to power in Germany, he instituted a purging of the government. He cast out all those who were not in favor of his agenda and whom he believed he could not trust to cooperate completely with him. They were not just relieved of their responsibilities, they were executed. 

In Heavens Declare, Part 12, “Libra-The Scales,” Bible Study 2, Eby asks “Is it not strange that the God [who] has given us the command: THOU shalt not kill…can kill whom He will…but WE are forbidden to kill! Why is this?” On p. 1 of Part 38, “Taurus – The Wild Bull,” he teaches us that Taurus represents “the Christ coming forth in judgment…taking vengeance on them that know not God, [and] their land shall be soaked with blood.” But on p. 3 we are told that these “judgments of God shall be executed upon the human family and the ages to come by this glorious CORPORATE CHRIST.” On p. 5 of Heavens Declare, Part 32, Eby tells us that Enoch “prophesied of this appearing of the promised One” who would come as “myriads of Himself,” in “TEN THOUSANDS OF HIS SAINTS [to] execute judgment upon all.” Eby says that this bloody day of judgment will be accomplished “in and through the sons of God, [but] you will do it in humility and with a broken heart full of compassion and love.” 

Prophet Kelley Varner at the Crossroads between Latter Rain and Kingdom Message

Eschatological shift from “God will do it someday” to “we will do it soon.”

During the 1980s, an eschatological shift was made from “God will do it someday” to “we will do it soon.” What was once on the radical fringe occupied by Jane Lead and her disciples in the Latter Rain moved to a position of greater acceptance. This meant a continuation of the teachings that stated that taking political control and carrying out a sacred purge would find their fulfillment through the human agency of a “corporate Christ” composed of elite Christians. What changed was the size of the audience and the increased disingenuousness of the prophets. Kelley Varner, pastor of Praise Tabernacle in Richland, North Carolina, was one of the many who functioned as a conduit to channel these “deep things of God” from the relatively isolated prophets of the 1948 Latter Rain on to the more widely received prophets of the Kingdom Message of the 1980s, such as John and Ann Gimenez, Earl Paulk and Bob Weiner. 

The Prophet Kelley Varner 

In his The Time of the Messiah, Varner says that “Heaven and earth, God and man, are about to mysteriously mingle in one Seed.” This, according to him, will produce “many-membered new creation Man, [a] Corporate Messiah!” (n.d.).  

In Principles of Present Truth – Ezekiel, which Varner says was “co-authored with Bill Britton’s notes,” Varner asks, “What is the eschatological significance of chapters eight and nine [of Ezekiel]?” This portion of scripture includes the words, “kill without showing pity or compassion [and] slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children.”  

Further evidence of Varner’s intermediary position between the relative few of the Latter Rain and the many of the Kingdom Message and the NAR is given by those with whom he associates and by those who support him. For example, his The Priesthood is Changing includes a foreword by Latter Rain-influenced, Kingdom Message prophets John and Anne Gimenez (n.d.), and his Prevail: A Handbook for the Overcomer includes a foreword by the Kingdom Message prophet Earl Paulk (n.d.). In Prevail Varner says that the “Body of Christ [is on] the threshold” of becoming God’s “throne” on earth, for “as He is, so also are we.” We are told that, initially, Christ will not come as an individual. Instead, at first “He is coming [in a] manifestation of Christ [through] His glorious Church!”  

Finally, in a phone conversation I had with Varner on July 18, 1986, I asked if people would be literally killed by the “sons of God” in the “ministry of judgment.” He said “the wicked are taken in judgment, the righteous are left to inherit the earth.” I repeated the question for clarity’s sake, asking if the “taking” would be carried out by perfected Christians known as the “manifest sons of God.” With this question, Varner responded with an evasive, “What…you mean to kill ‘em?” When I pressed for more information, he took on the tones of a counselor and continued to equivocate somewhat: 

Brother, if you look at the scriptures, in Noah’s day nobody had to kill ‘em, they killed themselves, they reaped what they sowed…now, no doubt, the sons of God will minister some judgment but, ah, be that as it may… 

After he trailed off into noncommittal silence, I again pressed for clarification on the agency, or means, of physically removing people. Varner’s responses then became ominous, though concealed in obscure Biblical allusions. Like Bill Britton, he compared the judgment ministry of God’s perfected sons to the destructive power of the “hailstones of God’s wrath.” Still more alarming was the reiteration of his interpretation of Ezekiel 9, as is documented above, which he claims is a foreshadowing of the ministry of the “sons of God” who will “slay utterly old and young” and “fill the courts with the slain.  

Varner’s initial caginess was explained in a conversation with his secretary later on the same day. According to her, Varner’s ministry had recently been plagued by imposters pretending to be supporters, who then milked him for information while telephone recording devices taped his prophetic utterances (personal communication, 1986, July 18). Of course, such uneasiness on the part of ideological extremists like Varner only serves to drive them into ever more convoluted and esoteric explanations of their position on carrying out the sacred purge. 

Interestingly, Varner’s books have been promoted by both James Watt and Eldon Purvis. Watt was one of the original Latter Rain “brethren.” He praises Varner and “especially recommends his [Varner’s] Corporate Anointing.” Watt also references in a positive light the prophets Latter Rain Franklin Hall, William Branham, and a “prophetic message” given by the NAR prophet Mike Bickle at IHOP in Kansas City, Kansas. Even though he confesses that there were “some excesses” associated with the Latter Rain, he completely understates just how far gone the Latter Rain prophet George Hawtin was in his theology; Watt compares him to “King David of old.” He then asks, “Did David walk perfectly” in his relationship with God? “No,” he answers, “And neither did George Hawtin or any other human being” (Watt, n.d.).   

In the case of Purvis, perhaps it begs the question of who has influenced whom. In other words, why were Varner’s Latter Rain-influenced books made available through Purvis’ New Beginnings mailout? This question is an intriguing one in that Purvis began as a disciple of the Latter Rain. But through the usual portal of the prophetic, “ongoing revelations” of “present truth,” he made his way into the dark world of Holocaust deniers and the teachings of Latter Rain-based, esoteric-influenced, racist Christian Identity teachers like Wesley A. Swift, who are prepared to put their malignant faith into violent practice (Purvis, 1987). So was Varner acquainted with or influenced by the racist Purvis? If so, then their connection constituted yet another open door for the doctrines of Christian Identity, with its message of hate, to infuse and further corrupt the disciples of the Latter Rain. 

The Latter Rain-Influenced Prophets of the Kingdom Message 

The teachings of the Kingdom Message in the 1980s marked the beginning of the normalization of the radical hands-on eschatology developed by the prophets of the Latter Rain. Through its move from the fringes of Pentecostalism to a wider audience of politically activated Christians, the Jane Lead-inspired, Latter Rain call to “take dominion” of the nation’s governmental institutions, along with intimations of the sacred purge, became an integral part of many large and vocal Charismatic congregations and megachurches.  

The Prophets John and Anne Gimenez 

The Gimenez’s were influential spokespersons for the Latter Rain-influenced Kingdom Message. The congregation of their Rock Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia grew to more than 4000. Following the desire to take dominion of America for God, they were instrumental in encouraging Evangelicals to become more involved in politics by organizing “Washington for Jesus” in 1980, thus bringing the radical fringe to a place of relative normalization (Gimenez, n.d.). This push for political control makes sense in that John was a close associate of Bill Britton, the Latter Rain, dominion-conscious prophet with an urge to purge, who referred to Gimenez as a “sound man of God” with whom he had “fellowship” (Britton, 1981, February 2).  

In numerous appearances on Jim Bakker’s PTL Show and Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, Anne Gimenez made reference to associates of hers, such as Earl Paulk and Bob Weiner, leader of the cult-like Maranatha Ministries. Weiner, like John Gimenez, was on Bill Britton’s list of those he considered “sound men of God” with whom he was closely associated (Britton, 1981, February 2).  

Anne said that Wiener had done an “extensive study” on the theme of “taking dominion” politically and that man no longer has dominion because he lost his “manifested presence,” meaning his near divine, supernatural empowerment as a “manifesting son of God.” In her sermon Manifestation of God’s Children, Anne says that “Christ must reign in you [until] all things are put under his feet” (YouTube, 2020, February 10). And, as is said by virtually all who have been influenced by a Latter Rain, hands-on eschatology, the “feet” of Christ are located here on earth in his “Corporate Body.” This, when taken in the context of the belief that Christ cannot return until the “judgments of God” are completed, defines what it means to place “all things under his feet” as a militant position that warrants taking dominion and carrying out a sacred purge

In a phone conversation I had with Oscar Rodriguez, an associate pastor of the Gimenez’s, I asked if the “corporate body of Christ” would “take dominion” politically and then carry out a purge, “executing the written judgments of God,” by literally and physically removing those deemed to be the ungodly. In answer to this question, Rodriguez told me that “everything” that is to occur in the end-times will be accomplished “in and through [the] corporate body of Christ.” This was what he referred to as a “Kingdom Principle” (personal communication, Rodriguez, 1985). Accordingly, this Kingdom Principle is to be carried out through the human agency of the “corporate body of Christ,” which includes what the Bible attributes to the end-time events of Jesus establishing the kingdom of God on earth, “ruling with a rod of iron,” and physically removing the ungodly.   

The Prophet Earl Paulk 

Paulk was another prophet influenced by Latter Rain eschatology (Rising, 2013, May 22). His Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia was attended by 10,000 at the peak of its influence. Like the Gimenez’s, Paulk made numerous appearances on the Jim Bakker Show and on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. But what of his theology? A circumstantial indication of his personal doctrinal slant can be seen in his approval of Bill Hamon, whom he considered to be a “prophet” (Harvest Time, 1984, July, p. 3, 9). This connection becomes more solid when we learn in the November 3, 1984 edition of Harvest Time that Paulk hosted a Church leadership conference at which both Bill Hamon and Kelley Varner were guest speakers. In addition, then Vice President George Bush sent his greetings to those attending the conference and later met with Paulk privately for 45 minutes in a friendly chat to discuss the prophet’s efforts to promote racial equality in Atlanta

 And what could be wrong with socially minded pastors rubbing elbows with those with access to political power? One way to answer this question is to consider what I was told by Paulk’s associate pastor, Mr. Osbourne. Osbourne echoed the words of Latter Rain prophet and “cult” leader Sam Fife, and repeated the same Kingdom Principle, verbatim, that Oscar Rodriguez at Rock Church had said; everything Christ will do “from now on” will be “in and through” the “corporate Body of Christ,” which includes taking dominion and executing judgement before Jesus is “allowed” to return (personal communication, 1985).  

With an ingenious use of collapsing contexts to imply without stating explicitly, Paulk asserts that “The two witnesses…represent the Church…because Old Testament law states [that] judgment must be established in the mouth of two or more witnesses” (Ultimate Kingdom: For the Dawning of the New Millennium, 1984, January 1). Without further explanation this might seem insignificant. In the July 1984 edition of his Harvest Time newsletter, however, Paulk reveals his intended meaning: 

God has given revelation to me recently on the witness principle…The Old Testament says that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every truth shall be established. People were killed in the Old Testament by the witness principle…In [the book of] Revelation we see the last picture of the Church as the two witnesses. 

So the elite members of the Church will have the authority to kill based on the “witness principle”? Apparently so, according to Paulk’s twisted worldview. Furthermore, in keeping with a hands-on take on executing judgment, the prophet Paulk tells us in his The Wounded Body of Christ that if anyone “attempts to lead us away from truths established by revelation [through] prophets,” God “already has a plan for taking care of them”; “[they] shall be put to death” (1983, p. 33, 34). Finally, sounding like J. Preston Eby, Paulk builds on the precedents set by Latter Rain, hands-on eschatology in an ominous paraphrasing of the words of Jesus; “The accusers said to Jesus, ‘We have Moses as our father, and Moses said, Thou shalt not commit adultery.’ Jesus replied, ‘I believe that too, but let me carry you to a heavenly dimension. If you don’t lust in your heart you cannot commit adultery.’ They said, ‘The law says, Thou shalt not kill,’ and Jesus replied, ‘I believe that too, but let me speak to your heart. If you don’t hate first, there is no possibility of murder.’ How wise Jesus was!

Latter Rain-Influenced Prophets of Current-Day NAR 

The influence of the Latter Rain-based, hands-on eschatology on the current-day NAR can be seen through apostles and prophets such as James Goll, Paula White, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, Cindy Jacobs and Bill Hamon, all of whom are vociferous supporters of ex-president Trump. In light of the central guiding themes of taking dominion politically and executing “the written judgments of God” through human agency, should their access to and influence on the power facilitated by a second Trump presidency matter? This question is answered by taking a look at the connections, goals and ideas of those in the network of these NAR prophets. 

For example, in Kyle Mantyla’s Paula White Battles Demonic Forces While Launching New Prayer Initiative to Reelect Trump (2019, November 6), we learn that NAR affiliated Paula White has been: 

[A] key spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump for years, [and has] recently joined the White House staff [and] partnered with a group of other religious right activists to launch a new prayer effort aimed at getting Trump reelected in 2020. The effort, called the One Voice Prayer Movement, finds White teaming up with fellow right-wing activists such as Cindy Jacobs.  

And with whom do White and Jacobs associate? At Religion Dispatches we learn that as Trump’s “spiritual advisor,” White also joined the White House staff to lead the “Faith & Opportunity Initiative” and that the One Voice Prayer Movement campaign “included top Dominionist leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), such as James Goll [and] Cindy Jacobs.” Showing their ability as influencers to insinuate themselves into positions of power, we are told in a Twitter post that these “Modern-day ‘prophets,’ [Jacobs and Goll], were at the White House today” (2019, November, 7). Further demonstrating the mindset of Trump’s “spiritual advisor,” Rachel Tabachnick is quoted as saying that “[Paula] White began 2012 with a sermon titled ‘Season of Apostolic Reformation,’ telling her congregation that they must align with this new order [since] ‘God is a theocracy, not a democracy.’ White “warned congregants to ‘get in, get out, or get run over’” (2020, November 17).  

Does the NAR have future aspirations for America? In his “Word of the Lord for 2021,” Bill Hamon, NAR prophet and close associate of Jacobs, says that “From all the prophecies from a score of prophets in America and several other nations, it was declared that it was God’s desire/choice/will for Donald Trump to be elected president in 2016, and all those prophecies came to pass.And even though “the prophets missed it concerning Trump serving a second term as president of the United States, [could] it be that God was thinking about 2024?”  

How do Trump’s connections with prophets of the NAR, such as Hamon, Jacobs, White and Goll, translate into increased possibilities for a Latter Rain-influenced sacred purge? At a Twitter post of RightWingWatch, Jacobs says that the time of separating the “sheep” from the “goats” has come. According to her, God will only put up with so much, but now he will say “enough is enough.” Like fellow NAR prophet Rick Joyner, she puts these intimations of the Judgment Day squarely in the hands of elite Christians, however, when she “warns that Christians will rise up and possibly start a Civil War if the Equality Act becomes law.” (2019, November 12).  

On p. 220 of Dr. Bridget Jacobs’ The “Chosen Seed,” Lead’s lineage of hands-on eschatology from the Latter Rain to the current-day prophets of the NAR is further established. For example, we are told that “the New Apostolic Reformation’s roots in the Latter Rain are highlighted [by] André Gagné of Concordia University [who is] producing a weekly YouTube series on the Latter Rain movement’s beliefs and literature.”  

Holly Pivec and Doug Geivett, Sarah Posner, Bob DeWaay, Albert Dager and Racheal Tabachnick have all written well about the political objectives of the current-day, Latter Rain-influenced NAR apostles and prophets (Dager, 1990; DeWaay, 2007; Posner, 2011; Tabachnick, 2011; Pivec and Geivett, 2014, 2018; Christerson, 2021). 

Falling Short Of Latter Rain Legacy Of Hands On Eschatology

However, in my opinion, all of the above fall somewhat short in describing the scope and depth of the Latter Rain legacy and the precedents for hands-on eschatology set by Jane Lead, her disciples in the Latter Rain, the Kingdom Message, and the NAR in regards to a literal purge through human agency. This blind spot does not diminish the great value of the work that has been done by others to expose Lead and her doctrinal offspring, it only withholds the full sting of the whole truth. 

The Prophet Mike Bickle

Bickle pastors International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Kansas. In the late 80s and early 90s he oversaw the “Kansas City Prophets,” of which the prophet Bill Hamon was a member. Stephen Strang is the founder and chief executive of Charisma Media. In his Mike Bickle: How God Is Using Trump for His Spiritual Purposes in This Hour (2020, January 31), Strang recorded Bickle as saying that “God is raising up some leaders across the earth—political leaders who are taking a stand against that radical leftist agenda.” Bickle expands on this, letting us know that, “Not only did He [God] raise up Trump as a defender of Christian values and religious freedom, but He also used Paula White Cain to influence Trump for the good.” So how could the NAR eschatology of Bickle, White’s inside track to the president’s ear, and access to political power be a volatile mix? 

At Word Connect.org we get an answer in Mike Bickle, the International House Of Prayer, (I.H.O.P) and a Violent Jesus. We are told about Bickle’s Armageddon Campaign: The Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty (2006). For example, on p. 8 Bickle says, “The real point of Revelation 14 is the carnage – the destruction of human life” and the fact that “blood [will come] out of the winepress [of judgment] up to the horses’ bridles.”  

Bickle goes on to say that when “Jesus kills people, their blood will splash up on His garments.” “It is gruesome,” he admits, but “this is not figurative” (p. 9). However, of greater significance for the purpose of this report is Bickle’s assertion that the elite “saints will engage in this carnal battle” and the actions of this “army” will result in “billions of men, women and children being killed” (p. 16). Whether or not Bickle attempts to squirm out of owning up to his own words by claiming that it is only the petitions of “prayer warriors” which triggers the advent of wholesale death, the point remains that death comes through and is activated by human agency. This, as we have seen above through the words of Dr. Robert J. Lifton, is something that can easily evolve into a more hands-on expression of murder for God with those willing to “force the end.”  

The Prophet Rick Joyner 

According to Pastor Rick Joyner Urges American Christians to Prepare for Civil War, “MorningStar Ministries founder and pastor, Rick Joyner,” the NAR prophet and close associate of Mike Bickle of IHOP, “claimed there was unanimous agreement [that] our last election was stolen and it was something that we can’t just let go.” As a result, Joyner has “urged” Trump supporters and “true disciples of Christ…to buy up arms.” Why? This is to be done “in preparation for a coming civil war” with the “evil forces” who he claims “stole [the] November election from former President Donald Trump” (Fearnow, 2021, March 16).  

Significantly, in a Newsweek article by Jason Lemon we are told that “the children of prominent pro-Trump evangelical Christian Pastor Rick Joyner are strongly opposed to his calls for a civil war.” His daughter Anna Joyner says that “his rhetoric will lead to violence.” She goes on to say, I think it’s completely possible that some of my dad’s followers could pick up guns and cause violence because they think they’re defending the country.” Her brother Ben Joyner concurs. He told The New York Times that “what [my] father does is morally wrong” (Lemon, 2021, March 29). Again, signs of the Latter Rain fixations on taking dominion politically and executing judgment physically should be apparent through the words of this NAR prophet and associate of Bill Hamon. 

The Prophet Bill Hamon

Hamon has close connections with the usual list of leading NAR prophets, such as Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, C. Peter Wagner, James Goll and Cindy Jacobs. At Hamon’s “Word of the Lord 2021,” we are told that “in the mid-90s, Prophet Cindy Jacobs prophesied that God had made Bill Hamon a five-star general in God’s army of saints.” NAR prophet James W. Goll also raised Hamon to a high and mighty position of esteem and authority when, according to his The Fourth Great Wave Has Begun!, he states that “Bill Hamon with Christian International has possibly activated more people into a prophetic gift than any person in Church history.”  

 In his Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, which was endorsed by Latter Rain prophet of death, Royal Cronquist, we see that Hamon holds fast to the principles of hands-on Latter Rain eschatology (1997, March 1). For example, on p. 253 Hamon tells us that: 

God’s great end-time army is being prepared to execute God’s written Judgments with Christ’s victory and divine judgment decrees that have already been established in heaven. The time is set when they will be administered and executed on earth through God’s saintly army. All that is destined and needed will be activated during God’s restorational Army of the Lord Movement. 

These “written Judgments” include those in Revelation 14, referenced earlier. According to Bob DeWaay’s The Roots and Fruits of the New Apostolic Reformation, posted at Critical Issues Commentary, Jane Lead’s 60 Propositions promotes “ideas that resurfaced in 1948 in the Latter Rain movement [and] are still being promoted by a key Apostle-prophet of the New Apostolic Reformation.” DeWaay then identifies this “key Apostle-prophet” as Bill Hamon. Hamon’s ideas were also highly endorsed by the influential “church growth” expert and founding “apostle” of the NAR, C. Peter Wagner. But more significantly, according to DeWaay, is that Hamon “brought the teachings of the Latter Rain movement into the NAR.” And bringing Latter Rain teachings to the NAR is by default bringing the precedents for hands-on eschatology set by Jane Lead to the NAR. Accordingly, DeWaay goes on to let us know that the idea that “the end time church will be ‘Joel’s Army’” composed of “men of war” is a “Latter Rain teaching that Bill Hamon still propagates(2007). To put this reference to “Joel’s Army” in context within NAR teachings, Joel 2 states, in part, “The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?” 

On p. 327 and 378 of his The Eternal Church (1981), Hamon, in typical Jane Lead-inspired, Latter Rain fashion, refers to the elite Christians who will have the responsibility of establishing the rule of righteousness on earth and carrying out the Judgement Day as “the corporate Body of Christ.” According to Hamon

All things must [be] subdued and dominion taken over them and Christ’s authority executed, his works accomplished, through the corporate body [of Christ] before He [Christ] comes back [individually] in His personal body, [because] He’s coming in power and glory to be manifested as victor over all things before His literal coming. 

Hamon explains the “work” of this corporate Christ further, telling us that it includes “whatever you read [in the Bible] about Jesus doing in the book of Revelation,” which includes passages about the death and destruction of the ungodly. Does Hamon really mean that the annihilation of the ungodly will be carried out by Christ’s “corporate body” of elite followers? According to Hamon, and like Bill Britton, Oscar Rodriguez, Earl Paulk, and Sam Fife, “whatever Christ does from now throughout eternity will be in, through and with [the] Church (1981). This is his only slightly veiled, loaded language for “Yes, we will do all of these things for God.” 

In a phone conversation with Hamon on 1985, July 20, I asked if the scripture stating that “one shall be taken” means to be “taken” in death through the ministry of the elite “sons of God.” He assented, adding, “It’s so revolutionary that most people can’t accept it.” This is an understatement of gargantuan proportions in that “most people” are unaware of the true nature of his hands-on eschatology. He claimed that the Bible says that this corporate group of believers will “rule and reign [and] be given a rod of iron to judge the nations.” In a most interesting effusion of candor, Hamon then gave precedent from both Old and New Testaments for the expedient physical removal of the ungodly through human agency: 

We go to the mercy seat to rule and reign and the judgment’s executed, but what’s the difference between Joshua going in and cutting the heads off of [the] Jerichoans and the saints [present-day elite believers] executing judgment? They [critics] say, ‘That’s [in the] Old Testament,’ and I say ‘What was that in the New Testament when Peter…spoke judgment?’ [a reference to Ananias and Sapphira] They died! I say death is death any way you look at it. Whether you cut their heads off, whether you speak the word of judgment, however you wipe ‘em out, heh, it’s wipe out any way you look at it

After a brief pause to catch his breath, Hamon, sounding like J. Preston Eby and Kelley Varner, attempted to reconcile this “wipe out” of irredeemables with more traditional ideals of Christian love and mercy: 

But I say the only ones that can be in the judgment ministry are those who come to perfect love…nobody will be in judgment [of others] until you’ve died to self, overcome all vindictiveness and all self-righteousness and all vengeance has gotta be out of your spirit to where it’s strictly you’re executing God’s love and God’s will. 

Redefining God’s will by forcing a brutal juxtaposition of love and murder, Hamon discovers the perfect pattern of extreme but necessary action in Christ’s sacrificial death: 

Like I said, if He [God] crucified Jesus to birth the Church and bring it into existence, what is He gonna do to the ministers who are hindering [His] Church? They’re gonna be crucified too if they don’t get with it (personal communication, 1985). 

On July 19, 1985 I asked a Hamon associate at Christian International in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, about the fate of the ungodly and the human ministry that will be responsible for their removal. I was given the same precedent for the hands-on eschatology: 

Dr. Hamon got one revelation, for example, [and] I recall him being in such great excitement about it, [saying that] the point is that Jesus is never, ever gonna do anything again without the Church…That’s a basic answer to what you’re asking me (personal communication, 1985). 

Indeed it is. This answer is inclusive of all of the as yet unfulfilled Biblical prophecies about the Judgment Day and the annihilation of the ungodly. Hamon’s associate has stated this deep dark secret, the doctrine of the sacred purge, at the level of a principle, with the specifics omitted yet subtly implied. This not only gives the final solution an aura of special revelation or gnosis, but also, as is the case with all esoteric systems of belief, serves as a ready made safeguard against the scrutiny of critics and the uninitiated.  

The following is a case in point that Hamon is still a keeper of the Latter Rain flame of hands-on eschatology. Hamon posted a video on Facebook of his February 24 – 27, 2020 Watchman Conference. He said that Jesus was beginning to reveal his “war plans and strategies to his prophets.” He then said that “we [are] going to finish this job [of] making all His enemies His footstool.” The key words here are “we,” “finish” and “enemies,” a hands-on eschatological order of operations to be fulfilled through human agency before Jesus is “allowed” to return. We see that the Watchman Conference of 2020 was no passing whim. At NAR prophet Cindy Jacobs’ “Generals International” website interviews with “prophetic leaders including Cindy Jacobs [and] Bishop Bill Hamon” are presented for the “Global Prophetic Summit 2021” (Jacobs, 2021).  

As strange as it may seem, Hamon is still considered a prophet in the growing NAR. He remains significant through his writings and by training and collaborating with other politically active supporters of Trump and influential prophets such as Cindy Jacobs (Christerson, 2001). By the above, it should be plain that Hamon and access to political power do not bode well for a healthy democratic American society. 

The Prophet Cindy Jacobs

The NAR “prophet” Cindy Jacobs shows the clear influences of the Latter Rain movement through her association with Bill Hamon, who she refers to as her spiritual “father,” and her participation in “Apostolic” and “Prophetic” conferences held by her fellow NAR-affiliated “prophets.” However, her influence goes beyond the NAR of Charismatic Christianity to the doorsteps of the non-Charismatic, denominational churches which desire to “put aside petty differences” in order work and “pray in unity” and to “take back the nation for God.” 

At a 2008 “Prayer Quake,” Jacobs and “24/7” prayer advocate Pete Greig were featured speakers. Despite any valuable lessons on “effective” prayer that either may have to offer, this not only indicates their mutual involvement and participation in NAR-affiliated events, sharing the stage not only indicates their mutual involvement and participation in NAR-affiliated events, it also implies their support of the Latter Rain-eschatological on which much of NAR doctrine is based. In evidence of this shared worldview are the topics listed for break-out sessions which include (1) “Extravagant Worship,” which Latter Rain-inspired enthusiasts say is the “Davidic” form of “praise and worship” thought to have been “restored” in 1948 (2) how to distinguish between “Dark and Light” “angels” on “the other side of the veil” and how to interact with them which, again, goes back to the influence of the Latter Rain movement of 1948 and (3) “Prophetic Worship” with Daniel Brymer, who is affiliated with the NAR “prophet” Mike Bickle, pastor of IHOP.   

In her Possessing the Gates of the Enemy: A Training Manuel for Militant Intercession (1994), with a forward by NAR “apostle” C. Peter Wagner, Jacobs again establishes her approval of and connection with Pete Greig by quoting him and favorably promoting his “powerful book” titled Red Moon Rising (2003). On p. 89 she describes the Esoteric-influenced, NAR “prophet” and recognized cult leader, “sister Gwen Shaw of End-Time Handmaidens,” as another “powerful prayer leader.”  

Gwen Shaw 

As far as NAR connections go, Shaw lists the prophets who have spoken at her “Handmaiden’s World Convention” between 1982 and 2004. This list shows the typical in-house mode of operating which NAR-affiliated leaders demonstrate. For example, Shaw shared her pulpit with the NAR apostle C. Peter Wagner, the NAR prophetess Cindy Jacobs, and the prophet Kelley Varner, a close associate of Latter Rain prophet Bill Britton. Shaw was also a member of Wagner’s “Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders,” which included the like-minded NAR prophets Mike Bickle and the influential Cindy Jacobs, who quotes Shaw as an authority on “spiritual warfare” (Shuck, 2019). 

Shaw says the “battle of all ages” is “going to take place on this planet!” Like the Latter Rain prophet Royal Cronquist, she “challenges” her followers to be prepared to “do or die.” Accordingly, she allowed “the Lord” to speak through her, saying “I would rather give you a harvest of blessing than a harvest of judgment and a harvest of blood,” an indicator of the ever-present influence of Latter Rain eschatological preoccupations (Shaw, n.d.). 

Researching Gwen Shaw turned up shocking information: and look at her list of ‘friends.’

a https://scribalwell.wordpress.com/2019/11/14/mrs-gwen-shaws-end-time-handmaidensservants-cult/

24/7 ‘Prayer’ NAR Drawing Card Into Alignment

Denominational Churches: Pete Creig & Allen Hood

I recently heard a pastor make several points that reminded me of the NAR. I felt as if I was listening to some of the talking points of the late C. Peter Wagner, “founding father” and “apostle” of the NAR. For example, the pastor implied that “travailing prayer” had been “lost” to the denominational churches in America, that they can’t compete with the effectiveness of the churches in Africa and Central and South America which thrive in numerical growth and emotional fervor, and that these congregations will likely become the “centers” of truly pure and engaged Christianity. We were also told about Pete Greig’s How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People (2019), which was given an endorsement from the pulpit. Again, on 3/6/22 we were told about Greig along with Allen Hood, a leader from the NAR-affiliated International House of Prayer (IHOP) pastored by the “prophet” Mike Bickle.  

Pete Greig has close ties to “prophets” of the NAR, such as the influential, self-proclaimed “prophet” Cindy Jacobs, who proudly asserts that the death and destruction-oriented NAR “prophet” Bill Hamon is her spiritual “father” in the faith. Greig says that “dynamic new churches” are surpassing the “dwindling congregations” of denominationalism. He states that this decline is “ruffling” the “feathers” of traditionalists. Greig says he pushes for “unity,” an obvious contradiction to his derision of denominational churches with “dwindling” attendance, and an apparent introduction to the “thriving” NAR-based churches which he promotes and their leaders with whom he associates. 

Unfortunately, this current cry for “unity” is heard primarily from the very vocal Charismatic Christianity community, much of which is dominated or strongly influenced by the “apostles” and “prophets” of the NAR. Accordingly, Greig takes the virtually unassailable stance of prayer that “provides denominational unity.” It is “the foundation for solidarity,” he says, in which “Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and Presbyterians are willing to pray together.”  

In addition, Greig’s NAR affiliations are highlighted at Justin Werner’s IHOP-affiliated blog titled Just some Things I Find Interesting!!!.  

For example, we are told that “IHOP has received support from prominent Christian leaders” such as the NAR “apostle” C. Peter Wagner, the NAR “prophets” Bill Johnson of Bethel Church and Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries, and the “24/7” prayer advocate Pete Greig. It is acknowledged that IHOP is “deemed controversial by other Christian leaders and has been accused of being a Christian cult.” Under “Theology, Themes, & Doctrine” we are told that IHOP teaches the Latter Rain-influenced theme of “Apostolic Leadership” which “Some find” to be “controversial and a source of criticism.” 

Finally, to repeat, Greig and his relative significance in influencing denominational churches should be understood in the context of his association to the NAR “prophet” Cindy Jacobs and her spiritual “father,” the Later Rain-influenced, death and destruction-oriented, NAR “prophet” Bill Hamon. 

NAR’s Growing Impact On Denominational Churches

Since the themes of the Latter Rain-influenced NAR spread primarily through the “nondenominational,” Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, where current-day “apostles” and “prophets” roam unleashed, “unity” with them can become more than problematic. In other words, even when “safe,” “sound,” and “baptized” initiatives are forwarded, such as those for evangelism, “church growth,” “vibrant” music and worship, “fervent” prayer, and “making a difference in society,” many Christians in denominational and Evangelical churches seem to be ready to jump on board without counting the cost.  

For example, having a “positive impact on society” as faithful Christians easily morphs into misguided versions of the desire to “take back America for God,” to the arrogant notion of “taking dominion,” or to the NAR’s Latter Rain-inspired eschatology which drives the “7 mountains” campaign to “take control” of all aspects of society in order to “allow,” or “cause,” Jesus to return to a “pure and spotless Church” and a “glorious kingdom.”  

This influence is also difficult to escape due to the pervasive presence of NAR-based “prophetic music ministries,” such as those associated with Bethel Church and Hillsong, whose songs are regularly heard on Christian radio stations and played at “contemporary” worship services within denominational and Evangelical churches; music, even “good music, is the “universal language” which is able to grease wheels and open doors for a deluge of pre-existing doctrinal aliments that are handed down through the influence of the Latter Rain-based goals, doctrines, and eschatologically-skewed timelines in which Jesus is no longer in control and the Providence of God is denied. In this way, the denominational and Evangelical churches are exposed to, and corrupted by, a legacy of false and questionable doctrines and practices that cater to the senses, the wallet, and spiritual pride.    

Despite the measurable “successes” of “church growth” in third world countries and America, numbers do not validate fidelity to the faith. The NAR-affiliated churches that are experiencing growth appeal to this desire to put faith in the tangible world of what can be seen and measured. In a “big tent” sort of way, they garner followers from a variety of denominations through their drive to “take dominion” of society in a deceptively favorable, Christianizing manner. They employ the seemingly unassailable foundation of “24/7 prayer rooms” and the “excitement” and “vitality” of their music and “praise and worship” events. The “evidence” that God is “on their side” comes through the “proof” of an advancing “unity,” though it is subtly detached from and unencumbered by sound doctrine. However, as shouldn’t have to be said, the Church is not called to be “effective” according to worldly standards; it is called to be faithful, and its faithfulness is not measured by emotional fervor, monetary gains, or the number of its adherents.  

Unfortunately, due to the above reasons, the denominational churches that have no historical association with the Jane Lead-based eschatology of the Latter Rain and the NAR have nevertheless become increasingly vulnerable to the seductive draw of a works-over-grace mentality that wants to see results and, childishly, wants to see them “now!” 

One way to exacerbate the situation when confronted with “strong delusion” that is introduced within Christianity is to draw a false line of demarcation between the Church, its beliefs and practices, and what in reality is a falsified approximation of Christianity. In this way, a Gnostic-like excoriation of the faith “once delivered” to the Church seeks to break, redefine, and remake the Church in the image of its counterfeiting imposter. 

Typical Denominational Prayer Inferred As Inferior

For example, this assault on the faithful is implicit in making spurious distinctions through the strawman argument that “casual prayer” is inferior to “travailing prayer” that brings “restoration,” “revival,” and a “fresh outpouring of the spirit.” By thus blindly tilting at unseen windmills, the false prophets of the NAR create a vacuum for those under their influence. Subsequently, this vacuum is only filled by appropriating their methods, their agenda, and their Latter Rain-based doctrines and eschatological goals.  

With these sorts of superficial distinctions made to the unwitting denominational churches, whispers of the spiritual pride to be gained by becoming one of the “super” Christians who is a step ahead of the rest of the pack are made. In this way, the roles of the humble sinner and the arrogant hypocrite are played out. In other words, the repentant sinner who beats his chest in prayer is heard. The “elite” hypocrite, however, with vain repetitions frothing from his mouth, receives the “reward” of being seen, heard and honored.  

Latter Rain-Based Eschatology in Groups Recognized as “Cults” 

The Prophet Sam Fife 

Fife was at one time a close associate of the Latter Rain prophet Bill Britton (personal communication, Britton-Boltz, 2020, August 9). He was the leader of a “cult” called The Move, aka “The Body of Christ.” On p. 22 of his One Corporate Man (n.d.), Fife gives a condensed version of Latter Rain-inspired, hands-on eschatology that might tickle the ears of both “new age” esotericists and Neo-Nazis: 

God is going to fulfill His purpose to bring together into One, all things that are in Christ, both in the earth and in heaven, and make of all the twos One new many-membered man, who lives after the order of Melchisedec. When He has finished preparing this many-membered man, He is going to purge the earth of every other man by His Judgment Day, and there will come in a new age, and a new earth, with a new man living in a new order.

So how does Fife approach the question of the agency of this “purge”? On p. 9 of his Deeper Teachings (the meat of the word) # 34, subtitled The Manifestation of the Sons of God (n.d., n.p.), we get the answer. Fife uses the same exact “Kingdom Principle” that I was told by Kingdom Message pastors Oscar Rodriguez and Mr. Osbourne, Bill Britton’s associate pastor Roy Ralph, and the NAR prophet Bill Hamon. According to Fife:  

Jesus is never going to do anything that He does not do through the rest of His body, any more than your head does not do anything without the rest of your body. Jesus is our Head, and He  will not do anything that He does not do through His Body.  

He elaborates on p. 10 and 11, saying that “power will be given to the Sons of God for the express purpose of [destroying] the world system.” On p. 12 and 13 we learn that on the Judgment Day, “the winepress [will be] trodden.” But Fife extrapolates from “the winepress” will be “trodden,” to “In these verses we have a picture of the great last battle between the manifested Sons of God [and] the Satanic kingdom [of the] world system.” On p. 15, we see that during this battle (1) “the harvest of the wicked will be reaped and cast into the winepress of God’s judgment” (2) an “angel with a sickle in his hand [will] thrust in his sickle and reap” and (3) “blood [will flow] out of the press.” “This,” says Fife, changing metaphor to reality and placing the purge in the hands of human agency, is the “angel” that “represents the Sons of God.”  

On p. 3 of God’s School of Divine Government, Fife, like fellow Latter Rain prophet Royal Cronquist, tells us that “God has called out a people to bring forth and manifest in this world a new governmental order, a theocratic spirit governmental order by which the world will be governed after God judges all the other governmental systems” (1974). These quotations, again, place taking dominion politically and executing judgment in a literal purge of undesirables in the hands of human agency. 

The Prophet “Moses” David Berg

I had the opportunity to help counsel others out of the manipulative influence they were under in Berg’s destructive “cult” known as The Children of God, aka “The Love Family.” While doing so, I came into contact with some of his epistle-like “Mo Letters.” In one of these letters titled They Can’t Stop our Reign! (1971, November, 19), Berg demonstrated the hands-on nature of his Latter Rain-based eschatology. For example, he said “We will be like a terrible army…taking over the whole earth.” We will be “the masters of all earth…before the coming of the Lord!” He continues in a way reminiscent of Sam Fife, saying “You are the REAPERS of Revelation 14. I don’t exactly understand all this, but God can use scripture anyway he wants to, even in an application anyway he wants to.” Apart from his scatter-shot delivery, it is important to place Berg’s comments in the context of the scripture he is referencing. For example, Revelation 14 states that “the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great winepress of the wrath of God,” and “blood flowed out of the press.” In this way, Berg establishes “the Reapers” as the human agency of the sacred purge. 

The Prophet John Robert Stevens

Woodrow Nichols is the author of Experiment in End Time Apostasy: The Walk of John Robert Stevens, The History, Beliefs, and Spiritual Dynamics of a Christian Cult (1980). On p. 24 and 38, we learn of the influence of Latter Rain prophet William Branham on Stevens. For example, Branham said that his personal “angel” told him that “he would be able to detect diseases by vibrations in his hand,” something Stevens also claimed to experience. In addition, Nichols informs us that the Latter Rain movement provided The Walk, aka “The Church of the Living Word,” with “at least 90% of their radical ideas,” notably through those contained in George Warnock’s The Feast of Tabernacles (1951), which influenced Stevens “more than any single thing.” On p. 108 Nichols recognizes the implications of the hands-on eschatology of The Walk, saying:  

A person would not be alone if he detected literalness to the idea of bringing in the Kingdom and judging the whole world physically, [and] a lot of [Stevens’] followers take it even in a more literal way: for example, arming themselves in the belief that when the Tribulation comes, they are to literally pass judgment on the ungodly (i.e., by shooting them), [a] teaching that is so potentially dangerous [that it] needs to be dealt with seriously.  

Foreshadowing this ministry of death, on p. 133 Stevens’ A Workshop of Intercession is quoted. 

Stevens says that in the imminent “time of violence…We’re [going to be] agents in the hand of God, instruments in the hand of God.” He continues with the following exhortation; “you may say” that you don’t “go for the violence, [but] you better go for it because this is a time of violence,” it is “a time of the Sons coming forth!” 

In a phone call to Mr. Nichols on January 12, 2021, I asked if it was true that members of The Walk had collected guns to use in a literal, physical removal of those they deemed to be the ungodly. I asked Nichols this because he had warned of the possibility of members amassing arms in his paper of 1980, citing their Latter Rain-influenced, hands-on eschatology. In his response to my question, Nichols said that Tony Cox, an ex-member and the producer of an excellent documentary titled Vain Glory (1986) told him something that went beyond chilling. Cox told Nichols that some of the elders of the cult said that when they became “manifest as sons of God” they were going to “succeed where Hitler had failed” (personal communication, Nichols). 

Conclusion or Continuation? 

This paper was completed on 6/9/22, the day of the first televised public hearings of the House Select Committee, a day on which they will begin to examine the history, nature, organization, and facilitators of the insurrection of January 6, 2021. I can only hope that the brutal attack on the Capitol and democracy will serve as a wakeup call to the complacent, the emotionally numb, and the prevaricators who turn their backs on the truth.  

The Culture of the Sacred Purge Part Two: The Legacy of Western Esotericism

Unfortunately, there is more to this story than has been presented here. A more complete picture of the problems America is facing will become apparent in my The Culture of the Sacred Purge Part Two: The Legacy of Western Esotericism, in which the ideas of the 2nd century Gnostic Valentinus, the 19th century occultist Helena P. Blavatsky, and the 20th century, self-proclaimed “Christian esotericist” Alice A. Bailey are evaluated. In doing so, the similarities of both versions of the sacred purge, and the fact that multiple points of crosstalk and mutual influence exist between them, will further shine a light on the extent of a growing, troublesome situation.   

Action Prophecy In Apocalyptic Movements To Force The End – Converging Sacred Purge

Finally, as an antidote to the threats posed by Latter Rain-inspired groups espousing hands-on dominionist and eliminationist ideologies, we should again take heed to the warnings of Dr. Robert J. Lifton. In his “In the Lord’s Hands”: America’s Apocalyptic Mindset, Lifton tells us to be aware of the very real possibility that the threats of impatient fanatics can turn into action. In their overeager zealousness, they may flesh out eschatological dreams to make them a reality. In his words, they may attempt to “force the end.” He further explains by writing that “violent actions in order to hasten the appearance of the Messiah” can be called “action prophecy.” He aptly points out that the “idea of acting immediately” to “force the end” is “increasingly taking hold in apocalyptic movements” (2003). It should be clear that the hands-on eschatology of those I have documented in this report more than enough qualify as “apocalyptic movements” espousing “action prophecy” to ““apocalyptic movements thereby inaugurating the advent of the sacred purge.  

APPENDIX 1 & 2 INTRODUCED IN PART 2 – THE LEGACY OF WESTERN ESOTERICISM

About The Author


During high school I began playing bass and guitar professionally in jazz bands in the Houston area. In my early 20s I moved to Boston to study guitar, compose, and work on a two-handed chording technique I had developed. While in Boston I ended up joining a cult-like church called the Lord’s Gathering. They followed the “positive confession” ideas of Kenneth Copeland. After I left the Lord’s Gathering with the help of an exit-counseling team, I returned to the Houston area. I helped counsel people out of Bible-based cults like Moses David Berg’s The Children of God, Sam Fife’s The Body of Christ, and Victor Paul Werwille’s The Way International. I did private research on the Latter Rain movement, the Manifest sons of God doctrines which it spawned, and the influence of the 17th century prophetess Jane Lead on their beliefs. This research included the Kingdom Message of the 1980s, and the current-day NAR. I also became aware of a parallel set of beliefs that have been passed down from Western Esotericism to non-Christian groups. This became apparent through learning about the esoteric doctrinal predecessors of Jane Lead, such as Jacob Boehme and John Pordage, and the foundational teachers of the “new age,” such as Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. I then began playing guitar in shows with numerous well-known artists such as, Rich Little, Marvin Hamlisch, Toni Tennille, Charo, and Rita Morena, and got to go on tour to Tokyo and Puerto Rico with The American Pops. During this time I met and married my wife and had a son. We are still happily married after 32 years. I also taught at two junior colleges, area TDC units (correctional facilities) and later taught 5th grade English and History. I am now retired and write and do research.

Steve is available for speaking engagements, addressing the ongoing esoteric/neo-gnostic doctrines, and dangerous ideological eschatology’s incorporated into the Latter Rain movement, and progressively infiltrating contemporary Christianity on an increasingly grander scale.   You can contact him through the comments box below.

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