Somebody Moved The Goalposts:
A "Mainstream" Report
for Spring 1993

Paul Cain teaches the Ishmael/Isaac Concept

The September 1st edition of "The Morning Star", (Rick Joyner's newsletter) was headlined "The Post-Charismatic Era". There, Paul Cain, the well-known Vineyard "prophet" informed us that "the charismatic renewal is now over but God is going to move again and speak again, even to the very ones who rejected Him in the last movement."

Paul Cain goes on to confess that "some foolishness" has accompanied this movement that "requires humility for us to press beyond". Some of this foolishness was mere human folly, he claims and an unnecessary stumbling block to sincere seekers. However, "The Lord is going to give us another opportunity to do it right. We will again, very soon, see multitudes being converted and being empowered wth the Holy Spint".

Isaac And Ishmael

It's quite something to see leading charismatics admitting that there have been mistakes in the movement. Often, the problems have been passed off as minor aberrations instead of characteristics of the movement as a whole. Objections have been brushed aside. Critics have been accused of "quenching the Spirit" and "opposing the work of God". Now it seems they had some ground for their objections, but the answer proposed is not to control the excesses but write off the movement as an "lshmael", and look for the "Isaac" to come.

This new era, the post-charismatic new man, was preached at a Conference in London in October 1992. A group of churches in north-west London organised "The Word and the Spirit" meeting at the Wembley Conference Centre. It consisted of seminars in the morning and leaders' meetings in the afternoon, followed by an open meeting in the evening. The two main speakers were Dr. R.T. Kendall and Paul Cain, who has recently joined Westminster Chapel in London.

The title of the Conference - "The Word and The Spirit" - was explained by the speakers' remarks that they aimed to combine these two elements, theology and power. Dr. Kendall said that he had told Paul Cain, "Paul, you need my theology and I need your power".

The early Pentecostal pioneer, Smith Wigglesworth, long ago predicted a revival in the latter days involving both the Bible and the power of the Holy Spirit. Can it be that Paul Cain, moving in the supernatural realm, and R.T. Kendall, a renowned Bible scholar from the Reformed tradition, see themselves as the springboard for just such a revival?

This brings into focus an entirely new picture - that of the Reformed and Independent Evangelical traditions, previously so opposed to the charismatic movement, dropping their obobjections in a new and more forceful drive to unite all Christians under one banner.

A False Revival?

Paul Cain's article in "Morning Star" seems to confirm this. He says "we are nearing a Second Harvest that is about to sweep some of the most dry and barren institutional churches and empower them with the Spirit of God". Mainstream has for some time been warning that the next deception will be a false revival, with a drawing power and persuasion that is almost impossible to resist. Only a love of the truth of scripture will keep Christians from going astray. Note: please remember this was written in early 1993! Subsequent events have proven this to be an accurate assessment of the situation.]

In a moment we will go on to see how the prophecy teachers predict judgement from God on all those who refuse to accept this new "post-charismatic" movement.

At the London meeting, the present charismatic movement was likened to Ishmael. Taking Genesis 17 as his text, Dr Kendall pointed out that, while God affirmed Hagar [but see Gal 4:30] nevertheless Ishmael was not the promised child. Now, the barren old Church (Sarah) is about to conceive and bring forth the Isaac, and this child - the post-Charismatic movement - will be far superior to Ishmael, in four ways:

(a) it will defy all natural explanation.

(b) it will be totally vindicated by signs, wonders and miracles on a large and dramatic scale

(c) it will drive us back to the Word

(d) it will bring a sense of awe, as we see the marriage of Word and power. It is impossible to explain how glorious this new era will be.

The result of this Isaac revival is that "the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea".

[Note: It is relevant that the name "Isaac" means LAUGHTER. At the time of Cain's prediction, the Laughter Revival had already begun in a few unnoticed fellowships in the States and overseas. It came to public notice around the end of 1993.]

When Paul Cain spoke, his main concern was that God would clear His name, and He is going to do it through a "last-days" ministry of such power and might that none will dispute it, Cain claimed. Dr Kendall in an earlier message had sought to show that the Name of God was synonymous with miracle-working power.

The power present in the new movement would be far greater than in the old, he said. "when we consider how God has blessed the Church through the charismatic and pentecostal movements, how many wonderful end thrilling things have come... what will Isaac be like?" ~ Indeed, we do wonder!

Cain outlined some of the results of the new era, including governments and people in highest places coming on bended knee to the Church, children used as "sovereign vessels" of power, ordinary Christians equipped with prophetic gifts and all places - even those hitherto untouched - being reached with the message. (Many of these prophecies were also spoken by Paul Cain in his "Joel's Army" teachings, but the Ishmael/Isaac idea is said to have originated with Mike Bickle, another Kansas City Prophet.)

Cain said that a number of people in the audience would put Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield and John Wesley in the shade in the new wave of revival.

Paul Cain also predicted mass healings, empty hospital wards and countless numbers of people seeking after God, including "millions of islams" (sic) with whole nations turning to God in one day

This kind of stirring prediction sets an audience on fire. At the Wembley meeting, when Paul Cain's finale was to announce that "Jesus Christ has just stepped into this room", the gullible crowd roared, whistled and applauded, according to the recent report in "Sword and Trowel", What kind of discernment is in operation when statements such as these are accepted without a thought?

It does seem altogether likely, considering the low regard for the Word of God these days, that even former opponents of the charismatic/restoration movement will be swayed in their judgement by signs and wonders on a large scale. If they are not persuaded to join, "severe discipline" will follow, according to Paul Cain and others like him.

The church is in a precarious place, he says, and must not rebel against God's work. "WE are the ones who will choose if the next move of God will be a day of salvation or a day of judgement - for those who reject it... they will have a more severe judgement... This next wave (of the Spirit) will not be stopped, and the opponents will soon be forgotten...the past no longer exists and those who try to live in it will cease to be a part of what God is doing today".

With this sort of threat hanging over them, who could blame wavering Christians for deciding to support the new wave. However, if they do, what will they lose in terms of scriptural purity and a true understanding of the endtimes prophecies?

Even worse, might they be persuaded to abandon the scriptural belief in the personal Return of Jesus? Might they forget that Jesus will not return until after a period of Tribulation and the reign of the Beast? Might they be swayed into accepting the revival and what follows it as the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth?

This is too high a price to pay for any new revelation, and especially for one as suspect as the 'post-charismatic era'.

Networking: A Global Vision

Many years ago, the Lord showed me a picture of the earth as seen from space, and it was being enclosed in a net.  The net was growing stronger and thicker all the time. 

I understood that each time true believers prayed in the will of God and took action against demonic deception, a piece of this net was broken - so satan had to waste time mend­ing it.  Believers could not completely halt the formation of the global network, but they could delay and disrupt it.

This picture made little sense at the time.  Gradually, however, pieces of the overall puzzle fell into place. One clue was this verse:

“Woe to the re­bellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:  That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt”.  Is 30, verses 1-2

In Hebrew, that phrase "Cover with a covering" is literally weave a web. They are making a net, a network, but not of God.  Not of the Holy Spirit. 

[Isn't it interesting that the shepherding/restoration movement was once known as the Covering Movement!]


Graham Kendrick, in his book "Shine Jesus Shine" also describes a picture of the earth.  He says that during a meeting of worship leaders from different cultures and denominations, he had a vision,

"I saw the earth as if viewed from space, ...hundreds of threads, each a different colour, appeared from out of the nations, converging above the earth.  As they met, they criss-crossed and wove in and out of each other over the globe until I could see that something was being created there.  A gigantic banner had been formed that hung over the earth, overshadowing it - on the underside of it was the face of Jesus - these threads were praise and worship arising from the nations"(emphasis added).

Graham Kendrick explains that God spoke to him and said:   

"You are the needles carrying the threads in the weaving process, as you let the Holy Spirit weave you in and out of one another in relationships and worship, so the ban­ner will be formed and Jesus will be revealed". (emphasis added).

Is this how Jesus will reveal Himself to the world - to fallen men and women, to pagan nations and to unbelievers everywhere?  WILL Jesus indeed be revealed to unbelievers, except as Messiah and Judge at His second coming?

Jesus said when he went back to Heaven -"The world will see me no more, but you (believers) will see me"(Jn 14:19) and he told his disciples that "no one knows the Son but the Father, and no-one knows the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son wills to reveal him".

There will NOT be an open revelation to the whole world in the way that Kendrick describes.  He speaks of Jesus ap­pearing to all men as a result of praise and worship, and this Jesus overshadows the earth.

Kendrick calls this image: “the face of Jesus, drawing all eyes, the face that magnetises the millions of hearts into one adoring focus.”  

Graham Kendrick is the singer/song-writer who writes the music for the March for Jesus. He is in effect saying that the type of songs used on the marches carries a power to attract people to the one they are worshipping. 

In his book, Kendrick uses proof texts such as Psalm 22 which says,

  “All the ends of the earth shall re­member and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you, for the kingdom is the Lord's and he rules over the nations”

Although this scripture is really a prophecy of the millennial reign of Jesus, Kendrick uses it to imply that the ground-swell of praise generated in the praise marches will eventually cause all nations to worship God before the return of the Lord Jesus.

  • Kendrick, "Shine, Jesus, Shine" P. 243
  • Kendrick, Ibid, P. 245
  • Kendrick, Ibid P. 248

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