"The New Thing"
(Global Revival as the Key Element In Deception in Twentieth Century Pentecostalism)
The world and much of the Church is heading straight into the antichrist delusion. God wants you to survive. He does not want you to fall - that is why he appoints watchmen to sound the trumpet of alarm, and also why he offers you the tools for understanding the danger.
There are so many different aspects of this deception that we can only focus on one or two at a time. But in this four-part by Tricia Tillin an attempt is made to clarify the foundational errors that lead to all these things.
The topics of the four sections, together with the appendix, and PDF version for download, are found on the CONTENTS page. Alternatively, each section is briefly linked below:
Part ThreeA - The Ezekiel 47 Model
Part ThreeB - Onwards to Glory
Contents - of all sections
- EZEKIEL CHAPTER 47
- OUR RESURRECTION BODIES RECEIVED ON EARTH
- BILL BRITTON'S TEMPLE
- THE ABUSE OF EZEK 47
- STREAMS FEEDING INTO THE RIVER
- ANNIVERSARIES FOR JESUS AND JERUSALEM
- JOACHIM OF FIORE
- YOU HAVE ONLY TWO CHOICES
In parts One and Two of this study, we have looked at the history and aims of gnostic illuminism, and discovered that a modern form of gnostic belief is inspiring the Church to seek after the "new thing", the secret revelation that will transport her beyond the revealed word of God into "realms of glory".
We have seen, historically, how Christians who opened themselves to "higher knowledge" consistently received the same message: that the Body of Christ, corporately, in the endtimes, would come to a place of such unity, such holiness, such power and anointing that it would arise in the fulness of the Spirit as the One New Man - it would complete the ongoing incarnation of Christ in the Body of his Eve, his Bride, and would manifest to the world a new heavenly and earthly ruler - the manchild of Revelation 12.
The past is clear; the present-day is full of illustrations of the folly of these teachings - but what of the future? What is the Big Plan?
The new-agers have their 'Plan'. It is a path of spiritual evolution, the transformation of mankind, and the cleansing of the earth from all that is of the old order.Alarmingly, the Christian plan is very similar - only the Church is doing it in the Name of Jesus!
I can best illustrate the Plan by looking at a passage of scripture that is being used everywhere today. Whenever people talk about the Toronto phenomenon, they use this scripture. I cannot believe that these leaders all spontaneously get led to the same passage of scripture, and even if they did, they could not spontaneously come up with the same spiritual allegorical meaning to it. Oh no - this has been planted by the leadership, and they in their turn are being driven by forces, the power and intent of which they can hardly imagine.
The passage I want to examine in some depth is from Ezekiel chapter 47. Please read the following carefully:
1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar
2 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.
3 And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles.
4 Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins.
5 Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.
6 And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river.
7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.
8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
11 But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.
12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.(Ezek 47:1-12)
[** Please see Appendix for notes on the Temple in Ezekiel.]
The Setting for this Passage:
To understand what I am about to suggest, you must put yourself into the mindset of a Restoration or Latter-Rain believer. Generally speaking, the Toronto leaders allegorise the scriptures. They do not read Ezekiel and see prophecies about the natural land of Israel or the spiritual restoration of the Jews. No, they believe that the Church is the "Israel" of OT prophecy (this is called replacement theology). Thus they read these chapters as an allegory of endtime revival for the CHURCH.
In the previous chapters of Ezekiel, we can see how the prophet is called to prophesy to the dry bones in the wilderness, and the bones arise as a mighty army.So, Toronto believers see their revival as the fulfilment of this prophecy. They see the Church as dry and dead, just bones, and they see the Spirit of Toronto coming upon the Church and bringing it to life, and forming a great Army.
Afterwards, Ezekiel is taken up in the Spirit and is shown the Restored Temple. In the usual interpretation of scripture, Ezekiel's vision is of the restored temple of the Millennium (1) - a real building. If you used these building plans you could go out and build it - it's perfectly feasible as an architect's plan! However, in the allegorical viewpoint, this "Temple" would represent the Church.
The House of God "is the Church"
The belief amongst many today is that this Temple of Ezekiel is the glorified, perfected Church. It is a "spiritual house", the house of God on earth. This belief is not new. It was being promoted by the Latter Rain, Manifested Sons groups many years before the present renewal movement. The classic sonship/manifested sons belief is that the House of God is the completed, perfected Church.
One sonship believer, Clayt Sonmore, wrote a whole series of books based on Ezek 43:10:
Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
Clayt Sonmore's byword, was "Show the House to the House".He believed his mission was to show the Church what their perfected, restored House should be when it reached the fulness of glory, with God dwelling within them.
And by the way, he believed the Abomination that Ezekiel saw defiling the Temple was the ecumenical, charismatic renewal movement!The old Latter Rain teachers had expected their revival to lead the true believers out of "Babylon", the denominations. They sought to transform the church, not renew the denominations. So, when the 1960's renewal movement became a vehicle for restoring the historic denominations, the old-timers denounced it, and still do to this day.
But Clayt Sonmore was not the only one preaching that the Church was the House of God, and that the House had to be completed and filled with the Glory of God, the Shekinah. This was standard teaching for the Latter Rain groups.
Paul Cain was big on this House-of-God teaching. In one audio tape in my possession, called "The Father's House", he preaches that when Jesus said "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2) it did not refer to the Rapture, nor the believers going to be "ever with the Lord" but it meant the glory of Christ coming down to earth to incarnate into his Temple, the Church!
The following extracts will help illustrate the aberrant teaching associated with the Temple as the Church. It will also be a primer for understanding the message of this article. For the leaders now believe that the Church must move on into deeper and deeper revelation until she is lost in the divine, and God is dwelling with Man.
Reading these extracts, hold in your mind what Paul Cain says about the Outer Court and the Holy Place, because there is a progression, an evolution, that the Church is supposed to undergo and it will be further illustrated as we study the Ezekiel 47 passage. Paul Cain says:
It's really important, that you listen to this, that you hear this part, Please listen! It's not important that you be glorified in God, it's important that God is glorified in you because God says I have moved on many but I have rested in few. And God has said a lot of things to many people but oh, how he'd like to live in you and find his home in you and reside in you until you become so much like him that you would be the house of God.
Turn please to Jn 14:1..., I don't want to take heaven away from any of you coz I kinda think it's is a wonderful idea myself, but I believe that the idea of the mansion next door to Jesus, is a little unscriptural, ...we're not going to be sitting up there in a little house next door to Jesus watching Christian TV 24 hours a day, we are going to be the house of God long, I mean LONG before we leave this place, because I believe that Heaven is going to be the dwelling place of God, and I'm not even going to associate this [passage of scripture] with heaven but I'm going to tell you what "the father's house" is by the Holy Ghost tonight.
God wants to live in his house TONIGHT. We are the many houses of God, we are the many dwelling houses of God, many abodes of God. "I cannot rest until I find my home in man",the Lord said to me, and that really transformed my life. And so I believe that the Lord's given me a vision of the Outer Court, and the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies as being so significant; especially that part of the, uh, having identification and association with the Son.
And the Outer Court - we all enjoy that Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, all of us should know we were in that - but then the Lord said "Think not that I came to bring peace but rather division",so he divides some of us out of the Outer Court and puts us in the Holy Place, gives us the baptism of the Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit are there, and all these supernatural things are there, so that brings a distinction, a division between the Outer Court and the Holy Place.
So now we have thousands and even millions of charismatics... why did God pour out his Spirit on all these charismatics, and all these Catholics and priests and nuns and Episcopals and the Methodist and Baptist, why did he do that? Well, he took these out of the Outer Court and he baptised millions of them and now through a process of sifting and through certain works of God he's hoping to gather enough together that will reflect his image that he can live in.
[My note] Paul Cain is talking about three distinct revelations of the mystery of God to His people -
A: THE OUTER COURT which is the denominations, the religious people, the "book people" as the Toronto leaders call you if you don't accept the new anointing.
B: THE HOLY PLACE of ministry, which is those baptised in the Spirit.
C: THE HOLY OF HOLIES. His talk presupposes there is a further transformation into the Holiest of Holies, where the Ark of God's Presence is, a third place to go, beyond Pentecost, It is the experience of God "Beyond the Veil"! The Church is supposed to be at that place right now, about to pass through the curtain that divides the Holy Place and the sacred Dwelling Place of God. When she enters into the Holiest, the Church will see God face to face, and be spiritually transformed.
Remember that every stone is a living stone and my fathers house is really not heaven, as we have been led to believe for these many years. God's people all over the earth tonight are having this revelation that the fathers' house is not really heaven. I tell you there is one greater than us [John] that had an open vision of heaven, and he saw no temple there.
Oh, let me tell you my friends, WE are the temple, we are the house, we are the dwelling place of God and wherever that is we can call it heaven. We can really say, we are the father's house and we can count on it, whether it's here or whether it's there, or whether it's somewhere else, it's the father house - not heaven we are really talking about!
Not just Paul Cain, but many other leaders in the Church today are preaching that the Body of Christ must EVOLVE into a higher revelation and come into perfect co-habitation with God, in the Holy of Holies as it were.
One advertisement for a Vineyard Conference held in Minneapolis with the Arnotts from the Airport Vineyard, Paul Cain, and Bob Mumford as a featured speaker (ex-Shepherding) said they were "planning to move on from an occasional visitation to an ongoing habitation in the Spirit according to Ephesians 2:22."
Well, if you look at Eph 2:22 you will find the verse is about the Temple, the living Temple, the Church. They are expecting the madness of Toronto to evolve into the descent of the glory, the return of the Ark to the Temple, which they say will lead to a permanent habitation of the Spirit within His Body. (As if He did not already dwell there!!).
Our Resurrection Bodies Received ON EARTH
So what is the Plan for the future of the Church - is it to go and be with the Lord? Is it to receive our resurrection bodies at his coming in the air? No, according to this new revelation, we receive our resurrection bodies here and now, on earth, by an initiation into new doctrines and by receiving the empowering of the anointing of God.
According to this teaching, the glory comes down to the Church! We don't go to God!
Remember that Paul Cain spoke about the spiritual Temple as having three compartments representing stages of Christian growth. This is absolutely central to the message of this article, and also central to much "revivalist" teaching today. It is not just renewal or revival that is being taught, but a wholesale, global, corporate experience of glorification, on earth, by the Glory of God.
Let us look now at the way Bill Britton, a Manifested Sons of God teacher, handles this teaching. I will also extrapolate from his teaching and present the almost inevitable outcome of what he teaches.
BILL BRITTON'S TEMPLE
(Taken from his book, "Sons of God Awake" Page 24.)
Here I show the three stages as Bill Britton has them. But I have also added the fourth column.
This is because the progression, or evolution, to fulness that Britton shows is incomplete. The fourth stage about which so many of these leaders are secretive and guarded, because of its controversial nature, is the transformation into resurrection bodies (they call this the Rapture) and the government of the earth as spiritual rulers in the heavenlies.
This fourth step to glory is implicit in all the teaching, but often is not covered in detail because it is a divine "revelation" that the teachers hope will be imparted to the higher initiates.
|Jesus, the SAVIOUR
|Jesus, the ANOINTED
|Jesus the LORD
|Jesus the KING OF KINGS, ENTHRONED
|Jesus, a BABY
|Jesus a YOUTH
|Jesus a MAN
|Jesus GLORIFIED, RESURRECTED
|PASSOVER Lamb Slain
|TRUMPETS Day of Atonement
|TABERNACLES New Heavens and Earth, God dwelling with Man
|OUTER GATE Leads to Brazen Altar of Sacrifice (Salvation)
|DOOR OF THE TABERNACLE Leads into the Sanctuary of Ministry
|INNER VEIL Leads to the Holiest, His Presence
|DOOR OPENED IN HEAVEN (Rapture) Leads to Transformation
|Baptised in SEA
|Baptised in CLOUD
|Baptised in JORDAN
|Baptised into CHRIST
|Escape From Egypt (death)
|Conflict for the Land, Warfare
|Entrance into the Promised Land, Rest
|Out of Egypt - Deliverance
|Through the Wilderness - Training
|Into the Promised Land - Inheritance
|Raised to the Heavenly Places - Rulership
|The Crown of Glory
|MANIFESTATION as sons, Transformed into spiritual rulers
To bring this teaching right into the present time, read this Internet message about the Feast of Tabernacles. It was sent to Richard Riss (Author of the book, "The Latter Rain") in June 1994. The subject matter was: The Toronto Meetings.
"The actual feast of tabernacles was a time of great celebration and a time of ingathering. It is also a time when God tabernacles among His people and His glory fills the church. We may now be in the dawning days of this great season in God's plan for the church!"
The Abuse of Ezekiel 47
Many of the leaders involved in promoting the Toronto Experience, and other revivalist phenomena, claim a connection to the prophecies of Ezekiel, and they especially use Chapter 47 to describe the current renewal. One who does so is Mark Stibbe, an English author and church elder. Mark Stibbe has extensively used Ezekiel 47 in relation to the Toronto Experience in his book on Toronto called"Times of Refreshing".
The first chapter of Mark Stibbe's book is entirely given over to what he calls the "four waves" of revival as prophesied in Ezekiel 47. This is fairly typical of the way the Toronto leadership handles this passage of scripture.
However, as we shall see, much more than just revival and the current "waters of renewal" is predicted using this passage in Ezekiel. There is an entire agenda in which events like the transformation of man and the establishment of his rule over the earth are predicted.
Extracts from Mark Stibbe's book:
Firstly, Stibbe claims that Ezekiel saw the rebuilding of God's Temple and Renewal flowing out of that Temple. He says this Renewal is seen as four successive waves flooding out from the Temple. I guess his Bible must be a different one to mine. I don't see any waves in my reading of Ezek 47 - do you?
He goes on to claim that these four waves are symbolic, and that they represent movements and outpourings of the Spirit. (So now he has Ezekiel seeing the Church in the endtimes and successive waves of spiritual renewal.)
Then, to support this teaching, he quotes John 7:37f. which describes Jesus pouring out the water at the Feast of Tabernacles. In the light of the Internet message just quoted, this is interesting.
There appears, then, to be a link between Ezek 47, the renewal, and the dwelling of God with mankind as represented in the biblical Feast of Tabernacles! Remember that the Feast of Tabernacles is taken symbolically as the time of completion, when God's manifest presence comes to dwell permanently within the Church.
Here is one direct biblical link between Ezek 47 and John 7:37:
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit,...)"
Four Prophetic Waves of Renewal
Back to the four waves, then. Stibbe sees four successive waves flowing from the Temple. He says this establishes a pattern for renewal, and that the fourth and final wave completes the cycle.
(1) The first wave, he says is Pentecostalism, starting with Azuza Street
(2) The second wave is the Charismatic Movement - which as we know was seeded by the Latter Rain doctrines
(3) The third wave - the Signs and Wonders movement of John Wimber, and Church Growth by Peter Wagner - is when the charismatic movement went ecumenical and reached the Traditional Churches
(4) and the fourth wave, he says, is global revival - the glory of God filling the earth, and this began in Toronto with the laughing revival of Rodney Howard Browne and Randy Clark.
This last wave he calls the first few splashes on our faces of a mighty tidal wave, because the last wave of Ezekial's vision is of a river too wide to cross. It is uncontrollable. We are supposed to let go and submit to the power, not even trying to retain our discipline and order, for everything is swept away on the flood.
These days, you are not fully spiritual unless you are out of control, swimming in the river of Toronto, "going with the flow" as they say.
One correspondent who didn't like what I was saying about the Toronto fiasco, accused me of being just a lower initiate, paddling in the ankle deep water of Ezekiel, whereas he was swimming in the river than could not be crossed. He certainly was off the deep end!
Four Levels Of Initiation
These four successive waves rising higher and higher to spiritual fulfilment remind me of the levels of initiation of the new age or the esoteric cults.
- Aspirants - who are those who have decided to seek out the path to wisdom
- Probationers - lower initiates who had received the initiation and were growing into it
- Disciples - who are higher initiates and act as leaders and teachers of the disciples
- Adepts - receiving teachings directly from the Ascended Masters.
Actually, in hard-core new-age circles, it is then possible to transcend this earth and go on to higher levels of "spirituality".
5. Ascended Masters - transformed, (raptured), gone beyond the material world
6. Solar Logos, in three aspects, including the christ, Maitreya
7. Planetary Logos.
Mark Stibbe continues with his teaching from Ezek 47. He allegorises about the other aspects of the passage:
The trees that provide healing are people who have deep revelation of the Word, (the gnosis if you will), to allow them to fuel this renewal. What they receive will not be plain Bible teaching, but spiritually imparted new interpretations for a new age. He describes this as:
"A charismatic hermeneutic that will greatly facilitate the whole process of biblical integration "
And what is the result of this river flowing from the Temple? Well, through astonishing miracles and supernatural signs, and a tremendous upsurge in spiritual power, the nations and even the land will be healed. Even the dry places of the desert will be flooded. The dead seas of the evangelical denominations will be flooded with the Spirit.
There will be huge numbers of fish, fish of every kind. Stibbe interprets this to mean there will be a mighty harvest round the world of all nationalities. Millions will be saved, he predicts.
Under this heading, Stibbe says that some places will however be left out of the divine flow. These symbolically are the marshes and swamps.
The marshes are churches which have become bogged down in rigid, lifeless traditions, where the leadership "exercises doctrinal control over congregations and where the doctrine is hostile to the experience of the Spirit". So he says that these verses "contains a frightful warning"of judgement to those places. (We'll see more about divine judgement later on.)
Stibbe finishes the chapter by quoting our old favourite, Isaiah 43:19, the new thing!
So, as we can see from this example (just one of many) the leadership of the new paradigm sees successive renewal movements sweeping over the world, and leading to a tremendous climax of glory and transformation.
Streams Feeding Into The River
And this river is seen pouring out of the Temple right now - it's not in the future, it's real, it's now. According to the leaders here are some of the streams that they believe are part of the River of Life that is going to heal the nations:
- Toronto blessing
- Pensacola Revival (Brownsville)
- Promise Keepers
- The Campus Revivals
- The March for Jesus
- The search for historical roots (Celtic, Hebraic, etc)
- Cultural diversity movements - Maori worship, Native American etc.
- Prophetic Intercession/Spiritual Warfare networks
- 40-day fasting and prayer projects
- New music and new sounds in worship
- The "Experiencing God" study/The Alpha Course
- The Youth Movement - (things like Love Waits)
- The global Movement for Reconciliation, with confession of corporate sin
- Ecumenism, bringing denominations together.
- 10/40 Window prayer for the nations
- Global Prayer projects (World Prayer Centre, etc)
These and many more activities permeating the World Church are seen as small streams feeding into this one river of life. But where is all this activity heading? What is the goal? Where does the River meet the Sea?
The perceived goal today is "revival" but few stop to think what this really means, or how the word revival has been perverted and twisted out of its true meaning. Revival now means getting most of the world's population to approve of and join the harmonisation process that will (they hope) lead to a social and political climax of transformation.
As far as dates go, the cut off point for most groups is the year 2000, even if their goals are impossible to achieve by that time. Some kind of tremendous watershed event is supposed to occur to propel the world into a new age after that date. Let's examine this thinking for a while:
Anniversaries for Jesus and Jerusalem
I was puzzled in 1995. I kept hearing about anniversaries, and the two that were being promoted in our Christian magazines were the 2000th birthday of the Lord Jesus, and the 3000th anniversary of the founding of Jerusalem.
But it felt odd to me. Something smelt fishy. I couldn't see why there was such an emphasis - indeed, a panic - to celebrate these anniversaries, especially as the promoters didn't seem certain they were really anniversaries at all.
Logically, who can really be sure that it's exactly 3000 years since the founding of the City of Jerusalem, or that Jesus was celebrating his 2000th birthday in 1996? Nobody really knows the historical dates that accurately, so why all the fuss?
I don't like loose ends. I wanted to understand what was going on, what these anniversaries meant in the larger scheme of things.
Then I put together the anniversaries idea with the emphasis on Ezekiel 47, and one day, it clicked. I saw it! THERE IS A PROPHETIC AGENDA! Let me show you:
Go back to your reading of Ezekiel 47. There you will notice something about the progression down the river. There are STEPS OF ONE THOUSAND:
- And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ancles.
- Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins
- Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. (Ezek 47:3-5)
Here we can see a progression by thousands. From the door to the first crossing, ankle deep; to the second crossing, knee-deep; to the third crossing, thigh deep; to the fourth crossing, a river too deep to cross, an uncontrollable flood. (Remember that most of the TB followers are speaking of the "flood" that they expect to come. This is the next, and the final, stage of the revival.)
Let's now translate this passage symbolically, as the leaders do, and turn it into a calendar. Each step of a thousand paces becomes a thousand years. Obviously, we must have a starting point. In Ezekiel, the starting point was the door of the Temple, so historically the leaders choose to begin with the building of Solomon's Temple (around 1000BC)
1000BC to 1AD
1AD to 1000AD
1000AD to 2000AD
2000AD to 3000AD
|Crossing = Birth of Christ
|Crossing = Reform Movement
|Crossing = Jubilee
|Crossing = End of Millennial rule
|Onwards to the Sea
|The Son (1)
|The Son (2)
|Perfect Unity; Three-in-One
|The Jewish Era
|Christian Era (1)
|Christian Era (2)
|Restoration of all things; Overcomers Ruling in the Heavenlies
|"Tabernacles" - Eternal Presence of God with Man; Perfection
|The Temple "Door"
|Church Era (decline)
|Church Era (reform)
|Nations changed - Flow of "life" unchallenged
|The Seas Cleansed; The Nations healed
If you will refer back to Bill Britton's chart of the ongoing Restoration of the Church, you will notice the same kind of progression as here. That is, three distinct phases leading to a fourth and final stage. These stages roughly relate to -
- The Law: THE AGE OF THE FATHER
- The Era of Grace: THE AGE OF THE SON
- Illumination, Empowerment and Renewal: THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT
- Spiritual Transformation/Resurrection: THE TRINITY
JOACHIM OF FIORE
Bill Britton and his Latter-Rain buddies were not the first, however, to propose such a scheme. Back in the 12th century, nearly all doctrine was Augustinian a-millennialism. Then along came a monk who overturned this idea and introduced a startling "new" theory that he had received by "divine illumination".
This monk was Joachim of Fiore, an Italian, born in 1130. He became a monk, then an abbot of a Cistercian Abbey, and eventually he founded his own order of monks.
The important thing about Joachim was that he overturned the Augustinian view of prophecy. Up to then the Church had adopted Augustine's beliefs that the interpretation of bible prophecy was allegorical, not literal. It did not refer to history, nor to the future. Nothing else was going to happen, according to Augustine.
Joachim changed all that, and from his time onwards there was a new understanding. He saw prophecy as relating to historical events, and also to the future. He could be seen as the father of futurism, except that his views were very different to our understanding of endtimes prophecy today.
What Joachim proposed was basically the same scheme that we have now in the Latter Rain movement and Toronto! Joachim believed in the Three Ages of mankind. See the chart below outlining his view of history.
- From Abraham to John The Baptist was the first age, the Age of the Father, the Old Testament.
- From John The Baptist to the Fulness of the Gentiles was the Second age, of the Son, the age of the new Testament.
- Joachim proposed a new age, the Age of the Spirit, when the Church would be transformed, and receive the knowledge of all things by direct revelation. After "the fulness" of time, the elect would enter the Consumation of All Things, an Age of the Spirit, an age of spiritual transformation and spiritual revelation of the Word of God.
Joachim of Fiore's Three Ages
New Era of Fulness
The First Age =
The Second Age =
The Third Age =
Joachim saw the Age of the Father as carnal, the Age of the Son as partly carnal and partly spiritual (a soulish age), but the Third Age would be pure spirit; people everywhere would have inner light and wisdom.
At that time, the world would be converted, the perfected Body of Christ would be revealed, and the saints would be given the dominion over the earth. But only those who had been preparing themselves with this new revelation would participate, not all the Christians! This sounds very familiar to anyone versed in Latter-Rain doctrine.
Living In The Overlap
Joachim also believed each age had an overlap when the things of the coming age intruded into the old order. That ties in neatly with the Restoration belief that we are "living in the overlap". The new-agers also believe in the overlap theory, when the old order dominates, but certain enlightened people begin to wake up to the new order and move on ahead of the rest of mankind. The spiritual pioneers go ahead to prepare the new age. In Restoration terms, this elite company would be "Joseph Company" who go ahead and prepare the way.
What Joachim predicted was a new order. New spiritual forms of worship would arise, and there would be no need for church rituals and rites and formalities. Everything would be known and achieved "in the Spirit".
The Gnostic Source of Joachim's Revelations
Joachim received his new vision for the future through deep spiritual meditation, and from the inner revelations given to him during periods of contemplation.
"The mystics claimed to see divine truth through the inner vision of the soul, by reflecting, brooding, and waiting for the light. Joachim and the school the followed the trail he blazed, exemplified mysticism, believing that the world was growing old and that the time of her change was at hand."
"The third age would be a new age. This new era would set in, supported by a new monastic society, which would raise life to a new spiritual basis...A new form of life and a new society would spring up. Joachim's call was not so much Repent, turn back to the old source, but to change and become new, to reach a higher goal. He said: It is fitting that the life be changed, since it is necessary that the state of the world be changed. (Prophetic Faith by L. E. Froom. Volume One, page 689).
The Call for 'Change' Today
Let's link this old vision of Joachim to Toronto and see if the same spirit is motivating these men:
Toronto Prophecy demanding Change:
"Change...change...change! Your ways are old ways, your thoughts are old thoughts, your prayers are old prayers, your cries are old cries, your worship is old worship, your way of doing church is an old way of doing church.
Renewal is not pouring new energy into old ways, it is bringing new ways. Let Me change you...let Me change you inside and out. Let go of yourself! Let me have you! I don't want a little bit at a time, I want all of you, NOW!
Desire change! Desire it because it is what I am doing in you! Hunger and thirst for my changing in you. You must change! I cannot equip you unless you change. Remember, this is a wholesale, not a partial, change. Don't focus on equipping...it is not time for equipping...it is time for change! You will not be used in the harvest unless you change." (Barry Linville to the New Wine Vineyard Bulletin Board).
You Have Only TWO Choices
It's not restoring the old truths these people want, it's moving on to the new thing - something totally changed, a new era, with a new paradigm. And if you cling to the old order, you'll get left behind, or even worse, purged out.
Here are some recent examples of "new-thing" preaching, with the prophets of the new order preparing their followers to receive a deeper revelation, and a new paradigm of church government. Note that alongside these things is the antagonism and rejection of the "old" ways:
"The Sword of The Lord" (Tony Black)
"At a conference in Birmingham attended by people from the UK, Ireland, USA and Brazil, and during a time of prayer for the healing of the Nations, I was blessed with this vision: I saw a very large sword (a Claymore - as in Braveheart) which was laid upon the top of an altar. This was THE SWORD OF THE LORD. I asked our Father what was the significance, and then I was shown many small swords being tossed into an open furnace, melted down to make this one new larger sword. I believe He said this to me:
"I am bringing My Church to a place at the end of her own understanding and devices, so that they have begun turning to one another, seeking strength through unity. Those who are relying upon the old ways must now learn that the old swords are useless for the battles which are ahead. Behold ! I am doing a new thing. If my people will forget their former ways, and allow my Spirit to melt them as one, then will I command such a blessing as has not been seen before..... And this I will do: I will take up My Sword, and will ride upon My White Horse. But now you must wait, pray and prepare. The day is soon coming when you will hear my trumpet sound as l ride throughout the earth, causing great consternation amongst the Nations. After this, you will follow, armed in the knowledge of mercy, not sacrifice, and with a new Sword. Thus, when you give your battle cry of 'FREEDOM....' they shall be free indeed. For none shall be able to stand against the authority of my Word."
"In Toronto, during the same month, Randy Clark gave a sermon entitled "The Making of a Warrior." The Spirit fell powerfully on many people and especially on Carol Arnott. For about twenty minutes, while on the floor, she was slashing violently with a two handed sword in her hands (her hands together as if holding a sword). She then gave the following prophecy:
TORONTO AIRPORT CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
3rd Anniversary Meeting - Monday, January 20, 1997 - Prophecy by Carol Arnott
"This is My sword, this is not man's sword, this is My golden sword. The ways you have been using My weapons, the methods that you have been using in the past, you are to throw them away because I am giving you My sword now and the old ways of doing things will not do. The old methods will not be acceptable to Me anymore because I am doing a new thing. Do not look to the yesterdays but look to the future because I am doing a new thing and this new way is not the old. This new way is new and you must throw away the old ways of doing things and take up My sword because My sword is made of pure gold and is purer and is mighty."
"Behold I am doing a new thing" (Marc Dupont)
"I have told you that I would do a new thing in your time. Not a new thing from what you have known in the past, but a new thing that you have not seen before. I am pouring out a new wine. This is a deeply intoxicating wine Many today, although I love them dearly are set on their ways of doing My things, and are operating out of their head knowledge of what I can do and how I can do it. Many say that we have been there and done that when it comes to ministering in My Spirit. again I say to you the former things have come to pass, behold I am doing a new thing . If you will be hungry, and wait on Me I will speak to you, I will give you new visions, dreams, and prophesies. I will show you things you have not seen before. Behold the former things have come to pass. The ways in which you have prepared and carried the wine are coming to a close. I am going to be moving so suddenly in your midst you will know My mighty rushing breath of life in a way you have not before . The whole earth is mine and all that it contains. You have heard my roar but now you are going to witness my bite. I am going forth with a shout against My enemies. And you My children, you shall be called the sons and daughters of God for you shall be My Peacemakers. .I say to you the veil is being torn. Up until this time you have only seen a little. You have seen what is coming with a mist. But now I am tearing the veil, I will, just as I said I would speak to you of the things yet to come by My Spirit Again, I say the veil is being torn. If you will seek me as a friend seeks another, as a lover seeks her bridegroom, with a passion, with a longing, I will speak to you and show you the things I have prepared for you from the foundations of the world."
The Joshua anointing - Tony Black
"But concerning the old-guard you must be aware: Some, like Moses, have longed to see the things that you will see. Be patient and full of grace with these old and faithful servants. They lived in the light which I gave them. Cloaked with the pride of respectability and the false religion of old they are neither hot nor cold in my sight. They have succumbed to the fear of man and to the ways of the world. These I will vomit out of my presence, but do not rejoice, rather mourn what might have been ".You have only two choices, according to the modern-day prophets. Either you "go with the flow" of the new anointing or cling on to the old ways and die out with the old generation".
Here is an illustration of the choice as seen by Sid Roth in his "Messianic Vision" magazine:
"This world is not going to get better and better. It is self-destructing. The love of most will grow cold without this fresh anointing. But God's glory will grow brighter and brighter on His people. The lines are drawn - which side of the fence will you be on? Will you be a lukewarm, deceived, 20th century Laodicean Christian, or a HOT, biblical follower of Jesus. Hot is the only option - it's time for the world to see the Real Thing."
OPPONENTS WILL DIE
Rodney Howard Browne, the man linked with the outbreak of the laughter revival, actually warned that churches that refuse to submit to the "new wine" of the Spirit will dwindle and fail and those who oppose the movement will die: He is reported to have "sternly warned not to "touch the glory" or else you will drop dead." (source: George Robison at the Rodney Howard Browne (RHB) Camp Meeting January 9th-13th 1995 at Carpenters Home Church in Lakeland Florida.)
Another TB leader, Colin Dye of Kensington Temple, writing in the official magazine of the Elim Pentecostal Church in the UK said this:
"A great but painful transition is occurring, represented prophetically by the lives of Saul and David. God is doing a new thing, raising up believers who will move under the anointing of David to challenge the goliaths of our day. This fresh move threatens the powerless backslidden body of Christ represented by Saul. The Saul spirit must die, in order to make room for the David generation...The Saul church has lost the anointing; this backslidden Saul Spirit in the Church must die if the fresh powerful move of God's Spirit is to flow untapped" ("When The Spirit Comes - Ready to Face The Giants")
People take this revival seriously - they are deadly serious! Even if the leadership are only speaking metaphorically at present about their opponents dying, some of the rank and file may take them literally. Here's one example:
Anonymous Death Threat
Somebody who objected to the Toronto blessing being brought into his church was treated to an anonymous death threat posted through his letterbox. This "prophet" claimed the Vicar in charge of his church had ---
"--- laid hands on me and anointed me as the sword of God to strike down and cast into hell devils such as you. I have been given the power of prophetic speaking against opponents of the new move - (this actually means making curses against opponents) and so if you will not repent you will soon die on the roads in a car accident."
A Continuity of Thought Throughout the Ages
What possible connection could there be between Joachim of Fiore, 13th century mystic, and the Toronto Blessing in the Church today? The link is the continuity of thought behind the "new thing", the gnostic revelation throughout all ages. That spirit of wisdom, the serpent in the garden, has been preparing the apostate church for his new thing for centuries.
Once the church as a whole abandoned the literal interpretation of scripture - the literal return of the Jews to their land, the literal antichrist, the literal millennium and so forth - once started interpreting scripture allegorically, they were wide open for deception. Anything goes if you treat the Bible as a book of symbols and metaphors!
Then along came a mystic (Joachim) who planted new thoughts about a coming age of the spirit, and the church fell for it. This new thinking was triumphalistic and hopeful. It pierced the grim every-day boredom of Church life and gave Christians something to hope for, a glorious vision of the future! Christians eagerly believed they could be glorified and perfected and turned into world rulers. This was new and exciting!
Things don't change. People are the same today. After the War, when people began to give up the literal pre-millennial understanding of prophecy, they left themselves wide open to strange esoteric doctrines. The Latter Rain revival cashed in on that trend. Each time the message is the same: people can become spiritually transformed and rule the world. Satan's plan has not changed in essence since the beginning. "Ye shall be as God "
Continue to 3b (the second section)
(1) There is some ambiguity here, in this scripture. Theologians are divided as to whether Jesus was speaking of Himself or believers. Mark Stibbe leaves it open to interpretation, so that River of Life could be flowing from Jesus or His Body - or both! But, whatever is intended, he does see the Church as the Temple and the healing waters flowing from her.
Differing Ideas about the Temple seen by Ezekiel
(a) Some claim that this was the restored Temple that Zerubbabel should have built, but he didn't build it, so this is not what Ezekiel sees.
(b) It is not Herod's Temple, for that was entirely different in design.
(c) Could it be the perfected Temple of the new heavens and Earth? Not so - for scripture says that there is now no Temple in the city. (Rev 21:22/23 and 22:1-5)
(d) Other commentators (in an a-millennialist setting) see these passages as symbolic of the final perfect and eternal "Temple" of God - God and man dwelling in perfect peace and unity. However, it is plain from these chapters that in this particular situation there is -
- still sin, (Ezek 44:9),
- death, (Ezek 44:25/31)
- human weakness, (Ezek 44:10-11)
- and the need for sacrifice (Ezek 46:4/ 44:27)
- none of which would be true of a recreated "new heavens and new earth".
I believe Ezekiel's Temple is the millennial Temple. The prophecies are specific to the time of the Lord's return, and state that the presence of God will never more depart the Temple. (Ezek 37:26-28) (Ezek 43:7) The glory of God and the king have returned. Ezekiel sees the Glory of God returning to this Temple, by the way of the east, (Ezek 43:1-4). However, God's Presence did not return in this way to dwell in the restored Temple of Zerubbabel after the exile. Also see Ezek 44:1-2. It is difficult to imagine a symbolic interpretation of such passages, or to suggest that they refer to an invisible Spirit inhabiting a Christian Church!
Go to 3b (the second section) to learn about the "third day" in scripture, the descent of the Shekinah "glory" cloud to earth in the last days, and how you will be labelled the antichrist in days to come!
(c) Tricia Tillin 2001
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