The NAR Apostles and Manifest Sons of God Theology: Training the Army of the Lord
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Apr 05, 2011 at 02:11:10 PM EST
This article is a response to two insightful questions about my April 3 article, which described "social transformation" in the context of the apostles promoting the Seven Mountains campaign, including quotes from apostles who spoke at Harvard this past weekend. The first question concerned Apostle Bill Hamon's quote about a "mankind race" and whether this phrase has a history and can be found in other New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) literature. Yes. It is called Manifest Sons of God theology and can be traced to the Latter Rain movement. The ideology is widespread in the NAR, particularly in training for youth, and is described below.  The second question was about Apostle Lance Wallnau's use of the phrase "eradicate the rats" and whether this is a metaphor for eliminating certain kinds of people.  I will address the use of eliminationist rhetoric and imagery in the NAR in my next article.
Bill Hamon's "Mankind Race"

The quote in question was from Bill Hamon's 2010 book Prophetic Scriptures Yet To Be Fulfilled. Hamon describes the "Final or Third Reformation of the Church" and its purpose.

"... to fulfill God's original mandate to subdue all things, to take dominion and fill the earth with a mankind race in God's own image and likeness..."

Hamon's teachings parallel that of the New Order of the Latter Rain Movement of the late 1940s and 1950s which included a doctrine called the "Manifest Sons of God." In brief, this is the belief that before Jesus can return, a generation of super-believers sometimes called a "new breed of man" or Joel's Army, must emerge.  According to Hamon, this generation will be trained for their tasks by modern apostles and prophets and will "execute God's judgment on earth." .  

Hamon refers to this  "Army of the Lord Movement" in his writings, including Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God (1997) with a foreword by C. Peter Wagner.

"God is preparing His Church to become an invincible, unstoppable, unconquerable, overcoming Army of the Lord that subdues everything under Christ's feet.  There will be a sovereign restorational move of God to activate all that is needed for His army to be and do what He had eternally purposed.

...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."

This is a significant departure from the end times theology of American Fundamentalism in which the purging of the earth takes place after the born again believers are removed in the "Rapture."  In 1949 the Assemblies of God rejected many of the teachings of the "New Order" including "teaching that the church is built on the foundation of modern-day apostles and prophets" as well as that "which claims prerogatives to human agency which belongs only to Christ."

Author René Holvast explains Manifest Sons of God theology in Spiritual Mapping in the United States and Argentina, 1989- 2005:  A Geography of Fear.  This book, based on his doctoral dissertation, is perhaps the most thorough academic treatment of spiritual mapping, one of the weapons in the NAR's arsenal of "Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare." In this technique, communities and cities are literally mapped, marking the locations of demons which must be expelled through spiritual warfare. Holvast writes,

"... it is important to note that two kinds of dominion teaching were important for the later context of Spiritual Mapping:  the `Kingdom Now' teaching and the Manifest Sons of God teaching, both found in independent churches in the Charismatic Renewal and in Neo-Pentecostalism, although not exclusively.

...Theologically, these groups state that God has lost control of the world to Satan and is trying to re-establish control over the world through a special elite group of believers.  The church has to bring the world back to God's authority before Christ can return.  This includes its social institutions.

...Kingdom Now teaching shared with Latter Rain Theology the notion of the restoration of the prophets and the apostles.  The Pentecostal movement of Latter Rain in the mid-twentieth century had taught a new order of the `Latter Rain.' One of its most important publications had been George Warnock's The Feast of Tabernacles .  The latter rain of the biblical text of Joel 2:23 was believed to have its second fulfillment in the end times, just before the return of Christ.  The outpouring of divine end-time power had occurred, the movement believed, in the second half of the twentieth century in the U.S.

George Warnock's The Feast of Tabernacles

Warnock writes in The Feast of Tabernacles  that this generation of "overcomers" or Manifest Sons of God will have powers like those demonstrated by Jesus in the New Testament.

"The Overcomer, therefore, will live the very same life of the only begotten Son of God.

...Many, many more miracles than we have mentioned - or even imagined possible, shall be performed by the sons of God in the day of their manifestation.  They will not even require a glorified body in order to do those things."

Warnock describes this generation of Overcomers, or Manifest Sons, as being of the "royal priesthood of Melchizedek," another theme found repeatedly in the teaching of the apostles.  

Warnock claims that nothing will be impossible for the Overcomers and that nothing will hurt them, not even "the most powerful atom or hydrogen bomb."  It was also Warnock who popularized the idea that the annual Jewish feasts represent seven stages of Jesus life and the Church leading to the end times. The current celebration of Christianized versions of Jewish holidays by Charismatic evangelicals parallels the book by Warnock, which is considered the text for the Latter Rain Movement.  For instance,  Jan Willem van der Hoeven, founder of the annual celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles which brings thousands annually to Jerusalem from all over the world, references Warnock in his explanation for "Why We Celebrate the Feast."

Rejecting the Rapture, Staying to Fight in the Army of the Lord

René Holvast lists three of today's leading advocates of the Manifest Sons of God theology -   Bill Hamon, Paul Cain (one of the "Kansas City Prophets"), and Rick Joyner (MorningStar Ministries).   Holvast quotes Joyner,

"Angelic appearances will be common to the saints and a visible glory will appear upon some for extended periods of time as power flows through them.  There will be no plague, disease of physical condition including loss of limbs, AIDS, poison gas or radiation, which will resist the healing and miracle gifts working in the saints during this time."

Holvast continues,

Here again, the task is to take action aggressively in order to obtain dominion over the earth.  The church is to be guided by the spiritual elite, who are supposed to be able to wield a technique like Spiritual Mapping with extraordinary effectiveness.

Talk2action co-founder Bruce Wilson and I have written about phenomena supposedly taking place at Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries such as "cell phone anointing," faith healings, and sighting of Jesus.  This is not in an effort to sensationalize or mock, but to show that the movement's leadership believe that the generation who will have these supernatural powers has now emerged, and to emphasize the dramatic difference in ideology of this movement and the Religious Right of the past.

The "Joel's Army" or "new breed" message is  also being taught to youth in today's Apostolic and Prophetic movement through Mike Bickle and Lou Engle's International House of Prayer (IHOP), headquartered in Kansas City.  These 24/7 Houses of Prayer are now located in cities across the country and worldwide.  Mike Bickle led the Kansas City Metro Fellowship in the 1980s and 1990s, a controversial ministry described as the "Kansas City Prophets."  Jack Hayford, one of the most prominent Pentecostal leaders in America, describes both the Shepherding Movement and the "contemporary prophets" of the Kansas City Fellowship - Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, Bob Jones, and John Paul Jackson - as part of the ongoing emergence of the supernatural works of the Holy Spirit. He charts this as part of a progression from Azusa Street Revival to William Branham, the Latter Rain Movement, Oral Roberts, and the "Third Wave of the Holy Spirit" to today's New Apostolic Reformation.  

The Southern Poverty Law Center has featured Joel's Army in an article titled "Arming for Armageddon:  Militant Joel's  Army Seeks Theocracy."  The SPLC article was written before the controversial end of apostle/prophet Todd Bentley's Florida healing revival in the summer of 2008 due to an affair and divorce.  Since that time Bentley has been rehabilitating at Rick Joyner's MorningStar Ministries.  Also working out of MorningStar is Kansas City Prophet Bob Jones (no relation to Bob Jones University).  Jones is quoted by many apostles, including Bentley, for his "Shepherd's Rod for 2001" prophecy,

"Whenever the reference is made concerning youth, it is denoting those born since the 1973 United States Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade... It will be the role of this present generation to become 'fathers' to the younger generation and disciple them in becoming the great army the Lord desires to use before His return."

The Manifest Sons of God theology and related activism requires belief that this generations will remain on earth to fight and rejection of the belief that born again believers are Raptured prior to the horrors of the Tribulation and rule of the Antichrist on the earth.  According to Joyner in his 1989 book The Harvest,

"The doctrine of the Rapture was a great and effective ruse of the enemy to implant in the church a retreat mentality but it won't succeed.  Already this yoke has been cast off by the majority of the advancing church, and it will soon be cast off by all..."

From Bill Hamon's Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God, under the heading of "Apostolic and Prophetic Evangelism,

"The saints are being trained now in the military bases of international training centers and their local church armories. The goal is to have them taught, equipped and field trained to be the officers that lead God's army of prophetic evangelist saints during the coming Saints Movement. They will minister under the covering and leadership of fivefold apostolic and prophetic generals who trained them. These saints will function like God's army prophetically described by Prophet Joel (Joel 2:1-11).

Hamon teaches that this Army of the Lord Movement is imminent. In his 2010 book Prophetic Scriptures Yet to be Fulfilled, he states,

"In our generation, years ending with eight have been significant in restoration movements - in 1948, the Latter Rain Restoration Movement began, and Israel became a nation again; in 1988, the Prophetic Movement started; 1998 and 2008 marked the beginnings of the Apostolic Movement and the Third and Final Church Reformation, respectively.  During the Third Reformation, the Eighth Kingdom - the Kingdom of God  - will possess and rule over the kingdoms of this world.  On the wall of our Christian International Family Church, we have a four by twelve foot colorful banner portraying the seven kingdoms of this world with the Church-Kingdom over all of them.  If every decade on the eighth year continued to be on the pattern, then we might see the Army of the Lord Movement in 2018, and the second coming of Christ in 2038.  The projected dates are only speculation, not prophetic revelation."

Hamon also states that preparation is beginning under the subheading "Preparation for the Army of the Lord Movement is Taking Place Now" in Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Move of God.

"Washington for Jesus, 1996.  In (sic) April 20, 1996, John Giminez coordinated a Washington for Jesus rally.  Approximately one quarter of a million Christians attended.

...At 8:30 a.m. Cindy Jacobs prayed an intercessory prayer for America over those gigantic loud speakers.  I gave a prophetic decree and prophecy to the nation concerning God's purpose and dealings with the U.S.A."

At the time of this 1996 event, these apostles and the movement that would be named the New Apostolic Reformation were virtually unknown beyond their own Charismatic evangelical circles.  Today they lead major Religious Right events across the nation and are working closely with members of Congress and the Senate as well as possible presidential candidates.  In the previous article, I referenced Hamon's claim of counseling former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.  Other apostles have close ties to the Musevenis of Uganda and other national leaders.

The Seven Mountains and the Elijah Revolution

The term "Joel's Army" has become tainted by bad press, primarily among other groups of evangelicals and fundamentalists who are concerned about the reemergence of the Manifest Sons of God theology on a large scale. It is now common to see different terminology such as the "Elijah Generation" or "Elijah Revolution."  In their 2008 book The Call of the Elijah Revolution, Apostles Lou Engle and Jim Goll  describe a generation that will "refuse to compromise with the Jezebel spirit in the land."

Apostle Bobby Torres heads Elijah Generation International which offers the Spiritual Boot Camp featured in the graphic at right.  Like quite a few apostles, Torres has come from the ranks of the Assemblies of God, despite the denomination's previous rejection of the theology behind the movement.  The Assemblies of God Master's Commission program for youth teaches prophecy and spiritual warfare of the type found in the New Apostolic Reformation.  In June 2008, Gov. Sarah Palin returned to her home church of over two decades, Wasilla Assembly of God, to deliver the keynote speech at the graduation ceremony of their Master's Commission program.  The two-hour ceremony ended with the presentation of swords to the graduates. Wasilla AOG has been a revolving door for top apostles and prophets of the movement for many years, including helping to finance Kenyan Thomas Muthee, a star of the first Transformations movie.

The reach of the apostles has been extended through "Transformations" media and organizations and the Seven Mountain campaign.  Johnny Enlow is considered one of the leading experts on the Seven Mountains campaign and his Daystar Church includes the Daystar Seven Mountain School.  In his book The Seven Mountains Prophecy, Enlow also talks about the supernatural powers of the Elijah Revolution.

"The Elijah Revolution will sweep through the church and prioritize prayer to the point that we will truly be called "a house of prayer for all the nations" (Isa.56:7).  We will move beyond `second heaven' intercession, where we are overly conscious of the dark forces and their strategies, and we will step into the `third heaven' intercession, where we go to heaven, see the counsel of God, and thus release His decrees on Earth ..."

Enlow continues to describe the supernatural powers of this Elijah Revolution.

"The Elijah Revolution will usher in a major healing revival everywhere it goes and will demonstrate the power of our God. Elijah revolutionaries will walk in unprecedented power and presence of the Lord. Through their words alone, they will cancel droughts, plagues, and adverse weather.

...They will step into the greater works that Jesus promised us (John 14:12). Our promised land is walking on water, walking through buildings, being supernaturally transported, raising the dead, feeding thousands with very little, healing quadriplegics, casting out demons, turning water in wine, finding gold in a fish's mouth--and greater!"

Enlow describes the Elijah Revolution as taking over the "mountains" from the demons that now control the "high places" or mountains.  The following is a reference to battling the demons Jezebel and Baal.

"The Revolution will completely remove the spirit's cloaking device that allows it to hide.

...Jezebel is the servant of Baal, the god over abortion, homosexuality, divorce, self-mutilation, and mammon."

For instance in describing the section on the mountain of media, Enlow describes it as currently controlled by a demon named Apollyon. Enlow states,

"These places of influence involve demons, human institutions, and individuals.  Obviously not everyone at these organizations is bad, liberal, or demonic.  Many Christians work in mainstream media, in fact, but they are compelled to work under current philosophical constraints of those media.  A few may expose hypocrisies of the media - Sean Hannity operates in that role, for example - but we haven't yet seen the goal or even accurate role model for what's to come."  

Concerning the mountain of arts and entertainment, Enlow states,

"A holy invasion of Elijah revolutionaries who know who they are and understand their assignment is coming upon this [arts & entertainment] mountain. They will not be talked into compromise with the Hivites or with Jezebel. They will ascend this mountain on a mission to displace every distortion and counterfeit of God's great gifts of pleasure that He means for us to have even on Earth."

Lance Wallnau's "eradicate the rats" quote was in the context of teaching the Seven Mountains campaign. My next article will be an examination of eliminationist rhetoric  and imagery in the movement, and I will address the issue of what is supposed to be purged or eliminated as the apostles attempt to take over the "high places" of the Seven Mountains of culture.  

...think that saying they "believe" what they teach is going a little beyond reason?

The people who run the kind of hysteria that passes for Neo-Pentecostal religion must recognize the ineffectiveness of faith healing, among other practices to actually effect physical change in their congregants.

I believe the real belief behind the rhetoric is more along the lines of what Pascal stated:

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction." -- Blaise Pascal

by OldChaosoftheSun on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 01:30:32 AM EST

I often find myself wondering if any reasonable person capable of leading these churches that follow these teachings actually believe in the literal myths they teach.  It seems that people who are able to build vast empires of wealth on superstition and start saying that Invisible Demon Queens rule Europe and promising magnificent miracle healing are well aware of the impotence of their myths as regards a physical reality.

Think of Todd Bentley's claims of healing people by beating them up and assaulting them in his churches, he is, as are Hinn, and the rest of the "prophets," aware that he is incapable of effecting legitimate healing in anyone, or else we would overthrow the medical establishment and institute faith healers for the reliability of conversion to Christianity to heal.

I find it disturbing to give these leaders credit for having "beliefs."  If they do have beliefs, they are not those which they teach, but some other subversive goals of power and conquest and wealth or otherwise.

As for Johnny Enlow's quote: "The Revolution will completely remove the spirit's cloaking device that allows it to hide. ... Jezebel is the servant of Baal, the god over abortion, homosexuality, divorce, self-mutilation, and mammon."


"One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship." - George Orwell

by OldChaosoftheSun on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 06:10:57 AM EST

Rachel, thank you very much for such an in depth response to my questions.

I suspect that this thinking (manifest sons of God/mankind race) will be used to promote the idea of a 'new chosen people' to replace those who once were the chosen people but have now allowed their 'race' to become degraded and polluted. We've seen this approach before.

by rahilliard on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 09:57:34 AM EST

The movement shares much in common with explicitly racist theology including sharing a surprising amount of lingo and narratives with Christian Identity ... except that the divisions are not on racial lines!  The NAR is truly multi-racial. This is religious supremacism using the old racial narratives but it is "spiritual DNA" which divides the good from the evil.

I wrote previously about a series of books by Wendy Alec of God TV.  The demonic in this narrative are not identified by race but by spiritual DNA. The book also promotes the same "New World Order" conspiracy theories seen in racist ideology of the past, including narratives attacking the "Illuminati" - freemasonry, Jesuits, and Jews (handled very subtly) - as demonic.  

You can see this ideology at work in spiritual mapping, in which trained "experts" are supposedly able to sense where the demonic powers and their minions reside in their communities.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 11:34:22 AM EST

While they supposedly accept any and all, the problem is that they expect people to assimilate.  The cultural differences are minimized and those that aren't eliminated become more or less window dressing.

If you don't assimilate, you're the enemy or on the enemy's side.

I rather imagine that if the NAR ever achieve their goals, there will be a lot of minority people in a state of shock as new reasons are given why they should be eliminated/enslaved, and they find their equality never was real.

(If I'm wrong, there should be a lot of interracial marriages going on in the NAR, higher than usual.)

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 06:04:55 PM EST

From what I've read, a network of self-appointed leaders that map out nations, think they'll receive a wealth transfer and prepare things to force Jesus Christ's second coming will be stunned when Jesus (who shows up on His own schedule) will say, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" - referencing Matthew 7:15-20. The most condemning and pitiable thing about their rhetoric is that I can find no compassion for mankind.

by AthenaG on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 09:25:44 PM EST

The reach of the apostles has been extended through "Transformations" media and organizations and the Seven Mountain campaign.  Dallas locksmith

by mero on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:42:24 AM EST

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by mero on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:41:05 AM EST

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" - John 1:12 (KJV). "Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" - John 20:21b (KJV). As many as receive Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior receive the power to become sons of God. Their "sonship" is manifested as they begin to walk, talk, and act like Christ as a result of the overflow of the Christ-life in them. We must all take our place in Him and go on to teach others to do the same. Thanks for this opportunity to contribute to this post.

by sonsofGod on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 09:08:14 AM EST

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