The NAR Apostles and Manifest Sons of God Theology: Training the Army of the Lord
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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."
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.
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.
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.
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The NAR Apostles and Manifest Sons of God Theology: Training the Army of the Lord | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)