Article taken from:
Media Spotlight Vol. 7. - NO.2 April - June 1986
P.O. Box 1288
Costa Mesa, CA 92628
By Albert James Dager
In every Christian's life there comes a genuine challenge to their intellectual honesty and, more importantly, to their commitment to God's truth. Such a challenge is all the greater when prompted by the realization that men and women whom we've held in high regard are inadvertently or even knowingly leading us astray.
It isn't too difficult to accept the truth about the aberrant teachings and dangerous practices of non-Christian cults; Christian bookstores are replete with publications on cult belief systems and activities. But the same bookstores sell materials containing false doctrines under the guise of "deep truths" and "new revelations." Many of these teachings are gaining acceptance among a growing number of evangelical Christians, and are increasingly finding expression in the Christian Media.
Because this report strikes at the false teachings (often undiscerned) within the heart of the Christian Church, it has been with a great deal of pain and personal soul-searching that it was written. Certainly this report will have an impact upon those propagating these false teachings, as well as upon those who learn from the teachers. Certainly it will cause loyalties to be broken.
On the other hand, I'm well aware that it may cause loyalties to this ministry to be broken. So be it; if any loyalty to this or any other ministry takes precedence over loyalty to God and His truth as revealed in Scripture, then that loyalty should be broken.
Jesus taught this very thing when He said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:37). In Luke 14:26 He goes even further, saying that if we love even our own lives more than we love Him we are not worthy of Him.
If we are expected to hold allegiance to Jesus whom we have not seen, even above allegiance to our own families and our very lives, how much more should we be loyal to Him above others, no matter how they impress us with their knowledge and eloquent oratory.
Are those who teach us humble? Jesus is more humble. Are they wise? Jesus is more wise. Do they love us? Jesus loves us more. Whatever virtues they possess, the greatest teachers in the Church are in poverty compared to Jesus.
When He trod this earth as a man, having relinquished all privileges of His eternal Godhood, Jesus was approached by one who addressed Him as "Good Master." His response should humble all who hold themselves or others in high regard: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God" (Matthew 9:16-17).
Though the words I bring you may be hard to bear, I implore all who read them to pray that God will illuminate their minds, and also for His protection from the enemy who would distort the truth of these matters as well as my motive for bringing them to light.
This is written with full awareness of my own vulnerability. For I admit that the things I have witnessed from those whose teachings I question herein have caused me to wonder whether they might not be from God. It is a fearful thing to contemplate the thought that I might in all sincerity cast aspersion upon true men of God whose work I may not understand. But I am convinced that what I present to you is the truth, given with a heavy heart for those who, by necessity, must be named for their errors.
I urge you therefore to lay aside prejudices and personal preferences for teachers and teachings. Receive this message in the spirit in which it is written, not as an attempt to sow discord among the brethren (of this I am sure to be accused), but as a humble attempt to shed the light of God's truth upon the darkness caused by teachings contrary to His Word.
I encourage you to put this writing to the test. But no less do I encourage you to put to the test those teachings with which it deals.
Let God judge men's hearts; that is not my intention. But each of us is responsible to judge what we are asked to believe.
With every move of God comes a countermove of Satan to snatch the seed of truth from those who desire to glorify God with their lives. From the very start of the Church Age Satan has attempted to destroy the work of God and bring liberated souls back into bondage to man-made religion. Yet in spite of the awesome power Satan's emissaries in the spirit realm display, the gates of hell have not prevailed against the Church - nor will they ever.
It may seem at times that the Church has been subdued. But even during the twelve-hundred years of oppressive rule by the Roman papacy under the claim of apostolic authority, there were faithful saints who kept their relationship with God pure - even if at times perfect understanding may have been withheld from them. Certainly we cannot say that God's grace was nullified during that time.
Even the Reformers of the sixteenth century and after sorely lacked the full understanding that would have allowed them to lead their followers into paths of complete harmony with God's Word. Yet line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little, God has shed more understanding upon His Word.
The Azusa Street (Los Angeles) revival of 1906 marked the beginning of today's Pentecostalism. During the outbreak of that revival the Baptism with the Holy Spirit became widely experienced and many Christians spoke in foreign languages with interpretations, extolling the glories of God.
Out of this move of God came the establishment of large churches that broke from the formalism of a stagnant Protestantism. Various Pentecostal denominations such as the Assemblies of God, and the Church of God, were born virtually overnight, and found great success as memberships burgeoned. Many independent Pentecostal churches sprang up as well.
The Church as a whole realized a new surge of vitality and enthusiasm for God. And if people were healed of sickness and delivered from demons in the process, so much the better.
But with this move of God came a counterattack by Satan's forces. Recognizing that people were hungry for demonstrations of God's power, and that in their enthusiasm many had neglected to ground themselves in the Scriptures for protection against deception, Satan, as an angel of light, began to manifest his own demonstrations of power. By this means he sought to beguile Christians away from their Lord, and focus their attention on the benefits they could derive from personal "experiences" - in Jesus' name, of course.
I believe the Pentecostal explosion that occurred in 1906 was a mighty move of God to prepare His Church for the unique challenges that the twentieth century has presented, and to demonstrate to the world that Jesus is not dead, but alive for evermore.
The manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are as valid for us today as they were for the first-century Church. If anything, they are more needed today than ever. We must jealously guard the gifts, and not misuse them as has been the custom of many who, overcome with zeal, have thwarted the work of God in their lives.
Signs and wonders, miracles and healings are good when they originate with God. The problem lies in our inability sometimes to distinguish whether they are from God or Satan. For Scripture gives us ample proof that Satan, as well as God, can perform marvelous miracles (Exodus 7:8-15; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; II Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 13:11-18).
It's not a question of counterfeit versus real; Satan's miracles are not counterfeits any more than foreign currency is a counterfeit of our own currency. Counterfeit "miracles" are those feats of legerdemain performed by professional magicians, and charlatans who create ruses to bilk people out of money. A miracle from the spirit realm is genuine, whether from God or Satan. Satan's healings are not illusory; they are real. That's what makes them dangerous.
The reason people believe teachings when they are accompanied by signs and wonders is that they don't believe Satan or his demons can perform genuine miracles. Therefore they think that any teaching accompanied by signs and wonders must be from God.
The Vulnerability of Pentecostalism
There are inherent problems in every system of theological expression. Fundamentalism is often fraught with a legalism unintended by God and unsupported by Scripture. The Reformed churches have given us, among other things, "Liberation Theology" - a "social gospel" that bears little resemblance to the dynamic of true Christianity. These have sprung up to a large extent because orthodox Christianity has been content for centuries to cling to a formalism that denies the power of godliness. In short, every discipline within the Church has allowed deception to enter in.
What makes Pentecostalism vulnerable to deception is the emotionalism that has become attendant to it. Not that Pentecostals don't love Jesus and desire to keep their doctrine true. But unless they test all teachings by the Word of God and recognize that experience must be secondary to truth, deception has an open door.
I remind the reader of Paul's warning to the Corinthian Church in speaking of false apostles and deceitful workers transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ: "...for Satan Himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Corinthians 11:15-15).
Satan's ministers will preach righteousness, morality, and family life. They will preach against pornography, crime, homosexuality, abortion, and the corruption of the world system.
While these are legitimate issues of vital importance, they are irrelevant in determining whether the voice is from God or from Satan. Many cults stress righteousness and morality. The only means we have to test the spirits is rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
Even the preaching of Christ crucified and resurrected is no longer a means of determining if the spirit speaking is of God or Satan. Many cults call Jesus "Lord and Savior," and "the only Way to the Father." Mormons believe in the Lord's bodily Resurrection. They and Jehovah's Witnesses testify that they are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But these declarations are nullified by deeper teachings to which adherents are gradually indoctrinated. Satan uses this same tactic through various "new revelations" within the Church itself. The tares are truly among the wheat.
For this reason, today more than ever, Christians must learn to distinguish between the words of a teacher, and the spirit behind those words. Often the purity and simplicity of the Gospel will be encroached upon by other teachings that, in aggregate, nullify the Gospel and lead the hearer astray into doctrines of demons (I Timothy 4:1).
True humility on the part of any person should prompt recognition of his vulnerability and raising of safeguards. This should be especially true of Pentecostals and others who believe in God's continual working through supernatural means. Because we are more receptive to supernatural input we should recognize our vulnerability to the spirit realm - both God's working and Satan's.
God's Word tells us that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" (I Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9). All the wonderful preaching and spiritual insight a man brings is nullified if he has the leaven of false doctrine sprinkled among ninety-nine percent truth.
That's not to say that every man is unsaved who has succumbed to deception and, overcome by its "spirituality," spreads it to others. No man has all truth, and all are tempted to make Scripture fit their personal biases and pet theories. However, greater is the condemnation upon those who teach if they lead others astray, even in the name of righteousness (James 3:1). Many desire to be teachers, "but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm: (I Timothy 1:7 NIV). This is why Jesus commended the Ephesian Church for trying the words of those who call themselves apostles (Revelation 2:2).
These truths must be kept in mind as we study this phenomenon called "Kingdom Theology" and its impact upon the Church.
KINGDOM THEOLOGY DEFINED
Within the "Kingdom Theology" camp are several movements whose teachings are remarkably similar over all, yet divergent on some points. These movements - though to a greater or lesser degree disavowing association with each other - are sufficiently homogenous in their eschatological and theological viewpoints to place them all under a common banner: what I refer to as "Kingdom Theology."
These movements are built upon the same foundation: the neo-Pentecostalism of the mid-twentieth century. They draw from one another the support needed to develop their strategy for gaining preeminence among Christians. All zealously propagate their "new revelations" which allegedly are to prepare the Church for "the next move of God," bringing us closer to the Kingdom Age (the rule of God on earth).
The most prominent of these movements are:
- Latter Rain
- Manifest Sons of God
- Charismatic Renewal
- Kingdom Message
- Positive Confession
Throughout the course of this study we'll be examining these movements and their major proponents. But first it's important that I give a general outline of Kingdom Theology itself and its dynamic.
The basic premise of Kingdom Theology is that man lost dominion over the earth when Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan's temptation in the Garden of Eden. God "lost control" of the earth to Satan at that time, and has since been looking for a "covenant people" who will be His "extension," or "expression," in the earth and take dominion back from Satan. This is to be accomplished through certain "overcomers" who, by yielding themselves to the authority of God's apostles and prophets for the Kingdom Age, will take control of the kingdoms of this world. These kingdoms are defined as all social institutions, such as the "kingdom" of education, the "kingdom" of science, the "kingdom" of the arts, and so on. Most especially there is the "kingdom" of politics or government. This naturally implies the concentration of military and police power in the hands of those in control during the Kingdom Age. They are referred to as the "many-membered man child," whom Kingdom Theology adherents believe will be the fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-5: "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars....And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron."
Those who hold to Kingdom Theology assume that the Church (some believe only a small group within the Church, called "overcomers"), under submission to the latter day apostles and prophets, is that man child, and that it has the responsibility to put down all rebellion and establish righteousness. This necessitates the utilization of supernatural power and the full implementation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This theory is based upon the idea that all authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to Jesus. Since believers are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit that indwelt Jesus, we have all authority in heaven and on the earth; we have the power to believe for and speak into existence things that are not, and thus we can bring about the Kingdom Age. The many-membered man child must take control of the earth before Jesus can return.
Necessary to the Kingdom Age is "the Restoration of the Tabernacle of David," defined as the completion of perfection of the Bride of Christ - a Church without spot or wrinkle. During the Kingdom Age (or after all else is subdued during that time) Satan and all enemies of God will be put under the feet of the many-membered man child. This will be the fulfillment of I Corinthians 15:25-26: "For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
The rationale that the many-membered man child will put God's enemies under 'its' feet is that Jesus is the head of Christ and the Church is the body of Christ. And where are the feet but in the body? Many in the Kingdom Theology movements insist that when this Scripture refers to Christ it is really referring to the Church who is the Body of Christ. Therefore it is necessary for them to establish within the minds of Christians the idea that, as the Body of Christ, we are Christ. In other words, we have His divine nature.
Notice that this idea, similar to that of mind science and other false religions, separates the anointing of "Christ" from Jesus and bestows it upon all who come into a place of certain knowledge and spiritual attainment. This is a heresy that is as old as the Church. It is rooted in the Greek school of philosophy known as Gnosticism.
Critical to hard-core Kingdom Theology is the denial of "the Rapture" - the teaching that the Church will one day be caught up to meet the Lord in the air so that we will be with Him in Heaven when God's wrath is poured out upon the earth. This event is explained away as a feeling of rapture or excitement when the Lord returns to receive the Kingdom from our hands. In other words, everyone will be "caught up" emotionally when He returns. This explanation ignores the fact that such an application of the term "caught up" is strictly an idiomatic expression peculiar to English, not Greek. "I was all 'caught up' in the movie" (or other excitement) is not the equivalent of 'harpazo' in I Thessalonians 4:17, II Corinthians 12:2-4, and Revelation 12:5, used to describe the catching up bodily into Heaven, and Acts 8:39 where Phillip is bodily "caught away" by the Spirit to another location.
Consequently, since there will be no bodily catching away - or "Rapture" - of the Church (some say not until the Church has taken dominion in the face of adversity), there will be no restoration of the nation of Israel. The proponents of Kingdom Theology are correct when they say that the Church is spiritual Israel, but they fail to acknowledge that God has promised to restore national Israel and deal with her during the coming seventieth week of Daniel.
All prophecies regarding future Israel - both in the Old and New Testaments - are made to apply to the Church. The restoration of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-11 is said to be the Restoration of the Church out of Babylon (denominationalism) into perfect unity. All believers will possess the same mind, same thoughts, and same goals delineated by the apostles and prophets of the Kingdom Age through new revelations.
The Church Has Failed
Another eschatological viewpoint of Kingdom Theology is that the Great Tribulation is seen not as a time when anti-Christ will reign and war against God's people, but rather a time of tribulation for the world brought about by God's judgment through His people. Anti-Christ, in fact, is considered by some not to be a person, or even a system of government, but a spirit of rebellion against God's constituted authority - the coming of Jesus in the flesh of the apostles and prophets, according to their interpretation of I John 4:2 and II John 7.
Since there will be no "Rapture," and no Second Coming of Jesus until the Kingdom has been established by the Church under the direction of the apostles and prophets, most Kingdom Theology adherents are mid- or post-millennialists: Jesus will come back after the millennium has begun or after it has been completed. Some are amillennialists, believing He will never come back personally, or that He already came back to His own generation, leaving the Church to take dominion over the earth. Thus they see the Church as having failed in what they consider its commission to take dominion over the kingdoms of the earth.
The reason the Church has failed is because it has not understood what Jesus meant when He told His disciples that they would be witnesses of Him throughout the earth. To be a witness means to demonstrate the Kingdom on earth: to take dominion, bringing all things into obedience to Christ. In order to demonstrate the Kingdom, the Church must not only be united under the apostles and prophets, but must be prosperous, having taken control of all the material wealth of the earth. Since "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1), the world is ours as joint heirs with Christ. This sounds good, but without Jesus here to establish the dominion, we are left at the mercy of men who, according to their thinking, will have "overcome" all faults and will be operating according to the perfect will of God. Since all enemies, including death, will be put under the feet of the "overcomers," it is therefore necessary that dominion include "immortalization" (or at least living in "divine health" as well as "divine prosperity").
The Cloud Of Witnesses
To accomplish the great task of taking dominion over a rebellious world, the Church must have supernatural help not only from God, but from angels and from the "great cloud of witnesses" (the dead in Christ) who have preceded us. A unity between their spirits and our spirits will create a communications link by which revelations will be conveyed that will guide the Church in its mission. The apostles and prophets especially will have contact into the spirit realm through appearances of Jesus, angels, and departed saints. In fact, such contacts have already been reported in the Christian media.
Essentially then, Kingdom Theology sees the Second Coming of Jesus in two stages: first through the flesh of the believers (and in particular the flesh of today's apostles and prophets), and then in person to take over the Kingdom handed to Him by those who have been victorious (the "overcomers"). In some circles it is believed that the overcomers will have become immortal - they will have attained what is called "resurrection life."
Whether immortal or not, it is generally agreed in Kingdom Theology that the overcomers must purge the earth of all evil influences. "Evildoers" must be converted or they will be punished and/or "destroyed from off the face of the earth." "Evildoers" have been variously described as drug pushers, murderers, child molesters, thieves, prostitutes, and other such "scum" that Jesus died for. It will interest the reader to learn, however, that for many who teach Kingdom Theology, the term "evildoer" applies to anyone who refuses to submit to God's authority (the latter day apostles and prophets). Those who do submit will be sealed with the "mark of God" in their foreheads, and will escape the coming judgment.
As we deal with these teachings individually in successive chapters, keep in mind that some movements are more extreme than others, and each is somewhat unique in its approach to the basic tenets of Kingdom Theology. In fact, not everyone within each movement is necessarily in agreement with each other, let alone with those in the other movements. Still, each movement has teachings that are sufficiently aberrant as to warrant careful testing by the Word of God. Each in its own way has its part in propagating some or all of the elements of Kingdom Theology. Other teachings not detailed here are quite bizarre, and add to the overall occult flavor of Kingdom Theology. We'll be dealing with them as we progress.
It's important to understand that not everyone in the various movements mentioned believe all Kingdom Theology teachings. Many are innocently fraternizing with those whose doctrines would horrify them if they were aware of them. Yet while the adage "guilt by association" does not always hold true, a consistent pattern of fraternization and support are sufficient grounds to at least question whether one holds the views of those he supports and with whom he seeks unity.
As in all fraternities, there is certain terminology peculiar to Kingdom Theology. Knowledge of that terminology can alert us to the possibility that we are hearing from an adherent to those teachings. A few occasions of word usage prove nothing, of course. But a pattern of usage and dependence upon terminology peculiar to Kingdom Theology is reason for concern and further investigation of a teacher's doctrines. Many will hide their true beliefs to all but those within their inner circle lest they be prematurely exposed to the Body of Christ at large. Once you become familiar with their terminology I urge you not to judge arbitrarily, but to seek further knowledge of the teacher's true beliefs (Acts 17:11). Meanwhile, be cautious until you do know what he or she believes. The following Kingdom terminology should be cause for concern even though much will be defended as "scriptural" by those who use them:
- Spoken Word
- Five-fold ministry
- Latter Rain
- Tabernacle of David
- Feast of Tabernacles
- Many-membered man child
- Manifestation of the Kingdom
- Manifestation of the Sons of God
- Ongoing Incarnation
- Birthing in the Spirit
- Get this into your spirit
- Unity (of the Body)
- Serpent's Seed or Seed of the Serpent
- Faith in faith
- God's faith
- God-like faith
- Kingdom language
- Kingdom principles
- Christ principles
- Elijah Company
- Bride Company
- The Christ
I wish to reiterate that the use of some of these words - at least moderately - is not grounds for judging harshly the speaker or writer (see John 7:24). I stress this because I know I'll be accused of jumping to conclusions and lumping everyone together. I urge caution in accepting or rejecting anyone on the basis of their terminology alone. By the time you've read through this report, however, I'm certain you'll see why these terms are good indicators of the teacher's beliefs.
At the end of the final installment you'll find a sample questionnaire which you can use to test any teacher's position relative to Kingdom Theology. This may be used as a precaution against erroneously prejudging anyone - teacher or disciple. This said, we will examine now the roots and the effects of Kingdom Theology and its various movements.
THE LATTER RAIN MOVEMENT
It becomes apparent through study that Kingdom Theology had its beginning in the teachings of the more prominent leaders of the mid-twentieth-century phenomenon known as "The Latter Rain Movement." These teachers blended Pentecostal fervor with supernatural manifestations which, when examined, are found to have been heavily influenced by occult activity.
The unwary believers of that time, whose lives were touched by these supernatural phenomena, were unversed in the occult sciences and accepted these manifestations of power as from God. Now we are seeing at the same time within Pentecostalism, both the true manifestations of the Holy Spirit and the occult manifestations of Satan.
To determine which are of God and which from the adversary, it helps to know the history of this movement called the Latter Rain. Therefore I have endeavored to lay out in a semblance of chronological order the various influences the teachers of that period had upon each other, and how those influences are affecting the Church today.
In the fall of 1946, a "major fasting and prayer daily revival center" was established in San Diego, California. Under the leadership of Franklin Hall (assisted by Jack Walker, father of child evangelist "Little David" Walker), the teaching of fasting as a means of bringing about revival and the "restoration" of the Church spread throughout the Pentecostal world.1 Other ministers who helped establish the fasting and prayer center were: Dr. Waltrip (Kathryn Kuhlman's husband); Stanley Comstock; Earl Ivy; Tommy Baird; Myrtle Page; and Franklin Hall's brothers, Delbert, Harold, and Virgil. (Delbert Hall and his wife, Florence, were pastors.)2
According to the Summer, 1985, issue of Franklin Hall's newsletter, 'Miracle World,' in which is revealed some of the early history of his ministry, "A fasting chain came about. Several were on major fasts around the clock. Many were fasting for not only days but weeks at a time. One lady, Sister Mary Sommerville, fasted without food for eighty-three days. She was so strong on this notable fast that she ran and danced all over the place, being drunk on both the inner and outer filling of the precious Holy Spirit."3
Hall claims more than one thousand converts during the first year of the center's existence, with scores being healed of diseases, through fasting and prayer.
Alleged appearances of the Holy Ghost in fire and smoke are also related in Hall's newsletter:
"Once or twice the Fire department was briefed by folk seeing the Holy Smoke and Fire through the windows upstairs. They came running up the steps with the hoses to put out the fire. Some of the firemen, seeing that it was not a natural fire, sat down in the large revival center hall and worshipped the Lord getting saved."4
Spreading The Word
Hall and his wife, Helen, sold off some assets and borrowed against their home to finance the printing of "millions of pieces of literature" to send to people all over the world.5 The Hall's claim this mail campaign resulted in the great healing revivals of the late forties and early fifties.
It was during this time (1946) that Franklin Hall wrote his book, 'Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer,' which was to have a significant impact upon the world of Pentecostalism. Many people, little known at that time, were greatly influenced by Hall's literature. Gordon Lindsay's publication, 'Voice of Healing,' helped spread the fasting message, as well as did Thomas and Evelyn Wyatt's worldwide radio broadcasts.
Hall's newsletter records how others received his message:
"Rev. Walter Frederick, former Assembly superintendent in Canada, sent Brother Hall's literature to every Pentecostal preacher in Canada....A few of the others (not too well-known then) ministers [sic] who had major fasting experiences by our writings in the 1946, 1947 to 1950 fasting era and who also became famous are:
Hall's writings on fasting and diet as a means to spiritual restoration might easily be seen as the primitive beginnings of today's "Christian holism."
As evidence of God's favor upon those who fast, Hall points out that even the prayers of pagans will be answered by God if they are accompanied by fasting: "Many, if not all, the American Indian tribes sought revelation of the Great Spirit through Prayer and Fasting. When they had famines, food shortages, lack of rain, etc., the Great Spirit was sought through prayer and fasting, and their prayers were answered."7
Hall uses this as an example of how fasting is necessary to have our prayers answered. In fact, he states that "Without fasting, prayer becomes ineffectual."8 In other words, those who pray to demons will have their prayers answered if they fast, but Christians will not have their prayers answered if they don't fast. At the least, it would seem, they would be hindered greatly. This is a good example of how a person can extol a faith in Christ while negating all the effects of that faith and the relationship with God it entails. By giving credit for answered prayer to the demon gods of pagan religions, Hall displays a mindset characteristic of occult science.
That there is a definite occult influence on Hall's career is evident in other writings. His book, 'The Return of Immortality,' suggests that Christians can learn how to become immortal through stages of spiritual growth. This involves experiences with "UFO's, and the UIO gravitational and levitation control."9 His teachings on attaining immortality in this life through psycho-spiritual exercises and righteous living were the foundation upon which many in the Latter Rain and subsequent movements based their immortalization theories.
Hall's main point in his immortalization theory is that "the sleeping, so called, unfoundationally built church" must awaken to "a real cause and calling, that when God's word is completely acted upon and complied with, will result in bringing about the real gushers and torrents of the long, past due, RAIN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. A rain of IMMORTALITY UPON THE EARTH that so many prophets have written about and portrayed in their prophesies"10 (emphasis Hall's).
Hall's premise is not, however, predicated upon God's promise of immortality for the faithful after their resurrection. This is evidenced by his following words: "Permanent, lasting Freedoms from all sickness, harmful accident things and defeat will come about. Freedom from the imprisonment of all gravitational forces will also be brought upon the whole man.
"This study teaches one the power and secrets of space flight. Space floatation [sic] and hovering ability. It gives the Bible formula for weightlessness, the 'raising up' power of those who come to immortality. (Jn.6 chapter and Rom.2:7)."11
In his book, Hall gives "evidence" of his already having attained a degree of "immortality" (which allegedly affects everything that comes in contact with the immortal person's body):
"Brother Hall's light colored jacket is seven years old and has never been pressed or cleaned or aerated in 7 years, since new, yet it has been worn repeatedly in many overseas countries and regularly in all crusades everywhere (excepting one). It has been on more than 200 airlines in travels. It has no spots, stains, discoloration or body odors anywhere on it or inside it - similar to the children of Israel's clothes under the Glory, Immortality Cloud of Fire Power."12
The attainment of "Immortality blessings" are alleged by Hall to be more successfully attained through open-eye prayer. "Coming with closed eyes," he stated, "destroys faith."13
Hall claims that there is an "Immortal Substance" that comes upon the believer who feeds upon it "from within Christ's now body" - the "FIRE - IMMORTAL - PACKED - BODY" (Emphasis Hall's). This "Immortal Substance" is claimed to be seen on those who attend Hall's meetings, as a fine gold and silver, sparkling material that emanates from sometimes visible "Immortal Heavenly Objects" (IHO's), "Unusual Heavenly Objects" (UHO's), and "Unidentified Flying Objects" (UFO's). In Hall's words, "The sparkling shining FINE GOLD and SILVER are seen upon their SKIN, brought about through the faith-power of impartation. The polished brass, the beryl stone appearances are even now manifested today." He challenges the reader to see and behold these phenomena by attending "the International Holy Ghost and Fire Seminars of Brother and Sister Franklin Hall."14 This sparkling material Hall calls, "The shiny metal like, Jesus' substance."15 While Hall has many excellent things to say about fasting from the standpoint of good health, when it comes to spiritual matters he often transcends sensibility and delves into areas of the occult. The book upon which many healers of the Latter Rain period publicly acknowledged their dependence, 'Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer,' is evidence:
"In the zodiacal sign, 'Scorpio,' which is the eighth sign of the Zodiac, we have a picture of a scorpion with its stinger lifted ready to strike. This is the sign of death, and is supposed to govern the sex area. Just before this sign in the heavens, there is a sign of the Judge, Jesus, who is the giver of LIFE. Jesus proceeds toward death and pulls the STING OUT OF DEATH. 'O, death where is thy sting? O, grave, where is thy victory?'"16
There is today a growing acceptance of the idea that the Zodiac is a representation of the Gospel. More will be said about this when we examine the teachings of some current Kingdom Theology proponents. But I feel that I should a least point out at this time that the Zodiac is an arbitrary assignment of images to certain stars by the priests of the Babylonian mystery religion. No matter how one tries to make it fit Scripture by claiming Genesis 1:4, there is no scriptural evidence that the "signs and seasons" spoken of in God's Word have any relation to the astrologists' Zodiac. We have the more sure written Word of God for guidance; we tread on dangerous ground when we try to accommodate His Word to occult science, or try to make the two equal.
Hall's penchant for a form of "Christian astrology" is evidenced further in his statement that, "In 1848 A.D. the Aquarian Age was introduced to the world."17 Those familiar with the New Age Movement, will recognize the Aquarian Age as the "Golden Age" of enlightenment when mankind will take a quantum leap in his evolutionary stages, to immortalization. The Aquarian Age will not be completely entered into until around the year 2000 A.D. Hall's writings are replete with strange, even weird statements difficult to decipher. The following, though a bit lengthy and poorly written, are examples:
"So much has been said about the travels of the astronauts, about conquering space and even going to Venus or Mars, about the power behind the saucers. The overcoming saints, however, are hundreds of years ahead of our scientists. These heaven projected saints will be so clothed and covered with the Immortality, supernatural, ZOOMING sparkling Substance, that it will be no more trouble at all for them to take off.
"Where will they go?
"They will fly right into the Glory Cloud residence of our Lord and Savior, Heaven in Him. Into His Cloud Fire Body. (Rev.12:5)
"What distance will they go?
"The distance, at first, may not be very far away, however, as the 8th church from out of the 7 churches of revelation, called the 'overcomers,' become more and more adjusted and acclimated to Holy Ghost Space flight, great distances taken, will seem like no distance at all.
"Jesus taught a small, but precious group of His followers - those who were able to bear it, that gravity would be completely loosed from them, in the last days, when they learned how to train their appetites into a different channel. We must learn to labor for the meal that endures unto everlasting (IMMORTAL) life. The meat that draws us away from gravity holding things. Jn.6:27.
"The 'not-perisheth' menu is the menu of Immortality, weight releasing power. The 'endureth unto everlasting life' menu.
"...The quickening power of the Holy Spirit brings about Immortality REVERSE ENERGY EMPOWERMENT."18
"Gravity-freed, great people will run up walls, not break rank, and if they fall on a sword, the Immortality power from Jesus' body, on them, will protect them. It appears that, they also can walk or run upside down. See Joel 2:3-11."19 (emphasis Hall's in all quotes).
In an ad for another of his books, 'Formula for Raising the Dead,' Hall cautions the potential purchaser, "This volume is only for very advanced Holy Ghost people. Do not order unless you are open to an apostolic teaching and have read four other books by Bro. Franklin Hall."20
I would not question Hall's sincerity and desire to attain spiritual enlightenment. But the heavy flavor of occultism in his teachings should have been sufficient warning even back in 1946. Yet many prominent teachers credit the empowerment for their ministries (especially healing ministries) on his book on fasting and prayer.
It's clear that Hall's teachings are a blend of occultism with Christianity. And since his teachings formed the basis of those that came after, and since the influence of those teachings upon neo-Pentecostalism is so great, close scrutiny of every ministry they touched is necessary.
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