Doctrines of Demons: The Coming of the Glory
This eleven-part series by Tricia Tillin is an urgent appeal to reject current teachings on the overshadowing and anointing of the supposed Glory of God in the endtimes. It looks at teachings from the old Latter Rain movement and shows how those teachings and many others have led to a belief that there will be a sealing or anointing for those who have prepared themselves for transformation.
The topics of the ten major sections, together with the appendix, and PDF version for download, are found on the CONTENTS page. Alternatively, each section is briefly linked below:
|Part One - The Sealing & Overshadowing
Part Two - The Sealing & Overshadowing (2)
Part TwoA - Resisting the Overshadowing
Part Three - The Descent of the Glory
Part Four - Transformation
Part Five - The Sword of Judgement
|Part Six - New Church, New Apostles
Part Seven - The Sound of Seduction
Part Eight - The Global Network
Part Nine - The Lighthouse Movement
Part Ten - Appendix A
Part Eleven - Appendix B
- Historical Forerunners
- True and False doctrines compared
- Various Millennialist Groups
- Explanation of the Terminology
When I did the research for the "New Thing" series I looked into the historical background of the Latter Rain doctrines. At that time also, I produced a large flow-chart tracing the doctrines back through history, noting that many different groups had adopted apostolic and millennialist teachings through the ages.
Now that those teachings are making their way into the revival, it has become even more important to note the historical precedents, because no building stands without a foundation.
The sonship foundation is a mystical belief in spiritual transformation, and a desire for rulership over the earth. In fact I would go further and say that at the core of the doctrine is satan's bid to take over the Church and pervert it for his purposes!
Certain doctrines have the hallmarks of satanic deception. Amongst them are:
- Dominion over others by an "enlightened" ruling caste
- Unity of all groups regardless of beliefs
- Rule over the nations before or in the absence of Jesus the Lord.
- Restoration of the earth to the Garden of Eden (instead of the wrath of God)
- Secret wisdom attained by spiritual exercises and increasing levels of transformation.
- Transformation of man into illuminated, invincible spiritual beings or gods
- Secret wisdom to transform the minds of men
- Unbiblical spiritual powers and experiences
These teachings have been seen in many false religions, but they exist also in today's church:
- A Priesthood class of shepherds or apostles and prophets, and the submission of everybody else to these anointed leaders, creating hero-worship, men-pleasers, and ultimately the worship of a false Christ.
- Moves towards unity through networking, ecumenism and the suppression of dissent.
- Kingdom-Dominion, the Church "bringing in the kingdom on earth" and post-millennialism. Also teachings on the Corporate Christ ruling over the earth.
- The Church's plan to cleanse and renew the heavens and earth. Derision of the Rapture teaching, and rejection of Heaven as being a place beyond earth.
- Spiritual advancement by degrees, ascending by levels, until perfection is reached.
- Glorified believers receiving the fulness; Joel's Army; Manifested Sons
- New Revelations by the prophets to alter the mindset of Christians
- Unbiblical spiritual manifestations and experiences, signs and wonders.
Now let's remind ourselves of the TRUE, biblical Plan of God that contradicts satan's plan for dominion:
- Priesthood of ALL believers as equal members in the Body, each with a gift and/or ministry from God, gently guided by shepherds with a calling from God to guard and serve the sheep. Jesus the only Head. (1 Cor 12:4-7)
- Spiritual unity wrought by God, an invisible property of the genuine Body of Christ. (Eph 4:3-6)
- The kingdom remains a heavenly, inward and spiritual truth and is not fully apparent on earth until the King returns. The Church cannot and do not achieve dominion over mankind, but mankind descends into greater and great wickedness until halted by the Wrath of God poured out, before Jesus returns for his 1000 year rule. (Luke 17:20-21)
- The hope of believers is a heavenly hope, not looking to this earthly sphere for fulfillment. This world judged and recreated by God alone. (Pet 1:3-6)
- All believers receive the fulness of the Godhead in Jesus Christ when they receive him as their Saviour. The growth (or sanctification) of a believer comes through trials, obedience, maturity and experience in the things of God. ( I Jn 2:20 John 1:16 )
- Believers share the glory of Jesus Christ and receive resurrection bodies at the Lord's coming, not before. (Matt 19:28-29/Col 3:4)
- God's inspiration is by the Holy Spirit illuminating his Word. There are no "new" secret revelations hidden from the Church, only further light on previous truths.(1 Tim 1:3-4/2Jn 1:9-10).
- Spiritual gifts are from God by the Holy Spirit, given to all for the edification and comfort of the Body in general. Extraordinary experiences of God are to be tested and are never contrary to scripture. New doctrine is never established by visions, dreams or prophecies. Manifestations and experiences are not "imparted" one to another. (1 Cor 1:22-23)
When religions and philosophies fall into the satanic deception, they generally come up with the same set of doctrines involving transformation and dominion over the earth.
From the very beginning of the Church there have been sects and cults that tried to bring in the millennium, and to achieve the literal reign of righteousness on earth, usually through their own agency or beliefs. They also tend to preach the ascension of the believer through levels of spirituality to perfection or union with God.
Approx. 170AD - The Montanists were a kind of early charismatic revival featuring gifts of the Spirit including prophecy, but they (as in Toronto and other places) went too far into ecstatic trances, direct revelations from angels and God, and apocalyptic heresies. They believed they were living in the days of the latter rain, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out upon the church and the world, their own group being the first manifestation of the outpouring. In fact their leader, Montanus, actually believed he was the Holy Spirit Incarnate.
Approx 180AD - the teaching of the Gnostic Valentinus speaks of a the end coming when "spiritual human beings possess perfect acquaintance concerning god" and then "when all the seed has grown to maturity":
...their mother [the woman, the bride, wisdom personified] will enter the fulness and receive as her bridegroom the saviour...they are the bridegroom and bride and the entire fulness is the bridal chamber, and the spirituals put off their souls and become intellectual spirits, unrestrainably and invisibly enter the fulness and become brides of the angels that are with the saviour...after such things have happened, the fire that lurks within the world will flare up, catch fire, overcome all matter..."
Approx 200AD - The Gnostic collection of teachings called the "Gospel According to Philip" already allegorises the Temple (in the way that modern writers like Bill Britton do) as symbolic of the progress of the believer to perfection and spiritual resurrection. It says:
"the holy building is Baptism, the holy [place] is Ransom, the Holy of Holies is the bridal chamber...every person who enters the bedroom will kindle the [light?]...whoever receives that light will be invisible and cannot be restrained, and nothing can harrass such a person even while living in this world, and furthermore when that person leaves this world he or she has already received the truth ... and this world has become the eternal realm..."
1130-1202 - Joachim of Fiore was a contemplative monk who believed God had inspired him to see a new vision of world history. He taught that history was interpreted as three "days" of (1) Law, (2) Grace and (3) Liberty or Love. These were associated with the three parts of the Trinity as (1) Father, (2) Son and (3) Spirit. The future "third-day" would therefore be the Age of the Spirit, the fulfillment of all things, when the church would receive revelations by the Spirit rather than the written word. This "third-day" doctrine is now present in modern churches!
1575-1624 - Jacob Boehme taught a mixture of theosophy and alchemy in which man united intimately and totally with God to avoid the coming judgement, and that these enlightened saints would ultimately overthrow the fallen powers of the heavenlies and take their place. Boehme's teachings also inspired many others, and led to a group calling themselves the Behmenists who later amalgamated with the Quakers. He also inspired William Law (1686-1761) whose earlier and more devotional works were read by the Wesleys, but Law's fanatical hero-worship of Boehme led him to adopt a doctrine of the literal indwelling of Christ.
Approx 1640-60 - Fifth Monarchy Men believed they were to bring in the 5th monarchy of Daniel 2:44, the thousand-year kingdom-rule of God, the first four empires being Assyria, Persia, Greece and Rome. After an unsuccessful uprising in 1661 their leaders were beheaded and the sect died out.
Approx 1660 - Daniel Whitby, A Unitarian, developed what we today know as "post-millennialism" which became the prevailing prophetic view up to the 20th century. This proposed a new view of eschatology, that Jesus Christ would only return in person AFTER the millennial reign of righteousness, which would be established on earth by the Church.
1670-1705 - Philadelphian Society following the teachings of Boehme and other mystics. Their most notable member was Jane Leade (1623-1704) who taught almost WORD FOR WORD the sonship doctrines that we now see appearing in the Revival movement worldwide. She is the darling of the apostolic movement right now because she explicitly predicted many doctrines that are coming to the fore in the Revival. See an expose of her teachings, along with other material on the mystics, on the Prophetic Telegraph site (www.oxleigh.freeserve.co.uk)
Approx 1700 onwards - Camisards/French Prophets by ecstasies, shakings, convulsions and various other violent manifestations prophesied the coming of the kingdom on earth and their establishment of God's rule. They fought bloody battles against the French soldiers sent to suppress them and many fled to England to escape persecution. There, they influenced millennialists - one of whom was Ann Lee of the Shakers...
1740's-1780's - The "Shakers", or the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing. Their leader, Mother Ann Lee came to be regarded as the female manifestation of Christ on earth, the embodiment of the fulness of Christ. Their name came from the shaking manifestation they exhibited during their meetings - and now we have another generation of "shakers" all around the world receiving similar prophecies!
An extract of the Shakers' teaching will demonstrate that today's sonship/manifested sons doctrine is not far removed from its roots. Please read this extract carefully. It is from "The Millennial Church", first Published by the Shakers in 1823:
PART VI. THE SECOND APPEARING OF CHRIST.
CHAPTER 3. The second manifestation of Christ not instantly universal, but gradual and progresses, like the rising of the sun.
It has long been maintained that Christ is to come in the clouds of heaven, and that all shall see him... These and other similar passages are often advanced as evidences that Christ ... will suddenly appear in the most public manner, so as to be seen at once, by all mankind, the wicked as well as the righteous...
But it ought to be considered in the first place, that these clouds are not the common clouds of the atmosphere, but the clouds of Heaven; therefore they must be heavenly clouds;— clouds of faithful witnesses of God, who are ready and willing to embrace the testimony of Christ, whenever and wherever it shall appear; and to declare it to the world without restraint and without disguise... [that is, Jesus comes spiritually in his prepared saints, not visibly and publicly to all the world].
Secondly. As Christ, the anointed of God, is a Spirit, and can only be seen and known in the spirit; therefore his Kingdom must be spiritual and divine; not natural and sensual. Hence, as before stated, his appearance must be in the spirit; and ...the things relating to Christ's second coming, and the finishing of the mystery of God, must be of a spiritual nature.
But it may be objected that Jesus Christ himself has said, "As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the "west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." This passage of scripture is generally quoted as an evidence of the instantaneous and universal manifestation of Christ in his second appearing. But we apprehend that when the passage is duly considered, and its real import rightly understood, the objection founded upon it will appear groundless. ... In the above quoted passage, he alluded to the dawning of the day, and the breaking forth of the morning light in the east, as a clear and striking similitude of the commencement of that period, so often represented in scripture, as the day of gospel light and liberty, or thousand years of Christ's reign upon earth.
The Greek word for light though sometimes properly translated lightning... is sometimes used to signify the breaking forth of light, as the dawning of the day, or the rising of the sun, which is evidently the meaning in the text quoted above.
This plainly implies that, as the light of the natural day (alluding to the sun as before) proceeds in its course, enlightening the earth from place to place, so in the progressive increase of divine light, in the millennial day, it will continue to shine from one place to another, until all the earth or every part under heaven, shall be fully illuminated. "
And all who continue honest and faithful to the preparatory light, looking and waiting for his coming, are noticed of God, and will be in readiness to receive and enter into the perfect work of the day, whenever it shall be manifested to them.
1800's Onwards - A number of Christian and heretical groups sprang up with variations of the sonship themes - rulership of the apostles and prophets, (Catholic Apostolic churches, or Irvingites) the glorious new age established by the Church (John Alexander Dowie and Zion City), and entire perfection for the believer (Oneida community of 1848). And much more.
These groups became progressively more "pentecostal" as the emphasis shifted away from attainment through the "overcoming life" to attainment through supernatural power.
While the denomination, or group, or cult, changes from century to century, the basic doctrines (given above) remain the same. They are, in effect, satan's plan for DOMINION. Time and again, when the torch grew dim, some willing soul would relight it for satan and begin another round of doctrinal heresy!
What is the difference today? Well, the big difference is not in the doctrine, but in the widespread nature of the heresy and the way it has taken hold in ALL the churches around the world. This time there will be no dimming of the torch, I believe. This time satan is set to bring in his "dispensation of dominion" as Bill Hamon calls it, in reality!
Here I have attempted to explain some of the more commonly-used phrases and words in the new movement. Some of them appear to be similar to biblical phrases, but their interpretation is far from biblical.
An attempt to attain to "fulness" and maturity of Christian experience and thus become a member of the sonship company by means of holiness, spirituality and illumination in the Spirit. The goal of sonship is to become "like Him" (I Jn 3:1-2) for Jesus is the Pattern Son (see below). Depending on the group involved, the actual goal may range from sanctification through sinless perfection right up to divinity.
According to this teaching, while all Christians are 'children' of God they are not all 'sons' and only the 'overcomers' attain to sonship. This attainment is called the "adoption of sons" (Rom 8:23) or full manhood, which is not achieved by all Christians but only by those who press on to maturity. The "adoption" is the climax of the process, usually identified as receiving the resurrection body and/or the catching up to the Throne of God. All are born heirs, but not all attain to their inheritance, says T. Austin Sparks in his book "God's Spiritual House". Sparks also goes on to say that Full Sonship cannot be attained by individuals but only as a corporate inheritance, as a member of the Manifested Sons body (the Man-Child.)
See http://www.nccg.org/sonship.html for an article (pro) explaining sonship in more depth.
Some forms of sonship derive from Pietism and the Weslyan Holiness movements. Others developed out of the Latter-Rain revival, but this in itself derived from earlier, 19th century, holiness doctrines. They became progressively more heretical into the 20th century, notably after 1950 when the Latter Rain Revival failed and its followers split into different camps. Many variations of the doctrine are now held by differing sonship groups, some more extreme than others. Old-style pietistic sonship can be uplifting with its call to a deeper life, while extreme sonship doctrine is akin to new age teaching.
Old-style sonship looked for a Remnant to come out of the Harlot (established denominations) and for the restoration of the apostles and prophets to restore the Body to fulness. Modern-day sonship still holds to these teachings, has become ever more heretical. The method of attaining "sonship" was in times past a matter of holy living and a spiritual life that was "deeper" than the normal christian. It was believed that a certain number would pass through the veil and enter into mature sonship in the latter days. In later years it has been taught that a powerful supernatural event - the coming of the glory, God coming IN his saints - will complete the work of attaining to fulness.
Manifested Sons Movement
It is necessary to distinguish between this and the Sonship groups (above) because of the more radical and extreme teachings found in MSOG groups. They tend to be more aggressive in outlook and their goal is dominion. They plan to set up a new global church structure (a new Temple) headed by their apostles and prophets, and those who have attained to the Manchild company will be given power to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Because of the stress on rulership and judgement, this has been called "dominion theology". Most MSOG groups teach the immortalization of believers, and some teach Universal Salvation in which all, including Lucifer, are redeemed in the Latter Day.
Manifestation of the Sons of God
Based on Romans 8:18-25 which speaks of the manifestation of the sons of God. This is taken to mean the revelation of the sonship company in glory and authority, before the coming of Jesus to the earth. This company will be glorified, transfigured into resurrection bodies and given the task of ruling the world.
This teaches that the Church has lost its true doctrines, power and authority as well as its dominion in the earth, and these truths are to be progressively restored through the ages, leading to a climax of fulness in which the church will be brought to full maturity through the work of the five-fold ministries (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher). All of the sonship groups teach "Restoration". The shepherding-discipling groups in the UK are called "The Restoration Movement", and they hold to a charismatic version of the sonship doctrines.
The belief, based on a spiritualisation of Joel 2:23, that a latter-day outpouring of the Spirit upon "all flesh" will bring the Body to maturity, unity and fulness, with believers having the spirit "without measure". Signs and Wonders will occur and the majority of mankind will be harvested into the kingdom. (Joel 2:28-31) The early rain is seen as either Pentecost, or the Azuza Street Revival, or the 1940's Latter Rain Revival, and the Latter Rain is the present-day revival, or variations upon that scheme.
Latter Rain Revival
The revival that happened in North Battleford, Canada starting in 1948. Key leaders were George Hawtin, Percy Hunt and Milford Kirkpatrick and Herrick Holt. Another key figure was Franklin Hall who had recommended long periods of fasting as a way of obtaining instant glorification, and his teachings were being acted upon in the LR revival. Doctrines begun through this revival were Impartation - the passing on of gifts through the laying on of hands - and Directive Prophecy in which people were guided by personal prophecies. Another doctrine was that the church could receive new revelations received direct "from God."
Based on the scripture in Isa 43:19. From about the middle of the 19th century, it began to be taught that God would complete the work of discipling all nations by means of a latter-rain revival, a major spiritual outpouring to harvest all the world for God. He would purify the church, empower it with the Spirit, and elevate it to a place of authority in the earth, so that it could achieve the Great Commission before Christ returned. This overturning of the old, ineffective Church and the restoration to glory would create a "new thing", a New Man upon the earth fit to reveal Christ to the nations. See Jer 31:22 "for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man" - this is treated allegorically as a reference to the Manchild and the woman of Revelation.
From Rev 12:5 is it taught that a few specially-chosen and prepared believers will attain to sonship and therefore will be worthy to be "caught up" or ordained/elevated to the Throne of rulership over the earth. This group is seen as the man child who is born of the Woman. The woman is generally seen as the World Church or the Harlot Church.
As above, the Remnant are those who "come out" of the Babylonian system of the established churches and purify themselves so as to be ready for rulership.
The scriptures about the catching away to Heaven are a problem to dominionists since they locate heaven on earth, as a spiritual realm existing in a parallel dimension on earth. Therefore believers cannot actually "go" anywhere. It is usually taught that the overcomers (variously called the Remnant, or firstfruits, or Manchild) will be "caught up" or placed on God's throne before the events of Revelation, there to rule with him as a separated company, apart from the ordinary body of Christians. This is said to be before the scriptural Rapture, which either takes place at a later stage, or is spiritualised, in sonship teaching. Some teach that the "rapture" is the transformation into glory and the joy experienced at this event.
The new church structure, outside the established churches, in which small groups or cells of believers are governed and taught by a pyramid system of the five-fold ministries, each covered and discipled by his Head. Group leaders do not have autonomy but submit to the city-wide leadership who in turn submit to the national and international Apostles and Prophets. The cell concept is based on the cells of a Body, the Body being one entity having many cells, which sub-divide to grow the Body. [See this series of articles on the Cell Church System]
Based on Joel Chapter Two. By allegory, it is taught that God will send his army composed of glorified, invincible, (some say, immortal) believers to slay the wicked and bring in universal righteousness, in a mighty endtimes onslaught. They will bring wisdom to the unenlightened, but death to the rebellious.
Rev 19:7-8. The Bride and the Son are usually separate groups in sonship teaching. The Manifested Son or Manchild or Corporate Christ is the Bridegroom, and is composed of "headship saints" who are destined to rule, and the Bride is composed of all other obedient, submitted believers who are purified through the work and ministry of the son. Thus in the end the Bride is "made ready" and is married to her Bridegroom in a spiritual marriage as seen in Rev 21:2-3.
Rev 3:21/Rev 12:10-11 Those who prevail over the enemy and come to complete sanctification and "the full stature of Christ". The same group that is manifested as the sons of God.
Rev 14:1-5. The first group to receive the redemption of their bodies, i.e. the overcomers, as above.
Rev 7:4. The number who receive the seal of God upon their foreheads. The seal is a mark of separation and denotes those who are attaining to sonship. Same as above.
As Joseph went ahead of his brethren to prepare the way, so the firstfruits company will go ahead of the rest of the Church. And just as Joseph was a type of Christ, was revealed to his brethren as a man of authority, and provided grain for his family, so the Corporate Christ will minister to their brethren, be revealed in authority, and provide for the Church during the time of the Tribulation.
Similar to above. Joshua was also a type of Christ. He led his people into the Promised Land, and brought them out of bondage. He was the first to "possess the land" and by his prowess in battle made a way for his people to settle the land in peace and eventually build the Temple. This is used as an allegory of the work of the Manchild.
A prophetic company who proclaim judgement on false Baal-ite religion, and who fight against Jezebel and Ahab, who are seen as types of spiritual error in the churches. Elijah comes at a time of spiritual drought to minister to the believers, performing signs and wonders, proclaiming the true faith, and preparing the Church to receive its ruler, the Manchild. The Elijah Company "causes the fire to come down from heaven", thus they are a seen as central to the work of revival and as heralds of the coming glory.
Tabernacle of David
Based on Isa 16:4-5/Amos 9:11-12 and Acts 15:16-17. The Tabernacle of David is supposed to be "restored" in the Latter Day. Restoration/sonship groups see this as symbolic of the renewed Temple of God, where God dwelt in glory upon the Ark. This Tabernacle is to be restored in fulness. Each part of the Tabernacle described in scripture is spiritualised and applied to some aspect of the restored and glorified Church on earth. Restoration groups use "Davidic" dancing, worship and praise; and see their role as a new Melchisadec Priesthood fashioned after the Divine High Priesthood of Jesus.
Saul and David
Two kings of Israel. Saul, as the anointed leader of Israel is seen as the first choice for rulership but he fell into rebellion and false religion. He is seen as a type of the Old Order churches. David was chosen to become Saul's successor, and was therefore persecuted by Saul. The David believers, head of the new Order, will eventually overcome Saul and replace him as rulers of Israel in this allegory.
Isaac & Ishmael
Similar allegory to above. Ishmael was a child born out of disobedience and man's attempt to fulfill the promises of rulership. He must be cast out, for he can never inherit. Isaac is the "child of promise", the true revival, the true Body of believers who will ultimately be raised up to honour by God.
A much-used sonship buzzword meaning the climax of the overcomer's rise to spiritual maturity, as well as the emergence of the Church in glory. It is based on Eph 4:13 "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ". Thus it is believed that the Church must come into unity, full revelation of truth, perfection and godhood in order to attain "fulness" in the latter-day.
(c) Tricia Tillin 2001
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© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.