This collection of articles covers the topic of Restoration, which means "restoring the authority and apostolic leadership to the global Church". It has other and deeper implications too, as can be seen by the articles on warring in the heavenlies (to pull down the satanic strongholds that restrict the church) and "The Glory" (which is a skewed belief that the full power and visible glory of God will ultimately descend upon the restored Church.)
The two main Dominion movements are Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now Theology. Though these two movements differ greatly in their general theological orientation (the first is strongly Reformed and Neo-Calvinistic, the second is Charismatic), they share a postmillennial vision in which the Kingdom of God will be established on Earth through political, spiritual and in some extreme cases military means.
Dominion Theology and Restoration today has progressed far beyond the reach of these early articles of mine; however it is always good to refer to the roots of the movement, and to understand its core objectives.
Topics covered in this section are: Gatekeepers and Spiritual Warfare, Restorationism, Shepherding, Kingdom Theology and its proponents, historical roots such as Gnosticism, Sonship and the Latter Rain, the coming glorification of the ascended saints, and the part that the Toronto revival and such things as Celtic Mysticism have to play.
(By Tricia Tillin)
This booklet was written in the mid 1980's to combat the growing interest in the doctrines of "Shepherding" in the UK. Many charismatic churches were at that time going over to shepherding, discipling or "covering" doctrines as they were then known. These were brought over to the UK from the States in the late 1960's and early 1970's by the leadership team known as the Fort Lauderdale Five, though Bob Mumford was the speaker who most affected the UK leadership, and he was idolised by the charismatic christians of the day.
Under the new system of "covering" each member of a fellowship had to answer to his/her own personal shepherd, and in some cases every minute detail of the spiritual and personal life of a church member was routinely monitored. No contribution to church life or worship was accepted unless it had been passed by the elders, and no teaching of the leadership was to be questioned - for they were the anointed "government of God" and stood in the place of Jesus! In this situation, it was easy to introduce heretical new doctrines, for the sheep were honour bound to eat everything they were fed.
Thus, "restoration" dogma arrived and quickly became the cornerstone teaching of almost every charismatic fellowship in the land. When this booklet was first written, "restoration" was in its infancy, and the exposé was therefore limited in scope. However, it remains a useful reference work and tool for those who have never heard of "restoration" or for those who are puzzled about the origins of what their church actually teaches.
Part One of the booklet examined the doctrines of "replacement theology" and post-millennialism - both foundational to restoration teaching. Another name for restoration teaching is "Kingdom-Now" because it teaches that the Old Testament Kingdom of God, the universal reign of peace and righteousness, is a present-day reality, rather than a future literal event. It has also been called "Kingdom-Dominion" because restoration doctrine teaches that the Church has the task of extending its present-day religious dominion until it becomes the Government of God upon the earth, instructing and ruling every earthly instituion.
Part Two will examine the implications of restoration teachings, especially with regard to the New Age Movement. It will ask how closely linked these teachings on world dominion are to the creed of the New Age Movement, which is seeking to re-educate the whole world into a One World policy of government and worship, supposedly to bring peace, plenty, and restoration to creation.
Part Three will expose the roots of the restoration doctrines, and to show how heretical views of the Kingdom, the Latter Rain Movement, and various metaphysical cults have influenced their development.
The Roots of 'Restoration'
To recap: The Bible clearly shows that, although Christians have been 'grafted in' to Israel, they are not the national, literal and earthly Kingdom which was promised to the Jews. This Kingdom, governed by the King of the Jews, is yet to come.
Therefore, the claims of the restoration believers to have replaced Israel and to be entitled to dominion over all nations as the Kingdom of God are false. These teachings on world dominion also closely resemble the creed of the New Age Movement, which is seeking to re-educate the whole world into a One World policy of government and worship, supposedly to bring peace, plenty, and restoration to creation.
HOW DEEP ARE THE ROOTS?
It is going to be the task of this section to expose the roots of the restoration doctrines, and to show how heretical views of the Kingdom, the Latter Rain Movement, and various metaphysical cults have influenced their development. But though almost every book on the subject examines these influences, they stop short of the actual roots of the deception.
The truth is, that every deception and false religion has its beginnings in the Garden of Eden, with satanic self-love and rebellion as its source.
However complicated the occult becomes, it never varies from its basic creed: that by the development of human and demonic powers, and by the discovery of secret laws operating in the universe, man can rise above dependence on God for his welfare and take control of his own destiny.
Adam's perfection as a created being depended on his utter submission and unity with the Godhead. While he remained in God, under His direction, as a subject of His will, the earth was as heaven in its order and perfection. Though Adam had free will, he chose to obey God.
However, as soon as Adam gave in to the concept of self-will, a system OTHER than God's was introduced into the world order, and it led to chaos. Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Many Christians today wonder why the forbidden tree was of GOOD as well as evil. Why, they think, did God refuse the knowledge of good to Adam? It is because the method of working is the all-important concept, not just the result.
If we are running our own lives outside of God's will, then it matters not a scrap that we are the 'best' people in the neighbourhood and only think of doing 'good'. Whether used for good or evil, self-willed knowledge is the wrong system for running our lives.
Just as in Eden, we have the choice to submit our lives entirely to God, to seek HIS will in everything, and to depend on HIS guidance (even when it seems foolish or sacrificial) - OR to look for ways of improving ourselves and our environment outside of God's perfect will.
Over the centuries, man has developed self-dependance into a fine art. The result is the world we have today, with all its greed, selfishness and spiritual poverty. The result is cults that pander to the desires of the flesh, and even Christian teachings that offer self-advancement without the need to seek God's will.
The Bible speaks of a time when even those who claim to be born-again will join the satanic cult of self:
"Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their OWN LUSTS (desires)" (2 Peter 3:3) "These are SENSUAL (soulish, worldly) persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit." (Jude 19) "In the last days, perilous times will come, for men will be lovers of SELF. They will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their OWN DESIRES, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn away their ears from the truth and be turned aside to fables." (2 Timothy 3:1/4:3)
All satanic religions are earth-based. They promise worldly blessings, power, dominion and even immortality.
At Babel, satan brought all men into agreement to run the world according to their own imaginations, but God, knowing man's selfish heart, scattered and divided mankind to prevent the disaster that would inevitably follow.
Later, God's own people rejected His rule in favour of human kingship, despite warnings of the oppression that would result. (1 Sam. Chap 8) Man, it seems, longs to be rid of theocracy - and what we are witnessing today in the restoration and new-age movements is another united attempt to overthrow God's rule. (Compare Psalm 1 with Psalm 2!)
JESUS REJECTS DOMINION
The temptations of Jesus in the wilderness demonstrate satan's tactics in an even more graphic way. There he suggested to Jesus, (as to man today) that He use his miraculous powers for self-advancement.
All the world lay before Jesus and was His for the taking (was He not entitled to take it?) but the price was too high. Jesus would have to step out of His submission to the Father, and to achieve the plan of salvation according to His own will.
Yes, Jesus had the power to bring all the world under His authority, and to enforce righteous laws worldwide (just as the restoration believers desire). But instead of taking Adam's route in rejecting God's rule, Jesus submitted Himself to ALL of the Father's commands, including those which led Him to Gethsemane and the Cross. Even at His trial, Jesus stood firm. He was not going to be provoked into a Messianic take-over. He affirmed that "My kingdom is not of this world" (Jn 18:36) even though He could have called 'more than twelve legions of angels' to establish His rightful claim to Kingship. (Matt 26:53) In the end, it was the foolishness of God that saved mankind, not the wisdom of man.
Instead of ending up with world dominion and glory, Jesus left behind a handful of frightened followers - but because of His obedience, those men and women were redeemed from satan's kingdom and filled with the Spirit of God.
The reason Jesus came was to save sinners not to take dominion of the world, especially not by force of arms or supernatural powers. However limited the gospel may be in its effect, it still remains the perfect plan of God, and it has never changed in its message: It is a personal life-changing relationship with God. It is not, and never has been, a scheme to take over the world.
Simply making men just and righteouss by human standards is not enough. Even causing all the world to accept God as the rightful Lord is not enough! The gospel is one of individual salvation through a personal union with Jesus Christ.
The Fight Continues
Kingdom Fore-runners No. 1: Constantine
At first, the believers who had found a new walk in Jesus were few in number and so persecuted that any thought of world dominion seemed a daydream. To become a Christian meant facing derision or even death, and all the world around was a hostile and pagan place.
There is no evidence that believers thought of themselves as the 'Kingdom', nor was their preaching designed to bring in a new world order.
The world and the Church were not bedfellows at all until the so-called conversion of Emperor Constantine around AD312 - he never gave up his pagan sun-worshipping beliefs, and retained the pagan high priests's title, Pontifex Maximus which is still given to the Pope.
If Restoration Christians could have been there, during the union of State and Church under Constantine, would they have seen it as proof of the on-going Kingdom of God on earth? Probably! At last, persecution ended, and Christians were acceptable - but compromise began. Pagans flocked to join in the newly respectable religion, bringing their own customs and rites that we have been stuck with ever since. Primitive, pure, bible-believing Christianity was over! (All for the sake of world dominion)
Kingdom Fore-runners No. 2: Holy Roman Empire
Soon, instead of winning converts to the Lord, the Emperor and Popes set out to maintain their new-found dominion by force. Anyone who dared disagree with the all-powerful State religion of Rome was persecuted or killed. As usual in the affairs of men, money and power were the motives.
When the Roman State came to an end, the Roman Church took over, with more power and wealth than the Emperors had dreamed of. It certainly looked as if the Kingdom was coming on earth! All around the world, kings and nations bowed the knee to the Church. Yet, nothing more un-Christian in character can be imagined than this world domination developed over the centuries by the Papal Church! Instead of promoting biblical truth, the Church suppressed it; instead of establishing justice and righteousness on earth, this dominion led to cruelties and extravagances beyond all bounds.
Kingdom Fore-runners No. 3: Anabaptists
Later, some Protestant groups tried to restore the world by Christian dominion. The Anabaptists were one such group. With evangelistic zeal, they tried to force scriptural reforms on an unwilling city council. This led to a complete rupture with the established Church and the Government, and later to a military siege against one of their cities in which the reformers defended themselves by arms. Their leaders had claimed to receive new revelations as self-styled 'prophets'; they had forced obedience to the Old Testament Law; they had even crowned a new 'King David' in the city. (There are disturbing similarities here with present-day restoration beliefs.) It ended in terror and grief, with the leaders dead and the whole Anabaptism movement discredited.
Kingdom Fore-runners No. 4: Calvin
The reformer John Calvin also took part in an attempt to establish Christian ethics and religion as a visible Kingdom on earth. He began in the town of Geneva in 1537, where all the townsfolk were called upon to swear loyalty to a Protestant statement of belief. This led to his expulsion from the city! At a later date, though, he was invited to return to Geneva and the city council accepted Calvin's scriptural reforms. But he earned the resentment of the people who were forced unwillingly to accept the moral discipline of the Church, without the incentive of a living faith in the Lord. Another failed experiment in restoration. Will we ever learn?
Kingdom Builders: Assorted Modern Schemes
Liberation Theology is the belief that oppressed people should be allowed, even helped, to recover their rights by force, which usually means terrorism. The World Council of Churches has been active in supplying money to groups who are nothing short of terrorists, and in preaching liberation theology for the benefit of various minority groups.
Ecumenism is a human attempt to foster Church unity with the hope
of becoming one voice for peace and justice in the world.
Coaliton on Revival has the goal of "hammering out a unified social policy for all conservative Christians". It seeks to transform the world by a return to biblical standards, and has issued a Manifesto for the Church to promote a Biblical World View - that is, all leaders would agree to promote certain reforms covering every aspect of life on earth.
Reconstructionism is a similar scheme attracting right-wing activists and social reformers who are seeking to make legal, political and social systems conform to the scriptures.
The Post-Millennial Key
Although not every theologian who believes in post- or a-millennialism is of necessity a 'restorationalist' in the modern sense, it is true that the unique restoration/reconstruction doctrines do lean very heavily on post-millennialism. They have to. The restoration concepts of universal victory for the Church, and a present-day Kingdom reign before Christ can return, just will not fit into a pre-millennial scheme.
Briefly, post-millennialism is the belief that Jesus set up His Kingdom at His Ascension and is now ruling through His Church. He will not return until after a significant period of Christian rule in the world (not 1000 years, obviously; longer than that period has gone by already!). Restoration believers (of all persuasions) say that they are going to evangelise and christianise the whole world, take over the rulership of nations and bring in a time of peace for mankind. But if they want to support this claim, the last place they can turn to is the Bible or the beliefs of the Early Church! It just isn't there!
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
Here is one root that shows every sign of rot. To begin with, the Jews themselves understood the Kingdom as a literal, future, earthly reign of God to come. Jesus never corrected the Jewish thinkers of His day, even though He challenged many other aspects of their beliefs. Jesus spoke of His own presence on earth as a demonstration of the Kingdom rule; He also taught His disciples to look for and pray for the Kingdom to come. Never did He associate His resurrection with the setting up of a Gentile Kingdom called the Church - nor did the early Christians think of themselves that way.
The 'Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church' (a fairly liberal work) has this to say about the Kingdom of God:
"Before St. Augustine the identification of the kingdom with the Church never seems to have been made, but from then on [about 400 AD] it became general."
The idea that the Church would reign victorious in a spiritualised version of the promised 'kingdom' was NOT present in the early Church. The Bible itself and all the early writings are firmly PRE-millennial. That is, they speak of a literal Kingdom of 1000 years AFTER the Second Coming. (Rev 20:4-7)
Even liberal historians, and a-millennialists, are forced to admit that pre-millennialism was "held extensively in the early Church" (to quote T.W. Allies 1813-1903). One of the most outstanding Church historians, Phillip Schaff (1819-1893) said:
"The most striking point in the eschatology of the Ante-Nicene age [before 325] is the prominent Chileanism or Millennialism, that is, the belief in the visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years before the general resurrection and judgement."
To find a post-millennial doctrine, you have to go forwards in church history to the time of Origen (around 200 AD). This man, who was a student of pagan philosophy and based his interpretation of scripture on a Greek allegorical system, introduced many heresies into the Church.
He believed in a sort of re-incarnation of souls, the eventual salvation of the devil, and that hidden knowledge of the Word led to self-godhood. In other words, we could call him a New Ager! This is the man who foisted post-millennialism onto the believers!
Origen didn't believe that Jesus could in the future reign visibly on earth; he said Jesus was the Logos, the divine principle of reason in creation, subordinate to the Father - a created being! By contrast, the Fathers of the Church write of their faith in the Return of Christ to set up a Kingdom in Jerusalem.
EARLY WRITERS TESTIFY
Justin Martyr (100-165)
"I, and whoever are on all points right-minded Christians, know that there will be a resurrection of the dead and one thousand years in Jerusalem which will then be built, adorned and enlarged as the prophets Ezekiel, Isaiah and the others declared. And further, a certain man with us, named John, an Apostle of Christ, predicted by a revelation given to him that those who believed in our Christ will spend a thousand years in Jerusalem and thereafter the general, or to speak briefly, eternal resurrection and judgement of all men would likewise take place."
"When this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in the world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem. Then the Lord will come from Heaven on a cloud and the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire, but bringing in for the righteous the times of the Kingdom, that is, the Rest, the Hallowed Sabbath Day, and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which Kingdom the Lord declared that many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
"But we do confess that a Kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before Heaven, only in another state of existence, in so much as it will be after their resurrection for one thousand years in the divinely built city of Jerusalem."
It is a fact that no writing to support post-millennialism can be found before the time of Origen. After him, there is still nothing much until the writings of Augustine, who changed many of the doctrines of the early believers and opened the door to the Roman Catholic creeds still held today.
Augustine (354-430) was a philosopher, a convert to Christianity by way of various heresies, and he could be said to have given the State Church its basis of authoritarian priesthood and sacramental rituals. His view of the Church as a Kingdom, establised in his work 'City of God', influenced the Church at a time when firm teaching was needed. The Church used Augustine's teaching to justify the idea of its temporal rule, its infant baptism, its earthly wealth and power and its hold over all men in matters of life, death and salvation.
Over the centuries that followed, Roman Catholicism rejected any idea of a future Jewish Kingdom in the Holy Land. It became anti-semitic in its beliefs, to the point that the Vatican at one time supported Hitler and Mussolini in their attempts to destroy Judaism.
To this day, (1988) Rome has no diplomatic relations with Israel. No doctrine of pre-millennialism could be allowed to tamper with the earthly power and influence of the one, holy, eternal unidvided Church! That is why pre-millennialism, when it surfaced again, was held by minority groups of protestant believers such as the Anabaptists, Moravian Brethren and Irvingites - those who had also broken with the established Church teachings.
A NEW CATHOLIC WORLD CHURCH?
It is not surprising, given the common root of the restoration and Roman Church teachings, that a remarkable similarity between them is apparent.
Both require specific rites of initiation and for adult converts, a course of study outlining the basic beliefs, followed by a confession of allegiance to the Church.
Both insist on obedience to the teaching of elders/priests, with the ordained priesthood alone being the true interpreters of scripture (or judges of prophecy etc.). Both say that the decisions and teaching of the leaders are not to be questioned.
There is in both Churches a recognised and strict hierarchy of leadership, pyramid fashion, certain of whom are seen as standing in the place of Jesus as leaders of the Church of God. Both priests and elders govern the daily lives of church members and exert discipline.
The belief that their particular Church is the One True Body and Kingdom leads members of both Romanism and Restoration to fear separation from that Church; the Mother Church is seen as the Door to salvation, and membership of the Church as well as belief is necessary to salvation. This causes a division of Christians into true and 'separated' brethren, and fosters a sense of superiority amongst the 'true' believers. Non-members of both Churches are excluded from various intimate parts of fellowship and worship.
Andrew Walker's study of Restoration, "Restoring The Kingdom", examines the origins of discipling. He notes that many, if not most, of the early leaders came from Brethren Assemblies. However, their informal fellowship with a desire to offer something fresh to the ailing traditional Church soon came under outside influences which shaped its progress into full-blown restorationalism.
Firstly, rigid shepherding was introduced largely from the Argentinian minister, Juan Carlos Ortiz. This created a climate in which new teachings could more easily take hold.
Then, in 1971, Arthur Wallis called a leader's conference to discuss a radical new vision of the end-times that he had also preached in New Zealand as early as 1963. At that time, he called for the Church to "come together to share the great vision that the Spirit of God is unfolding.the Holy Spirit of God is wanting to work in apostolic power through a fully-functioning body"
The emphasis in the 1971 meetings was not discipleship, then, but eschatology - that is, Arthur Wallis wanted to introduce the concept of restoring a glorious Church before the return of Jesus.
We have to ask, where did this radical new eschatology come from? It was not an integral part of the shepherding movement from the beginning, but has nonetheless become its main emphasis and motive.
Andrew Walker credits the introduction of this particular end-times teaching to American leaders, notably Ern Baxter, who was then the driving force behind the American Shepherding leadership (the Fort Lauderdale Five). Through contacts and visits between the British and American leaders, the 'new vision' of restoration took shape, and Baxter's contribution to the 1976 Bible Week was crucial in terms of covering and restoration theology.
However, the foundation of Ern Baxter's vision of restoration came directly from encounters with William Branham (with whom he worked in the 40's and 50's) and with the Manifest Sons of God, or Latter Rain teachings. These supposed new revelations said that an elite group of 'overcomers' would attain spiritual maturity, sinlessness and immortality in order to conquer the world for Christ and establish the Kingdom of God. An important preparation would be the renewal of the ministry of apostles and prophets using signs and wonders.
Steps to Heresy
Franklin Hall's Revival (1946)
One major modern influence that led to 'latter-rain' teaching was a supernatural revival brought about by fasting. This was led by a preacher by the name of Franklin Hall, who later wrote the book 'Atomic Power With God Through Prayer and Fasting'.
Hall's teachings and books were the basis of much of the later restoration theology, yet his writings reveal a deep occult involvement. Hall taught that advanced Christians would become immortal and immune to disease, would levitate, physically glow, and travel great distances supernaturally.
William Branham (1909-1965)
Branham (along with Oral Roberts) was influenced by Hall's teachings. This preacher and self-styled 'angel of the Church of Laodicea' had a profound and lasting effect on the Pentecostal revival of the 1940's. But he was ordained into his ministry by an audible voice, and performed healing by angelic guidance and auras of light. Despite his bizarre methods, he was widely accepted in charismatic circles, and numbered among his close friends T L Osbourne, Oral Roberts and Demos Shakarian.
A major part of Branham's so-called 'Elijah' ministry was the teaching about the latter rain based on Joel 2:23, for he believed that God was restoring power and dominion to the Church. It was this teaching that fuelled the present-day controversy.
The Sharon Revival (1948)
Branham's teachings roused some Pentecostal Christians in North Battleford, near Saskatchewan, Canada to seek revival and restoration. After attending a Branham crusade, and fortified by the teaching from Franklin Hall's book, they set about fasting and praying for revival.
Great manifestations of power occurred from February 1948 onwards. A Camp Meeting in July, attended by thousands of Canadians and Americans, launched what came to be known as the Latter Rain Movement.
The hallmark of these meetings was prophecy, and many 'new revelations' were received as from God, including the instruction to restore the Church and all creation to rule and reign with Christ. God was supposedly looking for a group of 'overcomers' who would attain 'full sonship' and lead the whole Church into perfection. Thus, there was an emphasis in the Latter Rain teachings on the primacy of apostles and prophets with their inspired revelations, on the need for unity in the Body, and on the five-fold ministry to bring the Church to maturity.
Ern Baxter and George Warnock
Now we come to the link between the occult heresy of 'latter rain' and the modern restoration movement. Ern Baxter was ministering with William Branham during the time of the revivals. Also, Baxter's personal secretary, George Warnock, was one of the North Battleford brethren. He wrote a highly influential book called 'The Feast of Tabernacles' which laid out the foundational doctrines of the Latter Rain Movement (later known as the Manifest Sons of God, or Sonship Movement). He taught that the Church is about to usher in the last of God's feasts through the perfection of the Body and their dominion over the earth. The Feast of Tabernacles typified to Warnock the completion of the Church, by the manifestation of immortal sons of God, who would establish the Kingdom on earth. This spiritual maturity must be achieved (like the New Age) by complete unity of mind and spirit amongst Christians.
Ern Baxter was steeped in the Hall, Branham and Warnock creeds. When, in 1975, he spoke to 4,500 church leaders in Kansas City, he preached the manifest sons doctrine. He said,
"the Beloved One came to be a Pattern Son - the Ideal Man after which He would pattern a whole community of redeemed ones. I don't think He's going to leave the right hand of God until His enemies are subdued.under His authority, the redeemed community has become the means whereby He would establish God's sovereign right in His own redeemed earth."
At this early date, Baxter already denies the rapture of the Church, declares the Body to be an 'alternative society', and speaks of the importance of shepherds to be the delegated authority to bring in the Kingdom.
It is important to see that Ern Baxter's public and private meetings with the British Discipling leaders in the 70's would have led them to adopt at least some of these teachings. Andrew Walker states in his book, "His contribution was vital. It was he and his colleagues who helped the theological formulation of early Restorationalism"
Significantly, another of Ern Baxter's early associates was E.W. Kenyon, the father of the Positive Confession Movement.
THE KENYON CONNECTION
Roughly at the same time that the dominion heresy arose in Canada and America, the Word-of-Faith teaching (first proposed by E.W. Kenyon) became a major new force in the Church. While the Manifest Sons doctrine called for perfection in the Body, the Faith teachings offered a means of attaining it - through the understanding and use of spiritual laws.
The teachings of E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948) can be traced to his background in the metaphysical cults, particularly the New Thought and Christian Science teachings he heard at the Emerson School of Oratory which he attended in 1892.
There he sat under the teaching of the founders of the mind sciences: Charles Emerson himself, a notable Christian Scientist; R.W. Trine, who went on to write a major New Thought textbook; and M.J. Savage, a prominent Unitarian preacher, whose services Kenyon attended.
Though he was a Christian and rejected occultic practises, Kenyon did not deny his fascination for the metaphysical writers. Ern Baxter has testified that he was "undoubtedly influenced by Mary Baker Eddy" (Christian Science founder), and he is on record as saying "the only thing Christian Science lacks is the Blood of Jesus". (1)
The Emerson College seems to have been a major influence in Kenyon's life and later theology. Its task, however, was to 'train missionaries' to preach the false gospel of metaphysics. Charles Emerson taught that disease and sin were matters of incorrect thinking and that enlightenment would therefore lead to health, harmony and eventual godhood.
All the religious movements arising from New Thought preached the supremacy of the spiritual over the material. True reality is spiritual, they said. The spirit is the cause of all physical effects; the human mind through positive mental attitude and positive confession has the power to create its own reality - health, wealth and dominion. New Thought's god was a force which could be manipulated by the mind, according to definite spiritual laws.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Kenyon's teaching shows many signs of christianised metaphysics. In line with the spiritual Darwinism of Emerson, Kenyon saw his teachings as a vital 'new christianity' which would bring health, prosperity and power to all who possessed revelation knowledge of the Word. He says of his method:
"When these truths really gain the ascendency in us, they will make us spiritual supermen, masters of demons and disease.it will be the end of weakness and failure. In the presence of these tremendous realities, we arise and take our place. We go out and live as supermen indwelt by God." (2)
Kenyon's books were widely read by the early Pentecostals, including William Branham. They later formed the foundation for the entire Positive Confession Movement. (Kenneth Hagin, in fact, plagiarised extensive portions of Kenyon's works for his own books.) (3)
Hagin tutoured Copeland and numerous other Word-of-Faith teachers with multi-million dollar teaching ministries today.
Unity at Any Cost
In the 1970's, the twin movements of shepherding and positive confession ran side by side, but rarely joined forces. In fact, there was animosity on both sides. This was frustrating to those who saw the necessity for one unified Body to bring in the age of world dominion.
So, from the early '80s efforts were made to bring the two movements together. (By this time, so similar was the restoration teaching of both camps, that no difficulties were insurmountable.)
The Shepherding magazine New Wine threw down the gauntlet by featuring an article by Copeland in 1984. Later, the Network of Christian Ministries (NCM) was formed to give direction to both movements. One of its roles is to provide a code of ethics for ministers to encourage unity. In essence, this means that the Network forbids public criticism of any ministry by its members, and requires 'respect' for other's doctrines.
The author of the book 'A Different Gospel' remarks: "The Network embodies a spirit that has seduced more than one ecumenical movement, a spirit that in the name of love sacrifices biblical truth on the altar of church unity.Any attempt to achieve unity without sound doctrine is destined for heresy."
The author also forsees a blending of the Faith and Shepherding doctrines, and points to such prestigious events as the 1987 Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelism (where Copeland was one of the main speakers, alongside Shepherding leaders and Catholic charismatics) as a growing trend towards synthesis of all restoration/reconstruction doctrines. If this is the case, then the Church, united for the purpose of World Evangelism, will have accepted an occult theology as the gospel it proposes to preach.
THE ROOTS AND THE FRUIT
Jesus said, "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit." Matthew 7:18. Unfortunately, the roots of the restoration tree are not healthy ones:
With such roots, it is no wonder that the fruit is rotten. Too often, we can only find selected fruit from these ministries, carefully put on the 'front of the barrow' by those who are promoting the work.
When presented with these glowing testimonies of healing, salvation and other miracles, we sometimes feel cowed into giving them a Godly origin. But further investigation shows that many of the 'healed' stay sick; many of those 'saved' only had an emotional experience; many 'miracles' are done by powers other than the Holy Spirit.
Their worship is becoming more soulish, their attitude to sin more casual, their spirits and consciences are becoming dull, and their worldliness and self-exaltation is becoming detestable to the One Almighty God. We need to intercede for those caught up in the restoration error, for the spirit now guiding the 'alternative society' of Kingdom/Dominion is the spirit of apostasy, and eventually it could lead millions of Christians to worship the Antichrist.
"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them."(1) A Different Gospel, D.R. McConnell 1988. Page 25
(2) A Different Gospel, D.R. McConnell 1988. Page 21
(3) A Different Gospel, Pages 7-13
(c) Tricia Tillin 2001
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- You are NOT permitted to reproduce this material without my written permission on websites, in newsletters or by any other medium. If you want to tell others about this information, please LINK to the articles from your site. Make sure you get the link correct. It is http://www.banner.org.uk/res/gatekeepers.html
- Alternatively, if you have a legitimate use for reproducing this material please e-mail me, describing your intended use and I will consider your request.
- This article and those that follow it are produced for the specific purpose of informing and supporting genuine believers in their fight against the current apostasy. This information is therefore not aimed at those already committed to the Revival, whether leaders or ordinary members of the churches involved.
© 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.