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Assemblies of God & the Latter Rain Heresy

Assemblies of God & the Latter Rain Heresy

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CWM has long affirmed that AoG is not a homogeneous organisation.
The various National expressions differ greatly. In Italy and certain other European countries the movement has retained its biblical stance and, as a consequence, the leaders quickly weed-out heresies and heretics. They refuse to open their platforms to false teachers like Tommy Tenney (the main speaker at this year's UK AOG conference, 21st-27th April, 2001) and false miracle workers like Benny Hinn.
In countries like Great Britain and the United States of America there is a mixture and that in itself is damning for God hates mixtures of the godly and ungodly (Exodus 12:38, Nehemiah 13:3 c/f Hosea 7:8), the true and the false (Galatians 5:9) and the clean and unclean (1 Corinthians 5:6). That is why in the typical teaching of the Old Testament He forbade mixtures in horticulture, animal husbandry and even in clothing (Leviticus 19:19). The symbolism in this verse teaches us that a state of "mixture" in men and movements is dangerous and one that must be dealt with or full-scale corruption will occur.
In Australasia, where I live, things have gone way beyond the mixture stage. The one time godly movement in which I served the Lord for fourteen years has largely become heretical with frightening signs of cultism. For example the hierarchy have closed themselves off to expressions of contrary opinion.
That in itself is an ominous sign of becoming a "cult". It didn't happen over-night and along the way there were the inevitable warnings. For example, during my term as National General Secretary and editor of the Australian Evangel I tried to create a platform for discussion and debate. Twice my editorials were intercepted and replaced by the then General Superintendent, contrary to normal editorial policy. This led to my editorial demise and eventually to my resignation as National Secretary.
The signs were clear to me and to others even then, in 1991. I have retained letters in my files as evidence of this and other assertions that I have made and will make them public as required, probably in a book that I am thinking of publishing.
Satan sold them the lie that "unity" is the principal thing and thus they dethroned and eventually jettisoned purity and truth. Then they themselves taught the cultish lie, that to speak or even think negatively about anything is wrong. This false notion was popularised by heretics such as Hagin and Copeland, who spawned the international Faith Prosperity cult, which, as Tony Pearce, in his first article in this CETF has documented, is now spreading with frightening speed among the Third World pseudo-christian groups of Africa, Asia and America.
Undoubtedly these people are preaching a different gospel and another Jesus and by so doing earn the apostolic curse - c/f Galatians 1: 8 & 9 with 2 Corinthians 11: 1-4.
That AoG in Australasia has aided and abetted these false teachers by promoting them and taking on board their winds of doctrines (c/f Ephesians 4:14) to the end that now their own President, Brian Houston, is as heretical as any one of them. Brian Houston is a heretic by biblical definition.
Shortly after resigning as National General Secretary when I began issuing public warnings about the unbiblical drift within AoG, pastor Freddie Evans, senior pastor of the AoG at Toowoomba and brother of the then General Superintendent of AoG in Australia, pastor Andrew Evans, wrote a letter accusing me of causing division.
He part quoted Romans 16:17 "mark them which cause divisions" but missed the essence of Paul's instruction - "contrary to the doctrine, which you have learned."
When I replied pointing this out my letter was returned marked "unsolicited mail", on the envelope, or something to that effect. Actually what Paul teaches is that those who depart from biblical doctrine are the ones who cause division and who should be "marked" for so doing. Pastors Andrew and Freddie Evans have departed from the biblical doctrines, which they were taught, BUT they are not prepared to even consider this as a possibility.
A similar thing happened when my former national executive colleagues became aggressive in their promotion of the false signs and wonders movement. Three of the four to whom I sent the book The Signs and Wonders Movement _ Exposed as gifts, (Philip Hills, Andrew Evans and David Cartledge) returned them marked "Unsolicited Mail _ Return To Sender." (Does anyone "solicit" a gift?) One of the envelopes had been opened and stapled. The other two were unopened. I have retained them as evidence. John Lewis was the only one of the four men who did not return the book.
More recently, following a ministry tour to Adelaide when I attempted to meet pastor Andrew Evans for dialogue, I wrote to him expressing a number of concerns. My letter was returned with a similar notation on the outside of the envelope. In each case there was no additional payment to the postal authority for returning the mail.
Even more recently Brian Houston's HILLSONG "email address hills@hillsong.com " have blocked our CWM mail as did the AoG Southern Cross Bible College - Principal David Cartledge. In this latter case there appeared to be attempts at deception and cover up based on the fact that Principal Cartledge's son is also named David and he intercepted a communiqué intended for his father. I have retained items of correspondence in this connection.
There are other signs that AoG in Australia is fast becoming a cult not the least those linked to music and money and to the equally frightening process of leadership of large "churches" passing from father to son in so many instances. When money and music dominate and sons inherit a ministry to which they are not divinely called, look out - a dangerous cult is on the horizon.
A national TV exposé of the Paradise AoG in Adelaide earlier this year showed Ashley Evans, son of Andrew Evans and now senior pastor of Paradise Community Church speaking favourably of the latest craze among churched youth called MOSHING, which was a new word for me, so I looked it up on the internet. Take my word for it or do a search yourself — the word and activity have evil overtones, which surely must have been missed by Ashley. Should men who are not alert to such things be in the ministry in the first place, is the question that begs to be asked. Ashley Evans was recently elected to the National Executive of AoG in Australia, replacing Philip Hills who was formerly my good friend and who himself has failed to respond to me on issues of concern. Sadly "cultism" is all-pervasive if it is not identified and "purged out"(1 Corinthians 5:7) early in its occurrence.
Warnings to men and movements always precede irretrievable apostasy by them. Some times those warnings come from within as witness the following article written in 1997 by a respected AG pastor in the USA and taken from the following web site: http:// ww.deceptioninthechurch.com/ditc11.htm
Author Rev Ron Stringfellow, pastor of Medina Valley Assembly of God first draws attention to the decision of the A/G in 1949, with regard to the Latter Rain Movement, and then shows the undeniable re-emergence of these heresies in the situation that developed at Brownsville A/G of Pensacola, FL. 
The fact that the Brownsville so called "revival" is dying down locally, since the rift between senior pastor John Kilpatrick and resident teacher Michael Brown1, should not make us close our eyes to the national and international impact of this heresy. Those responsible for promoting it—all of them—must be held to account and called upon to repent for so grossly misleading God's people.
The leaven that corrupts cannot be removed from the movements so affected by any means other than by open confession and public repentance on the part of the promoters. This implicates Assemblies of God worldwide as well as other groups. We call on them ALL to repent. -- PLP

LATTER DAY DECEPTION

by Rev. Ron Stringfellow
Pastor, Medina Valley Assembly of God, 1997. Ron Stringfellow has a web site at http://www.gentle.org/Medina/index.html 

"Those who disregard the past are bound to repeat it."

-George Santayana

In 1949 the General Council of the Assemblies of God held in Seattle overwhelmingly approved a resolution that was prepared by a committee that dealt with the Latter Rain Movement. The resolution adopted disapproved of the following practices of the Latter Rain, and the action was made necessary as a result of the movement invading the Assembly of God churches:
1. The overemphasis relative to imparting, identifying, bestowing, or confirming of gifts by the laying on of hands and prophecy.
2. The erroneous teaching that the church is built on the foundation of present-day
apostles and prophets.
3. The extreme teaching as advocated by the "New Order," regarding the confession of sin to man and deliverance as practised, which claims prerogatives to human agency which belongs only to Christ.
4. The erroneous teaching concerning the impartation of the gift of languages as
special equipment for missionary service.
5. The extreme and unscriptural practice of imparting or imposing personal leadings by the means of the gifts of utterance.
6. Such other wresting and distortions of scripture interpretations, which are in opposition to teachings and practices generally accepted among us. -
See Endnotes (1)
The Latter Rain featured individuals with "oil in the hands"; congregational singing of "the song of the Lord", singing in the Spirit; the emphasis on "God is doing a new thing"; the manifested sons of God teaching; the placing of experience over exposition; the branding of those who denounced the movement; getting away from what the church had been.
In a letter from the Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God (April 20, 1949), these observations were given. They are still valid today.
"The true test of any movement is whether or not it will stand up under the light of the Word of God. We cannot depend alone upon the testimony of spiritual blessing, which many have claimed to have received under the `new order.'
"When the `Jesus Only' issue swept the country in the years 1914-1917, there was a constant testimony that this was a revelation from God accompanied by great spiritual blessing. The movement was judged,
however, not on the testimony of spiritual blessings, but on its adherence to the scriptures. When it was found that its claims did not conform to sound doctrine, its message was rejected. Dire calamities were predicted upon all who failed to `walk in the light' of that `revelation' but all predictions failed of fulfilment. We have heard similar predictions for failure to accept the `new order' teaching, which we regret exceedingly."

"How shall we labour with any effect to build up the Church if we have no thorough knowledge of her history or fail to apprehend it from the proper point of observation? History is, and must ever continue to be, next to God's Word, the richest foundation of wisdom and sweet guide to all successful practical activity."

-Philip Schaff


It is the opinion of this Assembly of God pastor that we have once again endorsed a movement that will yet again chip away at the chink of armour once worn called Integrity. However, that is not the opinion of this pastor alone. Fully divided we now stand.
Some will say that I am in wrong standing by publicly speaking out on these issues; I will say I am in agreement with the stand of what was once a great denomination of godly men and women. My evidence exists in the 1949 mandate of the Assemblies of God. To my knowledge it has not been rescinded.
Further, our General Secretary George Woods has courageously and publicly taken a stand against the so-called "laughing revival," the root of the movement of which I am to speak, which endorses many of the manifestations that take place. To substantiate such accusations I submit the following proofs:

PENSACOLA BLESSING i.e., BROWNSVILLE ASSEMBLY OF GOD

VIOLATION OF PRACTICE *1
Cathy Wood, reporter for Brownsville Assembly of God, states, "What started in Toronto ... really is HERE too. We so appreciate Bro. Arnott for being open to God because that's where Mrs Kilpatrick went ... to his church in Toronto and the impartation (anointing) did truly follow her home to us! " *2
And: "Our pastor's wife went to Toronto in February or March of 1994, I don't remember when for sure, but when she got back ... without even telling of any of the manifestations she had seen ... a few started that very Sunday she returned. She came back healed of things ... so changed that Pastor was jealous of the refreshing touch God had given her! Happy, but jealous!" (2)


"Then Lindel Cooley became our new worship leader. Our other one was anointed but Lindel brought something more .... He, too, had visited Toronto right before he came to Brownsville." *2 Steve Hill has made no secret of receiving an impartation from Sandy Millar at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in England. This impartation came from Millar's "laying on of hands" upon Hill. *3

THE BRANDING OF THOSE WHO DENOUNCED THE MOVEMENT
There are many forums whereby Rev John Kilpatrick's scorching prophecy addressed to Hank Hanegraaff can be found; but in the interest of brevity, we will take only certain excerpts:
"...But I don't know who called you to be the high sheriff of heaven and go around straightening everybody out. I don't know who did that, but let me tell you one thing. You may criticise other people and other moves of God and other ministries, but you had better leave your hands off this one...And Mr Hanegraaff, I want to say to you, before you get back on television and start spouting off at the mouth again about something of which you know nothing of, you'd better be careful because God says `vengeance is mine saith the Lord.' And I want to say something else to you. If you want to keep any semblance of a ministry, you had better back off from this revival and from what God is doing here. You had better back off because I am going to prophesy to you that if you don't, and you don't (sic), and you continue to put your tongue in your mouth (sic) against this move of God, within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down! I said within 90 days the Holy Ghost will bring you down! And I speak that as a man of God. I don't speak that out of vengeance, I don't speak that out of selfishness, and I don't speak it out of a hurt feeling, because my feelings are not hurt. I feel as normal today as I have ever felt. I don't have a chip on my shoulder; I don't have an axe to grind. But this is a move of God and you better leave it alone." *4
Dr Brown in his "Scorning the Sacred" chapter is a thinly veiled attempt at silencing the critics. While he chastises the "critics" of Brownsville and warns of the possibilities of incurring God's wrath, he has no concerns for himself as he predicts and presumes that the Brownsville "critics":
1) First and foremost, are ignorant. 2) Are foolish. 3) Elevate the traditions made of men. 4) Scorn the sacred things of God 5) Are tragic, sad, pitiful gossips with biased opinions, spewing garbage and spreading baseless accusations, to whom nothing, absolutely nothing, not even the things of God are sacred. 6) Have a pattern of acting in ignorance and unbelief. There are as many as 26 different accusations listed. Suffice it to say this is the general spirit of them all. *5

GOD IS DOING A "NEW THING"
A statement introduced by the Latter Rain Movement and later disapproved of by the 1949 General Council of the Assemblies of God that was God was doing a new thing. I personally heard Rev Kilpatrick say this was a "New Move of God," in Kerrville, Texas, in October 1996, a service about which I will speak more later.

THE PLACING OF EXPERIENCE OVER EXPOSITION

"This is not a preaching revival," Rev Kilpatrick went on to say, "For when men preach a good sermon, men get the credit."
n his sermon "The God-Mockers," Rev Kilpatrick states that those who want to measure everything by the scriptures need to know that THESE THINGS CANNOT always be measured by the scriptures.
This information was printed and passed out at Brownsville Assembly of God to explain the manifestations that are taking place at the revival:
1. Falling on the floor (being slain in the Spirit)—Resting in the presence of God. Something tremendously important is being done within you (deep inner healing, preparation for the ministry, physical healing, receiving of visions, feeling the love of God.)
2. Laughter—The medical profession has discovered health and wholeness comes through laughter. Healing can come through laughter.
3. Shaking (head, feet, and body)—Sign of a much deeper happening. Not just body shaking, but also there is a prophetic shaking. This is often a type of intercessory prayer. People who shake are often used prophetically. God will shake the status quo and our agendas, plans, complacency, and the theology that says God only works "this way." Everything built on sand will be shaken.
4. Deep bowing—The Jewish people who worship at the Wailing Wall do so with deep bowing. This manifestation is usually seen in intercessors.
[Note: These manifestations and explanations listed were copied almost verbatim from the Toronto literature].

COMMERCIALISM
"1 billion served..." That's the McDonald's food chain claim and it serves as self-aggrandizement. The sign that once existed and may still exist out front of Brownsville Assembly of God says, "100,000 saved" (or whatever the number is now) and does no less than McDonalds.* The Bible warns us to avoid such. The Bible declares to us that heaven rejoices over one. (6) "We had to start tickets to get into the church..." *9(9) * Since then, under scrutiny of peers, the sign has been changed to "100,000 have responded to altar calls."
LIES AND DECEPTION

Rev John Kilpatrick in his letter of apology to Hank Hanegraaff dated 18/6/97 states, "When I heard our church linked with cultic deception, it caused me to feel anger and indignation......." Further stating " I was not speaking that as a prophet but as a shepherd putting something in the ears of God ... it was me speaking that and not a `thus saith the Lord.'"
Compare these statements with those made in his first PROPHECY—his words, not mine: "AND I SPEAK THAT AS A MAN OF GOD.... I don't speak out of vengeance.... my feelings are not hurt." *4
On more than one occasion, Rev Hill has repeated the story of police dropping off teenagers whom they would have otherwise taken to jail. Pensacola police department emphatically denies this stating that anyone caught doing so would have been dismissed.
On more than one occasion, Dr Brown and other leadership have stated that the crime rate in Pensacola has drastically been affected. Pensacola Police Dept. statistics for the last five years prove differently.
Rev Hill has stated the public schools' Christian activities and groups have grown vastly. The Pensacola school superintendents differ with this stating emphatically that some parents had to be called because students were disrupting classes by shaking and falling on the ground.

MY OWN PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS
Much of the information I have gathered has not come from the "critics" of Brownsville but out of Brownsville itself. They have damned themselves by their own words. My experience and the Word of God reveals to me this too is a trait of a proud and arrogant Satan. I listened to Rev Kilpatrick in Kerrville, Texas, at a meeting that our district and section leaders encouraged leadership to attend. This happened long before the "evidence that demands a verdict" began to manifest itself. It was shortly before this that I began to suspect that all was not well, that slew foot was once again making himself known among the elect.
When I began to see young scholars leaving our denomination, a red flag went up. As I began to inquire, I increasingly found that the problem was coming out of the situation in Florida. I made mention of these concerns to my district officials before the leadership meeting. My inquiry was met with silence. The following were some of the additional concerns that I addressed in an addendum to my first correspondence:
"Rev Kilpatrick spoke for three and one-half hours without any mention of scripture... this statement stood out — `This is not a preaching revival'. He went on to say something to the effect that when men preach a good sermon, men get the glory. May I remind us: "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). When Peter preached the Word, no one praised Peter. God was praised and three thousand were added that day. (9)
"And when he made the call for everybody that wants prayer to come forward, there were a thousand people that came rushing forward." (referring to Father's Day '95 [10]) He repeated this claim in the Pentecostal Evangel, yet the videotape I previewed (10) did not quite fit that description. As we ALL SAW, Rev Hill pleaded and begged for some time. It WAS NOT a spontaneous move into the altars as we are led to believe. Sometime later (after the film was edited), we were shown full altars. I understand that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit one might forget some details here and there, but that same person did not fail to notice the cleavage of, as he put it, a `well-endowed woman'. I find that quite interesting that he would notice something like that in the middle of one of the greatest revivals ever known to mankind. My board members also found a like comment made on the tape (10)—`Was her husband home?'—rather risqué in the middle of one of the greatest revivals known to mankind."

REGARDING JERKING MANIFESTATION
".... those of you who have had reservations about the manifestations of jerking need to know two things: 1) That it wouldn't save you and it wouldn't change your life... 2) that you are trying to dictate to the Holy Spirit how He has to operate within His people. (I didn't highlight this because it is paraphrased.)
Then the good Reverend turned right around and admonished his audience of CLERGY, PASTORS, and BISHOPS that there were not to be any messages in prophecies or interpretations tonight. That is not what God is doing. WHO is dictating what the Holy Spirit may or may not do?"
Brick after brick was added to the foundational belief of this being a Latter Day Deception. Still there were those proponents of Brownsville that said you cannot judge because you have not been there. In July I went. Interesting enough the greatest revival known to mankind was closed on Sunday (usually a church's main service) due to RAIN! Thankfully the Baptists down the street were still listening to God's Word.
I did take time to canvas the neighbourhood. This was my observation: Across the street is one of the largest bingo parlours I have seen. Down the road, about two blocks is a girly strip joint and bar. Every other house and business has burglar bars on the windows. I stopped two policemen and asked, "How long have you been on the force?"
"Eighteen years," one replied.
"How is the crime rate, here?" I asked.
"You are safe as long as you are standing here with me. This is crack centre U.S.A. Short of divine intervention, nothing will help it."
Gee, I am thinking ... the neighbourhoods are full of poor desperate government- housing people in drastic need of revival and hope. Yet, God seemed to be held captive within the walls of Brownsville. While this is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Pensacola, the leadership lives in one of the most affluent. What is wrong with this picture? My conviction stands firm. We are in the midst of one of the greatest LATTER DAY DECEPTIONS known to mankind. The Bible tells us that there will be a separating of the chaff and the wheat, a great shaking, a time when if it were possible the very elect will be deceived.
© Copyright Rev Ron Stringfellow, Pastor of Medina Valley Assembly of God, 1997



ENDNOTES:
(1) Anointed To Serve, William Menzies, Ph.D., Gospel Publishing House, 1971.
(2) Cathy Wood, http://victorious.com/revived/
(3) "Ministries Today," Nov/Dec 1996, p27.
(4) Pastor John Kilpatrick, Brownsville Assembly of God, Pensacola, FL. April 6, 1997.
(5) "Let No One Deceive You," Dr Michael Brown.
(6) Brownsville Assembly of God
(7) Rev John Kilpatrick's apology dated 18/6/97
(8) Pensacola Police Dept., office of records.
(9) Rev. John Kilpatrick Leadership Meeting dated Oct. 1996, Kerrville, Texas.
(10) Brownsville tape, "Father's Day '95".


Appeared in Issue CETF 7.1 June 2001
"...contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" -- Jude v3



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