The Latter Rain Doctrine
Compiled By Ed Tarkowski

The distinctive teachings of the Latter Rain that have so penetrated the Charismatic Renewal, Pentecostalism, and the Restoration Movement. Supposed Scriptural basis: Joel 2:23; Hosea 6:3; James 5:7:

REPLACEMENT - the Church replaces Israel. For instance, Latter Rain sees the dead dry bones of Ezekiel 37 as the Church, the New Israel, who will live because God is putting His Spirit into them. Consequently, Israel no longer has a major role to play in the endtime scenario.

FORMER RAIN - Latter Rain doctrine: teaches that the NT Pentecost was the "former rain," leaving the "latter rain" yet to come.

LATTER RAIN - Latter Rain doctrine: since Pentecost is considered the "former rain," it is only fulfilled in the Church's later celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, which replaces Pentecost as the "latter rain" of Joel 2:23.

TABERNACLES - the celebration of this feast, says Latter Rain, fulfills these phases: unity, the "latter rain" revival, harvest, defeat of the Church's adversaries, establishment of the Kingdom. Tabernacles is understood spiritually as the Harvest Festival of joy and gladness; thus it is likened to the current laughing phenomena.

Also considered to be the invisible and spiritual coming of Christ to indwell His corporate body, as opposed to Pentecost, when he indwelt individuals. This coming of Christ to indwell His corporate body is now being expressed through "new truths": God is impregnating His Church to "raise up" Joel's Army, and thus the means to bring in the Kingdom of God.

RESTORATION - Latter Rain bases its concept of restoration on Acts 3:21: Jesus can't return until all things are restored. The primary need is restoration of the 5-fold ministry (Eph. 4:11-12), especially the offices of Apostles and Prophets. These would bring about the perfection of the saints.

REVELATIONS - the new, progressive revelations of the Latter Rain Apostles and Prophets by which the saints will reach a state of sinless perfection. The Scriptures are allegorized or spiritualized. Church direction is also delivered through these "new, sacred truths."

IMMORTALITY - Latter Rain teaches that as the saints reach a state of sinless perfection, death is overcome. These are the Manifest Sons (Romans 8:19), who attain immortality by incarnating Christ before Christ returns. Signs and wonders will be wrought by the Manifest Sons of God, leading to a glorious worldwide endtime harvest.

UNIFICATION - corporately, the Manifest Sons of God are known as Joel's Army. The Church's unity on a global basis is absolutely essential to Latter Rain doctrine, because Christ cannot incarnate in a divided body.

ESCHATOLOGY - in Latter Rain doctrine, Jesus cannot physically return until the Church has torn down, and taken the place of, demonic powers in the heavenlies. The warfare is territorial in nature. Having overcome death, the members of Joel's Army will then reign until all God's enemies, including the last enemy of death, are destroyed and the earth is made a footstool for His feet. The Tribulation is replaced by a period during which the Manifest Sons execute God's judgment and cleanse the earth of evil in order to establish the Kingdom of God. Latter Rain discounts the classic understanding of the Second Coming, the Millennium, and the Premillennial Rapture doctrines.

RELIGIOSITY - the religious "Old Generation," the denominational Christians who reject the new teachings by holding to the "old way," will not enter in to "possess the land" nor achieve "fullness." According to Latter Rain, these will be destroyed during the "Tribulation," while Joel's Army reigns from the heavenlies. As the ongoing incarnation of Christ, the Manifest Sons will have the power to judge God's enemies and cleanse His Church by destroying all who refuse to "repent".

EVOLUTION - the Latter Rain doctrine presupposes that the Church must progress in maturity to reach a point where Christ can incarnate His body in order to establish His Kingdom on earth before His physical return. But Scripture says Christians "have come to fullness of life in Him," which means that we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). We need only to learn to walk in our new life.

In his book, "Weighed and Found Wanting . . . Putting the Toronto Blessing in Context," Bill Randles writes on pages 58-59:

"An interesting example of the evolutionary model of the church is a little book written in 1951 by George Warnock called 'The Feast of Tabernacles.' This book is a virtual primer of Latter Rain, Manifested Sons of God teaching, . . . a pattern for the progress of the church through time. Starting at Passover, which is Calvary, the church has been passing through the different feasts, over the years, to Pentecost. Warnock writes that we, the church, still have got to go through the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Trumpets, and come into the Feast of Tabernacles, which to him represents God's consummate purposes for us, the Last Days Church. When we come into Tabernacles, which was a tremendous time of celebration for Israel, God will finally dwell within His people."


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