LAUGHING PHENOMENA: Its History & Possible Effects on the Church
PART VI: The End Of The Birth Pangs
By Ed Tarkowski
The birth of a corporate "child" to the world and the Church is being proclaimed by both camps as a time of New Beginnings, the initiation of our Common Future, and the advent of the Church's Manifest Sons and their New Age counterpart, Homo Universalis. In both scenarios, this same "child," not mentioned in Scripture, will bring about the first global civilization. New Age Theosophist Alice Bailey wrote,
"The New Age is upon us, and we are witnessing the birth pangs of the new culture and the new civilization. This is now in progress. That which is old and undesirable must go and of these undesirable things, hatred and the spirit of separation must be the first to go."(1)
Just as John the Revelator was shocked when he saw the scarlet woman on the beast, so today many Christians are shocked that out of this Latter Rain "move of God" has come a Church witnessing the birth pangs described by Alice Bailey rather than those Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:8: "All these are the beginning of birth pangs." The Scriptural birth pangs will progress into the hard labor of "great tribulation" experienced by the Church and Israel, culminating in the glorious return of Jesus Christ with power and great glory. Conversely, the New Age/Latter Rain birth pangs are "witnessed," not "experienced" by these two groups. It is the "undesirable" ones, clearly the biblical Christians with a "spirit of separation," who are slated to experience the pain.
The new revelations are being raised above God's revelation in Scripture, as if we're allowed to accept alternatives. But God's word concerning birthing is either complete or it is not. Scripture says:
Alice Bailey was not the only one to speak of "birth pangs" that will result in the manifestation of a peaceable kingdom. Let's look again at the Church's modern day prophets who promise the birth of a "child" who will establish the kingdom. John Wimber, the founder of Vineyard Churches, commented that we should respond to the spirit of the laughing phenomena just as Mary did when she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit:
"I think that the response of Mary to the visitation of the angel is classic: 'be it done to me according to thy will.' I'm afraid the church today does not pray with that kind of acceptance in mind. I mean Mary was given the most incredible proposition that any human being in all the history of mankind was given: 'the Holy Spirit will come upon you and overshadow you and you will be with child'... acknowledging our sin, we should be saying 'Oh God, we need you. Come any way you want to, even if it puzzles us, even if it confounds us, COME.'"(2)
One can almost feel the travail and desperation in this cry: "Oh God, we need you. Come any way you want to, even if it puzzles us, even if it confounds us, COME.'" But the Holy Spirit doesn't have to COME to the Church in ways that puzzle us, such as causing us to be with child. He already indwells the Church, and Jesus said that indwelling would be forever. Wimber's words are quite a contrast to the proclamation of the Church in vital union and relationship with the Spirit in John's vision: "The Spirit and bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!'" (Rev. 22:17).
Wimber also likens the animal noises heard during the laughing meetings to the birthing process:
"I think we're all delighted with babies but I don't think very many of us want to attend the birthing process. And I believe what we have in the church is a birthing process. I believe the Holy Spirit has chosen to visit and revitalize the church and with it there's all kinds of noises and activities that would be best done behind closed doors [like a birth], but church is an open activity and God has chosen to visit the church. I'm a little puzzled myself by some of the things that God chooses to reveal publicly, aren't you? . . . I don't have any more explanation or idea of what it means than anybody else, but I love the after-effect, just as I love babies but am confused by the birthing process, but I love what happens afterwards."(3)
There is no "birthing process" with manifestations of animal noises in all of Scripture. Furthermore, God doesn't "visit" the Church; He indwells its individual members in a daily, personal relationship. The Christian who has been born again by the Spirit of God is fed by the word and learns daily to walk as Christ did, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. What is happening through the "Toronto Blessing" is not found in Scripture, which is why this process causes confusion and cannot be explained. Jesus said we would know the truth and that the truth would set us free, not leave us puzzled to the point of wrenching His body in two.
In another instance, after Brian Mode had a vision (while roaring like a lion) he announced that God said, "'I'm going to then IMPREGNATE and through the IMPREGNATION will then come NEW BIRTH,' and we're in the romancing and IMPREGNATION stage right now but we've got to pray in and cry out for the harvest."(4)
But Peter wrote to the Church, "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God" (1 Peter 1:23). The god that prophesied through Mode is introducing another "new birth" to those already born again, yet Scripture speaks of no spirit impregnating the Church. This is a deception. In John 3, Jesus said we must be born again. He made no mention of a second "new birth."
Morris Cerullo wrote "God has revealed to me revelations . . . of His Spirit, of His endtime, so sacred . . . . You never heard this word preached anywhere. I will make you pregnant with My reality. . . . The Holy Spirit is the part of God that will manifest the pregnancy in your being."(5) But a basic fact of the Christian faith is that the Holy Spirit is already the reality of God in our being. Where in Scripture does God promise new endtime revelations leading to an impregnation of the Church with God's reality? The Church is forever one with the living God by the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ! We are His family, His body, His temple. Cerullo's words add to God's word concerning the reality of His oneness with us. They are a deception and, if believed and acted upon, open the Christian to reception of another spirit, another message and another Jesus:
3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough (2 Corinthians 11).
In a new revelation similar to Cerullo's, Glen Foster revealed that he and Judson Cornwall had been impregnated by God with "truth that is not now being taught." This is the same deception, although Foster's revelation is more selective. His impregnation was meant for God's "mature, older ministers" who could be trusted "to carry that truth to full gestation and have the patience to raise it up once it is delivered."(6) Again, God's word is silent on any such impregnation being added to Scripture. God does not impregnate His people with "new" truth. He moves in their lives as they fulfill their responsibility of reading His revealed truth on a regular basis.
Wallace Hickey's prophetic word is likewise found nowhere in Scripture. The "Spirit" prophesied through him during a Rodney Howard-Browne service that, "God is new and He's a growing person as anything that is alive. . . . Just let God be God in you as a child, as a child be. God would will that the whole of everyone in eternity would be like He is, never old, ever young, growing, a growing thing."(7) This "prophetic revelation" gives some interesting twists to biblical truth. Rather than Christians growing to maturity in God, God is a growing child in us, "as anything . . . a growing thing." Hickey's words introduce into the Church another god, rather than the unchangeable, all-knowing, omnipresent God of Scripture who is complete in Himself, and makes us complete in Christ at the time of salvation.
As though such a proclamation would legitimize the current laughing phenomena, a prophetic word from Master Potter Ministries introduces another spirit into the Church, the child "Isaac":
"Prophetically, the child Isaac, which means 'Laughter,' is being released in nation after nation as the new wine is being passed."(8) But the truth of Scripture is that when Jesus Christ atoned for sin and was seated at God's right hand, He released the Holy Spirit into the world to glorify Him and draw men to Him through the preaching of the gospel. The Holy Spirit has been here ever since to do that. There is no reason for "Isaac" to be released into the nations to make men drunk with laughter through a new revelation. This prophetic word is a deception and opens the door for another spirit to enter into people's lives (see 2 Corinthians 4 above). The birth of Christ, His finished work, the sending of the Spirit and Christ's coming in judgement to reign on earth is clearly spelled out in Scripture. "Isaac," released as laughter into the nations, is not. It is another deception, a poor imitation of the biblical revelation that Jesus Christ is "Emmanuel, God with us."
The End-time Handmaidens prophesied that "God is sending a revival of joy to awaken and renew the Church so that she can bring forth the 'man-child' of joy, even the army of overcomers who will go forth in the likeness and image of the Lord in these last days."(9) This is also a deception. There is no scriptural basis in the Old or New Testament for an endtime army of God as proposed by the Latter Rain doctrine. Rather, the celestial signs of Joel 2:10-11 place the Lord's army with Him at the time of His personal, visible return in the sky. These verses find their New Testament prophetic counterpart in Matthew 24:19-30, Revelation 6:12-17, and 19:11-16, especially v. 14.
Another influential teacher, Francis Frangipane of River of Life Ministries, teaches that Christ must incarnate into the Church as a corporate entity. Likening the Church to the virgin Mary, he speaks of it as being pregnant and ready to birth a corporate child that will manifest on earth the maturity of the Head in heaven. Frangipane writes:
"Secure this thought in your mind: when the Spirit of Christ comes into the physical world, He must enter through a physical body . . . When Christ first entered our world as a child, it was Mary whom God chose to give Christ birth. Mary's life symbolized the qualities the Church must possess to walk in the fullness of Christ . . . [God is preparing us] as He did Mary to give birth to the ministry of His Son. Even now, in the spiritual womb of the virgin Church, the holy purpose of Christ is growing, awaiting maturity; ready to be born in power in the timing of God . . . the virgin Church is 'in labour and in pain to give birth' (Rev 12:1-2) . . . even now, hell trembles and the heavens watch in awe, for I say to you, once again, the virgin is with child. Before Jesus Himself returns, the last virgin Church shall become pregnant with the promise of God. Out of her travail, the Body of Christ shall come forth, raised to the full stature of its Head, the Lord Jesus. Corporately manifested in holiness, power and love, the Bride of Christ shall arise."(10)
Ignoring the traditional interpretation of the woman in Revelation 12:1-5 (Israel giving birth to Christ), Frangipane moves Israel aside to bring in his new revelation: the woman is the virgin Church about to give birth to the manchild, the corporate man of Joel's Army. Surprisingly, Pope John Paul II might even agree with Fragipane:
"Mary . . . should inspire all who cooperate in the Church's apostolic mission for the rebirth of humanity. . . The Church journeys through time . . . along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary."(11)
Recently, the pope expanded on this theme:
"Since the publication of the very first document of my pontificate I have spoken explicitly of the Great Jubilee, suggesting that the time leading up to it be lived as "a new Advent." . . . The purpose is to emphasize what the Spirit is suggesting to the different communities, from the smallest ones, such as the family, to the largest ones, such as nations and international organizations, taking into account cultures, societies and sound traditions. Despite appearances, humanity continues to await the revelation of the children of God and lives by this hope, like a mother in labor, to use the image employed so powerfully by St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans (cf. 8:19-22)."(12)
Other Christians are convinced that the time of travail for the birth of this child is over, that it is now time to birth the baby:
* ESTHER INILSKI (Overseer for global intercession) - Reporter Chris Mitchell, CBN: "Esther Inilski oversees a prayer network for global intercession. She says many intercessors describe the times we're in like a spiritual pregnancy."
Esther Inilski: "We talk about revival and birthing, using that term as well. And, yes, this baby's been in the womb a long, long time and we're saying we've got to get this baby birthed. And we believe, yes, that God's time has arrived."(13)
* WES CAMPBELL (Vineyard Pastor) praying for a participant at a recent meeting - "Yes . . . amen . . . yes Lord, ooohh . . . yes, the Holy glory is on you Matthew, the Holy glory . . . That's right! That's right!, and Father we pray that you'd put an anointing of a preacher on Matthew, an anointing of fire, let the coals come from the altar of the Lord, Matthew, and touch your lips, and Lord I pray for faith and ignition, let fire come out of his stomach Lord, let the fire of God come on his back. And Lord I pray that Matthew would stand up in faith, that's true faith, Matthew, believe it! IT'S THE TIME TO BIRTH THE BABY. It's the time for the outpouring of the Spirit. Believe it! Lord I pray for faith that when Matthew says, 'This is the time!' It's not 'I hope it's the time,' . . . 'it might be the time.' THIS IS THE TIME! . . ."(14)
Old Testament Scripture foretold the birth of Christ, His earthly ministry, His death and resurrection, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and His return to rule the nations. And when Jesus did come the first time, Israel knew the time was near according to the Scriptures.
We, the modern Church, have entered into the blessings promised in the Old Testament, and we, too, possess the Scriptures. Since the time of the early Church, interpretation of those Scriptures concerning the time between Jesus' two comings favored an age of proclaiming the gospel of salvation, eventually reaching the time of Jacob's Trouble in Israel. This period of time, called the Great Tribulation, would be followed by Jesus' personal, visible return to glorify the Church and judge and rule the world. The Bible's prophecies of the tribulation period and the rise of a personal antichrist, persecuting the Church and Israel while ruling a united world, gave us a pretty good picture of what to expect.
We should be asking questions: How does Wes Campbell or anybody else involved in the laughing movement know that "it's the time to birth the baby"? Where does the Old Testament promise such a powerful, global move of God that affects the nations with such diverse manifestations? And where in the New Testament is this mentioned among prophecies yet to be fulfilled, including the persecution of the Jews, the entrance into the temple by antichrist, the battle of Armageddon and the return of Christ in the midst of great tribulation?
Where does Scripture foretell the birthing of a baby that brings laughter to the nations through the corporate Church? Why didn't God tell Paul or Peter or James or John to write an epistle on this move that would so redefine the Church in the last days? For that matter, how can the Church even be redefined when Jesus Christ is its life? Why wasn't Tabernacles mentioned as the Feast through which a harvest of revival would come, along with the manifestation of the Sons of God, the cleansing of the earth and the establishment of the Kingdom before Christ's return? And why wasn't Jesus revealed to John as "the Beginning, the New Beginning and the End"? There is so much that is clearcut in Scripture, yet none of these things are mentioned. Why?
There is no biblical support for the impregnation and birth of a corporate child incarnating Christ. But such a thing can be found in the New Age belief that mankind will realize its godhood as one body. Simply reading the following should make this obvious:
* PIERRE TIELHARD DE CHARDIN (Jesuit) - "Sooner or later souls will end by giving themselves to the religion which activates them most as human beings."(15)
"After what will soon be 2,000 years, Christ must be born again, he must be reincarnated in a world that has become too different from that in which he lived."(16)
* TOM SINE (Futurist) - "Giving birth! What imagery could remind us more compellingly of the agony of our journey or unleash such a wild hope within us for our common future? As we have anticipated the avalanche of change rushing toward us, it would be easy to focus on the pain, trauma, and ordeal of the birth process and never look forward to the birth of the new.
"But where can we turn to find hope for the future? Where can we find any hint, any assurance, that something new is being born? Where can we find a confident hope that helps us not only to make it through troubled times, but also to engage the emerging challenges of a new century creatively?"(17)
* M. SCOTT PECK (New Age Christian) - "When I think of all that is required to bring an end to the arms race - not only the changes in individual styles and attitudes, but . . . the willingness of the nation to relinquish its external sovereignty to a supra-national agency - it seems to me that a virtual Second Coming is required. In fact, that is what it's all about. With all due respect to the traditional millennialists, I think what is meant by the Second Coming is not the bodily return of that one solitary man, but the coming of the mystical body of His True Church; the coming of the spirit of Christ to everyone, sweeping through the nations, sweeping through the world. Father, make us like Mary . . . to give birth to Your Son; to give Him to everyone. This is the time of the Second Coming. Whether we like it or not. There's no alternative except self-annihilation. . . . It is the time of the Second Coming. 'Here and now we're chosen to be, to reveal His grace that all then may see.' It's either give birth to Jesus or else. The time when we must choose is upon us. Father, make us like Mary."(18)
* MATTHEW FOX (Dominican, Director of the Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality) - "Indeed, the birthing of the Cosmic Christ is the purpose of the incarnation. . . . Divinity wants to birth the Cosmic Christ in each and every individual."(19)
* BARBARA MARX HUBBARD (Futurist, a founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution) - "'Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed.' Omega! The planetary birth is a real event in cosmic time. . . . that is really happening to us now!"(20)
Barbara Marx Hubbard draws on the Book of Revelation as a base for her New Age prophecies. The Latter Rain has interpreted the word of God according to New Age principles. The two will mesh; they are already compatible. Both look to Abraham and Sarah's child. Both have usurped the place of Israel. Both speak of the birthing of a corporate body of people who, having realized Christification, will cleanse the earth of evil and establish a kingdom of peace. Both are declaring a celebration of joy in which the corporate child will come forth. Hopefully, before the final merging of the two, the Church will realize we have lost the simplicity of a Lamb slain for sin. Hopefully, we will return to the proclamation of that Lamb's resurrection, because He is going to return in judgement.
The various strands of the Latter Rain/New Age scenario for the end of this age have been woven together into an intricate banner announcing the celebration of Tabernacles and Jubilee. But another thread now being added to the design spells out a place name, the city in which the banner must be planted - Jerusalem. One of the gatherings being planned for the Holy City is JERUSALEM CELEBRATION 2000, to be held February 7-11, 1996. Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho, one of the Celebration's promoters, recently announced that many thousands of delegates would come to Jerusalem "from all over the world." Robert Schuller, scheduled to pray for the nations during the celebration, said, "Jerusalem Celebration 2000 may go down in the history of Christendom as the most exciting celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!" According to the promotional material, a host of other speakers will include Jack Hayford (Church on the Way), C. Peter Wagner (co-ordinator of the AD2000 United Prayer Track) and Tom Pelton, who is "founder and president of March for Jesus USA and is the March for Jesus Coordinator for the Americas with responsibility for the entire Western Hemisphere.(21) These last three men are closely knit with Jay Gary through AD2000 programs.
Sounding much like Pope John Paul II and Jay Gary in his vision for a soon-coming spiritually-united kingdom, Dr. Cho said,
"I pray that this spectacular event will bring a renewed love and unity among the peoples of the world."(22)
So Christians are going to Jerusalem to begin celebrating Jesus' 2000th birthday, just as Jay Gary has proposed. Others will travel to the Holy City to celebrate Tabernacles which, according to Gary, will be "raised to a higher power" in the Year of Jubilee. And the pope is headed for Jerusalem in an all-out effort to bring the corporate Church into full communion for Jubilee. The interweaving of these three themes in Jerusalem will center on Jubilee as a celebration of the birth of Christ. Two questions must be asked: Is the manifestation of the Sons of God through Tabernacles being timed to come during Jubilee? And will the city of Jerusalem be prematurely exalted as the dwelling of God? Of this we can be sure: the two events are being tied together. Leaning on Catholic rather Jewish tradition, Jay Gary describes how Jubilee has already been linked to the birth of Christ:
"A tradition developed that the Jubilee year began on Christmas Eve with the opening of a sealed golden door in St. Peter's Basilica. It affirmed that as the pope struck the holy door with a golden hammer, living streams of grace and pardon from Christ, the rock, were released. The inheritance of the fathers was restored to the sons. . . .
"Like the biblical Jubilee year, the coming bimillennial should be a time of reconciliation and celebration before God. This ordinary year, A.D, 2000, needs to be celebrated in an extraordinary way, particularly in light of Jesus' 2,000th birthday."(23)
This linkage was furthered in the papal statement on Jubilee issued last November 10th, in which the pope suggested that "the time leading up to the [Year of Jubilee] be lived as 'a new Advent.'" He wrote,
"The first phase . . . is meant to revive in the Christian people an awareness of the value and meaning of the Jubilee of the Year 2000 in human history. As a commemoration of the birth of Christ, the jubilee is deeply charged with Christological significance. . ."(24)
"A jubilee is always an occasion of special grace, 'a day blessed by the Lord.' As has already been noted, it is thus a time of joy. The Jubilee of the Year 2000 is meant to be a great prayer of praise and thanksgiving, especially for the gift of the incarnation of the Son of God and of the redemption which he accomplished."(25)
WE MUST REALIZE WHAT IS HAPPENING: JUBILEE = PLANETARY PENTECOST
Do we realize what is happening? We've already said that every Christian in every denomination is being pointed towards Jubilee. In a nutshell, this is how it's being done:
The other part is that the same stage is being prepared for the New World Religion which New Ager Earnest Ramsey equated with Latter Rain. As you recall, Ramsey was excited that the Age of Aquarius, with its global unity of peoples and religions and its redistribution of the world's wealth, was paralleled by Latter Rain's Feast of Tabernacles and Year of Jubilee. Furthermore, Barbara Marx Hubbard's Christ, who will instantaneously manifest in prepared New Agers as one new man, or Homo Universalis, is slated to appear during a time of global unity within a celebration of joy.
We ask again: Do we realize what is happening? The celebration of Jubilee, which doesn't belong to the Church or the New Age or even under the headship of Rome, is setting up the perfect conditions for the simultaneous manifestations of the Latter Rain's Sons of God and the New Age's Homo Universalis. How can this be? BECAUSE THE LATTER RAIN FEAST OF TABERNACLES WAS DRAWN FROM THE SAME DOCTRINE AS THE NEW AGE PLANETARY PENTECOST. In reality, it is the same celebration viewed from two perspectives - New Age or celebrating Christian. Hubbard describes the New Age side of this manifestation, and its effect on the whole world:
"An uncontrollable joy will ripple through the thinking layer of Earth. The co-creative systems, which are lying psychologically dormant in humanity, will be activated. From within, all sensitive persons will feel the joy of the force, flooding their systems with love and attraction, It will be as irresistible as sex.. . .
"As this joy flashes through the nervous systems of the most sensitive peoples on Earth, it will create a psycho-magnetic field of empathy, which will align the next wave of people in synchrony, everywhere on Earth. This massive, sudden empathetic alignment will cause a shift in the consciousness of Earth."(26)
"The great Instant of Co-operation. . . . will come to the peoples of Earth together in one instant of time. . . . ". . . . It means all of you co-experiencing the same force at the same time and acting together in accord with the idea that you have from within.
"It means transcending the experience of self-consciousness. The walls will come down everywhere on Earth. You will fall irresistibly in love with yourselves as one body born into the universe seeking greater awareness of your Creator."(27)
From the celebrating Christian perspective, Alan Vincent said God told him He was moving the Church into Tabernacles, and it would be God's laughter which would shake the whole world:
"But I tell you what God said to me was, He said, 'Alan, I am moving the Church from the Day of Atonement to Tabernacles. I'm, frankly, just beginning to laugh.' . . . . As if the devil could stop him fulfilling His covenant to Abraham. As if the devil could even stop Him from using the Church. He said, 'The whole idea makes me laugh.' He said, 'I'm starting to use my body to laugh,' 'cause, He said, 'The Day of Atonement is over and Tabernacles is coming, and I'm getting ready to laugh and I'm getting ready to roar, and I tell you this whole world is going to feel the shaking of that laughter and the power of that roar.'"(28)
Others who say that the whole world will be affected through the celebration of Tabernacles include Robin McMillan and Steve Thompson:
"There is another realm of spiritual experience typified in scripture by the Feast of Tabernacles. Until we understand and partake of this feast, as we have both Passover and Pentecost, we will never fulfill our destiny and calling. We must discover the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles and 'celebrate' it along with Passover and Pentecost. . . .
"What God did among Jews in Jerusalem, He is going to do among humanity and worldwide. Pentecost will come to maturity in the Feast of Tabernacles."(29)
Barbara Marx Hubbard's Great Instant of Co-operation, which "will come to the peoples of Earth together" and cause walls "to come down everywhere on Earth" is also echoed in Jay Gary's comment on Jubilee's impact on the world:
"[Israel's] 50th year was the Jubilee - or the culmination of joy. The entire year was consecrated to making right whatever had gone wrong. I am convinced that the year 2000 can truly be a Jubilee year for the entire human family."(30)
Hubbard believes the culmination of joy has already begun:
"Omega! The planetary birth is a real event in cosmic time. . . . that is really happening to us now!"(31)
We couldn't agree more; it is happening now, and we're rapidly approaching the moment when "the Christ" will appear:
"The Instant of Co-operation begins, empathy floods the feelings of the whole body of Earth, separateness is overcome, and I appear to all of you at once. I appear to you from within as a voice, and as a vision of yourself as an evolving being. I appear to you from beyond as the light being that I now am. . . .
"The promise I made is of a personal future in a transformed body. This means that you will also have what I have now. I am real. I am tangible. I am alive. I can speak to each of you through your inner ear if you listen. I can appear to each of you through your inner eye if you look.
"At the moment of cosmic contact, I will appear to you both through inner experience and through external communication on your mass media - the nervous system of the world.
"You will all feel, hear and see my presence at one instant in time, each in your own way."(32)
Hopefully, before the Church is carried farther down the slippery Latter Rain path to Jubilee, we will see the truth in Tricia Tillin's words:
"Very little is being said about the doctrine, origins, purpose and goal of the 'new move.' It is my belief that most churches and leaders do not know those things. . . .
"Few people involved in the current events know the origins of the phrases they are using (like Second Pentecost, or Latter Rain); few leaders understand where the concepts they have been taught in conferences, fraternals and elders' meetings have been coming from! Many have never even heard of the Latter Rain, and would deny having anything to do with such doctrine. Yet still they accept the beliefs with which they have been subtly indoctrinated over a period of decades! Ignorance is no excuse, for the teachings are plainly contrary to the Word of God. Leaders, as well as individual Christians, have a responsibility to test supposed new revelations, not to accept and promote them just because they are popular."(33)
We would do well to ponder Paul's revelation of the Church as the Bride of Christ:
2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealously. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him (2 Corinthians 11).
Suffice it to say that a pure virgin is not impregnated with anything, and more pointedly, by the unblemished Bridegroom before the vows of marriage have been taken. But some say the Bride is pregnant and in labor and on her way to the celebration of a birth. The cruel twist is that the child brought forth in joy and celebration will be the Bride herself, in a birth Hubbard says is "comparable with the birth of Christ":
"The early Christians had a story to tell: a child was born . . . . Everyone could understand this story, from kings to peasants. Unexpectedly a new question burst forth in my mind. I spoke it out loud. Lifting my voice to the ice-white sky, I demanded to know:
"'What is our story? What in our age is comparable with the birth of Christ?'
"I knew it must be one story for all of humankind, for we are all members of one planetary body. . . .
"Then I heard the inner words clearly [from tne Christ]:
"'Our story is a birth. It is the birth of humankind as one body. . . . We are one body, born into this universe. GO TELL THE STORY OF OUR BIRTH . . .'"(34)
And now we, too, know . . . the rest of the story.
[See Sidebar After The Following Footnotes]
(1) Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 62.
(2) Holy Trinity Brompton's parish paper, HTB In Focus, October 9, 1994.
(4) Testimony of Byron Mode of Dallas, Toronto pastor's meeting, October 12, 1994.
(5) Morris Cerullo, London School of Ministry, promotional material, 1994.
(6) Pat Robertson interview with Judson Cornwall, 700 Club, Family Channel, June 9, 1994.
(7) Wallace Hickey, prophecy delivered at Rodney Howard-Browne service, video aired on TBN, May 1994.
(8) Master Potter Ministries, Passion & Fire Conferences, 1994 promotional material.
(9) Discernment newsletter, Jewel van der Merwe, Latter Rain and the Rise of Joel's Army, p. 5 citing End-Time Handmaidens, Angel Letter #2, Sept/Oct 1994.
(10) In The Presence Of God, 1994, pp. 153-157.
(11) Redemptoris Missio, pp. 86, 92.
(12) "The Coming of the Third Millennium: Preparation for the Jubilee of the Year 2000, Article 23, Trinity Communications 1994, provided courtesy of The Catholic Resource Network.
(13) 700 Club Report on praying through the 10/40 Window Project and the AD 2000 Prayer Track, January 1995.
(14) Seattle Fire & Reign Conference, February 14, 1995.
(15) Christianity and Evolution, p. 95.
(16) Ibid., p. 228.
(17) Wild Hope: Crisis Facing The Human Community On The Threshold Of The 21st Century, p. 228.
(18) What Return Can I Make?, p. 152.
(19) The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, p. 122.
(20) The Revelation: Our Crisis Is A Birth, p. 40; emphasis removed.
(21) From a brochure distributed by: Global Travel Network, P.O. Box 4503, Burlingame, CA 94011-4503.
(23) Gary, The Star of 2000, p. 79, 85.
(24) Pope John Paul II, Jubilee, Article 31.
(25) Pope Johm Paul II, Jubilee, Article 32.
(26) Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: Our Crisis Is A Birth, The Christ's comments on Rev. 20:1-3, p. 234-235.
(27) Ibid., p. 235.
(28) Cassette tape of Alan Vincent service, 1994. Location unknown.
(29) Robin McMillan and Steve Thompson, Teaching: "Beyond Pentecost," The Morning Star Journal, Vol. 4 No. 3, 1994, pp. 43-44, 48; italics deleted.
(30) Jay Gary, founder of B.E.G.I.N., "Get Ready To Celebrate The Year 2000," AD 2000 Global Service Office, 1993, promotion material.
(31) The Revelation: Our Crisis Is A Birth, p. 40; emphasis removed.
(32) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on Rev. 20:1-3, pp. 236-237).
(33) Tricia Tillin, private research paper.
(34) Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 37, 39 (italics, bold print removed).
THE NEW AGE AGENDA: A PLANETARY PENTECOST
by Ed Tarkowski
We've seen that there is strong international leadership with enough influence to unite the global Church and turn it toward a worldwide celebration of Jubilee in the year 2000. The stepping stone to that Jubilee is, at least in part, Tabernacles.
We've also noted that New Ager Earnest Ramsey, as well as Christian writer Constance Cumbey, found that the Christian celebration of Tabernacles and Jubilee had a counterpart in the Age of Aquarius. These, in turn, are no different than Barbara Marx Hubbard's Planetary Pentecost, which also unites humanity in a celebration of joy and establishes a reign of peace on the earth. As in the Latter Rain teaching, Hubbard says the first step on the way to this Pentecost is a coming out of "Egypt," a Passover, "just as Moses lead the Jews out of the land of Egypt."(1) After this, says Hubbard's Christ, will come the Planetary Pentecost:
"Do this [Planetary Birth Communion] in preparation for the Planetary Birth which will be induced through this experience given to new disciples of Christ who choose to work together for the Planetary Pentecost, when the Spirit of God is poured out upon all people. This is the purpose of your mission on Earth. All your projects will be reoriented, aligned and empowered as you accept this purpose and put it first. . . . finally."(2)
As with the Toronto Blessing, a call to unity is going out to all the nations through Hubbard's New Age agenda:
"The more quickly you can get the word to all nations - to the ears of the attracted members of the social body - that they are about to be united by the same call, the better it will be.
"Timing is of the essence. Your task, dearly beloved, is to spread the word and provide a channel for those who wish to act."(3)
The result of this unity will be a planetary celebration of uncontrollable joy, comparable to the Latter Rain's Tabernacles raised to a higher power by Jubilee:
". . . . The planetary celebration will begin for the birth of humankind in the universe, a blessed Cosmic Child eagerly awaited by the evolved beings through the universe without end. Hallelujah. Amen."(4)
"An uncontrollable joy [Planetary Smile] will ripple through the thinking layer of Earth. The co-creative systems, which are lying psychologically dormant in humanity will be activated. From within, all sensitive persons will feel the joy of the force, flooding their systems with love and attraction. . . ."(5)
The end result of both Hubbard's Planetary Pentecost and the Tabernacles/Jubilee celebrations will be the birth of a corporate body filled with one spirit of joy and celebration. Here is Hubbard's description of that birth:
"It was a planetary smile - like the smile of a new born baby. . . . Now for the first time, we were seeing it together. Ecstatic joy rippled through the planetary body - and through me as one of its billions of members. . . .
"I saw it was true. We are being born. . . . We are going to be one body, whether we like ourselves or not." (6)
Hubbard likens this birth to the birth of Christ because just as Christ was manifested in one human body, the corporate Christ will manifest in one united global body. Once again, her description is no different from the Latter Rain's, which states that a united body of Christ is necessary to incarnate and manifest Christ. Of this corporate birth, Hubbard says,
"All is silent to see if a second miracle can occur comparable to the birth of Christ.
"That miracle is the gentle Second Coming of Christ through the rapid evolution of enough humans linked up by the planetary nervous system, so that the social body will flood with empathy, healings will abound, and the world will smile with joy. The people will know they are whole, they are good, they are capable, they are loved, they are needed."(7)
What does all of this mean? It means that mankind is in a transitional period which will result in the birth of the first global civilization. In the declaration of the upcoming State of the World Forum, former Czechoslovakian president Vaclav Havel also describes this transition as a birth:
"There are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended. Many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble."(8)
"The State of the World Forum will focus on the fundamental challenges and opportunities confronting humanity as we enter the next century and a new millennium. It is being held in the belief that at this momentous juncture in history, we are giving birth to the first global civilization."(9)
The end result of this transition is described by Ex-Secretary General of the United Nations, Robert Muller:
"Let us all coalesce with all our strength, mind, heart and soul around a New Genesis, a true global, God-abiding, political, moral and spiritual renaissance to make this planet at long last what it was always meant to be: the Planet of God."(10)
What is disturbing is that the established goal of New Ager Robert Muller is no different than Jay Gary's exhortation to the Church to "herald the coming renaissance":
"For a movement to be successful and to effect some great and important improvement in human affairs, economist Martin Dent of the University of Keele feels that [it] must have three characteristics. It must build up leadership as it progresses. It must be bold and inspire the imagination. It must have a single great idea that can be easily grasped and simply shared.
"So it is with the coming Bimillennial Era. If it is to have any hope of more than a passing success, it must give birth to the "Spirit of 2000."
"On the eve of this decade, I believe Providence has given us a visual illustration of what this spirit is about through the revolutions in Eastern Europe. There we saw the triumph of the human spirit in the face of tremendous odds.
"We must recover the simple idea that the spark of eternity has been placed within each human being. We must fan this flame, this tiny spark within every person - and insure that no government, no group, or no authority is allowed to smother or snuff out this sacred flame.
"Where can you share the "Spirit of 2000"? Each of us have circles of influence and networks we can touch - our local parish, a rotary club, or a professional network.
"As early citizens of the 21st Century, we have a sacred duty to carry this torch across the length and breadth of the planet. Let's blow the jubilee trumpet and herald this coming renaissance among government, education, arts, media, business, and religion."(11)
Why are Muller and Gary calling for a spiritual renaissance? New Age Theosophist Alice Bailey explains it well:
"What the orthodox theologian and the narrow doctrinaire have to offer no longer satisfies the intelligent seeker or suffices to answer his questions; he is shifting his allegiances into wider and more spiritual areas. He is moving out from under doctrinal authority and to direct personal, spiritual experience and coming under the direct authority which contact with Christ and His disciples, the masters, gives."(12)
According to Barbara Marx Hubbard's Christ, "the attracted members of the social body" will "be united by the same call." It seems that some in the Church are now answering that call.
(1) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on Rev. 1:1-3, p. 85.
(2) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on The Planetary Birth Communion, p. 311.
(3) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on Revelation 5:4-5, p. 122.
(4) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on Rev. 20:1-3, p. 237.
(5) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on Rev. 20:1-3, p. 234).
(6) The Revelation, The Planetary Smile, p. 39.
(7) The Revelation, The Christ's comments on 1 Cor. 15:45, p. 165.
(8) Vaclav Havel, Opening statement, Executive Summary, State Of The World Forum to be convened by Michail Gorbachev, Sept. 27 to Oct. 1, 1995 in San Francisco.
(9) Executive Summary, State Of The World Forum: Mission.
(10) Robert Muller, Ex-Secretary General of the United Nations; University of Peace, Costa Rica; New Genesis: Shaping A Global Spirituality, opposite copyright page.
(11) Jay Gary, Get Ready To Celebrate the Year 2000, B.E.G.I.N., Global Service Office, 1993.
(12) Alice A. Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy, p. 417.