111. Beware the 'Manchild' Manifest Sons of God and Latter Rain heretical movement
Francis Frangipane is the originator of the 'demonising' claptrap read by Sue Wheelhouse, and a brief survey of some of his writing should suffice to reveal the nature of his ministry. He is a participator in the 'Manchild doctrine' derived from a far-fetched interpretation of Revelation 12:5. The 'Kingdom Now' theology which has been spread via some of the worship music of Graham Kendrick and the Ichthus fellowship is a regurgitated form of the old 'Manchild' Manifest Sons of God heresy associated with Rousas J. Rushdooney, which pentecostalism almost unanimously rejected a generation ago. Rushdoony was a Reformed Calvinist, who believed the elect's task was to take dominion over every part of the social structure of the earth by applying biblical law to it. Sadly, every attempt in history to bring this about has resulted in disaster for the church and the nations promulgating it, whether it be under Calvin or Zwingli! 'Manchild' Manifest Sons of God came out of the Latter Rain heretical movement in the early 1950's under the headship of John Robert Stevens. Under the usual guise of receiving 'new' revelation from God, the Manifest Sons of God claimed that their group was the only source of salvation (an obvious sign of error!) and that they were the only body of believers that God was restoring to the New Testament structure. Their rigid authoritarian structures called for members to yield mindless allegiance to the leader(s) teaching and the fundamentalist Manifest Sons considered themselves to be 'little Christs' continuing the incarnation on earth (cf. Morris Cerullo's claims:
"When you look at me, you are not looking at Morris Cerullo, you are looking at Jesus Christ.").
This 'Manchild' is claimed to be a last days group of dedicated believers who will be figuratively "caught up unto God, and to his throne" to displace the demonic hierarchies there through spiritual warfare (v7), thus binding the Devil who is holding back the last great outpouring. Led by the restored apostles and prophets, they will 'feed and care for' the woman, interpreted as the Church world at large, who will be 'out in the wilderness' undergoing purging by the Lord and persecution by the world. Movements like 'The Toronto Deception' are trying to precipitate this event by moving into this 'birthing' of the Manchild stage. This 'knight jump eisegesis' (reading something into the Scriptures you want to use, to obtain the teaching you wish to promulgate, with scant regard for the normal rules of hermeneutics and exegesis) is exemplified by the work of Francis Frangipane who claims that the Church is to be viewed as a kind of virgin Mary who must give birth to Jesus 'the indwelling spirit':
"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 the power and timing of God. The virgin church is in labor and in pain to give birth (Rev. 12:5) 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." (Francis Frangipane, In The Presence Of God, New Wine Press 1994, pp. 153-157).
Here Frangipane presents his view that the 'Manchild' is the "Body of Christ", as opposed to the larger "Church" who somehow suddenly loses her virginity and has to be purged out in the wilderness (Revelation 12:6). He claims - using Scriptures about the transfiguration of Jesus, the Resurrection, and the covering of the glory - that these transformed believers will be irresistible, immune to harm, invincible, and even (some of the purveyor's teach) immortal. Once a person accepts the revised doctrine of the "transfiguration" on earth instead of the Rapture, and ceases to believe that the Church is taken "to be with the Lord", then a whole new revelation opens before him. Frangipane says in his article "Greater Purity, Greater Protection":
"The transformation of our souls positions us outside of the devil's reach. It raises us up spiritually to seat us in heavenly places".
Writing in River of Life ministry newsletter about Signs and Wonders (August 1995) Frangipane says:
"the most awesome unfolding of glory yet awaits the church...the name and the word are preparing the church to reveal the glory of Jesus (John 17:22).
and he then he quotes another verse (John 14:23):
" - my father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him". I am just completing a book entitled 'The Days of His Presence' which chronicles what I believe will be the greatest manifestation of all, the unveiling of Christ, the Word THROUGH HIS PEOPLE.
In the advert for this book by Frangipane, we read:
"Prior to Jesus Christ's physical return, his living presence will companion the Church in ever-increasing power. During this time, the visible glory of the Lord will rise and appear upon God's people. This unique event will be known as the Days of His Presence."
How do Frangipane and company arrive at this doctrine? Where in Scripture do we learn that Jesus will return as a Spirit? When he returned to heaven, he was a resurrected man of flesh and bones and He allowed Thomas (John 20:27-28) to prove that it was the same body. He sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven in His glorified resurrection body (1 Corinthians 15:42). The Lord Jesus Christ and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who believed in him (the true meaning of John 14:23) so He did come and make His abode in them that loved Him. But in what manner is Frangipane saying that Christ Jesus is to 'return spiritually', as 'a glory', or as 'a power'?. This clearly informs us that the Frangipane's 'Latter Rain' doctrine of the 'spiritual return of Jesus', the 'glory cloud that transforms the church', is a return to the old Gnostic belief that Christ is 'a Spirit', an 'anointing', and that He did not have a body of flesh, but was 'a Spirit' - another heresy they share with the Jehovah's Witnesses! All they need to add to compound their error is a date - since the Witnesses have taken 1874, 1914, and 1916 etc., as their 'best guesses', perhaps they had better be more contemporary!
This is why we have the cry of "Come Holy Spirit" from Toronto/Pensacola/Brownsville et al, instead of "Come Lord Jesus". Some believe the two are synonymous because of confused views of the Trinity and insist that they can manipulate this 'Spirit' - even bringing 'it' (not the He of orthodoxy) back from Toronto, or wherever, in a balloon! Those who invoke an un-Scriptural spirit are inviting God to send an evil spirit as he sent one to Saul for his disobedience to His Word (1 Samuel 16, 18, 19) and they are now operating under 'another spirit', or 'power', but not of 'the same kind' as the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit (John 14:16)!
112. Beware the elitism of Gnostic belief
While all the world outside of the 'Glorious Manchild' is doomed to wrath, they themselves are supposedly enjoying an earthly walk in spiritual bodies immune to sin, sickness or even death. The devil cannot touch them so we can expect these 'giants' of the faith to be living really saintly lives far above the feeble efforts of the rest of us! Latter-Rain teachers have long used Revelation 12, teaching that the woman in this passage is the church and the "Manchild" to be birthed is a spiritual second coming of Christ into His corporate body. When Latter Rain 'prophet' Paul Cain describes the church as the "Manchild Company" he is voicing a doctrine long held secretly by many of the new Gnostics.
The teaching that this more 'spiritually mature' body of Christ will be able to defeat death itself became known as the "Manifest Sons of God." Proponents took supposed clues from Paul's teaching in Romans 8 and, by classic misinterpretation, then suggested that a company of overcoming believers ("the sons of God") will be manifested upon the earth with never dying spiritual bodies before the return of Christ. The heresy accompanying the 'Manifested Sons' teaching, in one form or another, is the supposed 'birthing' by the church of 'a corporate Christ' who is said to be a fusing together of the spiritual Christ within His many membered body upon the earth. Though it is not always stated clearly, or taught by this whole group of heretics, this view assumes that the literal physical resurrected Jesus will not need to return as such! This is obviously contrary to orthodox interpretations of Scripture (Acts 1:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-29; Revelation 5:6). They claim that Christ's second coming will happen when He is spiritually incarnated into His church, which will then be able to conquer death itself, and the teaching has been expressed in various ways by one of the most vociferous proponents, Earl Paulk :
"Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as He was in the world, even greater in volume and influence." (Earl Paulk, The Ultimate Kingdom, Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986, p.121)
"The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His church...Jesus Christ is the firstfruit, but without tile ongoing harvest, tile incarnation will never be complete." (Earl Paulk, The Wounded Body of Christ, Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, p. 43
"The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived in the womb of a virgin. The Word became flesh in the God-Man Jesus Christ (John 1:1). Likewise, tile Word of God must be made flesh in the Church in order for us to bear witness to the Kingdom which God has called us to demonstrate." (Earl Paulk, Held In The Heavens (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1985, p.60) "We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are the essence of God, His on-going incarnation in the world." (ibid, p. 125)
This is very different from the orthodox view that Christ indwells His Church by the Holy Spirit. When we ask how Jesus, with his current resurrected body in heaven, is going to be incarnated into the church that is still upon the earth they realise they have a problem and carry out a 'Watchtower' cult-adjustment of their Christology:
"He [Jesus] entered a higher realm of restoration and love by becoming an indwelling Spirit." (Earl Paulk, Thrust In The Sickle And Reap (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986)
"Jesus Christ, as the first-fruit of the Kingdom, began the work of conquering death on an individual basis, but we, as His church, will be the ones to complete the task. Jesus said (Matthew 28:18), "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," and the church today has that same power. Death will not be conquered by Jesus returning to earth. It will be conquered when the church stands up boldly and says, "We have dominion over the earth." (Earl Paulk, The Proper Function of the Church (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, undated p. 13)
Obviously, like the fairy story 'emperors clothes' deception, we can all recognise the evidence that no-one in this hyper-church has matured to the place of defeating death, so 'Bishop' Paulk makes the recommendation to his followers not to accept death unless they get 'a specific revelation from God otherwise'! (Earl Paulk, The Ultimate Kingdom (Atlanta: K Dimension Publishers, 1986, p.121)
The view that Jesus has 'entered a higher realm of restoration and love by becoming an indwelling Spirit' is in clear opposition to Scripture, for Jesus has not become the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells the believer and the Resurrected Jesus is at the Father's right hand and in His glorified resurrected body He will return bodily to the earth. Obviously an indwelling spirit would not need to return from heaven. It is on this basis that some Dominion teachers assert that Jesus can be an on-going incarnation of God in His body (church) upon the earth and the reason so many claim to 'be' Jesus Christ. Consequently scriptures pertaining to Christ's ruling on earth are often seen as referring to the Church rather than Jesus and have obviously been influenced by visions and prophecies rather than Scripture. An example came from Marc Dupont of the former Toronto Vineyard, who claimed to have received a significant prophecy in which he stated:
"This move of the Spirit in 1994 in not just a Charismatic and Pentecostal experience, concerning power and gifting. It is one thing to be clothed with power; it is another to be indwelt with the Person of God." (Marc Dupont, Mantle of Praise, Alpha Magazine, 1994)
Just like the cults' eisegesis of Scriptures, spiritualization of any Old Testament Scripture you need to arrive at your destination leads to the view of this 'birthing' as the return of the ark to the temple, that is, the coming of Christ 'invisibly' into His living temple the church. They claim that this will occur when the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled celebrating the Lord dwelling among His people and resulting in one Perfect Man filling both heaven and earth. This teaching of a spiritual second coming of Jesus into His body is really a secret 'knowledge' ('Gnosis') among the hierarchy, but it is clear from the arrogance of their prophecies that many of the leading proponents of these heresies believe that they are operating on a different spiritual plain from the rest of Christianity. Instead, just like the Mormon leaders indulging in polygamy for years before allowing the 'weaker and less spiritual brethren' into the secret, they serve up a more palatable teaching of a final global revival and restored apostles and prophets for public consumption.
These teachings have existed on the edge of the mainstream Charismatic/Pentecostal movement since the early 50's when they were rejected by the Assemblies of God but, since then, the errors of 'fellowshipping with unbelievers' (2 Corinthians 6:14) in allowing Rome and other Gnostic teachings to fellowship within their circles, has allowed these 'warmed up' heresies to creep back in. When people like Paul Cain admit admiration for arch-heretics like William Branham we should not be surprised when their teachings begin to be accepted - where once they would have been totally rejected. The Charismatic Renewal of the 60's and 70's gave room for the Latter Rain, et al, heresies to find a Biblically ignorant, non-discriminating, audience who accepted this and other teachings as part of this 'new' move of the Spirit and they have subsequently grown in popularity as experiential theology gained new ground through John Wimber and Vineyard conferences and 'signs and wonders' platforms.
I listened in horror last year as a regular family attendee of the Colin Urquhart 'Kingdom Faith' camps imparted the information that Urquhart was recommending his flock to read Benny Hinn books now. If you are in the coal shed at the 'God Channel' with these other 'Word-Faith' heretics, as Urquhart is now, it is inevitable that you are going to find some smuts rub off on you. The same thing happens when Peter Wagner and others invite Bishop Bill Hamon to speak at their conferences and, without qualification, recommend his books with its thorough Latter Rain and 'Manifest Sons' teachings. Far from the fraudulent interpretations which arrive at these elaborate end-times scenarios of massive revival in which billions are saved through a great 'new apostolic reformation,' we should believe the words of the Lord Jesus Christ:
"When the Son of Man comes will He find faith upon the earth?" (Luke 18:8)
Scripture is clear that Jesus will return bodily to earth, and when He does His 'body' upon the earth (the full compliment of his church) will be raptured up to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:17) and then He will change our corruptible bodies in a twinkling of an eye. Jesus will then rule earth in His glorified and resurrected body and only then will the Sons of God will be manifest.
The 'new' Gnostic views are identical to the ramblings of a typical cult for, in the Bible, the 'Bride of Christ', the 'Body of Christ' and the 'Church' are all synonymous terms. This 'Manchild Company' is also spoken of as a 'great army' made up of those in the Body of Christ who are, of course, more 'spiritual' and dedicated than the average Christian and obviously made up of those who follow the teachings of the Latter Rain heretics. This emerging army will supposedly go forth to judge both the Church and the world while seeking at the same time to evangelize the latter.