This week I was listening to Brannon Howse’s program, which aired on May 16, 2012. (http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-radio/play.php?id=showsFlat-21300) (Note: link will disappear in 14 days)
Brannon’s exposé today (May 16) was on the “Manifested Sons of God” heresy, promoted by the New Apostolic Reformation crowd. As usual it was very good. Brannon always does a lot of research for his program.
In the process of exposing this heresy, Brannon referred to an interview that The Voice magazine did with Bill Hamon in 2009. Accordingly I decided to check out the interview for myself. I found that what Brannon says is very true. Mr. Hamon uses a lot of biblical-sounding terminology, but as you keep on reading you find that there are subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle twists from the plain meanings found in Scripture.
Even in the introductory remarks I found some errors in Mr. Hamon’s basic philosophy;
“Hamon’s desire is to see the Church fulfill its purpose, and he knows that won’t happen “until.” Until apostles and prophets, along with evangelists, pastors and teachers, train and activate the saints.”
His error is that the Church has failed to fulfil its purpose over the last two thousand years. The author is implying that the Christian emphasis on doctrine, and the millions of martyrs who died for this cause, were mistaken. No! The millions of men, women, and children, who died for Jesus at the hands of wicked men, glorified Him, and gave witness of His power to save!
Here are some snippets from that interview;
“The Voice: What is the purpose of the Church and are we fulfilling that purpose?”
“Dr. Bill Hamon: The Church definitely has a purpose. Most fundamentally evangelical Christians don’t see any purpose except to escape hell and be happy in heaven with Jesus. God ordained the human race to bring forth a family in His likeness and image, but Adam and Eve failed.”
“So Jesus came 4,000 years later to reactivate the plan of God. He recreated a human race as we were recreated in Christ Jesus. We are a new creation, born again, children of God. This new creation’s purpose is to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. That’s just not in holiness and purity, but to be like Jesus in every way of His authority, power, wisdom, grace, the way He thinks, the way He acts, to have His government and His principles. We are supposed to be a full personification and manifestation and demonstration of who Christ is and what Christ is like. And Christ is a full demonstration of who God is and what God is like.”
What a mixture of truth and error! The “purpose” that he attributes to Fundamentalist Christians is only partly correct. He is downplaying the reality of Hell, and implies that it is selfish to want to go to Heaven, and be with Jesus! The truth is that the true Christian Church will actually be returning with Jesus, to earth! He is putting “the cart before the horse”! We are not called to create the “kingdom of God on earth”! Jesus is quite capable of doing that Himself!
The purpose of the Church was, and is, to preach the gospel and to snatch some souls out of the Lake of Fire. This is a very high calling, yet people like Bill Hamon imply that this is secondary to the Church’s real purpose!
His statement that Jesus came to “reactivate the plan of God” implies that God did nothing in the 4,000 years from creation until the coming of Christ. I can assure you that God was very active for those 4,000 years, and did indeed save many people during that time. People like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were saved, as were all the prophets of Israel. In fact, during the apostasy of Israel there will still seven thousand following the true God at the time of Elijah (I Kings 19:18).
His statement that “Adam and Eve failed” implies that God had not anticipated their failure, or had not had a plan for that eventuality! In fact the evidence is that both Adam and Eve were saved after they started humanity on its self-destructive course.
No, the Old Testament and its prophets were a part of the plan of God. God uses their prophecies as a means of verifying the credentials of His Son, and the salvation that He brought to earth.
Hamon says “That’s just not in holiness and purity, but to be like Jesus in every way of His authority, power, wisdom, grace, the way He thinks, the way He acts, to have His government and His principles.” This is an amazing twist on the truth. God wants to conform us into the image of Christ, but we will never replace Him! We will never have the power that He has, and any power we may one day have, will be delegated by Him. Mr. Hamon is subtly turning the focus away from Jesus, to man! He is lifting up himself and his followers and making Jesus dependent on them!
If you think about all of the implications of this statement I think you will be shocked. Do we have all the authority of Jesus Christ while we are here on earth? We do have authority to proclaim the gospel, and to confront sin, but we do not usurp all the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus certainly wants to lead us to think and act the way He would, but then Hamon says we need to become the government of planet earth! We are not to just be like Christ, but we are to exercise the same authority and power that He will exercise when He returns. In effect he is telling us that we are to replace Jesus Christ!
I can’t find that in my bible.
Here’s something else I can’t find in my bible;
“As fanatical as it may sound to fundamental evangelical Christians, the Church is destined to subdue all things and put all things under Christ’s feet before He actually literally returns from heaven.”
It actually doesn’t sound “fanatical” as much as it sounds heretical. This is precisely what Paul wrote to Timothy in II Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
No one would deny that these are relatively “moral” people. They have a form of godliness, and don’t deny the existence of God, but they are really saying that God is powerless without them! That God depends on them, and Christ can’t return until they prepare the kingdom of God on earth!
It’s no surprise that he would go on to say “Rapture teaching is one of the most faith deadening teachings ever preached. It has the most neutralizing affect on a Christian’s aggressive growth process.”
This is one common thread through all the modern apostates, a disparaging view of biblical prophecy, and doctrine. In fact unity is stressed at the expense of doctrine, and truth.
What does he mean by “Rapture teaching is one of the most faith deadening teachings ever preached.”? Nothing the bible teaches is “faith deadening”. Every doctrine taught in the pages of Scripture is designed to INCREASE our faith, not deaden it! The pre-Tribulation rapture can be found in several places in both the Old and New Testaments. I have documented this in The Spirit of Prophecy.
What he means is that, if you are looking for the literal return of Jesus Christ, to take you home to Heaven, you are not going to be too interested in taking over the earth, or building the “Kingdom of God on earth”. He is correct. The truth is that Christians who believe in the rapture are busy preaching the gospel of salvation, through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not interested in building a kingdom on earth, for we know that such a kingdom will ultimately be taken over by the Antichrist!
Now that would be a waste of resources. To spend your life building something that ends up putting the Antichrist on the throne, is the waste of a life. Those who push such ecumenical unity, like Jerry Falwell, Chuck Coulson, the New Apostolic Reformation, the World Council of Churches, and the Catholic Church, are wasting their lives for a dream that will ultimately turn into a nightmare!
The bible does indeed speak of the Church ruling and reining with Jesus Christ, on the earth, but at the same time God does not need us to pick up carnal weapons and force the world into our mold. Ungodly rulers like Nero, Hadrian, Hitler, and Stalin, were never a threat to the true Church of Jesus Christ. In fact the Church always grows under such despots.
Today the Church is growing in places like Iran and China. The people compare the desperate despotism of their rulers, and the calm assurance of Christians and the choice is simple. Jesus promises far more than the best this world can offer.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. John 18:36
The Voice asked Mr. Hamon a question about apostles and prophets, and I think the question itself deserves some attention:
The Voice: Some people don’t believe that apostles and prophets should take on the titles of apostles and prophets. Why is it necessary, why does it matter?
Mr. Hamon’s answer is simply that these titles are indicative of rank in God’s army. Like a sergeant or a general, but that the role each person plays is equally important. Note, however, that these titles are self imposed!
I have another take on the issue. They are being set up for a great fall. When the Antichrist destroys these people, he will point to Revelation 2:2 as reason why he has destroyed them!
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: Revelation 2:2
Not everything the Antichrist says will be false. He will twist the truth in such a way that it will be very difficult to see the deception. He will destroy the false Church, because God will put it on his heart to do so, and he will have biblical reasons to do it! They call themselves “apostles” when they really are not!
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. Revelation 17:16-17
Bill Hamon is building the whore. His whole vision of the Church, taking power on the earth, does not come from the bible, but from the mind of Satan.
Mr. Hamon ends his interview with a defence of his prophecies. He claims that prophets need to prophecy good things, and prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah, were unique in their situation. Israel wouldn’t quit sinning, and thus those prophets had to prophesy about God’s coming judgment, unlike today!
I guess he means that our society today does not deserve God’s judgment. “Things are getting better and better, and soon will come a new golden age of the Church’s rule, and then Jesus will be able to return and rule with us!”
Do you see the subtle blasphemy in the foregoing? Jesus depends on us! We are the ones in control! This whole philosophy is meant to lift up man, not God!
The New Apostolic Reformation is growing incredibly fast. The growth will be proof to these people that they are on to something. I predict that it will continue to grow, and only a small number of Churches and Christians will oppose it. When the rapture occurs and they are left behind, they will have some excuse to explain it away. “Those wicked people were taken in judgment!”
False prophets like Hamon are not new. They have been around since the time of Ezekiel and Jeremiah:
To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 13:16
For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Jeremiah 8:11