The Latter Rain Movement
Latter Rain (1880s movement) The Latter Rain Movement was a late 19th-century radical Holiness theology and Revivalist phenomenon which began in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Elements of the movement gave rise to and merged with what would become incipient modern Pentecostalism.
The Latter Rain Movement is an influence within Pentecostalism which teaches that the Lord is pouring out His Spirit again, as He did at Pentecost, and using believers to prepare the world for His Second Coming. The Latter Rain Movement is anti-dispensational and amillennial, and many leaders of the movement embrace aberrant teachings.
The term “latter rain” was first used early in the history of Pentecostalism, when David Wesley Myland wrote a book called Latter Rain Songs in 1907. Three years later, Myland wrote The Latter Rain Covenant, a defense of Pentecostalism in general.
The name comes from Joel 2:23, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Pentecostals interpreted the “rain” in this verse as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The “latter rain” (the end-times outpouring) would be greater than the “former rain.
The NEW ORDER OF THE LATTER RAIN
Their history and legacy
There is nothing new under the sun said Solomon, this goes as well for the new “prophets /apostles movement that can be traced to late 1940’s revival called The “New Order of the Latter Rain”. From the Latter Rain Movement brought birth to numerous teachings such as the Manifested Sons of God heresy. This movement which brought havoc and was renounced by the Assemblies of God in 1949. Although it was removed and faded, it has resurfaced with a face lift and these same teachings have come back with a vengeance taking on a life of their own.
David W. Myland In 1907 seems to have coined the term “Latter Rain Movement” first, in a book of songs entitled “Latter Rain Songs.” In 1910 Myland wrote his book “The Latter Rain Covenant” in which he tried to associate the rainfall in Israel, with the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that occurred at Azusa. He also wrote of the concept of deeper truth in the Scripture and different levels of interpretation.
The Latter Rain revival first began in Canada at Sharon Orphanage and School, a young woman at the Bible school prophesied that a great revival was about to come Ernest Hawtin tells that the very next day, it did just that as the Holy Spirit fell with great power. It was called “The Last Great Outpouring that was to consummate God’s Plans on this Earth.”
They had been prepped by previously read Franklin Hall’s book, “Atomic Power with God Through Fasting, and Prayer”, and began to practice his method of fasting. Hall believed the Church was hindered in power and answered prayer, he claimed that even the prayers of pagans would be answered if they fasted. His solution, by fasting for long periods, Christians can receive a powerful anointing that would be that they would never be sick and would lead certain “overcomers” to holiness by stages of spiritual transformation who would attain sinless perfection and immortality. That an immortal substance from Christ would come upon their bodies, a golden substance visible to all, (gold flakes and teeth?) that would glorify them and people would see and feel the fire of the Holy Spirit. He taught a BODY-FELT salvation – the fire of God, the glory, had to be applied to the body for thirty days and would purge out all sickness, tiredness and weakness of the flesh and bring them to immortalization. These Perfected believers would experience power over the forces of gravity, they could teleport to wherever they wished. And there were practical benefits to this spiritual state where their clothes would not wear out, they would have no body odour, so they would never need to wash.
Ernest Hawtin wrote: “The truth of fasting was one great contributing factor to the revival. One year before this we had read Franklin Hall’s book, entitled ‘Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer.’ We immediately began to practise [sic] fasting. Previously we had not understood the possibility of long fasts. The revival would never have been possible without the restoration of this great truth through our good brother Hall.” Richard Riss, (The Latter Rain Movement of 1948 and the Mid-twentieth Century Evangelical Awakening, p.89)
Franklin Hall, had a tremendous influence on the key players in the Latter Rain movement. Hall’s book on fasting and prayer was a major influence in the ministries of Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, O. L. Jaggers, Gayle Jackson, David Nunn, Tommy Hicks, and W. V. Grant. Clearly influenced from Halls baptism of fire, O. L. Jagger established a whole church teaching around this as the true gospel. Where he made the Golden altar, the 24 elders and a three fold way to be born again, which if received will bring the promise of bodily immortality escaping death now. (see Hawaii Universal Church)
THERE IS A GENUINE LATTER RAIN REVIVAL, OR END-TIME REVIVAL, ALSO KNOWN AS ‘JOEL’S OUTPOURING’ OR ‘HOSEA’S REVIVAL’. THEN THERE IS THE PRESENT FALSE “LATTER RAIN” TEACHING RELATED TO THE ‘KINGDOM NOW’ MOVEMENT. THE FUTURE EPIC OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PROPHESIED FOR THE END-TIME. IT WILL COME TO A CLIMAX AT THE LAST DAY.
THE HOLY SPIRIT OUTPOURING ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST. AND THE PROMISE OF A GREAT REVIVAL AT THE END OF THE AGE
Nearly 2000 years ago in the year of our Lord’s passion, the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 gathered in the upper room. Right there in Jerusalem, the city of God’s peace, the Holy Spirit came down in a glorious flooding wave. On that very calendar day and on the feast appointed the Day of Pentecost had fully arrived. It was fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits), At nine o’clock in the morning, the Feast of Pentecost emerged into it’s New Covenant fulfillment. When Peter preached that day 3,000 were saved.
They came to salvation the same way people have always been saved. They were saved by the grace of God through faith in the atoning blood of Israel’s promised Sacrifice Lamb. The number saved, 3,000, is important. The Pentecostal outpouring was a visitation of grace. Those 3,000 saved by grace were a counterpoint to the 3,000 that died under the law back at Mount Sinai. The outpouring came on the same Hebrew calendar day that former epic day of trembling and visitation. It had been the 7th of Sivan when Moses brought down the Torah or the Law from the mountain. Both these blockbuster events occurred on the very same Hebrew calendar day.
The Day of Pentecost coming on the 7th of Sivan was was the birthday of Israel.
Now this same holy day, the Feast of Pentecost, became the birthday of the Church.
This shared birthday of Israel and the Church should not come as a surprise to us. The Church was Romanized at the Council of Nicea. So we as Christian believers in the west have a Greco-Roman, even a gentile/heathen perspective on the Christian Church. We are in partial blindness to our Hebrew Roots. See these YouTube videos. The Church back on that epic Day of Pentecost was not a gentile/heathen company. In its historical context the Church is easily seen to be the launching of the globally expansion phase of the Congregation of Israel. or what our Apostle Paul termed the Commonwealth of Israel. This was a direct fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. See Isaiah 49:6. The Church was a new phenomenon in its international scope. But the salvation came from the same Source in Israel. The people coming in with the Holy Spirit outpouring came from outside of national Israel. But they were still part of a single Elect, now becoming an international company of saints. The Congregation of Israel, no matter what their DNA, took their salvation from the indwelling Christ, the promised Seed of Israel. (Gal.3:29) The company was based in Israel. But it was now going global.
“Although neglected in scholarly literature, the Latter Rain foreshadowed themes that emerged [in] the 1970s to the early 2000s…. Latter Rain participants – ousted by the Pentecostal denominations – became a diaspora of the Spirit” – The Cambridge Companion to Pentecostalism, 2014
The Latter Rain as a “movement” began with Pentecostal power. This alarms the many conservatives or fundies and so-called apologists that already deny Baptisms of the Holy Spirit as second works of sanctification and valid subjective experiences. The true Sons of God are those led by His Spirit, signs and wonders follow. You will know them by their fruits.
The origin of the modern latter rain movement is said to have begun at the Azusa Street revial in L.A. around 1906. An eyewitness, Frank Bartleman wrote in 1925 of the early days of blessing of the “Latter Rain” outpouring at the old “power house,” Azusa Street Mission. There are not a lot of the early marks of a latter rain “movement” on these writings because they originated independently. We do need however to identify some of the early marks of the Sharon Orphanage incident from the prophetic point of view. God was manifested there and 1948 was a watershed year from a prophetic standpoint, from the perspective of many end time thinkers, 1948 signals the end times. While things were going on in the political world in that year with the formation of the United Nations and the establishment of Israel as a state, great evangelistic and prophetic movements were also starting at that time.
While Oral Roberts, Billy Graham and others spread the world with gospel evangelism, the spirit move generated at Sharon Orphanage set off a simultaneous prophetic move with the five-fold ministry gifts and laying on of hands with power. These foundational doctrines began a restoration of apostolic mandates – it was not church as usual. The movement spread into different directions however, some even antagonistic to each other, so a statement of faith and/or a latter rain doctrine is impossible. There is no latter rain theology, only the outpoured spirit in operation in the believers.
What I believe from the Latter Rain Revival
I do believe in revival. This will come as no surprise to many. I believe that we will see an End Time revival full of power and glory. It will be humanity’s final altar call. I believe in personal prophecy! Many may not but I believe that God speaking through another and even “reading your mail” can motive a personal to the harvest very quickly. I will never discount the power of prophecy because the early church did not. I believe that God speaks in types and shadows. I believe that we do not have full understanding. We are growing in the in the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know our Savior better and deeper. I believe that is still raising up Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists and Teachers today. If you believe there are false prophets; then you must also believe there are true prophets as well. A prophet is not determined by his business card but the anointing on his life. I believe in Impartation! I believe that God can meet your need by having someone give you an impartation, an inheritance. What is that? It is giving you the ability to receive more quicker than you could on your own.
There was much good that came out of the Latter Rain Revival!
There are things that I do not agree with, too.
While I rejected dispensationalism that overly spiritualize the letters to the Churches, I do hold a Pre-Trib position on the timing of the “Catching away” of the saints. I still believe that no one will know the day nor the hour but that our redemption draws near. The Latter Rain Revival tend to more more towards a Post-Trib position as the revival went on. I can respect the position and have many friends who also hold that view. I personally do not see it.
What I do not believe is we will leave this world in a wheelchair, beaten up and broke down. The Bride of Christ will be raptured out with a battlecry, “Come Lord Jesus, come.” Revelation 22:17 is not a picture of a weak people. Joel’s Army was right on many things but the idea that there is an army in Joel 2 just is not there. I have studied the book in depth and I just can not find an army of the Lord there. The army spoke about is demonic. The concept of the army of the Lord is biblical but Joel 2 is not the place to find it.
I do not subscribe to the concepts of Dominion theology, Manifest Sons of God, or Militant saints. We are simply preaching the gospel in power, not preparing the earth for the Millennial reign. While I believe that revival is a place of commanded blessing where the unity of brethen dwell; I do not believe there will fellowship of ministries (denominations) dissolve. Each group will come together in the basis of revival but still be faithful to their calling as well.
I also reject the city church concept. I believe there is one church: the global Church. God is not a mormon; He does not many Brides! I also reject using impartation as a quick fix for everything. I had a guy once ask me to impart to give “an anointing for web design.” That is not what impartation is for. Can God give you a gift you never learned? Yes, He did for Joshua Mills.
Why does it matter?
Many people have crazy ideas about the Latter Rain revival and I wanted to clear things up. There are more things that I agree with than I disagree with. I believe that used the revival in a powerful way to change our thinking about many issues in the Body of Christ.
I also admit that alot of the crazy parts of the movement could have better better explained so people didn’t get all crazy with their ideas.
I hope this helps.