This article is from “Let Us Reason Ministries,” and is an excellent look into Christian International and Bill Hamon. Please visit the site to learn even more: http://letusreason.org/Latrain79.htm
The conventional and odd Latter Rain teachings of prophet and apostle
When one thinks of latter rain dominionsim, Bill Hamon is usually at the top of the list. He has been a representative of it since it was first renounced and rejected by the Church. Hamon as of 2011 is 77 years old but his age does not deter his latter rain aggression.
Those in the prophetic movement see Hamon as one of the most influential “prophets” today, he has written 13 major books. Those who have endorsed his books include Oral Roberts, Tommy Tenney, Cindy Jacobs, Emanuele Cannistraci, Ed Silvoso and the late Earl Paulk who was an avid latter rain teacher.
Many are unaware that He carries the most insidious of the latter Rain doctrines.
Christian International is a school started by Bill Hamon. He also oversees a growing network of churches, over 600 churches in 19 countries. His dream is to equip an army of Christians to hear God’s voice and speak the prophetic word. He is intent on raising up an army of prophets that will declare the lords message to churches and the secular marketplace
He describes it in this manner:
CI’s purpose is to prepare the way and make ready a people for the coming of the Lord.
- to see the Body of Christ to come to complete functional maturity including the full expression of five-fold ministry.
- to see the Church come to a unity of the faith.
- to see the Saints of God demonstrating the power of God in their daily lives.
- to see the Bride of Christ prepared without spot or wrinkle, to receive her Christ and work beside Him.
- to see the kingdoms of the world become the kingdoms of our Lord. to see the Saints ready to rule and reign with Christ on the earth.
“CI’s mission is to establish the prophets and apostles in the Church so we can teach, train and activate the saints to do the work of the ministry and mature the body of Christ.”
You can’t get more honest and upfront of your agenda than this. But is anyone paying attention? One needs to understand the language because what Hamon and other Latter Rain proponents mean by certain biblical terms is not always what the Bible means.
In the early 90’s I enrolled in his school Christian International college and attended for one course. This particular class was on the book Genesis and was sound because the Bible teacher was from another church.
But I was not aware of how deep the latter rain movement was in the church that carried the course. This was a learning experience as I spoke with some that were in the class. It was at that time I started to make it a point to read and study further on this movement because there was so much wrong.
In 1992 CI Network of Churches was established to include local churches who wanted to be linked up with CI for prophetic/apostolic impartation. In 2004 the name was changed to CI Apostolic Network.
“CI Apostolic Network ministries establish individuals in their gifts and personal calling, equipping them to do the work of the ministry through the restoration of Apostles and Prophets, working in unity with the Pastor, to see the Kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God.”
Hamon plainly states “in the 50’s I’d go to Oral Roberts, William Branham, Jack Cole, Now we’ve raised up, hundreds and hundreds of prophetic ministries. Hundreds and hundreds of prophets.
God is raising up sheep nations. I believe it was ’82 or ’84 or ’86 some or one of the times I was here and I was preaching and prophesying and God said “I wanna make South Africa a sheep nation…..”
“I refuse to be boxed in. But I may say certain things that you may try to box me in, but I am not trying to propagate any particular eschatology. I’m trying to get you to get a view of God’s eternal purpose for the Church.” (Transcript of Bill Hamon at ‘New Life Church’ Nov. 13, 1997, entitled “Battle Of The Brides”)
But he does propagate a particular eschatology and it is not a Biblical model; it is reshaped by his prophetic revelations.
“Let me tell you there, there 1988 there was birthed a prophetic movement that is just as major, restored just as many truths, and brought as much transition to the body of Christ as any move of God that’s ever taken place in the church.”
“in 1977 God spoke to me and told me to take everything I know, everything I am, and give it everybody and raised them up to my prophetic anointing and level. Back in the 50’s I used to go to those great William Branham and Oral Roberts and some of the great men of God of that day and I’d say “How do you heal the sick? How do you know you’ve got a word of knowledge? How do you move and prophesy? How, how, how, how? How many’s every had some how, how, how? And consistently all those great men of God of the 40’s and 50’s were raised up at that time, all said the same thing “I can’t tell you God’s secrets.” And I’d say “Why?” “I don’t know, the angel told me not to tell or God told me not to tell.” (Laughter) But in 1977 God told me to tell you everything I know, give you everything I got, and bring you to the fullness of what God’s wants you to be. (Screaming and applause) And God released that reproducing anointing.” (Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Bill Hamon – Friday, 5/12/00, Session 11)
This is interesting, because it was Branham whom Hamon calls a great man of God whom all these “new prophets” look to as their model whom said the end would be the year 1977.
“I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word, along with divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the-World systems and usher in the millennium.” (An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, Branham).
He taught “that by 1977 all denominations would be consumed by the World Council of Churches under the control of the Roman Catholics, that the rapture would take place, and that the world would be destroyed.” (Burgess and McGee, Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 96)
It had as much traction as the Jehovah Witnesses prophecy of the end in 1975.
William Branham is endorsed in Hamon’s book The Day of the Saints (p.161) along with the ‘Toronto Blessing’ — called a spiritual ‘refreshing’ (p.129), (that came from Rodney Howard Browne).
In 1983, Hamon says he received the revelation that God was going to raise up a great end-time company of prophets to restore the ministries of the prophet and the apostle.
Hamon believes in new revelation continuing today through them, as “new apostles and prophets”:
“He [Paul] also reveals that this anointing for divine revelation was not just given to the prophets of old but has now been equally given to Christ’s Holy Apostles and Prophets in His Church” (Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God p.140).
He is not too concerned about getting something wrong, as his fellow last day prophets are also on a “learning curve.” “It is not His [God’s] will that any minister or Christian walk short of present truth, but thousands do so daily. True unified fellowship is based on our fellowship with the Father and His Son, and walking in the light as He is in the light. We must be established in all presently restored truth and actively promote the unity of the Body of Christ” (“Church, p. 316).
The rhema word must be accepted by faith, this is the restored truth. It means agreeing with Hamon and the other new prophets and apostles which are forcing the Latter Rain Movement on the church (they renamed it the third wave). What was once rejected as heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949 is now being accepted and it is bringing havoc, not peace nor unity. This unity of the Body that he speaks of is where all churches (denominational and non denominational, independent) submit to the Apostolic and Prophetic authority of the new Latter Rain – that will rule over the many membered corporate body of Christ.
The Latter Rain Movement was popular in some Pentecostal circles in the 1940’s and originated from William Branham’s teachings and anointing. The most distorted of its teachings was that thedefeat of physical death will be accomplished by transformed believers on earth – called the Manifest Sons of God.
Hamon states:“The restitution/restoration of the Church started in AD 1517 after more than a thousand years of the Church’s apostate condition, called the Dark Ages. On that date came ‘The Great Restoration of the Church,’ when the Protestant Movement was birthed. Beginning with that date there have been five major restorational movements: The Protestant, Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic, and Prophetic Movements.” (B.Hamon, “Apostles and Prophets” p.104) He also adds the Latter Rain Movement, Faith Movement (meaning the Word of Faith teaching popularized by Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland), and the Apostolic Movement (his of course).” (ibid. p.107)
Hamon teaches spiritual progression to this perfection by the church “Let me say the twentieth century saw more advancement in the church and more restoration and moves of God than any several centuries through the whole two thousand years of church history. 1900’s we had the, I’m just gonna talk about one century, the 20th century, 1900 we had the Pentecostal movement. Prior to 1900 there was no open revelation for faith appropriation of speaking in tongues for every believer. How many now believe speaking in tongues or prayer language or gift of the Holy Ghost is for every believer? … Well, over a hundred years ago, about 110 you would’nt have known that. Then in 1948 we had what we call the Restoration movement or Latter Rain movement and at the same time there came the deliverance evangelism. There was two streams that were flowing. They never connected. One was deliverance evangelism which raised up mighty evangelists from Billy Graham to Oral Roberts then some with a more prophetic line of William Branham, Jack Coe, and about a hundred other great evangelists…At the same time there was a Restoration movement that was birthed in 1948, ‘48 was a great year, in 1948 they taught that there’s still apostles and prophets in the church, that we’re the corporate body of Christ, we’re the one universal many membered corporate body of Christ, that’s holy belonged to. Say that with me “I’m the one universal many membered corporate body of Christ.” You didn’t get it. One more time. Tell you what you belong to. The church is the “one universal many membered corporate body of Christ.” …And I’m just gonna skim through this cause most of you know it. Then in 1960’s we had a Charismatic renewal. 1970’s a Faith movement. Got us out of the monastic orders and the poor men of lines back to believing God wants to prosper us. Then in 1980’s had a prophetic movement. 1990’s apostolic movement. And now in the year 2000 we’re trying to establish the prophet and apostolic around the world” (National School Of The Prophets, Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Bill Hamon – Friday, 5/12/00, 4 p.m. Session 11)
Peter Wagner who began the
National School Of The Prophets credits Hamon for many of his views, calling Hamon one of his “closest prophetic colleagues” (page 11 of Wagner’s book Changing Church and in the foreword Wagner wrote of Hamon’s book Apostles, Prophets and the Coming Moves of God).
In his book The Day of the Saints Hamon endorses C. Peter Wagner (pp.3, 37, 44, 147, 165, 250, 286, 364) Hamon also serves on the faculty of the Wagner Leadership Institute and serves as both an apostle and prophet.
Chuck Pierce who is now heading up National School Of The Prophets introduced Hamon at their annual prophetic conference “I know one of my favorite people on the earth and you know Bishop Bill Hamon does as – he’s part of the prophecy faculty of WLI as Peter said. … I also do city transformation along with him because the two operate together so well.” (Mobilizing The Prophetic Office, Bill Hamon – Friday, 5/12/00, Session 11)
Beside Paul Cain, Bill Hamon is considered to be one of the most direct links to the Latter Rain movement of the late 40’s. In his book The Eternal Church he states that the Charismatic movement is the extension of the Latter Rain Movement(“Eternal Church” p. 239, 1981).
It was after Hamon read Franklin Hall’s book “Atomic Power With God Through Prayer and Fasting” that he fasted for 7 days seeking God’s will for his life. This book had become the standard for nearly anyone involved in the LR movement. Hall had some very strange ideas. At the end of the fast he went to a service and a “prophet” was speaking there and laid hands on Hamon and prophesied over him. According to his book, this was the result: “There, the Lord began teaching this chosen vessel of God about the prophetic ministry, and involving him in it. . . Bill would be raised up as a pioneer and a worldwide leader in restoring the office and ministry of the prophet into Christ’s Church with full recognition and authority.” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy God’s Prophetic Voice Today” Bill Hamon, Destiny Image Press 1987 p. 4)
Hamon reflecting on his own journey: “February of 52’ I started attending a Restoration church where they sang praises, worshipped God, prophesied, and believed in prophets. And I received my first laying on of hands and prophecy from a prophet. Then they released me and I started prophesying, so I started prophesying in 1952. … Then in 1953 I went to a Bible college in Portland Oregon that was a Restoration bible college where prophets and ministers were” (National School Of The Prophets Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Bill Hamon – Friday, 5/12/00, 4 p.m. – Session 11)
Hamon attributes his prophetic gift by the laying on of hands in his book The Day of the Saints p.161, just as the Latter Rain movement in the 40’s passed a prophetic gift. Yet the Bible speaks against passing on a gift of the Holy from one person to another. As one understandings the underpinnings of the Latter Rain movement, it gives us an understanding of why they arrive at the conclusions they do today.
“I was personally present at the Crescent Beach Bible Conference in 1954 in British Columbia, when this type of worship was birthed in the Latter Rain Movement. … The congregation of about eight hundred people had been worshipping God for quite some time. As the worship lowered to a melodious murmur, suddenly a sister began to prophesy, ‘The King is coming, the King is coming–go ye out to meet Him with dances and rejoicing.’ She started taking ferns out of the flower basket and waving them in the air and laying some of them as if before the Lord as she praised the Lord in the dance across the auditorium in front of the platform. The head of the conference started to stop her but the Holy Spirit told him not to, for it was of God. Within a few minutes most of the audience was praising God with legs swinging and bodies moving in rhythmic praise to God” (Bill Hamon, Prophets and the Prophetic Movement, Vol. 2, Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1990, pp. 117,118).
Did they think this prophecy occurred?
Bill Hamon states in his book: “Paul tells us that the ministries of apostles and prophets are foundational to the building of Christ’s Church (Ephesians 2:20-22). They are a direct extension of the “Cornerstone,” Jesus, to give alignment and proper structure to God’s building, the Church. So any local church which is established without an apostle or prophet ministry will not have a proper foundation for maximum growth.” (Prophets in Today’s Church, Adapted from Prophets and Personal Prophecy, By Dr. Bill Hamon.)
I see little difference from the Mormon church that says: “We solemnly affirm that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in fact a restoration of the Church established by the Son of God...that it is built upon a foundation of apostles and prophets, … was restored under the hands of those who held it anciently….” (Proclamation to the World, the First Presidency, 1980)
While Hamon cites the scripture, he departs in its actual interpretation. It says the apostles that Jesus chose were the foundation, Ephesians 2:20, “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,” past tense, the foundation had been laid down.They built the church and the church continued from that time on this foundation they had built. We do not go back to rebuild the foundation, the church has been growing on this foundation for nearly 2,000 years What it is not saying is that we must have newer apostles. 2 Timothy 3:16-17: the Scripture is given by God, so “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We do not need new revelation but be obedient to the ancient revelation.
Instead of ruling the church in humility based on the word as our authority, manipulation is used by them telling the people that since the first century nearly all of the Church did not have the proper foundation for maximum growth.
Hamon says he, “never seen more then ten or twelve people prophesied over at any one time. And then we finally said “Well, everybody just line up along the building about 85 people and we’ll take you through a sheep dip, you know what a sheep dip is? All the preachers line up on both sides and you take ’em through it bless them to get all the ticks off, you know (Laughter). No, at a release at lay on hands anointing. And uh so they started coming through, and I laid my hands on ‘em and boy like a volcano the spirit of prophesy started welling up in me flashed thoughts of revelation and application and ministry calling and anointing and I said “Down boy, down boy you’ve had your quota. Next.” Laid hands on ‘em. And they just begin to swell. And the third one, man I thought I was gonna explode like a volcano and I sent that one through. And the next one I thought “Oh, God. What are you doing? I’m not believing for this.” And I asked the Lord “Do you want me to prophesy just believe you to do whatever you want to do over everyone that comes through?” And he spoke to me in my Okie lingo and said “Yeh, boy, let ‘er rip.” (Laughter) So I just shut my eyes extended my hand and they walked under. And at 2:30 the next morning I finished with the 85th person.” (Mobilizing The Prophetic Office Bill Hamon – Friday, 5/12/00, Session 11)
He had ignored whatever Bible education and defined his doctrine by an experience. The word says if you prophesy like this you are out of order.
Rom. 12:6: “let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.” But it does not mean for hours. Then we have 1 Cor. 14:29-33: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.”
In other words this is not a one man runaway prophecy fiesta. The spirit does not carry the person away, a person is to be under control.
How do we know its out of order, because previously Paul writes on tongues stating 1 Cor 14:26-27 “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.”
A prophets discourse is not to be lengthy exhibition but short, he gives another who can prophesy a chance to speak; the all that is to prophesy is the two or three. Paul does set a limit, let two or three prophets speak, they should be given the opportunity to speak.
1 Cor. 14:37-38: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” In other words you want to be ignorant don’t listen to my directive.
The words of any prophet must be tested, even when one is known as a prophet. Just because someone claims his message is from God does not mean others should automatically accept and obey the message every time. Others with discernment are to test the prophecy (as we will see, Hamon finds this repulsive).
Hamon says, “God released me in ‘73 with a constant flow of the prophetic. And I became in demand. Everybody wanted a prophet. And there’s only two of us in the whole United States that was travellin’ round in the early 70’s that could prophesy by the hour – line ‘em up and prophesy from nine o’clock to three o’clock in the morn’n through two to three hundred people in one sittin” (“Battle of The Brides” Bill Hamon at ‘New Life Church’ Nov. 13 1997).
Here’s where it gets sketchy, does the Bible teach a constant flow of prophesy? I have seen tag team prophecy where one is stopped and the other picks up right where they left off. this become more like the new age channeling than Biblical prophecy. Jesus repeats an Old Testament principle- Matt 18:16: “’by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’ (Paul uses this in 2 Cor. 13:1).1 Cor .14:29: “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
When the prophets spoke prophesy there were long times in between, months even years. God would give a message and wait. And it was rarely personal prophecies toward people unless they were influential to the nation Israel. Clearly what Hamon and others are teaching is more like modern clairaudience, quite unlike the ancient prophets. One only needs to read their string of prophecies to see the vast differences from the Bible (and we will).
The prophets and apostles of our day
In Matthew 24:11 and 24:24, Jesus warned us that there would be a large amount of false prophets in the end times. Bill Hamon is busy raising up these prophets and bringing them together. Without realizing it, he is fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus about a coalition of false prophets during the End Times. One only needs to see the videos to see how and what they prophecy to really how divorced they are from the Bible.
Bill Hamon states, “The full restoration of apostles and prophets back into the church will bring divine order, unity, purity, and maturity to the corporate Body of Christ.”
Actually it will bring a new order and control that will sever the body from Christ Jesus, the true head of the church. Bill Hamon just happens to be one of the apostles/ prophets in Wagner’s apostolic government, so he has an invested interest in this.
He believes Christ cannot return until His ascension gift ministries have brought the church into full manhood. “The- Pastor, Evangelist and Teacher have been the only ones acknowledged as being active in that role. But now, Christ is activating His Prophets in the 1980’s and His Apostles in the 1990’s. Jesus is thrilled at the thought that His prophets will soon be fully recognized by the church” (Prophets and Personal Prophecy, p. 28).
Jesus is thrilled! He hasn’t told anyone else this except for these new apostles. But this is how it works, with circular reasoning.
Fuller Seminary held a National Symposium on the Post-Denominational Church convened by Dr. C. Peter Wagner, (May 21-23, 1996). Bill Hamon stated that, “This was a historical occasion in God’s annals of Church history. It was prophetically orchestrated by the Holy Spirit to fulfill God’s progressive purposes of bringing His church to its ultimate destiny. . . the consensus of the panelists was that there are still apostles and prophets in the Church, and there is an emerging Apostolic Movement that will revolutionize the 21st Century Church.”
So the movement began to solidify, and it gathered its leaves onto the tree shaping it into what it is today. But with any tree we need to examine its fruit.