Since the beginnings of the New Order of the Latter Rain cult, Branham’s influence has left its mark on many in this New Order – that is, Apostles and leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation. Not just in the church but in ‘marketplace ministries’. Os Hillman gives us a fascinating history of the development on how this cult tried to influence the culture back in the 1950s.
In saying this, there are some things worth noting in this video that confirm the NOLR influence from 1951 onwards:
- His mention of FGBMFI in 1951 (read excerpt at the end of this article to see how it is deeply connected to the Latter Rain cult).
- He pits the Christian gospel against the NAR gospel: “So all throughout this period we see from 1930 to 1977 a focus on evangelism to the marketplace. These men [inaudible] came to know Christ. And when they would go back in their churches and their was really no place for them. And so they felt like they were second class citizens. And that’s why so many of the uh, marketplace ministry groups begin. Because they didn’t feel like they were being validated for what, you know, in how to bring Christ into their world. And so it was during this time that we would oftern hear people say, ‘I’ll never do business with a Christian’. And I’m sure you’ve heard that before. But the reason is that it was all the ‘Gospel of Salvation’ instead of the ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’.” [2:16]
- Hillman mentions how the 1990s focused on ‘Social Transformation’ and how Henry Blackaby, Billy Graham (BOLR/NAR adherent) and NAR Apostles such as C. Peter Wagner and Ed Silvoso helped shape the NAR’s influence in the marketplace.
- Hillman’s language on the 7 mountain mandate helps people identify what the NAR also call it: “We have been hearing the terms ‘reclaim the seven mountains of culture’. And this is an initiative that I believe, is a season of the Lord that we’re in right now because we’ve discovered that these seven spheres of culture – arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media and religion – these are the seven spheres that most define culture. This awareness came as far back as 1974 when Bill Bright and Lorren Cunningham both got a word from the Lord that said these are the seven mind-moulders, or gates, or mountains that define culture.” [5:34]
Source: Os Hillman, History of the Faith at Work Movement, Vimeo, https://vimeo.com/10532484, 29/03/2010. (Accessed 15/07/2017.)
WHAT IS FGBMFI?
FGBMFI stands for Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. It has influences and roots in the theology and associations of William Branham and the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) cult. In other words, what Hillman is giving us is the history and development how the NAR cult has been infiltrating societies on a global scale.
John Weaver in his book ‘The New Apostolic Reformation: History of a Modern Charismatic Movement’, examines the link between FGBMFI and the NOLR cult. (Note – Weaver sometimes writes FGMBFI.)
“According to James Collins, Branham “worked closely” with the FGBMFI leader Demos Shakarian during the height of his early revivals (Collins 27). Indeed, Branham was the keynote speaker at a number of FGBMFI meetings during the initial years of that ministry, and was instrumental in the creation of several chapters of the organization (Tallman 199-200). In turn the FGBMFI also at times supported Branham… The FGBMFI, which played a crucial role in kick-starting the Charismatic Renewal, in many ways shared Branham’s skepticism about the benefits of denominationalism, though to a moderate degree… The FGBMFI was aimed at church laity, allowing laity to translate the message of the Healing Revival to the more refined environment of a “hotel ballroom or a restaurant.” Yet, in significant ways, the message was the same. People spoke of their healings or the deliverances that they had undergone. The FGBMFI also played a large role in the promotion of the “faith teachers” (Zeigler 653; see also Harrel Jr. 148). It is plausible that some of the doctrinal innovations pursued by the WOF movement might have had their origins in interaction with Branham’s teachings, whose influence over both the WOF and modern deliverance movements was considerable.
It is impossible to assess the degree to which Demos Shakarian, the founder of FGBMFI, borrowed from Branham and the Latter Rain movement. The leading chronicler of the FGBMFI, Matthew Tallman, points out that there are tantalizing connections between the development of the FGMBFI [sic] and the Latter Rain movement. A number of significant players in the formation of the Latter Rain movement, including T.L. Osborne, Jack Coe, A.A. Allen, and David Duplessis also were instrumental in the formation and growth of the FGMBFI [sic] as well (Tallman 188-189). Demos Chakarian also invited Carlton Spencer, the then-president of Elim Bible Institute to a “convention in Washington in 1953,” which as Riss points out, highlights the “Latter Rain influence upon the early development of the Charismatic Renewal (Riss 140). Tallman points out that the perception of the Latter Rain movement that “older Pentecostal denominations had become formalized and spiritually hardened resonated with the ecclesiological and pneumatological hermeneutic of Shakarian (Tallman 190).
What is clear is that Shakarian’s particular ecclesiological commitments were able to mesh with Latter Rain and Branhamite doctrine in surprising ways.”
Source: John Weaver, The New Apostolic Reformation: History of a Modern Charismatic Movement, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers: NC, Published 2016.
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Categories: New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)