[Disclaimer: This article is NOT intended to examine the doctrine of tongues but to scrutinize the spiritual baptism taught in NOLR/CRM/NAR cults. Tongues is a topic worth the respect considering many have not appropriately scaled the language barrier it deserves nor understanding the subjective nature of its role in many people’s lives.]
There is a difference between the Christian baptism and the false baptism put forth by the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR), Charismatic Renewal Movement (CRM) and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cults. It is a recent concept in the Evangelical movement that needs to be scrutinized since teachings on this spiritual baptism have never been practiced in the church until last century.
In this article, we examine the teachings of this ‘second’ spiritual baptism espoused by the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR), Charismatic Renewal Movement (CRM) and New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cults by:
- Looking at an extreme example first,
- Examining the nature of this baptism and
- Looking at its origins in the NOLR.
THE DEMONIC NATURE OF ‘SPIRITUAL BAPTISM’.
These cults promote a baptism that is simply demonic, enticing believers to engage in the world of the supernatural and doctrines of demons. The kingdom they are inviting you to participate in is the kingdom of darkness, promising powers to make people ‘little gods’.
They take this false baptism from passages such as Acts 1:8, Acts 2, John 3 and Acts 19:2-6, claiming that Jesus’ disciples received this ‘second’ baptism (being clothed with ‘power from on high’) in Acts 2 and claim that Acts 19:2-6 is an example where believers received this second baptism when Paul ‘placed his hands on them’ to receive this second blessing. Never mind that the spirit behind this doctrine is perverting the teachings of the Holy Spirit by twisting His Words, these people are baptized into is an anti-Christ and devilish spirit, who then in turn claim that discerning Christians are operating in the flesh and categorising them as religious and dead (unlike them).
The reason why people buy into this lie is that they are driven by the flesh and are power hungry. So it’s no wonder the NOLR founders were drawn to the works of Franklin Hall who emphasized ‘desperate prayer and fasting’ measures to see people operate under spiritual influences and power. His New Age anthropology combined with his occultic and legalistic practices are the backbone of this demonic manifestation which gave birth to this doctrine known as ‘baptism of the spirit’.
The NOLR being the cult which birthed this spiritual supremacy, condemned orthodox Christians as dead but enticed the gullible out of churches to be a part of the ‘true church’ of the end times. And it was through the NOLR’s Charismatic Renewal movement that they really invaded denominations through their use of network TV, radio and publications through the 1950s. This unbiblical attitude toward Christianity is clearly on display today in mainstream Evangelicalism, these NAR Apostles and Prophets attempting to rally enough support to raise up the NOLR’s ‘Joel’s Army’ to oppose discerning believers who try to warn the body of Christ about their ‘New Order’. (Rick Joyner calls this the ‘church civil war’ and Lee Grady noticed the bizarre strategy of this cult (Grady coined it the Charismatic civil war).
In other words, the constant animosity and hate propaganda coming from the pulpits and social media platforms against discerning Christians needs to be noted. And Michael Brown is also responsible for creating this anti-disciple behaviour towards biblical, orthodox Christianity in his theology and social media culture . They claim to be ‘brothers’ but cannot wait to strike (as Cain did to Abel), wanting the body of Christ to worship God the way they want to worship God.
An example of this propaganda in this spiritual baptism can be seen here:
“The baptism in the Spirit, Tongues and the Gifts of Spirit:
This is a glorious powerful subject. As always, the devil tries to mess up things that are a threat to him and a tool for the supernatural success of the believer. The dead, denominational churches and others that reject the gifts and the baptism of the Spirit, have done very well in helping the devil defeat, divide and weaken the church! There are over 30,000 non-spirit filled Christian denominations today! What condemnation!
If you reject the baptism in the Spirit, tongues and the gifts (which are all inextricably linked), by default, you operate in the flesh, using only your limited intellect and human reasoning backed by a few verses here and there.
In fact, the baptism in the Spirit is one of the foundational legs of the tripod of your salvation. Without it, that would be like a tripod with two legs! The tripod is: New birth, adult baptism in water by full immersion and the baptism in the Spirit, with the evidence of tongues.
If you reject the baptism and gifts of the Spirit, you are disqualified from any form of ministry, simply because you will be operating in the energy of the flesh, and intellect and you will be without the needed revelatory gifts, and in fact all the others.
You will never have the true spark and fire of the leading of the Spirit, although you may think you do. You will always be behind the curve and have a natural propensity to get things wrong. You will be powerless and especially powerless to overcome the world.
You will be characterised by spiritual blindness, which is a huge, huge tragedy in this day!
Yes there are excesses in this, with certain people that belong on a circus stage, but you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water, because some people abuse the gifts.” [Source]
The actual truth is this – ‘they are of their father the devil’ because this false baptism has a lying tongue that condemns Christians worldwide. This may sound like a strong claim until you examine what actually happens to someone if they receive this ‘spiritual baptism’ – its proponents go on to claim a Christian can now be possessed by the devil.
That’s what they teach.
(Just ask Jennifer LeClaire, Patricia King, Todd Bentley, etc.)
Scripture does not teach that one who is baptised and filled with the Spirit when they come to saving faith, can ever be possessed. Sometimes afflicted – but never possessed. So how, if a Christian is ‘spiritually baptised’, can they be open to demonic possession?
As we briefly touched on earlier, the answer to that question is in understanding their anthropological make-up.
THE DEMONIC NATURE OF THIS BAPTISM.
This false baptism is a result of embracing a modern New Age teaching that man is made up of body, soul and spirit. Thus, to operate from a higher spiritual plane, these ‘Super Christians’ must be spiritually baptised so they can manifest the spirit (and the kingdom within) to expel sickness and hindrances in their soul and on their body. The fact they use language talking about how this baptism works to make Christians operate from a higher plane (eg. David Yonggi Cho, Frank Houston) should be a clear indicator that this ‘spiritual baptism’ is a false baptism into the New Age occult movement. That is, it is not a baptism of the Kingdom of God but of the kingdom of darkness.
This false anthropology and supernatural plane was taught in the New Order of the Latter Rain which accompanied their false gospel. This false gospel has many names:
- Gospel of the Kingdom
- Full Gospel
- Power Gospel
- Gospel of Power
- Whole Gospel
- Healing Gospel
This same false gospel has been revamped continually through Wimber’s teaching on ‘Power Evangelism’ and now at Bethel with their ‘Supernatural/Prophetic Evangelism’.
But this teaching can be traced back to that of Franklin Hall – consider this diagram of Franklin Hall (the most influential teacher of the New order of the Latter Rain and Voice of Healing Movement in 1946) in his book ‘Atomic Power with God’:
Notice how Franklin Hall claims this represents the ‘ideal man with all the appetites’. And notice how he says that ‘all of the members, and the body, soul, and spirit completely yielded to the Lord for service’? And that this person ‘has an abundance of the oil in the Spirit’?
Most importantly, look where he positions ‘faith’.
From this teaching, the Health and Wealth and Word of Faith cults emerged about a decade later, all influenced by the teachings of Hall, Branham and the NOLR (and all closely networked together).
This NOLR anthropological make-up is assumed to be the case with the Charismatic Renewal Movement (CRM) today. They are supposedly operating from the ‘spirit’/’Holy Spirit’ and ‘faith’ level when it comes to church life while ‘dead, denominational churches‘ (as we saw in the example above), ‘operate in the flesh, using only [their] limited intellect and human reasoning backed by a few verses here and there.‘ They have drawn the distinction between who is in God and who is out. If you embrace this new spiritual unity through this spiritual baptism you now are to operate in the ‘Spirit’ (blue matter) and not from the mind (gray matter). It is demonic:
They are using a false teaching to damn Christ and His church as failures.
Who really wants this spiritual baptism when it requires you to believe something that is false and disgraceful to Christ, His Word and His church?
As said in the extreme example above,
‘If you reject the baptism and gifts of the Spirit, you are disqualified from any form of ministry’,
‘You will be powerless and especially powerless to overcome the world’.
This spirit is condemning any faithful shepherd or elder in the church who does not operate from this so-called ‘better’ spiritual baptism. Again – this echoes the foundation of the NOLR and CRM cult movements. Their emphasis on this demonic ‘spirit of power’ is usurping the Holy Spirit and the Word itself.
Looking at another diagram from Franklin Hall’s infamous book, see how he portrays the spirit-filled man and ‘faith’ in contrast to other Christians:
The concept behind the book is that we must ‘die to self’ – thus we must hunger and thirst for more of God to experience a spiritual renewal so that God can move upon us in power when we operate from a pure faith that unlocks heaven in our lives:
This teaching has been reworked to be known as the ‘baptism of the spirit’. (Those influenced by Hall found his practices extreme and hard to follow.) Nevertheless, his New Age anthropology, false gospel and false spirit make up the back-bone of the Voice of Healing movement in the 1950s and is the foundation of the Charismatic Renewal Movement.
Apparently, one is more prone to the devil and his demons if they are not filled with the ‘Spirit’ as is taught in the NOLR/CRM/NAR cults. To be filled, fasting is not as emphasised (as it is in some NAR events like Engle’s ‘The Call’ rallies and Azuza ‘Now’). It is more so in prayer and worship – which is why NAR cults like Bethel, Vineyard, Hillsong and Planetshakers emphasize worship. This is so that the Holy Spirit in the believer supposedly can exercise more influence and dominion over the flesh. If their spirit is weak because they have not been refilled through such worship rituals, the belief is that they are more open to being ‘bound and overtaken’ by the flesh, sickness and the devil.
Because of this false anthropology, we must consider how the NOLR/CRM/NAR define what a spiritually baptised believer is:
When one confesses Christ and is baptized by water, they are confessing to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is a Christian
However, when one is spiritually baptized by those who teach spiritual baptism, their confession changes and they see Jesus as a prototype of what they can become in the realm of the supernatural. This is not a Christian. This is not a follower of a Christ. This is a person who wants to be a Christ and even greater.
THE POWER HUNGRY HERESY
The evidence of the demonic starting to influence a person’s life is the evidence of speaking in tongues. This is because people are being introduced to a false spirit often portrayed as the ‘Spirit of Power’ to accompany a ‘power gospel’ through the forms of ‘power evangelism’ or as Bethel calls it, ‘supernatural evangelism’.
To be filled with power or to manifest this power is to ‘yield’ by becoming more ‘hungry’, ‘thirsty’ and ‘desperate’ for ‘more’ of God. It goes under many phrases such as “digging wells” or “deep calls unto deep.”
In other words, this spirit is enticing believers to be more power hungry in order to supposedly be more supernaturally effective in church services and evangelism.
This false baptism leads people to believe and confess things that are very anti-Christian and acts to subvert not just the foundational teachings of holy scripture but to subvert, divide and destroy Christian churches and communities. At its core, it is anti-truth and anti-Christ as this spirit deludes people into thinking they are ‘little gods’, elevating these ‘spiritual’ men and women to condemn true Christians for not operating out of this ‘super power’ that God supposedly promised His church.
THIS FALSE BAPTISM LEADS TO GOD’S JUDGMENT
Those who claim they have this spiritual baptism and go down the road of hungering for God’s power can provoke God’s divine judgment as we saw in the Laughing Revival, Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival and similar revivals. Nebuchadnezzar was judged by God for his haughtiness and pride for being a very powerful man over Babylon. God judged him by debasing his mind and having him act like a beast of the field.
In the NAR and Charismatic movements, they actually call down God’s judgment on themselves “(Fire fall on us! We pray!”). Their haughtiness has at times caused them to reflect the very judgment God poured out on King Nebuchadnezzar.
So if the biblical signs of the demonic and God’s judgment are manifesting when one embraces this false baptism, why is not the Charismatic movement with this false baptismal theology and heresies that lead people open to the demonic and God’s judgment?
* * * * * *
To start this series off, we look at what popular NAR Apostles have to say about this ‘spiritual baptism’. You will eventually start to see a pattern in how it operates more as a familiar and not like the Holy Spirit at all.
The core of this spirit, gospel and Christ is gnostic and must be rejected.
To end, we encourage you to look at this article examining NAR Apostle Reinhard Bonnke’s heretical spiritual baptism. He not only highlights his involvement in the NAR, (‘the Baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues is the new Reformation’), but also exposes how he is the Supernatural Übermensch of Christianity (unlike other Christians).
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Categories: Christ for all Nations