THE MILLENNIUM: A PREPARED EARTH FOR A GLORIFIED PEOPLE
The restorations of the transformation and anointing have anticipated God's goal for the Church. His end desire is to bring His People into "glorified co-rulership" with Christ during the Kingdom Age. Together with Him, the coming house of fully anointed, transformed saints will exercise total earthly dominion as a perfected immortal body.
As the end of their transformation process, the saints will come to that place where "death is swallowed up of life," putting on imperishable bodies like that of Christ. Meanwhile, the final product of the anointing will be the re-creation of earth itself. By its power, the earth will be made habitable once again after the great destructions it is to suffer before the Lord's return. In this last chapter, we will foretaste the reunion of the heavenly and earthly. Casting our understanding of transformation and anointing in their ultimate context, we will finalize our perspective of these two great works of redemption.
I. Glimpses of Glorification
Hidden behind the 200 year long transformation and anointing restorations has been the quiet release of revelation concerning glorification's final outworking. This relatively unnoticed beam of light is significant because it burst forth at some time during each restoration. These revelational outbreaks were historically unique because they combined elements of both transformation teaching and supernatural anointing during the larger restoration which favored only one or the other. As such, they have predicted the final union of the two works.
Important as it was, this same light connecting transformation and glorification proved to be light before its time. The revelations were so potent in the hands of mortals that they quickly became diffused beyond recognition, or else so distorted that they sent the majority of their proponents out into abysses of heretical darkness. We should not be surprised that the enemy would have been extremely intent on destroying the potential of these revelations in the lives of the saints. Very few who came into these glimpses of nearing immortality were able to handle them properly. Nevertheless, the time is at hand for the Lord to give a new generation updated light on the final transition to glorification. To receive this light properly, we must learn from what light has already been shed and the mistakes made concerning it.
A. The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Revelation and the Scottish Charismatic
Revival of 1830
Seventy years before the
supernatural work of anointing was fully initiated, an isolated outburst of
charismatic displays took place in
During the revival, a woman named Margaret MacDonald entered a trance at which time she uttered an extensive prophecy concerning the return of Christ. The prophecy intimated that a certain aspect of the Lord's coming would precede the greater part of the judgments to come. More importantly, it indicated that a readied holiness was required of anyone who was to be found worthy to stand before the Lord and escape the severity of the Tribulation. Following are key extended excerpts from that prophecy:
Here I was made to stop and cry out, "O it is not known what the sign of the Son of man is; the people of God think they are waiting, but they know not what it is." I felt this needed to be revealed, and that there was great darkness and error about it; but suddenly what it was burst upon me with a glorious light. I saw it was just the Lord himself descending from Heaven with a shout, just the glorified man, even Jesus; but that all must, as Stephen was, be filled with the Holy Ghost, that they might look up and see the brightness of the Father's glory. I saw the error to be, that men think that it will be something seen by the natural eye; but 'tis spiritual discernment that is needed, the eye of God in His people.
Many passages were revealed in a light in which I had not before seen
them. I repeated, "Now is the
I said, "Now shall the people of God have to do with realities... now shall the glorious mystery of God in our nature be known... now shall it be known what it is for man to be glorified." I felt that the revelation of Jesus Christ had yet to be opened up... it is not knowledge about God that it contains, but it is an entering into God... I saw that there was a glorious breaking in of God to be....
I felt that those who were filled
with the Spirit could see spiritual things,... while those who had not the
Spirit could see nothing... so that two shall be in one bed, the one taken the
other left, because the one has the light of God within while the other cannot
I saw the people of God in an awfully dangerous situation, surrounded by entanglements, about to be tried, and many about to be deceived and fall. Now [or, "after this" -ed.] will The Wicked be revealed, with all power and signs and lying wonders, so that if it were possible the very elect will be deceived... This is the fiery trial which is to try us... It will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus; but Oh it will be a fiery trial. Every soul will be shaken to the very centre. The enemy will try to shake in everything we have believed... but the trial of real faith will be found to the honour and praise and glory. Nothing but what is of God will stand. The stony ground hearers will be made manifest... the love of many will wax cold...
The trial of the church is from Antichrist. It is by being filled with the Spirit that we shall be kept. I frequently said, "Oh be filled with the Spirit-- have the light of God in you, that you may detect satan... be full of eyes within... be clay in the hands of the potter... submit to be filled, filled with God."*
This revelation is significant for several reasons. First, it is the earliest indication we have in Church history that leaves open a hope for escaping any of the judgments of the tribulation. (Depending on its context, the word "Now" as used in this era was used sequentially to mean "next," "after this," or "later." Thus, the revealing of the antichrist comes sequentially after the spiritual appearing of Christ by which the qualified ones are translated.) Until this prophecy came forth, it was generally assumed that all Christians regardless of standing before the Lord would pass through all tribulation prior to His return.
Second and more importantly, however, the prophecy gives the first clear glimpse we have showing the conditional relationship between transformation and glorification. Until this time, it was nearly universally believed that the resurrection or translation to glorification was a totally unconditional event. Anyone who was born again was considered to automatically qualify for translation without regard for growth, maturity, obedience, or lifestyle.
In defining the conditional relationship between transformation and glorification, the prophecy also clarified that glorification is the end of the transformation process. Until this time, there was no clear terminus for the work of transformation. Wesley himself grasped at the issue. He concluded that all believers must somehow be suddenly entirely sanctified at death if they did not enter full sanctification in this life. But the revelation given through Margaret MacDonald unmistakably showed that glorification is the end product of transformation, a product conditional upon transformation's outworking.
Thirdly, this new emphasis relating transformation to final translation was born in a context marked by the supernatural anointing. For a brief moment the supernatural anointing was seen supporting the message of transformation. This was a small harbinger of the full restoration of the transformation and the anointing that will mark the very end time. Keep in mind that when this revelation came forth, any supernatural work of anointing was almost unheard of. It would yet be seventy years before the dawn of Pentecostalism.
- Dilution of the Vision
Despite its prophetic origin, the understanding that Christians could
obtain glorification before the great end time tribulation became widely spread.
However, the transformation factor was immediately lost. The doctrine out of
The new "Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory" quickly became popularized through the evangelical movement of the late 19th century, piggy-backing the resurging end-time prophecy interest of that time. Today it is the leading though declining view of translation in the fundamentalist and evangelical churches. Stripped of its conditional holiness, the doctrine has served to put the Church to sleep concerning both holiness and coming tribulation. What was originally a revelation of hope for an earlier translation through holiness became a generalized guarantee of escape from all tribulation regardless of holiness.
B. The Latter Rain Revelation of Sonship and the Manifestation of the
Sons of God (1949)
Almost 120 years after the first spiritual glimpse into the day of
glorification, another more powerful and extensive revelation was released. This
illumination was birthed out of the Latter Rain Movement. It came initially
through T.E. Crane, director of Northwest Bible Institute in
As Crane was conducting a class, the Spirit of God suddenly fell upon the entire student body, all of whom began prophesying. Amidst the outpouring, Crane received a vision concerning the "manifestation of the Sons of God" at the end of this age. In the vision, he saw the saints having overcome the final enemy death, walking throughout the earth with glorified bodies as a mighty army, displaying the great power of God to heal and cast out demons.
From here the message began to spread. The new "sonship" teaching, as it came to be known, was eventually most articulated and defined during the 1960's by Bill Britton, a former Assemblies of God pastor who caught hold of the Latter Rain revival. Britton followed the waves of Latter Rain influence to many parts of the world. He held conventions and meetings featuring the call to obtain a full spiritual maturity leading to glorification through an overcoming life.
Though Britton became recognized as the chief proponent, he was not the only prophet to conduct the sonship message. The revelation of end time sonship arose spontaneously in different quarters of the Latter Rain Movement. Other Latter Rain prophets and teachers came into specific, extensive understandings and emphases on the outworking of sonship. Some of the early sonship proponents are still alive, and Latter Rain-style conventions and camp meetings featuring this teaching are still held in remote corners.
1.Contrasts to 1830
Unlike the 1830 revelation, the 1949 vision of glorification was spread wide and far while retaining its original form. This is because the anointed Latter Rain Movement through which it came spread much further than the localized anointing of 1830. The revelational understanding of the coming manifestation became highly developed into the full-fledged body of sonship teaching throughout the movement.
At the same time, however, the Latter Rain vision did not cross denominational lines as did the 1830 vision. Remaining tightly held by the small isolated groups to whom it came, sonship's influence was restricted. While the 1830 version permeated the body of Christ through a diluted popularized version, an exclusivism surrounded sonship teaching which prevented it from infiltrating the rest of the Church. This in turn led to its poisoning through unchecked extremes.
Today, very few outside remnant Latter Rain circles of ministry have ever heard the word "sonship" or "manifestation of the sons of God." Of those who have, most have a very negative impression due to the prevalence of extremes and perversions. Yet its essential message is vital to the dawning reunion of transformation and anointing. Because of its vitality, and because the revelation is so recent and so many of its proponents are yet alive, we must understand the importance of the sonship factor in reaching our goal in Christ.
2. The Significance of Sonship
-Bridging the Gulf Between Life and Immortality
The first great significance of the end time sonship message is that it completes the gap in understanding between our life on earth and our entrance into glory. More clearly than any other teaching, it shows us the relationship between the transformation and ultimate translation. Even more strongly than the 1830 revelation, sonship teaches us we must qualify for final manifestation, ie, glorification.
Sonship teaches us that in order to put on new bodies, we must grow up into the complete image of Jesus Christ, the Pattern Son. As Christ was an obedient son, so must we walk out the same process of personal obedience to the Father. In the same way He obtained glory through death to His own will, so shall we enter life "beyond the veil" through enduring our death process to its very end. A generation is coming who will have successfully overcome all things in themselves. They will have died out so thoroughly to this life that death will be abolished for them and they will put on immortality. These are the overcomers who are entitled to the promises of the book of Revelation.
Sonship encourages us to walk in the hope of being counted worthy of that generation who will live without seeing physical death. It sees the redemption of our bodies as the crowning touch of our redemption, the end result and proof that we have come up into the stature of Christ. Sonship follows sanctification in a straight line to its ultimate reward and hope, putting in the last piece of the transformation puzzle.
- The Nearing
The second great significance of sonship teaching is its foreshadowing of the union of transformation and anointing at the very end of the age. The original vision of T.E. Crane not only saw the glorification of the saints from the viewpoint of their having overcome death (ie, transformation completed), but also from the perspective of their full possession of the powers of the anointing. It saw the saints arrayed with all the powers of the Spirit to overcome evil in the earth.
Sonship is the first teaching that has seen the body of Christ as victorious through the time of tribulation, and not absolutely defeated or absolutely "vanished" from the earth as taught by the diluted Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory. The Prophetic Movement which currently emphasizes the victory of the Church through the coming tribulation owes its understandings to the forebears of sonship. This "earthward" aspect of sonship lies at the heart of the Kingdom Now message which we will address in the next section.
- The Lone Testimony to Transformation
Like the revelation of 1830, the sonship revelation is a transformation-based teaching that was accompanied by displays of the supernatural anointing. The surrounding context, however, was different. Whereas the prevailing work of 1830 was the transformation restoration, the surrounding work of 1949 was the anointing. The Latter Rain Movement from which sonship was birthed was part of a 50 year-long predominance of anointing restoration. This makes the sonship emphasis extremely significant because it is the only light of transformation to arise this century within the House of Anointing since the House of Transformation was permanently abandoned by the Pentecostal Movement.**
3. Distortion of the Vision
Revelation 12:12 says, "Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." As satan's time shortens before the full power of transformation and anointing unite to spell his doom, his wrath intensifies against every work designed to reveal and encourage our entrance into final glory.
The potency of the sonship revelation in the hands of frail clay vessels together with the enemy's wrath against its spread into the Church resulted in a tremendous splintering and distorting of the message. Today, that distortion has left the sonship message weak, emaciated, and poisoned with false spirits. Though it was born amidst the work of anointing, its proponents largely succumbed to the extremes that plague unanointed transformation bodies (see previous chapter). "Where there is smoke there is fire." The enemy's smokescreen through aberration belies the hidden true fire behind sonship ministry. Yet we must briefly look at the smoke of error and abuse that dogged the sonship flame from the start.
As a transformation-based work, many sonship proponents first began developing an elitism that cut them off from both the overall body of Christ as well as the very Latter Rain stream whence they came. The headiness of the revelation led to spirits of exclusivity, criticism of the body-at-large, rejection complex, and in turn to further revelational excesses. These excesses produced doctrinal heresies, false claims, immorality, and cultic isolation.
Some sonship groups began claiming that only those affiliated with their group were the overcomers who would be manifested. Others went so far as to say they were already glorified. Among heresies, some taught that Jesus would only return through His glorified people, hence, the body of Christ is the literal body of Jesus. Believing that their possession of the revelation equaled their possession of the reality, many were given to an exaltation of revelation. This esteem of revelation developed into a new gnosticism (ie, worship of secret revelation) accompanied by an irrational spiritualizing of all Scripture.
Not all Latter Rain exponents of sonship fell victim to these errors. But the stench created by those who did was so great as to give the overall revelation a bad name wherever it was spoken of. It caused many to teach it with great reserve or drop it altogether. The true power of anointing quickly died out of these groups as they began denying the ongoing anointing in the rest of the Church which had not received their message. Today's remnants of the extreme groups are totally isolated, fractured, or hobbling on the memory of yesteryear. Meanwhile sonship teaching in more mainstream groups avoids reference to glorification, daring to speak only of our ongoing maturity.
The Sonship Movement was a premature lost opportunity to restore the full work of transformation and anointing back together. Yet what remains of sound sonship teaching holds the keys that bridge the remaining chasm between our mortality and glorification. Though the original movement has decayed, even now God is stirring in new quarters to give another generation a balanced vision of His Son. It is a vision through both transformation and anointing that will bring us to glorification, fulfilling the original vision of T.E. Crane.
II. Glimpses of a Prepared Earth
While the restored work of transformation has harbored isolated glimpses of glorification, the 20th century restoration of the anointing has held the promise of what life on earth will be like in the next epoch under the reign of Jesus Christ. As an earth-centered ministry, today's anointing is preparing for the coming age when earth will be administered by the direct power of God instead of natural law. It is also preparing the saints for executing dominion over the physical laws and properties of the universe.
A. The World to Come***
Throughout the past and present ages, God's Spirit has come intermittently upon the earth to execute His will at different places for short periods of time. This occasional presence has been likened in Scripture to rainfall. Rainfall occurs on a seasonal basis in a periodic way. Significantly, the phenomenon of rainfall did not begin until after the fall of man in the time of Noah.
But in the beginning, before the curse took effect, the earth was watered
by a mist that went up from the ground (Gen. 2:6). This pictures what the anointing will be like
in the Millennium. When the earth is restored, the Lord's anointing will be
permeating the entire earth at all times like the ever present mist which
continually hovered over
One result of the anointing's permeation will be improved health for mortals. From Isaiah we learn that the continuing generations of mortal men that live into this era will have much longer life spans (Is. 65:20). This is because the anointing for health and healing will be everywhere. At that time, it will be as common to invoke the Name of Jesus for healing a headache as it is today to take an aspirin. Most diseases we encounter now will not even be known then. Yet the mortal survivors of the present age will still require physical and emotional healing from the traumas that will close the present age. Revelation tells us that those who yet retain mortal national identities will find healing from the leaves of the Tree of Life (Rev. 22:2).
The anointing of prosperity will also cover the earth during the Millennium. Men will learn principles of harvest in commerce and industry yet hidden to this age. Also common will be power for the miraculous, especially the creative miracle. The anointing will be used to restructure the earth's environment. Creative miracles will be spoken to purify the waters, atmosphere, and land from the pollutions incurred through centuries of human mismanagement as well as the more immediate lingering effects of nuclear war.
Another common power will be that of prophetic revelation and communication in the spirit. The vast systems and technologies of communication developed since 1850 will become needless as the glorified saints are able to read and project thoughts around the globe by the direction of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit Himself will be the communication network in the earth. Even among the mortals of that time, today's communications technologies will seem archaic as they are replaced by less humanly dependent means revealed to them by the governing saints.
Today's restorations of the anointing which touch and alter the earth all prepare for that time when the anointing will be the medium of exchange for existence at all levels. When God moves from one age to the next, He unfolds His ways to men gradually like the dawning of a day. He sets layer upon layer of preparation so that in the fullness of time, His completely revealed work of the next realm may be expressed. Even so, this century's compounding anointings are like the dawning of that day. They ready the earth to receive the era where life is no longer maintained through the flesh of man, but by the Spirit of the Lord's power (Zech. 4:6).
B. Speaking to the Earth: God's Co-Rulers in Training
The restoration of the anointing has not only been for earth's preparation. It has also been to prepare a first generation of kingdom saints to exercise rulership with Christ through that power. Those saints who obtain glory will exchange the anointings of this age for greater more permanent powers. By these they will continue ministering to bring remaining mortals up into the full stature of Christ's image. Beyond this, they will also speak directly to the earth for governing the natural elements, fulfilling the Lord's original commission to Adam for "subduing the earth."
Throughout Bible history, God used men to affect and alter the earth through the anointing. Moses spoke to the rock to bring forth water. Joshua commanded the sun and moon to stand still. Elijah and Ezekiel prophesied to the earth's elements. Jesus Himself commanded the waves and the wind, and they obeyed Him. So it is that throughout Church history, one can find isolated occasions when God has displayed the anointing beyond supporting the ministry of transformation to touch the earth itself.
During the current anointing restoration, God is raising up a prophetic
generation who are being trained in speaking to the earth. He is using men and
women to affect weather patterns, hold cataclysmic events in abeyance such as
earthquakes and hurricanes, and create geographical prosperity through the
prophetic word. In his book, The Elijah
Task, John Sandford tells the story of how the Lord committed to Agnes
Sanford a "ministry to the creation" in which she was to be an intercessor
against earthquakes whenever
Revelation 11 tells us that the saints will be given power to command the natural elements. As the transition between ages intensifies, natural law will be overtaken by spiritual law. Much of the great cataclysmic upheaval prophesied of the end times will be due to God's executive power operating through His saints. The purpose of such events is to not only prepare the earth for the next age, but to prepare the saints for rule-by-anointing. In the Millennium, the "powers of the world to come" will be the powers of the world that is. Today's exercise in those powers lays the foundation that is training saints for government by the Spirit in place of natural law.
None of this however is to minimize the main focus of the anointing which will continue to be the ministering of inward transformation to mortal saints. In the next age, today's gifts of anointing for leading to full sonship will continue for those who have not obtained full maturity as well as for those born in the next age. The training offices given for full perfection will be in free unhindered expression under supervision of the glorified Church.
Together with the glorified saints who can exercise power over the elements, the training offices that minister transformation among the up-and-coming perfected ones will bring effective government and ordering of all the earth's institutions and societies. Apostolic government, prophetic revelation, supernatural teaching, genuine pastoral care, and powerful insightful evangelism will be working in perfected harmony to oversee the earth.
C. Millennial Revelations in
Not only has the anointing of the last 200 years both prepared the earth
and trained saints for eventual millennial rule, but inspiration due to its
influence has energized men and movements to take action toward fostering and
even precipating millennial conditions on the earth. Like the glimpses of
glorification we have already seen, parallel glimpses of the Kingdom Age have
arisen to dot modern Church history. Much of this vision has been sparked by the
influence of Revival. In some cases it has led to concrete action through social
or political involvement to "bring in" the
1. 19th Century Postmillennialism and Utopian Communities
One notable feature of the 19th century anointing restoration was the accompanying rise of interest in end time prophecy. Jesus once used his deliverance ministry as evidence of the nearness of God's kingdom (Lk. 11:20). Likewise, the anointing's expansion throughout the 1800's also increased the Church's awareness of the nearness of the Kingdom Age. We already witnessed this from the glorification perspective of Margaret MacDonald's prophecy.
Others however were inspired to see what the earth itself would become like. This inspiration fell among Christians and heathen alike, leading many to develop theologies and philosophies as well as to take actions they believed would usher in the fullness of millennial conditions on the earth. Among Wesleyan and other Christian perfectionists, the anointing with its beneficial effects through Revival strengthened an already established belief called postmillennialism.
Based on such types as the parable of the mustard seed which grows to cover the earth with its shadow, postmillennialists believed that the Church Age is the millennial Kingdom Age. During this age, the Church will simply keep increasing its influence until it converts the entire earth to millennial reality, after which Christ will visibly appear to reign (hence the name post millennial). Consider the sentiments of Charles Finney in this light:
Now the great business of the church is to reform the world-- to put away every kind of sin. The church was originally organized to be a body of reformers. The very profession of Christianity implies the profession and virtually an oath to do all that can be done for the reformation of the world. The Christian church was designed to make aggressive movements in every direction-- to lift up her voice and put forth her energies in high and low places-- to reform individuals, communities, and governments, and never rest until the Kingdom and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High God-- until every form of iniquity shall be driven from the earth.****
Others with similar glimpses did not believe that either the world or the church-at-large could bring forth millennial perfection, but that they themselves could. These developed into various isolated societies which we today call utopian communities. Utopians were convinced that by their practices they could be proven to be the people that would bring "utopia" to earth. These visions of utopian idealism which fell upon believers and nonbelievers alike were carried out through more historically remembered communities such as the Shakers, the Oneida Community of John Humphrey Noyes, and "the Kingdom" of Frank Sandford.
2. Kingdom Theology and End Time Communities
The turn in world history for the worse after 1860 revealed flaws in the expectations of postmillennarians and utopians. The increases of wars and evils throughout the 20th century helped restore the picture painted by the discourses of Jesus, Paul, and the book of Revelation plainly foretelling that, at Christ's return, the world will be found as it was in Noah's day, and through much tribulation in contention with that evil a remnant Church will overcome to inherit the kingdom of God.
Nevertheless, against the realism of the Biblical scenario, the anointing has yet prevailed in recent decades to inspire us with glimpses of the Church's potential for sharing in the process by which the Lord ushers in millennial age rule upon the earth. The spectrum of this vision is indeed wide. Like its 19th century counterpart, the anointing has produced both genuine revelation while also baptizing humanistic vision and expectation as well. It has also produced Church-wide movements as well as more isolated communities.
The strongest anointed revelation has come since 1980 through the Kingdom Now Movement together with similar kingdom streams by other names. The common thread of these streams is their embrace of a theology dedicated to the Church's participation in recreating or at least fully permeating all human society as necessary to the Lord's return.
Today's kingdom movements reveal the work of the anointing at its most humanly visible level. Led in its varying shades by men as Earl Paulk, Bill Hamon, Tommy Reid, and Pat Robertson, these lines of thought and action are traceable to T.E. Crane's 1949 vision of the manifested sons of God walking over the earth in overcoming victory and anointed power. They are also an outgrowth of the Faith Movement, extending the application of faith from everyday personal life to the affecting of all society's institutions.
Kingdom theology's positive outlook for the Church parallels the postmillennial outlook for the world. Unlike the postmillennialist vision, it does not deny an end time crisis for the world. Nevertheless, Kingdom Now and its associates do not contemplate the harsher realities of the end times. Instead, they treat them as the faith teachers handle opposing circumstances, --by simply ignoring and looking past them, focusing on their confidence of the Church's final victory.
The anointing, meanwhile, has not ceased baptizing those who today
believe their end-time society or community will produce millennial rule of the
Church. As counterparts of the 19th
century utopian communes, many groups have seen themselves alone to be the true
remnant church while considering the collective visible Church (ie, the church
outside of themselves,) as hopelessly lost, mired in the world, and answering to
the name of
D. Failure of the Millennial Glimpses
When we survey the effects of all the millennial inspirations that have accompanied the anointing, we shouldn't be surprised that they have proved as fatal in the hands of mortals as have the glimpses of glorification. As a product of the anointing, these creation-centered visions of the Kingdom Age have proven to be far more competitive with the work of transformation than they have to supplementing it. Instead of reinforcing transformational kingdom reality that begins with the intimacy of the Father's fellowship, they have become magnets for the spiritual idolatry and feverish activism we studied last chapter.
Remembering that the anointing baptizes all flesh, we understand that not all millennial glimpses have been from the Lord. Most have been of the flesh, leading to purely human efforts at establishing utopia here and now. The majority of 19th century utopian communities and philosophies sprouted from hearts that did not even have the transformation seed of identity in Christ. Some like the Oneida Community were built on heresies and immorality. Other counterfeit philosophies like communism went on to produce the world's most cruel and oppressive regimes. Today's descendant of 19th century natural utopian philosophy now stalks the earth in the form of the New Age Movement.
But even of those visions that have been truly from the Lord upon Christian hearts, the overwhelming number have failed to support transformation reality. Postmillennialism failed as did all utopian communities because the vision for earth's transformation was not built on the same crucifying principles as were embraced for personal sanctification. Postmillennialists failed to realize that earth itself must pass through its own baptism of death before it can be resurrected to an age of new life.
As a product of the post-Azusa anointing, today's kingdom movements are not even based in the realities of personal transformation belonging to 19th century holiness optimists. Though they stem from the same Latter Rain vision that foresaw the glorification of the sons of God, they ignore that the vision's picture of the victorious Church was predicated on her having first obtained such glorification through the cross. Kingdom theology traces its mandate for earthly rulership to God's original commission to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). Yet it forgets that this mandate can now only be fulfilled according to the self-effacing principles of the Second Adam, not the anointing-energized principles of the first man.
Kingdom theology truly anticipates our coming part in that Revelation 11 company which executes God's authority in the earth. But no glimpse of our part in ushering in God's visibly manifest kingdom can ever substitute for the death process by which that manifestation is brought forth. Vision plus anointed action can never equal the inward reality that alone produces fulfilment of the vision. No matter how visibly great the mustard tree can become, it can only grow from the inside out, and that only after it dies.
Though Jesus possessed the anointing by which he could have released legions of angels for taking over the world, he looked rather to death as the means for establishing His Kingdom. He was neither a social nor political activist. Today, His plan remains unchanged. To see our anointed glimpses of the Kingdom come to pass, we must as Jesus did release our grasp of the vision, not trusting in the energized anointed action by which we are being equipped.
Yet here is where today's kingdom and related prophetic movements fail. In turn, their trust in the anointing focuses them on the Church, not on the Lord. The exaltation of the Church (not to mention their own ministries) is so strong in places that some have, like their Faith Movement antecedents, deified the Church. The pride of kingdom and prophetic advocates whose swelling words declare what they will do to "crush the devil" rivals that of the exclusive sonship proponents.
In focusing on the Church's triumph, kingdom movements ignore the hard realities of the end times given to produce the Church's glorification. They, like the postmillennialists of yesteryear, turn a blind eye to the Scriptures that warn of the larger Church's apostasy and the severity of tribulation which will engulf the whole world. Idealizing their envisioned victory, multitudes under kingdom and prophetic theology are unprepared for the baptism of tribulation through which Revelation says the Church must and will pass to gain that victory. Who shall give account when these fall away under the duress of such trial, having had no inner fortress first established?
It is Christ in us, not we as the Church, who shall usher in millennial glory. Nevertheless, it is the Lord who has given us these glimpses of Kingdom Age dawning. They prepare us to rule with Christ predicated on our investment in the transformation process. "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." Only by our participation in that process will we qualify to share in the execution of His anointing authority. Only by becoming the kingdom through both our embrace of and our death to these glimpses do we become vessels for "bringing in" the kingdom. Following the lead of heaven's elders, we will reign on the earth only after we have been fully purged of world and national identity, obtained new glorified identity in Christ, and have become kings and priests unto the Lord (Rev. 5:9-10 [KJV]).
III. Final Witness to the Need for Transformation and Anointing
The glimpses of glorification and a prepared earth provide the final testimony to us of the absolute importance of receiving both the work of transformation and anointing into our redemption. Some of us are under a common misconception that through our exposure to the anointing, our activation over kingdom principles, and our confident vision of the Church's triumph, we have all we need to rule with Christ. We do not need to give attention to the realities of inward transformation obedience that divorce us from the awareness of our own significance in sharing Christ's authority.
Others of us think that our translation is a foregone unconditional certainty, and that, once we are translated, we will automatically be ready for everything God has for us regardless of our lack of exposure to it and preparation for it now. We think we will automatically obtain glorified bodies and that we will be automatically ready to exercise all the powers over earth that come with glorification. Thus we can safely ignore the anointing's training tools for rulership over the earth.
But this is not so. In the Millennium, only a glorified people prepared through the full ministries of transformation and anointing will be able to govern an earth prepared to be ruled through the powers of the anointing. Only those who are both undergoing the cross and are doing so by learning to exercise the anointing will be deemed fit to reign with Christ. Only those who die to the last vestiges of their adamic identity and nature while doing battle with the Spirit's foremost sword of anointing will qualify for rulership.
The overwhelming majority of saints who today know only the anointing but are not transformed will not be qualified to rule in the coming era. Those who believe the anointing is everything fail to realize that even in the next realm, death will still appear and the anointing cannot satisfy its demand. Only those who have become transformed now will be able to rule and minister transformation to that part of men who will yet be subject to death.
Similarly, the overwhelming majority of saints who have preached transformation but have failed to engage it relative to supernatural anointing will also be unable to rule. They won't "know the ropes" necessary for exercising the Spirit's ordained powers for governing the earth. These will have to go back and learn of the anointing they rejected before they will be able to rule. A dead testimony to a one-time past experience of the Lord's sanctifying power simply will not "cut it" in that day.
- A New Heavens and a New Earth
The Bible closes with the final witness to the marriage of transformation and anointing reality. At the end of time, we see a new heavens wedded to a new earth (Rev. 21:1). Standing in order, the heavenly, which pictures the eternal work of transformation, comes first. Yet it is not alone. It is joined by the new earth which will embody the ultimate realities to which this age's creationary anointings can now but dimly point. There they are, -- side by side, -- transformation and anointing.
The promise of what lies ahead and what it requires to be partaker of that promise ought to provide all the motivation we need to fill in what gaps remain in our salvation. COMPLETE TRANSFORMATION EMBRACES THE WORK OF THE ANOINTING AND THE ANOINTING EXALTS THE WORK OF TRANSFORMATION. This is the summary of what brings a glorified people to rule with Christ over a prepared earth. It is the summary of our destiny in Christ. And it is the summary of the message contained in this book.
* From Robert Norton's Memoirs of James & George MacDonald, of Port Glasgow (1840) as requoted by Dave MacPherson in The Incredible Cover-Up, Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories (1975), pp. 151-154.
** Some transformation light has begun to peek through more recent anointed waves of the 1990s worship and prophetic movements, but nothing to date (1997) as direct and forceful as that laid out by in the original sonship Revival. Much of what little transformation is beginning to sprout in current prophetic movements has been inherited from Latter Rain sonship contacts.
*** Even at this late hour, our sources for understanding what life on earth will be like in the coming age remains very limited. The Bible gives us some small revelations. Unlike the generation-old revelation of sonship, only a little present revelation has come forth concerning the actual conditions that will exist on the earth. More is beginning to come forth all the time, but there is not an extensive body of revelation on which to draw for prophetic scholarship. Some of what we will say here is prophetically speculative. We are unable to account for a number of possible variables and many specifics. In spite of this, the central truths of the relationship between the transformation and the anointing at the core of our study remain unchanged. This author is open to continued updated revelation from the Lord and any body of prophetic saints who have received from the Lord in this area.
**** from "The Pernicious Attitude of the Church on the Reforms of the Age", the Oberlin Evangelist, Jan. 21, 1846, as quoted by Donald Dayton in Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, 1987, p. 155.
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First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page updated December 3, 2010