The charismatic 'Manifested Sons of God' (MSoG) heresy finds its root in, amongst other things, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism - themselves heresies fought-against by the early church fathers.
(The Pelagian part is that which says men may attain to perfection in this world. The Semi-Pelagian part is that which says faith is an act of human freedom; atonement is universal, and it is possible to lose our salvation. The Arminian part says salvation, and even predestination, depends on our response; Christ died for everyone; grace can be resisted, and it is possible to lose our salvation. All of these heresies - and more - are contained in charismaticism in general, the Toronto Blessing, and are heightened in the MSoG heresy/blasphemy).
The MSoG heresy arose out of the Latter Rain heresy, which was denounced by the Assemblies of God in 1948. Yet, today, the MSoG idea is pushed by big-name charismatic preachers (and their puppet minions in local churches), who talk of a "great end time army", who will "take nations for God" and will "usher in the kingdom of God" or bring the "next revival". These people would probably deny being influenced by the MSoG or Latter Rain heresies, but that is exactly what they are preaching!
The idea for the MSoG theory comes from Romans 8:19: "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." This leads to the idea that if creation is 'waiting', then it is up to us to hurriedly do something! As the Church we are the Christ and so we can deliver creation from corruption. But, we cannot do all this until we realise we are the Christ and do something about it! Once we do, we shall become immortal. Then we can 'crush God's enemies, even death, and usher in the kingdom of God and take the world for Jesus through the miracle working power that is within us.' (quoted from Randles). This is the thinking we observed in the Toronto Blessing!
Thus waiting for a rapture was discarded, in favour of an inner coming of Christ, instant activity, and a new world brought in by Super-Christians, who are Christ. This same message was taught by Latter Rain, and also in the freedom-numbing Shepherding movement. Other movements also bear the core of this MSoG heresy, including 'Word Faith', 'Kingdom Now', 'Dominion', 'The Prophetic Move', the 'Toronto Blessing', and others.
However, like Jehovah's Witnesses, charismatics change their beliefs as often as is necessary to cover-up their mistakes! Thus, the MSoG movement amended its initial claims by saying that not all churches and Believers will receive "the revelation" concerning their coming super-state. Instead the whole weight bringing-in the brand new world will be on the shoulders of a select band of Christians, called the "100 fold fruit of the earth, brought forth by the Latter Rain... They are the ones who put Satan under their feet and gain back the inheritance lost by Adam and much more beyond that." Of course, no charismatic wanted to be merely one of the redeemed, when he or she could be one of the elite "principle wheat"!
Today, this thinking is found in the so-called 'New Breed' teaching of the Kansas City Prophets and the late John Wimber. Thus, according to Mike Bickle (a KCP), there are several levels of apostles today: ordinary apostles, imminent apostles and most imminent apostles, and there would only be 35 most imminent apostles in the world, who would be all-powerful and of the highest level! These apostles will be the "Elijah's" of the last days, or "Joel's Army". John Wimber supported this view, and the view that says the super-church will be the "corporate Christ" or the "ongoing incarnation of Christ". In some form or another, these appalling views have become dominant in the charismatic churches, even though they were rejected in the 1940's.
Also according to these views, Christ was only the pattern of something perfect to come: that is, us, today's Christians!! If this is true, then 'perfection' was found in the Toronto Blessing, with its havoc, hatred and sexual licence! Another idea in MSoG teaching is that Christ is incomplete without us, His Body. I have heard this teaching even recently, in my home city, and also the allied teaching that because Christ is incomplete and He 'failed' in some measure whilst on this earth, we have to 'help Him' win the world to Christ.
Kenneth Hagin (Word of Faith leader) said: "The believer is just as much an incarnation as Jesus was." Earl Paulk went further: "Jesus was God in the flesh. We must be as he was in the world in volume and influence... The completion of the incarnation of God in the world must be in His Church... Jesus Christ is the firstfruits, but without the ongoing harvest, the incarnation will never be complete... We are on earth as extensions of God to finish the work He began. We are the essence of God, His ongoing incarnation in the world."
This incredible teaching - the claim to be Christ Himself - is found today. If you are in a charismatic church, then be warned, that this is the kind of teaching behind your movement! The name-tags of the various teachings might change, but the same themes show through, maybe in varied intensity, are still there, influencing those who think they are 'the true Church'.
Morris Cerullo is another culprit. He said to a congregation on video: "Everyone repeat after me - God is duplicating Himself on this earth... At last, the time has arrived, God is releasing His life through the Body... Today I am a Son of the all powerful Almighty God... The fullness of the Godhead dwells in me... God has planned for me to be Christ's image on this earth." This utter blasphemy is repeated many times throughout the charismatic movement. Kenneth Copeland has also said that we are "little gods". Thus the one who will rule the earth with a rod of iron (Revelation) is not Christ Himself, but the prophets and apostles of the new age, who will 'finish the job Christ could not complete' (even though He said "It is finished")!
Those Christians who live in the golden age must submit to the super-leaders, or they "shall be destroyed from among the people" (Warnock). How like Islam! In that time there will be a 'new definition of Christianity' and Christ will be 'trying to get the church back' (Wimber). In this view, Christ no longer has the Church as His own, so we must get it back for Him 'before He is able to return'. Marc DuPont (a so-called prophet at Toronto Airport Church) has even said: "God is bored with the Church"!
The MSoG movement has three major aspects: (a) Relentless attack on the orthodox church (b) Ridicule of the 'blessed hope' (c) Reliance on allegory and not scripture. Note how Rodney Howard Browne is a master of ridicule of the churches? Note his description of faithful preachers who test the spirits: they are 'religious devils' or 'deadheads', etc.
Charismatics have no regard for anyone but themselves. They do not care about criticisms such as this one, because they see themselves as Latter Rain saints, soon to be glorified as Super-Saints! They are growing in number (but not quality of spirit) and this is sufficient proof for their muddled brains that they are the chosen ones, the coming 'corporate Christ'. They use such words as "Jezebel spirits" or "Ahab spirits" and go forward to receive the "Jehu Anointing". Myth, legend and imagination is their meat, and it is poisoned! They believe in a spiritual second coming, because any idea of an actual second coming is a "ruse of the enemy" (Joyner).
Leaders of this fantastic movement base their beliefs on astrology, mysticism and spiritualism, plus a sprinkling of scripture. Believe them at your own risk!
© June 1996
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