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TRACING THE RESTORATION OF ANOINTING MINISTRY
IN THE MODERN CHURCH AGE
The story of the restoration of the anointing is as fascinating as any we will tell in the
course of this study. When we think of the work of anointing, our minds automatically
return to 1901 when the gift of tongues was again fully released, unfolding into
Prior to the Reformation, the anointing was almost non-existent. As noted earlier, there is little record of anyone ministering under or teaching about the anointing for 1500 years after the Apostles. From the Reformation until the watershed generation of 1870-1915, the anointing was prevalent at various times and seasons, but not generally recognized for what it was. To help us understand the difference between the periods of unrecognized and recognized anointing, we can refer to two classes of anointing, "common" and "supernatural."
I. The Anointing to 1730
A. The Common Anointing
All anointing is supernatural, but not all anointing appears supernatural. We observed earlier that wherever there is some restoration of the work of salvation, there must be some degree of anointing at work, however "commonly" it may manifest itself. By common anointing we mean the Spirit's anointing for ministry of any kind which parallels our natural faculties, but does not embrace the more obvious miraculous displays of supernatural power. Common anointing would include anointing for preaching, praying, illumination of Scripture, and precipitating conversion.
We remember that some of the Biblical uses of oil were for light and for cooking. Oil was also associated with skill. These typify the more common manifestations of the anointing. Wherever the Scriptures were illumined to men's hearts and they digested the bread of the Lord, the common anointing was present. Wherever the word of salvation or sanctification was preached with skill by the power of the Spirit, there we see the common anointing. Wherever men have been led into conversion through encounter with God's manifest Presence, again the common anointing appears.
From this basis, we understand that the anointing was present upon martyrs during the Dark Ages. It was present upon Martin Luther at the opening of the Reformation and broke loose upon the Revivals of God that followed. The common anointing enabled the Mystics, Pietists, Moravians, and Methodists to write deeply and preach powerfully on basic salvation and sanctification.
Being present only in these common forms, the anointing was not generally recognized for what it was. Neither the Reformers, nor Pietists, nor Revivalists preached or taught directly on the anointing. They only knew that sometimes they had power and saw results through their preaching. Other times they did not.
B. The Supernatural Anointing
If the common anointing was hardly recognized for what it was, much less recognized and displayed were the evidences of supernatural anointing. The supernatural anointing includes the obviously supernatural gifts of miracles, divine healing through laying on of hands, prophetic revelation, and tongues. It also includes the offices of prophet and apostle with whom such anointings are most readily associated.
Throughout the Dark Ages and Reformation, there was almost no recorded manifestation of supernatural anointing. The only significant reference to a body of saints practicing under this power after the first apostles is the second century Montanists. These believed strongly in the revelation gifts such as prophecy. During and after the Reformation, signs of the common anointing began to appear more and more. But the supernatural was still nearly extinct. Even those who labored greatly under the power of the common anointing generally did not acknowledge and even denounced as heretical the possibility of supernatural anointing.
One of our first glimpses of the restoration of supernatural anointing is found with the Quakers of England in the 1650's. Led by George Fox, the Quakers came into some of the first modern displays of spiritual gifts recorded. These included tongues and prophecy. Significant as it was, the effect of this display was short-lived. For one thing, it was subject to great hostility from the Puritans and other Reformation-based saints who could accept no work of the Holy Spirit beyond preaching and illumination of the Scriptures. More importantly, the Quakers and others who were the catalyst for these manifestations gave into many strange abuses and interpretations. This both earned them great disrepute and prevented those who saw them from seriously entertaining the possibility that supernatural anointing was yet available to the Church.
II. Ascendance of the Common Anointing: 1730 - 1880
The common anointing continued to increase after the Reformation. It appeared sporadically through the writing and preaching ministries of the American Revivalists and the various Protestant missions movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Spener, Zinzendorf, Wesley, Edwards, Whitefield, Finney and all those through whom a notable work for God was accomplished all ministered under the common anointing. This anointing increased in parallel proportion to the restoration of transformation reality.
A. Growth of Revival Power
Throughout this period, the common anointing appeared through a series of localized Revivals that have made the history books for their strength of effect. Perhaps most familiar of all is the first Great Awakening of the 1740's. This was followed by the English Revival of 1759-62, the Cain Ridge Revival and the Second Great Awakening (1800's), the western New York Revivals (1820's), and the Laymen's Revival (1857-58).
The notable feature of all these Revivals is that they supported and advanced the work of transformation which was at the forefront of God's restoration. The first Great Awakening was mightily used to work the initial conviction for sin that brought about new birth. The 1759 Yorkshire Revival, the Cain Ridge Revival, and the Laymen's Revival went beyond this to actually foster the further crisis work of sanctification. (We remember that it was the 1759 Revival which goaded Wesley into the conclusiveness of his teaching on sanctification.) These Revivals acted as birthpangs evidencing the coming restoration of the complete anointing. The power behind Charles Finney's ministry of the 1820's more than any presaged the anointing that would eventually redefine transformation in terms of "power for ministry" fifty years later.
B. Sprouts of the Supernatural
As powerful as they were, these Revivals and their effects were few and far in between, and relatively short-lived. It comes as no surprise then that the concept of supernatural anointing was still quite foreign and even less apparent. In spite of this, there were a couple of occasions in which supernatural anointing and manifestations began to peek through the ground of the Church.
After the Quakers, the next preview of restored supernatural
anointing occurred about 1800. As
Methodism spread across the American frontier, evidences of speaking in tongues
and other unusual spiritual manifestations surfaced. The Cain Ridge Revival in eastern
By far, the most significant portent of the coming supernatural anointing
appeared in 1830. Well after the
work of transformation was established, there occurred an outbreak of
distinctively charismatic experience in
The Presbyterian pastor Edward Irving explored, documented, and promoted
what he perceived to be this new work of God in the Church.* Convinced that the apostolic era had
This church, like the Montanists and Quakers, was a people ahead of its
time. They were unable to long sustain the power they held in their hands.
Mistaking a spark for the flame, the movement founded by
C. Anointed Flesh
Because the anointing characteristically falls on all flesh, it not only activated the transformation process in multitudes during this era, but also germinated the seeds of fleshly thorns and briers. The increase of revival power on the frontiers was accompanied by an increase of fleshly hype and emotionalism. Indeed, as wheat and tares grow indiscernibly together, it was not easy to tell the real from the false.
As the common anointing began to transition toward supernatural anointing, the parallel counterfeits of fleshly hype gave way to more dangerous false anointings. These in turn gave birth to a number of extremist groups and "utopian" communities from which worldwide cults spread. False prophetic gifts and tongues were demonstrated among such groups as the Shakers, the Mormons, the Oneida Community, and the Millerites.
Wherever the anointing is found, the counterfeits of fleshly hype and false gifts dog its trail. This reality continued to factor into the anointing's development and had no small impact by the time it was fully ready to be released in 1900. Nevertheless, the rise of fleshly manifestations and false spiritual gifts before then bore witness in silhouette that the true anointing was being restored. It also witnessed to the increasing nearness of the end of the age. To this day, false anointing has continued to develop and explode in proportion to the growth of the true anointing.
III. Transition from Transformation to Full Anointing: 1880 - 1900
A. Anointing on the Holiness and Keswick Movements
The real birth pangs that heralded the dawning of the complete work of anointing came with the Holiness and Keswick Movements. These movements were energized by the common anointing that had come down from the Revivalism of the Great Awakenings. The harnessing of the message and work of sanctification to the revival-style "fire power" especially caused the Holiness Movement to explode and blanket the continent.
The strength of the common anointing in the Holiness and Keswick Movements led to critical changes in understanding concerning the work of sanctification itself and to new understandings concerning the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the changes in understanding combined with less noble factors to produce great rifts in the transformation movements. These rifts ultimately spelled permanent division between the transformation and anointing restorations. We will study the anointing's effects on the transformation restoration and their subsequent division in the next chapter.
B. The Divine Healing Movement
At the same time that the Holiness and Keswick Movements were burgeoning through the power of common anointing, another stream of spiritual power was developing to pave the way for the fully restored supernatural anointing. This was the Divine Healing Movement. Divine healing set the complete stage for the acceptance of the supernatural that was to appear after 1900 and would become the main work from which all further supernatural restoration would be spawned.
The modern Divine Healing Movement had its origins in
The budding work of supernatural anointing was raised up in
From this time forward, the
Healing Movement was energized by the same force of Revival that was
propelling the Holiness and Higher Life/Keswick Movements. The two became linked
together! Cullis, Stockmayer from
IV. The Full Supernatural Work of the Anointing After 1900
A. Early Pentecostalism (1901-1946)
- The Gift of Tongues: Redefining the Baptism of the Spirit
The conclusive rebirth of anointing ministry was observed through the work of Charles Parham and
William J. Seymour. On January 1, 1901,
a student at Charles Parham's Bible school in
It is often incorrectly thought that the
So what was new? The 1901 outpouring saw the merging of supernatural anointing with two other factors: 1) the identifying of an anointed sign gift as the essence and proof of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and 2) the expressing of faith for a humanly exercisable anointing. Until 1901, whenever supernatural anointing appeared, it generally did so as a sovereign intervention of God upon people. Except for healing which was obtained occasionally as a blessing by faith, men did not directly exert faith for tongues or any other such manifestation that could operate through them. It simply came upon people. Also, until that time, the baptism of the Holy Spirit had been largely related to transformation. By redefining the baptism in terms of tongues the Church's focus was removed from transformation to the anointing as the center of spiritual reality.
The mating of these factors with the supernatural anointing became the defining distinction that birthed an entirely new class of teaching and experience labeled pentecostal. It also established the restoration of the full anointing independently of transformation reality. Charles Parham was the first promoter of the new "anointing version" of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. From this point, the restoring work of anointing became separated from the work of transformation. As the central feature of this story, we will come back to study this divide in the next chapter.
William Seymour, a student of Parham in early 1906, carried the new tongues
- The Gift of Healings
At about the same time of the tongues outpouring, divine healing shifted from being a ministry transmitted only by prayer to a ministry transferred through anointed spiritual gift. The change established healing as a clear work of the anointing not necessarily linked to transformation. In the years from 1880-1900, three particularly prominent divine healing ministries had arisen. These included the ministries of Carrie Judd Montgomery, Maria B. Woodworth-Etter, and John Alexander Dowie. Of the three, Woodworth-Etter's and Dowie's ministries came to especially personify the miracle ministries we associate with the gifted twentieth century healing evangelist.
The accounts of Maria Woodworth-Etter's meetings reads like a page from
the Book of Acts. Many of the supernaturally anointed Pentecostal phenomena were
already evidenced at her meetings long before
Dowie eventually erected a
Christian utopian community north of
Through the ministries of Woodworth-Etter, Dowie and Parham, the anointing for supernatural healing and the anointing version of the Holy Spirit baptism became the bulwark manifestations characterizing the fully restored work of anointing. These works set the basic agenda out of which all further restorations of the anointing have occurred. Other early twentieth century healing evangelists such as Aimee Semple MacPherson, Charles Price and Smith Wigglesworth ministered out of this new anointing-based emphasis.
During this outpouring of supernatural anointing there was a fresh explosion of new churches whose primary relating was through the restored ministries of gifted healing and Spirit baptism evidenced by the anointing for tongues. In 1914, a host of these churches gathered together under one umbrella to become the Assemblies of God, the largest of all Pentecostal denominations traced to that revival. As more and more churches moved out of the Holiness camp of transformation and into the Pentecostal camp of anointing, anointing-based experience became the central focus of popular Church attention. The advent of radio and television added exposure to the already dynamic work of healing, tongues, and other gifts.
B. The "Latter Rain" Period (1946-1960)
After the first great wave of fully restored anointing, other waves of anointing followed. The waves have continued to build in intensity and specificity of ministry. In Chapter 3 of our study, we saw that the anointing touches every aspect of creation. In Chapter 4, we saw that one great purpose of the anointing is to prepare saints for exercising the powers of the Kingdom Age. So it is that as the anointing's restoration has progressed throughout this century, it has become applied to more and more areas of everyday life. The next great wave occurred after World War II, marked by both common and supernatural anointing.
In the common realm, a great anointing was released for evangelistic ministry. This anointing came to rest largely on the ministry of Billy Graham and other associated evangelical preachers. For the most part, the evangelicals did not recognize the supernatural aspects of anointing or even the further work of transformation after conversion. Yet the common anointing upon them for winning the lost to an initial encounter with Christ was very strong.
2. Deliverance Healing
In the supernatural arena, there were two very powerful releases of anointing. The first was in the Divine Healing Movement. In the late 1940's, the ministry of traveling healing evangelists became marked by a spiritual militancy that embraced deliverance from demonic oppression. In this, a new anointing for spiritual warfare was restored. Additionally, there was a great emphasis on the transmission of healing and delivering power through the laying on of hands.
The generation of "faith healers" arising from this movement (some of whom are yet alive at this
writing) continue as the reference points for divine healing ministry in the
3. "Latter Rain": Five-fold Ministry and Activation of the Saints
By far the most significant restoration of the Spirit's anointing after World War II is that which took place through the movement specifically called the "Latter Rain." It is the most significant because, although its initial manifestation was short-lived (1949-52), it added what no other move of the anointing had restored to that time and everything restored since that time is an amplification on something restored at this outpouring.
The Latter Rain outpouring began at a Bible school in
- The restoration of all the spiritual gifts to all members of the body of
Christ without regard to office. The outstanding restored gift was the
gift of prophecy along with other revelation gifts.
- The restoration of the "prophetic presbytery," ie, the calling out and
activating of all saints for anointed ministry by a group of saints through
the laying on of hands.
- The restoration of prophetic singing, singing in the Spirit, and the
writing of Scripture songs.
- The restoration of the offices of prophet and apostle to the church.
Note carefully the word "restoration." Underneath all these renewed anointings was the awakened concept of restoration itself. Through the Latter Rain Movement, an understanding came forth that modern Church history was indeed the story of God's restoring of an organism that had degenerated badly through its lack of anointing over the centuries. The prevalence of this perspective as found in today's Prophetic Movement and other streams of contemporary Charismatic thought (including this book) is traceable to this movement.
In addition to these restored anointings and the concept of restoration, new vision was imparted for plurality of ministry, decentralization of church government, and the need for loose human control over the meetings of the saints. As an aside to the movement, a new end-time understanding of glorification through overcoming was imparted in some quarters. This transformation-based teaching, called "Sonship," was unique to the era of the anointing because generally, the House of Anointing was separated from transformation teaching. As a small but exceedingly important anomaly within the anointing restoration whose implications are vital to the purpose of this book, we will study Sonship more closely in the last chapter.
C. The Charismatic Movement (1960 - 1985)
The Charismatic Movement was a direct outgrowth of the Latter Rain revival and the Deliverance Healing revival. Though the Latter Rain revival was born within the Pentecostal church, it was rejected by that church. Because of this and because of the mass appeal of deliverance-healing ministries to those outside Pentecostalism, the Latter Rain restoration found a new temporary home in mainline churches in what became called the Charismatic renewal.
The Charismatic Movement amplified the anointings restored during the Latter Rain period. Most of what Latter Rain Pentecostal churches experienced became the possession of believers within older denominational churches that predated the Holiness Movement. It even affected groups of believers in some Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox churches, demonstrating the universality of the anointing in its effects. These churches were touched with the anointing version of the baptism of the Spirit replete with tongues, prophecy, singing in the Spirit, and activation of spiritual gifts in the ordinary believer.
While restoring nothing new, the Charismatic Movement was a vehicle to fulfil the word that says the Lord's Spirit would fall upon all flesh. The work of anointing left the embryo of Pentecostalism to become dispersed worldwide among "every tongue, tribe, and kindred" of professing Christendom. As was common concerning new movements in old churches, those who partook of the "new wine" generally were not long endured nor able to grow in their established church environments. Former Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Baptists, Mennonites, and others came together to form their own independent Charismatic churches.
Through the Charismatic renewal, several particular ministries of anointing became highlighted and extensively developed. The distinctive quality of almost all these ministries is that their vision was geared to the needs of the individual believer. Here we will briefly note three of the more outstanding Charismatic Era ministries.
1. The Word-of-Faith and Prosperity Movement
The most notable product of the Charismatic Movement was the rise of "faith teaching." Here, faith is with respect to the anointing definition, not the transformation definition. Derived from the faith that was preached for healing, faith theology expanded the application of faith to all areas of everyday personal life, including faith for financial provision and possessions. The specific application of anointing faith to financial and material provision was called "prosperity teaching."
Centered in the Tulsa-Dallas corridor of the United States, the men who brought faith and prosperity teaching to its fore during the 1960's and '70s were those who had already practiced faith for healing during the Latter Rain period when healing was the sole focus of most faith. These include(d) Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, and Kenneth Copeland, to name only a very few. Through its access to the airwaves, and the corresponding demise of the Shepherdship Movement (see below), faith theology became the majority theology of the Charismatic Era. Indeed, by the early 1980's, the Faith Movement and the Charismatic Movement had become nearly synonymous.
2. Personal Deliverance Ministry
As early as the turn of 1900 some illumination for deliverance ministry was coming forth as seen in Jesse Penn Lewis' book War on the Saints. The concept of "deliverance" itself came to the fore through the Deliverance-Healing Movement of the Latter Rain period. At that time, deliverance, like faith, was associated with the healing ministry. Part of healing was the casting out of associated demons causing sickness.
But during the Charismatic Movement, deliverance followed the lead of faith to become a ministry in its own right. The pointed ministry of casting out demons with understanding of the "mechanics" of personal spiritual warfare became highly developed. Some of the noted ministers of deliverance during this time were Derek Prince, Don Basham, and Frank and Ida Mae Hammond.
3. Shepherdship (Discipleship) Movement
The Shepherdship Movement was a short-lived but highly controversial movement with high impact on the Charismatic body. Stemming from the tight-knitted relationship that developed among five prominent teaching ministers, shepherdship teaching stressed the need for structure and highly accountable relationship between pastors and their flocks through covenantal relationship.
While the seed inspiration for this movement anticipated the coming restoration of apostolic vision for Church structure, the move self-destructed through abuse in which believers came into cultic bondage to the wills of church leadership. Eventually the movement and its teaching was renounced by four of the five founding leaders. A remnant of "covenant" churches with this emphasis still exists.
D. Post-Charismatic Corporate Anointings Since 1980
Since 1980, the Charismatic Movement has experienced major transition, mushrooming in the development of more and more particular anointing ministries affecting masses of people around the world. Some of these are direct outgrowths of the faith, deliverance, and shepherdship movements, as well as earlier Latter Rain emphases. Others reflect a spread of the anointing to evangelical streams of the Church previously untouched by the anointing.
These ministries differ in application but are common in that they share all the characteristics of anointing seen in chapter three. They are generally creation-focused, highly active on the front-line of modern society, and emphasize the Lord's grace toward men with little respect to their righteousness or maturity in Christ. The major distinction, however, of these anointing movements from their Charismatic predecessors is their corporate outlook. So great is the distinction that it can be said we are now in the "Post-Charismatic" Era.
As the waves of anointing have become more corporate, they have also begun merging into one great interaction. All the movements generated in the present era are highly affected by and in some cases intimately connected with the others. The same leaders may be found in more than one movement. Following are very brief mentions of the chief anointing movements since 1980:
1. Prayer and Intercession Movement
The Prayer and Intercession Movement is one of the first corporate-visioned movements of the later Charismatic era. Led by men such as David (formerly Paul) Cho of Korea, Larry Lea, Joy Dawson, John Dawson, and more recently Francis Frangipane, many churches have been renewed in the power of corporate prayer. The intercession branch of this anointing has been centered on the effects of corporate prayer upon cities, regions, and nations. A recent intercession emphasis has been the identification of believers with the sins of their cities and nations so as to promote repentance for the sins of the peoples.
2. Spiritual Warfare Movement
During the 1970's, the emphasis on deliverance was largely personal. But since 1985 the emphasis on spiritual warfare has become a movement in its own right with a corporate focus. Conferences are held to study spiritual strategies for overcoming the power of the enemy in the Church, including the highlighting of specific corporate spirits and principalities.
The Warfare Movement has dovetailed with the Intercession Movement in its emphasis on the tearing down of spiritual strongholds over cities and regions. Its influence is seen in the militant aspects of other present movements including the Prophetic and Worship Movements.
3. The Worship Movement
The end of the Charismatic Era has seen the explosion of contemporary worship ministry. Beginning about 1985, what had been the happy praise and sweet worship choruses of the Latter Rain and Charismatic periods took on a sudden bold activation and development. The movement has launched full-scale anointed ministry and teaching on every aspect of spiritual worship. Worship instruction now embraces an entire theology detailing the subtle shades of meaning behind Biblical worship terminology together with application of Old Testament types and shadows for present worship.
The outstanding feature of the worship restoration is the corporate release of entire churches into bodily expressive worship that reaches to art forms beyond music including interpretive dance and mime. Since 1985, worship has changed from an individualized experience to become corporate, militant and evangelistic. "Warfare worship" and "intercessory worship" have been late breaking facets that interlace with the other movements having those emphases. The worship explosion has also taken worship out of the church and into the streets, asserting the Lordship of Christ over all the earth.
The contemporary Worship Movement has created a common spiritual language and visible unity to the worldwide body of Christ where no other revelation or work of anointing has. Additionally, the new worship has done more to point contemporary descendants of the anointing back to some of the foundational realities of the work of transformation that have otherwise remained totally neglected throughout this century. Worship will be at the forefront of the move that sees the complete reunification of the works of transformation and anointing.
4. "Third Wave" and "Power Evangelism" Movements
Since 1980, a notable conversion of many believers to the realities of the anointing has occurred in Evangelical and quasi-Fundamentalist churches that were otherwise untouched by the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. This significant group which shuns labels and focus on personal experiences has come to be known as the "Third Wave." One leading feature of this movement has been the return to sound Bible exposition in defense of the supernatural anointing. Outstanding representatives of this move have included James Robison and Charles Stanley.
Hand in hand with the Third Wave has been the Power Evangelism or "Signs and Wonders" Movement. Originally personified in John Wimber and Peter Wagner, the thrust of this movement has been the necessity of demonstrating the anointing's supernatural power for converting the lost. This emphasis which restores the supernatural anointing as a front-line force in the spread of the gospel has proceeded to overlap with the Harvest Movement.
5. Missions (Harvest) Movement
A resurgence of anointed missions work featuring the supernatural anointing has arisen in the 1980's wherein elements of all the above Post-Charismatic waves have gone to many corners of the world. The universality of the anointing's spread fulfils the end time promises concerning the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh as well as Christ's command to reach the ends of the earth with the gospel. As such, it is a demonstration of the nearness of the end of the present age.
The concept of "harvest" has become a predominant theme in missions ministry. The list of groups and organizations presently working together to carry the gospel of anointing to the earth is now too great to enumerate. One of the outstanding missions groups at the forefront of this work has been Youth With A Mission led by Loren Cunningham.
6. Kingdom Now
Enunciated by leading proponents Earl Paulk and Tommy Reid, the Kingdom
message is an outgrowth of the faith message. Corporately applying faith for changing the outer world, the teaching finds
roots in the Latter Rain "Sonship" vision of an overcoming last
Much of Kingdom Now has come to blend with the spiritual warfare, intercession, and prophetic movements for the dethronement of heavenly powers as the means to effect societal change. A more activist, American-focused segment of this movement led by Pat Robertson seeks to apply the Spirit's anointing to the human political process through direct participation of believers.
Though premature and misguided in many ways, this controversial movement has foreseen a preparatory glimpse of what actual rulership on earth during the Kingdom Age will entail. As such, we will reserve our main commentary on it for Chapter 10.
7. The Prophetic Movement
With this century's release of the anointing, the word of God has become more evidenced through the prophetic word. The Latter Rain Movement brought the gift of prophecy to the forefront of the Church and also restored the office of the prophet and apostle. In the late 1980's, an even greater anointed baptism for revelation of the Lord's mind for individuals, churches, and nations has come forth. This is collectively known as the Prophetic Movement.
The Prophetic Movement goes beyond acceptance of the spoken revealed word of the Lord to enjoin a complete theology and training structure for activating saints in the prophetic gift and office. The "prophetic" is building the Church's bridge to perfection through enabling saints to communicate with the Lord on a plane not realized to this time. Like its predecessors, most sectors of this movement are not largely grounded in transformation reality. Yet as a whole, it is restoring the anointing necessary to equip a people who will yet arise to walk in Elijah's spirit of transforming as well as anointing power. Recognized leaders of the current prophetic wave include Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, Rick Joyner, and Don Nori, to name but a very few.
A new vision for a new kind of church structure and government has also been activated in the 1980's and 90's. The centerpiece of this vision is the return to small groups ("cells") meeting in homes as the center for body life along with the return of ministry into the hands of the common believer. This movement has also emphasized the return to mentoring as a primary means of raising new converts into places of church leadership.
The cell church is not really a new vision but a recovered vision of the
way church life began with the first apostles. Stirrings toward this return
sprouted earlier in modern Church
history with John Darby's Plymouth Brethren (1830's) and the Local Church Movement of Watchman Nee
(1940's). In the Latter Rain Movement, numbers of "wilderness" groups appeared seeking meetings free from
human organization. In the 1960's, the
House Church Movement in
Together, the above waves reveal the extent and diversity of the revival of anointing to the present time. The breadth and scope of this restoration is now so particular as to beg description. This writing is a small attempt to capture the essence of what the Lord has wrought since 1900. At present we cannot say what the next application of restored anointing will be. What is clear is that a great "corporate jelling" of all the anointings is occurring as we move to the end of this millennium. Faith, intercession, warfare, worship, missions, the prophetic, and the apostolic:-- all are melding together into one great post-charismatic worldwide anointing sweep readying the earth and training the saints for the next age.
V. Restoration in Retrospect
As impressive as the anointing's supernatural restoration has appeared, its record since 1900 has told an endless tale of woe through the prominence of fleshly weeds, thorns, and thistles. Having nearly been joined to the work of restored transformation in the late 1800's, the union of these colossal works was no sooner in sight but that they became mysteriously separated.
Leaving the cross behind in the dust of "holy smoke" for 100 years, the anointing restoration has suffered immeasurably from countless spiritual casualties through imbalance and personal lawlessness. Meanwhile, void of the anointing, what remains of original transformation glory has become but a tomb harboring memories of the saving power of the cross.
How could this have happened? The next chapter examines how a critical generation missed its rendezvous with destiny leading to today's "iron curtain" between the House of Transformation and the House of Anointing.
* By a prophecy given during this charismatic revival came the revelation of a translation of prepared saints before the great last days tribulation spoken of by Jesus. This prophecy is significant because it linked transformation to glorification. Soon after it was given, the Plymouth Brethren under J. N. Darby generalized and popularized the teaching to say that all the Church without distinction would be translated before the Great Tribulation. This teaching became known as the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory. More on this in Chapter 10.
** A momentous outpouring of tongues occurred in 1896 in
North Carolinawhich led to the establishment of the Churchof God( ). Even before this, other notable leaders in Holiness and Keswick circles encountered tongues. In 1875, D. L. Moody conducted a meeting in the London YMCA. When he left, numbers of men were speaking in tongues and prophesying under the anointing's glow. A Midwestern Holiness camp meeting reported an outbreak of tongues in 1881. Indeed, it is estimated that before the 1901 Cleveland, TN Topekaincident, more than a thousand people had spoken in tongues in the U.S.
*** At the same time as he was acclaimed for his anointed ministry, Dowie was equally renowned for his self-aggrandizement and his derogatory attitude toward the other healing ministries of his day. At the height of his ministry he became utterly deluded over the importance of his place in the end times, his ministry collapsed, and he died of a stroke shortly thereafter. In this, Dowie proved by negative example that the supernatural anointing ministry and genuine transformation are separate works not necessarily linked together.
**** Bosworth eventually rejected the pentecostal insistence on tongues as the one necessary evidence of the baptism of the Spirit.
[Chapter 8: LOST RENDEZVOUS WITH DESTINY: 1870-1915 ]
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