Sickles Ready to Reap Nations
For 2008, prophetically, I hear "sickles." They are swinging over nations, and they are set to reap. But what will the harvest be--national revival or national judgment? The Bible (see Revelation 14:14; Joel 3:13) speaks of two types of sickles. One is a sickle of salvation to reap the ripe harvest of the earth. The other is a sickle for grapes--a sickle bringing judgment and the wrath of God. What if the sickle that swings widest over a nation could be determined by the Church of that nation?
Like a giant chessboard, the world is taking shape for the war for the souls of men.
Every year the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation release their "prophecies" for the coming year. This year's prophecies are even more bold about proclaiming that the "church" will "judge" the nations.
On January 1st, the Elijah List, chief organ for communication of these supposed new moves of God, issued a prophecy by Stacey Campbell that set the tone for the year, reviving an old Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God prophecy about the filling of stadiums:
. . . stadiums will fill with massive gatherings of fasting and prayer, the generation prepared with signs and wonders will, like the apostles in the book of Acts, be released to preach to receptive ears. . . .
In a 1996 article by discernment researcher Ed Tarkowski, entitled "The Significance of Filled Stadiums," he detailed the origins of this prophecy. It was first suggested by Paul Cain of the Kansas City Prophets in November 1988, who said on a Grace Ministries tape that stadiums would be the training ground for the Latter Rain's Joel's Army:
"Joel's Army [is] now in training. . . . I believe one day soon Joel's Army will be in training ...until it graduates into the stadium. . . . "
Tarkowski's report continued:
Paul Cain claimed this was the plan of God for this generation - everybody - all denominations - because it is the plan of God for the `last of the last days.' On a Grace Ministries tape of a talk given by Cain some years ago in Missouri, he told his audience,
"I had a vision of you people coming from ...a circle of maybe a hundred miles and I saw people coming from every major city within that circumference and a great conclave was taking place, and it was the training of Joel's Army...I believe that people are going to come together by the thousands and train for the Army of the Lord. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I mean, that's long overdue."
When enough pastors and other leaders are trained, for the Army of the Lord, he expects the greatest revival of all time to result.
The current version of this Latter Rain stadium prophecy connects the idea more to prayer, which seems quite harmless on the surface, until one reads the purpose for this prayer gathering:
Prayer is the tipping point. Prayer will release both the judgments of God (see Revelation 8:3-13), and create the climate for people to call upon the Lord (see Judges 2:11-22; 3:9, 15; 4:3; 6:6, etc). The scene is being set. If there ever was a time that a nation could "be saved in a day," now is the time. The wealth transfer has begun, the miracles are happening, the leadership has crossed over and stadiums are already being filled with tens of thousands of believers who are gathering in solemn assemblies of fasting and prayer. . . . who are consumed with passion to see a resting place for the Lord established. . . .
As I said, in my spirit, I hear sickles. God is preparing to reap nations. Will they be saved--or judged? . . . . [bold in original, red emphasis added]
Note that the Latter Rain concept of "harvest" is connected with "judgment" in Campbell's statements below:
Prayer--massive gatherings of fasting and prayer (concerted, fervent prayer) will determine which sickle swings widest over America and the other nations of the world. When the prayer bowls fill in Heaven, the result on earth is the acceleration of harvest and judgment. . . . [bold in original, red emphasis added]
But who is in charge of this sickle of judgment over nations? According to Latter Rain (New Apostolic Reformation) false doctrine, the CHURCH wields the sickle and is in charge of the harvest as an agent of "God" on earth. This rapidly accelerating (emerging) church will begin applying judgment on those nations (and individuals) who don't conform to their kingdom-building activities on earth. This is also known as Dominionism.
A Discernment Ministries newsletter from 1996 explained how this end-time doctrine is supposed to be implemented:
The basic message of Latter Rain/Restorationists today is: Christians must release the Spirit of God into the kingdoms of this world through prayer, which will cause these Satanic kingdoms to crumble. Then, as the earth faces certain ruin, Christians should be ready with solutions to the World's problems. The Body of Christ, as it becomes united in the truth that Jesus is Lord, will overcome the power of Satan and subdue the world, bringing the times of restoration spoken of in the book of Acts. Until the Body of Christ is in perfect unity, and has restored all the earth to its original state, Jesus is said to be 'held in the heavens.' The doctrine of the rapture is absurd to these folk. Instead of waiting for the heaven, to part and the trumpet to sound, the church is urged to prepare for a spiritual battle and get ready to overcome the world. [bold emphasis added]
This heresy teaches that Satan was not defeated at the Cross when Jesus shed His blood for our sins. The Church is supposed to finish Christ's work by defeating "Satan" (however that comes to be defined), which requires the Church to become militant and at war. In order to achieve this, the church requires more "power" ("anointing"), some of which comes from being properly "aligned" by setting up apostolic networks. This same Discernment newsletter, which provides good background information, quotes from one of the original apostolic networks which explained:
We live in a critical hour. There needs to be a demonstration in this generation of the ministry of the apostle with miraculous, prophetic power and world-changing productivity. When the apostles begin to arise by the thousands, we will be able to take the nations for Jesus Christ. The harvest cannot be brought in apart from this foundational office. In an answer to the Spirit's cry to "restore!", we are seeing the Father raise up a new generation of apostles and apostolic people to take their place in the earth and make their invaluable contribution to the work of God. This requires a fresh anointing and people who are willing to embrace something new while building on and cleaving to the landmarks and foundations of yesterday. It will require experienced men of anointing and integrity to set the pace for dominion in this hour. . . apostolic-prophetic pacesetters nationwide are uniting to plant and strengthen churches through this Network of covenant relationships. A Global Network, Antioch Churches & Ministries.[bold emphasis added]
Stacy Campbell's prophecy concludes by stating:
If we take the principle of first binding the strongman through national assemblies of fasting and prayer, and then loosing the harvesters (marketplace apostles, fiery end-time preachers, mercy evangelists, and miracle workers), we can take nations. . . . . [emphasis added]
Notice that missionary activity is no longer about the Gospel message of salvation. Rather it is inextricably connected to the idea of "transformation" and the Dominionist goal to "take the nations." The 1996 Discernment newsletter explains that this is a Manifest Sons of God cult doctrine, and that these people believe they are the "Elect Generation" and a "New Breed" who will achieve "immortality" by actually becoming "Christ." They teach that the church will become a
mighty end-time army made up of 'anointed' prophets and apostles who will lead the church into a militant form of evangelism. They will destroy all opposition. . . .
They also teach that
"taking the kingdom" must be done by a revolutionary church. The kingdoms of the world including government, finance, arts, sports, medicine, science and education [Ed. Note: these are the "spheres" or "7 mountains"] must begin to realize that the Church has the solutions for all the problems. The church must become the Overcomer! The world will see Jesus in the flesh when He manifests Himself through thousands of saints simultaneously around the world. Bill Britton [explains this Manifest Sons of God doctrine when he] said:
Beloved, it is people in human, flesh bodies who shall conquer this world and defeat Satan. . . Jesus defeated Satan and overcame him for us and put all of hell's forces to an open shame. And He did this in a flesh body. Since He is the Head of the Body, it is now in order for the Body to follow in the pattern which He has set for us. . . This Body of Christ, the Overcomer, shall come forth in mighty power to manifest the fullness of Christ in the earth. They are known as the Manifested Sons of God, and this place they occupy is the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Jesus, the Pattern Son, pp. 36-40). [bold emphasis added]
Considering, then, what these heresies actually teach, this latest prophecy about the sickles being readied for the harvest, is an ominous development. These "overcomers" who believe they have the authority to wield the sickle of judgment on earth have the gall to refer to it as a "harvest," but this is not to be confused with the biblical harvest. And the Church is never charged in Scripture with wielding sickles.
Matthew Poole wrote in his Commentary on Matthew 9:37-38 that "The inclination and desire of multitudes to hear Divine truth is God's harvest" and that "God is the Lord of the harvest." Concerning Matthew 13:24-30, he wrote that this harvest is "concerning the gospel church and the dispensation of the gospel" where the Lord "instructs us what we are to expect as to the mixture of persons in it while it is in this world." A few verses later in Matthew 13:39, Jesus states that "the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." This harvest is described in Revelation 14:14-20, and referenced in the Old Testament book of Joel 3:13.
A presentation of the Gospel should never be accompanied by force, coercion or compulsion in any manner. The Kingdom of God (Mark 4:26-29) is about sowing the seed of the Gospel and planting the message of Truth in the ears of the hearers. The church is not charged with separating the wheat from the tares, nor harvesting with a sickle, nor taking dominion over "spheres" of society, nor building an earthly kingdom.
For more information on this topic, be sure to follow the links in today's post. There are also helpful archives at the Discernment Ministries website, including back newsletters, which chronicle the rise of this current movement and explains more about these new doctrines and why they are heresy.
"There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are thou that judgest another?" (James 4:12)