‘The anointing! This is the whole thing, isn’t it?’ That is what I heard Paul Cain say some ten years ago at a nearby Pentecostal church.
Rev. Paul Cain is a big name among the so-called Kansas City Prophets, along with a number of others like Bob Jones, Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane, Lou Engle and James Goll.
The Apostolic-Prophetic Movement, sometimes known as the Third Wave, was to work for the re-establishment of a five-fold ministry of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher, according to Ephesians 4 (as they saw it).
(C. Peter Wagner was claimed by some to be an ‘apostle’, partly through his part as a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, in launching church growth seminars at Fuller. He provided prestige and clout to the fledgling Third Wave revival.)
The Kansas City Prophets saw themselves as part of the reconstitution of the fabled biblical model meant to operate in the ‘last days’. And, for such a grand vision, a special and super powerful anointing would be required.
Rodney M. Howard-Browne
I was wondering then if the anointing Cain talked about was the same that Rodney M. Howard-Browne purportedly brought to America, from his home in South Africa.
It was Howard-Browne who strongly influenced the ‘revival’ that came to the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church in Canada in the 1990s. It was there that Randy Clark received the anointing from Howard-Browne and spread the ‘fire’ of the revival.
Howard-Browne, in his books Flowing in the Holy Ghost (FHG) and Flowing in the Holy Spirit (FHS),describes that anointing (the two books are virtually identical in content).
It is essential to define what Howard-Browne means by ‘anointing’ as presented in these books. In FHG he says, ‘The anointing is the presence of God … that will come and begin to touch people’; ‘I wait for the unction all the time; I wait for the burning of the Spirit of God within. That burning, that churning, bubbles like a boiling pot inside, because that’s what the word “prophesy” means’ (pp. 13-14).
Howard-Browne also says, ‘You must stir yourself up for the gifts to begin to operate’ (p.14). And, after stirring, ‘it will happen automatically. God will begin to move’ (p.15).
In a section labelled ‘When the anointing falls’, he says, ‘I began to speak supernaturally. I became another person! … It’s almost like I’m standing outside my body, hearing myself prophesy … People begin to shake and fall out under the power of God in their seats as the word of the Lord comes forth. No one touches them’ (p.31).
He goes on: ‘You can’t say, “I’m going to get up and prophesy now”. However, you can prepare for the anointing to prophesy. You do this by stirring yourself up, by preparing your heart, and by waiting on the Spirit of God. Then, when the anointing comes, you flow with it. But you can only prophesy when the anointing comes!’ (p.31).
Not everyone received the anointing, not even those who actually touched Browne. Randy Clark, who had reportedly got the anointing, was also able to pass it on to others, or so it was claimed. Clark was in Toronto, too, and people touched him; and some got it, but most didn’t.
A contingent from our local ministerial association visited Toronto. There we were, expecting something ‘big’. But even for those who got close to the ‘anointed’ people and even touched one of them, nothing happened.
I saw Randy Clark personally, some years back now, in Redding, California, when he visited the Bethel Church pastored by Bill Johnson, whom I guessed had got the anointing as well.
The anointing was supposedly ‘power’; and power was what it was all about — the power to heal and do miracles. Many members of Bethel had miracle stories to tell: crowns of gold on teeth; gold dust in their hair; feathers mysteriously floating down from the ceiling; people raised from the dead (none confirmed); people with stomach and back pain healed; folks with chronic migraines healed; young people who smoked pot and popped pills healed on the spot.
Oddly, the people I was with, who were members of Bethel, both with some serious bodily ailments, were never themselves healed. Nor did they know anyone personally who had actually been healed.
The miracle stories circulated around town, one here, one there, but somehow the ones healed could not be located. This was no doubt a miracle too!
Do I sound irreverent, or judgemental? Am I being a God mocker and thus in danger of committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? The God mockers is the title of a book written by Stephen Hill, who was the principal evangelist for the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida, during the mid-1990s.
All those who rejected the idea that it was a genuine outpouring of the Holy Spirit, he so labelled. Could I be standing against the flowing of the river of the Spirit, now moving in these last days? Am I foolishly, rebelliously, refusing to ride the wave?
Frankly, these kinds of mind-think, conformist charges are enough to satisfy and shut up many questioners, but not everyone is so lacking in confidence in the saving grace of Jesus Christ that they stop thinking and evaluating!
Back nearer home, Paul Cain rambled on for an hour and finally stated he was about to reveal the ‘real deal’, the ultimate, that one great thing that meant absolutely everything. Wow! The anticipation! It was palpable.
Cain moved toward the front of the stage. He stood stone still. He stretched out his left arm, his brown eyes scanning the congregation, while we waited without a sound. And then it came, what we were all waiting for: ‘The anointing! The anointing! The anointing!’ he said.
To demonstrate the anointing he stared at a number of the faithful sitting in the front row. I had got to my place early and was a little surprised to see ushers bring in a group of people and seat them in the front row directly in front of the platform. The reason for this became clear later on.
One by one, he described what would happen to them in the future, essentially telling their fortunes. He said he saw a ‘television set’-type thing over each one’s head and could watch their futures unfold before his very eyes.
One would be a great prophet in Africa. Another would be greatly used of God in Asia as a healer. One young lady would found a school for orphans in South America. Without exception, each person would do something great and wonderful in the kingdom of God. Cain could see it on the ‘television screen’. It was ‘the anointing’ that made it all happen.
Over the years, I’ve talked with a number of so-called prophets and healers who spoke like Howard-Browne. A burning power rising up in their bodies that gave them power to do miracles was how it worked.
During my days in the Jesus People Movement, when we did see miracles, I never experienced or heard anything like what Howard-Browne described. However, I had, and actually continue to have, conversations with those involved in spiritual practices that sound like Howard-Browne’s anointing.
Those practices are, in fact, of an occult nature. Next month I will explain what I mean by this.
To be concluded