Monday, October 14, 2013

The 1949 denunciation of the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) by the Assemblies of God

The New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) is a restorationist movement from within Pentecostalism which veered sharply away from orthodoxy. It is the forerunner and ancestor of today's New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). In its 23rd General Council, the Assemblies of God rejected the entire movement as being unbiblical with an overwhelming majority of delegates voting to sustain the findings of the committee producing the report. The minutes of that General Council would thus be illustrative especially if one were to compare what it condemns to the current craziness in the NAR.

“The New Order of the Latter Rain”

Resolution No. 7 was read by the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee as follows:

WHEREAS, We are grateful for the visitation of God in the past and the evidences of His blessings upon us today, and

WHEREAS, We recognize a hunger on the part of God’s people for a spiritual refreshing and manifestation of His Holy Spirit, be it therefore

RESOLVED, That we recommend to the ministers of the Assemblies of God and to churches affiliated and associated with us, that we set our hearts to seek for a continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit founded upon the clear teaching of the Word of God, and be it further

RESOLVED, That we disapprove of those extreme teachings and practices which, being unfounded Scripturally, serve only to break fellowship of like precious faith and tend to confusion and division among the members of the Body of Christ, and be it hereby known that this 23rd General Council disapproves of the so-called “New Order of the Latter Rain,” to wit:

  1. The overemphasis relative to imparting, identifying, bestowing or confirming of gifts by the laying on of hands and prophecy
  2. The erroneous teaching that the Church is built on the foundation of present-day apostles and prophets
  3. The extreme teaching as advocated by the “New Order” regarding the confession of sin to man and deliverance as practiced, which claims prerogatives to human agency which belongs to Christ
  4. The erroneous teaching concerning the impartation of the gift of languages as special equipment for missionary service
  5. The extreme and unscriptural practice of imparting or imposing personal leadings by the means of the gifts of utterance
  6. Such other wrestings and distortions of Scripture interpretations which are in opposition to teachings and practices generally accepted among us

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we recommend following those things which make for peace among us, and those doctrines and practices whereby we may edify one another, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith.

The motion was made and seconded that this resolution be adopted. After brief debate it was adopted with an overwhelming majority.

— Assemblies of God, Minutes and Constitution with Bylaws, Revised: The Twenty-Third General Counci (Seattle, WA: Assemblies of God, 1949), 26-7

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