Purpose of this Session
Schisms within the Pentecostal movement led to second and third generation Pentecostals losing much of the glory of former years. Many within the Pentecostal churches began to cry out to God for a fresh move of His Spirit, and were answered in 1947-48. During this period God raised and released many ministers who powerfully demonstrated the doctrine of laying on hands for healing and deliverance. Among them were Gordon Lindsay, William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, and Oral Roberts. Tommy Hicks, another deliverance evangelist of this period was instrumental in preparing the way for the awesome revival that took place in Argentina a couple of decades later. During one night service on May 24, 1954, over 200,000 people were in attendance. Multiplied thousands were saved, and hundreds testified to miraculous healing and deliverance.
Furthermore a revelation was given to a group of praying believers in February 1948 in Saskatchewan, Canada, of laying on hands with prophecy, for revealing God’s will, ministry and calling in the corporate Body of Christ, and for the impartation of the spiritual gifts. This profoundly affected many churches, with a great release of ministry to God in worship, to one another in prophecy and laying of hands, and a revelation of the five-fold offices being raised and released within the church. The latter rain movement was preparatory for the most powerful move of God’s Spirit in His church since it’s inception, the Charismatic move which would follow 15 years later and cross every denominational and doctrinal boundary in an unprecedented way.
Restoration during the Latter Rain Movement
Much that we take for granted today was restored during this movement including:
- Ministration to God in Praise and Worship and to one another in Body ministry through laying on hands and prophecy
- Singing Praises and spontaneous melodic worship
- Psalms, hymns and Spiritual songs in worship
- Praise in the dance
- The gift and ministry of prophesying
- Laying of hands and prophecy
- Laying on hands to impart spiritual gifts
- Teaching on the five fold ministry gifts and laying on hands to reveal and release people into their ministry gifts and anointing
During this time the major revelation was that of laying on hands and prophecy for edification and encouragement, and of the ability to impart spiritual gifts and anointings through the laying on of hands was primary. Body ministry within Latter rain churches was common.
There was also a great deal of teaching regarding the five fold ministry. Up until now there was recognition of the ministry of the pastor, the evangelist and the teacher, but the Latter Rain teachers emphasised the need for the prophet and the Apostle also. The movement strongly taught Ephesians 4:11-13, that all five fold ministries must be released to function in order to bring the Body of Christ to full maturity before the return of Christ.
There was also a new style of worship that was released at this time throughout the Latter Rain churches. Melodious flowing praise that ebbs and flows like waves across a congregation. Often beginning with songs of fast praise, accompanied with dancing, the worship moved into melodious and often spontaneous worship. Dr Reginald Layzell was recognised as a leading figure in the movement. One of his main teachings was the sacrifice of praise given to God regardless of how one feels (Heb 13:15).
The stage was now set for the most far reaching move of God’s Spirit since the churches inception: The Charismatic Renewal.