Pope Francis’ Pentecost messages push ecumenical unity and trashes social media, ‘Spirit of unity’ or ‘spirit of error’?; ‘Pentecostal’ unity

Pope Francis (Pixabay)


Pope Francis gave his Pentecost message. Here are statements from the Vatican’s English translation of what he said:

June 9, 2019

Pentecost arrived, for the disciples, after fifty days of uncertainty.  … At today’s frenzied pace of life, harmony seems swept aside. Pulled in a thousand directions, we run the risk of nervous exhaustion and so we react badly to everything. Then we look for the quick fix …

In today’s world, lack of harmony has led to stark divisions. There are those who have too much and those who have nothing, those who want to live to a hundred and those who cannot even be born. In the age of the computer, distances are increasing: the more we use social media, the less social we are becoming. We need the Spirit of unity to regenerate us as Church, as God’s People, and as a human family. There is always a temptation to build “nests”, to cling to our little group, to the things and people we like, to resist all contamination. It is only a small step from a nest to a sect: how many times do we define our identity in opposition to someone or something! …

We need the Spirit of unity to regenerate us …

Without the Spirit, though, the Church becomes an organization, her mission becomes propaganda, https://zenit.org/articles/the-holy-spirit-rejuvenates-the-apostles/

Well yes, I believe that Pope Francis is pushing an ecumenical, interfaith, propaganda mission.

He continues to promote his version of unity.

The Bible is opposed to the type of religious unity that Pope Francis is promoting. Notice what should be promoted and what should not be tolerated:

3 … contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3)

17 “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Early Christian leaders did NOT seek unity with those who were heretical or those who were not Christians–instead they denounced those views (see Continuing History of the Church of God).

It also should be pointed out that in the 1 1/2 dozen translations of the Bible I searched today (including Catholic ones), not one used Pope Francis’ “Spirit of unity” statement.

But Jesus used the expression “Spirit of truth” three times (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13). The truth is the Bible does not advocate the type of ‘harmony’ that Pope Francis does.

The Apostle John wrote about the spirit of truth and the spirit of error:

5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:5-6)

Pope Francis’ statements are like those of a lamb to the world, but the word of God shows those are words of a dragon (cf. Revelation 13:11).

Let me add that Pope Francis’ cut against social media is consistent with a call he made essentially to censor speech a while back (see Pope Francis pushing for limits of speech and seemingly justifies violence).

The Bible warns of a coming totalitarian power (Revelation 13) that will, for a time, be supported by the church of seven hills (Revelation 17).

Charismatics like Kenneth Copeland have strongly pushed for unity with the Church of Rome (watch Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!).

Pope Francis’ call for unity is also consistent with a ‘latter rain’ teaching that various ‘Pentecostals’ like Paul Cain hold.
They expect that in the coming “last days,” the various church denominations would dissolve, and the true Church would coalesce into citywide (or other region) churches under the leadership of the newly restored apostles and prophets.Here is something along those lines:

Modern Prophets have received “new revelations” of the end-time which, until now, have not been understood by the Church. … Vineyard Ministries Apostle, Jack Deere, believes that the two witnesses in Revelation 11 may very well be Kansas City Prophets, Paul Cain and Bob Jones. Says Paul Cain:

“God is raising up a new standard, a new banner if you will, that’s going to radically change the expression, the understanding of Christianity in our generation…God has invited us to have a role in establishing this NEW ORDER of Christianity…God is offering to this generation something He has never offered to any other generation… Beware lest OLD ORDER brethren rob you and steal this hope from you!(2)

Bob Jones has received special revelation about this new hope:

“I have called the best of every blood line in earth unto this generation…I have elected to bring them forth in this generation…THE ELECT GENERATION…even the bloodline of Paul…of David…of Peter, James and John…They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for me’…Your children will possess the spirit without measure…They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before…coming into the DIVINE NATURE of Jesus Christ…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the GODMAN! This generation…is going to see the beginning of this WORLD WIDE NEW ORDER.”(3)

Are you having difficulty discerning or receiving this “new revelation”? Then perhaps you have been interpreting your Bible in the “old way” — comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying diligently to account for every jot and tittle and being careful to rightly divide the Word of truth. If this describes you, then you belong to the “Old Generation” which will not enter in to “possess the land” in the Latter Rain Revival. You may even be a member of a denominational church with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine. These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming “Postdenominational Church.” Paul Cain advises that you “dump all that carnal stuff” (doctrine) and listen to what the “spirit” is saying to the churches through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many “new, sacred truths.” …

Over 50 years ago, William Branham, George Warnock, Paul Cain and others attempted to introduce Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God teachings into the Pentecostal movement. … a “united” Church will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The prophetic fulfillment of this Feast is said to occur prior to the return of Christ. Latter Rain prophets claim that this will also be a “Second Pentecost,” since the first was ‘incomplete.’ …

This Latter Rain “Second Pentecost” during Tabernacles is suggestive of the “Planetary Pentecost” preached by Barbara Marx Hubbard as the peaceful “alternative to Armageddon.” At this time, a “quantum leap” in the evolution of mankind will occur as revealed to her by “the Christ”: “At the moment of cosmic contact, I will appear to you both through inner experience and through external communication on your mass media.” Says Ms. Hubbard, it will be a time when “the divisions of the religions would be over…We would each know that God is within us…If all who feel we are connected to each other, to nature and to God join in a planetary Pentecost, we shall be transformed in this lifetime. I believe in the peaceful second Coming.” (Aho B. THE LATTER RAIN REVIVAL. http://watch-unto-prayer.org/rain.html Retrieved 03/28/19)

Ecumenical unity will not prevent “Armageddon,” but improper unity will be a major factor leading to it (cf. Revelation 17 & 19). Those so-called “new truths” were not part of “the faith delivered once for all to the saints” (Jude 3) and are themselves heretical. Christians should search scriptures for doctrine (cf. Acts 17:11) as God’s “word is truth” (Psalm 119:60, John 17:17). The scriptures are there for Christians to be “complete, thoroughly equipped” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and not be swayed by false emotional doctrines (cf. Ephesians 4:14-15).

Ecumenical latter rain proponent Jay Atkinson has written the following:

The Latter Rain as a “movement” began with Pentecostal power. … The Latter Rain is God’s great end-time ministry. This concept … comprises the restitution of the church to it’s rightful place, the enormous last day revival soon to come, and the harvest of souls before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. It is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh promised to us in the last days and the restoration of apostolic and prophetic gifts. It has been explained like this, the latter rain, the latter reign and the latter rein; first the spiritual outpouring, then the spirit and Bride says come in power and authority and then the ingathering. (Atkinson J. The Latter Rain. The Latter Rain Page. http://latter-rain.com/eschae/latter.htm retrieved 06/09/19)

Mainline denominations that have not been previously exposed to the charisms and baptism of the Holy Ghost are coming to a more perfect knowledge of Jesus through a spirit of ecumenical thinking in the spirit of coming together that transcends the narrow denominational biases of the past. … The worst churches in Christendom are not those that need to repent but those in pride that are unwilling to repent, especially those that are opposed to ecumenicism. They are easy to identify, they think that they are the chosen saints of God, they have an illiberal nature and are intolerant of others, self-righteous, they oppose dialogue, independent, a sinful spirit of division and particularistic exclusivism. … The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers As One Body We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory (Atkinson J. Ecumenical. The Latter Rain Page. http://latter-rain.com/kingdom/ecu.htm retrieved 06/09/19)

While we should strive to live peaceably with all (Romans 12:18), Jesus DID NOT come so that the world would be united religiously in this age (cf. Matthew 10:34-39). The “latter rain” comes AFTER, not “before the great and terrible Day of the Lord” as Jay Atkinson has asserted. Also, the Bible does NOT speak of “a spirit of ecumenical thinking in the spirit of coming together.” When I read over all of Pope Francis’ sermon, I saw a lot of similarities between what he and Jay Atkinson were saying.

Of course, the Bible does not promote the Pentecostal “latter rain” view, but warns against it (e.g. 2 Corinthians 6:7; cf. Revelation 2-3).

What about the Church of God? Has it had teachings on the latter rain?


Here is something from the CCOG book Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation:

The Former and Latter Rain

The firstfruits are called now, they are part of an earlier rain, but a latter rain will come when it is time:

24 Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest. (Jeremiah 5:24)

3 Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth. (Hosea 6:3)

23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you — The former rain, And the latter rain in the first (Joel 2:23).

This latter rain that will come in the future represents a harvest according to James 5:7:

7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

Others will be called later and we should patiently wait for that time.

In the lead article for the first issue of the Hope of Israel, published by the Church of God (Adventist), there was a teaching to the effect that Pentecost represented the former rain, but that a latter rain was to come:

The churches of God in Wisconsin, looking for the appearing of the Lord, and the same class of churches in Iowa and some of the same faith in Illinois, have taken their stand upon the word of God contained in the prophets of Jehovah, and the apostles of Christ, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; admitting no other authority for their faith, practice and discipline; yet are we waiting for the latter rain, spoken of by Joel 2:23. If, as Peter said on the day of pentecost, that which then was seen in the apostles was a fulfilling of the prophecy of Joel, surely it was but the former rain; and the latter rain is yet to come, attended with wonders in the heavens and in the earth and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. (Davison S. Letter from Iowa to H.S. Dille. Hope of Israel, Vol. 1, August 10, 1863, p. 1)

In the 20th century the old Worldwide Church of God taught this related to God’s plan and the former and the latter rain:

To keep His children constantly in the true understanding of His great PLAN of salvation, Christ — the Lord of the Old Testament — originally took the yearly agricultural harvests of Palestine as a TYPE OF God’s SPIRITUAL HARVESTS of human beings.

In Palestine there are two annual grain harvests. First, produced by the EARLY rain, is the SMALLER SPRING HARVEST. Second, produced by the “latter rain,” comes the main harvest — the much GREATER FALL HARVEST. …

The FIRST THREE festival periods, beginning with the Passover, are MEMORIALS of the first part of God’s Plan. They picture only the firstfruits of Christ’s labors.

The LAST FOUR festivals look forward to the future and show how God will reap THE LATTER GREAT FALL HARVEST OF BILLIONS OF PEOPLE! (Lesson 33 – The Passover – Christ’s Sacrifice Begins God’s Master Plan. Ambassador College Correspondence Course, 1969)

Now, the latter rain has to do with the coming great harvest that will come after this age. It may involve 70 to 110 billion or so people.

The old Radio Church of God taught:

Joel 2: … The rain spoken of in verse 23 is dual — a spiritual as well as a physical rain which produces great physical abundance. God is now giving the former rain of the Holy Spirit “moderately” — producing the small harvest of firstfruits. There is to be a correspondingly larger “latter rain” of the Spirit to produce the greater spiritual harvest … a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit — and hence, of salvation — is typified by and associated with increased rain on desert areas … Compare also Isaiah 44:3 and John 7:37-39. (Lesson 38 – The Feast of Tabernacles – The World Tomorrow. Ambassador College Correspondence Course, 1965).

Isaiah was inspired to write:

3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring; (Isaiah 44:3)

The ‘dry bones’ are raised and given their opportunity for salvation (Ezekiel 37:4-10). That day is coming. (Thiel B. Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation. Nazarene Books, 2019)

Bible prophecies related to the “latter rain” are NOT fulfilled until AFTER Jesus returns. Pentecostals, those in the ecumenical movement, and others who teach otherwise are in biblical error.

Instead they and others should be teaching The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Anyway, for more on Pentecost itself, you may wish to watch: God’s Pentecost Plan and Your Part in It.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

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Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come.
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Pentecost is Part of God’s Plan. This combines a couple of articles from the 1980s, plus additional scriptures and modern comments about Pentecost. Here are links to two related sermons: God’s Pentecost Plan and Your Part in It and Pentecost Plan.


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