Frank Houston, Hillsong cult, houston, Latter Rain, Latter Rain cult, Latter Rain revival, NAR, NAR cult, NARismatic, New Order, New Order of the Latter Rain, NOLR, NOLR cult, origins, The New Order
Many people assume that the origins of Hillsong originated from Charismaticism, Pentecostalism or the Salvation Army. This is not true.
Hillsong’s roots were founded in the Canadian New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) cult. Today, this is internationally recognised as the New Apostolic Reformation cult.
This series of articles looks at the history of the New Order of the Latter Rain (NOLR) and how it overran the AOG in NZ, the AOG in Australia and how this was done through Frank Houston, the founder of Hillsong/Christian Life Center.
PENTECOSTALISM AT WAR WITH THE NEW ORDER OF THE LATTER RAIN
The NAR/NOLR cult is openly at war with Christianity and specifically targets and converts churches into its movement. In its early days, the New Order promoted aggressive ‘divide and conquer’ tactics in local churches while pushing the idea of ‘unity in the spirit’. For instance, in its early years in Canada, the New Order attempted an unethical takeover of churches in the ‘Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada’.
It is important to note that Pentecostalism (the American Pentecostal AOG) was the first denomination to denounce the New Order of the Latter Rain and its ‘revival’.
On the 3rd of September in 1949, the General Council of the American Assemblies of God condemned and rejected the NOLR.
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 gifts by the laying on of hands and prophesy.
2. The erroneous teaching that the church is built upon 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 belong only 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 imparting or imposing personal leading by the means 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 unto 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. The motion was then made, seconded and it was adopted that in order that the entire constituency may have the benefit of this decision, the resolution be printed in THE PENTECOSTAL EVANGEL. [Source] (From ‘Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center)
The founder of CLC/Hillsong, Frank Houston, grew up in the New Zealand Salvation Army. It was the Salvation Army who expelled the Houston’s when church members of Avondale corps in Suburban Auckland accused them of stealing church money to buy themselves a car. It appears that Frank Houston brought the musical aspect of the Salvation Army into his new model of church in Australia,, using musical outreach to draw people in to hear the gospel or to attend the church. (This is one reason why Hillsong was very influential in their early years. They used catchy praise and worship music when they did outreaches into the hippy communes of Sydney.)
The Baptists and the Salvation Army in New Zealand were very cautious in avoiding the ‘Pentecostal’ AOG in New Zealand. Hazel Houston in her book ‘Being Frank’ revealed her conservative baptist judgment of New Zealand ‘Pentecostals’. At this stage , the Pentecostal New Zealand AOG was usurped and taken over by the New Order of the Latter Rain cult. Sadly, the NZ AOG embraced the ideas of the Healing Revivals in America that promoted Latter Rain teachings. One prominent figure was William Branham.
One of the spearheads that largely influenced the New Order of the Latter Rain ‘revival’ and the Latter Rain movement was William Branham.
William Branham heavily influenced Hillsong’s founder Frank Houston through Gordon Lindsay’s book ‘A Man Sent From God’. With Pentecostalism already condemning the Latter Rain movement and the New Zealand Salvation Army and Baptists distancing themselves from NZ AOG (which was infiltrated by Latter Rain reprobates), it is easy to see why Frank Houston rapidly climbed to the top of the NZ AOG: he was ticking all the New Order’s apostolic and prophetic boxes.
The fact is, Hillsong is a New Apostolic Reformation Church, influenced by the New Order of the Latter Rain cult. With this background in mind, Hazel Houston specifically writes about Frank Houston being influenced by Latter Rain teaching through Gordon Lindsay and William Branham in her book ‘Being Frank’.
“I was upset when Frank woke up utterly miserable with a soaring temperature, his body aching in every joint. Obviously this had to be a day in bed. Usually sickness turned him into a self-pitying invalid, bored to tears with time dragging. This turned out to be four days of revelation. One of our self-confessed Pentecostals brought him a book with the interesting title ‘A Man Sent From God’.
Gordon Lindsay had captured what to Frank were amazing insights into the prophetic ministry of William Branham at the height of his ministry. From the moment Frank opened the book, Frank forgot to grumble about being sick. ‘This man could tell people all about themselves, even to where they lived and their phone number. Isn’t that marvellous,’ he said to me.
‘Sounds like fortune telling.’ I was sceptical [sic].
‘But he also healed the sick and he gives scriptural references for what he did.’
‘Frank, don’t get carried away with such things,’ I warned.
‘You should read it for yourself.’
‘Not me. I don’t like to read stuff like that. Those things don’t happen today.’ I closed the conversation and my mind but Frank pondered the possibility of New Testament-type miracles in the 1940s. Tears touched his cheeks at the thought of the possibilities. Next Sunday’s sermons contained references to the book. Statements concerning the possibility of Jesus healing without the aid of medicine stirred up some objections from the congregation, Ernie Hall latched on to every word…
‘Captain, ten minutes ago the doctor told me I can’t live more than two months. I want you to come round tonight to anoint me with oil. I’ll get some of the believing saints to join us and we’ll have a healing meeting.’ Frank was shocked. It was one thing to believe and preach about healing but another thing to act on his preaching.
It seemed that Frank couldn’t avoid the issue. He decided he wouldn’t tell me what he had to do. He didn’t want any unbelievers there and I was an unbeliever with a mind as tightly closed as a can of bake beans.
By the time he arrived at the house, sixteen believing Salvationists gathered. After some enthusiastic chorus singing, sister Allison handed Frank a saucer containing oil. He stared at it. How on earth did you anoint someone? Should he sprinkle oil on Ernie’s head or pour it over him. [sic] He’d start by reading James 5:14. There was safety in that.
‘If any of you are sick let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil.’ Not much instruction there. He’d have to do something.
The Catholics would make the sign of the Cross. Perhaps that would do. Frank dipped his fingers in the saucer and drew two oily lines in the shape of a cross on Ernie’s forehead as he offered a prayer of faith. Without warning the power of God sent them all reeling backwards. Ernie fell on the floor with a big smile on his face. When he’d scrambled to his feet again he picked up a kitchen chair with his left hand, raising it high above his head, something he hadn’t been able to do for months.
Frank could scarcely believe his eyes. This was a spiritual dimension untapped by most Salvation Officers he knew.
[…] This forerunner of future events lent weight to the reasons some people gave for calling us Pentecostal.”
Source: By Hazel Houston, Published 1989 (UK: Scott Publications), Being Frank, pg. 54-56.
You can read the book by by Gordon Lindsay on William Branham in pdf form online for free.
A Man Sent From God by Gordon Lindsay
The next article in this series will look more at how the Australian AOG was influenced by the Latter Rain ideas from Frank Houston and the NZ AOG.
In 1981, a man by the name of Enoch Nelson came from Canada to Australia and to our small home church gathering at which he preached for several days. None of us were old enough or knew enough to sound him out as LRM at that time, but years later, after having ‘bumped into’ a number of other local LRM preachers, I could finally understand just who he was and what he believed.
He admitted that he was an ‘apostle’ to us, and taught along strong LRM memes and themes, but never once mentioned William Branham. Maybe he’d learned not to mention that name in certain quarters? He also told us that he was in Canada after WW2 and that people were very poor there in the farming districts, due largely to unemployment, and that they were basically “looking for something to do”.
Then along came the LRM ‘revival’… and that was in the early 1950’s according to Enoch Nelson’s account. You won’t find much about him online, just a few scrawlings about his work in Africa… but he certainly left behind a dozen or more impressionable babes in the Lord in late 1981…
In time, a man named Ray Jackson brought the LRM from Canada to New Zealand and the movement came later to Australia, big time. Their influence can still be seen today in places like the “Brisbane Christian Fellowship” ( BCF – a destructive cult that preaches legalism and destroys both families and individuals with its unbiblical demands). Also the other BCF type organisations in Sydney, Melbourne and a few other smaller regional affiliates.
See one woman’s story here online:
and moreon Ray Jackson and co:
Other places like the Waverly Christian Fellowship that were once under the sway of the LRM, and were a part of the BCF/SCF organisation, under the influence of people like Kevin Connors, spread the LRM poison through their own church networks. The results of false doctrines in those circles today, are division and discension amongst those who were formerly brethren in Christ, before the ‘tares’ took over and choked off the simple Gospel truth.
“Beware the leaven of the Pharisees” (Matthew 16:6) Jesus said, as it was their teaching, acted out in hypocritical manner, that allowed them to hold a destructive influence over the Jewish people at that time – their doctrines brought death as they did not engender life, nor could they. God would never bless their wrong teaching or hypocrisy.
Likewise, every cult that espouses false teaching while hiding it behind a thin veneer of ‘christianity’ will bring about spiritual death in the lives of their followers. While promising life, they bring forth death in the form of materialism and wordliness.
Hill$ongers, be warned…
Apollo I am almost certain that the Christian Outreach Centre, now known as International Network of Churches adheres to this line of thinking. While i’m not sure that it is quite as pronounced i am almost certain the under current is there.
Hi Chris – you are correct. In the Christmas/New Year of 1979/80, I spent 2 months up in Queensland, visiting several churches along with some friends of mine at that time. We traveled up in an old VW ‘Combi’ and I was excited, as I’d never been that far north before. We visited the COC in West End, the CLC in the Valley area as well as the old Glad Tidings Tabernacle AOG in Barry Parade (now situated at Albion, and called Hope Centre – another mega church in the making, pastored by Wayne Alcorn, current head of the ACC).
They had been heavily involved with the COC at Maryborough, and virtually owned Mount Tuchekoi. Clark Taylor had purchased one half of the mountain from them for his Bible School, and wanted to buy the other half and turn the rest of their diary farm into a modern rehab centre for people coming in off the streets back in Brisbane.
The Bible School was headed up by none other than Alister Lowe, a former insurance inspector from New Zealand turned Christian, who eventually ended up pastoring his own church over there, before moving with his family to Australia. I stayed at the Bible school facility for several days, but eventually went to stay with the Blairs, who were pastoring the new work at Maryborough for the next 6 weeks.
During that time, I got to know a bit about LRM doctrines, especially on the end times, as they majored on that theme a lot. Alister Lowe was LRM to the core, and still is today. He espouses such ideas as ‘Manifest Sons of God’ and the “Tabernacle of David’ themes and these are evident in his books, which I obtained a set of, much later during a short 3 month course in 1993, back in Brisbane, after I had gone to live there.
The LRM people often exhibited a “bunker mentality” and had an ‘us verses them’ attitude towards other Christians. This was mainly due to their elitist LRM ideas, as they saw themselves as being superior, (waiting to become Manifest Sons of God for instance – it still hasn’t happened yet…) with the latest in revelation from God, never realising the carnage that such views can do to ordinary people who are just searching for God and the simple Gospel message. Cultish is a word that I’d use to describe it, just like the NAR Glory Gathering is today…
All of his students in those early days graduated with these and many other LRM themes and memes in their minds and went on to teach the same at their future churches. I know this for a fact as I ran into some of those ‘students’ years later and they were still hard core LRM.
Clark Taylor came from a Methodist background, but left that denomination and eventually ended up at the famed ‘Windsor Revival’ in company with the then pastor of the Windsor Full Gospel Church, Ian Munro. Trevor Chandler also became involved, and some 2 years later (in 1972) he and Taylor left and went on to form the Wickham Street CLC. Two years after that, Taylor left the CLC and started the COC with 25 people in his own home. After several moves, they became established at 100 Victoria Street, West End, and he built the congregation into more than 2000 people.
Eventually, the COC moved from West End and built their new facility at Mansfield with over 4000 in attendance, but the LRM themes continued on, even past the time when Taylor was publicly defrocked for adultery. Old lies die hard, just like bad habits…
It seems to me Chris, that false doctrine and immorality are ‘old friends’ and you’ll often find them keeping company with each other. Where you find one, you’ll usually find the other, and that’s why all of these fake ‘pastors’ have fallen into immorality.
It’s not just because they are men being tempted by women in the crowd, it’s because they loved not the truth and exchanged it for a lie, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind, and they fell into deep and regular sin as a result…
We can only be established on the rock, Jesus Christ and not on the false doctrines and false experiences of men such as Branham. To do so is to leave us open to the same old lies that they were deceived by – “you shall be as God, knowing good and evil” – independance from God is a surefire way to end up on the broad way that leads to destruction…
The ‘us versus them’ mentality seems to exist in many churches. I remember being at HS in my late teens and friends started dating ‘outside’ of HS. I remember thinking how wrong it was to date or marry outside the church.
Where did I pick up that mentality from I wonder?
Gotta be in it to win it!
I had that same mentality being a C.O.C. member…in short its Cult like. I think it was instilled from our youth leaders etc. And where did they get it from???
Probably from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+6%3A14-18&version=KJV
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Sadly a believer in a *church* is not necessarily a believer in Christ *of the BIBLE*.
Cults like Revival Centres and Potters House expressly forbid their members to date or marry outside of the group, unless there is a clear opportunity to prozlytise the potential date into joining the group. Marrying an ‘outsider’ would be very rare, but not impossible.
The ‘us verses them’ mentality is clearly a sign of cultish control in the life of an individual, and the ‘dating game’ and its rules (according to the cult) are also often used as a litmus test of loyalty to the group and its leaders.
To go outside of this is to invite a severe and public reprimand from the pulpit, or even expulsion from the group in extreme cases, because ‘some of “us”, are dating some of “them”…
thinker, I know more genuine followers out Jesus OUTSIDE the establishment called ‘church’.
Many sincere people still attend ‘church services’.
They’re being fed junk food and paying for it!
At least junk food franchises offer cheap meals; how many people would tithe 10% of income for a packaged meal that only satisfies hunger for a short time?
McHappy-clappy churches like Hillsong are going to remain successful until the sheep currently doing all the real work move on to greener pastures e.g. small church with church members who both live and teach true Christianity from the *bible*.
The goats only there for the good times certainly won’t do the church’s work for them for very long if at all ….
Do those Christians you know are have very regular fellowship with other Christians (if and when that’s possible)?
I did that thinker. I went to a small bible fellowship but unfortunately there was one lording it over others. Same problem smaller flock. I met with believers in my home one on one. Not for special meetings but for fellowship. God knows we want to serve him and his people. He makes a way outside the camp.
Your story does seem to be way too common these days. I hope you continue to have good fellowship and manage to find a reasonable church some day. Similar to people not knowing how precious health is ’til it’s gone, Christians don’t know how precious their good Christian church is until that situation changes e.g. job transfer to an area with no church/ only bad churches.
If it helps for you to know, after I attended one Charismatic church in 2007, the next transfers (2008-beginning 2011) were to areas with only RC churches, Charismatic and liberal denominations. Like you I thought “no church” was better than “bad church”.
Looking back I see that difficult personal circumstances made the “no church” decision the most realistic option for those 4 years but it should be the exception rather than the rule for most Christians. No man (or woman) is an island.
thinker, I think it’s becoming common because genuine believers are seeing “the church” for what it is. It’s one big sham. Charlatanism. Add that to your ism list. haha.
I don’t believe the ‘church’ is the same as the institutional church we have today. I believe the churches in the NT were simply assembled believers. I don’t believe they had religious leaders like we have today with their religious titles, seminaries, books, conferences, “Ministries” etc.
All the religious stuff which goes on today is not in the NT. It’s twisting scriptures to justify role play.