III.B.4 Franklin Hall

Part III  –  Application to Pentecostal Theology

Subpart B  –  The New Order of the Latter Rain

Article 4 – FRANKLIN HALL

By Daniel Irving

This article may be viewed in video format through the Youtube link below:

a.  Atomic Power Through Prayer & Fasting

b.  Hall’s Doctrine of the Manifested Sons of God

c.  Hall’s Influence on the Latter Rain Revival

  

Article 4  –  FRANKLIN HALL

a.  Atomic Power Through Prayer & Fasting

Franklin Hall was an early-evangelist that aggressively promoted fasting as the means of gaining power with God.  He had credited fasting with a successful revival he preached in Oklahoma in 1932 to which many people were drawn and many miracles of healing he said had been performed “traced directly to prayer and fasting.” [1]  In 1945 he launched his project; The World Fasting Crusade which focused upon fasting and prayer for the procurement of spiritual experience and spiritual power.  He heralded his message through his magazine Miracle Word and promulgated testimonies relating the wondrous effects and spiritual-experiences discoverable through extreme fasting.  These included such benefits as; spiritual strength, healing, health, clean complexion, breaking of addictions, and even the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the reversal of signs of aging.[2]

I have personally seen pessimism, gloom, discouragement, anger, grudges, fear, morbidity, despondency, worry, fussiness, mental tensions, perversions, vile and depraved thoughts, excitability, other forms of mental conditions, and bad habits disappear completely after the bodily purification is accomplished. Bodily purification leads to spiritual purification. Demons often feed on food filth and carnality; many times fasting unlooses them and makes a person free from demons and disease.[3]

Hall held a series of fasting and prayer revivals in 1946 in San Diego that were heavily-attended and which were marked by reports of healings and miracles.  In the course of these revivals he wrote his acclaimed book Atomic Power Through Prayer and Fasting which advocated extreme fasting of up to even seven weeks with absolutely no intake of food.  Hall’s book undertook to lay down the physiology of fasting as well as the spiritual principles of fasting based upon an arbitrary-arrangement of gospel doctrine and pseudo-science with the promise that a proper fast would prove the panacea for restoring the church:

Doing without food will give you that spiritual uplift and power, with or without water. This has been proven many times.  This fact is true in the fast of a few days, but we are now dealing with the long fast, which will give one power to do mighty things, seemingly the impossible, the fast that will break down denominational barriers and restore the body of Christ to its place of power and into the unity of the faith.[4]

Indeed, Hall elevated fasting to a new level of doctrine.  Just as the doctrine of Healing Through the Atonement elevated physical healing to the same theological-basis as salvation, Hall elevated fasting to a higher theological-plateau than it had yet known – alongside that of faith.  He writes:

One reason FASTING is not understood, is because it is so nearly like FAITH.  MAN’S DIGESTIVE TRACT BECOMES OUR FAITH ORGAN.[5]

The book’s simplistic-handling of science should have been some warning that the same simplicity may have been the forge of his doctrine.  One warning-sign that the doctrine might have been of the “divers and strange”[6]variety was Hall’s apparent fascination with the number-four – citing to such principles as; The Four Appetites, The Four Great Essentials (ie. as necessary to human life), The Four Spiritual Essentials, The Four Essentials of Unregenerate Man, etc.  This slavish-preoccupation with the number four seems to have resulted in bringing him into clear-incongruity with Scripture.   For example, Hall categorized human-appetites into four categories that can be the subject of satanic temptation and therefore the overcoming of the believer.  These were; 1) spiritual, 2) hunger, 3) sex, 4) greed (ie. covetousness), upon which he emphasized we must fasten our minds against.  He writes:

It is very important that the reader have these four appetites fixed firmly in mind. A clear understanding of them will give one a richer knowledge of the Bible, and a better understanding of the purpose of fasting. A more vivid understanding of the whole temptation of Christ will be clearly seen. We also are tempted through these same appetites.[7]

However, Hall’s categories would seem a redundancy-of-effort given that Scripture has provided its own list of three:

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, & the lust of the eyes, & the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.                              I John 2:16

We might recognize that Hall’s categories of “hunger” and “sex” would fit within John’s category of “lust of the flesh”, and Hall’s category of “greed” corresponds to John’s category of “lust of the eyes”.  While Hall also lists the category of “spiritual”, he never explains his meaning in asserting this as a category.  Therefore it is not clear whether he has left out “the pride of life” entirely, or merely neglects to elucidate.  This is oddly-remiss given that it occurs within Hall’s discussion of the three temptations of Christ, which would correspond to John’s three categories for overcoming.  In coming up with his own list, Hall seems to have set his disciples to train their minds upon everything-but that most-egregious sin of “pride”.

The doctrine then slips from merely having an aire of the notional, to the stamp, when it extends its servitude to the number four to the traditional Trinitarian concept of the godhead:

The four Spiritual essentials come to us through GOD in HIS THREE­FOLD PERSONALITY, PLUS THE MAN NATURE THAT JESUS CHRIST TOOK UPON HIMSELF THAT MAN MIGHT BE REDEEMED; they are:  

1.  GOD THE FATHER, 

 2.  GOD THE SON (THE SON OF MAN)

 3.  GOD THE SPIRIT  

4.  GOD THE MAN  [8]

Hall therefore found a fourth personhood of God – and that, without any resort to Scripture!  And who is this fourth figure of the godhead?  The brazen nature of this doctrinal-assertion seems to render the remainder of his heterodoxy mute by comparison.[9]  But he did assert others things incompatible with sound doctrine, ie. he encouraged presumption by turning upside-down Christ’s parable of the unjust judge and admonitions that we tirelessly-continue to petition God for His kingdom:

Continued praying for things that are already promised us, results in prayer of unbelief. Those prayers are not answered. Please lay claim on it now, by fixing a time for your faith to explode, and from there on, always thank Jesus for it. You will be a possessor.  From now on “confess it.” [10]

The inspiration for Hall’s book had been that singularly-awesome current-event of his day – the exhibition of power in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   His book goes into detail regarding the dropping of the atom bomb, quoting liberally from an article in Collier’s magazine concerning the tremendous explosive-force and pressures involved in a nuclear detonation:

At 2,500 feet from point of impact—if bomb had reached earth— NOT from the point of explosion, 1,800 feet above, which would be farther— the pressure exerted was approximately SIX TONS TO THE SQUARE FOOT.  . .At 4,200 feet, the pressure was a little more than ONE TON PER SQUARE FOOT. . . The first pressure noted above, is equivalent to a gale force of wind at 150 miles per hour, multiplied by 133, which equals the pressure of a wind blowing 20,000 miles per hour. . . “These enormous pressures are not wholly instantaneous, but are slightly delayed in their application, giving the water time to partially yield, and hence build up enormous wave effects.  A vast, cone-shaped vortex is created, with a terrific “out-thrust,” and subsequent return, of the displaced waters. No one can possibly calculate the true extent of this effect, but some physicists have stated that a wave of great height will be created.

He describes the destructive force of the bomb:

Consider the effect on water of the temperatures developed. The tem­perature of the atomic ‘SUN’ is estimated at FOUR MILLION DEGREES Fahrenheit. Combustible materials of all kinds will burn at 1.4 miles dis­tance. The ground temperature below the burst (at 1,800 feet altitude) was certainly more than 1,500 degrees Centigrade. WATER WAS IN­STANTLY VAPORIZED,” says DeVore.  “Forests were scorched at 8,000 feet distance. All these facts point to the instantaneous vaporization of MILLIONS OF TONS OF WATER, to be thrown far into the upper at­mosphere, and thence precipitated in torrential rains in distant parts of the world.”[11]

Hall relates from the Collier’s article such quotes as; “’This isn’t a bomb at all,’ says General Farrell.  ‘These are the Fires of the Universe,’ says physicist Walter Graham”, and concludes; “This is the GREAT NATURAL POWER that man has discovered.”  Hall goes on to correlate the discovery of this natural power of the universe to man’s soon to be discovered spiritual power:

But greater still, and more potent, is the spiritual atomic power with God that lies available to every Christian. The scientist can now use and harness the power of the material atom, but the Christian can use and harness the dynamic power of the great Creator of the atom.  As the Creator is greater than that which He has created, so is the power wielded by the Christian, through fasting and prayer, greater than that wielded by the atomic scientist. It is the purpose of this volume to show the Christian a sure method, whereby he may obtain this mighty power, and may be able to move the omnipotent hand of God. This will be our spiritual, atomic jet-propulsion power. [12]

Hall’s theory was that the sudden emergence of the atomic-power as a force of nature now held by human-agency bore parallel-correlation with the emergence of spiritual-power as the force of God to be held likewise by human agency.  Fasting was the key to unleashing this mighty spiritual-force, as; “prayer alone is like the ordinary bomb, and the fast with prayer, is comparable to the Super-Atomic Bomb.”[13]

Hall’s book likened power with God with atomic power; as an untapped resource waiting to be developed by those believers in Christ willing to expend the effort:

. . . man’s spiritual development has lagged far behind his scientific development, with his many inventions and discoveries of the physical forces of nature.  Spiritually and emotionally, mankind as a whole is not far removed from the jungles, and is therefore, incapable of handling the forces of nature that science has un-leashed. Physical power, sufficient to disintegrate the entire world, is at the fingertips of a few, but there has been almost no development of spiritual power to control it. We have been wandering in the wilderness.  This spiritual power is actually within the reach of all followers of Christ. It is not so much that it has been forgotten, but rather that it has never been taught and learned. . . .What about spiritual power? Except for a sprinkling here and there of the power of the Holy Spirit, scientific achievement has far out-distanced man’s gains in things of the Spirit. . . . Surely if man’s scientific achievement has increased in momentum, there must also be something to be found somewhere in the Word of God that will accelerate his SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. Like most scriptural truths, there is something; but only the wise shall understand it. The seemingly insignificance and misunderstanding may have been cause for its neglect. This latent power is FASTING AND PRAYER. This is a prayer that is prayed under the influence of fasting. Our spiritual progress will be like supersonic speed. [14]

Hall asserted the unleashing of the atomic bomb as a signal of the judgments of Revelation and urged; “many will do well to protect themselves against the day of His wrath, by a last great awakening through fasting and prayer.”[15]  He also seems to have been influenced by astrology, making several references thereto in his book, beginning with a reference to the “Aquarian Age” having begun in 1848, and even mixing such allusions with the gospel:

In the zodiacal sign, “Scorpio,” which is the eighth sign of the Zodiac, we have a picture of a scorpion with its stinger lifted ready to strike.   This is the sign of death, and is supposed to govern the sex area.  Just before this sign in the heavens, there is a sign of the Judge, Jesus, who is the giver of LIFE. Jesus proceeds toward death and pulls the STING OUT OF DEATH.[16]

b.  Hall’s Doctrine of the Manifested Sons of God

While Hall’s teaching may sound as the inane bordering upon the silly, his book became  extremely-influential to the movement that occurred the following year known as the Latter Rain Revival.  In fact, Hall’s book seems to have been the inspiration for the Latter Rain doctrine that became known as the Manifested Sons of God.

Hall correlated the fast of Jesus Christ as the preparation for his manifesting as the Son of God, writing that; “Satan was not too much interested in Christ until He was ready to MANI­FEST HIS SONSHIP”.[17]  He writes:

After Jesus received the Holy Spirit, although He was the Son of God yet He did not begin to manifest His Sonship until after He had fasted forty days. As children of God we will need to follow Jesus in fasting and prayer, if we expect to manifest spiritual life and power, as did our Lord. There is no other way to have a full manifestation of spirituality but through fasting and prayer, and there is, according to St. Paul, no other remedy for the groan­ing and suffering of creation than a complete manifestation of the children of God, as far as is possible here on earth.[18]

Hall’s theory was that the manifestation of the Sons of God would occur when men do as Jesus had done, and commit to a protracted period of fasting.  He asks why creation is groaning:

Why? It is because the sons of God, and more of the children of God, are not MANIFESTING. The crying of countless millions in Asia and Africa, the cries of starving multitudes that are dying all over the world after this second world war have reached a high, shrill pitch of suffering. It is all because the sons of God are not manifesting themselves.  

The cripples, the sick, the suffering, the insane asylums filled with the distressed, and hospitals running over with sick and wounded, the groanings of suffering humanity everywhere, all is because the sons of God do not have the vision, and know not how to manifest. [19]    [emphasis added]

Hall’s doctrine found source in Bosworth’s expansion upon Healing Through the Atonement and Hall expanded ever further, asserting it to be God’s will for the natural man to be; blessed, healthy, and financially successful:

You may have not only freedom from sin, sickness, sorrow, want, poverty, unhappiness and all death related things—the works of the Devil—but you may likewise become invulnerable and even immune to such negative things. Provision has been supplied in Christ’s atonement so that protection and prevention —immunity for such curses—is available to all believers, thus distinguishing the major material and physical difference between the truly born-again Christian and the unborn-again sinner.

The general message of Hall’s book was that; “salvation in our heart is not enough” and that healing for the body was the greater fulfillment of salvation:

Only one part of our salvation has seemingly been taught.  The sin problem, eliminated by Jesus’ shed blood. The “SHORTNESS OF GLORY” portion (See Romans 3:23)  “For all have sinned, (this portion taught over and over) and come short of the glory of God;” The latter portion is the most important for full redemption attainment, yet it has deplorably been left out.

According to Hall, this “most important” portion was the present-day healing and revitalization of the body:

Fasting properly unto our Lord brings forth the glory of the cross, enabling God’s people to come into full realization that we may also obtain a fundamental Body felt as well as the fundamental Heartfelt salvation experience.  [emphasis added]

 c.  Hall’s Influence on the Latter Rain Revival

While it may have been coincidence that Branham’s angelic-visitation occurred on the first anniversary of the German surrender,[20] the powerful weapon that forced Japan’s surrender was co-opted as the analogy for a book which helped induce a vigorous parallel-movement to Branham’s known as The Latter Rain Revival.  This book became extremely influential with Branham and many of the healing evangelists that were to arise from his wake.  This is attested-to in statements made by many Voice of Healing evangelists, including its editor Gordon Lindsay who wrote:

We know of no writer whom God has so signally used to bring out Scriptural truth on fasting, as Evangelist Franklin Hall. We feel that ‘Atomic Power with God’ is the book of the hour for believers. We trust that this book will be a special help to those whose prayers, for one reason or an­other, have not been answered.  “Many of the associates of ‘The Voice of Healing’ magazine, like me, feel that fasting and prayer should have an important place in a successful salvation-healing ministry.”[21]

Healing-evangelist T. L. Osborn cited Hall’s book as having; “stirred the world” and noted that when he and his wife arrived in Jamaica for the revival  there, many had been fasting and praying as a result of reading either Hall’s book or his literature on the subject of fasting.  Osborn writes in endorsement of Hall’s book:

We were happy to let you know that we feel our lives have been revolutionized by fasting and praying to Jesus.   It was by reading your books that we were enabled to go into many days and weeks fasting and praying. Both my wife and I have had many deep fasting and prayer experiences. My life was so changed that God began using me in the healing ministry. As I began to exercise the ministry of praying for the sick, more and more folks were healed. [22]

Although Hall had little ability or effect as a public speaker, his theories on fasting and his promise of a new dawn for the reconstituted and rejuvenated natural-man as fulfilling the purposes of God in Christ and the meaning of Christ in You took dramatic-hold upon the hearts of many that had been longing for a return of the signs and wonders of early-Pentecost.  Hall’s book was read and enthusiastically-endorsed by many of the prominent healing evangelists that were eventually part of the Voice of Healing stable, including William Branham and Orval Jaggers.  Hall’s doctrine of present-immortality for the body became particularly well-promulgated in Canada given that the book had been systematically-disseminated to Pentecostal churches throughout that country.  T. L. Osborn and others who traveled overseas as missionaries heralded the book as a key inspiration and reason for the miracles that seemed to be occurring abroad. His counsel to the world of redemption for the natural-man seemed to strike a chord that would lead to the stumbling of many against those words written nineteen hundred years previous by the apostle Paul:

Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.            I Cor. 15:36


[1] Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall – Chapter 3

[2] “. . . later on he took additional fasts of over forty days. After his last fast a crop of new black hair appeared in place of the grey hair.”  Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall – Chapter 2

[3] Ibid. Chapter 8

[4] Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall – Chapter 1

[5] Ibid. Chapter 6

[6] Hebrews 13:9  “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.”

[7] Ibed. Chapter 5

[8] Ibid. Chapter 6

[9] ie. Hall also arbitrarily asserts; “The Four Essentials of Unregenerate Man; 1) body, 2) soul, 3) spirit, 4) death.”

[10] Ibid. Chapter 7

[11] Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall – Chapter 1

[12] Ibid. – Chapter 1

[13] Ibid. – Chapter 3

[14] Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall – Chapter 1

[15] Ibid. Chapter 1

[16] Ibid. Chapter 5

[17] Ibid. – Chapter 4 (emphasis are his own)  Also see chapter 5 – “Satan’s rage knew no bounds. Jesus Christ was now coming into the full manifesta­tion of His Sonship. He was now prepared to begin His ministry. He had won the victory.”

[18] Ibid. Chapter 10

[19] Ibid. Chapter 10

[20] Nazi General Jodl signed Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945.

[21] Excerpted from endorsement-letter written by Gordon Lindsay within the introduction of the book Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall.

[22] Excerpted from endorsement-letter written by T. L. Osborn within the introduction of the book Atomic Power Though Prayer and Fasting, by Franklin Hall.

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About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
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