Part III – Application to Pentecostal Theology
Subpart B – The New Order of the Latter Rain
Article 5 – THE WAXING & WANING OF THE REVIVAL
By Daniel Irving
For the video format of this article, see . . .
a. North Battleford Outpouring
b. New Order of the Latter Rain
c. Pentecostal-Rejection of the New Order
d. “Behold, I will do a new thing”
Article 2 – THE WAXING & WANING OF THE REVIVAL
a. North Battleford Outpouring
In 1947 (the year following his angelic-visitation) William Branham continued picking up steam with phenomenally-successful visits to the Canadian cities of Calgary and Vancouver. Gordon Lindsay describes the Vancouver meetings as preceded by a great spirit of cooperation between ministers and churches of the surrounding towns who conducted mass prayer-meetings and preparation-services in which a great spirit of unity was fostered. Lindsay writes that when the Branham-services commenced:
Scenes of indescribable glory were witnessed during the all-too-brief, four-day, city-wide campaign with Rev. William Branham. As in other cities, so in Vancouver, the largest available auditoriums were inadequate to accommodate the teeming multitudes that waited on the ministry of our brother. Surrounding towns and villages seemed to literally empty into Vancouver, until the whole city was conscious of the spiritual impact of thousands of praying, believing people.
. . . for should one speak of crossed eyes straightened, or of bed-ridden invalids raised, or of the deaf hearing, or of the dumb-speaking? Or should one seek to recount the thrilling testimonies of those relieved of cancers, tumors and goitres? The task is too great, and when seemingly completed, it has only begun. Final records will only be read when we stand before the Giver of every good and perfect gift.
Lindsay noted that this ability to unify people and ministries was “one of the outstanding features of Brother Branham’s ministry in other cities, also.”  Two months prior to Vancouver Branham had conducted powerful meetings in Calgary. It was this seven-day series of meetings that may have constituted the most significant crossroads of the mid-twentieth-century revival when Branham’s services were attended by a group from the Sharon Orphanage that had traveled the three hundred miles from North Battleford, Saskatchewan.
Sharon was run by a group of ministers that had recently-associated with Foursquare minister Herrick Holt in the work of a Bible school and orphanage situated on approximately a thousand acres just outside the city of North Battleford. One of these ministers, George Hawtin had recently been asked by his parent-denomination (the Canadian Assemblies of God) to resign his duties at the Bethel Bible Institute in Saskatoon. Hunt had resigned as well out of sympathy for Hawtin’s position, which seems to have related to an advocacy of prolonged-fasting and unwillingness to submit to denominational-oversight. Hawtin and Hunt brought with them most of the student-body of the institute consisting of approximately seventy persons. Also joining the ministry was George’s brother, Ern Hawtin, and Milford Kirkpatrick.
Until Branham’s visit to Canada there had existed a period of spiritual-dryness in the churches since the 1920’s. Prior to the revival Holt had been declaring a “new thing” that God was about to do. His reference-verse came from the prophecy of Isaiah:
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Is. 43:18-19
This prophecy from Isaiah became something of a theme for the movement that was to come. Sharon was one of many groups that took inspiration from the rocketing-ministry of William Branham. Its teachers also found inspiration in the teachings of Franklin Hall on fasting for power with God. Upon the return of the party from Branham’s Calgary-meetings, the school set itself upon a regimen of fasting and prayer for a return of the power of God to the church.
On February 11, 1948 one of the female students at the school spoke a prophecy to the assembly announcing that a great revival was to occur. On the next day, the Holy Spirit fell dramatically upon the students and faculty of the school and the charismatic-gifts began to manifest in the assembly. Throughout the week a pattern was established of members being called upon from the audience and having hands laid upon them while they were prophesied over. Worship services would find many lying prostrate on the floor. The “heavenly choir” – a phenomenon that was widely-reported during the years of the earlier Pentecostal-movement was said to be heard during these meetings at the school. That summer a camp meeting was held that was attended by thousands, including a young George Warnock, who traveled from his own Canadian hometown. He writes:
We were not disappointed. There was a great emphasis not only in prophecy and other gifts of the Spirit but we were greatly impacted by the evident presence of the Spirit, the anointed Word in teaching, and all the spontaneous prophetic utterances that came forth. I was a corporate anointing – with the Spirit Himself very much in control. . . . The “order” of the Spirit prevailed, and there was much love among the brethren. It was a new visitation and in the days and years to come, many thousands would be refreshed and changed as they discovered new vision and new hope in what God was doing and would yet do in the earth. The Word became “alive”. The worship was spontaneous, as those who had long panted for the living waters found new hope and new reality in God.
The long drought appeared to be over as many flocked to the school to partake of the spiritual outpouring and as delegations from the movement were sent to Pentecostal churches across North America to declare the “New Thing” that God was doing.
b. New Order of the Latter Rain
i. “Feast of Pentecost”
This was a movement that came with dramatic and generous-manifestations of the charismatic-signs and gifts. Many healings were recorded and there were claims of many being delivered from demons during this time. The use of the laying-on of hands was the common means of imparting the spiritual gifts. The gift of prophecy frequently came in the form of personal and directive-prophecy. Although today’s successors to the movement reject the title, the movement referred to itself fairly early on as the New Order of the Latter Rain, under the belief that the earlier Pentecostal-outpourings of thirty and forty years past had been the former rain while the present outpouring was the latter.
The most prominent regular event at North Battleford was the annual celebration of the Feast of Pentecost which occurred on Easter and lasted for seven days. Participants recall that it was during these celebrations that wonderful visitations of God would occur. Remarkable testimonies were recorded in the movement’s newspaper the Sharon Star. Richard Riss writes concerning this celebration:
George Hawtin wrote that “during the Feast of Pentecost, ministers and lay folk came from distances of fifteen hundred miles, from east and west.” A minister from Alberta reported receiving “an outstanding ministry of healing while at the Feast of Pentecost.” In a letter to North Battleford, he wrote, “it is now nineteen days since the Feast of Pentecost closed and the power of God has never left my body.” Two other cases were described by George Hawtin; “One pastor who received the Gifts of Healing is being so used of God that he can no longer confine his ministry to his own church, but is needed abroad. The members of one congregation from the west said; “You would never know our pastor is the same man since he returned from the Feast of Pentecost.”
ii. Teachings & Practices
The Pentecostal-outpouring was spread from North Battleford through delegations of gifted persons and teachers who (while ministering in local churches) tended to limit the active-involvement of local ministers; reserving for themselves the title of “the Presbytery”. While this practice gave annoyance to local church-leaders, there was little-doubt but that these parties were spreading revival throughout the Pentecostal community of churches and their denominations.
In November of 1948 a series of meetings were held at Vancouver’s Glad Tidings Temple which were heavily-attended and were marked by dramatic gifts of the Spirit and physical healings. From these meetings, visiting Assembly of God pastor Mrs. Myrtle Beall brought the revival fires back to her church in Detroit’s Bethesda Missionary Temple which became a central-hub of the Latter Rain movement with people coming from all over North America to receive a transforming touch from God.
For a Pentecostal-movement that had suffered many years of spiritual-drought the revival of 1948 seemed to be a promising-reprieve as many of its churches around the continent welcomed visiting New Order evangelists and teachers into their assemblies. There was a genuine hunger for the touch of God that was awakened.
c. Pentecostal-Rejection of the New Order
The tendency of the North Battleford missioners to hold themselves apart with an air of authoritativeness when ministering to local congregations seems to have united Pentecostal leaders in forming a deeply critical and resistant posture towards the activities originating out of North Battleford – a position that was only antagonized by the strong anti-denominational sentiments expressed by Latter Rain leaders. In the mind of the Pentecostal-ecclesiastical authorities (particularly those in Springfield, Missouri) the most objectionable-aspect of the Latter Rain seems to have been its assertion that the offices of apostle and prophet were to continue as viable ministries within the modern church. Irrespective the correctness or incorrectness of this doctrine its mere assertion by this “self-styled” mystical-order seemed to imply a challenge to the clerical-order. Further, while George Hawtin maintained that those sent out from North Battleford exercised no authority or control over local churches, there were allegations they in fact, did exercise authority through the means of personal-directive prophecy.
The issue came quickly to a head only a year after the outpouring when Stanley Frodsham, a notable Pentecostal-pioneer and Assemblies of God editor of The Pentecostal Evangel, decided to see for himself what this new movement was about. He accepted the invitation of Mrs. Beall to visit her 3,000-seat Detroit church. Richard Riss writes:
He arrived in January of 1949 and “he was swept away by the revival taking place in Detroit . . . He was moved deeply by scenes of people under great conviction of sin, making confession and finding peace.”
The following month found Assemblies of God officials taking animated-exception with Frodsham and beginning steps for a formal repudiation of the movement. Assemblies of God officials denounced the missioners in Frodsham’s presence as “self-styled apostles and prophets”, and the movement was referred to as; “enthusiastic mysticism”. Assemblies of God leader Carl Brumback complained of the shortcomings of those in leadership and the fact that the gifts of the Spirit were being imparted by only a select few persons. Riss quotes Frodsham who later wrote in defense of the movement:
It has been so grossly unfair to link up this new revival which God is so graciously sending, where so many souls are being saved, where so many lives are being transformed, where God is so graciously restoring the gifts of the Spirit with the fanatical movements of the past 40 years. . . . But it seems as if the brethren do not want to hear anything that would change them in their prejudices against this gracious new outpouring of God’s Spirit.
Meanwhile in Portland, Oregon, George Hawtin and Milford Kirkpatrick were holding meetings wherein the Spirit was poured out powerfully immediately upon their arrival. Richard Riss, in his book;; A Survey of 20th-Century Revival Movements in North America, quotes one attending minister:
One of the pastors in attendance on February 24 was Dr. A. Earl Lee pastor of Immanuel Temple in Los Angeles, California. He wrote: “After the laying on of hands, I returned to Los Angeles, and beginning with the Sunday service of February 27 until this present hour, two services have been held daily in our church, with three on Sunday. There has been a constant outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord. Many hours have been spent in waiting on the Lord in quietness. The HEAVENLY Choir has been constantly with us. Many of the congregation prophesy by revelation. Scores have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and week upon week, people are converted and healed. The revelations of God’s Word have increased and deepened the heart of God’s people.”
Soon after Frodsham’s visit to Detroit and with the revival little more than a year old the movement met the formal repudiation of the largest Pentecostal denomination, the Assemblies of God. Vinson Synan writes:
A major turning point came in 1949 when the General Council of the Assemblies of God issued a paper roundly disapproving the movement. Among the specific practices and teachings they rejected were “present day apostles and prophets,” “bestowing or confirming gifts by the laying on of hands and prophecy,” and “distortions of scripture interpretations which are in opposition to teachings and practices generally accepted among us.” Following the lead of the Assemblies of God, other major Pentecostal denominations adopted similar positions. By 1950, the “New Order of the Latter Rain” became a movement confined to independent churches and popular healing evangelists such as Thomas Wyatt and William Branham”
Remarkably, the Assemblies of God cited to no specifically unscriptural teaching or practice as grounds for its rejection of the movement, although they did complain of the gifts being imparted by only a select-few men, and these, with notable shortcomings. Frodsham in turn asserted that the Assemblies of God had waged all out war against a movement God. Riss quotes Frodsham as writing:
Of course there are frailties in the folks that are in this new revival. They have made mistakes. But there are frailties in all of God’s saints, and I could recite a story of mistakes that have been made by my Council brethren that I have seen during the past 33 years. But I want to keep silent. I have to confess that I have made many mistakes myself. 
Frodsham was one of many defenders of the Latter Rain revival forced to resign their denominational affiliations or even their employment when Pentecostalism rejected the Latter Rain.
The Latter Rain movement itself now cut off from the Pentecostal orthodoxy was sadly forced to the fringes of convention where it languished in the society of some of the more recalcitrant and heterodox ministries of the time. As the New Order leadership grew increasingly self-absorbed, loose in their exegesis, caustic in their criticisms of other groups, and domineering of those within, so did more of its membership become disillusioned and drop their association with the movement. In 1953 Ern Hawtin left the North Battleford group to pastor a church in California and George Warnock returned to his trade as a carpenter. Warnock relates the reason why many withdrew from the movement during this time as involving a sense that; “the authority of the Spirit was being assumed & replaced . . . by the authority of certain ministers in leadership.”
Although North Battleford became a diminishing and increasingly-isolated enclave, many individuals and institutions that had received the revival became influential in the Charismatic Movement which was to commence a short time thereafter. As to the Assemblies of God, its quick and decisive action against the movement left it remarkably-unaffected by the 1948-outpouring. In his 1961 book Suddenly . . From Heaven, Carl Brumback declared that the movement had “practically come to nought”.”
Brumback’s statement may be taken as a declaration of the success of his denomination in barring the Pentecostal gate against the 1948 outpouring and its influences. However, the positivism of this 1961 statement bears some irony in relation to something else he wrote the same year:
It must be admitted that there is a general lessening of fervor and discipline in the Assemblies of God in America.”
Indeed, the Assemblies of God defended Pentecostalism well against the Latter Rain Revival and its doctrines of prophetic restoration. On the other hand – in its most frank moments – spiritual-dryness has been a continual lament in the pages of the Pentecostal Evangel. In his pivotal 1882 book The Ministry of Healing, which convinced many of the modern efficacy of miracles and divine healing, in the years leading up to the Pentecostal restoration, A. J. Gordon writes:
If the Church by her neglect or denial of any real doctrine of the faith thrusts that doctrine out into isolation and contempt, thus compelling it to become the property of some special sect she need not be surprised if it loses its balance. She has deprived it of the conserving influence which comes from contact and communion with other and central doctrines and so doomed it inevitably to irregular manifestations.[25.5]
d. “Behold, I will do a new thing”
There may be irony in the observation that while the early Pentecostals were hated in their day and commended in our own – the opposite seems true for those of the 1948 outpouring. We tend to ascribe greater ideals of truth to those of the Pentecostal-era. But just as each age of the restoration enjoys the peculiar benefits of the truth for which they stood, so does each age face its own peculiar obstacles in entering-in upon the life of that truth.
Many today condemn the 1948 movement as counterfeit. One does not have to dig very deep to discover that a great deal of erroneous teaching was embraced by key figures of the revival. The evidence also seems clear that presumption in spiritual things occurred. While we might point to several causes, such as the influence of false teachers and spiritually-presumptuous “prophets”, there is another cause that seems too easily overlooked – ie. the quickness of Pentecostal leaders to shut out an entire move of God on the basis of non-essential doctrine.
While it would seem terribly imprudent to cast a blanket dismissal over a movement coming in Pentecostal power and within an orthodox proclamation of Jesus Christ – and something we might expect of a conservatively evangelical denomination – this dismissal occurred at the hands of Pentecostals themselves! While Pentecostals and their denominations had been looking for new outpourings for years, they did not recognize it when it came and – for the most part – locked the gate against its effects upon their established forms and organizations. They wanted Pentecost, but they wanted it their way; familiar, predictable, and safe. While there is little doubt that presumption and error occurred at North Battleford, there seems to have been little effort to apply scripturally-based protocols for the purpose of intervention, discipline, and the exercise of discernment in dealing with the operation of Divine gifts.
The faith of Jesus Christ and our overcoming in Him, comes upon the revelation we can do nothing but stumble and fall apart from Him. True faith that leads to overcoming is fulfilled in the revelation that the weight of spiritual things can only be borne by Christ. This is the revelation that fulfills the proclamation of North Battleford; “Behold, I will do a new thing”.
When God spoke through Isaiah, saying; “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old” this was not to-contradict His counsel elsewhere (spoken through Moses) that we, in fact;
Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, & he will show you; thy elders, & they will tell thee. Deut. 32:7
North Battleford was receiving the same baptism – the same Pentecost as had been received at Topeka and at Azusa Street. The difference was that the events of 1948 came with the benefit of forty years experience. For consider; was there ever any new thing that would have allowed the Latter Rain recipients to forget or neglect old truth? And yet significant presumption seems to have been sourced in this boast of a “new thing” that God would do through this revival. So let us look to Isaiah’s prophecy.
Isaiah’s prophecy begins with the exhortation that we “behold”. This is never without significance! When we see this word preceding a prophetic declaration, this constitutes a special exhortation that we see, that we perceive something vital! How are we to “behold”?
A significant aspect of Christ’s ministry was the “recovering of sight to the blind”. The healing of the blind was itself an allegory for the work that was to be performed by the Holy Spirit in terms of causing men to see with their hearts that they might be restored unto God. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit tells us to “Behold”, what is His meaning? “Behold with your heart!” as the next statement will require an awakened heart to understand. That next statement is; “I will do a new thing!”
What is this “new thing” that God will do? It is simply something never done before in creation; the “recreation” – the “regeneration”. The Hebrew-word translated “new thing” simply means “new.” The literal translation is; “I WILL DO A NEW,” ie. . . . the “new creation”:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Cor. 5:17
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. Gal 6:15
God is telling those to whom His kingdom is coming to lay behind them the things of this world – things that are of the old creation; for now, he is working a new creation through the processes of His Holy Spirit. We must prepare, as “now it will spring forth” even in this present age! There is a time for the new creation of God to suddenly manifest itself in the new birth. But the prophet warns us; “shall ye not know it?” Why is it necessary we be aware of it? Because we have a part in bringing in the “new creature!” Therefore Paul writes:
And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness & true holiness. Eph 4:24
Therefore if God is about to do a “new thing” through the new covenant in the blood of His Son, we must know it. Otherwise the kingdom of God will pass us by! Therefore we must know the time of the kingdom of God. Jesus warned the unbelieving that they did not rightly discern what was happening around them – no, not even with their natural eyes and ears!
The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, & tempting desired Him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered & said unto them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.’ & in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red & lowring. O you hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times? Matt. 16:2-3
This “new thing” includes God making; “a way in the wilderness”. This is the “way of holiness” foretold in Isaiah’s 35th chapter. Part of this “new thing” is that God will also make “rivers in the desert”. This is the free grace of God’s Spirit that comes within the revelation of God’s love that He shall send forth through the knowledge that He has atoned for our transgression by means of His own ordeal on the cross. This is the purpose of the coming of Pentecost to men as preparation for this new thing. The “new thing” is the knowledge of God that will be borne upon the heart and which is alluded to in the prophecy:
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; Is. 49:16
This is the overcoming, the power over sin, and the hope that a divided Israel fails to perceive. This is the “new thing” from whence shall flow “rivers in the wilderness.”
 William Branham, A Man Sent from God, by Gordon Lindsay in collaboration with William Branham, Published by William Branham, Jeffersonville, Indiana © 1952 at pgs. 123-124.
 Ibid. pg. 124
 Ibid. pg. 124
 The reason for Hawtin being asked to resign seems to have been his denomination’s dissatisfaction over zealousness in his methods (e.g. encouraging intense fasting and attributing to demons many physical and mental afflictions) and failure to obtain denominational approval of substantial projects.
 George Warnock relates in his brief autobiography; “It was a time of great spiritual dearth, and many of God’s people in many places had been earnestly seeking the Lord for revival.”
 i.e. Atomic Power with God Through Fasting and Prayer, by Franklin Hall.
 This would have been November 1947.
 From George Warnock’s brief online autobiography.
 This movement should not be confused with the Latter Rain Assemblies which was an arguably fanatical sect of Pentecostalism that arose as a protest-movement in the 1920’s/30’s.
 A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 114.
 Ibid. pg. 114.
 It is noteworthy that William Branham expressed extreme anti-denominational views. Likewise, George Hawtin had been resisted by his own denomination in his activities in Saskatoon. Therefore it is little wonder that the movement should have assumed an anti-denominational posture.
 This is the term used by Charles W.H. Scott, district superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Michigan at its annual meeting in the presence of Stanley Frodsham in reference to the North Battleford missioners. A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 119.
 A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 118
 Ibid. pg. 119
 Ibid. pg. 120
 Ibid. pg. 119.
 Ibid. pg. 120 – Citation from A. Earl Lee, “From Los Angeles,” Sharon Star December 1, 1949
 The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition; Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century, by Vinson Synan © 1971, 1997, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI / Cambridge, U.K. pg. 213.
 A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 121 – Citation is to letter of Stanley Frodsham to Faith Campbell – September 29, 1949, Stanley Frodsham Papers, Assemblies of God Archives, Springfieled, MO.
 e.g. Richard Riss relates that Bethesda Missionary Temple became a regular contributor to the influential Charismatic newspaper, the Logos Journal which itself grew from a newspaper published by Latter Rain participant Joseph Mattsson-Boze. Elim Bible Institute had connections with the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship, and George Warnock associated with Ern Baxter during his influential-work in the Charismatic Movement in the 1970’s. A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pgs 122-123.
 A Survey of 20th –Century Revival Movements in North America, by Richard M. Riss © 1988 Hendrickson Publishers, pg. 124. Riss adds Hollenweger’s observation that Brumback’s statement was an example of “the same wishful thinking that led the traditional churches to ignore the beginnings of the Pentecostal Movement.”
e.g. . . . down through the years in the pages of The Pentecostal Evangel and other periodicals correspondents have asked, “Is Pentecost the revival it was in the beginning?” As early as five years after Azusa, they were looking for ‘the good old days’!” Article from The Pentecostal Evangel, by its editor, Ken Horn – March 7, 2010 The Pentecostal Evangel; 5,000 Issues and Counting – obtained from http://www.pe.ag.org.
[25.5] The Ministry of Healing, by A. J. Gordon (pub. 1882) – reprinted © 2011, Bottom of the Hill Publishing, Memphis, TN, ISBN: 9781-61203-381-5, pg. 9.
 H2005 hên hane A primitive particle; lo! also (as expressing surprise) if: – behold, if, lo, though.
 Luke 4:18 – The Lord declares His ministry by reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.
 H2319 châdâsh khaw-dawsh’ From H2318; new: – fresh, new thing.