…[C]ertain accusations about Paul Cain proved to be entirely false, having been based on untruths that were later acknowledged as such. Paul Cain met with the critic, as did John Wimber and others. Though the critic was reluctant to concede the wrong of the report as a whole, he later wrote a letter conceding the godliness of Paul Cain and the reality of his exceptional gifting.
- Dr. John White, foreword to David Pytches’ (revised) Some Said it Thundered1
The “critic” White refers to is obviously Ernie Gruen. These are very strong words although White would later agree that his overall statement was “intemperate.”2 This will be addressed in more detail a bit later. As stated in the first part of this article, the exoneration of Paul Cain by Gruen will be examined in full since this has been used by some to negate the entire Document. Toward this end, we will explore Cain in some detail as well as some of his closest allies of this period including Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer – more commonly “IHOP”), John Wimber and Jack Deere. And since there have been attempts at discrediting the Gruen analysis of the “drought prophecy,” this will be specifically discussed in detail in closing.
Here is the first page of the two page letter3 (three including the ‘15 points/errors’ enclosure):
In effect, point 2 and its sub-points appear to completely contradict nearly the whole of section VI.H in the Gruen Document.4 Let’s examine these points.
Point 2d indicates that Gruen and his staff relied on reports of William Branham’s sons regarding whether or not Cain ministered with the elder Branham.5 Branham’s sons claimed he did not. It will be assumed that Cain and/or Wimber and his staff provided absolute proof to the contrary.6 However, this brings up an associated issue to be discussed later in this article.
In his August 1990 Special Report, Albert James Dager rightly questions Cain’s exoneration given that Cain has openly endorsed KCF/GM:
…[H]ow can Cain be exonerated of GM/KCF’s excessive errors when he has openly endorsed that ministry and appears on their platform? One who endorses a work bears responsibility for that work and is identified with its fruit.7
Part of Cain’s endorsement of GM/KCF included his explicit affirmations of Bob Jones as both a foretelling and forth-telling prophet during this time as the Gruen Document and other sources illustrate.8 So, why were limitations placed on Jones’ ministry as a result of the Vineyard assumption due to his aberrant teachings and practices while Cain continued to be embraced as a prophet? In addition, wasn’t Cain guilty of point/error 9 in the ‘15 points’ referenced in the first part of this article (and enclosed with the July 1 letter) – “[p]ublic predictions of natural disasters, economic events, and divine visitations without the approval of government” – in his purported “earthquake prophecy” of December 1988?9
1 White, John. “Foreword” in Pytches, David. Some Said it Thundered. 1991 (revised, “new edition”), Oliver Nelson, Nashville, TN; pp xxii-xxiii
2 Beverley, James A. Holy Laughter & the Toronto Blessing: An Investigative Report. 1995, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI; p 126
3 Letter on file including attachment.
4 Gruen, Ernest J. & John J. Arnold, et. al. Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries). May 1990, self-published; pp 217-21. / pdf prepared for online posting by Tricia Tillin (Booth) <http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/kcp/Aberrant%20Practises.pdf>; pp 123-25. Hereafter listed as pdf first followed by original booklet; e.g.: pp 123-25 / 217-21
5 Gruen, Documentation. pp 124 / 218-19
6 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 131 and Jackson, Bill The Quest for the Radical Middle: A History of the Vineyard. 1999, Vineyard International Publishers, Ladysmith, Cape Town, South Africa; p 182. Confusingly, at least one subsequent “Re-published” issue has different page numberings. The 2nd issue was Re-published in 2000 as VIP, Cape Town with the same page numbering as the first edition; whereas, the 2010 “Re-published for Amazon” issue (VIP, Cape Town also) has different page numberings. Herein and hereafter, all page numbers will reference the earlier edition followed by the later one, e.g.: p 182 / 175. Neither Beverley nor Jackson provides any specific proof. Is there perhaps an exchange between Cain and Branham recorded or an extant photo which would prove unequivocally?
7 Dager, Albert James “Latter-Day Prophets: The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets and the Kansas City-Vineyard Connection” Media Spotlight. Special Report, August 1990, Media Spotlight, Redmond, WA; pp 6. Report undated, however verified by Dager.
8 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 131. Notes Beverley, “Cain’s explicit blessing of Bob Jones was a major error…After Jones was disciplined for…sexual misconduct…I was told that Cain never trusted Jones in the first place.” If he didn’t trust him from the beginning, why would he endorse him so enthusiastically in the first place? Beverley, however, was apparently ill-informed of some of Cain’s doctrines namely Joel’s Army and Manifested Sons of God [see below in this article “Paul Cain Did Not Teach Manifested Sons Doctrine?”] proclaiming he had “no problem affirming that Cain is orthodox in his basic theology” while acknowledging Cain (and Bob Jones) did teach Joel’s Army [p 123]. The Joel’s Army doctrine as taught by Cain (and Jones) is contrary to basic Christian orthodoxy.
9 Jackson, Radical Middle. pp 179-80 / 172-73. “Earthquake prophecy” discussed in some detail including discrepancies in its reporting.
Paul Cain Prophesies Earthquakes?
It’s imperative to understand the significance accorded Paul Cain. To this day, Mike Bickle refers to Cain as one of his “spiritual fathers.”10 Jack Deere was so taken with Cain that he insisted John Wimber meet with him. As James A. Beverley states, “From 1988 to 1991, there was no doubt Paul Cain had ‘superstar’ status in the Vineyard.”11 Cain had been established as the primary prophetic voice at Shiloh Ministries which, as noted in the first part of this article, was largely funded by Vineyard Ministries International [see second paragraph under May 12 in the timeline]:
Grace Ministries team leaders have recognized Paul [Cain] as having the senior prophetic authority over Shiloh and those in prophetic ministry who are based there.12
Wimber even claimed at one point that he was “bonded to Paul Cain for life.”13 One of the reasons for his high stature as a “prophet” was the “earthquake prophecy” which was said to have validated Paul Cain’s message to Wimber and Vineyard: “God has a strategic purpose in this for Paul and the Vineyard Movement.”14
The “earthquake prophecy” came in two parts: there was to be an earthquake in southern California on the day Cain would arrive – December 3, 1990 – and there was to be a big one in another part of the world on the day after Cain was to leave. Paul Cain left Anaheim Vineyard on December 7; so, this would place the second predicted earthquake on December 8. Mike Bickle, in his book Growing in the Prophetic, recounts:
…A week or two before Paul’s scheduled arrival, Dr. Jack Deere, who was at that time an associate pastor with John Wimber in Anaheim, asked Paul if God would grant a prophetic sign to confirm His message for John Wimber and the several hundred Vineyard churches under John’s leadership.
Paul answered, “The day I arrive, there will be an earthquake in your area.” That, however, is not an astounding prediction for southern California.
Jack asked, “Will this be the big one we’ve all been hearing about?”
“No,” Paul answered, “but there will be a big earthquake elsewhere in the world on the day after I leave.” 15
This “prophecy” was also recounted in Wimber’s Equipping the Saints (ETS) magazine specifying Cain’s face-to-face visit with Wimber occurred on the 5th of December.16 There was indeed an earthquake on December 3rd in Pasadena.17 However, John Wimber had later questioned himself as to whether this “prophecy” was actually predicted. Bill Jackson, in The Quest for the Radical Middle, relates:
While Wimber wrote the account as coming before the fact, he later doubted his memory when he re-examined the prophetic. He would later wonder privately if it hadn’t really come after the fact. This is a very important distinction to make because the fact was used to validate Paul Cain’s message to the Vineyard. In a phone conversation, Deere recounted to me in vivid detail the facts surrounding the prophecy, verifying that it did come before the earthquake.18
As stated above, part of this “prophecy” was Cain’s purported prediction that there would be a second “big” earthquake in another part of the world “on the day after he left” Anaheim Vineyard.19 Yet Wimber, in recounting the Deere/Cain conversation in the ETS Fall 1990 article, records the earthquake was to be, quoting Cain, “after I leave” which is less explicit on the timing.20
On the evening of Cain’s departure, December 7, 1988 – which, of course, is not the day after – there was a catastrophic earthquake in Soviet-Armenia. Deere would later apologize for being unclear in how he stated this “prophecy” initially:
…When Jack Deere realized the error he said he remembered that Paul had not said “the day after I leave” but “after I leave,” thus leaving the timing ambiguous. He apologized for the misquote. It was these kinds of disclaimers that raised the ire of many toward the prophetic because it seemed like backpedaling.21
10 Bickle, Mike, International House of Prayer Encountering Jesus. “IHOP MP3 stores: Free MP3s” <http://www.ihopmp3store.com/Groups/1000021591/IHOP_MP3_Downloads/Free_MP3s/Free_MP3s.aspx> Disc 1 <http://ihopcontent.ihop.org/ihopcntnt/endis/FreeMP3s/Encountering_Jesus_D1.mp3> 18:45 – 19:35. Bickle also refers to Bob Jones as his other ‘spiritual father.’ As accessed 10/09/11
11 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 130
12 Lambert, Steve “Shiloh: A Prophetic Sanctuary” Grace City Report. Special Edition, Fall 1989; p 11 as cited in Dager, Albert James “Latter-Day Prophets: The Kansas City Connection” Media Spotlight. Special Report, April 23, 1990, Media Spotlight, Redmond, WA; p 4. Also in Dager Vengeance is Ours: The Church in Dominion. July 1990, Sword Publishers, Redmond, WA; p 129 and Dager “Latter Day Prophets: The Restoration”; p 5.
13 Hill, Clifford “Kansas City Prophets” Prophecy Today. July/August 1990, Vol 6 No 4; p 6
14 Jackson, Radical Middle. p 179 / 172
15 Bickle, Michael, M. Sullivant, Growing in the Prophetic. 1996 (5th printing Feb ’98), Creation House, Oakland, FL; p 39. Emphasis added.
16 Wimber “Introducing Prophetic Ministry” Equipping the Saints. Fall 1990, Special UK Edition; pp 4-5
17 Jackson, Radical Middle. pp 179-80 / 172-73. Jackson erroneously records the date of the Pasadena earthquake as December 5 as it was instead on the 3rd. December 5 was the day Cain purportedly met with Wimber which is likely the source of the error.
18 Jackson, Radical Middle. pp 179, 189 / 172, 181. Wimber “wondered privately” in a conversation with Todd Hunter. Emphasis added.
19 Jackson, Radical Middle. p 179 / 172. Emphasis added.
20 Wimber, “Introducing Prophetic”; p 5. Emphasis added.
21 Jackson, Radical Middle. pp 189 / 181-82. Recounted to Jackson in phone conversation on April 2, 1999. Emphasis added.
Open Vision of Jack Deere’s Mother and Related Prophecy
Point 2b is problematic. Here’s the account as recorded in the Gruen Document:
Paul Cain claims a person’s dead mother appeared to him and talked with him.
Three people testified that during a conference in Kansas City in April of 1989, Paul Cain called a man out of the congregation and said, “Your brother is okay – your dead mother appeared to me and said he is in heaven with her.” 22
The concession states that it wasn’t necromancy since the woman who appeared to Cain in this open vision was a living person. This account is detailed in the following from an audio tape of that evening:
The portion below pertaining to the account in the Gruen Document is bolded; the rest is shown to provide the broader context. With the benefit of time and a later restatement of this particular account by Jack Deere, this can be analyzed in detail:
Last time the Lord gave me anything like this – and this is the burden of the Lord, Mike, I tell ya. It’s a burden of the Lord because I don’t wanna do it, I don’t wanna do this… I never will forget the reproach that came upon me…and because of the ignorance of… the people, they thought I was talking to the dead. Listen, talking to the dead is nothing new; I talk to the dead every time I get up in a place like this. It’s people walking over dead people that are far more dead than the dead people in the ground.
We misunderstood a lot of things. We take one little isolated Scripture out here that ‘the dead know nothing at all’ and think we’ve got the interpretation of that – if anybody sees someone face to face with the Lord that they’re talkin’ to the dead. That’s the craziest thing I ever heard of. Somebody saw Moses; somebody saw Elijah. Uh, I know Moses died. And, uh, somebody saw him, didn’t they?
…If one of your loved ones was with the Lord; and, you hadn’t had any peace about this, and the Lord just sent a little love note to you tonight, wanting you to have inner peace and happiness, wanting you to be strengthened to serve Him, He might just tell you He was face to face with him, do you believe that? He just might do that.
And, Jack…I want you to stand up; It’s gonna hit you with brute force tonight. Your mother came to me in an open vision this afternoon. Her name is Wanda; second name initial J. – Right? W. J., Wanda, and then she looks like somebody I know named Jean, so, that must be her middle name. And she’s talking about losing a jewel and that jewel was lost. And she feels a lot of guilt, and a lot of responsibility there. And you don’t know it, but the Lord said, “Cliff is in heaven.” And Cliff, uh – JEWEL – it’s Jewel Clifford, he is in heaven tonight because God saw something in the insanity that came upon him that was demonic. And God, who is a God of perfect justice and perfect equality, said that He took one item from your dad as He did from Abraham and accounted it for righteousness sake. And he did call on Him, and your father, Jewel, as, uh, Joel and Malachi in that day when the Lord makes up his Jewels [ed: Joels?].23
It’s not difficult to understand those in the audience being a bit confused about the details as Cain spoke this rather fast and it IS difficult to figure out the exact relationship each has with the others (except Jack with respect to his mother, of course) confounded even more by the fact that “Jewel” sounds a lot like “Joel.” Furthermore, it’s not difficult to understand confusion as to who was alive or dead with Cain’s long introduction about “talking to the dead.” However, yes, the woman here, Jack Deere’s mother, apparently was alive at this time.
To try to put this in perspective by restating: In an open vision that afternoon Cain saw Deere’s mother who was “talking about a jewel.” Subsequent to this or within this same vision, Cain is claiming he received a “prophetic word” about Deere’s deceased father, Jewel Clifford, with the Lord saying, “Cliff is in heaven.”
Jack Deere recalls this himself in his book Surprised by the Voice of God.24 Tragically, his father had committed suicide when he was just twelve years old and Deere went back and forth in his mind varying between believing his father was in heaven and believing his father was in hell after weighing positive and negative evidence respectively.25
…Then he looked directly at me and said, “Jack, would you stand up please.”
As I rose to my feet, Paul said, “I had a vision of your mother this afternoon. Her name is Wanda Jean. I saw her standing on a cliff looking for her missing jewel. That must mean your father’s name is Jewel Clifford. Then I saw your father. When I saw him, he was in heaven, face-to-face with the Lord Jesus. The Lord showed me that sometime before your father had died, like Abraham, he believed in the Lord, and the Lord counted it to him for righteousness.”
I was absolutely stunned. No one knew my mother’s real name. She hated the name Wanda. She would only use the name Jean. It was one of our best kept family secrets. Likewise, my dad never went by the name Jewel Clifford. Everyone called him Jack. I had never told Paul that my parents’ names were Jean and Jack, let alone that their birth names were Wanda Jean and Jewel Clifford. I knew the only way he could have gotten those names was by supernatural revelation from the Lord.26
Obviously, Deere was paraphrasing Cain’s words and with the passage of time slight variances may be understandable. However, note that Cain never said anything about Deere’s mother “standing on a cliff looking for her missing jewel” (although that is a great metaphor) but instead Cain records Wanda Jean as saying “she’s talking about losing a jewel and that jewel was lost.” Cain never does equate “Clifford” with a “cliff” as in ‘a hill with a steep face’ although he does refer to Deere’s father as “Cliff.”
Contrary to Deere’s definitive statement above, it is plausible that Paul Cain obtained his parents’ names by other means, even other supernatural means. This would not be the only time a Paul Cain “prophecy” was declared to be obtainable only from the Lord when that was not necessarily the case.27
In his book, Deere relates that the very next day after Cain delivers this “word” to him, Deere takes Cain to the pastor’s luncheon and he asks Paul why the Lord would choose to reveal this to him now as he had “put the whole subject out of his mind”:
As far as I knew, it didn’t trouble me any longer. I wanted to know if the Lord had shown Paul why he had given me this revelation.28
Deere goes on state that the Lord had revealed to Paul Cain that there was a root of bitterness “over the possibility that he [Deere’s father] might spend eternity in hell.” Deere claims that in retrospect the “word” had helped significantly in softening his heart.29 However, that evening, the very next night after Cain’s initial “prophecy,” Paul Cain expounds on the “prophetic word” he had provided the night before which conflicts with Deere’s account:
There was a revelation that changed a man’s life last night. Did you know this former Dallas Theological Seminary professor that was ministered to last night? What you didn’t know was the demons of hell came and they said, “We have your father. And, we’re gonna take you, we will take you to your father.” And then the Heavenly Father last night through His omniscience began to reveal, “No, your father, your father Jewel Clifford he is with the Lord – face to face with the Lord.” That was a transforming act of God; that was the mercy of God. I got to deliver it with the jealousy of God and that changed Jack Deere’s life…30
Deere’s book mentions nothing about being approached by demons claiming his father was in hell; in fact, Deere claims he felt the whole matter was no longer forefront on his mind during that time. According to Deere, Cain’s words to him on the way to lunch were, “Paul told me that after I had become a Christian, the question of my father’s eternal destiny troubled me more than I realized.”31 That’s a far cry from, “the demons of hell came and they said ‘we have your father…and…we will take you to your father’” which would obviously be very troubling and it would be doubtful that this would have been put out of Deere’s mind.
As a contrast, it’s interesting to note that after initially ‘misquoting’ the timing of Cain’s “earthquake prophecy,” Deere later would recall “in vivid detail” the facts concerning that particular “prophecy” yet in a very personal “prophecy” – one that “changed a man’s life” – he adds the detail about his mother “standing on a cliff looking for her missing jewel” and either doesn’t remember or chooses for some reason not to disclose the fact that demons appeared to him telling him his father was in hell. In fact, the latter appears to conflict with his statement that he would go back and forth in believing his father was either in heaven or in hell.
Wouldn’t it seem more likely that a personal prophecy would be more ingrained in an individual’s memory than another one which is not so distinctly personal? This is even more curious in view of the fact that the ‘earthquake prophecy’ was purportedly spoken circa late November 1988 with Deere recollecting this in an April 1999 conversation with Bill Jackson32 – a full 10 years later – as compared to the fact that the ‘prophecy’ concerning Deere’s father was spoken in April of 1989 with Deere recounting this in his book published in 1996.33
22 Gruen, Documentation. p 124 / 220. Emphasis in original.
23 Cain, Paul “Who Will Ascend the Lord’s Hill?” cassette tape [PC05-002] The Jealousy of God. 3-tape set in clamshell, undated, MorningStar Ministries, Charlotte, NC; tape 2, side 2. While there’s no date listed, internal evidence points to it being at Kansas City Fellowship in April of 1989 since: 1) the venue is made obvious in various places in the recordings contained in this set; 2) Cain mentions things to occur in the ‘90s and some things to occur before the end of ’89; 3) Cain mentions “demonic killings in Mexico” he had just read about in the newspaper which is very likely the Matamoros ritual killings which made headlines in April of 1989; 4) an eyewitness recalls being there during this timeframe; and, 5) the details of this open vision seem to match up with the account spoken of in the Gruen Document [item VI.H.5] as corrected in the July 1, 1990 letter which is dated April 1989. Taking all this into consideration, this tape set is most likely from April 1989, and unless anyone can produce proof to the contrary, this will be assumed to be the account referenced in the Gruen Document. In a 1995 MorningStar Ministries catalog this set is listed as a 4-tape set including “Consumed by His Jealousy” as the fourth tape [PC05-004].
24 Deere, Jack Surprised by the Voice of God. 1996, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI; 176. Deere mistakenly mentions this as occurring at Metro Vineyard Christian Fellowship instead of KCF – that is, unless this “prophecy” was later recycled.
25 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 177
26 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 176
27 Beverley, Holy Laughter; pp 132-33
28 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 177
29 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 177
30 Cain, Paul “Recapturing the Jealousy of God” cassette tape [PC05-003], The Jealousy of God. 3-tape set in clamshell, undated, MorningStar Ministries, Charlotte, NC; tape 3, side 1. Undated but as noted above from 1989 and very likely April 1989.
31 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 177
32 Jackson, Radical Middle. p 189 / 181. The “circa late November 1988” timing of Cain’s purported stating of the “earthquake prophecy” was gleaned from Bickle’s statement that this was “a week or two before” Cain’s arrival at Anaheim Vineyard in Growing in the Prophetic. p 39
33 Deere, Surprised by Voice. pp 176-177
Paul Cain a True Prophet?
Paul Cain was said to provide remarkable words of knowledge. Jack Deere’s book Surprised by the Voice of God is dedicated to Cain describing him as a “true prophet.”34 In a chapter detailing how to properly facilitate prophecy, Deere mentions that prophetic words should always be given with humility. He states, “The most skillful prophetic people I know avoid phrases like ‘Thus says the Lord…’” as this implies “a very high level of clarity and authority…that God is not giving to very many people today.”35 Yet, in another audio from 1989 at Kansas City Fellowship, Cain quips that he trades “words” with Bob Jones and John Paul Jackson each one prefaced with “thus saith the Lord”:
…I tell ya, I had a vision – I can’t get around John Paul without havin’ a vision – you know prophets when they get around each other they, if they don’t have anyone else to work on, they just work on each other. I mean they just say, “thus saith the Lord” and then they’ll turn around and say, “thus saith the Lord to YOU!” [audience laughter] and, then I’ll turn around and say, “thus saith the Lord to YOU buddy!” – and so on. Ya know it’s a really exciting thing. But every time I get around Bob he has a word from the Lord for me; and, I’m very humble – I don’t usually come back right away. But I go home and the Lord gives me some stuff that almost makes me explode, and I’m just BUSTIN’ to give you this. But John, I know this is irreverent…36
This is indeed irreverent, very much so, and obviously this lacks humility as well. We have to ask ourselves if a Holy God would take part in this sort of irreverent silliness. Perhaps Cain, Jones and Jackson feel they had “a very high level of clarity and authority” and thus could “prophecy” using the words “thus saith the Lord” at will. Maybe Cain was just joking around, but this is no laughing matter.
Take note that both Jones and Jackson would be limited in their ministries once Wimber/Vineyard took the reins of KCF in May of 1990. John Wimber was in the audience that day as this transcript makes clear; so, why did Wimber continue to promote and laud Cain as a prophet afterward while Jones and Jackson were restrained? This is especially important as Wimber claimed that Mike Bickle had asked him about KCF becoming a Vineyard as early as May of 1989 as he “was looking for pastoral accountability and a larger movement for KCF’s covering.” Wimber also states, “Mike regularly communicated with me during this time, and looked to me for pastoral care and direction.”37
In his book What Happened to the Fire?, J. Lee Grady makes observations about Cain after attending a conference in San Antonio in December of 1989.38 In a chapter titled “Fabricating the Anointing,” Grady records Cain as calling out ‘words’ to attendees such as “first names, cities, street numbers.” However, Grady notes that those called were mostly staff of the ministries who put on the conference (he knew some of these people personally) and that the information used to call these individuals out was accessible to Cain beforehand. Grady remarks that it was likely most attendees were astonished by what appeared to be “the remarkable demonstration of the word of knowledge”:39
…It seemed Cain had literally “read these people’s mail” by recounting personal information he could not have known about total strangers. But I found myself struggling with what happened that night…
…[I]t disturbed me that almost everyone who received these prophetic directives was part of the full-time staff of ministry sponsoring the conference. It also seemed puzzling that all the information Cain ostensibly received from God was printed in a staff address directory that I knew was easily accessible to conference speakers. Surely Paul Cain would not have studied that list prior to the meeting, then “recalled” the names and numbers to make us think he had revelatory powers!…40
Later on, Grady would interview Cain who stressed “no one has ever proved that he obtains information from any source other than God.” Grady also followed up on some “prophecies” given and discovered that, of the ones he checked, most of these predictions not only did not come to pass, some had actually proved to be quite the contrary. When asked for an explanation as to why these prophecies had not been fulfilled, Cain dodged the questions, but “through a friend, denied any wrongdoing.”41
34 Deere, Surprised by Voice. Dedication on unnumbered page preceding table of contents. David Pytches describes Cain as one who “would certainly fall into the category of a present-day prophet.” [Some Said it Thundered. 1990 (first edition, second impression), Hodder & Stoughton, London, UK; p 16; also in Pytches’ 1991 “new edition”; p 17].
35 Deere, Surprised by Voice. p 193
36 Cain, Paul Joel’s Army. digitized audio from cassette tape, 1989, GraceMinistries, Grandview, MO; near beginning of side 2 at 39:08 – 39:45. Cain would go on claiming he had a “word from the Lord” for John Wimber.
37 Wimber “A Response to Pastor Ernie Gruen’s Controversy with Kansas City Fellowship” Equipping the Saints. Fall 1990, Special UK Edition; p 3. Also, it should be noted that Wimber referred to Cain as a prophet given his words regarding Cain and the New Breed teaching, “…it’s been prophesied by Paul Cain, and I think it’s a very important concept” in an undated tape circa 1989 or early 1990 [“Unpacking Your Bags” tape, undated, as sourced in Dager’s April 23, 1990 Special Report; p 12].
38 Grady, J. Lee What Happened to the Fire?. 1994, Chosen Books – a division of Baker, Grand Rapids, MI; p 113
39 Grady, What Happened, p 115
40 Grady, What Happened, p 115. Emphasis added.
41 Grady, What Happened, p 116
Cain Absolved of Occultism?
One could argue that seeing a dead person – Jewel Clifford, Deere’s father – purportedly face-to-face with Jesus in heaven could be considered of the occult. Furthermore, it could be construed that the vision of Deere’s mother in which she was “talking about losing a jewel and that jewel was lost” is occultic since it involved verbal communication. Note that the July 1 letter states that it was discovered “on careful review” that this account was not necromancy which is presumably in the narrow sense of ‘communication with the dead’ rather than the broader meaning of ‘black magic’ in general. However, also note that Gruen specifically stated that the concessions were made on “points that could be disputed and argued about.”
Cain’s admitted association with and promotion of William Branham as “the greatest prophet that ever lived” raises an associated question as there are those who believe Branham was an agent of the occult. Kurt Koch relates that Branham was limited in his healing: “if my angel does not give the sign, I cannot heal.”42 The following, in his book Occult A-B-C, provides more indication of occultism:
Another evidence [of spiritistic (occult) healing] is the fact that…Branham [was unable] to perform cures when faced with born-again Christians who had committed themselves to the protection of [Jesus] Christ…When he [Branham] spoke in Karlsruhe and Lausanne, there were several believers in the audience – including myself – who prayed along these lines: “Lord, if this man’s powers are from You, then bless and use him, but if the healing gifts are not from You, then hinder him.” The result? On both occasions Branham said from the platform, “There are disturbing powers here, I can do nothing.” 43
This is not unlike an account as related by Constance Cumbey regarding New Ager Benjamin Crème in an incident after he spoke at a gathering. Following Cumbey’s praying aloud of the “Lord’s Prayer” while the other attendees were praying The Great Invocation – essentially a prayer to the New Age Christ, or antichrist – the expected “overshadowing” by ‘Maitreya the Christ’ did not manifest itself in Crème and he dismissed the crowd with, “That will be all.”44
While the following may or may not be related to the above, it is certainly of interest. Recall in the first part of this article that in March of 1990 Wimber, Deere and Cain were met with open opposition during a conference in Sydney, Australia. Jack Deere recounts a portion of this in his book The Gift of Prophecy.45 On the second night of the conference, Cain was apparently distracted and had a difficult time teaching. Nevertheless, both the audience and Deere were anticipating a Paul Cain prophecy session after the teaching was over. However, Cain “simply walked off the stage” instead.46
The next day when Deere inquired about this, Cain replied, “The price I pay for my gift is living with the disappointment of people and enduring the embarrassment of being deserted by the anointing.”47 [see “The ‘Christ Anointing’” section of “Christ" in the New Age article for more on “the anointing.”] Is it possible that the Vineyard/Wimber/Deere/Cain opponents in Sydney did something similar to what Koch and his associates or Cumbey had done thereby causing this particular episode of “embarrassment?”
In the following, from the same evening as the “prophecy” for Deere, Paul Cain reminisces about his first meeting in which he spoke at an A/G church near Dallas and recalls how he understood the background of someone in the audience:
I looked over and I saw a lady – and I’m not going to tell you how I see these things because right away you would say “oh, that’s the occult” – I just wanna make one thing very clear: the New Agers and the occult, I’d like for you to know that they got all this stuff from God in the first place. And the devil’s had it so long we think it belongs to him; I think it’s time we take it all back. Because God is the God of Light, He’s the God of the amber light and the glory…
Anyway, I saw this light over her and the vision came to pass. I said, “Lady sitting back here in the green and white polka dot dress, you’re from San Antone [sic], Texas and you’re cripple [sic]. Get up and run to that aisle immediately…” 48
Cain goes on claiming this lady, who “came in a wheelchair” although he “didn’t realize this at first,” ran “up and down the aisles” being completely healed. Continuing, Cain follows with another account in which he claims “the angel of the Lord” told him she had colitis.49 Is this angel similar to Branham’s healing angel, like the one Todd Bentley claimed in Lakeland in 2008? If so, is it possible that in the Sydney “embarrassment” the angel “did not give the sign” as would happen to Branham?
The transcript in VI.H.3 of the Gruen Document, “Smelling demons”,50 certainly displays the hallmarks of occultism:
When I was a young man and first received the anointing, I could smell a cancer; I could smell a demon; I could smell different types of sin. They all had a stench; they all had a different smell; they were identifying themselves. You could smell infidelity and adultery…51
This is transcribed from the “7 Spirits of God” tape which was one of those deleted in June 1990 [see previous post]. As of yet, this audio has not been recovered; so, this transcript cannot be either affirmed or denounced.
Perhaps a more clear case of occultism is found in the following. From the same evening Cain relates that Jack Deere was approached by demons who were trying to take Deere to visit his father in hell, Cain recounts how “the Lord” hit him on the chest:
…I told you the story when the Lord came to me one night I went to bed meditating on something that Augustine [ed: likely Augustine Acolla (also spelled Alcala)] said. He said, “Man was made to find his home in God and man can’t rest until he finds his home in God.” – or something like that. And I went to sleep meditating on that one night and I woke – well, I’m not even gonna tell you this ‘cause you wouldn’t believe it anyway, just leave me asleep if you want to. Call it a dream. Call it anything; but, I tell ya I call it ‘scary.’ The Lord took his two fingers and began to punch me in the chest…” 52
Now THAT must’ve left a bruise! Dager notes “other phenomena akin to occult spiritual activity” have been observed while Cain ministered.53 It has been reported that one night in 1988 at Olathe Worship Center, a part of KCF, Cain caused a surge of electricity short-circuiting circuits resulting in the fire alarm system activating. Purportedly, unbeknownst to the KCF congregation, the local fire station was dispatched and the firemen were surprised there wasn’t a fire.54 A similar thing was claimed to have happened when Cain was speaking at the Spiritual Warfare Conference at Anaheim Vineyard in February of 1989:55
On the first occasion in Anaheim, an expensive video camera was short circuited. This was particularly unusual because the camera was battery powered. It was not plugged into any outlet.
The following night, the telephone system was blown-out [sic]. This was notable because no one was on the phone at the time.56
Apparently, on a subsequent night at the same conference, Cain himself speaks of these occasions. From audio of this conference, one of “Stadium Visions” available on his own site, Cain relates
…But, He’s gonna DO that and when He does you’re gonna have more than just a little omnipotent surge. You’re gonna have something MORE than something that’ll knock out the cameras and knock out the phone lines and knock out all the power lines and set off the fire alarms like it did in Kansas City or Olathe, Kansas and a little bit of that happened here [in Anaheim, CA]. You’re gonna have something MORE than that…57
Dager comments, “One must wonder if the Holy Spirit is a clumsy, out of control source of electrical energy. Such happenings are not dissimilar to those that occur during UFO sightings or poltergeist activity…”58
42 Koch, Kurt Occult A-B-C. 1986 (second edition), Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI; p 235
43 Koch, Occult A-B-C. p 235
44 Cumbey, Constance. video Discovering the New Age Movement. 2006, Radio Liberty Conference hosted by Stanley Monteith <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8937919448007045479> starting at around 46:10. Cumbey described this ‘non-event’ as the “spookiest thing of the evening.” As accessed 10/15/11
45 Deere, Jack The Gift of Prophecy. 2001, Servant Publishers, Ann Arbor, MI; pp 72-74
46 Deere, Gift of Prophecy. pp 72-73
47 Deere, Gift of Prophecy. pp 73-74
48 Cain, Paul “Trembling at His Word” cassette tape [PC05-001] The Jealousy of God. 3-tape set in clamshell, undated, MorningStar Ministries, Charlotte, NC; tape 1, side 2. Undated but as noted above from 1989 and very likely April 1989.
49 Cain, Paul “Trembling at His Word” side 2
50 Gruen, Documentation. p 124 / 219
51 Gruen, Documentation. p 124 / 219
52 Cain “Recapturing the Jealousy of God” side 2
53 Dager, “Kansas City Connection” p 6 / Dager Vengeance. p 132 / Dager “The Restoration” p 7
54 Sullivant, Terri “Paul Cain’s Ministry: Recent Manifestations of the Holy Spirit” Grace City Report. Special Edition, Fall 1989; p 5 as cited in Dager “Kansas City Connection” p 6 / Dager Vengeance. p 132 / Dager “The Restoration” p 7
55 Sullivant, Terry “Paul Cain: Recent Manifestations” p 5 as cited in Dager “Kansas City Connection” p 6 / Vengeance. p 132 / Dager “The Restoration” p 7. Dager records this conference as 1988 rather than 1989 (presumably receiving this from Sullivant) which seems to conflict with the overall chronology as Cain was not introduced to Wimber until December 5, 1988. According to Jackson [Radical Middle. pp 179 / 171-172], Bob Jones purportedly told Bickle that Wimber would call him “in early 1988” opening the door “for future ministry” with Wimber and Vineyard. Purportedly, the call came “five days later” resulting in Wimber and Bickle ministering together in the UK in the fall of 1988. With this in mind, it would seem unlikely that Cain was at an early 1988 conference at Anaheim Vineyard. If this supposition is incorrect, the reader is asked to provide substantiation in order to correct this.
56 Sullivant, T. “Paul Cain: Recent Manifestations” p 5 as cited in Dager “Kansas City Connection” p 6 / Dager Vengeance. p 132 / Dager “The Restoration” p 7
57 Cain, Paul “Stadium Vision: Anaheim Vineyard” taken from February 1989 Spiritual Warfare Conference <http://www.paulcain.org/sandbox/newsite/pages/Stadium%20vision/stadiumvision.html> as accessed 10/15/11
58 Dager, “Kansas City Connection” p 6 / Dager Vengeance. p 133 / Dager “The Restoration” p 7
Paul Cain Did Not Teach Manifested Sons Doctrine?
The most confounding concession is point 2a which is the claim, “He does not hold to the doctrine of Manifested Sons, but totally denies ever having believed in that teaching.” The transcripts clearly indicate Cain was teaching the Manifested Sons of God (MSoG) heretical doctrine. The MSoG heresy is such that certain individuals will receive their imperishable, resurrection bodies [see I Corinthians 15:50-54] while remaining here on earth in an invincible state attaining immortality with the ability to go through walls, etc.
Dager, in his August 1990 article, states flatly
…[Gruen] is in error in saying that Cain does not hold to Manifest Sons of God doctrine; Cain’s teachings on Joel’s Army and on immortalization are purely Manifest Sons of God doctrine.”59
In Dager’s April 23rd article (and also in a chapter in his full-length book Vengeance is Ours as well as the follow up article in August), he provided his own proof that Cain taught MSoG by quoting from the KCF tape “A New Breed” – another one of the tapes on the June 1990 discontinued list [though, notably, not referenced at all in the Gruen Document] – which follows:
Now I know which is perfect is come [sic], that which is imperfect must be done away. But anyone knows that which is perfect has come. And we don’t have the full revelation – we haven’t grown up in the stature of Christ as we should. And there is no manifestation on a wholesale basis of the sons of God. And I’m not afraid to mention that even though I get shot down everywhere I go every time I mention the manifestation of the sons of God. I’m not afraid to mention any biblical, scriptural terminology…60
So my point is that there will be a manifestation of the sons and daughters of God. And it won’t be this baloney that we’ve heard of in the past; I mean, there’s been a few people who tried to walk through a wall like this over there and knocked their brains loose, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a true manifested son of God: if anyone walks through this wall over here, they’re not going to tell you about it – I mean, they’re just going to do it. And sons of God don’t tell you they’re sons of God, they’ll just show you! Amen!61
Dager clearly illustrates that Cain taught MSoG; however, are the Gruen Document transcripts in error or fabricated? We can safely say “No.” Existing digitized audio of the “Joel’s Army” tape – yet another one of the tapes on the discontinued list [identified in the Gruen Document as “JAPC”] – prove that the transcripts faithfully represent Cain’s words although a small portion is apparently edited.62 However, this missing section does not affect proving unequivocally that the Gruen Document does in fact show that Paul Cain was teaching MSoG which, as noted, is heresy.
“Joel’s Army” is another term for MSoG taken from a misapplication of Joel 2:1-11. The fact that this “Joel’s Army” is the same as Manifested Sons of God in the Paul Cain vernacular is evidenced by Cain’s words as quoted in item VI.H.6: “…this army is also in the New Testament…”
Using the digitized audio of the “Joel’s Army” tape, we can put Cain’s words in the Gruen Document in chronological order (excluding the portion not on the audio in possession obviously). Additional transcription from the audio providing more of the original context will be in plain text while portions from the transcripts of the Gruen Document will be italicized. The Gruen Document transcriptions are underscored as per the original, bolding is added for emphasis, and CAPS are used when Cain is emphatic. Repeats and stammers are mostly edited out.
Cain begins by talking about a vision of Bob Jones’ in which “the wind and the fire” are present and the pages of a Bible are turning. Notice that the portion from the Gruen Document (in italics, as stated) is claimed to be a direct quote from the Lord for Cain. There’s a second one for John Paul Jackson:
…And then…it stopped at St. John 15…He said that He’s the true vine and you’re the branches. It seemed as though the Lord reiterated that to my heart again…He had already shown me that a dozen times before. He said, “If you can get into this vine, if you’re really in the vine and you’re in the branch, then the life sap from the Son of the living God keeps you from cancer, keeps you from dying, keeps you from death, keeps ya from so many things.” And I said, “Yes Lord.” …And then it blew on over to St. John 16…it came alive…The Lord said, “That’s for John Paul. And just tell him that my Word is coming alive…”63
This illustrates that Cain is espousing the idea that the Lord is giving “new revelation” to certain “prophets” for the Church. So, how does one “really” get “into this vine?” The answer is revealed by the next section in which the ellipse […] in the Gruen Document is filled in providing the full context of Cain’s words. It all has to do with “intimacy”:
So this is a billion soul crusade, Bob. Your billion, your billion, my billion, and I want you to know that just fills me and thrills me and chills me, and Lord, please don’t let it kill me. It’s just so good. I’m going to live to see this, friends, I really believe it. If I can get through this message. So, they shut the Apostles…up in prison, they killed James, they stoned Stephen, and finally martyred all the Apostles with the possible exception of John, Saint John the Divine. I don’t think they killed him ‘cause he leaned on Jesus’ bosom and he had the heartbeat of God. God loved him so much. If you have intimacy with God, they can’t kill you. They just can’t. There’s something about [ya]; you’re connected to that vine; you’re just so close to him. Oh, my friends, they can’t kill [ya]. God takes care of them. He said, “I love them that love Me.” Isn’t that wonderful? So, I don’t think we have any record where they kill John…He may be the Enoch…as far as the martyrs are concerned. I don’t believe that he was martyred…64
That’s an interesting thesis: on the basis of the fact that the Apostle John had leaned on Jesus’ bosom and because neither Scripture nor, presumably, any extant historical evidence records John’s death, Cain conjectures that John was taken up like Enoch never experiencing a physical death. Consequently, if we were to have this same sort of intimacy with God we could not be killed. This sort of “intimacy” then provides the means to attaining manifested sons of God status – truly perfected saints, the invincible Joel’s Army:
…I saw that when they shut the Apostles up in prison; they killed all of them, and except maybe John. Many spiritual saints were slain also because of their testimony throughout the past centuries. But this is what God showed me: But this army is invincible. They are never put into prison; they are never delivered into the hands of their enemies…They go behind iron bars and iron gates and Iron Curtain and they enter into windows like a THIEF. Even those behind bars and in cells and in dungeons must hear the message that we preach and if it’s accepted they bring them out to freedom and to safety. And nothing shall escape it. WE have the authority then!65
So, this “intimacy” not only provides invincibility to the members of this army; it provides full earthly authority! However, this perfection may not come immediately:
…But we may not reach that kind of perfection right away…But we can repent right clear down to the bottom; we’re gonna get to that kind of repentance. And if we fail after repentance, we’re gonna repent again…66
According to Cain, God wants you to join Joel’s Army and enlistment will put both you and God “back on the map.” Has God ever really been ‘off’ the map?
…But nevertheless God’s gonna have a people that’s gonna put Him back on the map again. Amen. And He’s gonna put us on the map again, isn’t He. Let’s make up our minds to this fact. God’s going to – He’s not gonna make ya do it – but, I want you to know this army is going to be available to ya; if you want to enlist tonight…67
In the following, Cain makes it very clear that this perfected army is specified in the New Testament, not just the Old Testament. Not only that – it’s for the final, special end time generation only. And he identifies the generation he was speaking with at the time as that privileged generation of the end time. Cain identifies this Joel’s Army as the man-child, the overcomers, the 144,000 of Revelation 7, the bride of the Lamb, the manifested sons of God, and others:
…This army is also in the New Testament. It’s referred to as the man child. I know some of you’s gonna disagree with this; don’t you even stop to disagree. Revelation 12:25 [sic], if you disagree, just file it in Miscellaneous and don’t bother with it. When we get to heaven we’ll check it out, and you’ll find out I’m right. Here it is–this great army in the New Testament is a man child, Revelation 12:5; the overcomers, Revelation 2 and 3; the 144,000 servants, Revelation 7:3; the bride of the Lamb’s wife [sic]– see why they call me in on the carpet? – the revelation of the Lamb’s wife, Revelation 19:7 and 21:9; and the white horse. Revelation 6:2; the first fruit. Revelation 14:4; the precious fruit. James 5:7; the wise virgins. Matthew 21:1 – 13 [sic]; the manifested sons of God. Romans 8:19 – 23, and it’s certainly a remarkable fact that none of these names are expressions applied to the saints of God at any other time in history, but all of them are in their context and promises showing undeniably that they belong to the time of the end. The end time, let’s say the end time. They belong to the end time to this present generation, Matthew 24:34…the Lord says, “today, today, today.” And today harden not your hearts, but it applies to the end time, this is the end time and God wants us to realize once and again, in closing, that there’s gonna be a great company of overcomers prepared for this mighty ministry which I call the prize of all ages. And again, God’s offering to the believers of this generation a greater privilege than was ever been offered to any people of any generation at any time from Adam clear down through the end of the millennium…68
Note that Cain states “Revelation 12:25” which is an obvious error as the 12th chapter of Revelation ends with verse 17. In his zeal, Cain misspoke as he meant “Revelation 12:2-5” instead since these are the verses used to denote the “man-child” doctrine. Also, he mistakenly says “bride of the Lamb’s wife” instead of “bride of the Lamb” and he quotes the wrong Scripture for “the wise virgins” which should be Matthew 25:1-13 instead of 21:1-13 in all his excitement.
59 Dager “The Restoration” p 16
60 Dager, “Kansas City Connection” p 9 / Dager Vengeance. p 144 / Dager “The Restoration” p 12
61 Dager, “Kansas City Connection” p 9 / Dager Vengeance. p 145 / Dager “The Restoration” p 12
62 Cain, Joel’s Army. digitized audio from cassette tape; however, the tape is apparently edited. Frustratingly, the extant audio is missing the latter portion of item VI.H.1(the portion after the first ellipse of the last paragraph) and all of item VI.H.4 in Gruen Documentation; p 123-24, 124 / 218, 217. However, the remaining audio is quite enough to illustrate that the Gruen Document transcripts faithfully represent the audio/tape. It appears that the tape used for the Gruen transcription either had the sides reversed or the transcriber reversed the sides during transcription. The transcripts from the Gruen Document are put into their original chronological order as this may provide a better understanding of Cain’s overall message.
63 Cain, Joel’s Army; side 1 at 41:05 – 42:15. The digitized audio records the tape abruptly ending with “this concludes side one; please turn the tape over” and then after a short duration, the audio resumes at the same place at which side one ended. However, at 43:18 there is an obvious edit with Cain coming back in speaking on a totally different subject. This is apparently the section which had been edited. The quoted portion transcribed is from VI.H.1, third paragraph excepting the edited verbiage after the ellipse. This picks up soon after the transcription at footnote 35 ends.
64 Cain, Joel’s Army; side 2 at 53:21 – 54:39. Includes VI.H.1, first paragraph.
65 Cain, Joel’s Army. side 2 at 55:01 – 55:48. Includes VI.H.1, second paragraph.
66 Cain, Joel’s Army; side 2 at 1:03:19 – 1:03:37
67 Cain, Joel’s Army; side 2 at 1:04:12 – 1:04:30
68 Cain, Joel’s Army; side 2 at 1:05:37 – 1:07:26. Includes all of VI.H.6
Assessing Gruen’s Concessions
Let’s recap Gruen’s concessions specifically related to Paul Cain. As stated, “Paul Cain did minister with William Branham” [point 2d]. Assuming this is indeed true, it appears to be an honest mistake on Gruen’s part and a mistake which needed to be corrected.
While it is apparently true that the woman (Jack Deere’s mother) who appeared to Paul Cain in the open vision recorded in the Gruen Document was a living person [point 2b], it has been shown that this vision and the associated vision of Cain seeing Deere’s deceased father in heaven could be construed as of the occult. In addition, Cain’s association with and promotion of William Branham, who apparently used occult powers being rendered powerless when Christians were praying, adds more credibility to the possibility of occultism [point 2c]. Moreover, as mentioned above, there are other accounts which suggest the possibility of occultic activity.
Gruen’s only specific mention of anything related to occultism was the claim of necromancy, i.e. communing with the dead, associated with the open vision in which, as noted, the woman was actually still living. The “Smelling Demons” section may be considered a claim of occultism also which, as stated earlier, cannot be either affirmed or denounced since there’s no extant audio. Yet witness Gruen’s words in the concession, “We know of no occultism connected with him or his ministry.” Gruen may have still suspected it yet felt like he could not make a strong enough case. Let’s not overlook the words before the list of the three points, “it is obvious there are points that could be disputed and argued about.”
Using existing audio from the tape identified in the Gruen Document as “JAPC” (known as “Joel’s Army” and numbered among the tapes which were discontinued), it has been shown that the document faithfully represents these portions of the tape (to the extent of the audio recovered so far) thus proving that Cain did in fact teach the Manifested Sons of God heresy [point 2a]. Obviously if one teaches such a heresy this could call into question a proclamation of the individual being “a godly man and a man of integrity” as MSoG is not faithful to orthodox interpretations of Scripture and is blasphemous since it, in essence, equates man with God. So, why did Gruen concede these points?
The way point 2a is worded may provide a clue: “He does not hold to the doctrine of Manifested Sons, but totally denies ever having believed in that teaching.” This sentence is phrased rather peculiarly. This appears to state that Cain does not currently hold to MSoG, formerly adhered to this teaching as the Gruen Document illustrates, yet nevertheless denies ever having believed in this doctrine perhaps keeping in mind the tapes which had recently (at the time) been discontinued. Gruen’s statement would not necessarily contradict his preface, “In my limited dealings with Paul Cain, I have found him to be a godly man and a man of integrity.” With this, Gruen could merely be admitting he’s had “limited dealings” with Cain and each time Cain was found to display integrity and godliness. This discreet statement would not be inconsistent with the testimony of others.69
Furthermore, note that the phrase “We completely exonerate Paul Cain of any negative charges” is specifically in conjunction with “We know of no occultism connected with him or his ministry” in sub-point ‘c’ rather than the preface which would have necessarily encompassed all the sub-points: ‘a’ through ‘e’. Does this mean Gruen only intended the “we completely exonerate…” phrase to be specifically in connection with occultism such that the “negative charges” only pertain to occultism? As it’s written, it seems possible this phrase of exoneration does not apply to sub-points ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘d’ & ‘e’. It appears that each sub-point addresses one specific item namely: sub-point ‘a’ – Manifested Sons doctrine; ‘b’ – the alleged necromancy; ‘c’ – occultism; ‘d’ – Cain’s association with Branham; and, ‘e’ – a blanket apology.
However, we must concede the possibility that the list is placed in order with each sub-point necessarily following the other. In this case sub-point ‘a’ addresses MSoG as per the explanation two paragraphs above; ‘b’ addresses the alleged necromancy; ‘c’ exonerates Cain of MSoG, necromancy, and occultism while specifying that occultism is not known to be associated with him; ‘d’ speaks of Cain’s connection to Branham; and ‘e’ is a blanket apology.
James A. Beverley scrutinized the Gruen Document after having read a “scathing review” of Gruen in Wimber’s own Equipping the Saints magazine titled “A Response to Pastor Ernie Gruen’s Controversy with Kansas City Fellowship” from fall of 1990.70 This review was written and published after Gruen’s concessions above and included those concessions in the body of the report. Based on its contents, Beverley expected a poorly documented, biased work with texts being taken out of their context. However, upon reading the Gruen Document and comparing with KCF material Beverley commented, “…Gruen had every right to warn the charismatic world.”71
Beverley criticized Wimber’s article as “unbalanced and faulty.” He recognized a number of specific points that the Gruen Document brought forth including “the ridiculous wholesale verdict that Pastor Gruen’s accusations are untrue;” that “it failed to give sufficient acknowledgement of the…elitist spirit evident in the material documented by Gruen;” and, that it failed to recognize “an eschatology far removed from exegesis and [that was] rooted instead in the subjective, mystical experiences of Bob Jones, John Paul Jackson, and Paul Cain.”72
In addition, Beverley states the ETS article was essentially Jack Deere’s report73 although this, if indeed true, in no way absolves Wimber of full responsibility since it bears his name. According to Beverley, John Wimber would later contact Gruen privately “to express his regret that their response to him was so careless and unbalanced.”74 Vineyard, however, never did publicly apologize.75 Jackson states Deere “was openly sympathetic toward Bickle” and “a source close to Wimber later came to believe that the facts had been somewhat biased toward KCF…”76 As for Gruen, he “decided the Lord did not want him to reply” to this report.77
While noting the biased nature of David Pytches’ book Some Said it Thundered describing it as an “overly optimistic interpretation of KCF,”78 Beverley relates White’s later agreement with Beverley’s charge of ‘intemperance’ regarding his foreword to Pytches’ book:
…Dr. White, in a spirit of graciousness, wrote me later and agreed that my verdict was correct. My view was based on his harsh statements about Ernie Gruen and his uncritical acceptance of Vineyard’s written reply about Gruen.79
It’s a shame there isn’t a further revision to Pytches’ book including a more balanced Dr. White foreword. Also note that contrary to a portion of White’s claim in the quote which begins this article, Gruen does not concede “the reality of [Cain’s] exceptional gifting” as Gruen makes no mention at all about Cain’s “gifting.”
Attempts have been made to discredit both the Gruen Document and Gruen himself over the years. Wimber’s Equipping The Saints article, Pytches’ book, and Jackson’s work have been used in this endeavor. Jackson mentions that it was “public knowledge” that Gruen “was in an immoral relationship at the time” but does not provide an adequate source for this statement.80 While it is true Gruen did begin divorce proceedings in May of 1993,81 nearly three years after his promise to stop sending out the Gruen Document (his marriage was subsequently restored about 2 years later82), these rumors of immorality have not been substantiated.
In any event, whether Gruen was involved in immorality at the time or not, the Gruen Document stands or falls with respect to its veracity. To the extent it can be proven true, it is true; to the extent it can be proven false, it is false. Notwithstanding the concessions in the July 1, 1990 letter and taking into account the findings here regarding the charge of MSoG, there is no evidence we have found suggesting that any aspect of the Gruen Document is false. (However, see below in “A Drought Evolves” section.) In fairness, any claim that a part or parts of the Gruen document is/are false should be accompanied by specific proof of same.
In assessing all the above, the following information must be kept in mind:
1) The July 1 letter was “a summary letter of the result” of the June 28 meeting consisting of Gruen and his staff with Wimber, Cain and Deere in which the Gruen Document was reportedly reviewed “page by page” by all parties involved. Presumably, these concessions were a joint decision by all since these were affirmed, or at least not denied either in part or in full, in Wimber’s Equipping The Saints article “A Response to Pastor Ernie Gruen’s Controversy with Kansas City Fellowship.”83
2) Paul Cain was celebrated by Wimber and favored by him to the point that he claimed the two were “bonded for life.” That’s a very strong connection between the two. Likewise, Jack Deere continued to promote Cain as a “true prophet.” Moreover, Vineyard Ministries International had a financial stake in Paul Cain in providing the majority of the funding for Grace Ministries Shiloh project by fall 1989 with Cain as its senior prophetic voice.
3) Given that we can prove the veracity of the large majority of the Paul Cain transcripts – over half of the portion specifically pertaining to Cain – thereby proving the “Joel’s Army” tape did indeed teach the Manifested Sons of God doctrine, why did Gruen state specifically that Cain “does not hold to the Manifested Sons doctrine, but totally denies ever having believed in that teaching” and why did Wimber and company agree with this? Is the analysis above correct regarding the interpretation of this statement; and, if so, does this mean Paul Cain, John Wimber, Jack Deere and Mike Bickle no longer adhere to and/or claim to have never adhered to MSoG? This will be the subject of two future articles – one specifically with regard to John Wimber, the other Mike Bickle.
4) Why was the Paul Cain “Joel’s Army” tape discontinued? If the claim is that Cain did not teach MSoG, wouldn’t this tape be kept in circulation by KCF turned Metro Vineyard Fellowship to illustrate that the Gruen Document was in error in order to ‘vindicate’ Paul Cain especially since the transcripts from this tape make up over half the information on Cain in the Gruen Document? Why were the other Paul Cain tapes discontinued some of which were not even referenced in the Gruen Document?
5) Gruen stands by the Document stating, “We still believe our documentation of the aberrant practices and teachings of Kansas City Fellowship are essentially accurate” in prefacing the three conceded points.
69 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 131. Beverley states that most who meet Cain find him to be “a gentle man” and himself describes Cain as “delightful and warm” while Kenn Gulliksen extolled Cain’s “love and care.” Grady [What Happened p 116] states, “…several prominent leaders in the charismatic renewal endorse his ministry and vouch for his character.”
70 Wimber, John “A Response to Pastor Ernie Gruen’s Controversy with Kansas City Fellowship” Equipping the Saints. Fall 1990, Special UK Edition; pp 3, 27-30
71 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 125
72 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 125
73 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 125
74 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 126
75 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 126
76 Jackson, Radical Middle. p 219 / 209
77 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 125
78 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 126
79 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 126
80 Jackson, Radical Middle. p 219 / 209. Jackson has a duplicate footnote reference placing 6 in the text twice. The first one references the immorality charge while the second refers to the fact that Deere was openly sensitive toward Bickle which Jackson sources from Beverley. After checking the Beverley thoroughly, there is no mention of immorality whatsoever with respect to Gruen. Going back to footnote 5 in Jackson is Wimber’s “A Response to Gruen” article in ETS which similarly has no mention of immorality. This is not to make a counterclaim that there was no immorality; this is to illustrate, in fairness, that there’s no substantiation to the claim by Jackson.
81 Grady, J. Lee “Kansas City Churches Reconciled: Gruen Resigns After Announcement” Charisma. July 1993, Vol. 18 No. 12; p 54. Gruen made his statement on May 24, 1993 claiming, “My sin causing this resignation is not committing adultery, but committing divorce.”
82 Grady, J. Lee “Kansas City Churches Mend Rift” Charisma & Christian Life. September 1995, Vol. 21 No. 2; p 34
83 Wimber “Response to Gruen” pp 3, 27-30
A Drought Evolves
One of the most common attempts at discrediting the Gruen Document involves the “drought prophecy.” Like Paul Cain’s “earthquake prophecy” was used to validate Cain’s message to Wimber and the Vineyard, Bob Jones’ “drought prophecy” was claimed to legitimize Mike Bickle’s KCF “movement.”
From the opening in the Gruen Document:
For example, Mike regularly retells the story of how the so-called “prophet” Bob Jones predicted [on May 27, 1983] a 3-month drought which would finally end with a “drought-breaker” on August 23.
In telling this tale, Mike makes such statements as, “We watched it day by day…June, no rain…then on August 23, three to four inches of rain!” This is portrayed as God’s confirmation of their “Movement.” It sounded like a pretty impressive miracle until we checked with the National Weather Bureau and the daily newspaper accounts for that timeframe. We found the following:
a. Actual readings from the former Richards Gebaur Air Force base, which is only a few minutes from Kansas City Fellowship, show over seven inches of rain in June, which is well above normal!
b. The “drought-breaker” on August 23 actually produced less than one-third of an inch.
c. Of the 12 days it rained in June, [six] of them produced records of rains heavier than the “drought-breaker.” One day alone had over seven times the rainfall on August 23 – 2.35 inches. (See Section I)
From the beginning this could have never been considered a true prophecy.84
Gruen lays out the specific parameters as set forth in the Bob Jones “prophecy” as gleaned from the earliest recording of this event . This ‘drought’ was to be one of no rain from the time of Jones’ purported proclamation at the end of May until August 23rd at which point there was to be a drought-breaking rain. This is both very well defined and very straightforward.
Even though there was in fact a drought defined as ‘a prolonged period of less than normal rainfall’ in the late summer of 1983 beginning in July, Gruen’s point was to merely disprove the specific parameters of Jones “prophecy” which proclaimed a ‘no rain whatsoever’ drought to encompass all of June, July and August up through to the August 23rd ‘drought-breaker.’ To do so, all he had to show was that there was rainfall in June thereby negating the drought’s beginning and then show that even though there was rain on August 23rd, the amount was very small, much less than the reported 3 to 4 inches of ‘drought-breaking’ rain as reported by Bickle.
The Gruen Document transcribed two different tapes of this “drought prophecy.” The earliest, from Spring 1986 titled The Prophetic History of Grace Ministries, Volume 2 (a tape series among those on the June 1990 discontinued list), follows. This starts out with Bickle quoting Bob Jones:
‘This is the sign in the heavens, again…For three months there will be a drought in this city.’…The sign is (that) there will be a pattern in the heavens – a weather pattern, and you can’t manipulate weather patterns, so we said, ‘Okay, if it comes to pass, we know the word is true.’…But he says, ‘On August 23, God will send a sign from heaven…’ I said, ‘Bob, I hope this is right.’ Cause it was terrible. June – no rain…August 23, 6:00 at night, it rains, what, 3 to 4 inches of rain…It was a sign in the heavens that no man could have manipulated; it was spoken publicly for all to hear.85
Gruen left out a bit from the audio here (illustrated by the ellipses […]) as, again, his point was to show that the Bickle claim of no rain for the month of June and a pouring rain of 3 to 4 inches on August 23rd were untrue. Thankfully, we also have David Pytches’ Some Said it Thundered (original, unrevised first edition)86 rendition of this “drought prophecy” which corresponds to the Gruen account above while filling in some of the information missing in the ellipses.
Pytches transcribed KCF tapes as he states this in the “Acknowledgements”: “I want to express my appreciation to Kansas City Fellowship for their ready permission for me to quote from their unedited tapes…”87 Unfortunately, Pytches’ work does not provide footnotes and does not include any tape titles or numbers in the list of references in the back of his book. However, it appears as though he paraphrases a bit rather than quoting directly since some of the words don’t exactly match up to Gruen’s even though the basic details do:
“…[T]here will be the total withholding of everything for three months, although God will allow a little bit of liberty.
In this city everything will be withheld. For three months there will be a drought. That’s the sign! God has spoken!…for three months there will be no rain – not until 23 August.”88
Once again, to restate, according to this “prophecy” there was to be no rain at all, not a sprinkle, until August 23. Picking up where we left off:
Bob had given a specific date for the end of a drought which he predicted was about to begin.
This level of prophecy could certainly be nervy! Mike found himself becoming an expert weather watcher…To quote Mike:
“…For the whole month of June there was no rain! It was terrible! For the whole month of July there was no rain! It was terrible!
“No rain still during the first week of August or the second or the third. It was terrible! Bob Jones said the Lord had told him it would come on 23 August. We had all been poised since early dawn that day but by 1 p.m. there was still no rain. By six o’clock we were just resigned to wait for another day when suddenly it began. And did it rain? It poured! No man could have manipulated that. It just had to be God!”89
As Pytches’ clearly describes, the claim is that as “an expert weather watcher” Bickle saw not a drop of rain for the entire period of June, July and August until August 23rd at which time “It poured!” Yet when this is compared to actual rainfall as the Gruen Document states, June had above average rainfall for the area with six of those days well exceeding the .32” of rainfall on August 23rd.90 Furthermore, July and August, while having much less than normal rainfall, did indeed have some rain.91 According to National Weather Service archives, actual monthly rainfall in Kansas City in 1983 for the summer and early fall was as follows: June: 6.46”; July: 1.17”; August: 0.97”; September: 1.91”; and, October: 4.15”.92
Apparently, Bickle found out there really was some rainfall during the period of June 1 through August 22 since he revised this “prophecy” a bit as evidenced by the transcription of a recording from May of 1989 titled Overview of Our Prophetic History in the Gruen Document. Bickle backpedals a bit:
Then Bob stands up at the end and he says, ‘I got bad news.’ He says, ‘The Lord told me that there isn’t gonna be a revival being poured out at the end of this 21 days.’ He said, ‘Worse than that, we’re goin’ to the three months of total barrenness. And there’s gonna be a drought upon the city.’ He didn’t say that there would be, you know, not a, not a sprinkle of rain. He said there’d be a drought. He said through the city. And ah, I checked the newspaper once and found out that it rained an inch in the north over the summer. But ah, you know, I’m not sure exactly how much, or somebody did – I can’t remember all the those details, but we watched it day by day and there was a drought through those three months…93
In the earlier account there was the emphatic declaration of no rain yet the later account claims that Bob didn’t say there would be “not a sprinkle of rain.” The first account was three years after this all important prophecy was spoken in 1983, yet in 1989 it seemed they didn’t recall it quite right in the earlier account of 1986. Given that this was purportedly a “word from the Lord,” wouldn’t this have been meticulously recorded? This should have been especially important to write down as this “prophecy” was to confirm the “movement” at KCF.
Bickle “can’t remember all those details” yet he “watched it day by day”? Are we really to believe the “details” of something this important would not be remembered in view of the fact there was so much at stake? And he maintains there was a “drought those three months” including June in which, as stated, there was almost 6.5” of rain with more than a few of those days much more than “a sprinkle.” Continuing:
He (Bob) said, ‘The Lord will break the drought in the natural over Kansas City, and it’s a sign that He will, on an appointed time, break the drought in the Spirit, but not until He appoints the time.’
…And, ah, we’ve had several different theories when that drought was gonna break, but it hadn’t broke yet. And, ah, so, so much for all our theories. But there is an appointed time when the drought breaks in the natural as well as the Spirit. And he said, ‘And here’s the proof that there will, it will break on an appointed day in the natural.’ He said, ‘On August 23, the drought will end and the rains will come to the city. 94
Once again, Bickle makes the claim that August 23rd would be the drought-breaker at which time “the drought will end and the rains will come to the city.” Bickle goes on reiterating how no one could humanly predict that it was to rain on a particular day three months later “to break a 3-month drought.” He proclaimed, “It was a supernatural sign to us.”95
Once Wimber/Vineyard took over the reins of Kansas City Fellowship, the “drought prophecy” was analyzed and explained in a much different way. Their claim was that Gruen was wrong in his dogmatic statement: “There was no drought…This prophecy did not happen. It was a total fabrication to promote ‘The Movement.’”96 Unfairly, they left out a very important part of Gruen’s complete statement which follows:
There was no drought. Anyone who went outside or read the newspaper could not have considered June a month of drought. The sprinkle of rain on August 23 was not considered a drought-breaker. This prophecy did not happen; it was a total fabrication to promote “The Movement.” From the start, this prophecy could never have been considered true.97
To reiterate, Gruen’s point was that the drought as “prophesied” was stated to have begun right away with the specific claim that June had no rain when in fact the rainfall that month was above normal. Gruen does not deny there was a drought as defined by ‘a prolonged period of less than normal rainfall’ as he earlier stated, “July and August were below normal in rainfall;”98 however, it would have been better if he had qualified his initial statement with something like “There was no drought as ‘prophesied’ by the specific parameters set by Jones.” Gruen’s conclusion “From the start, this prophecy could never have been considered true” is absolutely correct given the heavy rains in June.
The Wimber/Vineyard defense consisted of shifting the “prophecy” to one of very limited rainfall instead of no rain simultaneously moving the start date from June 1 to July 1. In addition, the August 23rd date was changed to merely a date of “prophesied” rain (admitting Bickle’s “mistake” in proclaiming a 3 to 4 inch downpour) instead of the drought-breaker yet no new drought-breaking date was specified claiming merely that the drought ended “in early October.”99 What was the date of the definitive drought-breaking rain?
Among other reasons, Pytches would publish a “new edition” of his book as he “corrected details in the case of one prophecy” which lined up with Wimber’s revised version.100 Using some of the portions already quoted above, we’ll compare the original Pytches rendition with his revised account by listing the ‘uncorrected’ followed by the “corrected” version:
…for three months there will be no rain – not until 23 August.
…there will be rain on August 23.101
…Bob had given a specific date for the end of a drought which he predicted was about to begin.
…Bob had given a specific date for rain during the droughtwhich he predicted was about to begin.102
…For the whole month of June there was no rain! It was terrible! For the whole month of July there was no rain! It was terrible!
The drought did not begin immediately. In fact there was heavy rain in June, but for the whole of July it was dry. It was terrible.103
Pytches continues with the same paragraph ending with “It had to God” as in the original account. Then he continues:
That was still not the end of the drought, however. Although it was not a total withholding of rain, the exceedingly dry period covered a full three months, except for the predicted break on August 23…104
Recall that in the very beginning of the original account – which matches the revised version – are the words, “In this city everything will be withheld.” So, why was this initial verbiage retained? It obviously contradicts with the words above “it was not a total withholding of rain…” And the “predicted break” consisted of a relatively scanty .32 inch which was hardly a break from the “exceedingly dry period” which admittedly contained sprinkles of rain during this time anyway. Pytches, like Wimber, does not specify a “drought-breaker” date.
So, initially in the 1986 version “total barrenness” meant “no rain” (matching Pytches’ original account), in 1989 it was changed to not mean “not a sprinkle of rain” in view of the fact that there was in fact rain in June, which was changed again in 1990 to the drought actually beginning in July since it was further discovered that June had higher rains than normal (matching Pytches’ revised account). Are we to believe that Bickle’s memory is that poor with respect to the “drought prophecy” yet he was certain that May 7, 1983 was the starting point of a 21-day fast which had just ended at which point Jones had purportedly proclaimed this “drought prophecy” and Bickle was certain of other specific dates in KCF’s history as well? Why would he have meticulously recorded these dates and not the beginning and end of the “drought?”
84 Gruen, Documentation. pp 10 / 11-12. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
85 Gruen, Documentation. pp 41-2 / 55. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
86 Pytches, David Some Said it Thundered. 1990 (first edition, second impression) [unrevised version], Hodder & Stoughton, London, UK
87 Pytches, Thundered 1990 (unrevised) unnumbered page just before Introduction
88 Pytches, Thundered 1990 (unrevised) p 89
89 Pytches, Thundered 1990 (unrevised) p 90
90 Interestingly, data recorded at Kansas City International Airport (MCI), which admittedly is 30 miles north of Grandview, shows that the 22nd was mostly cloudy or overcast beginning at 7am with a trace of rain [.07”] recorded at 1pm with the mostly cloudy/overcast conditions continuing into the 23rd. The next day, on the 23rd, data shows rain beginning around 7am with accumulation of .18” by 8am, another .04” by 9am followed by .04” at 10am. The mostly cloudy/overcast conditions continued into the night. This does not preclude the Bickle account of the 23rd from being true including no rain until 6pm, of course, noting the distance from KCF to the airport. This info was gleaned from Weather Underground <http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMDT/1983/6/1/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA> by inputting the airport code (MCI) and the applicable dates. As accessed 10/15/11
91 Weather Watcher (see link above) indicates rain at the airport in both July and August. Since the prophecy was for the entire city of Kansas City, rainfall at the airport must be included in any analysis. In Pytches’ account, which appears to be the same as Bickle’s, it’s explicitly stated there was no rain whatsoever until August 23rd. In August prior to the 23rd, the airport recorded .12” on the 7th with traces [less than .1] on the 9th, 15th, 20th and 22nd.
92 These totals are from the Weather Warehouse which takes its data from the National Weather Service <http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_KansasCityDowntownArpt_KansasCity_MO_June.html> As accessed 10/15/11
93 Gruen, Documentation. p 41 / 53. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
94 Gruen, Documentation. pp 41 / 53-54. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
95 Gruen, Documentation. p 41 / 54. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
96 Wimber “Response to Gruen” p 28
97 Gruen, Documentation. p 42 / 56. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
98 Gruen, Documentation. p 42 / 55. Underscore in original; emphasis added.
99 Wimber “Response to Gruen” p 28. Actual rainfall for October as recorded at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) shows none until the 4th with a mere .21 inch of rain and no further rain until nearly an inch [.93”] fell on the 11th; however, this was followed by no significant rain (there was a trace [.02”] on the 16th) until the 19th with about ¾ inch [.79”] which was followed the next day with ½ inch [.57”] and the next with a bit under ½ inch [.40”]. However, as stated earlier, it’s possible there was more (or less) rain in other parts of KC.
100 Pytches, Thundered. 1991 new edition; p xxvii. The revised version also omits some verbiage from Cain’s account of the Lord purportedly appearing with him in his car [Pytches (first, unrevised) p 38]. Specifically, the words deleted were describing items Jesus purportedly wore during the incident: “…dressed in a monk’s black habit and wearing a skull cap.” In an August 1990 letter to Prophecy Today subscribers, Clifford Hill states the original Thundered was “at present out of print” although the publishers “intend on reissuing it” in a revised version. Hill also states, “John Wimber told me that he had identified ‘a number of factual errors’ in the book, and Mike Bickle has sent David Pytches a 60 minute tape of corrections.” Keep in mind that Pytches was given access to KCF/GM tapes for the original issue.
101 Pytches, Thundered. 1991 new edition; p 90. The original account [p 89] is listed first.
102 Pytches, Thundered. 1991 new edition; p 90. The original account [p 90] is listed first.
103 Pytches, Thundered. 1991 new edition; p 90. The original account [p 90] is listed first.
104 Pytches, Thundered. 1991 new edition; p 90. The original account [p 90] is listed first.
Let’s compare this “drought prophecy” to the circumstances surrounding the 1988 “earthquake prophecy.” Jack Deere initially ‘misquoted’ the timing of the second earthquake, however later he recalled “in vivid detail” the ‘facts’ of this “prophecy.” As shown above, Deere had difficulty with details of a “prophecy” of a much more personal nature with both conflicting and added details coming later, so his memory would seem to be questionable. Mike Bickle would also incorrectly record the timing of the second earthquake in his 1996 book Growing in the Prophetic. John Wimber later was unsure whether it was actually predicted or not.
The circumstances surrounding the “drought prophecy” are similarly troubling. Given that the “drought prophecy” was initially one of no rain with very specific parameters including a drought-breaking rain on a specified date, it’s odd that the final Wimber (and/or Deere) version is one of limited rainfall, a different starting date, and no specified drought-breaking end date but instead a rather nebulous “early October” ending. To quote Beverley: “…many of Bob Jones predictions were announced ex post facto”105 – after the fact. Given the evolving nature of the “drought prophecy,” was it among those announced after the fact despite the claim to the contrary?
In each case there is no recorded proof either in written form or in audio to confirm these “prophecies” were given in advance. Given that the “earthquake prophecy” was to validate Cain’s message to the Vineyard and the “drought prophecy” was to provide legitimacy to the KCF “movement,” why weren’t these “prophecies” recorded in such a manner to prove their veracity? Absent any sort of proof, it would be prudent to remain skeptical – especially given the circumstances as outlined above in each of these.
If Cain were to have remained discredited in the Gruen Document, this could cast further doubt on the legitimacy of Cain’s “earthquake prophecy” which would in turn cast a long shadow on the Vineyard in general as it was Cain’s message which validated the Vineyard involvement in the “prophetic movement” in the first place. With stakes this high, the pressure to discredit the Gruen Document and to exonerate Cain must have been enormous.
105 Beverley, Holy Laughter; p 128