The story begins in December 1989 at the height of the Kansas City prophetic movement before any significant controversy. Paul Cain and others used to travel around the United States. In this case Cain spoke at a meeting in San Antonio, Texas. J. Lee Grady, a journalist for eight years, was in the audience.
Unfortunately this piece never got published in Charisma magazine where it could have created shockwaves. Grady was an editor there for many years but did not start until 1992. He wrote about it in his book The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale: Rekindling the Power of God in an Age of Compromise (2010) and then republished it in a later book What Happened to the Fire? Rekindling the Blaze of Charismatic Renewal (2019).
After his sermon Cain delivered prophecies to about ten individuals or couples. Each of the messages was laced with bits of personal data—first names, cities, street numbers.
To one pastor and his wife, personal friends of mine, he mentioned the number 4001 (their church office was located on 4001 Newberry Road) and predicted that they would experience great revival in their Florida city.
At another point Cain asked if “Mark and Debbie” from Washington, D.C., were in the audience. This couple had pastored a church in Washington for several years with a ministry office located at 139 C Street, near the U.S. Capitol. “There’s something about 139 C,” Cain said, and he proceeded to predict that spiritual revival would someday impact Capitol Hill.
… it disturbed me that almost everyone who received these prophetic directives was part of the full-time staff of the 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 available to conference speakers.
Later Grady decided to put his journalism skills to work.
The church on 4001 Newberry Road . . . closed and most of the members had left the city, including the pastor and his wife.
“Mark and Debbie” had resigned their pastoral positions in Washington, D.C. The 139 C Street office was rented out to another group and the church had moved to the suburbs.
Another young man—who had been told by Cain that he would orchestrate a fruitful ministry in southern California—told me he had moved to Texas and had no desire ever to live in California again.
His investigation concluded, Grady now thought he had enough information to confront the “prophet.”
A year after the San Antonio meeting, I interviewed Paul Cain. He insisted during our conversation that no one has ever proved that he obtains information from any source other than God.
Two years later I asked him to explain why these prophecies did not come true. I also asked him if he had seen any information about those people’s addresses before he prophesied over them. He would not answer my questions directly, but through a friend denied any wrongdoing.
. . .
most of the prophecies he gave in that meeting in 1989 were inaccurate.
The allegation of fake supernatural revelations was corroborated in 2011 (click screen capture to enlarge):
You cannot assume, based on reputation, hype or drama, “secrets” were revealed by God.
Side note: could Cain ever get through one meeting without a false revival prophecy?
- J. Lee Grady, What Happened to the Fire?, 1994, pp. 115-116.
- Craig, “In Exonerating Paul Cain, Is the ‘Aberrant Practices’ Document Invalidated?” CrossWise blog, Oct. 17, 2011. https://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/in-exonerating-paul-cain-is-the-%E2%80%98aberrant-practices%E2%80%99-document-invalidated/ [May 4, 2020].