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My Journey From Darkness Into Light:
“Revival” Memories Of A River And Deliverance Survivor
by an anonymous Christian and Alan Morrison
Originally posted on the Diakrisis.org website by Alan Morrison
Written in 2002, the story goes on today.
I want to share with you a most harrowing but true story of one woman’s experience in a well-known church in the U.K. (when she was a worship leader there) which was hit by the “Toronto Blessing” in 1994 and also her treatment by a high-profile so-called “deliverance ministry”. In case you think that this is all ‘old hat’ and rather out-of-date, I hasten to add that what commenced at that time is still going on unabated to this day and is still deluding and damaging a great many people. It is by no means an isolated set of circumstances that we will read about in this story but is all too common in my ten years of experience of counselling a multitude of folks who have escaped — or are in the process of escaping — from the most appalling church situations imaginable.
The dark spiritual activity which began at that time — and which hugely accelerated the degradation of churches and of the witness of the true gospel — has not in the least abated but instead has consolidated itself into a position of respectability and strength in the wider evangelical scene.
However, I don’t just want this to be yet another “horror witness” concerning the madness which takes place today in the name of Christ. I also want it to be an opportunity for us to grapple with the issues so that we are clear where we stand and can stand on that solid ground when confronted with those who would oppose. Therefore, at the conclusion of the lady’s story below, I shall return to expand some teaching and encourage further thoughts on the issues involved. It has been a long hard road for this lady to extract herself from the clutches of these fiendish deceptions. In fact, she has paid a high price with her health and is now permanently disabled. She has given her permission and encouragement for me to send this out, and to make some apposite comments. So read on, and I shall return at the conclusion of her story…
Descent Into Darkness
Originally, I was in the New Age but it was mixed up with the church we were in, my family and inherited “gifts”. No one told me they were wrong. My Dad was brought up in a spiritualist church and was introduced to many dark things by his mother, who was a spiritualist medium. He got “saved” just before I was born at a Billy Graham crusade in London. However, he still continued with his spiritualist activities, like being on the prayer list of a famous Medium, whose name was Harry Edwards, if I remember correctly.
My Father loved dark scary stories and was always getting the vibes from buildings. I learnt how to seek out cold buildings and try to find out the history of the place by laying my hands on them. My sister and I followed in our Dad’s footsteps. When we got into ESP (extra-sensory perception), I was able to make things happen like getting people to trip over. I could even predict events — always bad ones! My sister and I perfected it. We practiced for hours. We would send messages to each other from the other side of the world and write them down and compare them when we got back. I could astrally project. I could practise levitation. My sister and I practised these to a fine art. I became a very frightened person, always looking over my shoulder feeling I was being watched. As I closed my eyes at night, I always saw death, rotting corpses and other horrible things.
I gave my life to the Lord in our local Baptist church but still continued with all that. It was the time period of Uri Geller, when many things like this were popular on the TV. At the Youth Club after church we would talk about these things and do the Ouija Board in church. At school we would do levitation and put the desks together. We used to lay someone down on the desks. We all fought for this position. Then we would chant sickness over them. Each one more horrific than the last until we pronounced they were dead. Then we would levitate. One day it was my turn as usual and as they said I was dead, I had the most horrible experience. I was suddenly at the gates of hell and fire was all around. It was the most terrible thing I had ever experienced. I jumped off the table and vowed never to do it again.
A few years later, I was working at a Christian publishers in ******* . In the lunch hour I would go to the packing room and look through the discarded books which had their covers on upside down or pages missing. Many were from America. They were all about the Baptism in the Holy spirit, healing and deliverance. I read them avidly. I loved to read. Also there were tapes on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. One night I was in my bedroom and was desperate to have what these books said I could have. I wanted to know how to pray better because I found it so hard and my Christian life was dead. Suddenly, I was taken over. I was scared as I couldn’t remember my name or even speak English. I felt my mouth bubbly and my tongue tingly. I was in another world. This went on for hours.
The next day I went to work and went to see the Director of the firm who was a Pentecostal. He called me in and I told him what had happened the night before. He was so thrilled and said I’d been Baptized in the Holy Ghost. This “language” wouldn’t go away. It just kept on bubbling out. I had to keep going into the ladies toilets and put my hand in front of my mouth. This went on for months. I tried to use this conjunction with the other gifts in the Holy Spirit but when I tried to pray my head spun round fast inside and I felt like I was on a merry go round. I was confused. Meanwhile, my sister had started at University and the same thing happened to her too. Later, it happened to my Mother and Father. I repented of my Occult past and did not do any of these things again. I eventually realized that these things were Evil and not natural gifts which man had forgotten how to use.
“Power” became very important in our Christian churches — a must-have for charismatics. Everyone was reading John Wimber’s book on “Power Evangelism”. We then heard about the church starting in ******* and were amazed to see these things start happening there.
One strange thing happened to me on a leaders training day in ******* . We were all on the floor getting out our fishing rods to haul in the lost. The music was getting louder and people were exhibiting bizarre manifestations. Suddenly I was pinned to the floor. I couldn’t get up and I was being transported through the clouds at breakneck speed. I knew this was astral projection, as I used to do in my occult days. So I cried out to the Lord to save me and I came back from the astral projection and I could get off the floor. I told some others about this and they said it was great that the Lord was taking me through the Universe and I should just go with it.
As the years went on we were told from the front of the church that these things were normal. People were thrown off chairs. We were told to take our heads off and not think any longer but to “drink in the Spirit” and to “jump into the river”. So we did. Chaos had come into our church. Our real introduction to “it” came when we got drunk — not on alcohol but on the manifestations which we experienced.
Because we had small children we took turns to go to the leaders’ training meetings. That night it was very hot and all the windows were open in this ground floor room. I walked in and wondered what on earth had happened. I had not experienced it until this evening.
I saw the guest speaker sitting on a metal stool, blind drunk — a “drunkenness in the spirit”. His face was puffed out, really large. He was waving his arms at a man outside on the street shouting at him with unintelligible words. When he pointed his hand at people in the room, they did somersaults backwards and ended up on the floor unable to move, drunk with this “spirit”. Others slithered across the floor. I thought to myself “The answer is to not look at this man”, because as soon as his eyes met yours you were gone. It wasn’t just pointing – it was eye contact. So I decided not to look at him.
Others were convulsing all around me. Some were shooting each other with bows and arrows. There were no chairs so I had to sit on the floor. People were rolling fast across the floor. I ended on my back when our future Pastor rolled over my neck with his body. I cried out to the Lord as I thought I was going to break my neck. I didn’t, but it hurt. One lady was beating her chest like King Kong. At the time I thought, “what is she doing?”. She was beautifully dressed and behaving like an animal. I could see some women were very shy of all of this because they had dresses on and ended up indecent.
It was then that I made a mistake. I accidentally looked at him and he looked at me. He then said “Let her have it Lord!”. Within seconds, I was a gibbering wreck, unable to walk or talk. My body felt like it was swelling up. I started to laugh uncontrollably and everyone was rolling over me — arms, faces, legs. I knew enough to be cross inside that it had happened to me, but I could do nothing about it. Eventually, I crawled to the door to try to get out. Outside it was dark and I saw the headlights of a car coming towards me. I thought “I’m going to be killed and there is nothing I can do”. I was rescued by my future pastors, who took me home. They were thrilled that I could get under the “anointing” so quickly. It lasted for days.
Then, on Sunday my husband got ‘zapped’ by this man. At this stage, it was popular for them to zap the soles of your feet with the microphone. People went under quicker through the feet. That night, my husband drove us home with his head on his steering wheel totally drunk. From now on, it was easy to get into this experience. If anyone pointed their finger or laid hands on us, we were gone.
It was at this time that we installed the Christian Channel Europe in our home. There was programme after programme where you could get zapped if you were already under this power. From then on we were completely initiated into the “Toronto blessing”. It was August 1994.
In May 1995, we lost our drummer in the church band. He was killed by a bridge when he stuck his head out of a window of the train. He was 16. The week before this, we had experienced a visitation of angels, which of course then took us up to another spiritual notch.
Week after week we would have hands laid on us for power. The more noise you made, the more the speakers were pleased and the more they gave you. If you sat in the corner and did not get “blessed” you were thought of as awful. Often you would get chased and oil would be thrown over you.
At one leaders’ conference we attended they kept on throwing oil at us. I remember going to the ladies with others and washing our hair in the sink to get it off, plus our clothes were stained with oil. At this conference one lad was singled out as being very anointed because he made lots of noises and jerked and was thrown off his chair a lot. We were told to collect round him and get it off him. So many ended up in a heap on him. Most ladies didn’t.
Every Sunday we were told to obey our Pastors and not question them. Also we were not allowed to go home and ask the Lord if it was okay for us to do a particular task which our Pastors might have asked us to do. Several times during the services we had altar calls to come out and come under their “anointing” and for other things too.
My husband had been very unhappy for a long time and felt it was wrong so he left, which caused me much unhappiness. He joined an Anglican church with our son. So my daughter and I were left going there. I was finding the hours tiring with my daughter and with the constant pressure from my husband at this time against it. I thought as he led me into it in 1994, it has to be right. He had got it wrong, I thought. But there were many nagging doubts in me.
One Sunday we had Benny Hinn’s brother, Henry, come to speak, so everyone was very excited. He told us off because our pastor was away and someone had dared to park his car in his place. He was furious and told us so. It got late. It was about 11.00pm Sunday night. I was exhausted and so was my 5 year old daughter. He said that no one must leave or it would “break the anointing”. He was watching everyone. So I crept to the back with my daughter on my back. It took awhile and was hard work with my 5 year old on my back with me. We got to the back of the warehouse and managed to phone my husband to say we were on our way because of the lateness. I was very scared that Henry Hinn would stop me from leaving but I think he missed seeing me.
Meantime, as the keyboard player in the church band, I had a microphone to sing into. One song we were singing was composed by one of our people. It was entitled “Put the Roar Back”. “Put the roar back, roar back, put the Lion of Judah in your hearts, then we’ll take back, take back”… basically taking everything back which we were supposed to be entitled to. Money, prosperity, gold of the nations, health and wealth.
So we roared like lions with open mouths, screaming and shouting. It was then after a morning service that I had severe pain in my jaw and it wouldn’t close. I went to accident and emergency at hospital and they diagnosed it as dislocated . So the doctor, in front of students, showed how to dislocate and undislocate a jaw. I was screaming. He said it was fear and that I should stop worrying.
Over the next week I had a dental appointment which I went to. My dentist said she could not treat me because I couldn’t open my jaw. She rang the hospital and I saw a specialist that day and had an MRI. It showed it was severely degenerated. I slept for 9 months with a band round my jaw and head because of the terrible pain. Meanwhile I started getting excruciating pain in my right hip. I had X-rays and they said it was osteoarthritis.
Because of the pain I decided to step down from being music leader and sat in the congregation instead. It was there that the Lord opened my eyes. One day a lady came and prayed for my hip and jaw and really went at it. I lay on the floor and she shouted at it for ages. She made a man with cerebral palsy get up and push his own wheelchair. He was in agony. I was very upset by this.
I saw the pastor’s anger get worse. We had many famous speakers come from America who you can see on the Christian Channel. One Sunday we were told we had a man coming who was special. The man told our pastor that we weren’t to come in the evening unless we were prepared to do what he said. We were scared but still went. He was the man that prophesied over the leaders of the Christian Channel to put it into being. Jonathan David – a Malaysian who had changed his name. The evening came and all the chairs had gone. The music was deafening. We were put through a series of movements to the music. “Move to the left and then to the right. Call on the Spirit to give us more.” This was a process lasting an hour. Then we were ready. He was going to take us into the “throne room”.
My mother was with us and she started to cry. Her dead mother and father appeared to her to take her in. They were both Christians and had died a while ago. I was not happy with this because we were not allowed to see our dead relatives and I always thought that demons could do this. Eventually, this stopped and people were in a state of great delusion. I was in the middle of these people. About 500 of us. I decided to push my way to the front of the crowd to get a better look at this man. I was about 10 feet away from him and I wanted to see what his eyes were like. I looked at him and he was very scary – very evil looking. I thought how come there is nothing in him that looks like Jesus. Jesus wouldn’t look like this. He then got all the leaders of the church and prophesied over them.
By now I was a nothing in the church, having my husband step down I was ignored and I was no longer in the music. Some of the words for the people were quite bizarre, like “you’ll be known for your healing ministry and you will dress in long velvet flowing robes”. My sister and I were there and that evening we reflected over the past week’s events. We said that if he had asked people to jump from the balcony they would have. Our eyes were even more opened.
People may think “Just get out of there, what’s wrong with you?” But we had been under this “anointing” for so long that we were trapped in it. It wasn’t that simple. My use of the word “anointing” is not flippant. For it was definitely an “anointing” of something. But what?
Finding The Light
I’m not quite sure of the year. It was Easter Sunday morning, 1997 or 1998. I had come to the realization that it was all truly wrong and that I had to leave. I had come to realize how manipulative the sermons were. The Lady Pastor shouted at the start of the service. “There is a bad atmosphere in here and someone is causing it. Someone is stopping the anointing”. Gulp! I knew it was me because I had known for a long time and had stopped going forward to catch the “anointing”. She ran towards me and screamed “IT’S YOU!” She pushed me and I fell back on a lady who jumped forward to catch me. We were thrown several feet and I landed on this lady. I got up dazed not remembering what had happened but feeling upset. I sat down and the music was deafening. I saw this lady sprawled out on the floor crying in agony, who at the time I did not know had tried to catch me. I was told this later by other witnesses. Many were furious and left over this thing.
I went over to this lady, who was now lying on the floor. She was crying in agony. She explained to me what had happened. I couldn’t believe it. I prayed for her but her pain was great. She said she needed an ambulance. So I went up to the Pastor and told him. He said “never! No one goes out of here in an ambulance!” so he carried on. Meanwhile I went around asking for help and found someone and we got together with others and decided to go against the Pastor and ordered and Ambulance. When it came the men were Christians which helped a lot. She was X-rayed and found to have broken her back and was in a hairs breadth of being paralysed. It had gone into her spine and just missed the spinal chord by as much as a hair.
I visited her in hospital and felt devastated. I was told that I’d done it but had no memory of it which was worse. I felt very responsible for her agony. Of course the Pastor blamed me because I was blocking the “anointing”. In fact, I now saw the truth and realised the deception. However, I still carried on in the church as an observer. But the Lord had started to show me bit-by-bit how dangerous it all was.
One Sunday I decided to see if they’d let me back in the music group. I thought perhaps I can change things for the better! I was allowed back, but as second fiddle. It was during a music practice when I realized that I had to escape. I was the main keyboard player that evening. We had a famous guest who was joining our church. A musician who now is in a famous church in London and has appeared on the Christian Channel. Drums played an important part in worship. We were practicing songs and each time we had to get to the stage where we had “arrived”. We were either screaming, barking, groaning like giving birth or laughing hysterically. The ultimate quest was to be stoned, blind drunk in “the spirit”. This day it was the Lady Pastor. We had two. It was a husband and wife team – both Pastors.
She said that we were getting nowhere, so she started to bash the drums to a beat. This went on for ages while I had to jam in the back ground with guitars while the others roared in tongues. As the beat got more furious she started to sound like an American Indian going round a totem pole. Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo... She was making the sounds with her hands on her mouth. By now I was feeling horrible in my spirit and I asked the Lord to forgive me. She said we can take any sound and sanctify it.
I knew now that we were summoning up spirits. I decided to make an excuse and leave. I went home and told my husband who had left nine months before that I must soon leave that church altogether. But the pull was enormous. While chatting to others I realized many felt the same way but were far too scared to leave because we were cursed with death if we left the anointing. The pastor said that he would bury us within three years. So you can imagine how scared everyone was. This statement was not a one-off – it was week after week after week of indoctrination about leaving the anointing.
The next Sunday morning I was not playing the keyboard and sat in the service when the drums were thumped to a beat for ages. It was horrible – like someone was being prepared for sacrifice. I got up with my daughter and walked out shaking all over. We went to a shop and bought some chocolate to calm my nerves and caught a taxi to my husband’s church. He was so surprised to see us. However, they would not leave us alone. There were phone calls and visits. It was horrible. I walked the streets with my daughter in fear – scared to answer the phone or door.
Every Sunday at the Anglican church I found it so different. It was like a culture shock. I couldn’t trust anyone or anything. They sang modern songs and as soon as they sang anything like the other church’s songs I felt myself go under the “anointing”. So did my husband. We had to try very hard to stop it. It took about a year. We were prayed for in the Anglican church and this helped. They never got into the “Toronto ” thing.
About six months later, a friend from the old church said that we had been publicly cursed for leaving the church and that no one was allowed to speak to us. They said that we were evil and very dangerous. I just burst into tears. We had contacted an organization that supposedly helped people who had come out of these churches. So we sent a letter telling her how scared we were. She then put our story on the internet but she didn’t change the name of the town or our own names. A member of the church saw it and told the Pastors and that was why we were publicly cursed. I was so scared. Within months, my husband was in hospital with an embolism but by the grace of God he survived. One other man died in the church and others had mental breakdowns plus brain illness. I later went down with Meningitis and still greatly suffer now as a result of it.
Spiritually we did not know what to do. We didn’t even know if we were praying to the real Jesus anymore, or if it was a false Jesus. We had forgotten how to be a normal Christians. We had learnt to roar in tongues every morning for years and rely on this anointing, hardly ever reading our Bibles. So we went back to the AV and little by little came back going up and down on the way and almost giving up. But my grandma’s Baptist hymn book saved me really. The old tunes and word were in my memory deeply. This is how I came to know the real Jesus – this is how I will get back to being normal again. Now I was very ill, unable to care for myself at all. Meningitis had hit me badly. I started to read Joni Erickson’s books. Only a bit at a time because I couldn’t read properly at first. I realised the real Jesus wasn’t far away. I asked for forgiveness and to be washed clean.
It’s been a great trial to come back. In our town is a Bible book shop which only opens if you press the button because it’s more a place to store stuff and a place where they teach. They are old Reformer types and they had some video tapes on the Toronto Blessing by a man called Alan Morrison! I hired them and watched. I was amazed and he helped open my eyes. He also mentioned Ellel Ministries with which we had been involved (about which more is below), but had also eventually left. I chatted to the people in the shop who were very helpful.
When I found Alan Morrison’s Diakrisis website, it dawned on me slowly that he was the same man as the one in the videos. I am so grateful for that site! However, the truth is that I will never be the same again. My husband has never got over it and can’t even talk about it. He is not the same man. It had damaged us in so many ways and our son too, but my daughter was too young to be really affected by it. Life is hard now being so ill and not being able to care for my family. The Lord is merciful and is showing me the truth. The 1990s were a nightmare for us and the year 2000 started with meningitis, leaving me with permanent brain damage.
I would hate others to suffer like us. Alas, many do and are still suffering. Others are now being hooked on the Christian Channel. It is so easy for people to be manipulated en masse through that medium.
My Ellel Grange Experience
Because it was also one of the major influences in that dark period of my life, I want to share with you my nightmare experience with the “deliverance” ministry called Ellel Grange. I am telling you this because I think it is important that others realise the truth about this place. In 1991, I was pregnant with my daughter. My husband and I had heard that an organization that had a healing and deliverance ministry was setting up a branch in the South of England in a huge manor house. We were very excited as both of us had bad backs.
There was a meeting about it, which we attended. I went forward to be prayed for and they said I had a Kundalini spirit on my spine (Kundalini is a kind of snake of coiled energy in Hindu spirituality). They said it was not right to pray much now but they “bound” it and told me to see them when I had had my baby when they were properly installed at Glyndley Manor.
1992 came and I gave birth to my daughter. I decided to go for an interview with them. There were two ladies who asked much about my childhood. They arranged an appointment with a couple. This was to be one of many lasting about six months, going to all the conferences they had there and experiencing the ministry. Most of the sessions I attended with this couple lasted from 10 o’clock in the morning till 9 at night. I was exhausted by the end of each session. Basically they were taking me back on one side to the Valkuries in the Northern hemisphere. They had apparently thrown their babies over a cliff and aborted many and their souls were trapped in my body. They got me to visualise these things and I started to see them. It got very scary.
On another side there were flying carpets! Yes! Going back to the Far East. Before long, I had hundreds of demons which they were expelling every time. It got to the stage that if they’d have said “Marks and Spencer” I would have had it. By now they said there were covens in the spirit world around me and power points through which they were getting into me. They had talks with people above them and it was decided that I was in such a bad state that I needed to go to their other healing centre at Ellel Grange in the North of England. So a time was set for me to go: July 1993. That was about three weeks away. So when the time came, I said good bye to my 10 year old son, toddler daughter and husband, and off I went.
When I got there, I was told that I was the second person to have this type of ministry. The Director had done this to one lady and she had then done it to another woman. Then there was another, who couldn’t cope, but they thought I could. I arrived in this wing off the stables. It was built for this purpose. It had a kitchen, lounge and one bedroom and bathroom. I was to have one lady sleep in the same bedroom as me. The man who had been counselling me at the South of England branch had also come to stay in the Grange and came to all the meals and sessions with me.
It was like a mental hospital. I was locked in and only allowed out with two people with me. All meals were served on my lap from the Grange kitchen. Most ministry did not get going till 10 p.m. at night because the main counsellor who had had this done to her by the Director was a night person, so I was told. I was not. They said I had many children trapped in me from various stages in my childhood. Each night they bound them down until they were ready to come out. I soon realized that If I didn’t co-operate I would never get free of these people and this “mental hospital”. The main thrust was I had to get in touch with my anger. Large pillows were provided. I had to get into a mode where I was thumping them and then my anger would be released.
At about 10 p.m., under the personal instruction of the Director, a pork chop arrived on its own on a plate which I had to eat in front of everyone. By now there were three women and two men “ministering” to me. All accept one of these people collapsed themselves and exhibited strange manifestations and it was mayhem. It was just like a really crazy mental hospital. The only relief was the beautiful walks in the grounds and by the river — but of course there were always three of us. One of them even had to stand outside the toilet waiting for me.
It came to a climax in the third week. I had bruised and bleeding elbows, hands and knees. I had not reached where they wanted me to go. This night the lady in charge started to bully me intensely to make me react and fight back. I just kept on collapsing in hysterics on the floor. Hour after hour this went on, bullying, name calling, pushing and shoving. Still I kept on crying and ended up in a heap. Then the worst thing happened. She climbed on top of me pretending she was going to abuse me (I had been abused in my past by a woman and she knew this). I simply couldn’t take anymore. I was confused and very scared. So, at about 3 a.m. in the early hours I snapped and went for her. She was thrilled. I’d finally made it. They took a photo. I was sweaty and horrible.
The next day they finished it off.
They said they would hold a children’s tea party for the children in me. They did so, and invited another man who was to be a little boy at my party who had also exhibited manifestations and had the little children in him too. I had to regress and have fun like a child. I actually felt like one. It was weird. Then they called them all out, starting at age three. They then asked each child who was behind until I’d grown up.
The next day they said I’d finished and the doors were unlocked. Meanwhile it seemed that there were problems with my counsellors. Some were in tears when I saw them. There were words. Three days passed and I was ignored and left to myself. I then asked the man who had brought me up there, who had counselled me with his wife, what was going on. Apparently, they had all been in trouble with the Director because of the way the ministry had gone on and that even the counsellors were exhibiting manifestations.
I drove home the next day feeling vulnerable, and that was that. A few weeks later, I went to an open day at Glyndley Manor and was told that heads were rolling over the way my ministry was carried out. The Director then apologised to me via someone else. They stopped this ministry and carried on with it in a less intense way. Meanwhile my husband had ministry with them and was very unhappy with the way he was taken back several generations. We came straight out of all this into the large Toronto Blessing church which I wrote about in the previous section. Out of the frying pan into the fire. In 1998, we left that church and tried to get help. It was suggested that we try Ellel Grange again, because they said that had improved! So I did and then received similar ministry. Soon after this I contracted Meningitis, resulting in brain damage, and my husband was also rushed into hospital with an Embolism.
We are now in a Baptist church and three months ago I went up for prayer. The same man who took me up to Ellel Grange was there in our church in a ministry position. He talked with me and said that he still ministers and teaches at Ellel. He then told me that my meningitis is caused by part of someone’s spirit entering me who I had contact with in the past who had meningitis. Of course this was the Lady Pastor in the previous church. She recovered quickly though. Here we are now, confused and vulnerable but determined to be free.
I am continually reminded of the past and don’t seem to be able to escape from it. Here is an example, which happened yesterday while I was out with my daughter in my wheelchair. I had to get her some new school clothes for the start of the Autumn term. At the shop, I met a lady who was in the large charismatic Toronto-type church we used to belong to. She looked at me in horror and said “You’re not still in that wheelchair are you?” She then grabbed my shoulder hard and said loudly “It’s not Gods will for you to be in there. You shouldn’t be in there”. She then very harshly told me that it is never God’s will for anyone to be sick, that I must be healed and then started to tell me about “another” man coming to their church who had a healing gift. Her spirit was so harsh and uncaring. So I grabbed her arm which took hers off mine and said that at the moment it is God’s will for me to be in the wheelchair. To which she shouted “Never!” with such disdain.
The shop we were in was very crowded and I was getting very hot. I was aware of people listening. I then tried to explain that the Lord loves people and cares for the hurting and disabled people and that I am now reaching them. I told her that the Lord has softened my heart towards sick people. Now that I’m one myself, I have an opportunity to show the love of Jesus to them. I said I may never be healed. She then just hissed with mockery. I wanted to move away because I was very upset but I was determined not to. The abuse was terrible.
I said that at one time I used to find wheelchairs annoying if they were in my way, but not anymore, and that the Lord had allowed me to be sick to show me things. She was furious and laughed mockingly. I said He loves sick people and that there are so many hurting Christians who have been to so many meetings and are still sick. They are really hurt and need grace to get through each day. I said that I need the Lord’s help to get through each hour and that I have a lot of pain in my body. She was amazed and said “Have you?!” I said that the sick need love more than anything, and peace and quiet. She then turned her back on me and walked off angrily. Last night I could not sleep and had terrible palpitations on top of everything else. My husband prayed for me though.
As I reflected on this unpleasant meeting, I wondered if she and I are talking about the same Jesus!
I’m praying that some of my conversation may help her to understand those who are ill in church and not mock them when they are not healed. Maybe it was meant to help her. I don’t know if it will, but it did hurt me.
Commentary By Alan Morrison
I’d like to make a few comments after that awful tale, which almost beggars belief, if one isn’t already aware of the real extent of these activities. You may think that the events described above are extreme and not very widespread. But that would be a mistake. I have counselled many hundreds of people with a similar experience during the last 10 years. There are so many who come to churches for help and succour only to find themselves subjected to such an onslaught, which often lasts for years. Why should this be?
Before I attempt to answer that question, let me first say that the churches and people and institutions mentioned above are widely regarded as respectable in the evangelical scene in the U.K. today. (And even where they are not, no one dares to speak out against them for fear of being branded as “divisive to the Body”). That they should be regarded as respectable is an insult of the highest order to Christ and a sure sign of the decadent state of the church in the world today. It is taken for granted that such “deliverance ministry” is on a par with the casting out of demons practised by the Lord Jesus Christ. But they are as far apart from each other as one could imagine.
What possible biblical basis could there be for people calling themselves Christians to put curses on others calling themselves Christians simply because they disagree with them or because they leave their church? The whole idea is not only bizarre in the extreme but it is utterly pagan. One only finds such terrible activities in the worst kind of black magic. How anyone could do such a thing and imagine that they are a Christian is quite extraordinary.
And a further question is begged here: Could such curses uttered in these churches be effective from an objective point of view? Only insofar as the people being cursed believe it to be so. I do not believe that these perverted people uttering the curses have any objective power whatsoever over genuine Christians. Believers have the assurance that “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). They have the assurance that “He who has been born of God keeps himself [i.e. guards himself against sinful behaviour], and the wicked one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18). Believers have the assurance that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Why did the lady who wrote the above story fall victim to Meningitis? Was it the result of a curse (which is no doubt what some people and the pastor involved in her former church will believe)? Was it the result of “part of someone’s spirit” entering her who she had contact with in the past who had Meningitis, as the Ellel Grange counsellor told her recently? Not at all. We must not believe any of that hocus-pocus for a moment! I can’t think of any more irresponsible explanations than those that this lady has been given by these so-called counsellors, which are more suited to pagan superstition and the Grimm Brothers than biblical exposition and godly counsel.
The most plausible explanation for her contraction of meningitis is that the horrendous stress and abuse inflicted on her by her spiritual guides over the span of a decade — much of it spent imagining that she had hundreds of demons, spirits of the dead and phantom children inside her — made her body weak and vulnerable to infection. I think the same is true also for her husband’s embolism. I would agree with her own courageous analysis that it is God’s will for her to be in that wheelchair at this time. However, the future may hold all sorts of wonderful surprises in store for her, and we must still pray for her healing.
On that note, I want to present four definitive statements here about illness, disability and the Christian — and may they ricochet around the cosmos and deafen the ears of those who teach otherwise! Those statements are:
Definitive Statement No.1: Every single one of us is permanently disabled in many different ways in this life”.
Definitive Statement No.2: Every single one of us is going to die from illness or degenerated body tissue”.
Definitive Statement No.3: God does not want or expect everyone to be continually healthy, wealthy and happy”.
Definitive Statement No.4: God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes, but always with the proviso that He is working “good” for the believer and making us more like His Son
It is necessary to stress these statements today, because there are very many professing Christians who foolishly think that illness or disablement or hard times or suffering or distress are all signs of a lousy relationship with the Lord or disobedience to Him or quenching the Spirit in some way in our lives. But here I want to make an impassioned personal response to the events mentioned in the lady’s story above.
To teach that Christians should not get sick and that they have a right to permanent healing in this life is to teach a kind of perfectionism, and represents a serious misunderstanding of biblical anthropology (human nature in the wake of the Fall) and soteriology (the process of redemption). The Bible clearly shows that “the whole creation groans” (Rom.8:22), and that even we “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves”, and have to wait for “the redemption of our body” (Rom.8:23) until the time that “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom.8:21). This is very basic Bible teaching about the process of redemption in the cosmos.
Sickness exists because we live in a fallen world, and the Christian — even though he or she is a part of the perfect world to come, i.e. is now in the kingdom of God — still exists in this fallen world, with all its problems and obstacles, and still has to decay and die in the physical realm. Because of that, it is true to say that we are ALL disabled in this life, to a greater or lesser degree. Some people can’t use their legs, some can’t use their brains, some can’t write properly, some can’t make head or tail of a problem staring them in the face, some can’t exist without a cigarette (a real disablement!), some can’t bring up their children properly, some can’t read or write, some can’t understand William Shakespeare, some can’t fly a kite, some can’t tell the difference between good and evil, some can’t see with their eyes, some can’t see with their hearts.
We – even we Christians – are ALL disabled to a greater or lesser degree and yet, in spite of that, we complement each other and must help one another. Understanding this truth would save a lot of heartache in the churches today. If it was true that God doesn’t want us ever to be ill and that we have a perfect right to full health, then that proves too much because then it must surely follow that He doesn’t want us to die and that we should just have eternal life right now. But even the Christian must die, and most will die of sickness, and many will suffer a painful lingering death, no matter how faithful or weak they have been. Fallen body tissue degenerates. That is the fallen nature of humanity and the world in which we live. The difference is – as the expositor Matthew Henry so ably put it – that “for the unbeliever, death is the end of all joys, and for the believer death is the end of all griefs”.
The truth which these people just will not accept is that believers have to wait for the after-life in order to experience full health and prosperity (Rev.21:7). As Augustine of Hippo put it in his heading to Chapter 19 of Book XXII of his book “The City of God”:
All bodily blemishes which mar human beauty in this life shall be removed in the resurrection, the natural substance of the body remaining, but the quality and quantity of it being altered so as to produce beauty
Until then, we will have to endure wheelchairs and crutches, fillings and screws, appendectomies and medicinal brews. So far, we have only experienced the Kingdom in its grace, but not yet in the fullness of its glory. That awaits us beyond this life.
Certainly the Lord wants us to be happy (in the highest sense of “blessedness”, as the Greek word makarios imports, Matt.5:3-11 & Rev.1:3, etc.); but His idea of our happiness may be (and almost always is) vastly different to our own. So often, we see our happiness from an ‘instant gratification’ standpoint, whereas the Lord views our happiness from a long-term perspective. He knows (whereas we don’t) that our ultimate happiness (blessedness) may involve sitting in a wheelchair or getting knocked down by a car or being imprisoned, ostracised, tortured or even being killed. Oh how little we understand! Oh how much we want to superimpose our petty minds on the vast plan of God! All those spiritual pigmies with their “healing” and “deliverance” ministries are actually working against the Lord’s will rather than carrying it out, and are (from a human standpoint) undermining His true labour.
This is why I can confidently state that “God may actually arrange for someone He loves to suffer (including suffering illness) in order to fulfil his own inscrutable purposes”. For this is how He moulds us into being more like Christ. If you deny that, then read Heb.12:3-11 and Rom.8:28-29. If you deny that, then read about the experience of so many saints in history who have suffered persecution, extended torture and finally martyrdom (cf. Heb.11:32-40). Was their experience a sign of their lack of faith? To imagine that the Lord wants everyone to be healthy, wealthy and happy always in this life is to miss entirely the deep things of God. The froth of charismania and Toronto-style experience goes hand-in-hand with the superficial teachings of the Word of Faith movement.
How is it that these churches — or cults, as they should properly be called — and these so-called “healing centres” are allowed to remain in existence? If they were running a hospital, a therapy institute, an elderly person’s home, a day-care centre for the handicapped, a children’s home or some other social agency, and carried on these practices, they would soon be held up on disciplinary proceedings and removed from their office in disgrace. Some of them may even find themselves to be the subject of criminal charges.
As for Ellel Grange — or “Hellhole Grange”, as it is properly called by those who understand its true origins — it should have been razed to the ground years ago and its workers arrested on criminal charges or made the subject of numerous civil lawsuits claiming damages for harassment and emotional distress. In the U.K. newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, March 8th 1992, even the wife of the Director of Ellel Grange said that it is “a dangerous place”, claiming that “what he [her husband] is doing is as dangerous as the occult practices he preaches against”. In a BBC documentary which I have in my possession on video (Everyman, 1995), Steven Pockson, a former trainee counsellor at Ellel Grange, spoke of how he came to be accused of having a “demon of lust” and was subsequently assaulted by the staff there in a bizarre “deliverance” ritual. He spoke of the way that the Director (who is also the co-compiler of a leading modern hymnbook used in most of the churches in the U.K.) is obsessed with demons and sees them in everyone. Most telling of all, this former counsellor at Ellel Grange said:
“I have nothing but disgust for these methods. I certainly wouldn’t recommend them or condone them as Christian practice in any way. They’re intrusive; they’re violent; they’re impolite at the very least. And I don’t think they are helpful. I’m aware of a number of people who are still suffering the psychological effects of this type of counselling.”
Some years ago, I received a letter asking me to withdraw some derogatory comments I had made publicly about Ellel Grange. It contained more than a hint about possible legal action. I refused to withdraw those comments, and I still do so today. Actually I challenge them to sue me right now! It would be a great work for Truth to go eyeball to eyeball in a court of law with these charlatans. I welcome the opportunity. I would come to court armed with reams of documented evidence from all the abused people I’ve counselled over the years proving that Ellel Grange and similar outfits are a blot on the face of the earth and have harmed far more people than they may claim to have helped with their phoney and entirely transparent catharsis therapy, not to mention their fanciful (and harmful) theories about demon-possession coming down the generations as a result of some sin or occult activity in the lives of one’s ancestors.
A number of years ago a conservative politician in the UK spoke of what he called “the unacceptable face of capitalism” – a reference to the corruption and chicanery which goes on at the heart of many financial institutions. Surely we also need to speak out publicly about “the unacceptable face of evangelicalism”, as so many people calling themselves “evangelical” support, condone, endorse and even attend the cultish churches and healing centres which have become such a widespread feature of modern-day church life.
Why is it that these religious perversions are allowed to continue? They are not only an affront to the name of Christ – whom they claim to represent – but they are also incompatible with a civilised society. What they have done to this lady, and others like her, is nothing short of criminal. How come the perpetrators of this malevolence have not been locked up in prison or put in a mental hospital, where they can no longer harm people and abuse them spiritually and emotionally? Why, years later, are they still in practice and raking in money for the purchase and upkeep of huge mansions and estates?
Two answers come immediately to mind:
1) The victims are so exhausted and intimidated by real or implied threats of being cursed that they feel unable to approach the police or lawyers to file complaints;
2) Many rich and influential people are involved in this mayhem (even Anglican Bishops have been on the board of Ellel Grange), which thus affords it a measure of protection and brings in the cash.
However, while those two answers may explain, from an earthly standpoint, why they have been able to proliferate so successfully, there is, I believe, another, deeper aspect to the presence of these cultish churches and movements, and it is this: The whole thing is a sinister shadow of wickedness instigated by dark powers in the heavenlies and their emissaries on earth intent on destroying the credible witness of the church. Surely, as the power of darkness comes into the ascendancy at this extraordinary point in history, we will see the unfettered growth of these chaotic “churches” and destructive “healing centres”.
Our job, therefore — yours and mine — is to expose them for what they are, both journalistically and theologically, and to offer a hand of rescue to those caught in their miserable grip. There are many suffering at the hands of these “ministries” who have serious doubts about them, but they are too fearful to voice those doubts openly. If we publicly provide a gentle path for them to make their exit, their courage will be supported and their journey made easier. May the Lord help us to do so…
Yours, in the cause of God and truth,
ALAN MORRISON Diakrisis International
© Alan Morrison, Diakrisis International, 2002
ALAN MORRISON is a Baptist minister who established Diakrisis International originally in 1990 to acquaint believers with the importance of Christian apologetics, to provide written commentary and public speaking on a wide range of topical, doctrinal and pastoral issues, and to hold out a hand of rescue to those who suffer psychological and spiritual manipulation in the religious scene. Rev. Morrison has, since the publication of this on his website in 2002, shut the web site down to engage in a church planting project in France. We have adapted an email containing this Christian woman’s testimony for usage in this article and did not omit nor insert a single word into this truly terrifying and yet avowedly true story.
While Spiritwatch Ministries does not endorse his views on an end time conspiracy theory that links a shadowy network of occult organizations promoting a globalist New World Order, Rev. Morrison’s work in discerning this strange fire burning in the Pentecostal and Charismatic world is highly recommended. RM
SPEAK UNTO US SMOOTH THINGS
Friday Church News Notes, June 5, 2015
Source: Way of Life Literature, David Cloud
“Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (Isaiah 30:10-11).
In Isaiah’s day, Israel rejected God’s Word and tried to corrupt the prophets. The people professed to love God and they participated in the temple rituals, but they despised God’s holy laws. They wanted to live as they pleased. They wanted preaching, but not right preaching. They didn’t want to hear reproof of sin and sound doctrine. They wanted to hear “smooth things” that encouraged them regardless of how they lived and that did not interfere with their plans. They wanted God, but not “the Holy One.” They would rather hear “deceits” than the truth. Israel has continued in this terrible condition until today.
She rejected the greatest Prophet and Preacher, Jesus, her own Messiah. The Isaiah 30 passage is also an apt description of apostate Christianity as Paul prophesied in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. They profess to love Christ and the Bible, but in reality they love their own lusts.
They flock to hear teachers who downplay repentance and conversion and holy living, who preach smooth things and invent fables such as gibberish tongues, spirit slaying, laughing revivals, non-judgmentalism, self-esteemism, positive confession, the veneration of Mary, contemplative prayer, rock & roll worship, theistic evolution, ecumenism, non-essential doctrine, and universalism.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Speaking in Tongues, Questions and Answers
1.Can/should all Christians speak in tongues?
2. Is speaking in tongues to speak in the tongues of angels?
3. Is speaking in tongues a private prayer language?
4. Should we speak in tongues to edify ourselves?
5. Does praying in the Spirit mean to pray in tongues?
6. Should we speak in tongues at church when there is no interpreter?
7. Is the groanings which cannot be uttered referring to speaking in tongues?
8. Is the baptism of the Spirit a second blessing that is evidenced by speaking in tongues?
9. What is the fire of the Holy Spirit?
10. What happened at Pentecost?
11. Were tongues real human languages?
12. What was the purpose of tongues?
13. Are the tongues spoken today the same as the tongues in the bible?
1. Can/should all Christians speak in tongues?
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” -1 Corinthians 12:28-31
Clearly the answer is no, not all were meant to speak in tongues, as “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. ” -1 Corinthians 12:4
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” -1 Corinthians 12:4-11
God gave different gifts to whom He willed, not to who wanted each specific gift, and not all the gifts to everyone, including speaking in tongues.
2. Is speaking in tongues to speak in the tongues of angels?
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.
“Tongues of angels” is not speaking about speaking in tongues, otherwise Paul also would have all knowledge and he would have also burned his body. We know he did not have/do all the things he listed. Paul is saying that EVEN IF angels had a language that he was able to speak, EVEN IF he burned his body, he would still be NOTHING without LOVE. Paul was simply using these illustrations to make a point, it is hyperbolic language to show that love is the greatest thing! We see that love is the more excellent way!
3. Is speaking in tongues a private prayer language?
“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” 1 Corinthians 14:2
Sounds like a very spiritual and commendable thing at first glance. It is an interesting passage, let’s look at the context:
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. ”
-1 Corinthians 14:1-5
“Speaking mysteries to God” is not meant as a commendation but as a rebuke, it was not a good thing, but a bad thing. This passage is telling us that it was loveless to pursue speaking in tongues unless it was interpreted, otherwise it was worthless, it was like speaking mysteries that no one understood and that did not edify the Church.
4. Should we speak in tongues to edify ourselves?
“He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” is also a rebuke. The gifts of the Spirit were meant to edify the Body, not to edify self, that is why prophesy is greater because it edifies the church. People speaking in tongues without an interpretation were misusing speaking in tongues for their own selfishness, maybe to appear as more spiritual or to experience some sort of elevated ecstatic feelings. Self-edification is never promoted in the bible, it is condemned. We are to edify one another, not to please ourselves. “We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself.” -Romans 15:1-3a. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” -1 Corinthians 12:7.
Paul says “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied.” Paul knows that not all do nor can speak in tongues, not all do nor can prophesy (as the same Spirit gives different gifts), he just wishes that everyone had the gifts so they would edify the church, and stop playing games with the gifts to show off and appear more spiritual than the next person.
“Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified. I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.” -1 Corinthians 14:13-19
Tongues were not meant to be a private prayer language because they were meant to be a gift to edify the Church.
5. Does praying in the Spirit mean to pray in tongues?
“Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”
“Unfruitful” is never a good thing. We don’t want our understanding to ever be unfruitful.
This again is a correction and rebuke for the misuse of tongues.
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.” This is not saying that sometimes I will pray in tongues where I don’t understand it (“in the spirit”) and then other times I will pray in my real native language (“in the understanding”), this is saying I will pray with the spirit and understanding AT THE SAME TIME. Praying in the spirit is not praying in tongues. Praying in the Spirit is much like walking in the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit, which has nothing to do with speaking in tongues, it has to do with submission to His will, to be led and controlled by the Spirit.
We want to pray with understanding EVERY single time that we pray, we want to pray in the spirit and in the understanding.
We should always be praying without ceasing and it should always be with the Spirit and in understanding.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
“These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” -Jude 1:19-20
6. Should we speak in tongues at church when there is no interpreter?
“How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. ” -1 Corinthians 14:26-28
Clearly, there should never be someone speaking in tongues in church unless an interpretation is given.
7. Is the groanings which cannot be uttered referring to speaking in tongues?
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered.” -Romans 8:26
Let’s look at the context of this verse:
“For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body….Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” -Romans 8:22, 23, 26-27.
Notice that it is the Holy Spirit who groans and not believers, furthermore the groans that the Spirit makes cannot be uttered.
In this passage, we see that the creation is groaning and obviously the earth and universe and plants and animals do not speak in tongues, this is a metaphor. In this passage we ourselves are also groaning within ourselves, and that cannot be referring to speaking in tongues either because it is within us, not vocalized. Then we see the Holy Spirit making intercession with groaning that cannot be uttered, and we cannot hear nor understand this. The Holy Spirit is interceding for us, not through us or in us or by our tongues, but by His own groanings that cannot be uttered.
8. Is the baptism of the Spirit a second blessing that is evidenced by speaking in tongues?
The baptism of the Spirit happens to ALL believers, at the very moment of salvation. If we are not baptized with the Spirit, we are not His. It has nothing to do with speaking in tongues.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:13
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” -Romans 8:9-10
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” -Ephesians 4: 4-6
9. What is the fire of the Holy Spirit?
“John answered, saying to all, ‘I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:16-17.
The fire is a judgement, it is damnation, while the baptism of the Spirit is salvation.
10. What happened at Pentecost?
Pentecost was the coming of the promised Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, ‘He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” -John 7:38-39
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'” -Acts 1:4-5
In John and in Acts 1, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit, and in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came, as promised.
He did not come because He was invoked by earnest prayer or seeking, but by the exact plan, promise, and will of God. They were told to wait for the Holy Spirit, they waited, and they prayed while they waited for the promise, and SUDDENLY the Holy Spirit came.
Acts 2 is where the Church was born, a new era began, at Pentecost.
Acts 2 is where the Holy Spirit first baptized believers. The first time the Holy Spirit baptized was the only time it occurred after the believers were saved, there had to be a first time at some point, but after that first time, all new believers were/are baptized with the Holy Spirit at the very moment of salvation.
Acts 2 is also the first time believers spoke in tongues.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” -Acts 2:4
They spoke in different tongues, representing that God was taking the gospel throughout the whole world, into all nations.
11. Were tongues real human languages?
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” -Acts 2:1-12
Note, tongues were known human languages. There is a list of 16 languages noted in this passage. Tongues did not then change from being human languages to being a heavenly prayer language. This is the clearest description and example of tongues we have in the bible, it is evident that they were real intelligible languages, never meant to be used for self-deification or for personal prayer.
12. What was the purpose of tongues?
Besides being edifying to the Church, they also validated the gospel or authenticated the gospel message, and were a sign to unbelieving Israel as a judgement.
“Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
In the law it is written:
“With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,”
says the Lord.
Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.” -1 Corinthians 14:20-22.
“With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; and yet, for all that, they will not hear Me” is a prophesy from Isaiah 28: 11-12.
Tongues were also to show that God was saving Gentiles, which in itself is a judgement to Israel as well (although God has not cast away His people Israel and their judgement is not final. Read Romans 11).
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, ‘Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’” Acts 10:44-47.
It was the same gift as it was in Acts 2, it was intelligible human languages. They heard them magnifying God, they understood the tongues. Peter says that they (the Gentile) received the same Holy Spirit that the Jews received at Pentecost.
13. Are the tongues spoken today the same as the tongues in the bible?
An honest evaluation of the biblical description and prescription for tongues leads to the conclusion that the tongues that Charismatics/Pentecostals, Mormons, Catholics, Hindus, Shamans, Muslims, Buddhists, and Voodooists practice today are not the same tongues of the bible.
Way of Life reviews The Alpha Course and offers alternate courses. I glady reprint this because I was recently invited to attend this course by a Catholic. This person said that he “could feel the giggles” coming on while attending….hhmmm.
The Alpha course, “a short practical introduction to the Christian faith,” grew out of a study program started in the 1970s by Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), one of the largest and most influential Anglican parishes. It is located at the heart of London’s most exclusive shopping district, Knightsbridge, and is just down the street from the world famous Harrods department store (owned by the father of Dodi al-Fayed, who was killed in the auto crash with Princess Diana in September 1997).
The program consists of 15 sessions and runs for ten weeks. It covers such basic topics as who is Jesus and why did He die, how and why should I read the Bible, why and how do I pray, how does God guide us, and what about the church? The course has been extremely successful among Anglican parishes, so much so that some churches that had been closed were reopened.
In 1991, the Alpha program was revised by Nicky Gumbel, one of the pastors of HTB, for use in other churches. Since then Alpha has crossed denominational lines and has grown rapidly. Only 600 people attended the courses in 1991, but by 1996, that number had exploded to 250,000 per year. By 1997, it increased to 500,000 participants worldwide. It is estimated that 15 million people have taken the course as of 2011. The materials are being used in 163 countries and have been translated into nearly 50 languages.
The Alpha program has also grown rapidly in North America and has been promoted by Jack Hayford, Robert Schuller, J.I. Packer, Luis Palau, Rick Warren, and many other well-known Christian leaders.
Christianity Today for Nov. 12, 2001, called the Alpha Course “the fastest-growing adult education program in the country.” More than 4,200 churches in the U.S. use the curriculum.
Many have asked me about Alpha, and I offer the following warnings.
ALPHA’S DOCTRINAL WEAKNESS IS EVIDENT IN ITS WIDE ECUMENICAL APPEAL
Alpha has achieved wide ecumenical appeal. Nicky Gumbel of Holy Trinity Brompton stated the ecumenical philosophy of the HTB in these words: “We need to unite … there has been some comment which is not helpful to unity. Let us drop that and get on. It is wonderful that the movement of the Spirit will always bring churches together. He is doing that right across the denominations and within the traditions … we are seeing Roman Catholics coming now … Nobody is suspicious of anybody else … People are no longer ‘labelling’ themselves or others. I long for the day when we drop all these labels and just regard ourselves as Christians with a commission from Jesus Christ” (Renewal, May 1995, p. 16).
Alpha has even been accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. In the February 1997 issue of Alpha News, the lead article was titled “Archbishop praises Alpha on Pope visit as Catholic church hosts conferences.” It noted that Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey praised the Alpha course in a speech in Rome during his official visit with Pope John Paul II in December of that year. In May 1997, more than 400 Catholic leaders attended an Alpha conference in Westminster Cathedral in London, to be trained in conducting Alpha courses in Catholic parishes. The meeting received the blessing of Cardinal Basil Hume, the highest Catholic official in England (Alpha News, February 1997, p. 1). The courses were so popular with the Catholics that many other Alpha training conferences were scheduled for Catholic venues. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants both are using Alpha. Two Catholic churches (Church of the Resurrection and St. Gerard’s) are meeting with Fortwilliam Park and Rosemary Presbyterian churches and with St. Peter’s Church of Ireland “for prayer and training” (The Burning Bush, February 1998). Alpha was endorsed by the archbishop of Baltimore, Cardinal William Keeler (“Education through Alpha,” The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida, March 13, 1999, p. D3). One of the largest Alpha conferences in the United States took place March 18-19, 1999, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Winter Springs, Florida. It was attended by 600 people.
The Alpha program has achieved this ecumenical acceptance because it is doctrinally weak. It refers to salvation, the cross, the death of Christ, etc., in such a general way that false doctrine is not refuted. It says salvation is by grace, for instance, but it does not say that salvation is by grace ALONE by faith ALONE through the blood of Christ ALONE without works or sacraments. It refers to the Bible as God’s Word in a general sense, but it does not explain that the Bible is truly God’s inerrant, infallible, supernatural Word that must be reverenced and obeyed in every detail, that the Bible ALONE is the authority for faith and practice. It refers to Christ’s death on the cross, but does not plainly explain the vicarious atonement that was required for man’s salvation. It refers to man’s need, but it does not describe man as a totally depraved nature sinner. If Alpha were that specific, it is certain it would not be ecumenically popular in this apostate hour.
ALPHA PROMOTES CHARISMATIC CONFUSION
It is important to understand that the explosion of Holy Trinity Brompton’s (HTB) Alpha program coincides with that church’s involvement in the “Toronto Blessing” or the “Laughing Revival” since 1994.
Among those who attended the Laughing Revival in Toronto in 1994 from England was Eleanor Mumford, wife of Pastor John Mumford of the Southwest London Vineyard. Upon her arrival back in England, she testified of her experiences in Toronto and the Laughing Revival broke out in the Vineyard congregation, both in the general services and in various house meetings. One of these meetings in May 1994, was attended by Nicky Gumbel, the aforementioned Anglican priest from Holy Trinity Brompton who popularized the Alpha program. At the house meeting, Eleanor Mumford told of her experiences in Toronto and “invited the Holy Spirit to come.” The moment she did that, strange things began to happen. One person was thrown across the room and lay on the floor howling and laughing, “making the most incredible noise.” Another man lay on the floor “prophesying.” Some appeared to be drunken. Gumbel testified that he had an experience “like massive electricity going through my body.” Gumbel got himself together and rushed to a meeting at Holy Trinity Brompton, where he apologized for being late. When he closed that meeting with prayer and said, “Lord, thank you so much for all you are doing and we pray you’ll send your Spirit,” the same strange phenomena were again manifested. One of those present lay on the floor with his feet in the air and started laughing like a hyena. (This information is gathered from material I collected on my visit to HTB in 1997.)
When Sandy Millar, vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, found out about the spiritual slayings of Gumbel and other HTB people, he and the other leaders invited Eleanor Mumford to speak at both the morning and evening Sunday services on May 29. When Mrs. Mumford finished speaking, she invited the Holy Spirit to come. The Laughing Revival broke out in HTB and the mainline British newspapers quickly broadcast it to the nation. On May 31, Millar and the pastoral director from HTB flew to Toronto to examine the “Toronto Blessing” firsthand. Thus, the Alpha program’s explosion into international popularity coincides with Holy Trinity Brompton becoming a British headquarters for the unscriptural Laughing (or Drunken) Revival.
There is also a connection between Holy Trinity Brompton and the confusion that is being perpetrated by the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida. In January 1995, a Pentecostal evangelist named Steve Hill was on his way back to the States from a missionary trip. Stopping over in London, he stayed with a charismatic Roman Catholic couple who open their home for visitors. Hearing of the happenings at Holy Trinity Brompton, Hill sought out Sandy Millar and requested that he lay hands on him. When Millar acquiesced, Hill was knocked down. This is how Hill describes it:
I stepped over bodies to get to the pastor. When Sandy touched me I fell to the ground (I don’t ever do that) … I was like a kid at a Toys ‘R’ Us … Then I got up and ran up to a couple and said, ‘Pray for me, hey man this is good.’ They touched me and wham! I went back down. Some of you God is going to hit in a powerful way. If you are hungry get prayed for a dozen times (Steve Hill, Father’s Day Video, Brownsville Assemblies of God Church).
Six months passed after Hill experienced a touch from the Laughing Revival spirit. On June 18, 1995, he was preaching in the Brownsville Assembly of God near Pensacola, Florida, when the Laughing or Drunken Revival broke out in what would become its greatest arena to date. John Kilpatrick, pastor of the Brownsville church, fell to the floor and lay there for almost four hours. “When I hit that floor, it felt like I weighed 10,000 pounds. I knew something supernatural was happening” (Kilpatrick, Charisma, June 1996). He has been so “drunk” that he could not drive himself home.
The “Pensacola Outpouring,” as it has been called by many Charismatics, has connections with the Laughing Revival in Toronto not only via Hill’s contact with HTB in London, England, but even more directly through visits of its members to Toronto. For several weeks before June 18, many members from the Brownsville Assembly of God had traveled to the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church to participate in the Laughing Revival. Just before he became the music leader at the Brownsville Assembly of God, Lindel Cooley attended the Toronto Laughing Revival meetings. The wife of Brownsville Assembly pastor, John Kilpatrick, visited Toronto two times accompanied by the wife of one of the church officers (Dr. Herb Babcock, former member of Brownsville AOG, “That’s How They Do It in Toronto!” The End Times, March-April 1997, p. 8). Also, prior to the June 18 breakout of the Laughing Revival in Brownsville, a film featuring the “Toronto Blessing” was shown in the church.
The close connection between Toronto, Brownsville, and Holy Trinity Brompton is evident, and it is this type of unscriptural, subjective, hunger-for-the-miraculous approach to Christianity that is being promoted by the Alpha program.
The Alpha course itself is permeated with Charismatic error. About half-way through the 10-week program, the leaders conduct “Holy Spirit Day” or even have a “Holy Spirit Weekend Away.” The purpose is to bring the participants into a Charismatic experience. Note that the focus is on the Holy Spirit rather than upon Jesus Christ. The leader “takes them through the experience of receiving the Holy Spirit” and prays for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. Those who take the courses are urged to open themselves to the “slaying in the spirit” and other unscriptural experiences associated with the Charismatic movement. They “shake like a leaf in the wind” and experience “glowing all over” and “liquid heat.” The participants are taught that “tongues speaking” can be learned. They are taught to expect extra-biblical revelations from God through dreams and “words of knowledge.” One of the Alpha sessions deals with the question, “Does God Heal Today?” It is treated from a Charismatic-Pentecostal perspective. In the book Questions of Life (pp. 140-144), Gumbel says “tongues” can be used in worship, in prayer under pressure, and in intercessory prayer for other people. He treats “tongues” as a prayer language that Christians should exercise privately, and he claims that tongues must be “learned” through “perseverance.” He develops doctrine through human reasoning rather than through sound exegesis of the Word of God: “Languages take time to develop. Most of us start with a very limited vocabulary. Gradually it develops. Tongues are like that. It takes time to develop the gift. Don’t give up” (Gumbel, Questions of Life, p. 147). Nowhere in the New Testament do we see the Christians learning how to speak in tongues!
Nicky Gumbel was powerfully influenced by John Wimber, and there are many references to Wimber in Alpha material. In a video series, Gumbel traces his call to evangelism to a 1982 incident in which he received prayer from Wimber. As Wimber laid hands on him, “He experienced such supernatural power that he had to call out for it to stop.” Wimber also gave a “word of knowledge” that Gumbel had a gift of “telling others.”
John Wimber (1934-1997) was the founder of the Vineyard Association, comprised today of some 600 churches worldwide. In the mid-1970s, Wimber became affiliated with Fuller Theological Seminary and was strongly influenced by Fuller professor C. Peter Wagner, a pragmatic church growth expert. In analyzing church planting models, Wagner seems to be as impressed by “success” as with doctrinal purity. If a methodology “works” it has value, regardless of whether or not it is scriptural. Wimber applied this type of pragmatism to the practical side of Christian life and ministry. He focused more on experience and feeling than on doctrine. He warned against “worshipping the book” and mocked those who judge everything strictly by the Bible, saying they have “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Book” (Wimber, as cited in Counterfeit Revival, p. 109). On another occasion Wimber warned against being “too rigid” and “too heavily oriented to the written Word” (Ibid.). One would say something like that only if he were attempting to promote things that were not in accordance with the Word of God. The Psalmist said the written Word “is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). It is impossible to be too strongly oriented toward the Bible! The Wimber mindset leaves one open to spiritual delusion. If the Holy Spirit operates contrary to the Word of God, there is no way to discern between the true Spirit and false spirits. This subtle undermining of biblical authority is one reason why strange and unscriptural things such as the Laughing Revival and the prophetic movement have swept through the Vineyard Association.
Wimber taught a course on “Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth” at Fuller Seminary in the early 1980s. Later he traveled to many parts of the world with his “signs and wonders” crusades, promoting his doctrine that the Christian life and ministry should be accompanied by experiential miracles to be authentic, that miracles produce faith. In his popular books Power Evangelism and Power Healing, Wimber promoted this idea: “Clearly the early Christians had an openness to the power of the Spirit, which resulted in signs and wonders and church growth. If we want to be like the early church, we too need to open to the Holy Spirit’s power” (Wimber, Power Evangelism, p. 31). In reality, kingdom power and the manifestation of the sons of God in glory will be enjoyed only when Christ returns, and we who live in this present world must patiently hope for those events (Rom. 8:23-25). Wimber did not deny Christ’s coming or the power that will be manifest at that time, but he also taught his followers to expect kingdom power now. This carnal enthusiasm for the miraculous is the climate required for the manifestation of a Laughing Revival and other End Times error.
It is John Wimber’s pragmatic, experience-oriented, subjective approach to Christianity that is promoted through the Alpha program.
Pastor Paul Fitton makes the following observation in his report on Alpha: “The Alpha Course is being used to prime the pump, to condition the thinking of church people to accept the teachings and phenomena which we associate with the Toronto Blessing — phenomena which have no anchorage in Scripture; doctrines which otherwise would be rejected out of hand. These phenomena are unbiblical. There is no ground in Scripture upon which to anchor them. The Alpha course in its philosophy is New Age. It relies heavily upon experience; in practice it leads to experiences which are rooted in the occult: if they are calling down the spirit and they are possessed by that spirit, and that spirit is not the Spirit of God, then they have opened their minds to other spirits, to evil spirits” (Fitton, “The Alpha Course: Is It Bible Based or Hell Inspired?” Australian Beacon, February 1998).
EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDIES: REJECT THE ALPHA PROGRAM BUT NOT THE ALPHA CONCEPT
While the Alpha program itself is very dangerous because of its weak doctrinal content and its ecumenical/charismatic philosophy, and while we sound the loudest possible warning against participation in it (see our article “The Alpha Course” at the Evangelism section of the End Times Apostasy Database at the Way of Life web site); at the same time, the underlying concept is very interesting and could be used to good advantage by Bible-believing churches. Call them “Basic Christianity Bible Studies,” or “Basic Bible Truths,” or whatever other name is feasible. Evangelistic home Bible studies can be one of the most effective means for teaching the gospel in the careful, systematic way that is necessary for grounding people. The basic concept of Alpha is to provide a series of studies on the gospel and basic Christianity in a context that is casual, that allows the teacher to build a relationship with the students and that allows the unsaved to relax and ask any questions that might be necessary to enable them to understand Bible truth.
The liberal ecumenical churches are achieving great success with this approach, because many people do have questions about the Bible and are willing to attend the sessions. There is no reason why Bible-believing churches cannot take a similar tack but provide a truly sound Scriptural answer to people. The details and logistics of the program can be approached in many different ways according to the desires of the leaders and the requirements of the particular situation.
A similar approach can be used by Bible-believing churches to advertise a series of Bible studies conducted in homes or at the church or some other location. Any knowledgeable preacher could design a series of basic Bible studies that cover the Gospel, then other basic aspects of the Christian life, such as the Bible, prayer, and the church. It would not be difficult for a preacher to write his own series of basic lessons for the Bible studies, but there are also many developed courses that could be used for this.
SALVATION BIBLE BASICS by Pastor Doug Hammett, [Lehigh Valley Baptist Church, 4702 Colebook Ave., Emmaus, PA. 610-965-4700 (church), firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail), http://www.lvbaptist.org (web site).] This consists of four in-depth lessons on Bible salvation. A strong foundation is laid by defining sin from God’s perspective and helping the sinner to see his lost condition before God. In Lesson Four, Repentance and Faith are carefully explained. It is very unusual for an evangelistic Bible study to go into repentance as thoroughly as this one does. A simple chart helps illustrate the Bible truths. “Bible Basics is the backbone of our evangelism. We approach visitors, friends and people in door to door outreach offering a four-week, one-hour-a-week personal Bible Study. Our statistics break down to 1/2 of those that complete the study get saved, 85% of those that get saved are baptized into the church, 90% of those are here one year later faithfully serving. That book is available through our church.”
Another possibility is BASIC BIBLE TRUTHS by Lester Hutson [Berean Baptist Church, 10250 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77037. 281-447-8484 (voice), 800-555-9098 (orders), 281-999-0308 (fax), email@example.com (e-mail), http://www.berean-houston.org (web site)]. This consists of six lessons that carefully and systemically guide the seeker through the truths of the Gospel. It lacks a clear presentation of repentance, but this can be added by the teacher.
WON BY ONE is another course that can be used for evangelistic Bible studies. It can also be used for basic discipleship. The first section has 13 lessons on Bible doctrines: the Scriptures, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the Devil, the Creation, Sin, Repentance, Faith, Salvation, the Second Coming of Christ, Heaven, and Hell. The second section contains instructions for Believers, and deals with things such as assurance of salvation, Christian victory, separation from the world and false teaching, the church, and the believer’s witness for Christ
. [Bible Press, 6585 NW 6th Dr., Des Moines, IA 50313. 515-289-1090 (voice), http://www.biblepress.net, firstname.lastname@example.org] Pastor John Mincy, Antioch Baptist Church, Antioch, California, gives the following testimony: “We have used the ‘Won By One’ Bible study booklet for years and have seen many saved and discipled. It has been the most effective evangelistic tool, and the large majority of those who finish the course stay and serve in the local church.”
*update on Won by One submitted to me by Mel Lacock
I appreciate your kind words on your website concerning Won by One. You will probably want to make contact changes etc. since it is no longer published by Bible Press but by Fox Creek Printing, 435 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC, 29609. website www.wonbyonebiblestudy.com
WHAT’S NEXT? by Charles T. Shoemaker [Church Planting America, P.O. Box 37887, Jacksonville, Fl 32236] was recommended to us by Serge Lapare as follows: “I’ve been using a booklet called ‘What’s Next’ since 1993. I’ve had very good success with it. I’ve had several people realize they weren’t saved after teaching the first lesson on salvation. I’ve had many people dedicate themselves to separate from the world after teaching the lesson on separation. I’ve had at least a dozen people in the last two years alone become effective soul winners as a result of the lesson on soul winning. I’ve added many scriptures to my copy of the booklet over the years, but the basic booklet is easy to teach from and easy for new Christians to understand. It’s not too long, so it won’t overwhelm the new convert.”
ONE YEAR DISCIPLESHIP COURSE by David Cloud [Way of Life Literature, http://www.wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143] The first few lessons of this course can be used effectively as an evangelistic Bible study course. The titles of these lessons are Repentance, Faith, The Gospel, Baptism, and Eternal Security.
1. EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDIES CAN BE USED AS FOLLOW-UP FOR MASS EVANGELISTIC CAMPAIGNS (house to house literature distribution, radio broadcasts, etc.). Include a brochure announcing a course such as “Basic Christianity Bible Studies” or “Basic Bible Truths.” Instead of trying to get people to pray a sinner’s prayer before they understand the gospel, focus instead on getting the interested ones involved in a series of Bible studies where a relationship can be established and they can be dealt with carefully. This is what the apostle Paul did. He preached the gospel to the masses, then took the interested ones aside and instructed them more carefully in the things of God (Acts 17:34; 18:5-11).
2. EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDIES CAN BE USED TO TARGET SPECIFIC NEIGHBORHOODS. Bible studies can be conducted in different neighborhoods by various men and women in the church and thus greatly expand the congregation’s outreach. We are not talking about “cell groups.” The evangelistic Bible studies have the goal of getting people saved and brought into the membership of the church (and incorporated into the full life of the church, including the regular services).
3. EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDIES CAN BE USED TARGET SPECIFIC GROUPS OF PEOPLE. Basic Bible Studies can be geared to specific groups, such as women, teenagers, foreigners, professionals, uneducated, deaf, etc. By offering Bible studies for a particular group, the church can focus on their special needs in a way that cannot be done during regular church services or Sunday School. For example, in American cities today there are large numbers of immigrants and visitors and students from other countries and cultures. They often need special consideration when the Gospel is communicated to them. Oftentimes they do not speak English well. It is not uncommon for them to be completely ignorant of the gospel or even of the most basic facts of the Bible and Christianity. The typical “Romans Road” gospel presentation will often be insufficient. They need to be taught the very basics of biblical truth, such as creation, the fall of man, the character of God, and the uniqueness of the Bible, before they can understand the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of that can be taught out of Romans, of course, because Romans itself begins with creation and the fall of man, but this is not what most people do when they present the “Romans Road.” Many immigrants and foreign visitors will not be familiar with any of the terms of the gospel, such as sin and repentance and grace and faith. Unless those terms are carefully explained, they will “hear” the gospel, but they will not understand it. Too much of the soul-winning activity in North America is simply too shallow and hurried. Missionaries who work in other parts of the world understand this and develop ways of teaching the gospel effectively to their people, but too often personal workers in North America approach foreigners without proper knowledge of how they think and how to reach them. They try to reach them exactly as they would someone who has grown up in the Bible-belt of the United States, and they wonder why it doesn’t work. Involving select groups of people in Bible studies that are geared to their needs and that are led by people who understand them can solve many of these problems.
4. EVANGELISTIC BIBLE STUDIES CAN BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH EVANGELISTIC REVIVAL MEETINGS. It is said that only about 5% of people making professions at large (mass or city-wide) revivals go on to become active church members. Of course, one would suppose the percentage to be higher in local church revivals. Still, the percentage of those who don’t “stick” is appallingly high in all types of evangelistic programs today. There are many reasons for this, one of the chief being that scores of those making professions do not truly understand the gospel and are, therefore, not committing themselves to Christ in biblical repentance and faith. It’s one thing to say, “Yea, I’ll go along with that; it sounds good; I’ll pray that prayer,” and quite another to be truly born again of the Spirit of God. If most of those coming forward in revivals were strongly encouraged to commit themselves to a six- or ten- or twelve- week Bible study course and if godly, mature church members faithfully taught the course, we can only imagine that the lasting fruit of our meetings would be ten-fold greater than would otherwise be the case.
A Dangerous Journey – My Wife’s Deliverance from Extreme Pentecostalism (Part 1)
m’kayla has featured this amazing story on her blog. Please read the full story from her link or go to Inerrant Word.
At the beginning of 2010 I decided I wanted to get involved in a more passionate “Christianity”. I have always thought of myself as a worshipper & I craved being around others who lived & breathed worshipping the Lord.
Our church had been *pushing* & wanting revival to break out. So naturally I went home one day and decided to research about what “revival” actually was and how we could get it! Through my discoveries I found out about The Welsh Revival, Charles Finney and others.
I wanted *revival* to break out in our church. The more I read about the “amazing” things that happened in Wales, the more I wanted that to happen to us.
A member of our church had been involved in the Brownsville Revival. She told me many stories about the revival that happened there & the anointing that she received from there. Whenever she went up for prayer her body would shake & eventually she would, fall to the floor.
Full story and the other three parts on the below link.
Finding Freedom From The Spirits Of “Revival”
This I will post separately.
Andrew Strom is selling a book…..and this is the video documentary he has produced to promote it.
Now, I think people should see this video but I hesitate to promote Andrew Strom. He has professed to “come out” of the prophetic movement, yet he still promotes prophetic utterances over the Bible. There is a string of predictions about the economy on his website which he is defending.
In this video he says that Kundalini “maybe produces animal noises” but neglects to explain that a false spirit often speaks in another language.
This is a dangerous omission.
Read this from a Kundalini Teacher:
Most kriyas are simple tremors or twitches as tension held in the body, releases. However, they can be quite complex movements, breathing patterns, (pranayama) vocalizations, visions,… the body will do whatever it needs to do, to facilitate the blockage being cleared, and it has all the wisdom of the Collective consciousness, to draw upon. So, a Kriya may take the form of an African Dance, a Sanskrit song, an Aboriginal drum chant, or anything. Energy clearing techniques that have been used by different cultures for thousands of years, tend to have a higher resonance in the Collective, and the body-mind guidance will make use of that unconscious information, bring it forth.
That is why people who may never have studied Hatha Yoga, find their bodies wanting to assume Yoga postures, or why people who do not speak a foreign language may find themselves spontaneously chanting in Sanskrit.
Strom also states that all this started in the year 1994, which may be the case for the Toronto Church, but I was exposed to these manifestations while visiting a church in Seattle in the year 1969. I remember that the all ushers were dressed in white uniforms as they collected the people laying and flaying in the aisles. They used cots to cart them off.
The Dangers of Divination
by Bob DeWaay
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead” (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).
One of the claims I often hear from those who use techniques to gain spiritual information is this: “Methods are neutral.” Another statement often made by the purveyors of new techniques for “hearing from God” is: “God cannot be limited, He can use anything.” My intent is to show from Scripture that the first of these statements is false and the second is misleading.
The Bible forbids certain methods for contacting the spirit world. The passage cited above lists several. This is not an exhaustive list because methods for contacting the spirit world are limitless. The term “divination” is a general term that covers any such method. Old Testament scholar Eugene H. Meff ill comments on this: “The phrase ‘practicers of divination’ refers generally to the whole complex of means of gaining insight from the gods regardless of any particular technique.”‘
The reason for the existence of divination is the fact that the spirit world is hidden from our eyes and information about it cannot be gained by normal means of learning. The various cultures that the ancient Israelites contacted all had means of divination. They believed that their fate and well being was in the hands of gods whose intentions were mysterious. A good diviner, like Balaam (see Numbers 23), was adept at interpreting signs and omens. His desire was not only to learn the future, but to influence the present. Thus Balaam was hired to curse Israel. Diviners hope to break curses and forestall bad fate.
Why God forbids Divination
God spoke authoritatively to his chosen people through Moses. What Moses wrote was God’s revealed will. It was the only access they had to true information about their relationship to things hidden from normal means of learning (general revelation). Moses wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). The word “occult” means secret or hidden knowledge. Divination is any practice not specifically ordained in scripture that seeks to gain secret knowledge (i.e. spiritual knowledge God has not revealed). God purposely limits His people’s access to such spiritual knowledge for their own good. That which is outside of “the things revealed” is not for us. Why? Because there are spirit beings out there who have been practicing the art of deception for many thousands of years. They are good at what they do. If we dabble in their world we will be deceived.
In the same section of Scripture that forbids divination, we find this promise: “For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among yot4 from your countrymen you shall listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:14,15). The “prophet’ who God was to raise up was none other than Jesus Christ (see Luke 9:35; John 5:45-47; Hebrews 1:1,2).The true prophets that came after Moses were not law-givers. They exhorted Israel to be faithful to the Law and they predicted the future. They did not add to the Law of Moses. As further protection against deception, Moses declared that the prophets had to be one hundred percent accurate or they were to be dismissed as false (Deuteronomy 18-22). Also, if they made true predictions but led the people away from God they were false (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). The next authoritative law-giver was Jesus Christ.
By limiting both the methods and the persons that were available to Ms people, God was protecting them from deceiving spirits. Every pagan culture has had its methods of divination. Balak would not have been willing to pay Balaam richly if Balaam had not been good at what he did. The evil spirits that Satan uses to deceive people make these practices work. The reason that divination is so prevalent is that it works.
Divination in the Church Today
The teachings of Jesus Christ are contained in the New Testament and constitute the further divine revelation that Moses promised when that new “Prophet” came. These writings are authoritative and combined with the Old Testament constitute “the revealed things” (Deuteronomy 29:29) that belong to us. This is the limit of authoritative, divine revelation. Prophecy in the New Testament is not adding to authoritative revelation, but exhorting from it and applying it. Just as the Old Testament prophets (except Moses) were not lawgivers but law-appliers, so are the “prophesying ones’ in the New Testament. The other function of Old Testament prophets was to inerrantly predict the future of Israel and her Messiah. Since the One to whom the prophets pointed has come and spoken in full and final revelation, that role no longer exists. All the prophecies about the future that we are allowed are already contained in the Bible.
Using prophetic techniques to learn secret information or the future is divination. Today it is like it was in Jeremiah’s day: “Then the Lord said to me, ‘The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divinations, futility and the deception of their own minds” (Jeremiah 14:14).
For example, the “prophet” Rick Joyner went into a trance, visited heaven, and talked to the apostle Paul. Here is what the departed “Paul” told Joyner: “If what I have written is used as a foundation, it will not be able to hold the weight of that which needs to be built on it … You must see my teachings through the Lord’s teachings, not try to understand Him from my perspective.” (Joyner, The Final Quest, 133). Necromancy (communicating with the dead) is a technique for gaining secret information that is forbidden. When forbidden techniques are used, deception is gained.
The information from Joyner’s “Paul” is contradictory to the New Testament where Paul claims that his writings are foundational and authoritative. I do not deny that various practices from guided imagery, to EMDR (a technique used by some practitioners of “Theophostic Ministry” to help people find hidden memories and gain personal revelations from God), to contemplative prayer (which uses techniques to silence the mind in the hope of hearing God’s voice), and many others “work.” They do. I deny that they are from God. God has chosen the valid means by which we can hear from Him. Those means are revealed in the Bible. Going outside of God’s ordained means is rebellion which constitutes divination. Samuel told Saul: “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is an iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord He has also rejected you from being king” (I Samuel 15:23)
Using divination puts one in the realm of deceptive spirits. Paul predicted: “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ” (I Timothy 4: 1).
I said at the beginning of this article that methods are not neutral. That much has been proved by the fact that the Bible forbids divination, a practice which involves innumerable possible methods. The other claim that “God can use anything,” is misleading. That God could use something if He chose to does not mean that He will. It also does not mean that if He does use something it is a good thing. For example, God used Balaam to prophesy of Messiah, yet Balaam is condemned through Scriptures as a wicked person who led Israel astray (see Numbers 24:17 for Messianic prophesy; Balaam is condemned – 2 Peter 2:15; Jude I 1; Revelation 2:14). Balaam was a practitioner of divination, hired to curse Israel yet God chose to sovereignly use him to bless Israel instead. God may indeed use things He condemns, but that does not exonerate those who are thus used.
Today divination is rampant in the church. It is just as poisonous to the faith today as divination was to Israel’s faith in the Old Testament. It is rebellion in that it involves refusing to stay within the boundaries God has set for our own good. Those who are thus deceived have put themselves into that horrible state because they did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12). The truth is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to purge divination from the church and replace it with Gospel preaching and Bible teaching.
Bob De Waay is the pastor of: Twin City Fellowship P.O. Box 8060 Minneapolis, MN 55408 Phone: 612-874-7484 http://www.twincityfellowship.com email@example.com Pastor DeWaay produces a newsletter called: “Critical Issues Commentary.” You can subscribe to this newsletter by contacting Twin City Fellowship; previous issues are archived on the Twin City Fellowship website listed above.
New to my blogroll – Slaughter of the Sheep
Two People “Healed” at the Lakeland Revival Die – From Slaughter of the Sheep
It was inevitable. A false healing revival with overblown and unsubstatiated reports of healing can only lead to one thing for those who are desperate and looking for healing… death.
I grew up as a Charismatic. I have seen people suffering with maladies and they were visibly in pain, but yet they would say, “I don’t accept that. I don’t have _______.” Even though they have been diagnosed by reputable doctors, they refuse to claim the disease or illness they have been diagnosed with. To some charismatics, words have power, and if you speak a negative word, they will negatively effect you. Therefore, only positive words must be spoken.
People with little to no Biblical knowledge have a heart that is a breeding ground for error. It is these people that are susceptible to the hocus pocus of the Word of Faith/Charismatic doctrine. One of the cruelest things a minister can do is to tell people unequivocally that they are healed. Especially when these people are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Their misplaced faith can then turn deadly if they aren’t grounded in the Word of God.
Rest of article HERE
Todd Bentley: Claimed but Not Ordained
by Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service
April 7, 2009
According to his January 2008 book, Journey Into The Miraculous, Todd Bentley claims to have been “ordained” through the Canadian-based Christian Ministers Association, and recognized as a “minister” through the World Ministry Fellowship here in the United States.
With its original roots in the Pentecostal movement, the Christian Ministers Association (CMA) is a “licensing body” that “provides a covering for those in need of meeting the requirements of Canadian Law concerning ordination of clergy,” and a “Canadian charter society registered with the Federal Government” ( http://www.canadacma.org/home/index.php?id=4 ).
But according to a top official from the Christian Ministers Association (CMA), Bentley is not ordained through the CMA, and has never been a member of that association.
Further, Christian Research Service has learned that while Todd Bentley was recognized as a minister through the World Ministry Fellowship (WMF), his membership “papers” have been removed, according to a top official.
Founded in 1963, the WMF is an outreach and fellowship of ministers worldwide that “functions under the oversight of a 12 member Executive Board, a 21 member Advisory Board, and a 12 member Credentialing Committee” ( http://www.worldministry.com/aboutwmf.html ).
Once the WMF board learned the circumstances surrounding Bentley’s leaving the Lakeland revival and resignation from Fresh Fire Ministries, the WMF wasted no time and “moved-in quickly to take action,” a top official said.
Christian Research Service’s contact with the CMA and the WMF was due to the claims made by Todd Bentley in Journey Into The Miraculous:
I thank God for my friendship with Patricia [King], and for how God used her as an instrument to ordain me into the ministry–but I always will know that the call came from God. I’ve since been ordained in Canada by my local church, and through the Christian Minister’s Association. In the U.S., I’m recognized as a minister of the Gospel through World Ministry Fellowship in Texas. [Todd Bentley, Journey Into The Miraculous, Destiny Image Publishers, January 2008, p. 162]
According to Bentley, “God” led him to write Journey Into The Miraculous (p. 22).
Currently, Todd Bentley is undergoing another “restoration,” this time under the auspices of Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, and Jack Deere. Unfortunately, Joyner, Johnson, and Deere are part of the problem, not the solution.
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:12-13).
Truth to the core
Solid, Bible-based men and women strive to lead holy lives and teach sound, Bible-based doctrine. They set good examples for others to follow–including the younger generation. They do not suddenly disappear in controversy, disgrace, and sin, then suddenly return months later in more controversy, disgrace, and sin. They are accountable first to God, then to their fellow Christians. To them, truth is paramount, and a false prophet is a false prophet; a false teacher is a false teacher, and sin is sin.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them
on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).
This current fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg, and a natural consequence to a hyper-Charismatic movement gone wild and out of control. In many cases, false prophecies, false teachings, and sin are just mere “mistakes” that can be handled by playing the Wiser than God game, then filtered down though the Department of Compromise and Excuses. Eventually, after all the dust has settled, sin in the camp ends up in a mound of paperwork on the desk of Mr. I. Could Care Less. From there, it ends up in “File 13” (trash can), never to be discussed again.
And they get away with it because they have spent years conditioning and deceiving and intimidating their followers into believing in their self-appointed apostles, prophets, and teachers over-and-above God’s written word, the Bible.
But their fine-tuned deception hasn’t gone unnoticed. God’s righteous judgement is already at work, for He does not bless, honor, or excuse false prophets and false teachers. And they, like others before them, will fall:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD (Proverbs 17:15).