Over the Passover (Easter) weekend I had an interesting conversation with my sister-in-law. She is a Pentecostal, which I have some disagreements with, but it was her comments about the “Toronto Blessing” which got my attention.
Up until this weekend I had no idea that she had been to any of the meetings at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church, during the time when Rodney Howard Brown was leading the “revival” meetings there.
Our conversation started with a discussion about the pagan nature of the name “Easter”, and eventually got around to the “Toronto Blessing”. Her statement, which I found incredible, was that “it was a movement of the Holy Spirit” and “You had to be there”!
The bible, on the other hand, does not tell us to fool around with spirits, but to test them;
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. I John 4:1
The people who have been involved with this movement, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Brownsville, Lakeland, Holy Trinity Brompton, etc., are all relying on an experience. Like my sister-in-law they have experienced something that feels really good, and therefore they believe that it must be from God.
When I had a print-shop in the 1990s, I had a client who also did some work for me, who was an avid New Ager, and an opponent of the Christian Church. He was heavily into altered mental states through the repetition of mantras. He was adamant that he never used drugs, and that this would somehow make his experiences true. Of course Yoga has been called “the drugless drug”, and is an essential component of Hinduism.
He described an experience he had, where he was alone in his room, and an “asian woman” came in through the closed door, and he felt such “peace and love” that he “knew” it was a genuine experience. No doubt this is the same feeling my sister-in-law felt at the Toronto Blessing, and like hers it is a subjective feeling that Satan is quite capable of giving people. Just because something feels good, it does not mean that it is from God, but if it is from God, it could just as easily be a curse and a spirit of sleep He sends on those who reject His Son!
There is no difference between Hinduism, Yoga and the experiences of these so-called “Christian” revivals. In fact the manifestations of the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church are identical to those experienced by the practitioners of Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini is also known as “Serpent Power”!
The constant repetition of words, phrases, breath prayers, and songs is designed to induce an altered state of consciousness, where one can interact with the spirit world. The problem is that while you can indeed summon up demonic spirits through these practices, God and His angels will NEVER allow themselves to be summoned up in this way! NEVER! God’s reaction to people who think they can summon up Him by these practices is one of anger! He won’t come, but He will allow one of Satan’s angels to come instead!
Don’t forget that Satan loves to counterfeit angels of light;
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. 1 Corinthians 11:13-15
So what of the claim that this is an experience like the early Church in Acts 2? First of all, the apostles and early brethren, were not “drunk in the spirit” but rather the people around them thought they were drunk, because they all heard them speak, and yet they all understood what was being said, even though they did not have a common language.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. Acts 2:6
This was not the experience, or accusation of the whole crowd, but only from those who were predisposed not to believe, but to look for natural explanations.
It appears that the miracle of Acts 2 was not only in the mouths of the apostles, but also in the ears of the hearers! And, the purpose of this miracle was that the gospel of Jesus Christ would be spread to the nations where the hearers were from.
The animal noises, and the drunkenness are not present at all in the Acts account, nor anywhere else in the New Testament, but they are present in another place in Scripture;
37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. 38 They shall roar together like lions: they shall yell as lions’ whelps. 39 In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 51:37-39
And again in verse 57;
And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
When I confronted my sister-in-law about this passage her first response was “what is the context of the passage?” That’s a good response, but as I told her, the context is End Times Babylon. There are numerous places in the passage which are referenced in the book of Revelation. Here are a couple of examples;
O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness. Jeremiah 51:13
Compare this with Revelation 17:1
And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
This is the same great religious whore who sits upon many waters. Not only is the reference to “waters” a reference to the gentile nations, but it is also a reference to the fact that this false Church will cover the whole earth. This is the End Times religious Harlot of Babylon.
My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD. Jeremiah 51:45
Now compare this with Revelation 18:4
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
There can be no doubt that the spirit of the Toronto Blessing is a judgment from God against the unbelief of people who insist on experience over the written Word of God!
Is the Holy Spirit involved in these phenomena? I think so. This is the outworking of His displeasure with these people. This is the beginning of His wrath upon people who have bibles, but prefer experiences rather than the Word of God! He is allowing Satan to deceive these people, because they love darkness rather than light!
Those who fool around with the deceptions of this End Times Harlot will suffer the wrath of God during the Tribulation period! It matters not that they proclaim their loyalty to Jesus, their Jesus is a creation of their own mind, and their “Holy Spirit” is a demon! God will actually use the Antichrist, and the ten world kings to destroy this false Church! (Revelation 17:15-16)
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. II Corinthians 11:4
Nicky Gumbel a pastor from Holy Trinity Brompton, came to Toronto, and brought back these phenomena to England with him. After this his church became a center for this type of ecstatic phenomena in Europe. Later on they developed the Alpha Course, which has been a method of spreading this phenomenon throughout the world, under the guise of evangelism. Most of the churches of my hometown, Barrie, Ontario, have been using the Alpha course in their evangelistic outreach, but rather than building the Church of Jesus Christ, they are busy building the Harlot of Babylon!