A paper on the Toronto Blessing, delivered on the 16 September 1995 by John Richardson
My contribution to this conference concerns the theological foundations from which we assess a phenomenon like the Toronto Blessing. We are well aware that the Bible tells us to `test all things’. The question is HOW we test things.
Supporters of the Toronto Blessing frequently make two pleas to people who wish to assess or criticize it. FIRST, we are urged to approach it with an open mind. We are told to attend meetings for ourselves – and not critically, but asking God to bless US also if something real is happening. SECOND, we are urged to judge the phenomenon by its fruits – to look at the long-term results, not the immediate manifestations. See for Yourself …
However, it is far from an invariable biblical principle EITHER that we should assess claims to God’s activity personally and uncritically, OR that we must look at the fruits to make an assessment. For example, claims that Christ has returned in secret are NOT to be assessed personally: “So, if they say to you, `Lo, he is in the wilderness,’ DO NOT GO OUT”. Nor are they to be assessed uncritically: “if they say, `Lo, he is in the inner rooms,’ DO NOT BELIEVE IT” (Matt 24:26).
If the claim had been made that Jesus was in Toronto we would be entitled not to go and not to believe. Why should we then go if the claim is that the Spirit is moving in Toronto? Unbelief can be a sign of faith!
Look at the Fruits
Similarly the challenge to assess the Toronto Blessing by its fruits can be met. We need to take seriously Jesus’ warning about the plausibility of false versions of Christianity: “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matt 24:24).
But again, as one writer has already observed, it is difficult to assess a movement by its fruits when the fruit is still green. How difficult can be seen in the case of the Quakers, who were people of strong Christian conviction and powerful social witness in their day. Today, however, Quakerism is the refuge of those who want not merely a religionless but a doctrine-less Christianity.
And yet it could be argued that the long-term decline of Quakerism was inherent in its early doctrine. We must recognize from history that a movement may have a powerful – even beneficial – impact in the short term and yet be disastrous in the long term because of its fundamental theological weaknesses.
A Question of Systematics
How then can we `test’ the Toronto Blessing? If we cannot trust personal experience or short term gains, what can we trust? The answer is basically a matter of systematic theology.
Unfortunately, systematic theology has not been a particularly strong feature of the Anglo-American scene for some time. In the English case there is hesitancy about theological systems which seem to claim too much. But as Colin Gunton has observed, there is “an important distinction between a systematic theology that aims at a SYSTEM, and one that more modestly aims at being SYSTEMATIC.” (`An English Systematic Theology?’, The Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 46, 1994, pp.479-496).
We need to recognize that systematic theology is a biblical concept. The reason Jesus gave for not investigating claims that he had returned to the desert or the inner room is grounded in a systematic theology about the second coming which links the SIGNIFICANCE of this event with its NATURE: “For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man” (Matt 24:27).
But we also need to recognize WHAT IS the systematic theology contained in the Bible. The best key to this is, I would argue, the biblical theological approach pioneered by Donald Robinson and developed by the likes of Graham Goldsworthy, Bill Dumbrell etc. The particular feature of this approach is that it recognizes and identifies in the Bible both CONTINUITY and DEVELOPMENT. There is the continuity of ONE great theme, from start to finish and there is the DEVELOPMENT of that theme through Scripture.
Only a systematic theology allows us to give coherence to our experience and expectation of God. And more specifically, only a systematic theology allows us to recognize that whilst God CAN do anything he DOESN’T do everything – and this is fundamental to our approach to the Toronto Blessing.
A Necessary Limitation
Those who reject the Toronto Blessing are often accused of limiting the actions of God. Thus Michael Green, writing in the CEN 23/6/95 asked, “IS IT SO REPREHENSIBLE … if God should determine in this day and age to offer a powerful experience of his presence and his power?”
However, we could turn the same question round. Why SHOULD God should not speak in this day and age as Abraham spoke to the rich man in the parable: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead”?
GOD’S activity IS limited – by God himself – but it is limited in a way which is not simply arbitrary but consistent with the overall framework of the Bible. Understanding that framework will enable us to understand the limits of God’s activity – not so that WE may limit it, but so that we may limit what is CLAIMED for it. Thus when we test the Toronto Blessing, which makes particularly claims about the activity of God through his Spirit in the life of the Christian, we need to ask whether it is consistent with the TOTAL picture the Bible presents, particularly in relation to the work of the Spirit in the life of the believer.
Systematics and the Spirit
To answer this question we will consider what the Bible says about blessing and how this is connected with the Holy Spirit. Because of its clear presentation of this link we will start with Gal 3:13-14.
The context here is the SUFFICIENCY of the gospel in terms of our relationship with God and the PEDIGREE of the gospel in terms of its continuity with what went before. Vv 13-14 conclude:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, `Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree’ – that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
These verses link “the blessing of Abraham” and “the promise of the Spirit” with the curse of the law, the death of Christ and faith. The task of the systematic theologian is to unravel the connections.
Blessing and Curse
The first step is fairly obvious. The counterpoint of curse and blessing takes us back to the beginning of the Bible. The great theme of Gen 1 is blessing, and the great theme of Gen 3 is cursing. God creates the world for blessing and the fall brings it under the curse. The story of the Bible from Gen 3 onwards is of how God reverses the curse and restores the blessing.
Crucial to this story is, of course, God’s calling of Abraham which occurs in Gen 12:1-3:-
Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (taking niphal as passive, see D. Kidner Genesis – An Introduction and Commentary [Leicester: IVP, 1967) p 114).
It is this calling and promise to which Paul refers in Gal 3. The blessing of the human race is thus focused in Abraham and in people’s response to him. But part of Paul’s insight is that the relationship between God and Abraham is already a GOSPEL relationship. It depends on the election of God and on HIS righteousness and faithfulness – not on these qualities in Abraham – and thus there is CONTINUITY between him and us
So Paul can write in Gal 3:8 that “the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, `In you shall all the nations be blessed.'”
At the same time, the relationship between God and Abraham is a DEVELOPING relationship. The concept of blessing is further focused through the encounter in Gen 18 where, before he destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, God reveals himself to Abraham as a God of moral justice and righteousness. The purpose of this revelation is given in vv 17-19:-
The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? No, for I have chosen him, that he may charge his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice; so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”
The blessing promised to Abraham and his descendants is thus contingent on their keeping the way of the Lord “by doing righteousness and justice”.
The Dilemma of Holiness
But of course, “doing righteousness and justice” is precisely what eludes the descendants of Abraham. As Isaiah 5:7 declares,
… the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!
Thus is raised the biblical `dilemma of holiness’. God looks for and demands holiness from his covenant people as a concomitant for blessing, but they are incapable of being holy. Hence the effect of the Law which is itself “holy and just and good” is described as “the curse”.
The solution the OT proposes is necessarily radical and is, in fact, a New Covenant. Jer 31:31-34 sets it out in these terms:-
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying, `Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Notable features of this New Covenant are (a) the forgiveness of sins, (b) the general knowledge of God and (c) the law written on the heart. However, as Bill Dumbrell observes, what makes it truly `New’ in relation to the Sinai covenant is that it is unbreakable. It will be “not like … my covenant which they broke”. (W J Dumbrell The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21-22 and the Old Testament [Homebush West: Lancer Books, 1985] p 90)
The newness of the New Covenant will be effected by a new availability of the Holy Spirit, as is brought out in Ezek 36:26-27:-
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
The promises of the outpouring of God’s Spirit are not many (as also God’s encounters with Abraham were limited) but they are significant and they are linked to the final salvation act of God and the accompanying restoration of blessing. Thus Isaiah 44:3 promises: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring” – a sentiment which is very close to Paul’s linking the Spirit and the blessing promised to Abraham.
Gospel and Blessing
The giving of the Holy Spirit is thus not an additional bonus to the New Covenant but a necessary condition of it, for it enables those who are called to be God’s people to be faithful to the covenant and hence to be in receipt of his blessing. The event which activates the New Covenant forms, of course, the content of the gospel. However, great confusion is caused when Christians fail to appreciate the absolute link between the gospel and the promises of God. The result is an UNCERTAINTY about the extent to which those promises apply to the individual.
To an extent this reflects an inadequate appreciation of baptism. Baptism is to the Christian what the marriage ceremony is to a husband and wife. The marriage ceremony allows a couple to say to themselves “EVERYTHING which marriage entails applies to us, not because we have appropriated to ourselves each thing individually, but because we have MARRIED ONE ANOTHER.”
In the same way, BAPTISM allows the Christian to say “EVERYTHING which being a Christian entails applies to me personally, NOT because I have appropriated each thing individually, but because I am BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST.”
Thus Paul can ask baptized Christians if they are IGNORANT of what their baptism means, as he does in Rom 6:3 with his characteristic “Do you not know?”, but he does so in order to awaken their appreciation of what is already a fact.
The means by which the benefits of baptism into Christ are received is, of course, faith. But it is not `faith in the benefits’ – rather, it is `faith in the gospel’, and here we can close the circle with the passage from Galatians where we began.
Faith in the Gospel
The theme of the Bible is the restoration of blessing, and the focus of that theme is the promise to Abraham and those descended from him. The fulfilment of that promise, however, may be summed up as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law … that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal 3:13-14).
And this is a NECESSARY fulfilment of the promise to Abraham, because only the Holy Spirit enables us to have the holiness of the people of God which is the concomitant of blessing. However, we need to be absolutely clear about the condition for receiving the Holy Spirit. Paul says in 3:14 that the Spirit is given “through faith”, but we need to ask “Faith in what?” The answer, is “Faith in what was heard” – “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” (3:2).
If we then ask “Hearing WHAT with faith?” we are driven back to chapter 1 and the SUFFICIENCY of the gospel. In Gal 1:6 Paul declares “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a DIFFERENT gospel”.
This `different’ gospel differs from the one Paul outlines in Gal 1:3-4:- “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father”. Paul clearly regards THIS gospel, and hearing it with faith, as sufficient to bring people into the blessing promised to Abraham.
The system of Paul’s theology, then, is this: the saving acts of God (aimed at removing the curse of sin) began with the promise of blessing to Abraham which was fulfilled by the outpouring of the Spirit on Christians. The enabling event for this fulfilment is the death of Jesus for our sins, which is proclaimed as the gospel, and the response which avails us of this is faith (ie trust) in the gospel.
The Spirit and the Gospel
This, I would argue, is the fully developed theology of the New Covenant. It means that hearing the gospel with faith is the NECESSARY and SUFFICIENT precondition for us to receive the Holy Spirit because he is the embodiment of the blessing promised to Abraham. Positively, this means the Spirit is certainly received by hearing the gospel with faith. Negatively, it means the Holy Spirit is only received through hearing the gospel with faith.
This is important when we consider claims that the Toronto Blessing is a particular work of the Holy Spirit, because we will expect the work of the Spirit and the blessing of God always to be linked to our hearing, understanding and applying the gospel.
The Toronto Blessing and the Gospel
We need therefore to ask whether the Toronto Blessing is a blessing DERIVED FROM the gospel, or a blessing ADDITIONAL TO the gospel. If it is a blessing DERIVED FROM the gospel it belongs to every Christian already, `as of right’. Paul opens his letter to the Ephesians by blessing “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:3). The Ephesians may not have known that was true. They may not have known what all those blessings were, but they certainly had those blessings IN AND THROUGH the gospel. They received them when they responded with faith to the message that Christ “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Gal 1:4).
New Things from God’s Word …
If the Toronto Blessing is `a blessing of the gospel’ of which we are unaware, we will expect it to become ours when it is preached to us as a proper consequence of the gospel. This is not to NARROW the scope of the Christian life to the justification of the sinner – though that is no small thing. The gospel is the point of application of the WHOLE Bible to our lives. With the gospel as a key we can preach any part of the Bible BIBLICALLY. Thus the scope for exploring the depths of the gospel and bringing new insights to bear is immense.
This happens to most people in relation to suffering. At the start of our Christian lives we are generally ignorant of the fact that suffering is a `blessing of the gospel’. It has to be preached to us and explained from Scripture. It is usually only when this is done that we begin to realize suffering is indeed a `gospel blessing’ which we can incorporate into our experience.
But I am not aware of this happening in relation to the Toronto Blessing. Indeed, Michael Green himself says “The `Toronto phenomena’ certainly form no part of Christian theology or ethics …” (op. cit.) Far from being derived from the preaching of the gospel, the Toronto Blessing begins with its phenomena and attempts to work BACK from these to some aspect of biblical phenomenology.
Moreover, there are clear examples where the phenomena of the Toronto Blessing are entirely inappropriate responses to the gospel, even when it is preached. Rodney Howard-Browne himself quotes the example of people laughing whilst he spoke about hell. It is difficult to claim that this response was produced by “hearing with faith” – that is, trusting in what was said.
And here is a difference from the phenomena of the American Camp meetings which are often quoted in support of the Toronto Blessing. To scream with fear and to run around in terror whilst someone preaches on hell is to show great faith – at least in the message of hell. To laugh uncontrollably is inappropriate and bizarre, and suggests the attention of those laughing is focused somewhere else than on the gospel.
I would challenge anyone to start from the Bible and demonstrate that the Toronto Blessing is what we would expect to see in the life of the believer today as a result of the outpouring of the Spirit fulfilling God’s promise to Abraham. The link between the Toronto Blessing and the gospel is simply not established, and until it is we may reasonably assert that the Toronto Blessing is NOT a gospel blessing.
A Blessing Too Far
But could it not be claimed that the Toronto Blessing is a blessing BEYOND the simple blessings of the gospel? Could it not be, as Michael Green has also suggested, God’s way of by-passing our rationalism and reaching the parts other approaches – such as gospel preaching – haven’t reached?
This is perhaps the hardest claim to answer in support of the Toronto Blessing. To deny it seems to deny either the power or the sovereignty of God. And yet, as we said at the outset, one vital function of systematic theology is to insist that, whilst God can do anything he doesn’t do everything. The blessing of which Paul speaks in Gal 3, the blessing which may be summed up as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit even on the Gentiles, is the blessing God promised to Abraham and it is received through hearing the gospel with faith. So we must say that any blessing which goes BEYOND the blessing promised to Abraham, and any blessing which comes by some OTHER means than hearing the gospel with faith, is a blessing too far because, as Paul points out in Gal 1, it MUST come from “a different gospel”.
We need to ask in conclusion not whether the Toronto Blessing might be something God is doing nor whether it is changing peoples’ lives, but whether it is consistent with the a biblical theology of the blessing of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
The essence of the work of the HOLY Spirit will be the HOLY life, and for this we do not have to pass through the Toronto Blessing. Rather we need to immerse ourselves more and more in the whole counsel of the gospel which is sufficient for our relationship with God. This is the teaching of the rest of Galatians, and I would suggest it is the consistent teaching of the whole of Scripture.
And if the preaching of the whole of Scripture on the basis that Christ gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age is not adequate to bring the Toronto Blessing to those who hear with faith, then whatever DOES bring the Toronto Blessing is another gospel and whatever it brings is not the blessing promised Abraham, nor a result of receiving the Holy Spirit.
by John Richardson
We need to ask in conclusion not whether the Toronto Blessing might be something God is doing nor whether it is changing peoples’ lives, but whether it is consistent with the a biblical theology of the blessing of God and the work of the Holy Spirit.”
by John Richardson September 1995
I am sorry but I will not concede your conclusion. I will not concede the issue of whether it is changing lives for the better. You can not throw away scripture just because you do not like something. Jesus told us to look at the fruits to assess if it is of God. This is a basic requirement and I will NOT allow you to dismiss this point as it is a vital one that Jesus did teach us.
Many people in the time of Jesus missed God in the flesh because they were right. They knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem and so they wanted Jesus of Bethlehem not Jesus of Nazareth. Many times if you do pursue God, He will not always manifest Himself in a way that you are comfortable with. God I have noticed will stretch us, but will be found by those who genuinely seek Him with passion and truth.
It is something for us to ponder. Why did Jesus not clearly explain to his doubters that He was born in Bethlehem? He could have increased the number of His followers, but He chose not to do so. God doe not always give us everything that we need to be comfortable I believe because it reveals the condition of our heart. You can chose to be dogmatic and focus on peripheral issues but does your theology lead you to manifest the fruits of the spirit? Jesus was focused on setting the captives free and proclaiming “The Good News of the Gospel”. God is 100% committed to transforming us to be like Jesus but He needs a willing and open heart.
There is copious evidence that The Toronto Blessing is the root of false doctrine and a counterfeit ‘holy spirit’ and that as a consequence, it comes with demons. Deliverance ministers routinely cast some ‘powerful’ demons out of people who attended these churches.
I find this statement absurd, to say the least. I do think that you need to re-examine your position in Christ. I honestly believe that you need a third party to help you with your obvious deception. The problem with people who are blind is that they are blind and simply do not see. Please get into accountability with someone who will be able to pull you out of your mess.
May we suggest you watch some of the Youtube videos of Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard-Browne and tell me that you seriously believe that these are men of God? Only be careful as watching those videos carries a warning as they could make you feel very ill – as they do some.
Many people have been deceived by the “Toronto Blessing” and many have seen that it is a fraud and a dangerous one at that.
Please research and you will see that this is a true statement.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4)
There is more on this site about the Toronto Blessing.
I have seen Rodney Howard-Browne in person and have personally visited the Church we are discussing in Toronto. I know that there are many detractors. I am disappointed that you did not answer my original objection with Bible scripture. I really believe that you can not do this. I will concede that fraudsters do exist and the Bible did warn us about them but you have failed to show me a solid Biblical basis for dismissing the Toronto Blessing.
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt 7:15)
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing in KJV Scripture
You misunderstood. I was referring to my*original comment* where I did quite firmly state that Jesus did tell us that we are to examine the fruit of a person and by extension their ministry. You totally ignored my statement and I still contend that you can not simply ignore this principle that Jesus gave us. (Luke 6:43-45)
You can not simply ignore this by saying the fruit there is still green. The fruit is quite ripe and mature now and the detractors are not making a solid case Biblically. The very same arguments that are used to hammer the Toronto Blessing are identical to the same one that were used to bash the Pentecostal movement at the turn of the century. This is a scary parallel. I do applaud that you are likely sincere and want doctrinal truth to prevail but you need to stop and reassess what you are doing. Know that Jesus also told us that whoever sins against the Holy Spirit this will *NOT be forgiven!!
*There are several reasons for this. One is that such a person is preventing others from entering into what the Holy Spirit has for them and they do not realize their potential in Christ, which leads to a bad domino effect in that there are people who would have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus but the person who was supposed to lead them did get sidetracked. It is very sobering that Jesus did warn us not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Please consider the gravity of your situation. I really believe you are on very dangerous ground but you do not see it. I beg you to soften your heart and let God, the Holy Spirit speak to your and bring what will be a painful and humbling correction to you.
The truth is that I do not know everything and I would also like to point out that God does blow up our expectations of Himself. Jesus did not comes as the Jews expected and He often shows up in unusually and different ways. What is very important is that the condition of your heart is very soft and can listen to what the Holy Spirit will tell you. Remember again that many people missed Jesus, God in the flesh because they were doctrinally correct in that the Messiah needed to come from Bethlehem. I was not until God left them that the understanding in this area came but it was too late. I pray that you will be able to discern the difference between truth and error.
The amount of apostasy in the Church is appalling and we need to guard against it. God in His mercy will allow harsh persecution to come to our countries so that many will be forced to again make a re-commitment to Him before being martyred. May we talk about all this in Heaven.
There are good reasons for speaking the truth that the Toronto Blessing is a ‘strange fire’ and as that cannot possibly be the Holy Spirit, therefore it is not possible for it to be sinning against the Holy Spirit. There is so much evidence available in the form of personal testimonies, articles and books. Above all there is the witness of the Bible itself: The True Holy Spirit
The writer actually lived in Notting Hill Gate when this all started decades ago at Kensington Temple and so is also a witness. People were ‘getting drunk in the holy spirit’ and falling around all over the place, behaving in a rowdy way as if they were actually drunk, getting taxis home, etc. It was well known in the area even by non-Christians.
The large number of Youtube videos of Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard-Browne et al are themselves a witness against them. People falling about on the floor laughing hysterically at such things as people being struck dumb and behaving like animals, all of whom are undoubtedly possessed by demons.
This is – we can know with absolute certainty from what the Bible says – categorically not the way that the Holy Spirit would behave. To believe that these preachers are men of God who are doing God’s will and are temples of the Holy Spirit shows a serious lack of understanding of the Holy Spirit and the God of the Bible who is pure and holy.
There can be in no doubt that the Holy Spirit spoken of in the Bible is not the same as the so-called ‘holy spirit’ we are told is in operation through the Toronto Blessing. In fact this is the counterfeit ‘man-made’ holy spirit spoken of in the Bible where it is described as ‘strange fire’ which is an abomination to God. Hence the ‘fire tunnels’ etc.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt 24:24)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4)
Sorry, I had to take my computer to the shop. Essentially what I understand from you is that you are uncomfortable with the manifestations associated with the Toronto Blessing to the point that you feel that they are unbiblical?
This raises some other issues with me. I would like to know what is your personal experience with the Holy Spirit? Have you had the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? Do you talk in Tongues, or walk in any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit? Are you a member of a Church that would permit this?
I also would like to point out that the Headquarters of the PAOC(Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) is located in Toronto as well and they are the Canadian guardians of the doctrine on the Holy Spirit. There has not been a single declaration from the PAOC that would give any caution that the Toronto Blessing is a false manifestation. On the contrary I have personally seen credential holders with the PAOC visit the Church in order to get a fresh recharge from the Holy Spirit.
Before he died a prominent Bible teacher from the US thanked us for keeping alive the doctrine on the Holy Spirit. It was he that had to have a change in his doctrinal view.
Well said TRUTH IN REALITY. There is a video on youtube with Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn giving satan’s two finger sign (forefinger and little finger) and Copeland slaps Hinn’s hand down because he is aware that the camera’s are rolling. I once watched Heidi Baker on Youtube at a Toronto Conference and I was shocked by her behaviour; lying on the floor giggling and mumbling into the mike. The audience were just laughing at her. There was no signs or Godly worship to a God who created everything, including her, in this world and Universe. I have a friend who believes in all this as unGodly manifestations and it’s no use trying to convince her otherwise. I decided that these are people have entered into the false way because it was entertaining. They don’t want to really know God because that would mean having to take up the cross and deny themselves and to follow Him. The ancient paths are to much like hard work for them. God once sent me a dream to warn her that she is heading for the abyss but she ignored the message. One stops praying for them after a while because after all, they have made their choice and nothing will stop them.
Really interesting discussion. Let me ask you a simple question, can 3 million salvations really be a work of the devil? If you read Randy Clark’s book “There is more” you will find stories of individuals who were so impacted by God during the Toronto Outpouring that millions were saved in the following years. It is a matter of fact now; you can visit Mozambique and see Iris’ work or follow Leif Hetland to see the million plus souls saved in Pakistan. These individuals will tell you it all began at Toronto.
Is it not possible Toronto was a genuine move of God but the devil discredited much of the genuine work by manifesting in strange ways through many people? This is how the enemy works, he counterfeits. The issue is why didn’t the leaders at Toronto close down the demonic manifestations and allow the genuine. The answer to that requires knowledge of John Arnott’s personal journey – he says God began to move in his church years earlier and he shut down the manifestations and the move of God ended. He then said to God that if He moved again he wouldn’t interfere with it but let the Spirit work. Whether we agree with his approach or not is insignificant now, 20+ years on. He (and the leaders at Catch The Fire) are pretty happy with that decision because so much genuine fruit has been seen to date. A real, genuine seeker of God has to be open to God confounded our expectations and that He seems less concerned about messiness than we appear to be (myself included). What we cannot do though is deny that fruit from Toronto is a fact.
Peter MacK, UK.
This set of comments is an evidence of the confusion around this subject! It is important that first of all an individual must be “Saved” as understood from the Bible. “Seek first the Kingdom of GOD” What is important is a personal awareness and understanding of the “Presence of GOD”. The second is an ability to plead the dramatical effects of the “Blood of Jesus” as shed upon the cross where HE died. Tradition may be leading the site owner of “Truth in Reality” to look at things as they do, It is now over 20 years since this started and I have absolute confidence that GOD can guide us into ALL truth. Robert has said enough bless him and also Boris. I Therefore plead the blood of Jesus against all falsehood promoted by this site. Make sure you can do the same over the way you are led. GOD is well able to guide the open minded, biblically led true seeker after truth.