A Voice in the
What is Toronto Blessing? Laughing Revival? Outpouring at Pensacola?
Lately I received queries about the "revival" at Pensacola, FL. At the time I didn't know too much. More recently I've been receiving a lot of e-mail about "Revival." Information on what's happening at the new revival "center," Pensacola, FL. Interviews with its leaders. 'Sounds like another "Toronto Blessing." And many groups are wishing for it to happen to them, including March for Jesus, Prayer Summit, etc.
Recently we have had a few offerings on "Prayer in the Holy Spirit." And questions were raised about "praying in tongues." Since then, I have had other correspondence from "spirit-filled" people who have the "anointing."
These discussions about being "spirit-filled" or of spiritual power...of "outpourings" and "revival" usually fall into the realm of "EXPERIENCE." Thus, if someone wants to question it, or is investigating it, the usual response is "this happened to me." Or, "don't knock it if it didn't happen to you." "If it didn't happen to you...you JUST DON'T KNOW what you're talking about."
Anything which happens in the spiritual realm; anything labeled "Christian" can be supported in Scripture. Anything that a Christian SHOULD do or experience will have doctrine in Scripture. And Scripture is a SUFFICIENT SOURCE of INFORMATION to tell us all we need to know.
"All Scripture...is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."(~2Tim3:16-17)
Is there anything in Scripture which can tell us what's going on with these "revivals?" Is there any HARD EVIDENCE which goes beyond "feelings and experience?" Any Scriptural precedence?
1) These revivals begin with preaching (doctrine), which is interrupted by wild cacophony of vocal sounds, wild dancing, etc. Often considered, "tongues." They will often be shouting the "name of Jesus" and "praises to God" or "confession."
Demon-filled people came to Jesus saying, "I know who You are-the Holy One of God!" ("Praise" is recognition of who God is) And Jesus rebuked him, saying "Be quiet!" (Mk1:24-25,Lk4:34-35) And the people were amazed at Jesus' "DOCTRINE." His "authority."(Mk1:27)
2) Interviews with "revival" leaders uncover (their) concerns about "how to TWITCH" properly. How do we twitch and go into convulsions so it doesn't "look fake?" ...with the answer, "Just let it happen." The desire is "to go into convulsions." To be OUT OF CONTROL. To be OVERCOME.
When demons possessed people, they would convulse them (Mk1:26) and often do bodily harm to them by throwing them into the fire and water.(Mk9:22) People so possessed would wallow around on the ground, foaming at the mouth, and become rigid, as though petrified.(Mk9:18)
3) The final (possibly "ultimate?") revival experience is to be "slain." To be so overcome that the person falls limp (or stiff) to the floor/ground. No ability to get up. Often falling in non-demure poses, such that special workers go around with drop clothes to cover the immodesties. This "dead" state will often remain upon the person for many hours; sometimes where they would be physically carried outside the church building so the building could be closed up for the evening, and eventually the person would "wake up" and then go home.
When Jesus cast a particular demon out, it "cried out" (made loud vocal sounds), convulsed him greatly. And then the person became as one dead.(Mk9:26)
What did Jesus do? Leave him there? Cover him with a blanket until he woke up? No. "Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose."(vs27) Right then and there.
This current-day "revival" is a misnomer. The term "revive" means to "bring back to life or consciousness, to resuscitate." What these people seek and relish in is "death." To be "slain in the spirit." To be knocked out.
Jesus said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Where these people WANT TO be "slain" and is part of the spirit they are of, Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the LIFE." (Jn14:6)
In addition, these people WANT TO be "out of control." But Paul clearly teaches that "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets."(1Cor14:32) And Peter lists "self control" as one of the attributes which brings about "fruitful[ness] in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."(2Pet1:6)
Let's review, quickly. Shouting out disruptively when God's Word is being preached/taught, going into ecstatic utterances, going into tremors and physical convulsions, and ending up on the floor "dead" were characteristics of those Jesus met as "DEMON POSSESSED."
These are the characteristics of the current "revival" movement!
A great "outpouring of God?" ...or doctrines of demons?
Now the [Holy] Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, (1Tim4:1)
Beloved, we ARE IN the "latter times" now!
"If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself rather to godliness...these things command and teach...give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine...take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."(1Tim4:6-7,11,13,16)