TheNew Violence of the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus was on the earth he had said to the Apostles that it would be to their advantage to leave. John 16:7-8 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." His purpose is to show sinners their sin so they will come to the savior. V.14 His purpose, "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you."
Jesus said In Jn.14:16 he would ask the Father to send another comforter (Greek- Allos paracletos) which means another of the same kind, (a person). Here the Lord calls him our helper, the comforter one that comes alongside, he will be in the Christian as well as with them. His ministry is to do what Jesus did when he was here physically but mainly from the inside of us. Instead of Jesus being here in the flesh, the invisible Spirit is. So the Holy Spirit would have the same nature of Jesus. Now we need to ask, what was Jesus like? Matt.11:29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." The Jesus of scripture is Gentle, humble, meek.
When Jesus was on earth he spoke about glorifying the Father Matt 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." This is in reference to our conduct and deeds.
Jesus had performed numerous healings and explained his mission John 10:32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" Here we see one of the first acts of physical violence with Jesus, it was the Pharisees who acted violently against Jesus doing the fathers work.
For the last several years the Church has begun to practice a new paradigm.(which is a new way of practicing Christianity) Although it was birthed in Pentecostalism it has crossed denominational boundaries. It has literally changed biblical traditions for what is now called a new thing of the Spirit. ("God is doing anew thing")
The new manifestations of the Spirit that we see today in my opinion are more closely classified as works of the flesh. Gal. 5:21--The word "revelries" refers to "a cutting loose; rioting; a consequence from being drunk." Likewise, the word "lasciviousness" means in excessive action; an absence of restraint". Feelings or manifestations cannot be justified on their own as to whether or not they are from the Holy Spirit. They must be examined by Scripture to see if they are the nature of the HOLY SPIRIT. He is the Spirit of Holiness Rom. 1:4, and "The Spirit of Jesus Christ" Rom.8:9, Phil.1:19 meaning he represents Christ and he communicates these same properties into the believer which become the fruit of the Spirit in ones life. Gal.5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness (gentleness), temperance: against such there is no law. 24: And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
With the new paradigm of Holy Spirit, ministry has come into a new openness allowing "the spirit" to do what he has never done before.
It began with Benny Hinn knocking people down (collapsing) with his coat and blowing them over. If one has watched his crusades there seems to be an extreme violence at times, where he has said, that if he does not pass the anointing on, he feels like he will blow up. Sometimes he rushes to people to release the dam that is ready to burst, and slaps them on the head and ears as they collapse under the transference of power. To those not in reach, he throws it at them. Many describe being hit with a force that is strong enough to knock them over. Benny Hinn the leading promoter of this activity describes this as, "Instantly, the power of God hit the place. People began to cry and many fell to the floor . as I turned and pointed toward him, he fell backward several feet. I was trying to get him to come close and suddenly he was farther away." (The Anointing, p.26.) He had this begin in his own home ."once my mother was cleaning the hallway while I was in my room talking with the holy Spirit. When I came out she was thrown right back. Something had knocked her against the wall. I said whats wrong, she answered "I dont know?" Well, the presence of the Lord almost knocked her down." (Good morning Holy Spirit P.42)
Rodney H. Browne described the anointing this way: "it is tangible. It can be felt. Just as electricity is tangible, so is the anointing." Not only is it tangible but transferable. You con communicate it you can give it away. You can store it up and you can give it away. 'The anointing of God as wonderful as it is, is electricity. "
Carol Wimber describes what she interpreted as a visitation from God I got up and started stepping over bodies and putting my hand next to them. I could feel the power, like heat or electricity, radiating off their bodies" (Counterfeit Revival, p.200) ..."To John it was spiritual power came from his hands like electricity." (Ibid.p.204)
Unfortunately feelings, nor experience can be a test for truth especially in an atmosphere that resembles more of a laboratory experiment then a normal Church service with the authentic gifts operating.
Benny Hinn describes an experience before he was a Christian at 11 years old, "suddenly my little body was caught up in an incredible sensation that can only be described as "electric." It felt as if someone had plugged me into a wired socket. There was a numbness that felt like needles-a million of them- rushing through my body. "(Good morning Holy Spirit, p.22) In what appears to be the same story " my body became electric just like electricity went through me and when I awoke that electricity was still on my body." (Benny Hinn, This Is Your Day, June 11, 1997)This is the same experience before he was "saved" as afterward, which should make anyone with an ounce of discernment stop and reconsider what is actually happening.
The common description is electricity or heat. Interesting that this is the same description of occult manifestations as well as in Mormonism. People describe shakti-pat and being in the Gurus presence as electric power. Muktananda or Bagwan shree Rajneesh devotees describe it as, their body was pulsating with the energy that surges through it. Laughing ecstatically, weeping with happiness, feeling energetic. The cults describe as a force, Bruce R. McConkie an apostle and authority of the Mormon Church writes"'The Spirit of God which emanates from Deity may be likened to electricity,..." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 752-53). Anton Mesmer hypnotized people with great results." some patients felt nothing at all, some felt as if insects were crawling over them, others were seized with hysterical laughter, convulsions or fits of hiccups. Some went into raving delirium, which was called "the crises" and was considered extremely healthful."(R. Cavendish, the magical arts RKP 1984 pg.180) Could this be the same feeling people interpret as electricity?
Jessie Penn Lewis who recorded the extremes of the Welsh revival writes, "Nothing supernatural should be felt by the senses, but by the spirit... Counterfeits of today are generally wrought upon the soulish - or sense life - of believers who have not learnt to distinguish between soul and spirit." (The Spiritual Warfare, pp. 16-17)
From a practical viewpoint when Chiropractors loosen their patients up before a spinal adjustment, they use an electric muscle stimulator that works on the muscle and flesh. You can feel the electric over your body as it relaxes you. Tension goes and you start feeling good. But obviously this isnt from God. The bible is strangely silent on this matter of feelings from the Holy Spirit.
I always wondered what would be the next step after the slain in the spirit phenomenon had become the norm in Church services. It then was being drunk and laughing under the guise of new wine served from "Joels place". The Church had become at times like a bar room brawl after having a few drinks, people sliding down laughing wildly and having a rip roaring time. But the word of God did not change Eph.5:18-19 "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,." Sweet sounds of joy and contentment come from those controlled by the Spirit, it is peaceable, it exhibits communion with the Lord.
Paul admonishes," And do not be drunk with wine." Drunks are very self centered people, concerned with their feelings and having a good time, they are obnoxious and mostly out of control. Rodney Browne had said theres away to get in the natural so there must be a way to get drunk in the spiritual. The only way one can validate this behavior is to use the flat bible affect. Slide two scriptures over to each other, and mix to match. Joy of salvation = laughter. But the Scripture says the joy of the Lord is our strength, not weakness.
Paul says to be filled with the Spirit gives one self control. He is making a CONTRAST. Being filled with the Spirit does not produce the same effects as alcoholic beverages but spiritually, it is just the opposite. The opposite of the true biblical filling is to be out of control as a rag doll on the ground, drunk and incapacitated.
Then it was shaking, convulsions, quivering, and paralysis. (the shake rattle and roll spirit?) Then it was then talking to each other in tongues, as Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Browne spoke to each other and laughed each other silly about what they were saying. (Watching the new wave video).
Then it was animal farm at Toronto airport vineyard. Chickens, Roosters, dog sounds, men and women giving birth on the floor, all finding prophetic significance in these out of control acts.
Now it is sheer power people being thrown around as rag dolls. The more intense the action then one knows the anointing is there. Gods presence is measured by how many are laid out on the floor.
John Arnott a general in the army of the new paradigm promoted this through the Vineyard said "We can never go back to Church the way is use to be, never."
Marc Dupont a leader from Toronto said in his Holy ghost Train teaching tape; "God is not a gentleman, God is god Ive seen glasses fly across the room, Ive seen boots and shoes flying off people. Weve seen people destroy their clothes, almost thrashed by the holy Spirit."(quoted in Contending Earnestly for the Faith, Vol.1.4).
What is happening now is that violence can be attributed to the work of the Spirit? If this is so then are wrestlers and boxers operating under the anointing, are street gangs? We need to make a distinction between Godly spiritual behavior and downright nasty carnality being blamed on the Spirit.
Stories of people thrown across the room are now common place in the new revivals. Yet if a husband did this to a child or his wife what would the authorities call it? What would we call it? Abuse! But somehow this isnt abuse. Why? Because its happening inside a Church meeting by a minister! I say, SO WHAT!
Eph.4:30-32 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you." Wrath, anger are to be done away with instead of being promoted. The Bibles definitions make these words even clearer. Wrath =fierceness, indignation, Malice= badness ill-will, desire to injure wickedness, depravity; wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws evil,. Tender hearted = well compassioned, i.e. sympathetic. Kind = virtuous, good manageable pleasant (as opposite to harsh) of people, kind, benevolent. Maybe some of these men have not apprehended Gods forgiveness to be acting in this manner.
James 3:13-16 "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there."
A testimony reported by Christianity Today is by Keith Prestridge, who was a former punk rocker:"Prestridge offered a pugilist's description of Alpha's Holy Spirit weekend: 'They laid hands on me, and I knew release, you know? I know those of you who have felt the Spirit know what it's like. It's like being in a good fight and suddenly being knocked out." (Christianity Today Feb. 9, 1998, pg. 38.)
Using a telescope, one would not be able to find a verse in scripture that compares the Holy Spirit to a boxer who beats people up! Jesus sent the comforter not the bully. You would have to look even harder for a Scripture verse that describe the Holy Spirit influencing violence or at best fleshly outbursts for believers. John Wimber's fanciful description of the work of the Spirit of God sheds more light on this phenomenon. "back them down knock them over-I mean, you wouldnt believe that God would be so rough. Gentle Jesus! wham, you know? Comes on as a sumo- wrestler or something, you know? you say god what are you doing? you know? "Well, Im working out a little problem that they have," you know? "Working on their theology."[ Hank Hanegraaff, Counterfeit Revival. 1997, p. 191]. (Wimber spiritual phenomenon :slain in the spirit, pt.2).
Well I dont know, you know! Since when does God change our theology by experience and not by the one who wrote the word, and works through his word. He is our teacher to lead us into the truth of the word (1 Jn.2.). This is what occurs in the occult when deceptive spirits are operating. I know this personally from past experiences with this type of activity.
Jessie-Penn Lewis War On the Saints a Minister During the Revival in Wales writes," The counterfeit of the Presence of God is mainly felt upon the body, and by the physical senses, in conscious "fire," "thrills," etc. The counterfeit of the "Presence" in the atmosphere is felt by the senses of the body, as "breath," "wind," etc., whilst the mind is passive or inactive. The person affected by this counterfeit will be moved almost automatically to actions he would not perform of his own will, and with all his faculties in operation. He may not even remember what he has done under the "power" of this "presence." (Jessie-Penn Lewis War On the Saints, p.153),
"But another man had the same impulse, and fell down groaning and roaring, beating the floor with his hands and feet, and the demon entered into him as the angel of light, and got him to think that his conduct was of the Holy Ghost, and it became a regular habit in the meetings he attended..." (Jessie-Penn Lewis War on the Saints p.150),
Look at Eph.2:2-3 "in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others." look at the descriptions, desires of the flesh Gal.5:19 children of wrath. What nature is one being conformed to? Ask yourself, is it the holy Spirit or ?
How did the Apostles act? 1Thess 2:7 "But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. Titus 3:2 "... speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.
James 3:17 "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." Gentle what is mild and appropriate. Filled with Good fruits = This is the fruit of the Spirit (self control) .
Kenneth Hagin tells a series of incredible tales about unusual healings he has done when "peculiar anointings" have been manifest in his ministry: Several times the anointing has come on me to do unusual things while praying for the sick. Sometimes I go along five or six years between times. The first time it happened to me was in 1950. 1 was preaching in Oklahoma. A woman came forward for prayer. She said she was 72, but she looked like she was about to give birth to a baby. Of course, she had a tumor. I started to lay hands on her to pray when the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Hit her in the stomach with your fist." On the inside of me, I said, "Lord, You're going to get me in trouble, going around hitting women in the stomach with my fist! I don't believe I much want to do that!" Well, if you get to arguing about it, the anointing will leave you-it will lift from you just like a bird flying away after sitting on your shoulder. It left me. When it left me I thought, Well, I'll go ahead and minister with laying on of hands. I laid hands on her again and the anointing came again and the Word of the Lord came again: "Hit her in the stomach with your fist." The Lord is saying to Hagin not to pray, but to punch!
I decided I had better stop and explain that to the crowd before I started doing it. So I told them what the Lord said, and I punched her in the stomach with my fist. And God and hundreds of people are my witnesses that that stomach went down like you'd stuck a pin in a balloon. (Hagin, Understanding the Anointing, 114-115). Im sure that it did, he punched all the air out of her.
Hagin tells of another man he was told to hit in the head and a young female college student he hit in the kidney. (Hagin, Understanding the Anointing p.116-117). All this is dangerous for handicapped or elderly people come trusting that Jesus will minister to them, and instead get a "Holy Ghost punch."
Rodney Browne also has a story of him slapping a deaf person so hard the person fell flat on the floor. And it worked! The deaf person got up totally healed.(Flowing in the Holy Ghost p.53, R.H.B quoted in counterfeit Revival H. Hanegraaff). Rodney Browne who was trained at Rhema college (Kenneth Hagin) also states, "Gods going to raise up Holy ghost Rambos in these last days." Violent movies and stories are constantly used as models for Christian ministry.
Recently my friend and I attended a Signs, wonders and miracles conference at an Assembly of God Church here in Hawaii, where Dr. Christian Harfouche was operating. He promoted Pensacola as a valid outpouring and his ministery had similarities as well. In his meeting he mentioned A.A. Allen, and Smith Wigglesworth as great men, explaining how he was shocked at what they would do under the anointing. But the "Holy" Spirit was telling him to do the same. A Pastor who was present reflects on the story he gave one night on the Holy Spirits instructions. In it he told a story about how God spoke to him to punch a woman in the jaw who had a deteriorating jaw. So he punched her in the face! She hit the floor out cold, when she came too she was healed by the power of God. He punched another in the stomach and healed a tumor. Id hate to think what hed do to an impotent person.
Hopefully this will not catch on and we will not have "punch you in the face ministries." Unfortunately this is not being avoided or challenged, but accepted. One day you may walk into church and see everyone punching each other in a brawl to give a new impartation of the Spirit. Heres a bloody nose for Jesus. It may yet turn into world tag team wrestling under the New Order of the Latter Rain anointing AKA Joels Army.
Smith Wigglesworths episodes are used almost as often as William Branhams. It seems the same stories get shared, as well as borrowed. Rodney H. Browne retells, "Wiggleworth punched him in the stomach so hard he flew through the air and hit the floor dead! He killed him! Ten minutes later the man is healed, and running around the Church. ( Flowing in the holy Ghost, p.52 R.H.B) The Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements states of that there are no fewer than 6 books by or about him are in print-3 of which are published in the 1980s. Truth or fiction the stories do continue.
A.A Allen is not someone that should be used for an example of ministry. He was arrested for drunk driving during a Tennessee revival in 1955 and died at the age of 59 in San Francisco from cirrhosis of the liver obviously from being an alcoholic, (not the new wine but old.) But these are the people the "new anointed" crowd points to. One can only wonder why the anointing doesnt tell these prophets the truth about their spiritual models.
The Spirit is called the comforter he is like Jesus. He leads us to become like Jesus, not ruffians. Jesus was never violent to people, oh he did turn over the tables in the temple, but he never assaulted a person. Not once can we find this example of healing by Jesus or the apostles. Some may point to the fact he always healed in a different way, but this was not without purpose. When he spit or used mud in peoples eyes, the point he was making was to the Pharisees whose laws taught that these things were unclean and could not be used.
Pensacola like Toronto needs to be read the riot act. John Kilpatrick describes, I saw bodies going every which way ... just flying, going down like a hurricane coming through and pulling trees down, Kilpatrick tells a story about God picking him up and throwing him sideways through the air "at least ten or twelve feet" across the platform, knocking his shoes off his feet. That may be power, the question is, Is it Gods power?
Steve Hill the Evangelist declares "Ive come home with wounds and bruises all over my body, friend. This is revival!" People can be and are hurt, as Hill comments and approves that revivals are violent. Tell that to the Apostles who saw the real revivals begin with real signs and wonders. In my biblical opinion there is no comparison. Hill also validates Brownsville because, people have been lifted off the floor and thrown into walls. Others are dropped or slammed into pews. They fall on top of one another before ushers and catchers are there for the safety net. Hill described: " I have hundreds of times laid hands on the unsaved and I have watched them being thrown across the ground. I mean, I have watched them fly through the air, fall to the ground to where they couldnt get up for an hour or two hours. The next thing you know is, " What must I do to be saved? What must I do?"
Is this what we need to do to get people saved? Wheres the gospel? 1 Pet. 2:12 writes "having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. " Seriously, Can an unbeliever who sees any of this activity actually think ones conduct is honorable and want to be saved!
When someone was slain and fell on an 85 year old elderly woman in Benny Hinns crusade in 86 her hip was fractured.Hinn was issued a suit for 5 million dollars which was settled out of court. She later died from the complications. This gave birth to the catcher ministries today. Take away the catchers and see how many people will fall!
Those who promote this phenomenon cite Sauls encounter with the Lord in Acts 9:3-4 as biblical support for the manifestations. This was certainly violent, wasnt it? When Paul fell, no one was there to catch him, besides no one touched him. It doesn't actually say how Paul fell. The Greek language seems to indicate he went to the ground on his own volition. Jesus does not appear to be the source of Paul's falling to the ground, since he said to Paul "arise and go into Damascus", not stay on the ground! Remember Paul was unsaved at the time, so this doesn't help the arguments of it being a valid practice for the believer. The others who were with Paul fell who were also unbelievers, stayed in this unbelieving state. So falling to the ground cannot be used for being struck down by the Spirit.
In Luke 8:26-36 He writes of demon-possessed man who walked around naked and who lived in the tombs in the area of the Gadarenes. This man was crazed and avoided by the people. When Jesus Christ came and delivered him from the demons the towns people noticed that he was "sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind." When he was freed from the demons he no longer was an uncontrolled man manipulated by demonic forces acting as a lunatic. He became peaceful, was in his right mind reverently sitting at Jesus feet. The chaos and erratic behavior of Toronto /Brownsville and any other ministries modeling this new anointing are copying this man's wild, irrational, demon-possessed behavior. If looked at carefully the resemblance should make anyone uncomfortable. Not so, preach the spin doctors of impartations, and myriad anointings!
On one video a woman in Pensacola is barely standing up trying to give her testimony then turns to a blank look on her face calling out to her husband, "honey where are we from." Her mind blanked out so that she did not know anothers name or where she lived! I use to do drugs years ago and there was a euphoria to being in this state of an altered consciousness. This is the more peaceful aspect of the outpouring, but just as deceptive. The more blatant is the force used through touching or throwing the anointing on individuals.
Consider some of us as being in the boxing ring knocked down for the count. The referee has been counting, hes up to 8 and soon to pronounce 10, as the one lying on the ground is going to be pronounced the loser. The Church has been handed a false anointing, where people are supposedly enjoying God by feelings andforceful spirit experiences. While the Church has been enjoying the impartations and the multifaceted blessings, the devil is working toward his trump card. The Church should have been preparing, instead we have been knocked out on the carpet enjoying feelings. We all have heard of the great falling away, maybe it can be called the great falling down, (AKA slain in the Spirit, carpet time etc.). Maybe its all the same thing.
How much will these forceful exhibitions continue escalate? Can it turn intothreatening physical violence? Jesus warned John 16:2-3 "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. He warns of the time in the end, Matt 24:9-10 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another." There have already been threats to people that have questioned or spoken out on those who teach erroneous doctrines and practices. Can this actually escalate, as we have seen before in certain times in history, when blood was spilled over disagreements.
This verse has been quoted so much, we may have become accustom to it, without its meaning being significant anymore. Nonetheless The true Holy Spirit said this as a warning, 1 Tim 4:1 " Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons."
Consider this statement by Rodney Brown in light of this Scripture "But I'd rather be in a church where the devil and the flesh are manifesting than in a church where nothing is happening, because people are too afraid to manifest anything . . . if a devil manifests, don't worry about that either. Rejoice, because at least something is happening!" (RHB, The Coming Revival p.6)
Well Rodney you have had your way. Many of us would rather not be in this kind of Church. Paul said in 1 Cor.4:6 "Do not exceed or go beyond what is written." This warning is for our benefit and protection, to ignore it is spiritual suicide.
The TV program Inside Edition was filming at a Toronto meeting capturing the laughter and strange bodily actions. A woman was being interviewed as she was sitting on the floor laughing heartily she said, " it seems as if someone has told a dirty joke!" She unknowingly was absolutely right. The church has had a dirty joke played on her, and the one who is laughing the hardest is the Devil and his minions. Its time to wake up, and get up off the floor, shake off these compulsive, irrational behaviors, and stand up for Jesus! Lets preach the GOSPEL, not experiences!