Volume One, Issue Three
Greetings in the name of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
The feature article this month is by Rev. Jacob Prasch, a Jewish A/G minister who has been outspoken against the Toronto “Blessing” and derivatives such as Brownsville A/G for many years. He wrote an article and a video tape was also produced called “Why Three Years and Still No Revival?” addressing the Toronto phenomenon in England from 1993 to 1996. The material in this article is as relevant today as it was two years ago. One of his many “Moriel Ministries” web sites is at:
Why Three Years of Toronto and Still No Revival? by Jacob Prasch, 1996
And if thy brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. (Matthew 18:15-18).
As F.F. Bruce pointed out, this speaks of going to another Christian about their sin, not about their doctrine.
Today we have people teaching false doctrines who, when they are challenged, respond with: “You didn’t come to me on the basis of Matthew 18.” Jesus never taught to go to your brother about his doctrine. In fact, when it came to the issue of circumcision of Gentiles, and behavior associated with it, Paul rebuked Peter in the presence of all.
It came about that when Jesus had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man is to be delivered up for crucifixion.” Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth, and kill Him. But they were saying, “Not during the festival, lest a riot occur among the people.” (Matthew 26:1-5).
And you find the same behavior with John the Baptist, and you find it elsewhere in the gospel narratives. Whenever the religious leaders could not refute what Jesus said, they had to attack Him personally for saying it.
They always feared that He would expose what they were really teaching and doing to the people. The one thing that theocratic politicians fear most is public exposure to their congregations and their people. In the days of Jesus, and through much of church history, they have turned the ministry of the Word of God into a vehicle for their own aggrandisement-power, money, position: it has always been a problem.
Martin Luther was an Augustinian monk, a member of the Roman Catholic clergy. I’ve spoken to Roman Catholic theologians who admit that when the medieval papacy could not refute what Martin Luther said in his Ninety-five Theses, they attacked him for saying it.
If you were to read the Papal Bull issued against Luther, they couldn’t refute what Luther said, so they attacked him for saying it. You always find that with religious hypocrisy; the cowardice of religious leaders. When you can’t attack what someone says, attack them for saying it.
And, above all, keep the public from finding out the truth.
The fear these people have! So what do they do? The same thing they did during the Reformation, the same thing can happen anytime. They begin legal finagling. “Quick! Get a solicitor on the phone!”
And they begin by circulating lies and rumors. Religious hypocrites have characteristically behaved this way because they will not debate the issue.
We see with Jesus that none of them would dare challenge Him for fear of the people. No one dared to ask Him any more questions. They could not argue from Scripture, so they had to get into legal finagling and, eventually, conspiracy and even lies. Religious hypocrites behave this way, and we see them behaving this way today. Why? Because they can do nothing else.
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul says it is better for a Christian to be defrauded, discredited, robbed, maligned, than it is to go to the world’s legal system against another believer.
What happens when major so-called Christian leaders will, at the expense of the church, drawing on money that hard-working Christians paid their offerings for, hire lawyers to persecute other ministers because they don’t like what they’re saying? That is precisely what is going on in Australia at this moment!
Speaking as a Christian, I find it absolutely despicable. And people who do it-by God’s standards, not mine-have no right to call themselves “ministers”. They’re not ministers. They are Pharisees, Sanhedrin. Read the New Testament for yourself.
If you can’t refute the message, shoot the messenger!
Let me point one other thing out. New Testament theology is always a combination of the proactive and the reactive. It’s much better to emphasis the positive. However, let’s look at apostolic theology. The most divisive issue in the early church was the circumcision of Gentiles and the purpose of the Torah. Some Jewish believers thought they were a cut above the rest.
In Romans, Paul deals with the issue of the circumcision of Gentiles pro actively: “Here’s how the Law points to Jesus.” In Galatians, however, he deals with it re actively: “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?” You always have that balance.
Some people say that we should only teach the positive and let God deal with the negative. If so, you would have to cut most of the Old Testament out of the Scripture, because every single prophet after Joshua wrote re actively. The people went away from the Torah. And when you go away from the Word of God, it’s because you have gone away from God Himself.
Secondly, you have to tear out most of the Pauline and Johanine epistles: Galatians, First Thessalonians, First Corinthians-these things were written to refute error.
Touch not the Lord’s anointed!
We always get the same response: “Touch not the Lord’s anointed!” I profoundly wish that those who quote that verse would read it.
It is true that King David would not touch King Saul in the cave of Ein Gedi. However, that never stopped David or Samuel the prophet from telling the truth about King Saul. He said King Saul was a treacherous, back-slidden and murderous man. And that verse is not going to stop me telling the truth about Rodney Howard-Brown or Kenneth Copeland.
If you think “Don’t touch my anointed” means you don’t stand up and name the names of people who are leading God’s people astray, you will need to modify your Bible. Jews anointed High Priests and Kings. Watch out for Jaazaniah son of Azzur (Ezekiel 11:1). He was the High Priest, he was God’s anointed, and he was leading the people astray. Tear the book of Ezekiel out of your Bible!
Watch out for people who predict things that don’t happen. It says in Deuteronomy 18:22 that someone who predicts something in the name of the Lord which fails to happen is a false prophet. Get away from them!
Watch out for Hananiah, he predicts things which don’t happen; he counsels rebellion against the Lord (Jeremiah 28). Well, so do people like Rick Joyner and John Wimber; you can document their prophecies that have failed.
Who does Jeremiah the prophet think he is, touching God’s anointed? Tear the book of Jeremiah out of your Bible!
Every king was anointed. Jews didn’t crown kings, they anointed them. 1 Kings, 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles record the history of the kings. Every king of Israel, and most of the kings of Judah were corrupt and mislead the people. The Word of God names them and says what they did. Quick! Tear 1 Kings out of your Bible. Tear 2 Kings out of your Bible. Tear 1 and 2 Chronicles out of your Bible.
High Priests were God’s anointed, so were kings. What did Jesus say about Herod? “Go and tell that fox “ (Luke 13:32). Who does Jesus Christ think He is, touching God’s anointed? Who do Matthew, Mark, Luke and John think they are? When they decry Caiaphas and Ananias, the High Priests, they must be touching God’s anointed!
If you think that is what “touching God’s anointed” means, tear the four Gospels out of your Bible. Turn to the Epistles. Look out for Alexander the coppersmith (2 Timothy 4:14); look out for Demas (2 Timothy 4:10). Look out for Diotrephes (3 John 9). Quick! Tear the Epistles out of the Bible, they are touching God’s anointed. They are naming the names in public; they are naming them in published letters.
If you think “touch not God’s anointed” means that you should not stand up to those who are teaching error to God’s people and misleading them, you may as well throw away the whole Bible and write your own, which is essentially what these people are doing, any way.
Three years and no revival!
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). Peter’s message was always one of “Repent and be baptized. Save yourself from this crooked generation.” A message dealing with repentance and judgment.
When the Holy Spirit really fell, when it really happened, on the first day, three thousand souls were saved. And thousands more were saved the next day. Day after day, after day, thousands of people were converted and born again. Thousands!
A lot of people being born again is not revival. A lot of people being born again is the result of revival. You cannot revive that which was never alive to begin with. Revival is the church repenting and returning to its first love.
A lot of people being saved is the proof of the pudding, it is the result of revival, it is the authentication that God is moving.
In John Wesley’s revival, thousands were saved on the first day. As soon as he began preaching, people began giving their lives to the Lord as they came out of the coal mines. At Azusa Street, from 1906 to 1913, huge numbers of people were saved.
Notice the first two differences between what the Word of God teaches about revival, what church history illustrates about revival, and what is happening-or I should say, what is not happening today.
I was in Toronto in October 1995 for other business. I visited the zoo while I happened to be in town. After three years, no revival has come to Toronto. It has had no impact on that city, spiritually or morally. It remains the New Age, homosexual and drug dealing capital of Canada. The churches have not grown. Most of the people who contribute to the reports of large crowds at the Airport Vineyard Church are visitors from elsewhere. The Toronto phenomena is not known in most of Canada; even less known in America, except for those who have seen it on television; and even in South Africa it is not what it is here in Australia.
It mainly took root in countries where evangelical Christianity is in notorious numerical decline. Great Britain: where the churches are dying, where there are more mosques being built than there are churches. That’s where it is being embraced: where Christianity is on its last legs.
Where are the numbers saved? Where are the thousands saved? Where? It hasn’t happened. This “Toronto blessing / New wave” is false fire.
Whenever God does something new in a desperate situation, it is like the Day of Pentecost-120 in an upper room; it is Gideon’s Army-300 people; it is Azusa Street-people in a house in Los Angeles; it is John Wesley-Moravian missionaries meeting with the early Methodists in a house in London.
Whenever God does something new-because the church has so miserably and conspicuously failed-He begins with a small number of people. When you see people trying to mobilize as many others as possible to do something, that is the striving of the flesh. It is the diametric opposite of the way God has worked in either Scripture or Church History.
The very fact that the Toronto thing became such a popular phenomena in so many churches proves that God is not in it; it is not the way He has ever worked when He did something new.
It is totally out of character of any biblical or historical precedent. Our God does not work that way. The AOG Executive may work that way, but God does not.
Materialism or revival?
And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. (Acts 2:44-45).
Another proof of revival is people’s attitude towards materialism. They stop hoping in this world and practice divestiture in the book of Acts.
I just came from Perth, Australia. It is not difficult to document the amount of money that Rodney Howard-Brown and his entourage spent in the Hyatt Regency Hotel there. Drive a few hours out of Perth and watch someone working among the poor aboriginals-striving to have just a basic budget; or get on an aeroplane and fly from Perth to Indonesia and watch Christians being persecuted by Muslims-see how rich they are. Tell me who really knows the Lord Jesus.
Its Roots and its Fruits
Rodney Howard-Brown comes from Ray Macauley’s church in South Africa. Ray Macauley teaches, and has published, that building the Tower of Babel is God’s model for Christian Unity. Nothing will be impossible for them, so he teaches.
Kenneth Copeland gave this “blessing” to Rodney Howard-Brown. Paul says that even if an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you (Galatians 1:8) get away from him. Paul says that even if he himself preaches another gospel, get away.
The gospel tells us that when the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, He took away your sin and mine. When He rose from the dead, He did it to give us eternal life. He won the victory on the Cross. He who knew no sin became sin for us. That’s the gospel.
Kenneth Copeland, who gave the Toronto thing to Howard- Browne, was influenced by someone called E.W. Kenyon, who-by his own admission-was influenced by the founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy.
The Lord Jesus, when on the Cross, said: “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). He also said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
But Kenneth Copeland, on television-well documented in Christianity in Crisis-said the following: “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross.” He claims that the biggest failure in history is God; more than that, Copeland claims that he could have died on the Cross instead of Jesus Christ because he also is a ‘born again’ man.
Copeland teaches that what happened on the Cross was that Satan got the victory and then Jesus descended into hell and became a Satanic being of one nature with Lucifer. Then this demon, Jesus Christ, of one nature with Satan, after three days of being tortured, had to be born again. That is the ‘gospel’ according to Copeland.
So, because the Cross is not central to their view of the Christian life, of salvation, neither is the Cross central to their view of what it means to be a Christian.
Instead of “Take up your Cross and follow Me, and exchange it one day for a crown”, it becomes: “God wants you rich. Name it and claim it. You’re a king’s kid.” It is the Gospel of Mammon in Christian masquerade; it is covetousness camouflaged.
‘Word of Faith’ Teachings
They come from the “Word of Faith” School. “Faith”, in the Greek is pistis, in Hebrew it is aimun. In both languages, faith and faithfulness are the same word. They make no distinction: “The righteous shall live by faith.” “The righteous shall live by faithfulness”.
Let’s look at biblical faith. Hebrews 11 tells us more about faith than all the rest of the New Testament put together. Look what it says, in Hebrews 11:35-40:
Women received back their dead by resurrection and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection...
The Word of Faith people teach: “You don’t have to suffer. You’re a King’s Kid. God wants you rich.”
...and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in...
five thousand dollar suits from Saville Row in London, staying in a thousand dollar a night rooms in the Hyatt Regency Hotel and driving in Mercedes limousines. Sorry.
...they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith...
You cannot believe that the “faith” of the Word of God is the “faith” of these con-men. They have made ‘born again’ a household joke coast-to-coast in America and now they’re coming to do the same in Australia.
Toronto discredits the Gospel
While Toronto has not brought the great numbers saved, it has discredited the Church in the eyes of the lost-Great Britain being the worst I have seen.
At the nine o’clock service in Sheffield they had women dancing topless in the church. It was on television, on the news.
At the London Healing Mission, over twenty women were sexually abused: ‘internal anointing’. I don’t know if the preacher wanted to be an obstetrician or preacher. Guess what the ‘anointing’ was! He was arrested.
Women removing their knickers in church to have Holy Communion wine poured over their genitals. We have videos.
We can show you videos of Christian women ripping off their clothes or attempting to do so, rolling on the floor in church, experiencing sexual orgasms, saying “It’s God’s Spirit!”
Two men, Pentecostal ministers, one standing in the room imitating a woman in labor and the other one is the mid-wife, puts his hand between his legs to catch the ‘baby’ coming out.
My secretary’s parents are Jewish. Her parents see this stuff on television in England and they say, “That’s what you left Judaism, the faith of your fathers, for? To bark like a dog?”
No, it hasn’t brought revival-it has prevented revival.
The love of money
The origin of Toronto lies with the money preachers. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith (1 Timothy 6:10).
The Word of God says those who chase money, who covet money, will lose their faith. This thing comes from people who do not believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The mighty deeds of God
If you have seen the videos, you’ve seen people dumb-struck, unable to speak, or with drunken and slurred speech. The latest phenomena in England now is ‘vomiting in the Spirit’. They come up and have hands laid on and they begin projectile vomiting-a common phenomena in demonic manifestations.
We hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God (Acts 2:11). When you see people unable to talk properly, is that the “mighty deeds of God”?
The Toronto people claim that they are “drunk in the Spirit, not with wine”. However, when the Acts 2 people were ‘drunk in the Spirit’, Peter said: These men are not drunk, as you suppose (Acts 2:15). And the people who heard, heard of the “mighty deeds of God” and thousands were convicted and repented and became Christians on the first day.
When unsaved people see this now they say, “You people are nuts! Maybe there’s something to it. I’ve got to go out and spend $100 to get as drunk naturally as you are because of your religion.”
In Acts they heard the mighty deeds of God, they did not hear drunkenness.
The fruits of the Toronto thing
It’s fruits? They like to say: “You know it by its fruits.” There are three kinds of biblical fruit.
The first fruit is one of righteousness and of repentance. Notice how-unlike in the preaching of the apostles, the preaching of Wesley, of Jonathon Edwards, of any of the people they like to cite-how little emphasis there is on repentance.
Secondly, there is no fruit of souls, no great numbers of people being saved.
And thirdly, there is no fruit of the Spirit.
Where is the fruit? The Toronto people say, “You know it by its fruits.” Jesus never said, “You will know a phenomena by its fruits.” He said you would know a person by their fruits.
They are using a totally unscriptural basis to evaluate this thing in order to justify themselves.
Drunkenness-Not of the Spirit
Nonetheless, let’s look at fruit in Galatians. Paul uses a rabbinic method of argument in Galatians where he talks about the fruit of the Spirit. What he does here is to begin explaining what something is, by first defining what it is not.
Before he speaks about the fruit of the Spirit, he compares it to its opposite; he contrasts the fruit of the Spirit to the deeds of the flesh. In Galatians 5:21, drunkenness is not a fruit of the Spirit, it is a deed of the flesh; it is the diametric opposite of the fruit of the Spirit.
Peter says, Keep sober in spirit (1 Peter 1:13). Be of sober spirit (1 Peter 5:8). Both times the context is spiritual sobriety, not the abuse of alcohol.
A ‘refreshing’? The next thing they’ll tell you is that it is not “revival” but “refreshing”.
They go back to the old “Manifest Sons of God” errors of the fifties, where they take Ezekiel 47 out of its millennial and Hebraic context of the Living Water, and say: “Its up to here, and then here, and then here; and then the revival will come.”
In other words, what they are saying is: “This is a time of refreshing. Once we have been refreshed, we will see the great repentance; we will see people turning from eastern religions, New Age, and drug abuse, and coming to Christ.”
Let’s read Acts 3:19 in its context. First thing about the context is that Peter is talking to non-Christians, telling them they need to be saved.
It is an evangelistic sermon; it is kerygma. So when they use this verse for Christian living, they are taking it out of its context. This is not an instruction to Christians, it is preaching the gospel to the unsaved.
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
Does it say: Have a refreshing and then the repentance will come? Or does it rather say: Repent so that the refreshing will come? Once again, it says the diametric opposite of what they have been telling you.
It doesn’t bother me that so many Pentecostal ministers can’t read Greek or Hebrew; but these clowns can’t even read English!
The Pentecostal ministry has become a haven for people who are unqualified to do anything else. Do you think some of these guys would have the houses and the cars and the world travel if they were not in the ministry?
Look how few have proper degrees. Maybe they have honorary degrees, but very few of them have any real credentials. No, you don’t have to be a scholar or have formal academic qualifications to be a minister, but you need to know what the Word of God says. How could anybody reverse the direct meaning of Acts 3:19?
In his book, Yonggi Cho says: “Your subconscious imagination is your soul.” The Bible doesn’t say that. It says that it is your spirit, your innermost man.
Cho teaches the incubation of ideas: visualize what you want and speak it into being. That is a Man-is-God thing. Cho says Buddhists and Hindus have known this for centuries and now Jesus Christ has shown it to him. This is not Christianity, it is Buddhist shamanism.
Yonggi Cho prophesied falsely during the mid-eighties that a certain big Pentecostal church in Australia was going to have 10,000 people within three years. It didn’t happen. The Bible says that makes him a false prophet.
An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so! (Jeremiah 5:30-31). They would rather follow hype, lies and ear-tickling, than truth.
‘Don’t speak against it’
Then they say: “Don’t speak against it. If it’s not from God it won’t last, and if it is of God it will last and you will be found to be speaking against God.” And they quote rabbi Gamaliel out of context. I’ve been an evangelist to the Jews for nearly twenty years. I can tell you all about the Pharisees and rabbi Gamaliel.
The School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. Gamaliel was from the rabbinic school of Hillel. He was the grandson of the founder of the School of Hillel. We even know who his students were: Onkelos, rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai and rabbi Shaul of Tarsus, better known to some people as Paul the apostle.
We know a lot from the Talmudic literature about rabbi Gamaliel. I debate orthodox rabbis over the Messiahship of Jesus.
Rabbi Gamaliel was not a Christian and never became one. But let’s read the context-Acts 5:34-39: But a certain Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do to these men.”
And he refers here to the prophecy of Isaiah that, before the Messiah came, there would be many false prophets.
“For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody; and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. And he was slain; and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.
After this man Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away some people after him, he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. And so in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action should be of men, it will be over thrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found to be fighting against God.”
So they took his advice, took the apostles outside, flogged them and told them not to preach the gospel any more.
I’ve gotten letters from Pentecostal ministers saying, “You should know better, as an evangelist to the Jews. Look at rabbi Gamaliel’s advice.” And I’ve responded, “What do you want me to do? Take Rodney Howard-Browne outside and flog him?”
Longevity proves nothing
“If these men are not of God, it won’t last.” Where does the Bible say that longevity is the proof of something being from God?
If that is what that means (which is not what Gamaliel is saying at all in context), the Jehovah’s Witnesses must be of God-they’ve been around for over a hundred years; the Mormons must be of God-they’ve been around since the last century; Buddhism and Hinduism must be of God-they’ve been around longer than Christianity. If longevity is the proof, every cult and false religion in the world must be of God.
The real Pharisees
If you say these things to them they say, “You’re a Pharisee!” Let me tell you about the Pharisees. They taught as precepts of God the inventions of men. They took man-made doctrine and tried to give it doctrinal authority. That is what made a Pharisee a Pharisee.
I have a letter from one of these people saying, “I know that what I saw in Toronto was not Biblical, but microwave ovens and toasters are not in the Bible either. They are not wrong, so why should this Toronto phenomena be wrong?”
First of all, microwave ovens and toasters are not doctrine.
1 Corinthians 4:6 teaches that we are not to “exceed what is written”. That is what the Pharisees did.
When you challenge these people for the biblical basis for what they are doing, they have none! They are the ones who are the Pharisees. They are the ones teaching the inventions of men as the precepts of God.
The second thing the Pharisees did was the Letter/Spirit distinction. The Bible says, the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6).
>From the Toronto supporters we hear: “We’ve got the Spirit, you’re into the Letter. You’re Pharisees!”
Notice how these people do it. If they can’t win their case in court based on the evidence, they try to tie it up in legal finagling, with cute points of law that ordinary people cannot understand.
The Hebrew word for “honor”, as in honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12), is kovad which literally means “heavy”.
The spirit of Honor your father and mother is: The same as your parents were legally and financially responsible for you in your infancy, you are legally and financially responsible for them in their old age. It doesn’t simply mean, Respect your parents. It means, they are heavy for you; you have to carry them.
The New Testament teaches that if you ignore your parents in their need, don’t expect to have a long life yourself (Ephesians 6:2-3). That is the spirit of the text.
The Pharisees would say, Anything of mine that you might have been helped by is Corban (that is to say, given to God) (Mark 7:11)-from the Hebrew word for “sacrifice”.
They took the spirit out of the text and played games with the letters. They engaged in legal argumentation over odd points of law in order to pervert the truth to suit whatever arguments they were trying to make-often for the benefit of the person with the greatest financial interest. They were famous for that.
At the close of the Sermon on the Mount, it says that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes (Matthew 7:28-29). In other words, he would not engage in Pharisaical game playing with the words.
These people take the spirit of the text out and play games with the letters. What do they do with Acts 3:19? They say “refreshing” comes first and then “repentance”.
These people are Pharisees because they take the spirit out and play with the letters-they teach as precepts the inventions of men.
Jesus addresses the Pharisees
They called themselves “Pharisees”. Read Matthew 23-Jesus Christ calls them “scum”. Actually, what Jesus said was: Hypocrites... you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men... you devour widow’s houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers... hypocrites... You fools and blind men... hypocrites... You blind guides... hypocrites... inside you are full of robbery and self-indulgence... you are like white-washed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness... you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness... you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?
I have to be careful what I say, I don’t want to get sued! I have to get it exactly right, word for word.
A fish or a snake?
For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he?
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:10-13).
They are using this verse, saying, “We know Toronto is true, because if we ask for a fish, we are not going to get a serpent; if we ask for bread, we are not going to get a stone.”
The typology of the serpent is Satan the deceiver-in Genesis the serpent beguiled the woman; in Revelation the dragon and serpent are cast down to earth.
Look at the context. How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Spirit...
The New Testament teaches two ways of receiving the Spirit: the Holy Spirit indwelling and the Holy Spirit outpoured. As far as the Holy Spirit indwelling goes, that is what happens when you are born again. These people admit that they are born again Christians, so they cannot be talking about receiving the Holy Spirit to be born again-they already say they are born again.
The Holy Spirit outpoured is the Baptism of the Spirit. These people are already Charismatics and Pentecostals, so they are not talking about the Baptism in the Spirit.
I don’t know what they are talking about but, whatever it is, it is not what Jesus was talking about.
They already claim to have received the Spirit, but they have some other spirit now. I wonder what spirit it is?
True, if you ask the Father for a fish, He is not going to give you a snake. But that is the test-If you get a snake, you know it wasn’t God who gave it to you. And, boy, have they got hold of a snake!
Testing the spirits
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world
John Arnott has said, “Toronto is like a flowing stream. Don’t try to test it or discern it. Just jump in, you’ll understand it after you’ve jumped in.” Rodney Howard-Browne says, “Don’t pray. Just accept. Just receive.”
That kind of ‘emptying yourself’ is something Watchman Nee warned about. You find that kind of passivity in Hinduism and Buddhism.
We showed videos of Rodney Howard-Browne to converted Hindus in London. They said, “That’s Bhagwan Rajneesh. That is what we were saved out of.”
Test the spirits. The Toronto people say “Don’t test it”, but God says, “Test it”.
Jesus has come in the flesh
By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of anti-Christ, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).
I heard the tape of Andrew Evans’ sermon on this. Someone rang up Rodney Howard-Browne and asked, “Do you believe that Jesus came in the flesh?” Rodney said, “Yes.” Therefore Andrew Evans says it is from God.
Rodney Howard-Browne says that Jesus came in the flesh. So do Hindus. So do Mormons. So do the cults, they all believe that.
That is not what the Bible says. “Confess.” Testify. Bear witness.
The Holy Spirit points to Jesus
Look at John 14:26 and John 16:14. The Holy Spirit only points people to Jesus, never to Himself. In no place in the Bible is the Holy Spirit ever prayed to, except where He is worshipped in the context of the Tri-unity of the Godhead.
In the Bible they prayed to the Father in the name of the Son through the Spirit, they prayed to Jesus, they prayed to the Father in Jesus’ name, but never is the Holy Spirit prayed to Himself. Never!
It is not His function. He does not work that way within the Trinity. He points people to Jesus. He makes people confess Christ.
What do we have today? Benny Hinn: Good Morning, Holy Spirit-that is not biblical. Holy Spirit, we welcome you-Come Holy Spirit, let your fire fall. I’m sorry, that is not biblical.
A false doctrine of the Holy Spirit will always lead to a false doctrine of Jesus, and vice versa.
Priests of Baal
The priests of Baal didn’t begin by worshipping the pagan Baal, they began by worshipping the Jewish one. Baal is the Hebrew word for “master”, “husband” and “owner”.
Israel was to be the Bride of Yahweh, Yahweh was to be Israel’s Baal-the same as the Church is the Bride of Christ, and Christ is to be the Baal of the Church. It is the same word in Hebrew and Aramaic.
But they were to worship the true Baal on Mt Zion, the “sides of the north”. Instead they worshipped on a Caananite high place, Mt Carmel (where my children were born).
Unbiblical worship. They began by worshipping the true God in an unbiblical way. And another god came in and counterfeited it. Before they knew it, they were worshipping the Caananite Baal (who even called himself Baal Shomayim-’The husband or master of heaven’).
When you begin to worship the true God in an unbiblical way, an alien spirit will counterfeit Him. That is why God gave the Jews such technical detail in the Torah (in Leviticus) for the worship, because the Caananite worship could so easily counterfeit and parallel it.
If you begin worshipping the true God in a wrong way, another spirit will get in. The Toronto stuff is the work of an alien spirit.
The Holy Spirit points people toward confessing Jesus, never Himself-that proves the Toronto spirit is not the real Holy Spirit.
Signs, wonders and miracles
Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?” (Matthew 7:22).
What did Jesus say? “Yeah, you did. Now get lost. I never knew you!”
He didn’t deny that they did the signs and wonders, and He didn’t deny that they did it in His name, but look at it.
Notice the difference between Kenneth Copeland, Morris Cerullo, Rodney Howard-Browne and Jesus: When Jesus healed someone or did a miracle, it was always, “Don’t tell anybody.” He never wanted signs and wonders to eclipse His real message of repentance. He refused to allow those things to take centre-stage.
If He had just put on a show for King Herod, He could have walked free and never been crucified. Herod wanted a show. But Jesus refused to drag His ministry down to the level of Rodney Howard-Browne.
These signs, wonders, manifestations, always bear witness to Jesus only, never to a man. John 5, Hebrews 2, it is always “These signs follow “ The signs are simply subordinate, they are never the issue.
Most of these Toronto people are influenced by the Vineyard theology of John Wimber and Peter Wagner-Power Encounters. “Signs and wonders are the key”, they say. Well, the people in Jesus’ day saw signs and wonders-and a week later they were yelling “Crucify Him!”
The Feast of Hanukah-your Bible translates it as “the Feast of Dedication” -is also the Jewish Feast of Miracles. At Hanukah we say in Hebrew, “A great miracle happened here.” My family celebrates Hanukah.
It was during Hanukah that Jesus said, “I showed you many good works from the father; for which of them are you stoning me?” (John 10:32).
The Bible never says signs and wonders are the key; it says signs and wonders follow. They only bear witness to Him and they follow. He never allowed them to be central.
What Jesus did say about signs and wonders was this: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign” (Matthew 16:4).
I have seen posters and leaflets and adverts in Pentecostal magazines saying “Signs and Wonders Crusade-Rodney Howard-Browne”. Jesus said that is wickedness and adultery!
And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister as priests to Me. And you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, “This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. It shall not be poured on anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it, in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be... holy to you. Whoever shall mix any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a layman, shall be cut off from his people.” (Exodus 30:30).
Different liquids typify the Holy Spirit in different aspects of His ministry and being. The living water is the Spirit outpoured in John 7:38-39 and Isaiah 44:3. The new wine is the Holy Spirit in Worship-Isaiah 24. In Exodus 30, He is called shemen-oil, the anointing of the Spirit.
Notice how the Toronto people always say: “Get IT; get IT.” No, the Holy Spirit is not an “it”, He is a “He”! I don’t want “it”, I want Him.
The same with the Jehovah’s Witnesses-they have a false Christology and a false Pneumatology, a denigration of the Holy Spirit. Can you blaspheme an “it”? Can you grieve an “it”? Well don’t call the anointing of the Spirit an “it”, it’s a “Him”.
The Bible says if you make any anointing oil like it, that is an abomination; you will be cut off from your people; it is holy unto you. The literal Hebrew is that your anointing is set apart by God unto you. That’s what “holy unto you” means.
Elisha asked for the mantle of Elijah. Elijah said, “I can’t give that to you. When I’m raptured in the chariot, if it falls from heaven and God gives it to you, you can have it, but it’s not mine to give.”
It is an abomination to pass on your anointing, even assuming it was real, which is another big question with these guys.
These people who are getting on aeroplanes to go to Toronto are seeking to get something that God says is an abomination.
Not only that, but before Jesus was anointed for dominion, He was anointed for burial. The real proof of anointing is a crucified life.
What was Paul’s proof of his calling as an apostle? Was it the churches he planted? No. Was it miracles he did? (And he did real miracles. A lot of the stuff you see today is bogus.) No. Was it the healings? No. Was it the fact that he raised someone from the dead? No. Was it the fact that God used him to write so much of the New Testament? No. Was it all the people who were saved through his preaching? No. None of that was the proof of his anointing.
Read Galatians 6:17, From now on, let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. The proof of Paul’s anointing was a crucified life.
Read the real proof of an apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13, someone who lays his life down for the sheep, who was willing to suffer, who was willing to be impoverished if necessary. It was not a $1,000 a night room in the Hyatt and a chauffeur-driven limousine. That is the world’s proof, it is not God’s proof.
Whose anointing do you want? The anointing from God is something He has set apart for you.
‘Be sober in all things’
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
[Notice how Paul and Jesus were very patient with people who were being misled, but very impatient with those who were doing the misleading.]
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves [Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Rodney Howard-Browne] teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you [don’t be like that, but] be sober (2 Timothy 4:2-5).
The Word of God tells us to be the opposite of what they are saying now.
The context of this is eschatological, it is about the last days. You have no chapter divisions in the Greek text. Look at 2 Timothy 3:8. Who are these deceivers going to be like? And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected as regards the faith.
Who were “Jannes and Jambres”? Pharoah’s magicians. What did they do? Signs and wonders!
What did Jesus say to look out for in the last days? Not just earthquakes, famines, wars. Four times He refers to deception in the Church.
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect (Matthew 24:24).
These “false Christs” in the Greek are anti-christs, that is (literally) someone with a false anointing.
False teachers-those who teach false doctrines, false prophets-those who predict things that don’t happen, and false Christs-people with a false anointing, will show great signs and wonders in order to mislead, if possible, the elect.
How will Satan try to deceive Christians in the last days? Through signs and wonders.
Toronto = Judgment from God
...the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
If Christians don’t love the truth, it means that they really don’t love Jesus. Therefore God Himself will deceive them.
The context of this passage in Thessalonians is talking to Christians, it is talking about what is known in Greek as the apostasia, the great falling away.
Toronto is not simply a deception: it is a judgment from God on those who do not love the truth.
Nothing to laugh about
Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:4).
This is probably the best picture we have of revival in the Tenach (the Old Testament).
With New Age/Eastern religions taking over the Protestant democracies, homosexuality being taught as sexually normative to little children in schools, church attendance plummeting, I know what we have to weep about. I don’t know what we have to laugh about. I know what the devil has to laugh about-he is laughing at us, and, frankly, I don’t blame him. But I don’t know what we have to laugh about.
Real revival, the real power-of-God revival, the stuff that these clowns cannot deliver-that they know they cannot deliver-always begins with people weeping, not with people laughing.
Copywrite Jacob Prasch, 1996
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