Volume Two, Issue Six

Volume Two, Issue Six

Dear All,

The feature article of this issue is a paper by Dr. Orrel Steinkamp,
published in his excellent newsletter called "The Plumbline" available
by writing: Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, 74425 County Rd. 21, Renville, MN

This attached article can also be accessed by browsing to:


Be sure to read the statement at the end of the article by the General
Council of the Assemblies of God, circa 1993, pre-Brownsville.  It seems
they had it right in 1993.

Why do we keep publishing information about Brownsville?  Because it
keeps coming back in various forms such as "Youth Alive" and through
various churches that have "jumped in the river".  If you have been
confronted with the attempts at intimidation detailed in this article,
hopefully it will give you the confidence to be a Berean in your church
and in your community, standing against the outright attacks on "sola
scriptura" coming out of the Third Wave "river".

In Christ,

How to Bully the Bereans
The Plumbline, 12/98
Vol. 3, No. 4
by Dr. Orrel Steinkamp

It is amazing to observe the wordsmithing and spin that is being put forth
to blunt the obviously distasteful and extra-biblical character of the
manifestations related to the current “River of Revival” that continues to
spill out from Toronto/Brownsville Assembly of God (hereafter BAG).  Words
are sliced and diced in a desperate attempt to legitimate the uncontrolled
and spastic manifestations that are the unique feature of this movement
without which it would die a quick and natural death.  A combination of
“fruit-proof” and intimidation is used to silence those who would offer
words of caution and concern.

Don Nori (publisher of Destiny Image, the only purely Latter Rain publishing
House) writes:

“It is amazing that when a portal is finally discovered, a portal that opens
eternity in an enormous flood of God’s true presence … Men are quick to
condemn, criticize and accuse” 1

Nori’s term “portal” in reference to God’s true presence suggests that He
sees the current “move” as an opening that has been punched through into the
heavens and now finally men can actually find God’s true presence.  Nori
apparently believes God has been waiting till now for men to “tunnel
through” so that He can pour out the river of His real presence upon His

After citing a quote from the New York Times stating that Brownsville and
similar places are good for America, Nori makes the following comment:

“It seems the secular media is more willing to see God do the miraculous
than our religious brethren.  Could it be that these brethren reject
fruit-proof because there is no confirming fruit proof in their own
ministries?” 2

The First Line Of Defense

In this quote Nori has just introduced us to the first line of defense for
the bizarre physical manifestations that mark the “River of God" movement.
References to sudden life changes within a general Christian setting called
“fruit-proof” are enlisted to prove that bizarre manifestations are from God
even though they have no reference point in Scripture.  Most of us are well
aware of what these manifestations are and I won’t describe them here.  It
is best to simply affirm that these uncontrollable paroxysms are beyond the
boundaries of a biblical description of Christian spirituality.  Many in the
movement simply say this is a new movement of God which consequently needs
no biblical validation and “fruit-proof” is all anyone should need.

This defense says simply “It must be God since it brought me closer to God”
or “It made me love Jesus more”.  Fruit-proof however as stated proves too
much.  The apparitions of Mary apparently bring people closer to God and
Jesus as well and produce profound life changes that appear to be related to

Fruit-proof actually carries some postmodern overtones.  The old paradigm
taught that if you have the right teaching you will experience God
correctly, whereas the new paradigm teaches that if you have an experience
that proves you have the right teaching.  The inner logic goes something
like this:  uncontrollable physical manifestations are observed and appear
supernatural.  If you have any doubts Steve Hill will point to a convulsing
child and authoritatively exclaim “this is God”.  This then generates the
desire to experience the manifestation lest they miss God.  With desire and
expectation the devotee enters the experiential mode.  Proof of the validity
of the experience is in the successful experience itself.  (Some do not
succeed and feel that God has for some reason rejected them).  By this
circular reasoning questions are effectively silenced.  Because of the
dramatic nature of the experiences it is not surprising that a fixation
occurs and leads to a change of thinking and life style.  Because these
experiences are in a broadly Christian setting it is then assumed they must
be Christian in nature and source.

What would be your response to the following description of revival?

“One crippled woman arose and walked, instantly healed.  Another who had
been in bed for four years with palsy was restored to health … A child who
was suffering from brain fever and was given up to die by the physicians,
was healed and after a few hours was playing about the floor … Others were
baptized that day” 3

The fruit-proof in this account seems undeniable, but the evangelist in this
meeting was one of the early pioneers of the Mormon Church, the same church
that teaches that people can become gods just as God Himself became God and
believers can and do procreate new gods eternally.  I am not suggesting the
Toronto/BAG enthusiasts teach any such thing but it does show that good
fruit by itself does not demonstrate in and of itself the source of
perceived miracles.  Indeed Jesus did say that his disciples would be known
by their fruit (see Jn. 15:8) but Jesus also prayed “sanctify them in truth,
thy word is truth (Jn. 17:17)

The Second Line of Offence

Competitive sportsmen are well aware that the best defense is a good
offence.  Intimidate your opponent with an effective attack in order to
neutralize the enemy’s advantage.  Steve Hill and Michael Brown of BAG have
learned not only the defense of fruit-proof but the attack of intimidation
to silence those who ask them to explain biblically the bizarre
manifestations which both occur regularly and are promoted as signs of a new
and endtime anointing.  Hill’s first offensive play from scrimmage is the
“God Mocker”.  In his book bearing that title he states:

“God Mockers scoff and hold in contempt everything they don’t approve of.
The second mark of a God Mocker is a fear of confrontation and change.  They
are so stuck in religious tradition that they are closed to a new revelation
… God Mockers have much to fear.  God will recall every curse uttered
against His revival.  He will repay every blasphemy whispered … He will
remember every word spoken against the weary pastors … God Mockers have
disturbed and confused this country … We normally never give the time of day
to critics and accusers … The bible says touch not God’s anointed, and do my
prophets no harm (Ps. 105-15).  That’s a deadly warning to every God Mocker
on this planet … Be careful God Mocker!  Do you know who you are messing
with? … You are messing with God Almighty.  When He moves, you had better
back off.” 4

Michael Brown, not to be outdone by Hill’s God Mocker attack, pulls out of
his playbook the well-used "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" ploy.  Michael
Brown writes:

“Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  It is a terrifying sin, a horrible sin, a
sin of disastrous consequences.  It is the only sin specifically described
in the Bible as unforgivable.  Just the thought of it is enough to send
spiritual chills down your spine … Are you totally and absolutely sure that
you are right in attacking the current revival?  Are you willing to wage
your salvation on the fact that you are correct? 5

But Brown after issuing this chilling warning rushes to say:

“But first I want to make something perfectly clear:  I am not saying for a
moment that the Christian brothers and sisters who attack the current
outpouring are guilty of blaspheming the Spirit” 6

This is like crying fire in a theatre and then saying you didn’t mean it.
He delivers the attack and then runs for cover knowing that the missile has
already been fired.  If Brown truly believed his critics were not in danger
of the unpardonable sin, why even put it in print in the first place, unless
of course you want to deliver the scare in the first place.

Imagine with me for a moment the Apostle Paul arriving in Berea and there he
finds some that insist his message pass muster as found in Scripture.
Imagine Paul, touting apostolic authority, lashing out against them, calling
them God Mockers and in danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit simply because
they checked him out with the Holy Scripture.  Paul was an inspired Spirit
anointed Apostle (somewhat outranking current revivalists) but he never
stooped to such crass spiritual intimidation tactics.  Brown moves on to
shame those who will not accept his views.  He states:

“Of course – how pathetic!  The critics continue to raise their voices and
attack those things of which they are ignorant.  But what would revival be
like without the critics?  (That’s similar to asking what the Gospels would
be without the Pharisees.) … What would you expect?  Birds fly, fish swim,
liars lie, and critics criticize.” 7

Well, noble Bereans!  Apparently Paul was wrong for commending you for your
biblical faithfulness.  You are really pathetic ignorant Pharisees.

These are only a sampling of Brown's invectives.  He presumes that his
critics are ignorant of exactly what the movement entails and don’t know
what we are talking about.  The truth is the critics are well informed and
their reporting is hitting home.  He further would have his readers assume
that his critics are opposed to revival in general, which simply is not
true.  Even though Brown claims that BAG is willing to accept constructive
criticism, it is obvious that BAG is willing to do so only if people embrace
the movement as an authentic revival.  If we question whether BAG is a
heaven sent revival, Brown maintains we are foolish, pathetic, prideful,
ignorant, self-appointed rumormongers.

The Final Line of Defense

If fruit-proof and intimidation will not silence the critics, then there is
new revelation from God to endorse the current move.  Steve Hill made this
very plain:

“They (the Godmocking critics) are so stuck in religious tradition that they
are closed to new revelation …” 8

What is this “new revelation” to which Hill appeals?  He doesn’t exactly
tell us, but somehow the “new revelation” to which he refers, must be for
him a reason for accepting this new anointing as from God.  While the
promoters of this new move give lip service to the authority of scripture,
this whole “New Anointing/River of God” is in the final analysis, based on
new revelation beyond Scripture.  For example, when suddenly Pastor
Kilpatrick feels what he perceives to be the glory of God coming up his
ankles and proclaims that this is the coming of God’s glory, this by
definition becomes a new revelation.  Either this revelation is true or
false.  We are left of agree or disagree with this new revelation with no
assurance from scripture.  If Kilpatrick’s revelation which he feels is the
coming of God’s glory is really from God, then we are compelled to receive
it.  However, if it is not from God, we must reject it or risk deception.
The Apostle Paul who endorsed the spiritual gifts at Corinth also warned
them “Don’t go beyond what is written” (1 Cor. 4:6) and suggested that those
who go beyond what is written become “puffed up one against the other” (1
Cor. 4:6).  Consequently, those who go beyond what is written move into
spiritual pride claiming an anointing which is not biblical and which some
believers do not have.  Thus believers are divided into those who have and
those who do not, and those who have must impart it to those who do not have


Commonly, people make threatening statements when they feel unsure of
themselves.  Secure people often are not aroused by questions and don’t
bother to answer their critics.  But when you know you are on shaky ground
(no pun intended) and your teaching and practice have no biblical support,
there is the temptation to divert attention from this by appealing to God to
rain down fire from heaven upon your questioners.  Any legitimate “Move of
God” will easily withstand careful biblical scrutiny.  Secure and godly men
welcome and invite any biblical concerns about their ministry and teaching.
When the leaders of Toronto/BAG begin to intimidate and put on notice those
who raise questions, calling them God Mockers and ignorant Pharisees, it
only suggests the deep spiritual insecurities they apparently have.  Paul
did not call the Bereans names for searching the Scriptures daily to see if
what he preached was so.  Rather, he commended them by calling them
“nobleminded” (Acts 17:11).

Is it not paradoxical that those who threaten today’s Bereans with God’s
judgement and retribution seem to have no concern when they level
deprecating invectives against those who do no agree with them?

Ultimately the truth of Scripture is based on the infallible character of
the God of truth.   Conversely, bizarre extra-biblical experiences and new
revelations not even hinted at in Scripture, are based solely on fallible
men and women.  These extra-biblical altered states of consciousness and new
revelations are at best questionable.

Are you willing to trade the sure word of Scripture for the sinking sands of
potentially unreliable men?  In the end, the validity of any spirituality is
whether it’s source is from God rather than from man.  God’s Word endorses
itself for it is God’s infallible truth.  It can hardly be stated better
than the report of the Spiritual Life Committee in Minutes, Revised
Constitution and Bylaws of the General Council of the Assemblies of God of
1993, which asserts:

“We believe that God’s Spirit never goes where His Word does not … We have
been lambasted by elements of the electronic church and charismatic renewal
as being backslidden and non Spirit led when we have not jumped on popular
band wagons of the day loaded with the meringue of personality and spiritual
excess rather than the plain meat of God’s Word.  So be it!!  If criticism
is the price we must pay for asking the question: “What saith the Lord in
His written Word?” - then let us wear that criticism gladly as a sign of
fidelity to Christ.”

1 – Don Nori, “Portal in Pensacola” Destiny Image Prophetic Digest,
Shippensburg, PA, 1997
2– Don Nori, “The Plumbline: Fruit-Proof”, Destiny Image Digest, summer 1997
3 – Inez Smith Davis, The Story of the Church, Herald Publish House,
Independence, MO, 1943, pp. 230-232
4 – Steve Hill, The God Mockers, Destiny Image’s Revival Press, P.O. Box
310, Shippenburg, PA, 1996, chapter one.
5 – Michael Brown, Let Not Man Deceive You, Destiny Image’s Prophetic Press,
Shippenburg, PA, pp. 13-14
6 – Ibid, pp. 19-20
7 – Michael Brown, Destiny Image Prophetic Digest, “Testimonies Pour In”.
Winter 1997
8 – Steve Hill, The God Mockers, Destiny Image’s revival Press, P.O. Box
3190, Shippenburg, PA, chapter one.