I have realised since the early days of the Toronto Blessing that the leaders of these kinds of ‘revival’ meetings are employing a manipulative trick which I like to call ‘authenticators’.
This is the spiel they use at the start of a meeting to pull people in and apparantly authenticate their ministry or behaviours so that the once sceptic is deceived.
About 6 months ago my family were looking for a church in our new town. We were going to a large one and were quite pleased as there were lots of youth of the age of our children. However every week there were some toronto-type manifestations. After about 2 months there was one meeting where many people were doing these dodgy things such as animal noises etc
We invited the Pastor to our house and began to talk to him about our concerns. He acknowledged that some of these are fleshy and some demonic but he also seemed to think some were evidence of a work of repentence.
He told us this story
“In the 1990s I was sceptical about Toronto so i went there”. In my first meeting John Arnhot said to all the Pastors who had come ‘You and I all know that what we see here is wrong, but look at the lengths these people are prepared to go to to meet with the Lord. What are you prepared to do to meet with Him here?’ Immediately (the Pastor continued)I knew that John Arnhot was right, not long after the Lord began dealing with me”
The Pastor put away his concerns and these things also began to happen to him.
Another church leader in a different place once said that he had been at a similar meeting and then heard the leader say “Never mind what others are doing, the Lord wants to deal with the critical spirit within you!”
Do you begin to see what I mean about authenticators? Clever devices for getting you to lay aside your concerns.
Ok heres another one………
Statistics of apparent fruit.
The Lord showed me something in a dream. There was a revival where all our loved ones were. All of them were lining up to go down an aisle to where the minister was laying hands on people. The minister was in darkness. My family were in the line and I was trying to get them out. Then out of nowhere a friend from our past appeared. He had always struggled with homosexual tendencies and had often backslidden in his faith. He was always full of shame and regret. He had become part of our family life in the 1990s and enjoyed hanging out with us and our children. However after a year or so he disappeared. We tried to find him for a few months and then stopped. His name was really distinctive so we could probably have succeeded in finding him if we had continued to look. Anyway in the dream he told me “Look I am back at church. I am free from homosexuality and I am happily married” My instant thought in my dream was that this was enough to authenticate the ministry; because my friend was coming to church and no longer struggling with his past!
When I awoke and spent time in prayer and the Word it became obvious that something like that would not be enough (although great) to make us submit to this ‘laying on of hands’ at the revival meeting. Suddenly I understood that there will always be a pull or authenticator like this. Maybe even something as strong as someone who has slipped through your net apparantly saved and delivered!
Watch out I say. Some could even employ familiar spirits to hit that one issue squarely on the head.