The New “Revivals” and a Warning…

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I mentioned last week that Todd Bentley was once again talking about revival, this time at Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries, and as an extension of the “revival” happening at Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer. The juxtaposition of Bentley (plus his mentor, Bob Jones) , Joyner, and Bickle should give us all pause. It’s the old Kansas City prophets group that John Wimber rebuked—but with a new poster boy.

The following has been posted elsewhere by Christians who long for genuine revival and who support the genuine charismata. All of us are concerned that the real presence of God that comes through the baptism of the Holy Spirit is increasingly mimicked in charismatic circles by “something other.” The fruit of the modern charismatic/prophetic movement has been increasingly rotten, and people who are concerned need to test the spirits, rise up, get out, and speak out.

This is hard for me because I have many friends involved in groups that stream from or into what used to be the fringes, but is now the mainstream, of the charismatic/prophetic movement. The unwillingness of the movement as a whole to test all things sold as “of the Holy Spirit” (when even the most simple discernment tests fail) leads me, more than ever, to believe that the words of Jesus questioning whether He will find faith when He returns are the most prophetic, and frightening, words of all.

Andrew Strom, a former name in the prophetic movement, dropped out of the movement back in 2004 after coming to grips with the rotten fruit he was seeing and how what was being pitched as revival did not square with historic interpretations by great Christians of the past who viewed genuine revival. His warning has been making the Web rounds, and I reproduce it here.

Stay sober and awake.

KUNDALINI WARNING by Andrew Strom

I just saw the video of Rick Joyner announcing that Todd Bentley is back ministering every night at Morningstar in North Carolina and now they have so-called “revival” manifestations eerily similar to Lakeland. They also announced that they are streaming these big meetings every night on their new TV channel – and they are greatly promoting the whole thing.

Now I am a tongues-speaking Pentecostal myself – but can I ask a simple question here please? What kind of “spirit” was it operating in the Lakeland revival – when the leader and main focal-point of the meetings (Todd Bentley) was having an adulterous affair behind the scenes? Was it truly the “Holy” Spirit that was anointing something so sensual and unholy? And now that Todd divorced his wife and married his mistress – are we supposed to welcome him back and this “anointing” with him? What is going on here? Rick Joyner has been warned very specifically by high-level ministries not to do what he is doing now – bringing Todd Bentley back into the limelight. And yet it seems he does not care. Apparently the “manifestations” are all that matter.

So what exactly are these ‘manifestations’ if they are seemingly at home in such an unholy environment? Are they from God at all? (I am talking here about the violent “jerking”, uncontrollable laughter, bodily contortions, drunkenness, ‘portals’, strange “angel” encounters, etc.) Why do we not see such an ‘anointing’ in the Bible? Why aren’t Jesus or the apostles promoting these manifestations if they really are true Revival? Why instead do we see these things all the way through the New Age and Hinduism, etc? Do we not realize that many false religions have their own version of “laying on of hands” that results in these very types of manifestations? This ’spirit’ is not in the Bible – but it is all the way through Kundalini-type Hinduism! Don’t you think this should alarm us?

WHAT is KUNDALINI?

If you search for Kundalini and Shakti on the Internet, you will find that multitudes of people in the New Age and Eastern religions still experience these powerful manifestations. Often this is with the help of a Guru, who touches them on the forehead so that they can experience a “Kundalini Awakening”.

As researcher Robert Walker wrote in 1995:

“The meetings which mystic Hindu gurus hold are called ‘Darshan’. At these meetings devotees go forward to receive spiritual experience from a touch by the open palm of the hand, often to the forehead, by the guru in what is known as the Shakti Pat or divine touch. The raising of the spiritual experience is called raising Kundalini? After a period when the devotee has reached a certain spiritual elevation they begin to shake, jerk, or hop or squirm uncontrollably, sometimes breaking into uncontrolled animal noises or laughter as they reach an ecstatic high. These manifestations are called ‘Kriyas’. Devotees sometimes roar like lions and show all kinds of physical signs during this period. Often devotees move on to higher states of spiritual consciousness and become inert physically and appear to slip into an unconsciousness…”

And as the guru Shri Yogãnandji Mahãrãja wrote: “When Your body begins trembling, hair stands on roots, you laugh or begin to weep without your wishing, your tongue begins to utter deformed sounds, you are filled with fear or see frightening visions? the Kundalini Shakti has become active.”

In China there is a popular Kundalini-type movement called ‘Qigong’. When a Chinese Qigong spiritual master spoke in the USA in 1991, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that many in the crowd began to experience “spontaneous movements”. The master told his audience, “Those who are sensitive might start having some strong physical sensations – or start laughing or crying. Don’t worry. This is quite normal.”

When you see videos of these “kriyas” or other Kundalini-type manifestations, you would often swear that you are watching a modern “Impartation”-type church meeting. (And I say this as someone who believes strongly in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I just don’t believe in “alien” anointings infiltrating the Body of Christ! There is a big difference between Kundalini and the real Holy Spirit).

Since 1993-4, I believe a foreign spirit has been allowed to invade the church – first through Rodney Howard-Browne’s ministry – then Toronto, then the Prophetic movement (which I was part of at the time) and on into Lakeland and many other ministries and movements. I urge people now to “test the spirits” just as we are commanded to in Scripture. Do not let just anyone lay hands on you. This is a powerful spirit and it has the backing of a lot of big-name ministries. In fact, these men and women are the very ones responsible for allowing it to spread right through the body of Christ. And one day they will be answerable to God for doing so.

We are specifically warned in the Bible that the Last Days will be a time of “seducing spirits,” false prophets, ‘lying signs and wonders,’ and that we always need to watch for “angels of light” masquerading as the real thing. Why does the modern church not take these warnings seriously? Aren’t we living in the very days that the Bible warns about?

Right now I need to do something that I have never done in such a way before. I have never before published a list of ministries or movements to watch out for. But this time I have to. This sickness has gone on long enough. I urge you to cut yourself off from the following ministries and their tainted “anointings” my friends. Even though some of these people say “good things” at times, it is simply not worth having any involvement with them due to the tainted anointing that they endorse or minister in themselves. Here is the list-

(1) Todd Bentley.

(2) Rodney Howard Browne – the so-called “Holy Ghost Bartender.”

(2) Rick Joyner or anyone connected with Morningstar Ministries.

(3) John Arnott & any connected with TACF (The “Toronto Blessing”).

(4) Peter Wagner of the ‘New Apostolic Reformation’ who claims to be head of a worldwide network of ‘apostles’ – who publicly endorsed Lakeland and will soon preach at Toronto TACF alongside other “false anointing” advocates.

(5) Mike Bickle and IHOP Kansas City (-I lived nearby for over two years – and know how much they are into all this stuff. Mike Bickle promotes it in his book).

(6) Bob Jones – the Kansas City prophet whose ministry is utterly tainted by it all.

(7) Patricia King and anyone else from ‘Extreme Prophetic.’

(8) John Crowder & anyone connected with “Sloshfest.”

(9) Bill Johnson of Bethel church, Redding – who says some good things but publicly endorsed Lakeland and promotes the “false anointing” very strongly behind the scenes.

(10) Heidi & Rolland Baker of IRIS Ministries – who do good work amongst the poor in Mozambique – but who have also carried and promoted this tainted anointing for years.

(11) Randy Clark, Wes & Stacey Campbell, and other key figures from the “Toronto blessing.”

(12) The Elijah List – and almost anyone featured on it.

Of course there are a huge number of lesser-known preachers and ministries who carry or endorse this Kundalini-type “anointing” around the world. But I have concentrated here on the most influential that I know of. It really is an enormous issue in the church. I urge anyone who is a supporter of any of the above ministries to really check them out thoroughly. If you find (as I have) that they carry or endorse this false Kundalini spirit in the church, then please stop supporting them in any way – and whatever you do, don’t let them “lay hands” on you!

I am putting everything on the line to be “naming names” like this. But I believe it is that serious. How on earth did we get to the point where “kriyas” just like Hinduism are spreading through the church?

68 thoughts on “The New “Revivals” and a Warning…

  1. Dan, I hate to see you going even further in this direction. It’s utter rot. 🙁

    The fact that *false* signs and wonders do exist does not make all signs and wonders false. The pharisees tried that route. It didn’t work out so well for them, and it’s not going to work out so well for people in modern times either.

    Let me just start by saying that if Strom and his ilk ever met kundalini, they wouldn’t cry out against it. They’d wet their pants and run like little schoolgirls who saw a shadow move in the dark.

    • Kathi,

      In the last dozen years, I have seen the charismatic/prophetic movement stray farther and farther from the Gospel. Virtually no one within the movement is calling it back.

      I’ve been a part of this for more than 25 years now. I have a good idea what’s true and what’s false. Of what I see out there today, the overwhelming majority of it is false. That’s a lot of false. I’ve seen true. I know what true looks like. True passes the test. Most of what is out there in the charismatic/prophetic movement is simply not true.

      When the Holy Spirit falls, the first things He brings are brokenness, humility, and repentance. You see almost none of that in modern revivals.

      • inluvwithJesus

        I just left the MorningStar church, it was our home church for 8 mos. and I am very sorry to say that me and my family were victims of this. Praise the Lord he delivered us from this deception and showed us the truth. After receiving the “glory”, I could not read my bible or think clearly. I would feel mental interference when I tried to teach the Word to my children or care for them during the day. God delivered this off of me when I renounced involvement, and I am grateful for a fresh beginning. I would strongly urge you to take this to the Lord in prayer, before trusting man.

    • Kathi,

      I want to add one last thing.

      A “miracle” can separate someone from God for eternity. If a miraculous healing or word sets someone on a course that leads him or her away the foot of the cross and from repentance, then that person may be “believing” in vain.

      The road to destruction is littered with the souls of people who “got their miracle,” but who never truly bowed the knee to Jesus. If a person receives a solid gold crown, it matters whether it came from the king himself or from a pawn shop. If the king gave it, it remains. But if it came from the pawn shop, the cops may want it back, as it came from a thief.

      • Ronni Hall

        Matthew 7:22 (New King James Version)

        22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

        Or NIV which states it pretty plainly…

        Matthew 7:22 (New International Version)

        22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’

        and what is His response?

        Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

        Read from verse 15 to 23…

    • Hans

      The point is that discernment is required, yet the problem is that on our own we don’t have it. I’ve come to realize the key is what are people truly seeking ? If they are seeking and worshiping the manifestations, ( and their own egos ) they are open to the counterfeit and if one is genuinely seeking the Father the manifestation will be of the Holy Spirit. And I’ve seen both take place in the same gathering

    • Sulan

      Brain, I am always testing what folks stand in the pulpit and say, and lots of folks follow them, but I have to be faithful to what the Word says — no matter whether they accept it or me or not.

      A lot of people follow these false teachers, as it becomes a no responsibility salvation. That is scarey to me.

  2. David

    How did we get this far indeed. Test, test, test. If even one thing is false, it is not of the Spirit. There is no fence to sit on. More depends on this than we can possibly imagine.

    • David,

      The passage that gets me is “…while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)

      Aren’t the whole mess and the people associated with it doing just that? Each “revival” seems to be a bigger fiasco than the one that preceded it. Bad to worse, indeed.

      • David

        I think one of the key words in this is “deceived”. People are desperate for signs and miracles. They want, more than anything, to see God. That He is acting and moving in their everyday life is missed completely, they want to see “proof” of the supernatural.

        I think we’ve moved from the over-intellectualization that C.S. Lewis bemoaned in “Men Without Chests” and swung to the other end of the spectrum; the over-emotionalization of the gospel. The “If it feels good, do it” culture of the 70’s has been adopted by the Christian community.

        While it’s nothing new, that doesn’t mean we mustn’t be on guard against it.

        One thing that does need to be emphasized, though, and that is to follow the example of Jesus and His disciples, which is being careful to show grace and love to the deceived, but no mercy to the deceivers.

        • David,

          We in the American Church seem to live at the ends of the pendulum arc, don’t we?

          I am conflicted about showing no mercy to deceivers, as deceivers don’t always start out that way, so one hopes they don’t end up that way. The problem is that so few change their tunes unless absolutely destroyed (e.g., Jim Bakker). The recidivism rate for ministers gone awry is far too high, especially when their “restoration” processes are interrupted or hijacked (e.g., Bentley, Haggard). It makes one wonder just whose camp they were in to start with. You can’t restore what was never right to begin with.

          • David

            I think that the fact that the deceived go from bad to worse; from merely believing a lie to deceiving others into believing that same lie, is a result of our unwillingness to confront in love. “You have redeemed your brother” Christ said in Matthew 18, if we catch the problem early on. We lose our brother if we rationalize, or mistake lack of conviction for love. Christ was blunt: “Sin no more”. We temporize and say “we all make mistakes.”

            I’m curious about this “restoration process”, though, which I see no where in the Bible. Why do we think that someone with “gifts” should get a free pass? Sin is forgiven, but it still has consequences.

  3. The similarities between what happens in these Christian ministries and in Kundalini meetings seem frightening. However, I’m not sure that ought to be a smoking gun. I don’t think one can judge based totally on similarities.

    For me, I’m cautious, but open. One thing I’ve never heard critics appeal to is the fruit of the revival or the ministries. What happens to these people who have such experiences? A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. If these people end up loving Jesus more, then it can’t be an evil spirit working.

    I know during the Toronto Blessing, many lives were transformed for the better. Wounds and hurts healed. A lot of emotional/spiritual healing going on. The devil wouldn’t do that. I think I am/was more open to Toronto and to Bill Johnson’s ministry because I do see good fruits. That is important. We don’t have to accept everything about any ministry because God ultimately works through imperfect people.

    • Stillhaventfound,

      Here’s why I am not convinced of the fruit:

      Too many of these ministries no longer preach the genuine Gospel. Their evangelists don’t really know how to lead people to Christ. They make “converts,” but are those converts truly converted to Jesus, or have they been converted to the lifestyle of charismania? And honestly, just how evangelistic IS the charismatic movement? Helping to bring people to repentance and salvation seems to be low on the agenda, yet that’s the whole point!

      One of the saddest things I have witnessed in my time in the charismatic movement is that many of the people who have been burned the most by it keep going back. They lose the ability to distinguish good stuff from bad stuff. After awhile, it all blurs together for them. They get a hundred bogus words spoken over them, but each one is the one that is going to do it for them this time. And should a word somehow resonate and show some lasting legs, all the bogus ones are forgotten as if they had never been given—until that latest “sure” word blows up, too.

      I’ve seen that a million times. I’m tired of seeing it. I am so sad for people who follow these modern prophets around, waiting on their every word, shelling out more cash for the latest book/tape/conference, and yet the neighbor who is hungry is not fed and the little one who wants someone to tell her about the grace of Jesus goes unheard.

      • Hi Dan,

        Thanks for your reply. When I meant fruit, I meant changed lives. Again, my point was that people’s lives are changed and if Jesus is glorified in the meetings (at least when I hear people praising Jesus and the leaders exalting Jesus), I don’t think it’s of the devil.

        I’m not about to defend all the names mentioned above. I’ve read many of Bill Johnson’s stuff and I’ve benefited a lot from his works and his ministry. I wouldn’t wanna defend the others – I’ve been to a few meetings with Rodney Howard-Brown during the Toronto Blessing days. I’ve been to John Arnott’s church when the TB days were over. I’ve been to a few of Heidi Baker’s meetings – the last one being 6 and 8 days ago. I’m not really into IHOP and Mike Bickle or Rick Joyner’s stuff. I’m cautious about passing judgement on any of their ministries. But I’m also not crazy about what i know of them.

        Is there deception in their ministries? I’m sure. Just as there is deception in other ways in perhaps everyone’s ministry. We’re all imperfect.

        I’m big on the gospel. My pastor has an international ministry focused on the gospel of grace. He’s charismatic and believes in the gifts and all, but his ministry is very different from the people above.

        I like ministries focused on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The focus should be on Christ – not the Spirit or anything else. The Spirit ought to glorify and bring attention to Jesus. And yes, perhaps many of the ministries above don’t have the gospel as central as my church or as I’d like to see it. But I wouldn’t say that another spirit is involved as if their whole ministries are demonic. They need to get their focus right, but I wouldn’t go beyond that and say that another spirit is involved.

        If they go so far as to deny Jesus is God and Lord, then another spirit is involved. But I don’t think that’s the case. They still exalt Jesus, just that they should probably put Jesus and the gospel as more central than they do. But there are also many conservative churches too that focus on other things but the gospel. And it shouldn’t be done that way, but I wouldn’t say that all these churches are totally demonic or a demonic spirit is at work, as if they are totally dangerous.

        I believe these people are still children of God and they may lack in some areas, but they probably have lots to teach us in other areas.

        I don’t believe the above people are beyond criticism, but I certainly would be careful in being too judgmental or too sure of one’s judgment. That can be a deception in itself.

        I may disagree with a lot of things in the above people’s ministry (and I do), but I am not about to go as far as some people have in condemning their ministries or saying (or hinting/implying) everything in their ministry is demonic.

        • Sulan

          When you know closely some folks who finally left one of these churches, and their first question or statement to you is, “I have to find a church, or I won’t know what to do, where to go and how to act.”

          This was my friend, who has served God longer than me, and that was scarey to me. And sad. Any folks who tend to think for themselves is not wanted.

          A long time ago, in the Charismatic Church I belonged to, there was a big split — 1/2 the church went into ‘discipleship’ and the other half stayed where they were.

          This was devastating to me, as all these folks were my brothers and sisters in Christ. I don’t know that it was said out loud, but the thought was that those who stayed could no longer associate with them, as they were in the wrong. I was always in trouble for breaking this unspoken rule.

          I had been very close to a lot of these folks, especially the ones who became the leaders. I remember being down because none of them asked me to go — I was crying and wailing in my hurt before God. I literally heard Him say to me, ‘They know you don’t need to ask anyone to make a decision for you.’ That ended my pity party for being rejected by them.

          Today, the ones I am still in contact with who followed after that, are back in stable churches, under men of God who are faithful to the Word fo God.

        • Stillhaventfound,

          I see a big difference in deception between having a minority view once in a while on a long-contested point of doctrine and flat-out sending people down a road to hell. If the diversion is that great, I can’t be quiet about it.

          The question is this: What is the Gospel? If the gifts take primary precedence over the Gospel, then something is wrong. And that pretty much defines the error in the charismatic movement today.

          Here was a simple test during Lakeland: Why did believing charismatics feel compelled to journey to Lakeland AND what were they expecting? I think that says it all. I don’t think most people who went wanted to be brought to their knees in repentance.

          • Dan,

            You think the above people’s ministries are sending people to hell? I don’t think so.

            I come from a Reformed background. In those circles, there is a lot of talk about “assuming” the gospel. I think that’s the problem of many evangelical and charismatic churches. The above ministries, with their focus on the Spirit and miraculous, fall easily into this trap of “assuming” the gospel. This is a step away from denying the gospel, but I won’t go so far as to say that it’s a denial. They are on a dangerous path to putting other things before the gospel, which to Paul is of first importance and which he wanted only to boast about. So I am very big on the importance of the centrality of the gospel. One of my favourite authors is Tom Smail, who is a charismatic and big on calling charismatics back to focus on the cross/gospel.

            I don’t know much about Lakeland personally. But I wouldn’t have any problems with people moving to a place to experience something. It’s not a do or die thing. But I’m sure God looks at their heart and their desire and desperation for more. That, to me, looking at it from the best possible angle (which I hope to do and I think we should all do), is commendable.

            Regarding repentance and revival, while past revivals may be based on sorrow over sin and repentance, I think that has a lot to do with the theology of one’s time. It’s not necessarily so that every revival needs to be about sorrow and sin. In fact, I would think a New Covenant focus is on Christ and the joy He brings, not sin and repentance and sorrow. Not that I’m saying Lakeland was a genuine revival or not, but I don’t think whether repentance of sin was present is a good way to judge a movement. Repentance will definitely follow as the grace and love of God transforms a person’s life. But personally I think it’s more in line with New Covenant teaching and focus to major on the grace and love of God in Christ.

        • I don’t think the only way to say another spirit is involved is if they’re denying the Lordships of Jesus. Todd Bentley screamed “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” at the top of his lungs when I saw him, and there was not hint of Christ-driven message in his words. “Jesus plus something else” is borderline just as bad as outright denying Jesus. It’s just harder to spot.

          • Nate,

            We should all remember that the goats said, “Lord….”

            Plenty of people have used the name of Jesus to send people down the wide road that leads to destruction. David Koresh immediately springs to mind, but even that is the extreme example. It’s the subtle error that does in most people.

    • Ronni Hall

      Well I don’t know who you are since your hiding behind a nickname, but take it from someone who KNOWS personally some people who were leaders of Toronto. There IS fruit that you don’t see because the “touch not the anointed” and such is perpetuated so much around these groups. The fruit is BAD. ROTTEN. NOT OF GOD.

      We are told so many times not to speak out about what we are seeing but we MUST! I won’t name names or get into details but I’m telling you, DISCERN!

      There are men calling themselves prophets that are NOT prophets. They speak things that Paul warned Timothy about… they speak things to tickle the souls of men… things that we want to hear in our flesh. They tell anyone who wants to hear it that they are a prophet, a psalmist, an apostle by using the familiar spirits they are controlled by to identify. I know because I was TRAINED BY THEM TO DO IT.

      SO many of these ministries WILL FALL. Mark my words. We are about to see so MANY of the “big” well known ministries fall because of hidden sins… and people are going to see them for what they are.

      This pains my heart on so many levels because it will give the church such a black eye… but those who are truly TRULY seeking in SPIRIT and in TRUTH will be able to discern and the TRUE BRIDE will come forth out of this.

      HE WILL REBUILD THE RUINS!

      These spirits will be shown for what they are… and the ministries built up by them will fall. TRUE revival WILL come across the land, and the very people that these BIG MEN have called nothing will LEAD THE BRIDE into the HOLY and RIGHTEOUS and PURE BRIDE that Jesus is coming back for.

      DISCERN before you speak, and don’t look at the fruit from afar… because all fruit looks good until you get close enough to smell the stench.

      • Bob Stegall

        Amen Sister,

        Thank you for saying it how it is. I think probably those of us who have been seduced by this stuff, taken in and sodomized by them are likely the best qualified to recognize the stench.

        The absolute refusal by God’s people to judge righteous judgment even when he sticks the truth right in their faces has got to be the most incredible thing I have ever seen.

        The Todd Bentley debacle has got to be the darndest one so far, but I am sure we are only getting started. The fact is there is a money stream in this counterfeit supernatural just like there is a money stream in Tilikum the killer whale. As long as that bad boy can keep bringing in multiplied millions a year by drowning people, his place is secure.

        The same goes for Todd, Rick, Bob Jones and the rest of them. As long as their sensationalism sells books, tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc. to the tune of billions of dollars nothing is going to stop them.

        The real astonishment is that “my people love to have it so.”
        The holy angels must reel in nauseous wonder!

        As long as professing believers keep buying their wares and mailing them fat checks, they richly deserve everything they are getting.

        Again, thanks for speaking up!

        Bro. Bob

  4. merry

    A couple of questions:

    One of the ministers on Andrew Strom’s list used to be my pastor. I know longer attend the church because I disagreed with their theology. However, I still live next door to the church, so I can’t exactly distance myself or “cut myself off” from the congregation (due to the fact that I live on a college campus–it’s a unique situation). I see much of what Strom describes on a regular basis. Many of these people are my friends, and I love them while distancing myself from their theology. How would you suggest interacting with people involved in this movement, rather than running in the opposite direction?

    Also, what does Strom mean by “foreign spirits” and “alien anointings”? If he means something demonic, I would love for him to come out and say it and not use vague terms, especially since he’s amazingly specific with everything else he says. 😉

    Anyway, it’s interesting reading background on what I see in the college cafeteria everyday. :p

    • merry

      Actually I read the “alien anointing” part out of context, but my question still stands.

      To expound on my experience a bit, when I walked out of that church a year ago, I had been sitting in service listening to people breaking into maniacal laughter. Just listening to them laugh made my stomach tighten, and I felt oppressed—I felt as if I had to get out of the room as soon as possible. Everything that morning—what the pastor was saying, and the congregation’s reactions—just seemed completely off kilter. I went with my gut feeling and went back to my traditional roots with a new church family—God has blessed me since then.

      What I had been so confused about was the “manifestations” I watched these people have in the “Holy spirit”—the jerking, the laughter, the euphoria, the “drunkenness in the spirit”—I never experienced any of this. Months later, I had two undeniable encounters with the Holy Spirit that were as opposite from all of this as night from day: I was in a state of absolute terror, awe, a knowing that I had to repent from my sins immediately, along with a feeling of assurance and grace. Reading the description of Hindu practices answers so many questions I’ve had in the back of my mind.

  5. connie

    All I know is that years ago, my pastor and the elders went to Toronto. These were and still are sober, wise, Biblical men.

    They came back on fire for God. More church planting. More reaching out to the community. Racial reconciliation and healing. Ministering to the poor. Planting churches overseas in places like Sri Lanka-where it is dangerous to be, in some places. Assisting-very quietly-in areas of the world where I am not free to share about publically, in places in which it is extremely dangerous to be known as a Christian.

    My pastor went from being a kinda snobby seeming fellow interested in reaching baby boomers to a person who reached out to all.

    Is there crap in Charismania? Heck yes. Am I comfortable with the list you gave? Certainly not. There are people on that list that I have nothing but the most extreme respect for. Others on that list, well maybe I can agree with you. I do know what Jesus said about people who attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the demonic. That is dangerous.

    It is fine to judge people by their fruit. We are commanded to do so. I was never a fan of Todd Bentley, actually, because my own discernometer kinda went off there, and unfortunately events proved it was accurate. But to do what you did, to make that list, and to insist that everyone on it is spreading false spirits-I cannot and will not agree with your doing that. I would consider it sowing discord which we are commanded not to do. If you see issues, cry out against the issues. If you PERSONALLY know problematic people, go right ahead. But I doubt you know and have talked to that entire list. At the very least I think you owe Peter Wagner a public apology. He might have made some mistakes re Bentley-he confesses he did-but I know personally of a lot of incredible work he did regarding prayer for unreached people groups and such. He is a solid brother, he and his wife have served the kingdom well for many many years, and I am calling on you to repent for slandering him in this forum.

    Who am I? I’m a little nobody. I’m a middleaged woman who loves Jesus and who has been privileged to know some of Jesus’s choicest servants over the years. I’m not ignorant, I have seen a lot of things that have not been so pretty, but when I see someone I have great personal respect for treated so shabbily it makes me quite angry.
    At the very least I beg you to go to prayer before the Lord and see what He thinks of what you have written. Because truly only His opinion matters. Not yours, not mine. His.

    • Connie,

      It may be that your pastor and elders went before the slide set in. Arnott was very vocal about the fact that he wanted to stand in the same shoes as Jonathan Edwards in the First Great Awakening. But Edwards confessed that he let things go on too long and was wiser for it. I don’t see that Arnott did the same thing. In fact, Toronto was milked for everything it was worth, and in the end, I think that led people astray.

      The revivals I have seen since then have been milking since the get go.

  6. Don Costello

    Hey Dan,
    I am extremely uncomfortable in my spirit about the so called Joyner-Bently restoration process and this quick return to ministry. Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:15-20 to Beware of false prophets. he warned us we would know them by their fruits. The fruit of Lakeland, in Bently was adultery, fornication and divorce. Corrupt fruit.
    Don

    • Don,

      You’re right. Still, I’m even willing to extend grace to the moral failures of Lakeland because anyone in a leadership position is a greater threat and attracts trouble from the enemy for it. (Dr. Badu said the same thing yesterday.)

      But it was the complete lack of emphasis on the Gospel and holiness in the presence of a holy God that should have been clear from Lakeland. It wasn’t there. Lakeland bore no resemblance at all to the Welsh Revival or the Azusa Street Revival. None. ANYONE, especially a charismatic, should have seen that from a mile away, no special discernment gift necessary. Couple that with claims of the dead being raised with no facts supplied, healings that could not be verified, and all the other suspect stuff (Bentley guided by “angels” and going to the “third heaven”)—well, Lakeland was the poster child for how NOT to have a revival.

      Given that, the moral failure was just more tainted icing on the whole mess.

      • Dan, you’re absolutely right. You didn’t have to wait until Bentley’s adultery went public to see there was garbage there. That was just the final proof that was needed to show everyone that the gospel was not influencing his character all that deeply.

        I think those involved with Bentley personally (ie Joyner) are probably making the mistake that extending grace to him(which I’m all for) means returning him to the spotlight, to a position of influence. Why is it assumed that giving someone back the power that they abused is a sign that you’re full of grace, or that God is healing that person? Why couldn’t Bentley’s restoration, or any minister’s for that matter, mean restoring him to a quiet life out of the spotlight in which he learns to simply and deeply love Jesus and devote himself lovingly to the people he’s close to?

        Answer: Typical charismatics(but not only them) are celebrity obsessed. They want a shaman-like figure they can watch on TV, elevate onto a stage, insist has special powers that no one else has(thus everyone scurrying to FL to “get their miracle”). Jesus optional. Or at least Jesus + the latest fad ministry.

        My two cents.

        • Nate,

          You nail it exactly. If Bentley did nothing else in life but minister Jesus to people in a soup kitchen line, how could it not then be said that he’d been properly restored? Why does someone have to go back to doing the exact thing that led to the downfall in the first place? I would argue that perhaps that’s the worst course of action, especially so early.

          I’m not saying keep someone “gifted” out of the spotlight forever. Maybe spending five years on the soup kitchen line is long enough. The problem here is that these “restorations” never seem to last longer than a few months. I find that nuts, especially when the malfeasance lasted for years.

  7. Joe Lacy

    Dan,

    I don’t follow these movements very closely at all to know whether they’re legit or not. But you hit the nail on the head when you encourage your readers to judge the fruit. We ARE to discern. People worship fallacy when they make a living from it, and we are to test the spirits. I’m more impressed and encouraged by the Christian who gives a drink to those who are thirsty…. One of the great works God unfortunately has to spend too much time on in the modern church is converting Christians to Christianity.

    • Joe,

      The giving of the drink to the thirsty has no flash, but such works of mercy attract the genuinely humble. And it’s the humble people who don’t want to live in the limelight who are doing the real work of the Kingdom.

  8. Sulan

    Dan, back in the mid-90’s, I was a volunteer at a church in my home town. Rodany Howard Brown came to New Orleans, and the folks from our church went in droves.

    They came back extolling the fact that they had fallen in laughter and laughed for hours in — what they claimed — was the presence of God.

    They all wanted me to take a day off and go enjoy the presence of God. My reply was that I didn’t have to go anywhere to look for the presence of God.

    The amazing thing to me, and I am a watcher of folks, as they went day after day after day, laughed and laughed and laughed — in the presence of God, as they claimed — but they weren’t changed.

    I am convinced that as you are in the presence of God you are changed. It begins on the inside and works its way out — and becomes obvious to all.

    Thanks for listening …..

  9. Dan, reading your post made me want to put into words the reasons why my faith fellowship has had such difficulties in believing in – and asking for – the ongoing gifts offered by God through His Holy Spirit.

    And I wanted to acknowledge that I believe you’re putting your finger on the same traits of a movement which may have similarities in appearance to the genuine – but no fellowship with it.

    Once upon a faith
    there was a man who walked around doing good.
    He really did; he walked around and hardly ever rode.
    Walking put him among people … among whom he could do the most good.
    So he did lots of good.
    He never took any credit for it; hardly ever talked about himself; just talked about God.
    He told them how much God loved them
    and how much God wanted them to stop hurting
    themselves
    and each other
    and him,
    and repent.
    He healed sick people, where people recognized what he was doing as from God.
    He fed hungry people because he had compassion on them.
    He thrashed evil from their lives and lovingly told them that they needed to repent.
    He raised dead people to life and promised life without end to those who would live their faith in God.
    He did not have a manager,
    a handler,
    a public relations and advertising firm,
    a security detail,
    a driver,
    a transport and setup team,
    a makeup artist,
    a costumer,
    a technical staff,
    a caterer
    or a personal assistant.
    He did not take up collections,
    and he did not promise results for belief
    which should be expressed in generous giving to his ministry.
    He did not dabble much in politics or religion,
    except when the work and teachings he shared were opposed.
    And when those people who thought they stood the most to lose from his words
    finally sprang the one big “gotcha”
    from which they thought he could not escape
    there were no angels who rescued him
    no legions who fought for him
    no followers who stood faithful at his side
    and he died
    because the miracles had never been for him, but for them.
    Then he escaped anyway.
    And he shared the gifts of helping and healing
    among the followers who repented
    and were willing and walking
    and did good for others
    and who never took any credit for it
    and who hardly ever talked about themselves
    and who talked about God.
    When their time came, they died too
    because the miracles had never been for themselves, but for others
    and they died believing
    that they and many others would live again, forever,
    because God sent a man walking
    once upon a faith.

  10. Normandie

    Dan, this is one time that I must take issue. I agree with everything you have said here about testing and seeking the true move of God in repentance. But the naming of names is a permanent thing. It will be on a list forever and leaves no room for repentance among those leaders or for changed lives or changed teaching among them.

    Once, a long time ago, a man of God got into trouble. He was castigated and humiliated. But he and his wife worked things out between them and with God. Years later, they returned to ministry together and blessed many. But the reviling was “still on the books” and was repeated to many. I was in a position of leadership in those days when another pastor came to me with what he knew of that man’s past, adjuring me to avoid him and not allow him to speak to our group. I sought the Lord, talked to the reviled one and his wife about the issue, heard what the Lord had done in restoration and repentance over the years, and saw the fruit of this man’s ministry as others in his new church heard the Word and found the Lord. But that other pastor and people in his neck of the woods (this was before the internet made such things worldwide) still spoke of what they’d heard and of what had been said.

    It seems to me that we need to teach folk how to discern and how to find Jesus for themselves through a study of the whole counsel of God, instead of providing a list of ministers who today may be off the mark, but who may yet find repentance and a changed heart. When they do, will we be on the side of the angels, rejoicing, or on the side of the finger pointers, doubting? I’m not speaking of you, Dan. I know you’ll rejoice. But what about those who read these words and none others? Who come across this list in a few months or a few years and point fingers?

    As one who has had plenty of fingers pointed her way, who has been accused of all sorts of unpleasant and untrue things, who has benefited from touches from God that took me through some very dark days, who has been a very imperfect servant during some of those days, I plead with you to be very careful how you speak your judgments. Your teaching is wonderful, your cautions correct. But I do think you will best serve the Body by helping them/us learn to test the spirits for ourselves.

    Another thing about a list: it is limited. If someone makes a list so that everyone who reads it says, “Oh, my, I’ll avoid those people,” what happens when someone else crops up with a new diversion and a new golden calf? Much better, I think, to help your readers learn to see the tarnish in the calf, to keep their eyes focused on the Word and on the Lord (Who will never lead them astray), instead of focused on which man or woman is “on” and which is “off.”

    Blessings

    • Normandie,

      I reproduced Strom’s article in full as I did not want to excerpt it. That meant leaving in the name list. I don’t like naming names and have not in the past, though I am increasingly leaving options to do so.

      In the past I have criticized those on the national stage who have gone after other national stagers without so much as a phone call to ask where that other national stager is coming from. I think someone like John MacArthur could give Jack Hayford a call to verify a few things first and would be lax if he didn’t.

      On the other hand, many in the charismatic movement have insulated themselves from any kind of rational voice outside the inner circle, much less a nobody like me or any of the other concerned bloggers out there. The leadership of the charismatic movement today tends to only listen to each other. There’s no correction or reproof taken by anyone outside the same handful of people who are committing the exact same errors. That’s not a recipe for change. In the case of Bentley, look how well and (quickly) his restoration process went in the hands of Rick Joyner.

      More and more, I am convinced that that part of the charismatic stream is immune to correction. In many ways, they have become like the snipers on the roof of the public library, taking potshots at anyone who comes by. They can’t be talked down. They listen to no negotiator and will not let any hostages they have taken go before they wound them permanently. Isn’t that when someone must say to the SWAT team, “If you get the shot, take it”?

      Let’s be honest here. The current leadership of the charismatic movement has been entrenched for 25 years and continues to get worse. The errors are not corrected. The abusers are not rooted out. The fact that both Bob Jones and Paul Cain have ties to Bentley (who also claims the “mantle of William Branham”) only amps up the need for correction and rebuke.

      The damage in the lives of real people continues unabated. This charismania is not a malicious rumor that needs to be examined carefully before someone makes a judgment call. This is a multi-decade track record of malfeasance in the name of the Lord! If anything, more and more charismatics need to say to these folks (as I noted in “Cleansing the Charismatic Crackup” series), “You need to get off the stage; you are only hurting people and demeaning the Lord.”

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        The fact that both Bob Jones and Paul Cain have ties to Bentley (who also claims the “mantle of William Branham”) only amps up the need for correction and rebuke.

        “Serpent Seed” Branham?

        If Branham is who I think he is, that in and of itself should set off alarms.

    • David

      Paul named names as a warning to others. Those people are long dead, and yet we still have their names listed in our bibles. Some names were redeemed, some weren’t. As Christians we are called to hold one another accountable, but to also forgive. Forgive doesn’t mean forget. It’s important that we remember where we came from when deal with others, but it’s also instructive to know where they come from, too. As Solomon put it: :”Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.” That goes for words of warning as well.

  11. Normandie

    I have to agree that most of those need to get off the stage. I’ve run into a lot of them years ago and could testify as to whose spirit was at work through them.

    I’m just thinking that we’re not the ones to pull them off that stage. Still, God has probably called you as a watchman on the wall, which means that you’ve got to speak or their sin will be on your head.

    So, brother, I accept (with remaining uncertainties about methodologies that I hand over to the Lord for my correction) your place in the body and your ministry, which is much needed.

    • Normandie,

      I don’t want to be a watchman. I’m not comfortable in that role, as I can barely watch my own life.

      But where is the outcry in the charismatic community? Everywhere I look I see charismatics going after one silly thing after another, stuff for which we don’t even need the Spirit of God to alert us that something’s wrong. If we can’t purge the obvious stuff, how are we ever going to be ready when the more subtle errors come our way?

      And it’s the same perpetrators time after time after time. Whatever happened to “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”?

      I’ve known people who for years had their lives derailed by bogus words of knowledge and prophecy. It just kills me that folks get burned repeatedly, say nothing of the burning (and thus give no warning to others), and then go back to the same perpetrators for more.

      When is that going to end? When are people going to wise up?

      • Sulan

        Dan, don’t you think we are all called to be watchemen and women, and to alert the ones walking alongside us if error is seen or heard?

        I believe in this area, we are our brother’s keeper.l

  12. I’m glad there are sober, Jesus-centered voices like you in the charismatic circle, Dan. I see no problem with Strom publishing a list of names, although were it me I might have gone into more specifics about the problematic elements of the ministries named(space is limited, of course). There is definitely a need to teach discernment, there is also definitely a need to be free from the fear of being seen as “not nice” or “judgmental” that keeps us from being blunt and vocal when people abuse each other, debase the gospel, and use ministries to enrich and empower themselves. The problem with most calls to go easy on these folks is that when the gospel isn’t what’s provoking our patience, we’re really just apathetic. There are some great, Christ-centered critiques of these ministries, unfortunately not many are from within the movements themselves, as you’ve noted before. It seems to me this needs to be a call to everyday, ground-level charismatics to quit looking at the movement uncritically and accepting whatever comes down the pipe and then claiming that this makes you “not religious” or something. Because what’s sadder to me than the fact that these ministries do what they do, is that the only reason they’re allowed to exist is that there’s a demand for them. Things will change when the gospel, when Jesus, becomes more interesting and obsession-worthy to the average Joe charismatic than guru-ish leaders, and posturing, outlandish claims of the supernatural.(now THAT would be a real revival!) The kind of rebukes needed are the ones that ultimately produce a fascination with Jesus. Again, keep up the good work.

    Nate

  13. David

    I think that one of the problems the Christian community is facing is the definition of “gifts”.

    We see someone who has the ability to speak well, sway a crowd, and sell the gospel, and we say they have the “gift of evangelism”, or someone who can hold people’s interest, in person or on paper, and we say they have the “gift of teaching”.

    The problem with these definitions are that they are human definitions. When we see someone with these gifts we immediately assume that God gave these gifts to further His kingdom, and we rally around those people, ignoring faults because we don’t want to squander the gifts of God.

    While I don’t doubt that God created these people this way, that doesn’t necessarily mean they were created to do what we think they should do. Who are we to judge if God wants Chuck Swindoll to teach 6th grade Sunday school at Littleton Community Church? If it is God’s will, is it a waste? Maybe, in our thinking.

    God runs with a different rule book. Study the word and look at God’s leaders: The stuttering Moses, the little runt David, the doubting Gideon. Study their greatest successes, and what drove them during those times. Then study when, how, and why they failed: When Moses began believing in his own power, when David took on the Macho Leader cloak, when Gideon became Charismatic.

    We need to toss out our culture concepts of what a leader, teacher, servant or sinner look like, and take on the viewpoint of God. “We see dimly” but can still, with the power of the Helper, see Truth.

  14. I have participated in a lot of forum discussion about Todd Bentley et al, since the start of the so called Lakeland revival. Despite the very clear warning given through his divorce and remarriage (that started during that so-called revival) thousands will still blindly follow him and the ministries that support him.

    Such a situation must surely be seen a clear line in the sand, and only the most immature new believer could have any excuse for getting caught up in the Bentley circus. A clearer indication could not be given – those “ministers” who support and promote Bentley are exposing their own falsehood and those who willing cling to an allegiance to those men and women are wilfully ignoring the blatantly obvious, choosing a lie instead of the truth.

    Apart from those who willingly ignore the apostasy of Bentley and his supporters, I see another danger arising from this situation. By concentrating on exposing Bentley and his false gospel other more subtle errors will be overlooked.

    In Australia there we have some very real dangers in the ocean. We have the sharks – large predatory fish that mostly, with the right precautions, can be detected and avoided before they present a real threat (my sister is an observer on an aerial shark patrol). We also have some very tiny jellyfish with an extremely toxic sting. They are not as easily noticeable and protection from the danger they present will only come through awareness of their territory.

    I see Bentley and his supporters as being like the sharks. They are blatantly obvious to those who are both willing to look for the signs and to listen to the warnings of those in a position to detect the danger.

    Other false theologies are not so easily recognised. They are well camouflaged and slip through the defences. Like the toxic jelly fish they may have an appearance of being the same as their surroundings and their dangerous presence is not acknowledged or observed.

    Ironically many of those who recognise the clear dangers of the likes of Bentley are not so discerning when it comes to more (apparently) subtle theological errors.

  15. Some have mentioned the lack of discernment among those who follow Bentley. I don’t think that is the problem. It takes NO discernment to recognise the falsehood of his “ministry” and those who promote him.
    What is lacking is an understanding of the TRUE gospel of Jesus Christ – and even worse than that, a lack of relationship with the TRUE Jesus Christ. These people promote a false gospel and a false saviour.

    If we can’t recognise the blatantly false – what hope have we got of recognising genuinely deceptive (more subtle) false teachings and practices?

    • Sulan

      I agree, Tim, what is lacking is a real relationship with Jesus Christ. I once heard that the people who search and test money for being counterfiet, don’t study counterfeit bills to learn how to do their job, they study the real. Therefore when they encounter the false, they are very aware.

      I believe that if we continue to stoke the realationship we have with Jesus, spending time in His Word and His presence, that when we go forth and encounter a misconstrued Scripture or anything about Jesus, we are aware of the reality of the lie — no matter how they clothe it to make it more acceptable to us.

  16. Bryan Hupperts

    I left the goofiness of this movement around 2000. I was rebuked by my Foursquare pastor for “not being able to get along with anyone.” Why? I finally realized that I am a Bible believer and most Charasmatics are not.

    I asked the wife of a celebrated worship leader what God was doing in her life and she said, “Jesus is teaching me to float like a bubble.” A little further questioning revealed she was, a la new age, flying the astral plane!

    The Word and the Spirt agree. They usually do not in third wave circles which is why Joyner and other gonstics like him call anyone who goes to the absolute authority of Scripture “Bibleolators.” And if you dare question the mighty end time apostle, you are labeled a witch. How foolish.

    When the 3rd wave hit my church in St. Louis we were turned into the local three ring circus. We had a group of African Apostles coming in teaching a bizarre mixture of animism and Christianity. We were told to get up in the morning and “program the moon” to set the course of our day… and I washed my hands of it all and walked.

    In (I believe) 1999 I had a vision of well known Third waver leaders, Joyner included, urinating and defecating in a river. Downstream, the unsuspecting saints would dip their silver cups into this River – and gag on the human impurities. I shared this at the church we attended (which had the word “River” in their name) and everyone pretty much crucified me. Ouch. Yet the word has proven true.

    Andrew Strom is right: avoid such men.

    Bryan Hupperts
    http://www.sheeptrax.com

  17. inluvwithJesus

    I just left the MorningStar church, it was our home church for 8 mos. and I am very sorry to say that me and my family were victims of this. Praise the Lord he delivered us from this deception and showed us the truth. After receiving the “glory”, I could not read my bible or think clearly. I would feel mental interference when I tried to teach the Word to my children or care for them during the day. God delivered this off of me when I renounced involvement, and I am grateful for a fresh beginning. I would strongly urge you to take this to the Lord in prayer, before trusting man.

  18. Mark S

    Hi Dan,
    like others, I’ve been observing the various modern revival movements for some time as well.
    I can only agree with your comments of 2010-01-23:
    “…..I am so sad for people who follow these modern prophets around, waiting on their every word, shelling out more cash for the latest book/tape/conference, and yet the neighbor who is hungry is not fed and the little one who wants someone to tell her about the grace of Jesus goes unheard.”
    Have we been present to our neighbour today ?
    To me, this is essential in the ministry of Christ.
    This kind of ‘sign’ will count in the end.

    Mark S
    Springwood, NSW, Australia

  19. Stephen Pyle

    Can you please explain why these leaders and organizations have such incredible fruit and are able to give out so much of the love of God? You seem to be going after some men and women who have some most of the remarkable fruit. Also, before your criticize the fruit of others, what fruit are you sowing? Your posts seem to be full of criticism and critique but really lack any rejoicing or praise.

    This Kundalini theory you have seems to be nothing more than a theory based out of offense. Have you experienced the love of God that the men and women on your list talk about? The Gospel says the disciples acted drunk when they received the Holy Spirit. So why is it surprising or wrong if people laugh, cry or have movements when the Holy Spirit comes?

    • merry

      The book of Acts says that when the Holy Spirit came on the disciples they were able to proclaim the the gospel in languages they didn’t previously know. The text then said that some people passed this fact off by saying the disciples were drunk. The author himself does not state that the disciples were acting drunk, only relating what people were saying in response. Rather a large difference, I think.

  20. Allen

    I layed hands on alot of sick people and watched god heal them and watched limbs grow out and demons leave people. But screwed up like bentely. My old ”church friends” still carry around a bucket of stones. So i left and never went back. Guess we’ll never be forgiven. So are we doomed for hell

  21. Derek Keegan

    Thank you for your honesty and insight. I Android in a new town and “New Life Church” is hosting Heidi to speak… I’ve been concerned since I read about Android “Eyes and Wings Conference hitting my new church. What should I do, please e-mail me

  22. Robert El-Adham

    I think I am starting to see the Truth more clearly, and it Is tricky for sure. One thing that really sticks out to me is how a certain missionary always twitches while simultaneously babbling “shaka baba”. Everything else she says is beautiful but I just have a dark feeling about that certain experience. So I did a little of my own research by looking through languages. Swahili is the prominent language in her set region so I looked up the phrase she utters. According to goggle translate it is, “doubt father”. Other meanings for “shaka” all come out to be fruits of the unholy spirit. Oh is the enemy so crafty. I am not calling her the enemy, “for the enemy is not the flesh and blood, but the principalities ……”. I just want to get that out there. I hope I am wrong with all this, but the evidense I found doesn’t make it seem so.

  23. Peter King

    Hi there,
    I am a young college student who sees depravity in my age group soaring to higher and higher heights, even among young church-goers. My church and pastor are both well-tied to many I the ministers in the above list, and yet we maintain a “Gospel-focus” and seek the Truth above all. Yes we see the manafestations you discuss, and along side them transformed minds and life-styles. Would you please CLEARLY DEFINE the tests we are to use for the spirits? I’d like to know them so that I may keep true to the Word. I would also like the verses or chapters from which they are gleaned because the Word is truth and so I will know these are Valid tests.

    I’m sorry if I sound confrontational but I feel that I have been called by God to be a leader in this generation and as such I want to be very clear and do my due diligence.

    A final word, I have studied under some of these ministers and seen their affects. I have seen people enter they’re meetings with a certain sinful mindset and leave changed. Convicted. The Holy Spirit, who is sent by Jesus Christ to be with us and within us, did that. He is Himself God, as the Father is, and Jesus the Son. They are one God, one being, in three persons/revelations. As such focus on the Spirit is a focus on God which is a focus on Jesus, yes?

    • Peter,

      The best advice I can give you is to find a group a people you don’t like very much and serve them with all your heart. If you get no credit for doing it or it costs you something you hold dear, you’ll begin to get discernment.

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