The New “Revivals” and a Warning…


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.


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?


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?

More Monday Morning Musings


Been working so much I haven’t had two seconds to put together a coherent thought. So here are a few disjointed ones.


I’ve got to believe the biggest unreached people group in the United States right now are those folks who are losing (or have lost) their homes to foreclosure.


Definition of a Christian oxymoron? This. Seriously, watch the first part—and pray your head doesn’t explode. All I can say is, “Maybe there’s hope yet!” (HT: Bud, who also has the transcript.)


I noted last week that many economics experts claim that China needs to create 24 million NEW jobs each year or else their economy will implode. Guess what? Riots over increasing unemployment swirl there now. No way that 24 million is happening.

And what is the standard tactic for communist regimes that hope to get the unwashed masses focusing on something else rather than regime change? Can you say, “International incident?” I knew you could. Now, what spicy, international incident can Red China cook up? (Hint: think the letter “T” and a name that rhymes with “hang my neck.”)


Because we could not find a taker for our dog, Rosebud, we had to take her to a no-kill shelter run by the League for Animal Welfare. It’s a beautiful facility, spotlessly clean, and is run by people who really care for animals. They’re choosy about he animals they take, so we were blessed to get her in there.

I was so broken up, I think I cried the entire time I was there. Me, 46-year-old male, 6 feet, 4 inches, and 200 pounds. A big sobbing mess. And I’m the one who said no to a dog in the first place.

The rep there said that she should go fast considering how nice she is, her age, the fact she’s spayed, and that she has all her shots. Still, it’s sad. I loathe making commitments then having my hand forced due to circumstances beyond my control. Yet that happens so many times anymore that it’s practically a rule.


Been to the toy section of the store? That big hole in every store in America is supposed to be filled with Bakugan. Guess the only toy my son asked for this Christmas? (Santa Claus wouldn’t have this stock problem.)


To which Julie puts all such thinking into perspective.


Was reading through Genesis with some brothers, and I read this in 16:11-12:

The angel of the Lord also said to [Hagar]:

“You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.

You want to understand the Arabic people? There it is in a nutshell, folks.


Bar none, this is the best financial blog on the Web.


The Christian community needs to rethink its interactions with the homosexual community. The rhetoric between both groups resembles the snarling of two rival packs of wolves. But can we Christians see Jesus, who ate with tax collectors and prostitutes and who took a thief with Him into paradise, acting that way?

It seems to me that if Christians want to really impact the homosexual community, that impact will come when we leave the pack and reach out to one homosexual man or woman at a time and show them the real love of Jesus. One-to-one. Not pack to pack.

All the snarling in the world won’t change a single life for Jesus Christ. But genuine love and concern will when demonstrated one person to another.


Watch what happens in Russia. Just watch.


In the last year, I’ve had to explain racism, abortion, and homosexuality to my 8-year-old. I didn’t hear about racism until I was a teen, abortion until I was in college, and homosexuality until I was in my mid-20s.

A few would insists my son’s early exposure to those issues is a good thing. My response to them? No freakin’ way.


Why is it that everyone seems to bring out their best baked goods this time of year and no other? I mean, what’s wrong with Christmas cookies in July?


When I was 14, my Dad was hospitalized in a half-body cast after back surgery. He was in the hospital for six weeks. Somehow, my mom singlehandedly did all the shopping for Christmas that year. My big gift? A Fairchild Semiconductor LED watch, something I hadn’t even asked for. No other kid in school had one of those. It was beyond cool. Even though we had to have Christmas in a hospital room, I think that was one of my favorite Christmases.

Which one is yours?

Cleansing the Charismatic Crackup, Final Thoughts


Over the last few days, thousands of people have come to Cerulean Sanctum looking for answers concerning the meltdown in the charismatic movement in light of what happened at Lakeland. People are searching. They want answers and reassurance.

Here is the word that I have for them. It comes from a prophet who did no miracles but was called the greatest by the One who truly matters:

“He must increase, but I must decrease.”
—John 3:30

John the Baptist said this in context of knowing his ministry was not what mattered in the end. He said it because he knew he was being surpassed, because he understood his place was to shine the light on the Lord and not himself. His curtain had risen, but now it was falling. And John rejoiced in that.

Because John was, above all else, humble.

I do some of my best reflecting in the shower. Something about being alone and naked brings clarity. It’s quiet and peaceful. The whispered voice of God stirs among the waters. Or something like that. Whatever the case, my morning shower has been the birthplace for many a post here.

During Tuesday’s shower the word that God dropped into my heart was humility.

If we are to clean up the mess within the contemporary charismatic movement, above all else, we need to rediscover humility.

We need leaders who have been tested by the twin crucibles of time and tragedy. It’s those folks who speak softly who often possess the most wisdom, but among the noisy clamor of the modern charismatic scene we have drowned them out. We have ignored them because they are not flashy, hip, or “charismatic” in the other sense of the word.

I believe they are the ones who must rise up at this time in history.

We need people who understand the grace of God. People who, like Job, can stand before God and put their hands over their mouths because they understand that they are nothing in the presence of God. Yet that same God offers them mercy because they realize they are dust before Him.

We need people in the charismatic movement who, again like Job, are so concerned with the holiness of God and our tendency as fallen creatures toward sin that they make sacrifices on behalf of others who may have sinned so as to ensure that God has not been slighted. Fostering that kind of mentality will stifle excess before it has a chance to poison others.

I believe that charismatics need to stop promoting those people to leadership positions because of the force of their personalities or the novelty of their ministries. Our servant exampleInstead, we need to seek out those who would otherwise have been forgotten, those who are not shameless self-promoters, but promoters of Jesus Christ. In other words, humble servants.

Do we remember the word servant ? Is it still in our vocabulary? Find me a servant who is dedicated to pouring herself out and who finds her filling not before adoring crowds but before God alone in her prayer closet and I’ll show you someone ready to lead.

Do we understand humility? Have we seen any signs around us that it still exists? Give me a man who would rather be wrong before millions of people than besmirch the character and name of Jesus Christ and I’ll show you a man worthy of his calling.

But where are those people in the charismatic movement in the West?

I see their counterparts in the East every Sunday in my church.  We support a number of native missionaries in Asia through Gospel for Asia, a charismatic missionary organization. Their pictures line the wall outside the sanctuary. For the most part, these are poor people who have nothing but their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. They live for Jesus alone. They are nameless, faceless people who have counted the cost and know that He is worthy even as they are not. They are the reason that the Gospel goes forth in power in developing countries even as we in the West flock to the next dog and pony show looking for the next spiritual fix.

They are people who understand that He must increase while they must decrease.

I used to meet people like that here in the States. Not so much anymore, though. Most of us have our own agendas. We squeeze the Lord in when we can, but it’s still mostly about us, about our families, about getting ahead in life.

When I told my Dad that I was going to go into ministry full time, he said something I will never forget: “Then prepare to be poor because you won’t get anywhere in life.” Ouch, right?

Still, that kind of statement doesn’t make humble people flinch because they know their treasure is in heaven, not on earth.

Have we American charismatics counted the cost? A quick look around would answer that question, and not in the positive. We are a proud, selfish people who look down on the publican beating his breast and say, “Thank you, Lord, that I am not like that sinner.”

The problem is we are like that sinner. We’re just not humble enough to admit it.


In closing, I wish to offer a few links to other sites with good words concerning the charismatic movement and what can be done to prevent further damage and how we might repair the broken down walls before us:

I like so much of what Frank Viola writes. He has many good thoughts here.

John Piper wades into the mess with his usual sense and sensibility.

Dr. Harold Bussell contributes some excellent thoughts on the evangelical susceptibility to being lured into cults and cult-like activities. Good warnings and wisdom here. In addition, he takes a look at authority issues as well, something that most charismatics need to heed, especially as everyone goes nuts over “coverings.”

On this issue of humility, the best book I have read on the topic comes from Andrew Murray, the South African pastor who oversaw a great revival in that nation during the 19th century. Murray reads like a kinder, gentler Jonathan Edwards, sharing many experiences with Edward’s own during the Great Awakening. Murray, an amazingly prolific author, should be required reading for all charismatics as far as I am concerned. To our great fortune, Murray’s book on humility is online in its entirety.

I mentioned Watchman Nee’s book The Latent Power of the Soul in a previous post in this series. Fortunately, that book, too, is online in its entirety. We can learn much from Nee’s understand of soulish power versus genuine Holy Spirit power. I suspect that if we stripped soulish power out of the contemporary charismatic movement very little Holy Spirit power would be left. And that should alarm us.

Rob McAlpine discusses what it means to be “postcharismatic.” (I believe, though, that it might be better to think of reform as being “precharismatic”. Also, in a case of horrid timing, it seems McAlpine’s publisher in Canada is forgoing releasing his book here in the U.S. on postcharismatic thought.  I would think this would be the perfect opportunity to ride the wave of confusion concerning this blowup within the charismatic movement.)

(Hat tips go to many people, some of whom I owe an apology because I have misplaced their names as sources. Bill Kinnon, though, had several good links at his site.)

Posts in the “Cleansing the Charismatic Crackup” series: