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?

Not to Us


On the back of last week’s post (“Your Holy Spirit Is W-A-Y Too Safe“), I want to add an addendum.

In some charismatic circles, much is being made of the recent “outpouring” at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. Now it appears that Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries has brought in Todd Bentley of the infamous Lakeland (Fla.) “revival,”  and, of course, we’re getting claims of a fresh wave of glory and outpourings (HT: Bene D). And yes, Mike Bickle of IHOP recently spoke there, bringing it all full circle. (See Bentley’s tweets starting Jan. 6 for the blow-by-blow.)

I’m writing this Sunday evening, Jan. 10, but I want to take us back a couple weeks to Christmas.

When the Messiah was born into the world, the people who got the notification were those on the fringes. Shepherds. Wise men from the East. Not the greater nation of Jews; they missed it.

Should churches see revival in the days ahead, I believe that those touched by genuine moves of the Holy Spirit are going to be those OUTSIDE traditional charismatic church venues. These will be churches where people have been earnestly praying for God to shake them out, churches filled with people most desiring of repentance, not charismata. They will be people who are waiting expectantly for God to manifest Himself in their midst in a way they are not willing to plan, a move that happens on God’s timetable and God’s way. And that move will excite people whose bookshelves are devoid of tomes by Bickle, Joyner, Hagin, Roberts, and so on.

Most of all, I think if such a revival comes, it will be among humble people who can’t point back with pride and say, “Look at all the revivals we helped birth! Look at all the gifts we’ve manifested and how God has used us! Look how doggone charismatic we are.”

In other words, should we have revival break out in churches in the next few years, it’s not going to be among the usual suspects.

Charismatic Churches and the Cult of the New


See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.
—Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)

I have, since 1984, been a part of the charismatic movement (hereafter “CM”). In those years I’ve seen the blind given their sight, the lame healed, the demon-possessed freed of their anguish, and have given words of knowledge and wisdom to those who need them—all directed by God and for His glory alone. We are to do the works of Christ this side of heaven using all the power that He affords us as his chosen vessels.

That said, what is happening in charismatic circles today must be viewed as nothing less than the utter abandonment of all good sense, decorum, and biblical correctness.

Isaiah 43:19 has taken on a life of its own in the CM, unfortunately. We’ve become the Cult of the New Thing. The CM is no longer a new thing itself, and because of this the movement is in search of the next new frontier. I believe this to be highly dangerous given the movement’s willingness to quickly jump on bandwagons that later hurtle off cliffs, hurting many along the way. We in the CM have become addicted to new experiences, be they biblical or not.

An astonishing lack of biblical discernment dogs the 21st century CM. We accept any and all “moves of God” simply because something “new” is happening. Yet too many times those moves attempt to add something to the finished work of Jesus, and that should disturb all of us who consider ourselves charismatics.

With discernment urged from Scripture, the startling lack of books written by avowed charismatic leaders on the topic of discernment should trouble us. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a British, Reformed pastor now many years deceased, wrote perhaps the best books on the subject decades ago—a sad statement concerning a topic so essential to keeping the “fire in the fireplace.”

With this in mind, I offer the authority of Scripture and six others tests charismatics often overlook. Anytime we encounter a teaching, practice, or supposed moved of the Holy Spirit, we should instinctively start counting red flags. Fulfilling any one flag should not immediately disqualify a genuine work of the Spirit (with Flag #1 being a very strong exception), but any two are reason to be cautious and perhaps reject that practice or teaching:

    Flag #1Cannot be squared with Scripture or is based on a single verse of Scripture (usually taken out of context).

    Any charismatic teaching or practice that contradicts the Bible provides an immediate grounds for squelching it. God’s revealed word, the Bible, will not contradict Him, nor the other way around. We MUST always test against Scripture, not only in the moment, but later. Truth is truth and time doesn’t diminish it. We must also be wary of theologies built around a lone passage of Scripture. The Bible is a coherent whole and the completeness of it means that doctrines contained in it possess multiple reference points. Attempting to create a theology from a single passage usually leads into error. This is especially true when we exegete passages apart from their context (eisegesis).

    Bible, Bible, Bible—there can be no practice or theology apart from it. It’s by far the foremost flag

    Flag #2Is pronounced by direct revelation through a single individual or a small group of people.

    Any of us who have been around the Christian life for any length of time know that truth is not typically spoken by a lone voice. Even when Elijah thought that he was the only prophet of God left alive, God had preserved a remnant. Anyone claiming to have a unique revelation of God should automatically force us to tread lightly. We should always remember how easy it is to follow someone claiming special revelation right into hell—think Jim Jones and David Kouresh. Small groups of people making revelatory claims are also suspect. Again, proceed with caution and consider other flags.

    Flag #3Is considered relevant for today, yet has no historic precedent in the Church.

    Too many charismatics disdain historical Christianity, but the Church has existed for a couple millennia and has seen just about everything. Even in Old Testament days, the writer of Ecclesiastes noted that there was nothing new under the sun. If a teaching, practice, or manifestation of the Spirit occurs nowhere in the writings of those Christians who preceded us in the faith, then a very good possibility of aberrance exists in the new “move.”

    To our shame, we in the CM have completely misinterpreted Isaiah 43:19. God Himself is remarkably consistent. The “new thing” isn’t some new teaching, practice, or kind of manifestation. New moves of the Holy Spirit are more geared to individuals or local churches and not to the Church as a whole. For a perfect example we find Acts 13:2, which says, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'” This is not a new teaching. In fact there are NO new teachings since the closed canon of Scripture contains all doctrinally-sound teachings. In this case, the Spirit’s call is a new thing in that He is giving a command to move to a particular area. The practice—in this case, preaching the Gospel—has already been previously spoken of by the Lord as biblically sound.

    Flag #4Attempts to make a New Testament practice/theology of an Old Testament practice/theology rendered moot by the finished work of Christ.

    All Old Testament practices/theologies were fulfilled in Christ. No longer were God’s people to do blood sacrifices for the perfect sacrifice had come. The rule of the Law had given way to the freedom of the Spirit of Christ. We are no longer under the old, but the new. Christ did it all.

    Flag # 5Involves “Restoring” or the “Restoration” of a practice or theology.

    Similar to the preceding flag, but deals more with semantics. Many aberrant charismatic practices seem bent on restoring something. When a charismatic teacher claims that his new teaching concerns “restoring the Melchezidek Priesthood” or “the restoration of New Testament worship styles,” the word restoring or restoration should automatically raise a flag.

    This also pertains to ministry practices, especially healing ministries, yet in a different way. Restoring, restoration, and restore are buzzwords commonly used by those of dubious healing ministries and are quickly swallowed by the undiscerning. If you hear these words spoken by anyone claiming to move in the power of the Spirit, caution should follow.

    Flag #6Is a “redeemed” version of a secular/occult concept or practice (usually which has been abandoned or discredited by secular/occult practitioners.)

    Charismatics have been as bad, if not worse, than evangelicals in attempting to Christianize secular practices. But as with all things secular, the Kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of this world are utterly incompatible.

    Despite this, Francis Schaeffer claimed that whatever you see happening in the world, you will see happening in the Church seven years later. As I’ve watched the Church in the last thirty years, I’ve found those prophetic words eerily true. In most cases, the world discredited or abandoned the defective practice, yet foolish Christians struggle to incorporate it into the Church by wrapping “Jesus talk” around it. This flag is, unfortunately, exceptionally common.

    Still worse, though, is the sickening attempt to modify occult practices to fit Christian usage. The use of spirit guides is an all too common example of this. Most often this takes the form in charismatic circles of supposed angelic communications from angels that, in truth, are not what they appear to be. (We must test all spirits.)

    Flag #7May produce immediate results, but does not move the Church or individual into a deeper, biblically-based relationship with Christ in the long run.

    Charismatic groups (and evangelicals, for that matter) are overwhelmed with quick-fix, syncretistic ideologies and teachings that are Band-Aids for deeper problems. These “revelations” typically wander so far from the truth their very “uniqueness” stirs up the crowds clamoring for something new—at least for a little while.

    Sadly, I’ve seen many groups get short-term results from teachings or practices that over time fade away or even cause damage. ANYTHING that is God’s truth brings lasting, verifiable results.

If applied consistently, I believe these seven flags can help charismatics discern truth from error.

As I am so concerned for the people of God and their avoiding error, I wish to illuminate three movements within the CM: IHOP (The International House of Prayer), Theophostic Prayer, and manifestations of gold dust and gold fillings in teeth during meetings of believers.

IHOP or International House of Prayer (formerly known as Harp & Bowl) promotes 24/7/365 prayer meetings and continual worship via music . Clearly, continual prayer and worship isn’t inherently suspect. (However, while this may be a noble ideal, the New Testament contains no command for this particular style of continual worship.)

But as one delves deeper into IHOP, cracks begin to appear. The idea behind its genesis as Harp & Bowl is to recreate the OT model of David’s Tabernacle as illustrated in Amos 9:8-15 and Acts 15:16-17 (in context). Two flags immediately come into play—Flag #1 and #4. In the case of #1, IHOP’s philosophy misinterprets and misapplies both passages. The initial coming of Christ fulfilled and completed the Amos passage. The Acts passage, in context, is a promise to the Gentiles, again already fulfilled by Christ coming and opening the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles. In the case of Flag #4, we find the classic trap of trying to create a New Testament practice from an Old Testament practice. Why should the Church attempt to restore David’s Tabernacle when Christ already did it? In addition, IHOP’s call for “restoration” invokes flag #5. Also, while concerts of prayer and worship have been part of the historic Church, none have rested on a basis such as IHOP’s. Therefore, Flag #3 may also come into play. And lastly, the sketchy history of the origin of IHOP  (from what I was able to find online) claims it began as a revelation to a small group of people, so Flag #2 may apply.

So in the case of the International House of Prayer, the underpinnings of the movement rest on grounds that certainly fail three flags (and possibly a fourth and fifth). We must also consider that worship consists of more than simply music and singing. While music may enhance worship, all worship isn’t based on it. Misapplying the texts leads to this mistake. In the end, while a noble cause, the genesis of IHOP rests on faulty exegesis and suspect revelation. This could lead to more egregious errors down the road.

Theophostic Counseling/Prayer is another “new” practice increasingly seen in the CM. An updated version of Agnes Sanford’s “healing light” theories, Theophostic attempts to help people who have become enmeshed in lies rooted in past brokenness and painful memories. By bringing the light of Jesus to these areas of hurt, healing occurs.

Again, on the surface this seems harmless enough, but Theophostic garners many flags when explored more thoroughly. Ed Smith, the formulator of the practice claims to have received Theophostic from God after he found his own counseling practices inadequate—Flag #2 . A quick overview of the methods used to heal people via Theophostic shows no previous historical practice of it in the Church—Flag #3, a source of pride for Smith. Truth is, Theophostic owes its existence to the psychological practice of recovering and healing memories, now abandoned by secular practitioners because of abuses of the technique and the recovering of illusory memories—the now classic False Memory Syndrome. This brings up Flag #6.

No record in the Bible shows the apostles or the early Church using such an approach, and the practice of Theophostic violates the Bible’s own words concerning wholeness in Jesus. (An excellent PDF on the errors of Theophostic’s concepts and methodology with regards to sound biblical doctrine can be found here.) Add Flag #1. Since Theophostic is a relatively new practice, its long-term results are difficult to follow, too. Given the damage perpetrated by professional psychology practitioners spawning False Memory Syndrome in patients, will Theophostic’s laymen practitioners cause even more trauma? Only time will tell, but a quick search of the Web shows horror stories starting to surface. Consider Flag #7 a possibility.

Theophostic, therefore, rates five flags—a serious indicator of problems that should lead us to abandon its practice.

Lastly, a number of charismatic churches report showers of gold glitter appearing spontaneously during worship, and even ordinary amalgam fillings in teeth turning to gold. We know from Job 31:24-28 that believers should never put their confidence in gold. Therefore, we must question the use of gold as a way of proving God is at work. A complete lack of this sort of “work” being evidenced in Scripture or in historical church documents forces a Flag #1 and #3. And while Church history is silent on manifestations of gold, spiritualism/spiritism’s history is replete with it. In fact, manifesting gold is an old medium’s trick—Flag #6, strongly. The lasting value of this kind of manifestation is highly debatable, too, so Flag #7 must be considered. Oddly enough, follow-up on many of these gold filling manifestations finds the supposed gold coloration of the filling to have itself faded away. Do we need to go any further with this? Charismatic, run away!

The Bible says God’s people perish for lack of knowledge, and so the CM is bankrupting before our very eyes because of a lack of godly knowledge and discernment. We in the CM must work hard to expose the fraudulent—and even demonic—manifestations and practices sweeping charismatic churches, lest the real work of the Holy Spirit be disgraced.