Do You Have the Right Christ?

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What's Wrong with Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Movement?

Matthew 7:15 - 18 says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits.     Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit".

 

The modern day Pentecostal and Charismatic movements both began on New Year's Day in 1901 in Topeka, Kansas.  A woman named Agnes Ozman at a small Bible school "received the baptism of the Holy Ghost" and prayed in tongues for 3 days.  (During that time she was unable to speak in English.)  Her Bible school teacher, Charles Fox Parham formulated the doctrine that speaking in tongues was the Biblical evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Later in 1905 Parham taught another student named William J. Seymour.  In 1906 Seymour was invited to pastor a black holiness church called the Sante Fe Mission, in Los Angeles, CA.by an African American pastor named Julia Hutchins. Seymour didn't have the gift of tongues but he preached it from Parham's teachings and Julia Hutchins, (who had previously been kicked out of the Second Baptist Church in L.A. for teaching a holiness second experience of sanctification), was horrified and shut Seymour out of the church.  She later recanted and became a full-hearted supporter of Seymour's message that tongues is the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit.  Seymour held a series of prayer meetings that "broke out in revival" now known as the Azusa Street Revival.  Seymour held 3 services, 7 days a week for 3 1/2 years and thousands of visitors came from around the world to "receive a touch from God".  Thousands received the "gift of tongues" and went back to their home churches around the world to impart their "new anointing" with their congregations. So, what began as a small group in 1906 grew into over 500,000,000 Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians around the world by the end of the century. (The Charismatic movement didn't officially begin until 1968 but it spun off the Pentecostal movement out of the Azusa Street Revival).


Now I need to back-track a little in time to include the Welsh Revival of 1904 under Evan Roberts.  You see there was a man named Joseph Smale who was a pastor at First Baptist Church in Los Angeles who went to Wales in 1905 to see the Welsh Revival first-hand and he came back to L.A. and held 19 straight services that were in the same fashion as how Evan Roberts conducted his meetings.  The leaders of the First Baptist Church felt he had gone extreme on revival so he left that church and started a new one called the First New Testament Church in Burbeck Hall. Now to understand how he led these meetings at his new church you have to know something of Evan Roberts.  Evan Roberts' services would consist of singing for an hour and waiting on the Holy Spirit to move before he would preach.  He taught the people to totally surrender and be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly.  There was very little preaching in any of his services.  Sometimes it would take hours for the "spirit" to move through his services and other times it would be instantaneously. And when "the spirit" would come there would be manifestations such as the people swooning and falling under "the power of God". (Of course there was more that took place in these meetings besides swooning that even Evan Robert's right hand woman minister, Jessie-Penn-Lewis, admitted were not of God.  She wrote a book called War on the Saints that is supposed to sort out what was of God and what was of Satan, but the book left me totally confused.)  Evan Roberts was known for telling people to pray four prayers: 1) Send your Spirit now, 2) Send the Spirit powefully now, 3) Send the Spirit more powerfully now and 4) Send the Spirit still more powerfully now for Jesus Christ's' sake.  The Welsh Revival, which is known for "winning 100,000 souls" only lasted two years and by the end of it, Evan Roberts was a wreck and the only ministry he had for the rest of his life afterwards was a quiet one of prayer.  But that didn't stop Smale from holding his church services just like Evan Roberts did and many thousands flocked to his services too, and yet Smale never did receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues.  It was once said of Joseph Smale, "he was God's Moses to lead the people as far as the Jordan, though he himself never got across; brother Seymour led them across".

 

Revival and rapid church growth sounds good IF it really is God moving amongst His people, BUT we need to inspect the fruit of these movements, Pentecostalism and Charismaticism, which going forward we will treat as one movement, (will be written as P/C going forward), since they both sprang forth from the same tree.  First lets start with the very beginning pieces of this story: the first person to speak in tongues was a woman and the first person to invite Seymour to L.A. was a woman pastor.  What does the Bible say about women's roles in the church? I Corinthians 14:34 says: Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience; as also saith the law." And I Timothy 2:12-14 says: But I suffer (allow) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression."  You might say Agnes Ozman was in a prayer meeting, not a church service, so it was alright for her to speak in tongues.  However, as the Bible warns, women are deceived more easily than men and so the devil could've caused her to speak in tongues easier than a man.  Parham followed her lead, just like Adam followed Eve's lead to eat of the apple of the forbidden tree.  Then you have a woman pastor in Julia Hutchins who invited Seymour to her mission church.  She was repulsed initially from his tongues message but she must've known he was preaching something new when she invited him, because she had been kicked out of her Baptist church for preaching about a second blessing that was to be sought.  So, here we have again a woman not obeying the Bible by being in a leadership position over men and initiating a new movement by inviting Seymour to leave Houston to come preach in L.A.  This is very important to put in perspective because God does not bless people who go against His Word and yet the Azusa Street Revival has two women, out of line with Scripture, leading the movement.


If you talk to people who believe Azusa street was from God you will hear that these were supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit.  But there were and are others that oppose the goings-on at Azusa such as Parham himself.  (Remember he taught Seymour at his Bible college.)  Parham went and visited the services and he denounced it totally! He said the tongues sounded like chattering, jabbering and no language at all and the confusion and chaos of people falling all over each other made him say, "God is sick in his stomach over the things that have occurred at Azusa.  He never changed his mind, to the end of his life he said that Azusa was 'spiritual power prostituted'.  Seymour had asked Parham to come and help him sort things out because spiritualists and mediums from various occult groups in Los Angeles were attending and contributing with trances and seances.  Seymour wanted to know what was of God and what was of Satan but he never thought it just might all be of Satan.  To quote a man named Nader Mikhaiel: “How could an outpouring of the Spirit of God attract the witches, the mediums and the spiritualists? Fragrance does not attract flies - a decomposing carcass does. Mediums and spiritualists are attracted to the spirit that is at work in them, that is, the Devil.” How else could these evil people participate in what was supposed to be a ‘revival’ meeting? The only answer is that the events at Azusa Street were not of God at all, but were of Satan. That has a serious ramification – that Pentecostalism is based not on the work of God, but on the work of Satan. As we have said many times before, this has nothing to do with how ‘nice’ a person is, or how ‘holy’ he claims to be, or how much he says he ‘loves Jesus’, etc. What matters is how he obeys the Lord’s commands as found in scripture. Azusa Street did not obey the Lord, but propagated perversions of truth. What followed, therefore, was also a perversion – which continues to this very day.

 

In P/C church services the emphasis is always "experiencing God", even when Scripture contradicts the personal experiences.  P/C pastors and preachers may say (and they do continually) that the Word of God is their authority but extra-Biblical revelation is approved of a good deal of the time and religious wildfires are sought after.  In some P/C churches it is encouraged that the parishioners should come to church "expecting something from God" which actually translates into expecting God to perform for us, like He is the one serving us, instead of us going to church to bring our humble worship to Him.  My former Pentecostal preacher used to say when I was talking to him about theological matters "precept upon precept and concept upon concept" but the Bible only talks about precept upon precept, (Isaiah 28:10 says "precept must be upon precept and line upon line" but there is no mention of concept at all) so let's take a look at what concept is versus what precept is.  "Concept is an understanding retained in the mind, from experience, reasoning and/or imagination; a generalization or abstraction (mental impression) of a particular set of instances or occurances, while a precept is a rule of principle, especially governing personal conduct."  So, did you get that?  Precept is based on God's rule or standard (as written about in the Bible) and concept is based on experience or imagination, so if that preacher is allowing concept upon concept to be part of his theology, he is going outside of Scripture to do so.  Also, II Corinthians 10:5 says we are to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  So, his theological addition of "concept upon concept" is going against II Corinthians 10:5 too.


All Pentecostal churches (and some Charismatic churches) teach that tongues is the evidence of a person getting the Holy Spirit when that is not what the Bible teaches - it is at repentance and acceptance of Christ that a person gets the Holy Spirit.  There may not be any physical evidence of salvation since salvation is based on faith not signs.  (See John 3:8)  Some Pentecostal denominations go as far as to say a person is not saved if they do not pray in tongues. Others teach the health and wealth theology which is that it is God's will that everyone be healthy and financially well off.  The pursuit of worldly success has been the fruit of the wealth theology and with the health theology there is a guilt that attaches itself to a Christian when they don't get healed.  Those who pursue worldly success, ie: money and materialism, are in danger of losing the true faith of Christianity and those who don't get healed and feel like it's their fault for lack of faith can go into a deep depression and may lose their faith and may even take their lives.  Another danger is how P/C's emphasis on experience has led them to be aligned with, and even embrace, other religious groups who share the gift of tongues such as the Roman Catholic Charismatics and Mormons.  (Satanists also pray in tongues, so one has to wonder does that make P/C's aligned with Satanists?  And if P/C's say Satan is a counterfeiter, our tongues are real and his followers have a false tongue.  How do they know what is a true or false tongue when most of the time they don't know what they are saying?  Sometimes there are interpreters in a church but even still how do we know that person is hearing from God in their interpretation of the jabbering tongue message?)  But Satanism aside, Mormonism and Catholicism are not true Christian denominations and the Bible tell us in 2 John 1:10 "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed."  So, this shows we are not to be unequally yoked with other religious groups that have deviated from the true faith written about in the KJV Bible.  (See 2 Corinthians 6:14)  Also in P/C circles, dreams and visions are held up as "words from God" to share with their congregations and several P/C preachers have stories of them going to heaven and talking with Jesus. Some of these stories do not even line up with what Scripture says about heaven.  Following in their preachers and teachers foot-steps, many P/C's now see themselves as Prophets and Apostles that are more highly anointed of God than other Christians, which is contrary to Scripture.  Jesus says in Revelation 2:15 that He hates the practice of the Nicolaitanes, which is the practice of a hierarchical religious system.  Remember how Jesus served man even to the lowly act of foot washing and admonished his followers to do the same?  Some P/C churches will have Foot Washing Services but ultimately what is produced in P/C churches is Pride.  That's because of the heavy influence on "the gifts of the Holy Spirit" rather than "the fruit of the Holy Spirit".  Parishioners are led to believe God needs them in order to "have church".  It doesn't take long for parishioners to grow in boldness under P/C leadership/teachings to where they feel their Word of Knowledge, or Prophecy, or Message in Tongues, or their Interpretive Dance or their Song, or their Running the Aisles, is adding the touch from God that everyone needed to experience in the House of God that day.  They are disappointed to not have something supernatural take place in their church that day so thereby the Word of God is not held in the highest regard, (as they tout it is), in those denominations.  The teaching of the Word of God is all we need to grow in our faith and the Holy Spirit works in subtle ways sometimes much more powerful than in the grand displays that go on in P/C churches. 


Another obvious problem with P/C churches is you will hear a lot "the Holy Spirit told me this or did this" and you will hear a lot about the devil attacking in this way or that but you will not hear as much about Jesus Christ.  They will preach Jesus but more often than not you will hear more about the Holy Spirit and how He is moving amongst the church in signs and wonders.  It becomes a goal to know the Holy Spirit more intimately rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.  And this is wrong because the Bible says the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus so why do P/C parishioners talk more and more about the Holy Spirit than Jesus Christ?  And why is the devil focused on so much (in how he is attacking Christians and in the world itself) instead of Jesus being lifted up as sovereign in all matters?  Again, to be fair, P/C churches do lift up Jesus in their sermons (some) and in worship (some) but an apparent sign of a P/C congregation as compared to a non-P/C congregation is how much you hear about the Holy Spirit and the devil to where you begin to think Jesus needs His people to move in supernatural ways to fix the world.


I have listed a few ways that P/C churches are dangerous to one's faith and no matter which of these deviations I have listed take place in someone's P/C church, the bottom line is their church services become about the human beings in the church rather than the lifting up of Jesus.  P/C denominations end up mixing Humanism with Mysticism and they create a form of Idol Worship of Man. These denominations are growing by leaps and bounds because people feel good there because their egos and self confidence are stroked and the flare for excitement is there with the supernatural happenings.  In other words, their flesh gets fed at equal to sometimes greater degrees than their spirit (and their spirit will only grow if they preach the Word correctly, if they don't, then their spirit isn't growing at all.)  For more insight into these denominations please check out the links below and read what I have written about Revival Fires which explains some of what I have personally been exposed to and also please go to the "About the Author" page (2) and read my journey into and out of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches.

 

Pentecostal History by Tim Naab: http://www.seeking4truth.com/pentecostal_history.htm has two interesting points at the top of the page that I will post here: 


"The loud speaker or singer believes that his self-induced hypnotic trance is *enthusiasm and he believes that this means that god is within. He doesn't know that Philo coined this word to describe those afflicted, as in Corinth, with enthus o mania - just momentary insanity. Philo "developed a doctrine of ecstasy or ek-stasis, which means standing outside oneself.' This is the highest form of piety which lies beyond faith. This mysticism unites prophetic ecstasy with *'enthusiasm', a word which comes from en-theos-mania, meaning to possess the divine. From this there comes finally the fully developed mystical system of the Neo-Platonists, for example, of Dionysus the Areopagite. In this mystical system the ecstasy of the individual person leads to a union with the One, with the Absolute, with God." (Tillich, Paul, A History of Christian Thought, Touchstone, p.3). 

"As to the nature of *enthusiasm, it is, undoubtedly a disorder of the mind; and such a disorder as greatly hinders the exercise of reason. Nay, sometimes it wholly sets it aside: it not only dims but shuts the eyes of the understanding. It may, therefore, well be accounted a species of madness." John Wesley (Sermon #37 point 11 "The Nature of Enthusiasm")   * Enthusiasm: another term for Charismatic


Quakers, Shakers, Pentecostals and Charismatics:  http://www.seekgod.ca/quakers.htm


What's Wrong with Modern Day Tongues?  http://www.1timothy4-13.com/files/bible/tenproblems.html


What's Wrong with Being Slain in the Spirit?  http://www.scionofzion.com/slain.htm


A woman tells how she was attacked by the Kundalini spirit in a Pentecostal revival service: http://www.velocity.net/~edju70/test1.htm


If it Looks so Good How Can it Be Deception - a testimony:  http://www.velocity.net/~edju70/deception.htm


A Mormon explains how he got tongues, (which proves it is not Biblical for today)) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc-ti5Y8n2Q


Word of Faith (Health and Wealth) Preachers: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/word-faith.html

Joel O'steen, The Smile of Deceit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v32-j-NQUqk


Benny Hinn's response to NBC Dateline's investigation into his ministry:  http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/hinndatelineresponse.html


TBN Exposed:  http://www.tbnexposed.com/index.html  and http://galatiansfour.blogspot.com/2012/03/tbn-exposed.html  and http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/tbn_exposed.htm  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFx2-ErL28k


Pat Robertson's 700 Club or 7000 who have not bowed their knees to charismatic ecumenism: http://letusreason.org/Popteach49.htm


Inside the 700 Club testimonial by a former Co-Host:  http://fair.org/extra/inside-the-700-club/


(If any of these hyperlinks don't work, please copy them and paste them in the URL because these web addresses are for websites that are online. I do check my links periodically due to videos and websites that get removed).

Please watch this video that exposes the insanity of modern Pentecostal revival services entitled Strange Fire, Unholy Spirits -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxZFQGQ25rU    

Also please read a couple of comments that were on a video teaching about this type of strange fire in Pentecostal churches:
 

Karina H3 weeks ago

I use to go to a Pentecostal church some years ago. Speaking in tongues and jerking and shaking was so common. They said it was the Holy Spirit. My mom never wanted to go but she accompanied me one day and when they started doing that, she practically dragged me out. She said she saw smoke and a creature that looked like a demon up towards the front. Thank you for sharing and God bless ❤️


Boo Allen3 weeks ago

I grew up in Pentecostal. As a teenager saw someone...supposedly filled with the holy spirit. screaming spitting writhing and jumped up banging both shins on the alter. blood pouring everywhere. pple saying Amen. I was terrified and knew it wasn't righteous!

But some of you might be saying right about now:  But the Apostle Paul spoke about tongues to the Corinthian church and he said he prayed in tongues more than anyone, so how can it be wrong?  Please read through these articles specifically going over the tongues chapters found in the book of I Corinthians.


When Did the Gift of Tongues Cease? by Pastor Dennis Kiszonas - https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/when-did-the-gift-of-tongues-cease/

TONGUES SHALL CEASE by GILBERT B. WEAVER, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies John Brown University -

https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/grace-journal/14-1_12.pdf


“Whether There Be Tongues, They Shall Cease”? http://www.wordistruth.com/pdf/Tongues.pdf


 Commentary on I Corinthians 12 - 14 by Matthew Henry (English minister and Bible commentator who lived 1662-1714) -  https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/mhc/1Cr/1Cr_012.cfm

MIRACLE HEALINGS - Are they for everyone? 

I never heard or even paid attention to the following verses in the Bible when I was a Pentecostal and I think they are very important to focus on for a few minutes.  The reason they are so important is I had always thought that the Apostle Paul always had healing power such as when his shadow fell on people (Acts 5: 15) and/or when they handed out handkerchiefs that he had touched (Acts 19:11 - 12) and the people were healed.  But did you know there are times when he left someone unhealed?  Those in the Pentecostal camp will say it is because those people lacked faith, such as when Jesus did not do miracles in his home town because they lacked faith, but that is not true because the people in the following verses were men of faith. 


2 Timothy 4:20 - Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

1 Timothy 5:23 -Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

Philippians 2:25-27 - Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.  For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

So, I ask you, if God did not heal people 100% of the time through Paul's ministry, why do Pentecostals today say that there are men or women who have the gift of healing?  Sometimes these men or women say they are Apostles or have Apostolic power but there are no Apostles today because the Bible has been written and the only Apostle who did not walk with Jesus when he was a alive was the Apostle Paul, (who met Jesus through his vision on the Road to Damascus), and he wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament.  If any of the modern day "Apostles" tried to add books to the Bible people would cry out against them, so why are we accepting their testimony that they have power equal to or surpassing of the Apostle Paul to heal?

Could it be that God allowed the Apostles to do signs, wonders and miracles, as to give proof that the church of Jesus Christ had come with God's power and therefore the Gospel was the truth that the Jews and Gentiles should believe in?  And then as the church had grown into the thousands, the use of signs, wonders and miracles did not need to be evident?  After-all our faith is about the Cross of Christ, the message of salvation found there and putting our trust in a risen Lord who will come back for us one day.  Not in signs, wonders and miracles.  People who get trapped in that part of the book of Acts will chase down the "anointing" in church services, ministries and revival movements and it may derail their true faith in the whole counsel of God.  And from some of the scary things I have seen healing preachers do when they "heal" people, I have to wonder if it is even safe spiritually to be around those services.

One example I saw recently was from a local preacher named Billy Burke.  I don't doubt his sincerity but I did go to his church for a little bit and I picked up some things he would say and do that did not fit with Scripture, (that I cover on my testimony page), but just recently I saw 5 minutes of one of his televised healing services and it scared me!  He was trying to heal a woman of glaucoma and he yelled "power" real loud as he came down on her head with his hand.  She was dazed and then began to smile as if she could see better.  I hope she was healed but my fear is that he released some sort of Kundalini power over her and that she will suffer greater spiritually than she was visually as time goes on.  I know I sensed a spirit of fear the moment he came down on her and it wasn't because of the volume of his voice or his hand motion.  It was because it just didn't seem right.  I don't believe a man can command God to heal on demand.  The Holy Spirit is Holy and far above man's ability to understand, much less control!  So, just because Billy Burke wants to do good things for people like the Apostle Paul did in the beginning of his ministry, does not mean God is going to oblige his every command.  And I happen to know that Billy Burke's call-in prayer line gets people's contact information first before they ever pray with them and that is so they can follow up with requests for donations.  So, this makes me compare his ministry to the Apostle Paul in another way too - Paul sewed tents for a living so he did not have to ask for money - Billy Burke lives off of his ministry's donations. 

He is only one of many faith healers in the world but you can learn about Benny Hinn through my link above and google other faith healers and see whether you would want to put your faith in their claims to always have healing power in their ministry.  I personally would rather die trusting God to save me from my humble prayers to heal me (if they don't work) than to go and have someone lay hands on me and release false spirits over my life and soul.  (And I have a potentially life taking condition right now as I write this.)  I want to face Jesus some day telling Him that I wanted His will for my life, not what I could try and get from a sorcerer's power to hang onto my life.  Remember Jesus words in John 12:25 - He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

REVIVAL FIRES - Are they moves of God?  There are some modern churches that have followed in the same type of "Revival" form as Azusa Street.  Toronto Blessing, Brownsville Revival, Pensacola Outpouring and the Lakeland Revival are a few of them.  As a whole, the modern revival movement believes in a "transferable anointing" and include manifestations such as being slain in the Spirit (falling backward), holy laughter, holy rolling aka "carpet-time", uncontrollable shaking and emotional outbursts.  There will also be uncontrollable weeping, groaning, "drunkenness," and even behaviors that have been described as a "cross between a jungle and a farmyard animal."  There are certain preachers or evangelists that are proponents of these revivals such as the famous Pentecostal televangelists Rodney Howard Brown, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland but also some not so well known such as Heidi Baker, Cindy Jacobs and Mike Bickel.  Let's take a look at the Toronto Blessing now because it is the main modern revival due to when it began and it's influence around the world and the fact that it is currently still holding nightly services.

The Toronto Blessing began in 1994 when a visiting evangelist came to the Toronto Airport Vineyard, a small 425 seat church facility and "the Holy Spirit fell on them and revival began". Ten months later after thousands showed up from around the world Sr. Pastor John Arnott moved the church into a 3,000 seat facility. The people continue to fly in for services from all over the world but also the church's influence has spread internationally to at least 4,000 churches in the UK as well as spreading to Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Finland, Holland, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Guyana (South America), Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Czechoslavakia, Russia, mainland China, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Romania, New Guinea, Kenya, Israel, and many other places.  Many of the famous preachers and evangelists mentioned above visit Toronto at least once a year, if not more often.  To explain this phenomenon in a clear way I have chosen to provide an article and some videos below.  Please pray for God's protection and discernment as you view some of the clips below of Toronto revival services and judge for yourselves, measured against Scripture, if these are moves of God.  But to start with please read this article written on the Toronto Blessing to get a better understanding of the fullness of what it is about:  https://evangelists.wordpress.com/tag/toronto-blessing/

An interview with John and Carol Arnott, the leaders of this revival church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcMPz77I_ZQ  Keep in mind the Bible doesn't talk about "an electricity feeling" when filled with the Holy Spirit, nor does it say the "Holy Spirit falls", and even though Carol won 2 people to Christ after being heavily anointed, I ask, what "spirit" were the people responding to?  In other words, was she preaching the Bible to them or was she telling them about her electricity feeling?  Also, the devil can do miracles so some of these people they say are being healed at their services, are they healed but off-course in their faith?

Here is what I call a marketing piece for Toronto Blessing in that it's put together in a very professional documentary style by a man who claimed to be a skeptic until he visited and was a part of it.  Please turn off your speakers at first when watching them worship because the Vineyard music is playing real loud and the hypnotic (and yes uplifting) sound of the music can sweep you up as well as the lyrics promoting the "unity of people" and you may miss the point that these people are not worshiping Jesus but celebrating a movement of revival of people.  I also noticed that in this documentary no Gospel message was given to any of the people there, neither was a Bible shown in anyone's company. As far as the mended relationships and strong love feelings, I invite you to read the page on Mysticism and Yoga because when Hindus meet for worship they get touches of love too either when the Hindu guru touches them or when the Kundalini spirit flows in the Hindu prayer place.  I personally think these people are embracing the Kundalini false spirit but they think it's Jesus* because are having their experiences in a church that is labeled as a Christian church?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrhGWoBnhfk   *(Here is an example of why this could be a deceiving spirit and not the real Jesus: In one of Carol Arnott’s visions, Jesus brings her a bouquet of lilies after which they ‘run and play and have a wonderful, intimate time together.’  Carol and Jesus then get married.  At the wedding feast Carol said she was standing in an open spot when Jesus walked up and said, ‘Carol, may I have the first dance?’  Carol exuded that cardinals and blue jays ‘picked up my veil, and I danced with Jesus.’” Documentation comes from John Arnott’s book The Father’5 Blessing, pages 20,26,163-165.  Also in that book Arnott describes how Jesus appeared to another woman and fulfilled all her fantasies.  Jesus laughed with the woman as together they ran around with arms stretched out like airplanes; Jesus lay on the ground with the woman and played Legos; then Jesus played with her hair and met her deepest needs and desires. This is more like what happens with Hindu Tantra meditation than with the Christian's relationship with Jesus Christ.)

A typical night service at Toronto Blessing, carpet-time and drunkeness abound.  I also ask you why would God take out someone's heart (which is not even medically possible to live without a heart) and leave her that way for two days only to fill her after she begs him to end her torture and then if she is healed after that last touch (which came from a man laying hand on her), then why is she so shaking and emotional as to not be able to tell her testimony?  Where is the peace of God in any of this?  Don't get me started on the blasphemy of the drunk man in the hat who puts on the sun glasses! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlT3oaaed9U

Here is a Toronto Blessing service that Heidi Baker was heading up - she attends Toronto Blessing each year for their annual celebration where she takes the microphone and leads the revival service.  As you watch this, notice how she can't lift her head in the beginning like a drunk person and then when she does take the microphone she says 'whew' alot as well as jerks in her head and body.  The Kundalini spirit makes people jerk in their body.  Also why a special anointing to only cure cancer and glaucoma?  Also, I have a hard time believing she fasted for 40 days and nights since that is medically a very dangerous thing to do and she would end up a skeleton and possibly very sick, some die from lesser fasts.   Her vision of Jesus and the whole concept of keys being given to her so she could take body parts for healings of people is not in Scripture, the Apostle Paul would not speak about his vision of heaven so why is she?  Anyway, this is Heidi Baker at Toronto Airport, you decide if this is the Biblical Gospel she is representing:  http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=heidi+baker+at+toronto+church+youtube&qpvt=Heidi+baker+at+Toronto+church+you+tube&FORM=VDRE#view=detail&mid=5F60461C21BAFEFAEE675F60461C21BAFEFAEE67 

And while she doesn't always say "gods" instead of God, here is a compilation of services Heidi headed up where she has called God, "gods" which makes you wonder what kind of anointing does she have that would make her call God, "gods"? Some of these are of her at Toronto Airport church.  http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+gods+of+heidi+baker&FORM=VIRE1#view=detail&mid=D765F90F71CD498590C2D765F90F71CD498590C2

I will let you google the other modern revivals I listed above to see how they are similar to Toronto and yet each one has a different origin and length that they lasted and different leaders.  Some just fizzled out as mysterious as they began but the Lakeland Revival ended with scandal because the leader Todd Bentley was having an affair while leading the revival.  The Lakeland revival shouldn't have even began because Todd Bentley's miracles were all based on angels, not Jesus.  This should've been a red flag right from the get-go that he was hearing from a false spirit and was propagating something more like the New Age rather than Christianity.

You will learn from looking into these modern revivals that there is literally no Gospel preached in the services and there is a heavy emphasis on healings rather than seeing the lost get saved.  Also miracles such as feathers floating down or gold dust landing on people from above are considered to be God's favor on these services.  But some of this miracle gold dust has found its way under the microscope and in each case the ‘gold’ dust was found to be plastic, or plastic with a trace of aluminum.  Would God send fake gold dust?  Would God send gold dust at all?  Some people even have claimed their teeth turned pure gold while worshiping,  None of these "signs" are something we see in the Bible and it serves no purpose in a person's salvation so it must be seen as either a trick of man or of the enemy.  Also there is a lot of talk in these revivals about "getting in the river", or "walking into the deep waters of God" etc.  I ask you, where in the Scriptures does it talk about this?  All of the 'river talk' just gives a false reason for people to lay in their comatose and drunken states in these revival services.

While I never attended any of these revivals (except after Todd Bentley was kicked out of the Lakeland church I attended one time to get an idea of what was going on there and what I found was a typical Pentecostal service but in the front reception area there were vendors selling their New Age stuff)  I did attend a Pentecostal church for a short time that was headed up by a man who was a part of the preachers of the Brownsville revival and my own local church I was a member of for 5 years immersed itself in revival.  So I have experienced many of these revival things in my local Pentecostal church I was a member of and so I am speaking from experience when I say this revival movement stuff all may seem like it is of God, but the long-term effects on a person's mind and life are catastrophic!  And one's faith in the true Gospel becomes very, very hard to grasp.  It's like the discipline of living by faith in the Word of God becomes over-run by all of the super-natural experiences and you find you are no longer a Christian that reasons with one's mind what God teaches in His Word but you become someone who imagines all kinds of things, mostly "what the Holy Spirit has told you".  For more information on my personal experience as a Pentecostal please see the About the Author page of this website but I will highlight some of what I mean by posting a video of my former pastor, who is now General Overseer of the denomination I was a member of, Church of God, Cleveland Tennessee.  This is from 2014 at the church's annual assembly.  and from what I could gather from the different websites for Church of God, this assembly is full of the important, high-up positioned and the faithful, people of Church of God denomination. (The celebrated people within the denomination - I remind the reader that the Bible says in Romans 2:11 - For there is no respect of persons in God, meaning God does not lift up any man or woman over others.)   And I would like to point out that this is about 10 years after I left "revival" type church services and I see that things are still being run the same from the pulpit (although this service is relatively tame compared to some of the ones we had in my church) by this man of God. 

As you watch this you will see a nice choir and songs being sung to begin the service with and then what is an educational and well-skilled orator sermon but notice the message is not a very deep message because the theme of their meeting that year was "the Oneness of the Church" (so no true Gospel message presented) and since the theme of their conference is all about "unity of the believers" I wonder if he means Church of God members or does he mean all denominations?  It would seem from his message that he means CofG members but I want to point out that another sermon I found online from him, https://continentalnews.net/church-of-god-mark-williams-state-of-the-church-address   he gives a statistic from the Vatican!  I point out that statistic he used was one he could've gotten from at least 3 Protestant Christian ministries who deal with persecution numbers of Christians in this generation but he chose to use a quote from the Vatican.  This is what I told him in my "leaving the denomination letter" to him, that Pentecostals are in danger of being swept up into Rome because of how they view tongues as the common denominator of believers rather than doctrine first and foremost.   Him quoting from the Vatican is giving it an endorsement even though slight in his message.  Then at the end of of this video sermon I've provided a link to below you will see some of the supernatural prompting problems! The pastor starts calling for the Holy Spirit to rain down in that place and show Himself in miraculous ways.  The pastor says praise comes first, then purity and then power.  I guess he means the couple of songs they sung and the Word they listened to took care of their part to praise and be pure in heart and so now it was God's turn to pour out His power on them.  That is quite a formula he believes, that man can control God experientially just like that!  And it leads a person to think God is obligated each time a person goes to church to follow up with miracles!  My Bible says at least three things that contradict this formula: 1) Jeremiah 17:9, 10 - The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doing. 2) Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  3) Matthew 12:39 - But he (Jesus) said unto them, and evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.  So, from these three verses we can see that spending time in praise and the Word does not make the human heart pure (it can correct and renew but the human heart will always be deceitful - only Jesus had a pure heart), and spending time in praise and in the Word does not come with a reward such as instant flowing out from God in a supernatural way with power or miracles because praise and spending time in the Word are our reasonable service to God.  God however does bless us through our time with Him but He does not promise or owe us supernatural "pouring out from heaven" in response to each time we go to church.  And lastly, Matthew 12:39 shows that to seek this type of supernatural response from God "because we need it" (which the General Overseer says) is condemned in Scripture. And one more thing I would like to point out before I post the link is, notice how the lights are out like it is a concert. 

Another problem I see with this service is back lights of neon blue from the stage but the auditorium is in pitch blackness.  When in Scripture did we see the first Christians dimming the lights for their gatherings?  Even if they had to meet in the catacombs to be safe from Roman persecution, they brought lanterns with them to light the room not the other way around.  So, when I look at this video, I can't help but see this as a wordly way to appeal to the flesh of human beings.  We all remember when we were a part of the world and got excited about the music concert we were going to attend, whether it be a pop artist or rock group or even a Broadway production - we went expecting something exciting to happen, to entertain us.  Or for that matter, when we went to night clubs we also dressed up and went expecting something exciting to happen that would make our lives better or even change our lives (like meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right), and the lights were always off and music permeated the environment.  Why are we doing church this way?  Doesn't this allow for a false spirit to invade the environment as people are holding up their hands and saying "touch me God", "pour out your supernatural on me God"?  And if not false spirits, doesn't it allow for emotions to take a person into fanatical behavior where they feel they need to keep hearing this particular type of music or preaching again?  You will also hear the preacher say "the same power that raised Jesus from the grave is available to you" as he is laying hands on some man's head.  This man may have a need for a physical healing or maybe he wanted a special anointing to be able to do ministry, I don't think the preacher knows because he doesn't actually talk to the man, he is up on the stage reaching down to the man's head, but the words he says seem sacrilegious to me.  I mean, the power that raised Jesus from the grave, which is the same as the resurrection power when God saves someone's soul, (from death to life) is God's power, not man's to claim as his own.  I understand in Pentecostalism, it is all about faith, those who have it can get healed and those lacking in it, won't.  But I have a problem with all of that too.  God's power is God's power and He uses it as He sees fit, the verse above, Jeremiah 17:10 even says that, that God gives to everyone as He sees fit.  So, watch this video prayerfully so as to not be deceived - there is always some good in these services but its the leaven you have to be careful of.  It will be like that snake you didn't see in the grass and will bite you while you are walking merrily on your way!  The link to the annual conference service is below:

After you listen to that one and if you want more of an understanding of how subtle and versatile the deviations are from solid Bible church services then I have included the links to the other two preachers Church of God chose to speak at this conference, which were Jocelyn Barnett, a female evangelist, and Samuel Rodriguez, a man they says blends Billy Grahams salvation message with Martin Luther King Jr.'s prophetic activism.  Hmmmm, what exactly is prophetic activism?  Martin Luther King Jr. never said he led the civil rights marches because of prophecy he received from God, so this must be a new twist to that civil rights movement.  But I think when you listen to him you will see he twists things anyway.  The theme of the conference is One, which is supposed to be about the Oneness of the church (which they say is the Church of God - they say this on their website, that it was formed when Jesus called His 12 Disciples - what???? See this on their Church of God International Offices history page https://www.thechurchofgod.org/resources/index.php?id=2  some of which I will post in case they remove it, "The founding of The Church of God occurred when Jesus Christ called together His twelve apostles and with them organized His Church. According to the history of the Church, this occurred approximately 28 A.D. on the Horns of Hittin near Tiberias in Palestine, now known as Israel", but then their main COG website history page says their denomination was formed in 1886 in Tennessee - http://www.churchofgod.org/about/a-brief-history-of-the-church-of-god - at the very least they have no oversight on what they put out for others to read), but Preacher Rodriguez takes that One message and turns it into a "one touch from God" message instead of their theme for the year, and you will even see at the end that he takes a Bible verse and does a hatchet job on it.  He quotes from the end of Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my house" which ends in "we will serve the Lord" but Rodriguez says "we will touch God" and then he starts a chant over and over and encourages the audience to "touch God".  This starts the typical Pentecostal fever that is called "anointing" and Rodgriguez struts around the stage in an apparent "gifted with God's presence" behaviour so typical of Pentecostal preachers we see on TBN, which is a blasphemous "Christian" television network in so many ways.   As for the other preacher, Jocelyn Barnett, my Bible says that women are not to teach men and there are men in this audience.  I Timothy 2: 12 and 13 says: But I suffer (which means allow) not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to remain quiet.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 

I want to point out also that prior to the sermons they present things on missions and yes, it does touch the heart the way they present their work around the world, and yes, reaching the lost is the heart of God, but we have to keep in mind that if they teach wrong doctrine to those they are reaching with the Gospel, are they truly doing God's will?  Even Muslims proselytize, so if Church of God is reaching the lost with their version of the Gospel, which goes outside of Scripture to embrace all kinds of supernatural experiences, are they reaching the lost for Jesus or for their church denomination?  It's a fine line, and only God knows the heart of each and every preacher or State or General Overseer in that denomination as to what their goal is, but we all have to be careful that when we witness to a person that we are bringing them into Biblical Christianity and not a denomination.  Especially when this denomination has things in their written bylaws and belief statements that are distortions of Scripture.   For example, in their practical commitments section of their beliefs they address remarriage after divorce and say: The remarriage of divorced persons should be undertaken only after a thorough understanding of and submission to the scriptural instructions concerning this issue (Matthew 19:7-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 10, 11).  While this may sound like a theologically correct way to address this issue, I suggest to you that it is very vague and non-committal from a leadership stance.  They point to the Scriptures and leave it up to the parishioner to decide what those Scriptures are saying.  Then in the church you see people remarrying and remarrying and you get confused especially when you see the pastor of that church officiating those wedding services.  I had wondered why my pastor remarried so many divorced people so I had brought him teachings from other pastors stating that remarriage is adultery if the first marriage didn't end because of adultery or death of one spouse and he would politely dismiss these attempts of mine to get a dialogue opened up on this issue.  Now I see he was following the watered down rule COG has established for remarriage.  It would seem if they can announce this next doctrine as bold as they do, that they could address the divorce and remarriage issue in the same way.  On their Doctrinal Commitments page: The speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives utterance as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost. John 15:26; Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:1-7.  They say it straight out that they believe the baptism of the Holy Ghost has to be demonstrated by that person speaking in tongues, they did not leave it up to the parishioner as to what they feel the Scriptures teach there so they use "slight of hand" in how they address the different issues.  One vague and non-committal from their Corporate headquarters and the other bold and authorative from their Corporate headquarters.  Why the difference?  Perhaps because they don't really care if people obey God in their personal lives but they do care about having a denomination and tongues is what marks their denomination.  Now is a good time to also point out that the Bible no where says that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Tongues was only a sign to the Jews when the church was first formed, not something all Christians need to experience in order to know they've received the Holy Spirit.  So, just these two errors alone can make for chaos in a church!  And God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints".  (I Corinthians 14:33)  Also as part of this missions prologue, they introduce a little girl who had a dream about Jesus and how they've started their Africa missions program based on this little girl's dream, which sounds really believable how all of the pieces fit together in the story and it's really moving, but do we really know all of this is true?  Children have active imaginations and there are many supernatural things that take place in people's lives that aren't always God's intervention, and yes, it does seem like it is since God wants to reach the lost, but just be aware that Catholics put out miracle testimonies as do the Mormons and the New Agers too.  And do you ever wonder what happens to these children that parents lift up because of some supernatural thing they say happened to them?  Well, I met one young woman who was supposed to be especially anointed in her youth and the Pentecostal church parishioners used to carry her around to lay hands on people.  At 30 years old she was so emotionally messed up and an alcoholic too but she still thought of herself as "the apple of God's eye" as she was living totally in sin.  Of course , it can go the other direction too, such as this female evangelist Jocelyn Barnett, who is the child of two Church of God preachers/evangelists - they are thought of as especially anointed and are asked to speak at annual conferences.  But still I remind everyone to pray for discernment because just because something touches our hearts and it points to God, it does not mean it is of God - Guideposts magazines are proof of that - they are full of supposed God stories that are actually not Scriptural at all but are New Age! 

Anyway, here are the links to the other two preachers at this Annual Conference, which I think proves my former pastor is still winking at sin in the church, something you can read more about on my personal testimony page (2).  http://www.daystar.com/ondemand/video/?video=3726545974001 is Samuel Rodgriquez' sermon and http://www.daystar.com/ondemand/video/?video=3726545975001 takes you to Jocelyn Barnett's sermon.

I am really glad I got to see these sermons on Daystar because I have recently started going to a Baptist church and the devil has been really messing with me in making me feel wrong to leave Pentecostalism and start at this different denomination.  In fact a book arrived that I didn't order from a couple of missionaries who do good work feeding and clothing and preaching the salvation message to the people of Haiti (that I have given money to for years, ever since getting saved) and in reading the first couple of chapters of the book I learned they were very much Pentecostal.  I had never realized that because they don't talk about it on their half hour television show but I did wonder when they in recent years took large donations from a couple of really famous Pentecostal preachers on television, (that I've never liked or followed).  Well the new information left me really confused and wondering "if these two that I have believed in so strongly all of these years, are doing such good work for God, then maybe I am wrong about this denomination". But then I would remember all of the reasons I left and how I felt God totally called me out of it and I went back and forth in mental torment over this for a week!  And so when the weekend finally came I prayed for God to bring me the answers I needed and I found these sermons online.  When I saw my former pastor still saying things the same way and doing things the same way from the pulpit, 14 years later, it made me realize I wasn't missing anything.  And I learned something else by watching this sermon:  I had always blamed myself (after leaving my church) for getting so overly emotional and "strangely anointed" in my church's services but now I see my pastor actually calls for that type of thing - you saw him at the end of his sermon - and that was a mild service too compared to some that we had at our church - there were times the "Holy Spirit" fell on the place and the sermon didn't even get preached, everyone just "fell-out in all kinds of experiences" and that was church.  In viewing this 2014 sermon, I saw how he acts like the songs and sermon are only the platforms for the supernatural experiences everyone is encouraged to call out for from God.  I am sure these people go home very high from the evening but what I question is was it from God or man?  I believe it's suggestive mind-control of sorts, with his calling out to experience something supernatural, and the music going loudly at the end, and tongues being prayed (did you hear him at the end?) while people hold up their hands asking God for "some kind of touch" from Him.  And I was very susceptible because I was told by a teacher as a child that I was very "directorable" meaning I do what I am told the first time.  So, I followed Pentecostal teachings and this preacher's leadings to a "T" in calling out for all things supernatural, and then I kept building on these things service after service striving for "revival" because he said "revival is coming".  At least in this video I didn't see him promise these people that revival is coming since he left our church before it came. Of course, now that he's at the very top position of the denomination and he has no place higher to go, he might as well tell them that under his leadership revival is coming. But anyway, I thank God He gave me the peace I needed from finding these sermons online, so I can go forward in my normal Baptist church that focuses on Scripture, and ask God what He would have me to do about my sponsorship of those missionaries as a separate issue.
Many Pentecostals Become Atheists: 

I met a man who had been a Pentecostal preacher for 8 years but got caught up in thinking about hell a lot and began to question a God who would send anyone to hell and so he eventually became an atheist, and not just any atheist.  No, he became the head of the atheist organization for the whole bay area, (which encompasses 3 cities), and he actively picketed churches.  That's where I met him, I was driving out of a Pentecostal church service and the parishioners were yelling at him as they drove out of the church and I figured the more Christian thing to do was to talk to him and find out his story and try and witness to him.  I wasn't sure what to do once I found out that he had actually been a preacher and then decided to turn against God.  I remembered how Hebrews 6:4 says: For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.  He knew the verse too and he felt he could not come back to God because of it.  The interesting thing is I too had been having a lot of feelings and thoughts that God should not send people to hell.  In fact I would say at that point I was having a crisis of faith because I was feeling sorry for people who would go to hell more than I was being on God's side that He knows what He is doing and why things are the way they are.  I knew God let me meet that atheist for two reasons: 1) I needed a wake-up call that I was on very dangerous ground faith-wise and 2) I began to theorize, because I had already been through so much spiritually bad stuff as a Pentecostal, that the spirits Christians open themselves up to in Pentecostal services end up ship-wrecking their faith in the end.  This theory I am going to try and illustrate to you now with a few more examples of Pentecostal preachers and Pentecostal Christians who turned atheist. What prompted me to pursue this theory is a sermon I was listening to by William Hughes who preaches at a Baptist church in New Jersey.  (He is Reformed but is more like Charles Spurgeon type of Reformed, he doesn't shove it up to the forefront of his messages, so I can listen to him some and gain Biblical knowledge from him.)  He said that Pentecostals are actually atheists because they require signs and experiences all of the time.  That really struck a chord with me since I had seen myself almost crash and burn into atheism while I was a Pentecostal.  Plus I already realized years ago that it isn't faith if you are just feeding on supernatural experience after supernatural experience.
 
Here is the story of a Pentecostal preacher who was Senior Pastor of his church for 25 years before he turned atheist.  Hell was the issue that turned him too: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/magazine/from-bible-belt-pastor-to-atheist-leader.html


Here is a Wikipedia outline of a preacher who was a Quaker, (see my link on Quakers and Shakers) and then Assemblies of God charismatic preacher before turning atheist:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Barker


This former Pentecostal website used to have a blog where I personally read stories of people who not only left the Pentecostal denomination but becamse atheist.  It seems there is a problem with their website because the only page other than the home page that has any information anymore is this one I want to post because it shows some famous ex Pentecostals.  In my opinion these people on this list went onto to live for the devil in the entertainment industry. http://www.expentecostals.org/famous.htm


Here's a guy who was a Pentecostal parishioner who turned atheist who made a documentary film telling people why.  I won't pay to see it but I am providing the link so you can see this guy exists:  http://www.joshpreville.com/losinggod


Here's a guy who was doing fine in his Christian walk until he met some Charismatics and their influence on his life caused him to lose his faith and become an atheist:  http://www.skeptimusprime.net/2015/09/06/that-time-pentecostals-turned-me-into-an-atheist/


This young lady says the opposite, that Pentecostals don't just become atheists but they usually take some unilateral steps into other religions before turning atheist but she is a former Pentecostal who is now a non-Christian.  But she explains what I say above, how there is so much supernatural in Pentecostalism that these Christians often go into Wicca or Shamanism and then some onto atheism. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=pentecostals+turn+atheist&qpvt=pentecostals+turn+atheist&view=detail&mid=71AF78066EBA436FE03571AF78066EBA436FE035&FORM=VRDGAR


I do realize that there are other denominations that lose preachers and parishioners to atheism but I believe the denominations have now been so infiltrated with Charismatic beliefs that the problem is bound to be more widespread throughout all of Christiandom.

At this point you might be thinking that I don't believe Pentecostals or Charismatics are Christians or that God helps people in supernatural ways.  That would be incorrect because I believe there are true Christians in every denomination but I feel they will suffer (their faith in the Word and then finally in God will derail) and they will mislead others if they don't eventually leave their false denominations.  My concern is for them, I don't want them to suffer like I did.  But I am not against God moving in supernatural ways because salvation itself is a supernatural act!  And I do believe God does miracles today and I do believe He can choose to work through signs and wonders BUT I believe He does these supernatural workings when He decides to move in that way, (and it's usually in times when a person is without any other way to get help), but it is NOT when Christians are taking authority and commanding signs and wonders, especially in weekly or nightly church services full of entertainment.  And I believe sometimes God's supernatural power is so subtle that the circumstances change (ie: someone's cancer goes in remission) but there may not be an immediate outward physical manifestation of it, so no big show is put on for an audience.  I do believe Scripture gives us the authority to cast our demons in Jesus name and that this is the compassionate thing to do when and if we meet someone bound up in torment but I believe people need to be careful though in this type of work, they need to just pray in Jesus name over the person and help the person to repent of their sin(s) which led to the person's demonic possession/oppression.  If you teach the person to realize that Jesus conquered the devil at the Cross of Calvary and tell them to bring everything to the Cross in prayer, the devil will flee from them eventually.  However, if the person praying deliverance over others gets big-headed and thinks they "have a gift" for deliverance, they will get bound up in demon-chasing and find they are more bound than the person(s) they are trying to help.  I am against the Deliverance classes that group up supposed demons by their categories and the deliverer prays over the possessed/oppressed with a list of names of demons and their categories of strongholds.  These lists are not in Scripture and no where do we see any of the Apostles doing this kind of work.  And since we are not Jesus, all we can do is lean on the Holy Spirit to guide us as we pray over someone and to use the principles of the Word, such as Jesus conquered everything at the Cross. I also believe a Christian can be bound up in sins that can cause them to be oppressed and I would suggest that person read their Bible (KJV) a lot and even listen to it on CD throughout the day or at night while they sleep.  This will allow the Holy Spirit to bring that person's sinful areas to their knowledge so they can repent and get set free.  They can take their sinful attitudes or belief systems (such as idol worship or any kind) to the foot of the Cross and repent and ask the Lord to forgive them and fill them with the Holy Spirit in a deeper way.  I am very against what is called Territorial Spiritual Warefare, which is where people supposedly discern or hear from God about demonic powers in the heavenlies that are supposedly keeping people or cities or this nation from getting saved and they work in teams to "pull down these strongholds".  We see none of this in Scripture and there have been many reported incidents in Christian's lives who practice this of very bad things happening to them.  It seems to open doors for Satan to directly attack them.  Sure, there will be problems for Christians when they do God's work, but it is wise to know the difference of persecution for the sake of the Gospel and all-out evil attacks in the spirit realm or against one's health - if you are overwhelmed by the latter, then you are most likely operating in occult realms and are outside of the safety of Scripture.


I do believe God appears to Muslims in visions and dreams when they are living in countries where the Gospel is forbidden to be preached and He may even do something supernatural to help a person get saved where the Gospel is preached.  God is in the saving business but it does not allow for Christians to call themselves Apostles and go around claiming the Apostles' power  For Muslim testimonies please visit: http://www.muslimjourneytohope.com/watch.php


I do believe God does miraculous healings and that Christians should pray for Divine healings, with faith that God can heal a sick or dying person but that sometimes its God's will for that person to die.  God has a planned amount of time that each of us has down here and while He may grant more time to someone as we see with King Hezekiah in Isaiah 38, we also have to accept that sometimes He will not act in the way we ask Him to.  This is contrary to what the Faith Healers teach and I would never advise a sick person to attend a Faith Healers meeting!  I also would warn Christians of having anyone lay hands on you and speak over you if the minister deems himself/herself as having a gift of healing.


Out on the mission field, I know God sometimes heals a person as they accept Christ and/or right afterward, because I have heard many true accounts of this.  I am sure this happens here in America and in Europe too, not just the remote places of the world.  But often times God moves supernaturally out of compassion for someone who does not have the means to get medical help and/or if it is someone the doctors could not help such as the woman who had an infirmity of blood for 18 years found in Luke 8:43-48 


So in conclusion I do believe God does miracles or signs and wonders but NOT for church congregations on a weekly basis (as some form of performing for believers), and I believe that to seek for the miraculous, for signs and wonders, and/or to put them ahead of the Word or equal with the Word , allows Satan to come in through his demonic forces and make chaos out of the Christian faith.  The Bible says that those who seek a sign are an adulteress generation.  It is very, very dangerous for a person to seek experiences because the devil is a great counterfeiter and can easily deceive a human, causing them to literally spin off-course from the straight and narrow path!  And the oppression they will bring on themselves will take a lot of Word soaking and repentance (turning from the sin that caused the oppression) for the Christian to get free. 


There are some Charismatic churches that are very toned down and are more like regular Protestant denominations but you still have to be careful because there will be some form of liberalism such as ecumenism (accepting of Catholicism and Mormonism as equal to Christianity) or the ministry may all center around the preacher and his egotistical goals.  One television minister who I've watched over the years at times is Leslie Hale.  I never was a die-hard fan, but thought of him as someone trying to preach the full truth of the Word of God, and he does preach against the Catholic church which made me feel he's pretty safe to listen to.  (Out of all of the preachers on T.V., he would be the only one I would listen to at times - sometimes just for a few minutes but sometimes for the full hour if I though he was preaching right.  I especially liked how he railed against all of the phony T.V. evangelists with their "prosperity gospel" of asking for money with promises of people getting rich from their giving to them.) However, I did find it suspect when he began his "Wilderness Tabernacle" construction project that would cost $2 million dollars.  It turned out to cost $3 million and the money was raised by his asking for donations from television viewers for 5 years!  I found this to be excessive and unnecessary since you can teach the significance of the Old Testament Tabernacle through a film showed in a designated movie room next to the church sanctuary for a minimal cost.  And now that the Tabernacle is built and open for guests, he is now making a plea for $200,000 to help save his television ministry - if he is unable to raise it, he will never be on T.V. again.  This latest request of his prompted me to google him and read some articles written about him in his homeland of Belfast Ireland.  It turns out when he was in his 20;s he had a grand plan to build the largest church in the UK since WWII and he failed with only two small buildings begun and $180K in debt to banks and faithful parishioners.  He moved to the United States and bought a home and church in Tarpon Springs, Florida so he could start over, leaving people in his homeland confused, hurt and angry by his actions.  It further turns out that he got into this trouble because he subscribed to the teachings of Oral Roberts back in that day, who you know had a vast empire of buildings such as a Christian college and hospital etc.  The ironic thing is that out of all of the times I have heard Leslie Hale railing against the "prosperity preachers", he has never once said "I used to believe like them and I got into trouble by following it and I hurt people and I regret that".  No, he acts like he was always too wise and grounded in Scripture to believe any of that, and that he is outraged "by these T.V. evangelist charlatans", which I feel, in light of his past, is pretty dishonest.  Not only does he need to come clean about his past, he needs to see that he is still the same, using other people's donations to make his ministry a larger visible accomplishment.  One visitor of his church has said there is no Cross or the words Church on his church building, it only displays his name.  This is what I mean about the Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, they are dangerous because somehow, in some way, large or small, they become about man and not God.  Of course I would be re-miss if I didn't say this could happen in other churches too, it's just, I believe, it happens more prevalently in P/C churches.


So in conclusion, if you are looking for God, don't be fooled that you will know Him best by being in a Pentecostal or Charismatic church because of all of the experiences they have.  This type of thinking is actually rooted in pride and leads to denominational snobbery and it lacks faith because you are actually looking for constant reassurance that God is approving you.  And maybe its because you have failed to understand that it's repentance and belief in Christ that is your assurance - once you turn from living for self and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior - you are in the family of God for eternity - whether you ever get a supernatural confirmation of that or not.  Trust Christ's promises, not the supernatural!