Deliverance from the 'Toronto Blessing'
My testimony begins I guess where the other left off, because
nature abhors a vacuum (or so I am told). My release from the
Word Faith movement came early in 1994; this was just about
the time that the Toronto thing was kicking off in in England.
Immediately I knew that this was not right, but didn’t
know why it wasn’t. I just knew that it wasn’t
The little fellowship that we were in at the time was enjoying
some very sound teaching and I guess that this was the protection
against this so called blessing. However, early in 1996 we
had a big upset with the minister of the church (the assistant
Pastor having left the previous year to take up a full time
position) and we were in the wilderness with regard where to
We eventually ended up going back to the church where my
parents and grandparents used to attend many years ago. Before
very much time has elapsed we were attending both Sunday services
and the prayer meeting. During the August of that year I was
approached at one of the services by the church elder and asked
if I would be prepared to stand as a deacon to which I answered
yes as I had held similar office in the church that we had
When the AGM took place I was duly elected to the Diaconate
and at the first Church Session meeting the then church secretary
requested that she be allowed to stand down from her position
but not from the diaconate as the pressure of holding down
a secular job and coping with the church administration was
proving too much. Volunteers were asked for and because I was
the only one with experience in this field from my work environment
I offered my services to the Session and the vote was unanimously
That Sunday I had to read the notices for the first time and
slowly but surely this began to bring me out of my shell with
regard to speaking in front of a congregation.
In the November of that year one of the items on the agenda
for the session was whether or not finances could be found
to send the Pastor and his wife to Toronto to the Airport Vineyard
Church and that the elder and his wife would go but at their
own expense. We felt that it was vital for the life of the
church that this motion be carried which it duly was.
Despite my reservations mentioned earlier I was so hungry
for the Lord that I cast these to one side and looked forward
to their safe return. At the beginning of December 1996 they
came back and immediately there was a session meeting called
for session members and their immediate spouses to attend (
in my case it was my mother) and we duly gathered eagerly awaiting
the reports from those who had attended Toronto.
At the end of the input session where the Minister, the elder
and his wife shared their experiences, the Pastor said that
he wanted to pray for all those there that they my experience
something of what they had experienced in Toronto. When it
came to my turn, I rolled to the floor (as I was already on
my knees) and slowly but surely began to laugh.
This was a complete departure for me having been brought up
in that church which had seen nothing but solid Pentecostal
teaching and nothing like I was envisioning to happen.
Sunday morning came and there was such a sense of excitement
and anticipation as to what was going to happen, Not an awful
lot did, I guess because we were all a bit concerned as to
how the older folk in the church would take. But as the weeks
rolled by we got more and more bold (the we being those of
the church session who had imbibed this blessing, and we were
soon laughing at the slightest thing in the service, it didn’t
matter at what point someone from ‘our group’ began
to giggle and laugh out loud, the rest of us joined in and
would look at each other to see if we were all laughing.
The time came in each service after the sermon when the Pastor
would ask me to come and give the notices, and more often than
not they took far longer than normal because I would be overcome
with bouts of laughter, bending from the waist, leaning over
the pulpit unable to speak, much to the delight of the Toronto
Every time there was a prayer line either in the morning or
more often than not in both morning and evening services for
those who had received ‘the blessing’ to come out
for ‘more of God’ and those who wanted to receive
it to come out and be prayed for. Every time there was such
a line bodies were everywhere, services extended to in excess
of two hours most mornings.
Each prayer line I would have to go out for ‘more of
God’ or what I now know to be my weekly ‘fix’
or top up. Driving home was also an interesting experience,
and at times it was a good job that my mother was in the passenger
seat as she kept her eyes on the road while I was laughing
so much I was in pain in my stomach by the time that I got
home. This would continue even when I got into bed and would
eventually get to sleep after being forced to stifle the laughter
in order not to disturb the neighbours.
It was during these early days of Toronto in our church that
I began to be exercised in the gift of interpretation, and
many times these would consist of what Ii now know to be out
of heart and NOT from the person of the Holy Spirit, in essence
I was giving them what they wanted to hear, though not all
the time, there were those times especially on a Sunday morning
when the interpretations were more in line with the Word of
God. One occasion in particular comes to mind and it was during
an evening service and I said that the church was to ‘make
ready the nets; for the amount of people that would come in
and find the Lord. To date (August 2003) this has never happened
and the numbers in that church have decreased rather than increased!
My mother all through the time that I was involved in Toronto
was never touched in the slightest and all she would do (which
I now know to be the best that she could do) was to pray for
me, this only came to light after the Lord brought me out.
During this time there was one aspect of this so called ‘blessing’
that really helped me in my work and that was that I could
not tired at work. Prior to this I used to get so tired at
work I could hardly drag myself around at work, but this was
something new, I could not get tired. This was a great bonus
for me because of the nature of my job which was very responsible
I could not wait for Sunday to come round as I couldn’t
wait to get another ‘fix’ to keep me going for
another week. Before each Sunday service there used to be a
pre-meeting prayer meeting which was again accompanied by similar
outbursts of laughter, prostration, collapsing on chairs in
the minor hall where we used to hold these meetings. If I was
late and this pre-meeting prayer time had started one could
hear the laughter and the shouting that was going on and I
for one could not wait to join in.
After this ‘so called prayer time’ finished we
would go out into the church hall like drunks coming out from
a pub at closing time!
During the service at any and every opportunity that wouyld
present itself I would be in the aisles dancing around like
someone possessed. If the tempo of the songs dropped (because
we hardly used the old Redemption Hymnal) I would get quite
dejected not knowing that this was an emotional response that
was as Nader Mikhail puts it in his book ‘The Toronto
Blessing a Telling Wonder’ this spirit is hostile
to praise and worship. I would only buck up again when the
tempo of the singing was raised again.
Earlier I mentioned that I was the church Secretary and many
a time when it was time to give the notices I would be prostrate
on the floor of the church having some ‘carpet time’
I just didn’t care how I appeared to anyone around me
I was just interested in having a good time and was immune
to what those around me who were opposed to the ‘blessing’
One Sunday morning in particular comes to mind and that is
one when I along with others had ben called upon to help serve
Communion. The following I now recall to my shame, but to the
grace of God who forgave me and restored me Praise His Name!
I was standing there in the line waiting for the Pastor to
pray and one of the ladies in the line began to laugh and I
began to follow her until all four of us were lying on the
floor before the Lords’ table totally incapable of standing
to our feet, let alone serve Communion. Pastor then called
another four people out to serve, and the four of us remained
there until the service closed.
My mother was so disgusted with me that she came to me and
told me that she was going to make her way home without me,
and it was only the thought of the distance that she had to
travel that stirred me and I was eventually able to drive mom
home, still not understanding how she could not be touched
by this ‘blessing’.
All she could do was the best that she was doing and that
was to pray for me that I would come out of this ‘mania’
as she called it. When mom used such titles to describe what
I was experiencing I was affronted to say the least, but now
with hindsight she was of course as Godly mothers usually are
The second time that the Pastor and his wife came back from
Toronto we as a Church Session were called to a meeting in
the church to again hear was had transpired. One of the things
that happened was that we were played an audio cassette of
Carol Arnott speaking about a sword that was ‘the blessing’
and if we ever spoke against it the sword would turn on us.
This we were to consider before we picked up this ‘sword’.
A ‘word’ was spoken over my mother which said
that ‘Mary is like a sparrow picking up crumbs’.
This the other side of my blessed release from Toronto I know
to be the truth, because the preaching of the Word was very
‘thin’. But at this time I was offended, and saw
it as a failure on the part of my mom to pursue the ‘blessing’.
When I and the ‘Toronto’ group were in the thick
of the ‘blessing’ there was a meeting advertised
in Telford entitled ‘Catch the Fire’ this I eagerly
awaited and on the first night that we were able to go which
was a Friday.
I was very anxious to get away from work to rush home and
set off for Telford. This we duly did and at one point we got
lost only minutes it turns out from the centre where these
meetings were being held. Courtesy of a local policeman we
eventually found the way and rushed inside (at least I did
my dear mom was not so keen).
The sight which greeted me was people lying on the floor (the
meeting not yet having commenced) laughing, sat on chairs reading
the Word, or just sat eating sandwiches waiting for the meeting
to start. It did start and soon I was anxious for an up temp
song to be played so that I could rush down the stairs and
start to dance on the floor of the arena. The usual hopping
kind of ‘dance’ was going on and then a call came
from the stage that we were going to be taught how to do a
‘line dance’ to a particular praise song.
Co-ordination not being my strong suit I didn’t do very
well at this but entered in as best I could. As I went back
up the stairs to where our ‘group’ we sitting the
Pastors’ wife started to shout towards me ‘more
Lord, more Lord’ and I just collapsed on the stairs and
began to laugh, and every time that I tried to get up the Pastor
and his wife would shout ‘more Lord’ and down I
would go again.
By the end of the meeting, my mother had had enough and we
were just making our way towards the exit when the elder of
our church put the question ‘are you coming again tomorrow
night?’ I said yes, but mother reminded me of a promise
that I had made on the previous night (Thursday) that we would
only attend on the first night.
But I was so high on this that promises meant nothing and
the thought of ‘honouring my mother’ was the furthest
thing from my mind I WANTED more of the blessing and that was
that. Needless to say on the way home a journey of some fifty
miles there were periods of animated conversation but also
much longer periods of silence.
Saturday came, and mom had (so I thought) calmed down a little
about my broken promise to go again tonight. But as the day
progressed, I wasn’t too bothered about mom’s opinion
and just wanted to get there. So mom duly packed up the sandwiches
and off we went, driving as fast as I could to get to Telford
as soon as possible, to get the car parked, and to get a good
place in the audience.
Well we duly arrived without being stopped by the police,
parked up and made straight for the bookstore, and boy did
I want to spend some money, the meetings weren;t good enough
I had to have all the materials that I could possibly lay my
hands on. I bought music CD’s, the book ‘The Father’s
Blessing’ made sure that my purchases were safe and settled
down to eat and await my friends from our church.
They duly arrived and the meeting started, and, although it
was much the same as last night, tonight they were having prayer
and I was up for that! So after the usual singing, and what
I now know to be hyping up the congregation, the call for those
who wanted more of God to go down and await for someone to
come and pray for them. SO I was straight down there, entering
into what I thought was praise and worship, and just standing
there waiting for someone to come and pray for me, someone
duly did, in fact there were two people who prayed for me,
what they said I can’t remember.
We didn’t leave the hall until midnight and were home
at 1.15a.m. on the Sunday morning. I couldn’t wait to
get into church that morning to let out all that I felt inside.
When we got into the pre-meeting prayer meeting, all those
who had been in Telford the previous night were there. One
of the things that we always did was to get the Pastor in the
middle of a circle and pray for him, he could hardly stand,
I could hardly stand and only those who hadn’t been in
Telford the previous night were capable of standing.
We went out into the church hall (eventually) about fifteen
minutes after the service was due to start. The process of
dancing around to anything and everything that was danceable
started as soon as the first song began (we rarely had hymns)
and I didn’t care what it looked like, in fact the more
I thought they would be offended the better I thought it was!
Where we used to sit was in the middle of a row, and so I had
to get past two or three people to get into the main aisle
to ‘do my thing’.
The exact date that I began to question things about Toronto
was when I was reading the aforementioned book by Jon Arnott
‘The Father’s Blessing’ one afternoon at
home, about someone who was running around in his bare feet
as though his feet were on fire. Just at this point a Christian
neighbour came round to see us and immediately I began to relate
my ‘experience’ I began to feel frightened because
I wasn’t feeling as ‘up’ as I used too.
When I say ‘frightened’ I was really frightened
because I couldn’t even begin to stir the blessing up.
All was rectified the following Sunday, but questions had begin
to be sown into my and into my spirit, but I suppressed these
and continued to press in to Toronto.
During 1998 at the ‘height’ of my Toronto experience
there came an opportunity to go to the Elim conference in Prestatyn
in North Wales. I managed to get the time off and even though
we had left it late to book we managed to get in and I eagerly
looked forward to a massive ‘Toronto fest’ wall
to wall 24 x 7 Toronto for a week, what on earth would I come
back to the church like.
The climax of the meetings came at the end of the week on
the Friday night when Colin Dye was speaking on ‘holiness’.
At the end of the service he said that there was an ‘anointing’
for whatever anyone who wanted ‘to press into the things
of God’ by the time I got to the platform I was one amongst
many and that Colin was giving people punches in the solar
plexus at the same time shouting ‘receive the blessing’
I went down onto the floor of the stage aching in my stomach,
but content to lie there oblivious to the fact that after about
half and hour I was the only one left on the platform with
the band playing. I eventually struggled off stage and just
lay down on the floor at the side of the stage enjoying some
By now a minister from Birmingham who shall remain nameless
began to speak about not very much if I remember, all I know
that it was for some time and all the time I was twitching,
arching my back, rolling my head from side to side, at no time
during the time which he was speaking was I still for more
than about one minute.
The morning came and we had to come back to Birmingham, and
by the time we got back I couldn’t wait (yes you’ve
heard this before) to get to church on the Sunday morning.
It was usual in our Church as I guess it was in most Elim churches
for those who had been to Conference to share something of
their experience. When my turn came I could hardly stand without
shouts of ‘whoah’ and ‘mmmmmm’ as I
bowed in response to what I thought was the Holy Spirit. Things
at the church after conference soon settled into the usual
prayer lines at the end of the morning and evening services
One Saturday afternoon I was looking through a Christian
resource catalogue that I had in the house and noticed a book
entitled ‘The Toronto Blessing a telling wonder’
by Nader Mikhail. With some trepidation I ordered this book
and when it arrived and I began to read it I could hardly put
it down. Some of the things that I began to read absolutely
astounded me there were such things as altered states of consciousness
discussed, that there was Eastern Mysticism mentioned and Kundalini
These on there own would have been enough to shake anyone,
but had they not been supported from the Word of God from such
passages as Matthew 24:24 that spoke about ‘false Christ’s’
and from Timothy about ‘a strong delusion’ that
would come in the last days. By now I was beginning to wake
up and to realise that it was me that was in deception .
The Lord was by now slowly but surely and only as gently as
He can, that I was wrong. The messages in tongues continued
in the church, and whilst I was still being used of the Lord
to give interpretations, but their theme began to change to
more Scriptural themes such as holiness, righteousness, separation,
and the final Sunday that we were at the church was that the
Lord said that He was not in some far off distant land but
that He was in the midst of His people, the church.
The process of withdrawal was slow but sure, I resigned my
office as Church Secretary and from the office of a Deacon.
This was a great wrench to me because this was the church in
which my grandfather had been a deacon, my mother married,
my maternal grandparents and my father’s funeral had
been held. My associations were STRONG to say the least, but
this was something that I had to do, I had to come out and
If there was anything of this earth that put the final seal
on me coming out of Toronto was a audio tape that a work colleague
sent me by Mark Haville of the National Prayer Network entitled: ‘Are you in the move of God?’ this tape
includes what can be found on Dr J Chambers video ‘The
False Anointing Where will it lead?’ the audio is shocking
enough and more awesome to see on video where Wesley Campbell’s
wife Stacey starts to give a ‘prophecy’ concerning
the love of God citing man’s love for God and Gods’
love for man. And the sound was that of a snake hissing.
On the video as I said it far, far worse, it looks as though
she has two faces, and all the time she is speaking there is
the sound of a serpent hissing. This tape together with heartfelt
letters of pleading and much use of scripture, and a book entitled
‘The Signs and Wonders Movement Exposed’
were sent out to above ten families in the church. But as far
as we know to this day all except one are involved in the Toronto
move and are daily in our prayers that there eyes are opened
to the deception that they are in.
This is my testimony concerning my involvement with the so
called ‘Toronto Blessing’. It is given here for
the first time in written form to the praise and glory of my
Precious Lord and Saviour who brought me out from such darkness
and deception and brought me back into the light of His presence,
and one again set my feet on the path that leads to life eternal,
the path on which He guides and leads and by His Holy Spirit
warns of deception and error for as it written ‘when
he the spirit of truth is come He will guide you into all truth.’
The elements of my release are first and foremost the Lord
Jesus Christ who by His truth sets free, secondly, the prayers
of my mother who prayed long and very hard, Nader Mikhail’s
book ‘The Toronto Blessing a Telling Wonder’ and
Mark Haville’s tape ‘Are you in the move of God?'.