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Deliverance from the 'Toronto Blessing'
A Personal Testimony by David Husband

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 for me.

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 go.

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 just left.

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 carried.

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 group.

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 and hectic.

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’ were thinking.

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 right!

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 ‘carpet time’.

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 on Sunday.

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 yoga.

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 be separate.

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?'.