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The Vineyard Movement's 'Toronto Blessing' (Part 1b)

  • Fruit
  • Heretics!
  • Holy Spirit
  • How God Speaks
  • How God Works
  • Intellect Versus Experience
  • Jesus - One Person, or All of Us?
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Judging Others
  • Judgement Coming


Most pastors who support this movement appeal to the good fruit that results as evidence that it is a move of God. So let's look at some of the fruits that you don't hear about at most Vineyards:

And then I made a mistake. I went down to Dallas, Texas, and there's a guy that looked a little bit at that time like Kenny Rogers and Santa Claus and a Teddy Bear all rolled into one, and he read my mail and reached his steady little hand out and touched my forehead and I felt a zzzzzzzz and I fell on the floor. Well, I didn't really fall on the floor yet because he said "Hold him up, I'm not done yet," and then finally the guy caught me.

....Now, while God is using Jeff, I know, at this point of the conversation, I know this is not an accident.....I know that God has told my friend Jeff, who I hadn't seen in call me. I know it's God. [Jeff continues how he went to a church then where he saw healing, people falling down, etc. when an evangelist visited the church. Randy wants to go] I called office of the headquarters of this particular evangelist and said "where are you going to be at next week?" and she said "well, he's going to be in Tulsa.

Now, you have to know, one of the things I like about, really appreciate in John Wimber, is the ecumenical spirit of loving the whole church. Charisma misquoted me. There wasn't other groups I had to get reconciled with, there was only one group. There was only one group that I was bitter towards, and I don't even know why I was bitter. There was only one group that I'd publicly get up in my church and say "If you come here today to name it and claim it and confess it, blab it and grab it, you're in the wrong place. You need to go down to this place." And my wife would say "you should not say that." I'd say "I know, I repent" and then I'd say it again. So, you know, it gives you a flavour for where I was coming from. (Randy Clark, Let The Fire Fall Conference, Anaheim Vineyard, July 1994)

Is Randy Clark saying that we should not use discernment, that we should not weed out and expose blatantly false teaching, and that we should not avoid those who are preaching false teaching?

Rodney Howard-Browne becomes downright vicious in the following comment. Also, if he believes we should not judge at all, isn't he guilty of judging here?:

....So the next morning I come back to the meeting and Rodney gets up and he says "you know, sometimes people, out of hurt and immaturity, and maybe they need attention and they're really just hurting people, sometimes they get over in the flesh and they're laughing. It's just the flesh but it's weak flesh, and it's immature flesh, and it's just because of the need of attention. And you know, if that gets too bad we've got a laughing room. We just take them into the laughing room and if it's really the Holy Spirit they'll keep laughing. They don't care who's watching. But if it's in the flesh, they'll stop eventually. But I want to say something to some of you who got angry last night because of what was happening, and if you move into anger and judgement, that's your flesh. And from God's perspective, your flesh stinks more than that flesh because yours is the flesh of superiority and judgement." (Randy Clark, Let The Fire Fall Conference, Anaheim Vineyard, July 1994)

....So the next night we go back and this time I felt something in my hands. "Oh, gosh, I'm going to get to go up too." 'Cause I was going to be honest and not cheat like some of you. So I got up and got in line and got prayed for.....I didn't feel any electricity. I felt none. And I'm sitting there thinking this is all in the flesh. It must be psychological because I'm not shaking. There's no electricity here. And I'm really confused. But I'm going to press in. And then, all of a sudden these people start laughing around me. And I've got one person about two people down that had the "anoinking." The anoinking, and I explained this the other night, you know when you [sound of a pig grunting]. ....And I start laughing. I'm just laughing in the natural at that person. But before I knew it I was laughing and I couldn't stop laughing. And then I was drunk, and so was my worship leader. You have to understand, I've only been drunk -- this happened almost a year ago now -- I've only been drunk two or three times, because I think it's my Baptist background. We took these covenants we'd never drink and there's this thing about drunkenness and so I'd almost never drunk in my whole life, and I think subconsciously it's really hard for me to enter into that level, but my worship leader's a recovering alcoholic. Man, he can get right in there. (Randy Clark, Let The Fire Fall Conference, Anaheim Vineyard, July 1994)

What does it say for the Holy Spirit when someone who is a recovering alcoholic can take part in what's going on easier than others?

Questioner: Hi. I'm Ron Riff. I'm a pastor in Cincinnati, Ohio. I've been trying to put this myself, a historical perspective on all this and I don't know if you have an answer or not, but in all the past revivals other than the Welsh Revival, and I truly do believe that we're on the verge of revival here. I'm totally convinced of that. But the one thing I haven't seen in this revival that you see in history is a very, a strong anointed preaching the point of very much an emphasis on holiness of God and depravity of man. If you look at some of these things by Edwards or Finney or you look at some of Seymour and different things, the words were brought out were very much an emphasis on a big gap between the holiness of God and the depravity of man and a very much a strong, what I call, strong message preached from the pulpit. And I haven't seen that in this here and do you think God is doing something different, in a different way, or do you think it's going to come or what's your perspective on that?

Randy Clark: I can't say I'm an authority on the messages that were preached in the revival eras. One of the reasons, particularly about the depravity of men -- the aspect of the holiness of God and the aspect of called to holiness is happening now. God threw a party first, and if we had got the heavy message of holiness to start with -- I think one of the problems is most of the people in church already feel so icky about themselves that they feel like they can't, they're kind of out in the bunkhouse anyway, and first there's been a major message of grace and the love of God, and it's not so much His wrath but His goodness that brings us to repentance, and as we respond to His message of His grace and mercy, it will provoke a repentance on the part of the church in the sense of change. You know?

...So I think it's, in the early days you could have looked at it and said "I don't see that here." And John and I talked about it, John Arnott and I, and we felt like it was coming, but if it would have came -- in God's wisdom, if it would have came first, the church couldn't even have responded because it was already feeling so "Okay, we can't even come close to You because of our"....

So, you know, in the midst of it, it's kind of hard to know what's really being said if you only hear one or two messages. You need to hear, more or less, the bulk of what is being said. And so it's trying to avoid extremes and at the same time looking for the truth that's there. God does want us to be different from the world, but it's so much easier to be different from the world in outward ways when the more important thing is the things of the heart. How we spend ourselves and spend our money is root issues, 'cause, you know. And I don't want to say anything negative about any group 'cause I don't think God's pleased with it, so...But you know when you're with someone who's holy, it's not necessarily the way they look, but it's the way in their eyes when they talk about Jesus. (Randy Clark, Run With The Fire, 1 Year Anniversary Message, Toronto Airport Vineyard, January 20, 1995)

Having communicated with him several times, I have no doubt that Randy Clark sincerely believes the things he says, but I firmly believe he is sincerely wrong. The problem with the church today is not that people already feel so bad about themselves, but just the opposite, that they have very little conviction of sin. If people really felt so icky, as he says, there would have been repentance and a turn-around in the church long ago. Instead, statistically, divorce rates, abuse statistics, etc., are almost the same today in the North American church as they are in the secular world. It's very revealing that there has been little sign, if any, of people falling on the floor and -- rather than laughing, growling, barking, etc., -- weeping in total repentance of the unholy things they do.

Again we see a Vineyard/Toronto Blessing Pastor (Clark, above) refusing to reveal serious doctrinal errors in the Word-Faith movement, but permitting the wolves to invade the flock.

So we don't believe things based on whether they're weird or not. It's not a criteria of truth. Jonathan Edwards says "I know it's weird when a man falls down and he doesn't move for 24 hours. But I'll tell you something about the man who fell down. When he fell down he was a drunkard, a wife-beater, and a God-hater. Twenty-four hours later, when he got up, he never touched his wife again in anger, he never went into the tavern again, and he loved God and His Word." He said, "Last time I checked, that's not a work of the devil." The devil's into producing addictions, not delivering people from them. So it's what's been said around here all week long, sometimes a little apologetically; don't look at the package, look at the fruit. Look at the fruit. Put our attention on the fruit. (Jack Deere, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 20, 1994)

Well, people, this is 1994, if you haven't noticed. That's 12 years ago. And so if you ask me, Todd, what's happening, I think God is refreshing the refreshed. I pressed Randy Clark very hard about this last week. I said, Randy, who's being touched in Toronto? And I pressed John when he came home from England. Who's being touched? 'Cause I just have the need to figure this out. And Randy says that in his estimation, and this is not scientific, but in his estimation, about 80 percent of the people who are being touched are people just like you, who have been touched once before. (Todd Hunter, Revival In Focus, Mission Vieto Vineyard, October 23, 1994)

Are these the fruits of the revival that we're supposed to be seeing, that 80 percent of those being affected by this "move of the Holy Spirit" have been affected before? What about salvations? Most Vineyard/Toronto Blessing pastors will admit that there have been comparatively few people saved so far, but that that is supposed to happen later.

We must keep in mind that not only do many non-Christians exhibit the fruits of the Spirit, but there are other types of fruit that should be produced. Correct doctrine, rather than false, should be a fruit of someone being touched by God. What about the fruit of the prophets? Wouldn't it make sense that good fruit from a prophet of God would be accurate prophecies? As we will see later, there has been more than a little false prophecy given in the name of God.

.....This is all about Jesus, and in the time that I was there, I have to tell you, I heard not one mention of the devil, I heard not one word about spiritual warfare, nobody mentioned a principality or a power, and I cannot tell you how refreshing that was. And the truth is, that the people there, and I of a sense, have been so consumed with the Person of Jesus and with the work of the Kingdom that, quite honestly, there is no time to give any attention to the enemy or to all his works. Because the power of Jesus is great and the Person of Jesus is so preoccupying, and our passion for Jesus is on the increase to such a degree that it is a wonderful thing. (Eleanor Mumford, Holy Trinity Brompton, London, England, May 29, 1994) v

Eleanor Mumford, who was giving a report to her church about her trip to the Toronto Airport Vineyard, was delighted that there was no mention at the Vineyard of the devil, spiritual warfare, or principalities and powers. If there was no deception taking place in a church that didn't mention those topics, that would be a real miracle, considering the emphasis the New Testament puts on those subjects. Does omitting those topics fit into the category of good fruit?

Now, close your Bible and I'm going to take you to Luke, Chapter Two, but I'm not going to read the Scripture. And I'm going to share some things that are pertinent to renewal in the nineties. I want to talk to you about renewal, what I think God is doing, what is happening from a prophetic perspective. Now this will not be hermeneutically balanced or hermeneutically perfect, but it's just inspired thoughts. I have about six to seven thoughts of inspiration out of Luke, Chapter Two, and what I'm going to do is talk to you about some circumstances that related to the birth of Jesus Christ and parallel them with what I see happening in the church today.

.....Now let me say, before I begin, there are two groups of people in the church today. I categorize them. Those that are affected by what God's doing and those that are offended by what God is doing. There is not a lot of neutral ground. The neutral ground is dissipating by the hour. You can't stand in the middle any more and say "Well, I don't know. Maybe it's God, maybe it's not." You're going to get rolled over. Remember the song "I'm a Steam Roller, Baby, And I'm Going To Roll Right Over You?" Well, I think the Holy Spirit is singing that song. There is no middle ground. You're either affected or offended by what God is doing. And if you're offended, you may continue to get offended 'cause you haven't seen nothing yet. If you haven't been able to run, walk with a footman, what are you going to do when the horses come? The horses aren't here. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)

Larry Randolph here is about to give an inspired, that is, God-breathed, word which, he says, may not be hermeneutically balanced or hermeneutically perfect. So if what he is about to say is inspired, then we'd better listen to him, as it is directly from God Himself! BUT, what God is about to say may not be correct! This is more good fruit?

John MacArthur recently made this comment: "Satan's not going to announce error. He's going to come in and sing your songs and hum the tunes that Christians hum, and he's going to be there, you know, right in the midst of all that little worship time, and he's happy as he can possibly be, and so are all of his emissaries, to let people sing songs about Jesus and then engage in what is absolutely and utterly unbiblical, and may well be satanic." (John MacArthur, Songtime USA Radio Interview)


William DeArteaga is about to tell us who the real heretics are in the church today.

The present revival, this laughing revival or refreshment -- and I think it's turning from a refreshment into a revival -- is being challenged on the grounds that in the background there's a fear of heresy -- will this revival drift into heresy? -- which is the traditional question of all revivals. So at the present moment we really need a special anointing of discernment and empowerment of discernment. Then we really need to answer the question, What really is heresy? (William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)

My first conclusion was totally wrong. Don't follow it. There is no such thing as heresy. I got into trouble with that, but it led me to a further question which the Lord has dealt with me. You see, if you come to wrong the conclusion that there is no heresy, then you do just what the liberals do. Everything is up for grabs, and Buddha and Christ are all the same. As an Episcopalian I must confess our denomination is among the worst of that. The last presiding bishop in his inaugural speech says We are open to everyone -- So what is the biblical meaning of heresy, and this will solve the question for what this revival is all about. And it is wrong to think that heresy is just an incorrect idea or idea that disagrees with you, because the Bible has provisions for how to solve incorrect ideas or disputes among brethren, and it's in James 3:13 and 18 and you amiably discuss it and let the Holy Spirit solve it. That's how your wrong ideas are corrected.

But a heresy is something more serious. It's like a cluster, not just a single, a whole cluster of incorrect ideas and lifestyles. Like the Branch Davidian, that's really what the biblical meaning of heresy is. It's a group, a lifestyle and a cluster stuck together, you see. And if you examine where the Branch Davidians came from, they came from just perfectly normal Seventh-Day Adventists, you know. They were just slightly crazy, I mean, just like all of us. But slowly they got more and more involved in extremism, etc., and -- I see we have some Seventh-Day Adventists here. They're a wonderful denomination, I mean just like all of us, you know, just a little crazy like all of us -- but what really heresy is is a focus on certain things that get worse and worse and worse, not just a simple idea.

I was clarified in this by a wonderful book that I would recommend to you pastors, Harold O. J. Brown, a wonderful, evangelical scholar called Heresies. And he points out that the critical thing was, in the late middle ages the Catholic church began defining heresy as any single deviation from normative theology. So that if you, if you deviated or disagreed with any single point of the whole bag of Catholic doctrine, you were a heretic. Tragically, the reformers took this definition, basically took this definition, except they changed the context. If you deviate from the Westminster Confession and all these little points instead of the Catholic Catechism, then you are a heretic. And again, that's really not what a heretic really is.

The most tragic example, for instance, Calvinism established its principles and is focused on the sovereignty of God, which is perfectly fine, but when Armenius started discussing the issue of what's mans' role in appropriating the graces of God and salvation, a perfectly legitimate point, he was a heretic! Armenianism is, if you're into reform theology, that's a fighting word, Armenianism. Most of you are probably Armenic. You didn't realize that, you know. If you follow in the Wesleyan tradition you are a heretic according to Calvin. Which goes back to the Full Gospel Businessmen's thing of the Holy Spirit doesn't believe in these categories. Isn't that true?

Okay, but what is, again, biblical heresies. I believe there are three primary biblical heresies defined in the New Testament. Three conjunct lifestyles, clusters of ideas, not just single, erroneous ideas, three clusters and lifestyles.

The first is Gnosticism. Many of you went to Bible school and seminary and were taught that Gnosticism developed in the second and third century and you had the major gnostic churches and heresies at that time. The latest scholarship, and thankfully to a man called Walter Schmathal, a German scholar, who wrote a book called Gnosticism In Corinth, shows very cleverly, with wonderful research, that Gnosticism already existed, and in fact, the opponents that Paul had to battle in his churches were Jewish gnostics. Gnosticism is the perennial heresy that occurs in all ages of the church. It is basically believing that experience overcomes and nullifies Scripture, and it's very subjective. You can call it New Age, you can call it spiritualism, because Gnosticism always ends up in spiritualism, in whatever manifestation that may be. So Gnosticism has always been with us and will probably always be with us until the Lord comes back. And it is one of those perennial heresies, a real heresy.

The second heresy is Sadduceeism. Those religious folks who basically don't believe in religious phenomena or the spiritual world, but love religious institutions. We don't have too many of them, except in Seminaries. But they're always around. They're always around. It's a perennial heresy, Sadduceeism.

And the last one, which is the one I want to talk about tonight, er, this morning, is Phariseeism. And in Phariseeism, tradition is equated with Scripture, and confused with Scripture, so that if you do something against their tradition you think -- they can't separate -- you're already doing something unscriptural and ultimately sinful, because you have sinned against one of our traditions. The funny thing about Phariseeism -- now think, a popular conception of heresy, heresy is a wrong idea, that's the popular, it's actually Catholic, ancient medieval Catholic idea, heresy is a wrong idea about theology. But, biblically, the Phariseeism -- let's take a look at Matthew 23:1.

.....And Jesus spoke to the multitude and to His disciples, saying, "The Scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. Therefore, all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say things and do not do them."

.....They sit themselves in the chair of Moses and they have right doctrine. Their ideas are okay. But don't follow their examples. Phariseeism is the heresy of orthodoxy which is basically correct ideas, and Christianity got a lot of good things from the Pharisees. Number One, like the resurrection of the body. Many of our core Christian doctrines comes from the Pharisees which Jesus incorporates and knew as the Son of God that these things were true. So the Pharisees didn't have wrong theological ideas. Something else was wrong. And interestingly enough, the Pharisees were also the hearer of the earlier generation. They had preserved Judaism from being incorporated into the Hellenistic New Age or Gnostic religions of the period, and they had resisted that at the cost of blood and their martyrdom. They were the evangelicals who, like our own evangelical brethren, resisted the liberals in the modern America and Canada, and they resisted all that liberal corruption that the Bible is mythology, etc. Well, the Pharisees similarly resisted the Hellenistic influences, saying, you know, Yahweh is just one of the many gods. Why don't you just put another statue up next to our Jupiter and everybody will be happy. And they said no, and they died for that. But the problem with having succeeded in one generation is you idolatrize, you make an idol out of your victories and of your traditions and out of your theology.

So, ironically, the core problem with the Pharisee is that he cannot recognize the present work of the Holy Spirit because he's so enthraled with his past victories and past doctrine. He can't see something new because he has what was good and old.

And every age of, every great revival of the church has always had a wave of Pharisees. Clergymen who say "What are you doing, there's this new stuff. It can't be true, it must be a heresy because we haven't done it this way and we've got great holiness in our congregation and we didn't do any of these new measures. So this must be wrong because we've already got it basically right." And that's the great heresy of Phariseeism. (William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)

Now that's a serious accusation, calling all who disagree with what is going on Pharisees, and then calling those Pharisees heretics! That leaves virtually no place for discussion between the two factions and, if it was believed by most Vineyard/Toronto Blessing supporters, would set the stage for the physical warfare that Wes Campbell mentions later in this article. Making a statement like DeArteaga did is the height of irresponsibility!

Notice DeArteaga's description of Gnosticism: "It is basically believing that experience overcomes and nullifies Scripture, and it's very subjective." Doesn't this sound amazingly like the entire Toronto Blessing experience? (My thanks to Compuserve's Alex Zuroff for pointing this out.)

Holy Spirit

"What we learned from Wimber and the Vineyard was, all of us could flow in the gifts of the Spirit. The Bible encourages us to desire to prophesy, you know, to desire spiritual gifts, desire the best gifts. What does that mean? Earnestly desire them. And that's what we began to do, and so when I went to Argentina last November, which would be eleven months ago now, Carol and I both got powerfully touched in meetings led by Klaudio Freesan, who's a Pentecostal leader in Argentina and a wonderful man of God. He prayed for us, but as he did he asked me a question.

"He said, 'Do you want it?'

"And I said, 'oh, yeah, I want it all right!'

"He said, 'then take it.'

"Boom, he hits my hands and something clicked in my heart. I said, 'Yeah, I will, too, I'll take it,' and it was just a click of faith. I don't know how else to describe it to you. (John Arnott, Pastor of the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pastor's Meeting, October 19, 1994)

"The greatest blessing -- I mean, it would be enough, in one sense, if God would have come and visited our church and we would have had a great time of refreshing. And it would have been wonderful if other people such as you guys could come in and see it, at least, let alone partake of it. Wouldn't it be great if there was somewhere you could go and just get really filled up with power and love, the love of God? -- But it doesn't stop there. What happens is, there's a transference of His anointing where, not only do you see it, not only do you experience it for yourself, but you're going to take it home to your people. And that is the thrilling thing for me, because I spent a year and a half trying to find some anointed evangelist -- and they are out there, and one of them was Jill. Jill Austin is with us and Jill's been going around the country doing this for several years. But it wasn't transferring to people in every case. There were examples of it, but it was still hard to get, wasn't it? It's not anymore, though, I bet. No.

..."And so we would have loved to have had Jill come and spend three or four days with us, and we would have had a great time in the Spirit of God. But then, Jill would have left, and in all probability the Holy Spirit would have gone with her. But what happens now is, He doesn't, I mean He goes with you and with her, so the thing that I want you to understand is, the greatest blessing for us is to see you and your wife, as the pastors of that church, be the ones that bring the fire of God home to the people. It's wonderful to have an evangelist visit and bring the fire of God. Particularly if they left it behind. (John Arnott, Pastor of the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pastor's Meeting, October 19, 1994)

Now another, from a [secular] paper, it's talking about this particular church, it says "this was, after all, an Anglican church which had just given over ?4000 in the collection bag the previous Sunday for Rwandan relief." It talks about another church. "St. Pauls and a number of other London churches over the past three years have been started and have led enthusiasts to believe that a real religious revival is underway." He said "the phenomena spread apparently in Toronto in a small evangelical church called the Airport Vineyard Fellowship. They have spread" said Mr. Lee, "like the Bejing flu, by contact from person to person." Lord, make us carriers! Make us carriers of the Holy Ghost virus, from person to person. It was brought to London by Sandy Miller, the Vicar at Holy Trinity of Brompton. H.T.B. has always been known as the largest evangelical Anglican church in London. They are clean-cut, energetically and enormously successful people. It said some evenings people had to be helped from the church. They were laughing so hard. One guy had his eyes on the floor for about two hours and could not walk. (Randy Clark, Evidence Of This Present Move, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 15, 1994)

One of the more noticeable aspects of this movement is the very frequent reduction of the Holy Spirit to an it, rather than the third Person of the Trinity. It takes on more the aspect of a force, a fire, or some other description. Notice also that it can be transferred from one person to another, like a contagious disease, and that it can leave when a pastor or speaker carrying it leaves. Does this sound like the work of the Holy Spirit or a communicable disease?

Now, it's interesting. I always like how secular papers would put it, and this is from, I think, the Times, London Times, June 1994, by Ruth Glydhill [?] and this shows a picture of them standing there, hands raised up, and I just want to read an excerpt. It's funny how secular people write. (Randy Clark, Evidence Of This Present Move, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 15, 1994)

....."After his sermon, Mr. Mumford prayed for 'The tornado to visit the church.' The band struck up with a song, Pour Out Your Spirit. Outside, it was calm, but suddenly the curtain shielding an open door blew in and over my face a huge wind rushed in, scattering service sheets and papers. Alarmed, I started singing along with the band." Yes, Lord! Big God!! "Alarmed, I started singing along with the band, while nearly everyone else fell over, stood rigid or shaking, sobbing, clutching their faces or waving their hands before them. I looked back beyond the empty chairs and bodies strewn over the floor to see many who were not affected, were chattering calmly over coffee as if nothing was happening, while bodies lay splayed at their feet bearing beatific smiles and looks of tremendous peace. I clamoured over a couple of prostrate bodies for tea and coffee and found myself giggling uncontrollably. Turning to look back to the band, the hall took on a bizarrely infinite perspective. I felt dizzy, grasped the chair in order not to collapse and recalled that I still had a days work to do at the office. Recognizing I could not at this time afford to be slain by the Spirit, I opted instead for a spiritual sobriety and a hasty exit. My hand shaking only slightly as I downed the coffee and ran."

London Times! Secular people know how to write about spiritual things in their innocence. (Randy Clark, Evidence Of This Present Move, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 15, 1994)

It is revealing here that an unsaved person in the secular media was affected by what was going on. It seems unlikely that God's Spirit would have that effect (particularly when many Vineyard/Toronto Blessing pastors have said that if you have an aversion to the experience, it probably won't happen to you.) However, if this phenomena was of the flesh or of Satan, one would expect that an unsaved person could be affected.

Larry Thomas gives this revealing comment on the working of the Holy Spirit at these Vineyard meetings:

I was in Canada one time and we just about, I thought we'd talk Benny Hinn into the ground outside the church, every bit of his false doctrine with everybody, and one gentleman got up after an hour of this and he said, "well, you may disagree with his teaching, but you got to admit that the Spirit of God really works in his service." And I wanted to say, "didn't you listen to what I just said?" If the man gets up and preaches that he's messiah of the earth today, which he does, that God's plan is for everybody to be skinny, good-looking and rich, that Jesus was a demoniac, He became demon-possessed on the cross and had to go into hell and be born again of the Spirit Himself, He was just a man and not God, when he preaches lies and heresies like that, do you believe for a moment that the Spirit of God comes into the service and blesses people and blows people over, and ministers to people. If that's the Spirit of God, we have no chance. If the Spirit of God honours lies as well as truth, how will we ever know what's true? But the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth Who will lead us into all truth and He will not for one instant condone the preaching of such heresy. (Pastor Larry Thomas, No Laughing Matter, Audiotape, October 10, 1994)

...I say this to people, "Listen we're going to have a ministry time, we're going to stack the chairs, we're going to get in rows and the ministry team is going to come and what I want you to do is I want you to begin to give your hear to Him in love. I want you take that worship song and just write it right into the throne of God, just press into Him as open and sincerely as you can. Those of you who need to watch, you can watch. We are not going to pray for the spectators, you can just watch because the chances are you're not going to receive anything. There's no magic to this, people desiring God, God comes and meets them."

Another thing that hinders is people pray all the time. Praying in English or even praying in tongues. Mention the Holy Spirit and they start praying in tongues, you know. Our experience is that that will hinder substantially your ability to receive. And so I say to people, "Look don't pray. It's hard to pour out and to pour in at the same time. It's like a bucket that's got a hole in it because you are pouring out in prayer. Stop and receive and let the Holy Spirit fill you. Be like a sponge and desire the Lord with everything that's within you. Every case that does that, they are on the floor receiving. People pray for you, that's your time to receive. Pray on the way out, you can pray later. Don't take control, you can take control later. The whole deal is, you lose control, He takes control. He gets you out of your comfort zone, makes you feel vulnerable, right? You can analyze it later can't you?" (John Arnott, at Holy Trinity Brompton, England, February 14, 1995)

Isn't it incredible that here we have the leader of the Toronto Airport Vineyard suggesting a situation in which it is not a good thing to pray; that praying hinders your ability to receive? I would ask, to receive what? Certainly, if people were receiving demonic spirits, praying definitely would hinder ones' ability to receive those spirits! Does he honestly believe that praying would hinder the Holy Spirit?

Note also that he says that it has been their experience that praying hinders the Holy Spirit. They are not judging everything by the Word of God. They are judging the Word of God by their experiences! This is typical of the entire movement.

I have discovered something I believe to be very revealing, and which should cause people to wonder which Holy Spirit many Vineyard/Toronto Blessing spokesmen are talking about.

Jesus said in John 15:26, "When the Counsellor comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who goes out from the Father, He will testify about Me." He also said in John 14:26, "But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

The job of the Holy Spirit is to point us to Jesus Christ. The New Testament, in the King James Version, refers by name to Jesus 1230 times, refers to the Holy Spirit 324 times, and refers to prophecy or prophets 203 times. From these statistics alone we can see that the Holy Spirit speaks about Himself or is referred to in the New Testament roughly once for every four references to Jesus Christ.

However, in doing over 30 transcripts of various Vineyard/Toronto Blessing audiotapes thusfar, Jesus is referred to 143 times, the Holy Spirit 383 times and prophets or prophecy 372 times. We can see from these statistics that the Holy Spirit is referred to roughly three times as often as the Person the Holy Spirit is to point us to, Jesus Christ, and the subject of prophets or prophecy is referred to roughly three times as often as Jesus Christ. Jesus runs a distant third. These statistics show where the emphasis is in the Vineyard/Toronto Blessing Movement!

How God Speaks

...'Surely the sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets.' Now I'll read that again. 'Surely the sovereign Lord does' what? 'nothing without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets.' Now, that either means up until the last apostle died or it means nothing, at anytime, whenever. And that would preclude then, that there are still prophets around who hear the word of the Lord. Okay? So that's an issue for some of you coming from a cessationist background. But, of course, we don't believe that. (John Arnott, Pastor of the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pastor's Meeting, October 19, 1994)

According to John Arnott, this seems to still be God's main means of communications today. By contrast, Hebrews says,

Heb 1:1,2 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. (NIV)

Time after time after time God has spoken to the prophets and He's told the church before it happened so that we will believe it when it happens. He said "I'll even give you the dates and I'll give you signs in the natural that will point, before it happens, to what I'm going to do in the spiritual." And all of these things have come to pass, but there are things in that that has not yet come to pass, because my eyes are not yet seeing greater things than I have read about in church history. We're not yet seeing 50,000 people saved in a month, yet. We're not yet seeing the healings of the magnitude of the great Healing Revival of 1948 up until around 1957, in that period of time. We're not seeing that yet, but God says we will not see that, we will see greater than that, and this today is a call to uh, but I believe that we may, I don't know when this will come, but I believe it will be in this time of ebb and flow that we'll see high water marks and there'll be times when there will be a time of purification, there'll be a time of persecution, there'll be a time of testiness, and having walked through that time of purification that we will be vessels that can be trusted and He'll pour out His Spirit in a major, like we have never seen before. (Randy Clark, Evidence Of This Present Move, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 15, 1994)

Keep in mind that most, if not all cults claim extra-biblical revelation, usually through a prophet. This is a way for cult leaders to disregard what the Scriptures say and impose their own doctrines. It would not do for most of them to rely on the Scriptures, as they wouldn't be as free to twist them for their own purposes. I'm not saying that the Vineyard/Toronto Blessing Movement is a cult (at least not yet,) but as we will see, they possess many characteristics common to cults, and that puts them on a dangerous path.

How God Works

There was a period, a window -- remember the anthropic principle, the little windows of opportunity? -- there was a spiritual window of opportunity in the 1890s in which, can you imagine? -- I'm sure this is God's Plan A -- you know, God always works Plan A, B, C, D -- God's Plan A for the 1890s was that all the evangelical churches would have accepted the ministry of healing. A lot of the journals in the 1890s, Lutheran journals, Presbyterian journals were discussing this strange revival, and it was like pro and con, can healing really be for today again, do we buy this cessationism idea that the gifts stopped with the death of the Apostles, or not, etc. It was really touch and go, and it went the wrong direction. (William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)

You mean, God doesn't know how His people are going to react, so He always has several backup plans?

Intellect Versus Experience

[Stacy Campbell comes up and gives a prophecy]:

In this visitation of the Lord, the Lord is setting out to do many things. And the primary thing that the Lord is setting out to do is to humble the wise man, for knowledge puffs up and brings pride, but love edifies. And God is destroying the wisdom of this world that the power of God might be revealed unto salvation. For, think of it, to the Jews the thought of a dead Messiah was ridiculous, but the dead Messiah was their salvation. And the Lord is setting out to destroy the wisdom of man, because the wisdom of man works against the power of His Spirit. For the natural man does not understand the things of God, for they are appraised only by the Spirit of God. And the Lord is running around the world and He is touching His people, and He is humbling, He is humbling, I tell you, He is humbling those who, like Paul, are Hebrews of the Hebrews, Pharisees, blameless in many, many respects. But they can't understand the power of God, and the wisdom of God, for it is but foolishness to them. But the Lord, through His foolishness, is bringing salvation to the earth, for He is coming in a visitation to fill His people with His power, to stretch forth His power, to fill His people, to give them passion for the Son of God. And with this passion they will go out and they will bring salvation.

And just as the dead Messiah brought salvation to the whole world, the power of God and the foolishness of God will bring salvation through empowering of His people to send them out into the world. And when His power touches you it will heal you, and when His power touches you it will empower you, and when His power touches you it will refresh you, and you will love the Son all the more. And your love for the Son will result in love for your fellow man and you will go out and you will bring in the lost and the glory of God will be revealed and the salvation of God will be revealed to the world. So open yourselves. Open yourselves. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, and tell Him that you will take whatever He gives you. You will take His power. You will take His healing. You will take His empassioning and His empowering. And with that He will take you and He will send you to the nations of the world. (Wes Campbell, Manifestations Of The Holy Spirit, July 1994, Anaheim Vineyard)

When Stacy Campbell (a "prophetess") talks about the wisdom of man, she is talking about the wisdom of those who are not part of this movement. There are some Vineyard/Toronto Blessing pastors who say, in essence, that those who are not part of this movement are not Christians at all, but are of the world, that the only true Christians are those who favour this movement. Several other pastors also make a point of denouncing intelligence and playing up experience and feelings, as we shall see next.

...And one young man, wealthy young man, went to this university, and I forgot if it was the university of Hal or what it was now, but he was touched, because these groups talked, these professors talked about having small groups where lay people would be accountable to each other, and where it wasn't enough to know the right things about God, but you needed to experience the living God yourself -- that Christianity should be experiential, that if your experience with Christ is not enough to give you peace facing death, then it's not enough, and that the lay people should be involved.

I want to contend by that illustration that it is not enough to have the right doctrine. It is not enough to have our heads full and rightly ordered, because full heads will never advance the kingdom. Full hearts will. (Randy Clark, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)

As Christians, we know so much now about spiritual warfare. You really can't preach to the intellectuals.

.....For instance, the problem of evil. Now, my favourite book on demonology and Charismatics is Pigs In The Parlour, a very sophisticated book. It has a wonderful chapter on schizophrenia, etc. You hand that to an intellectual and, plah. Give 'em F. Scott Peck's The People of The Lie. Scott Peck starts discussing -- he's a psychologist many years -- the problem of evil. He comes to the conclusion that there probably is a demonic kingdom. You see? In between there, you're getting your intellectual from where he is to the possibilities? And then, a couple of years later hand him Pigs In The Parlour. [Laughter] But not at the beginning. (William DeArteaga, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 12, 1994)

Note that The People of The Lie is a New Age book and that F. Scott Peck is a New Age author whose books circulate in Christian bookstores. That is the book William DeArteaga is recommending! Knowingly, by the way, as he mentions the fact that it is New Age.

.....Okay. So some of you are living near clusters of intellectuals, near universities. A few of you may even be university chaplains or you may be living in a place where it's high-tech, etc., and you have a special desire to do this, you can set your church to be friendly towards the intellectuals just like Wimber [got] his church to be friendly to the California folk and lifestyle. There are certain things you can do without changing the essence of Christian doctrine and the foundational truths, just to make it more friendly so that intellectuals can come in. (William DeArteaga, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 12, 1994)

.....Lastly, this has to be done with great delicacy. Intellectuals just love to talk and to fellowship at their level. How can the church accommodate that? I'm not a pastor. I don't know. Maybe you could set up a C.S. Lewis club or a coffee clutch that will discuss book reviews, etc. Not in an exclusive way, but if you're going to discuss the cosmic and ontological principle, you know that the less-educated people are not going to show up. Somewhere to cultivate this, so that they interact with each other. (William DeArteaga, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 12, 1994)

.....John Arnott: Just share your hearts for a couple of minutes, Byron. Tell us what happened to you and what God's doing with you.

Byron Mode of Dallas, Texas: Thank you, John. It really was just such a marvellous thing. I was listening to Brother DeArteaga share even on the area of the, uh, -- I'm not sure if I'll be able to share -- sharing on the area of intellectuals. One of the things that happened -- there's just been so much that has happened -- the Dallas area, of course, is considered the Bible belt, and so many people think of that as a positive thing. And yet, we don't see anything positive about it. It's extremely intellectual and extremely religious in almost every way, and therefore it's like, anybody comes to town, it's kind of, you know, show me or put on a show of some kind, and the true things of the Holy Spirit are oftentimes rejected. (Byron Mode, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 12, 1994)

[Speaking of all the various manifestations]:

.....Why does God do or permit stuff like this and other things we've seen this week? Why does He do that?

1 Corinthians 1:26. "For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. Because God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise."

Just try explaining some of this. I used to try to do that out of the Bible. I used to try to say well, people fell down in the presence of Jesus and Daniel vibrated and got sick after his visions in Daniel 7 and 8, and there's John falling down in the Revelation. It's not the same thing as we see tonight.

You can't explain this out of the Bible. He's chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised.

The world despises it when we lose control. The world loves intelligence. The world worships intelligence. And God is in the business today of bypassing our minds and doing something that cannot be explained in rational terms. And it offends the mind. It offends the mind when He does that. (Jack Deere, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 20, 1994)

During the time of John the Baptist, it was very difficult for people to intellectually or theologically understand what was happening. John the Baptist was like the first New Testament "punker." He was a crazy man! And he was so far outside the system. He didn't fit (Marc Dupont, The Father's Heart And The Prophetic, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)

And his wife, Michal, she was Saul's daughter, she was the last remnant of, in one way we could say, a spirit of control, of Phariseeism, of wanting to control and, you know, grasp and greediness and all these things. She looked down from the palace window and she despised him. And that spirit of religion contends with the people of God. It says, "Yeah, you're saved, you're going to heaven, but don't get too radical, you know. You've changed your ethic, you've changed your morals, but don't really rock the boat." But see, when the Spirit of God begins to move, He moves. And He moves on His terms and not on our terms. You can read through the Bible backwards and forwards, and the only place it says to get your comfort from is from the peace of God, from the comfort of the Holy Comforter. Too much of the body of Christ is trying to derive our comfort from feeling comfortable, from controlling the outward situation. And that goes back to Phariseeism, all the way back in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve wanted to eat of the tree of good and knowledge, they wanted to be as God, they wanted to be like God and to be intellectually in control of the deal. And the price they paid was, they lost their transparency with God, and they had to cover up. They did gain knowledge, but they lost their intimacy with God, and from that time on, mankind has been covering up.

.....There is a barrenness that is upon much of the church today. There is a barrenness because we've been clinging to ourselves, we've been trying to control the situation. It's as if, with our continual focus on teaching, teaching, teaching, preaching, preaching, preaching, filling ourselves up. (Marc Dupont, The Father's Heart And The Prophetic, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)

Again, intellectualism is slammed, even blamed, for the fall of man in the first place. It wasn't intellectualism that caused the fall. The serpent caused Eve to doubt God's Word and placed three temptations in front of her -- good for food...pleasing to the eye...desirable for gaining wisdom. Adam and Eve abandoned themselves to their feelings of temptation and doubt and disobeyed God. Even Marc Dupont said they "wanted." Want is an emotion. They doubted God and paid the price.

Jesus Christ - One Person Or Us?

Remember the Manifest Sons of God teaching talked about earlier in this article? Here we see it resurfacing again.

.....Let me say this to you before I move on. You really want to [unintelligible] some typology, Revelation 12. Of course, that's interpreted as Jesus, Mary, mother Mary and Jesus. I interpret it as the church through the ages. Revelation 12 said "I saw a sign in the heavens and a woman clothed with the sun and twelve stars upon her head. Standing up on the moon, she travailed to be in birth, and behold she brought forth the man- child and the Satan, the red dragon, was standing there to devour her seed."

Now, in once sense of interpretation, I believe the twelve stars. Twelve is the number of government. It's speaking of the covering of government, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve apostles. You're seeing the church through the ages. Clothed with the sun is Jesus. Jesus is the Son. Malachi. The Son of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings. The moon, I believe, in one sense, represents demonic powers. The moon, if you look at Genesis 1, typifies Satan. It has no light of its own. It's a lesser light. It only reflects the light of the sun. As a matter of fact, Genesis 1 calls the moon a lesser light. The rendering there is "to cut short or to be abbreviated." So you see the church standing on principalities and powers, but she's pregnant with the seed of God. And the interesting thing is, as the enemy watches this, he is waiting to devour the seed.

Now, here's my point. The enemy is not frightened of you or me. He is neither threatened by you or me. The thing he is threatened by is that that we're carrying in the womb of our spirit. The seed of God. You're not that big of a deal, I'm sorry to inform you. I am not that big of a deal. I found out that a long time ago. I thought I was Super, Duper Christian. But I'm not that big of a deal. You're not that big of a deal. But Jesus is a big deal. "Satan is after me." No, Satan is not after you. He got you. A number of days ago. Satan's after the seed that is in you. If he can steal the seed, then he has you. So I'm telling you, protect the seed of God that's in you and resist the devil, he will flee from you. Hey, we're just getting wound up. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)

.....Purpose is being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. It's lifting Him up and Him only. That is purpose. And the warning I have for renewal people, the warning I have for anybody moving in this decade is beware of process. Don't let the process bring you down. Don't get caught up in the bickering of politics of the process. Keep your eye on the purpose. We're going somewhere. When God processes this thing and we come out on the other end, we are going to be a people, one new man in the earth, that are going to exhibit the showcase the Kingdom of God in such a degree that the nations, kings are going to come to our feet and ask of us of the things of God. We are literally going to raise not only dead, but nations and cities, heal those that are sick, open blind eyes, cast out devils. We are going to do greater works than He has done. There's a purpose for renewal, and that's revival. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)

Jonathan Edwards

William DeArteaga: I want to share one insight that I had not planned, but the Lord has put on my heart about -- yesterday I was looking at the books that were coming in on revival. Some hot off the press. And every revival has a predominant theologian, you know. Historians say, well in this revival, Charles Finney was the predominant figure here and theologian of that revival, etc., etc. And the Lord has already chosen the predominant theologian of this revival. It's not me! It's Jonathan Edwards. And every book on revival out there, including my book does central chapters on what did Jonathan Edwards say about revival. Which is great, because it takes the pressure off us, you know, the swelled head and all the stuff. We're commentators on Jonathan Edwards. That's really true. (William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)

Virtually every leader of this movement points to Jonathan Edwards for support of the various manifestations. They are very selective about what is quoted, however. Here are some quotes you don't see them using:

"Why cannot we be contented with the divine oracles, that holy, pure word of God, which we have in such abundance and clearness, now since the canon of Scripture is completed? Why should we desire to have any thing added to them by impulses from above? Why should we not rest in that standing rule that God has given to his church, which the apostles teaches us, is surer than a voice from heaven? And why should we desire to make the Scripture speak more to us than it does?" [Jonathan Edwards, Some Thoughts, p.404]

"They who leave the sure word of prophecy--which God has given us as a light shining in a dark place--to follow such impressions and impulses, leave the guidance of the polar star to follow a Jack with a lantern. No wonder therefore that sometimes they are led into woeful extravagances." [Jonathan Edwards, On Revival, p.14]

"An erroneous principle, than which scarce any has proved more mischievous to the present glorious work of God, is a notion that it is God's manner in these days to guide His saints by inspiration, or immediate revelation....As long as a person has a notion that he is guided by immediate direction from heaven, it makes him incorrigible and impregnable in all his misconduct." (Jonathan Edwards, Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New England, p.1:404)

"Many godly persons have undoubtedly in this and other ages, exposed themselves to woeful delusions, by an aptness to lay too much weight on impulses and impressions, as if they were immediate revelations from God, to signify something future, or to direct them where to go, and what to do."

"I would therefore entreat the people of God to be very cautious how they give heed to such things. I have seen them fail in very many instances, and know by experience that impressions being made with great power, and upon the mind...are no sure sign of their being revelations from heaven." (Jonathan Edwards, On Revival, pp. 104, 141)

Debra Bouey, who has done much research on the subject, has this to say about Jonathan Edwards:

If DeArteaga is one of the historians for the Toronto Airport Vineyard, it is very difficult to believe he does not know Jonathan Edwards was a cessationist. Edwards believed prophecy ceased along with the other charismatic gifts after the completion of the canon of Scripture. Surely DeArteaga, a historian, could not have missed Edwards account of his cessationist views and the reasons he notes in detail for holding them in the following works?:

  1. Jonathan Edwards, "Charity and Its Fruits", pp.38, 44-47.
  2. Jonathan Edwards, "On Revival", pp.137-.

Consider carefully his words which follow and contrast them with where the focus and emphasis are placed, evidenced in the teachings coming out of Toronto Vineyard, and determine for yourself what Jonathan Edwards would have to say about all of this alleged "Toronto blessing", "season of refreshing" and "revival" if he were here with us today:

"The spirit that causes people to have a greater regard for the Holy Scriptures and establishes them more in the truth and divinity of God's Word is certainly the Spirit of God.

"The devil never would attempt to beget in persons a regard to the divine Word. A spirit of delusion will not incline persons to seek direction at the mouth of God. 'To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them!'is never the cry of evil spirits who have no light in them. On the contrary, it is God's own direction to discover their delusions.

Would the spirit of error, in order to deceive men, beget in them a high opinion of the infallible Word? Would the prince of darkness, in order to promote his kingdom of darkness, lead men to the sun?

"The devil has always shown a mortal spite and hatred towards that holy book, the Bible. He has done all in his power to extinguish that light, or else draw men off from it. He knows it to be that light by which his kingdom of darkness is to be overthrown. He has long experienced its power to defeat his purposes and battle his designs. It is his constant plague. It is the sword of the Spirit that pierces him and conquers him. It is that sharp sword that we read of in Revelation 19:15, which proceeds out of the mouth of Him that sat on the horse, with which He smites His enemies. Every text is a dart to torment the old serpent. He has felt the stinging smart thousands of times.

"Therefore the devil is engaged against the Bible and hates every word in it. We may be sure that he never will attempt to raise anyone's esteem of it." (Jonathan Edwards, The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God)

Judging Others

..."In March a number of us were interviewed by Charisma magazine. They had heard about things and were writing an initial report. The woman conducting the interview asked me if we were seeing fleshly excess at the Airport Vineyard. I had to give myself a moment because there is in me an inclination that springs up at times {?}. I studied Mad Magazine's Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions and it doesn't serve me really well sometimes. I said, 'Yes, we see fleshly excess at the Airport Vineyard. The Church of Jesus Christ is a welded piece of flesh and spirit, wheat and weed. It'll be sometime yet before we see pure God in one another. But under the place of pastoral ministry I'd far rather work with a fleshly zeal and exuberance for the things of God than a carnal faultfinding and judgmentalism.' She said 'Point taken.' (Guy Chevreau, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pastor's Meeting, October 19, 1994)

....Are they looking in the wrong way? Obviously they're looking in the wrong way. The sin is not the issue. What is the issue is God's heart for the lost and the hurting. I'm not saying that means we should bless sin, but what I'm saying is it's typical of Phariseeism to very quickly want to point out the rights and the wrongs, you know. It's kind of like, you know, Jesus and the woman that the Pharisees dragged up who was caught in adultery, and they said, you know, we all know they were trying to trap Jesus because if He said "Forgive her" they would have said... (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 2, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 14, 1994)

Well, it can't be God!" Well, who are you? The standard for the world? Who put you in charge of this? "Those people are weird." They're not as weird as you are! At least they're responding. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)

.....In the First Great Awakening, one of those who hated it was a pastor named Charles Chauncey. He looked at the worst case, the excess, the weeds, and concluded that revival was nothing more than an emotional orgy run riot. It was not the Great Awakening for Chauncey, but the Great Clamour. He wrote several books. One of them, Overheated Passions, the other, Enthusiasm Described And Cautioned Against. Enthusiasm was Chauncey's word for this religious fanaticism. Unfortunate choice of words. Enthusiasm is from the Greek, enthaos, it means to be in God. I don't mind being tagged an enthusiast.

Anyway, in Enthusiasm Described And Cautioned Against, Chauncey declares this: "The work of the Spirit is different now from what it was in the first days of Christianity. Men were then favoured with the extraordinary presence of the Spirit. It came upon them with miraculous gifts and powers, the gift of prophecy, knowledge, revelation, tongues, miracles. But the Spirit is not now to be expected in these ways. His grand business lies in preparing men's minds for the grace of God. The Spirit calls up faith and repentance by the Word and by prayer."

You read Chauncey's stuff and what he's working with is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Book. Later in life Chauncey leaves the Congregationalist Church and gives leadership to the Unitarians. (Guy Chevreau, Pastor's Conference, December 7, 1994, Toronto Airport Vineyard)

It is typical in many Vineyard/Toronto Blessing circles to find them accusing people of dividing the brethren, being fault-finding, etc., while failing to see that they themselves are guilty of the very things they accuse others of doing.

If the point in mentioning Chauncey's opposition to what was happening in his time and then to his founding the Unitarian cult is to show what can happen to those who oppose various phenomena, they have failed miserably. William Branham is frequently referred to favourably by people in this movement, and yet Branham said that the doctrine of the Trinity was of the devil (Footprints on the Sands of Time, pg. 606) See Discernment, above.

Judgement Coming

There is a judgement that's coming against many leaders and against the church that despises what God is doing in the nineties. (Marc Dupont, The Father's Heart And The Prophetic, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)

And so, at the same time that churches that are responding to the Spirit are going to get more and more filled up with freedom and liberty and anointing and the joy, and the peace, and everything in the Kingdom, I believe that there's also going to come stricter and stricter judgement. I believe judgement this year is radically increasing, especially leaders that are going to stand in a strong Pharisaical stance and are going to attack what God is doing. (Marc Dupont, Prophetic School - Part 3, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)

But by the late nineties, I believe things are just really going to really, dramatically be breaking out more than we can understand, but also judgement is very, very much going to increase to the point where I believe that many leaders who are fighting what the Spirit of God is doing and saying, God is going to take them out of ministry. I believe some of them, I know this isn't a new revelation, other people have said this, but I do believe that it's true, that God is actually going to be taking some leaders home to heaven, rather than to continue to allow them to mislead God's people. (Marc Dupont, Prophetic School - Part 3, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)

Now let me say, before I begin, there are two groups of people in the church today. I categorize them. Those that are affected by what God's doing and those that are offended by what God is doing. There is not a lot of neutral ground. The neutral ground is dissipating by the hour. You can't stand in the middle any more and say "Well, I don't know. Maybe it's God, maybe it's not." You're going to get rolled over. Remember the song "I'm a Steam Roller, Baby, And I'm Going To Roll Right Over You?" Well, I think the Holy Spirit is singing that song. There is no middle ground. You're either affected or offended by what God is doing. And if you're offended, you may continue to get offended 'cause you haven't seen nothing yet. If you haven't been able to run, walk with a footman, what are you going to do when the horses come? The horses aren't here. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)

What He had shown me was first the darkness that has come on the Canadian church, and to see it was to be scared out of one's tree. I know seeing the dark doesn't sound scary, but it was very, very scary. There it was that He revealed to me in that brief time-space that God was going to deal with leaders in judgement across Canada and beginning in the Canadian church. (John White, What Is God Doing Today?, October 14, 1994, Toronto Airport Vineyard)

.....I don't know to what extent the judgement is a two-staged thing. The absence of repentance that some have already displayed is part of that judgement, but I believe a far more terrible judgement is coming on the church, particularly in Ontario, and I don't know what form that will take. I only know that I have seen it and it frightened me out of my tree. (John White, What Is God Doing Today?, October 14, 1994, Toronto Airport Vineyard)

Obviously, according to Vineyard/Toronto Blessing teaching, anyone who rejects this "move of God" is in very serious trouble and will be killed, presumably by God, if they continue to oppose this movement. This is an extremely serious statement to make when they basically say "either agree with us or face God's wrath."

GO TO PART TWO: Click Here

Written by Bob Hunter, Contenders. Revised August, 1995

Copyright 1995 by Bob Hunter


This article is the sole property of Bob Hunter. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced in whole provided the reproduction is not sold. All reproductions of this article must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright 1995 by Bob Hunter"). This article may not be used without the permission of Bob Hunter for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold.