BEWARE OF NEW AGE REVIVAL SERVICES
At New Age Christian Revival services, worshippers have exhibited unusual behaviours that they attribute to an encounter with God and the “fire of the Holy Spirit”. The most common described behaviours include hysterical laughter (or “holy laughter”), physical spasms or jerks, falling to the floor under the Holy Spirit’s power (aka “slain in the Spirit”) and speaking in tongues. Other less common behaviours include manifestations that resembled roaring like lions and barking like dogs. (See Derek Prince commentary). In its most visible form it overcomes worshippers with outbreaks of laughter, weeping, groaning, shaking, falling, ‘drunkenness,’ and even behaviours that have been described as a ‘cross between a jungle and a farmyard.'”
Loud noises, jerking, aggressiveness, character assassination, arrogance, intolerance, howling, eerie and hysterical laughter, lack of control, barking like dogs and roaring like lions are not the evidence of the Holy Spirit in believers but a sign of demonic activity . These are temporary phenomena because the demonic activities occur in their physical bodies and in their souls for a period only. Demons do not tamper with your free wills. Even Legion, who probably had thousands of demons, had the free will to desire deliverance and salvation from our Lord (Mark 5:1-15).
The bible tells us what the evidence of the Holy Spirit is:
– Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, self-control.
– James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
“…within the professing Christian church at least as many people need deliverance from evil spirits as need healing from sickness and that’s about eighty per cent.” (Derek Prince’s – `How Jesus dealt with demons’.) James told us that Christians can be influenced by a wisdom that is earthly sensual demonic and where exist confusion and every evil work:
James 3:14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 3:15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 3:16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
The word “possessed” [by demons] is probably not so appropriate when applied to christians. The Greek word actually means “to be demonised”, that is to be in some way or another under the influence or attack or control of the enemy (Derek Prince’s – “Nature of Demons”).
Deep divisions have formed in the evangelical charismatic community over the validity of these Revival meetings. Many traditionalists believe that it is is not “of God” and is, in fact, the work of Satan who is physically present during the proceedings, speaking through the pastors and manipulating entire congregations through his demons. They stress that the experiential nature of the services, the emphasis on “feeling the moment” rather than relying on the word of God as well as the similarities between the worship systems of the Soaking churches and pagan Wicca ceremonies and Kundalini practices is proof that the Soaking is a deliberate attempt by the Devil to distance believers from God’s true path.
The practice is hotly debated on the Internet and in Christian journals and programs with the doubters expressing fear that Satan has been given free reign to run unchecked through formerly Christian communities. The fact that it can seemingly overtake a whole congregation when the “fit” is on them, spreading almost virally from one person to the next adds urgency to their fears. Some leaders even liken the coming of the Revival Services to a spiritual war, with the Devil gaining ever greater numbers of deceived swooning soldiers by the day.
Believers object just as strongly that it is a revival or renewal of God’s true church, where the Holy Spirit manifests in a way that is directly tangible to the participant. They maintain that it is the coming of a new era, where the new leaders will be raised to prominence and people will be drawn to connect to an experience that is truly Godly. God is ready to be present and alive in the world again, they claim, and the true believers are the ones who can feel his presence among them.
Neutral observers point out that this type of phenomenon is not at all new. Nor is the resistance to the movement by the average churchgoer who may be unfamiliar with religious experience per se. The ability of charismatic leaders to condition mass numbers of people through suggestion is a well-documented psychological phenomenon.
The perennial resistance to these experiences by conventional organized religion was summarized by Carl Jung in his observation that (organized) “Religion is a (psychological) defense against the religious experience”.
The argument is that the Soaking churches use all the same techniques honed over the years by everyone from faith healers to “lounge act hypnotists”: soothing speech, repetition (eg: songs with only one lyrical line sung for up to 40 minutes at a time), suggestion and granting permission to lessen inhibitions (eg: telling participants to just “let go” and “feel what God is trying to tell you”). They argue that participants know what to expect when attending a Blessing church and simply act out the programmed suggestions, or fall in line with the behaviours they see breaking out around them.
Derek Prince in his book Protection From Deception Navigating Through The Minefield Of Signs And Wonders http://www.enterhisrest.org/charismata/protect_deception.pdf has stated:
TEST ALL THINGS; HOLD FAST TO WHAT IS GOOD
In 1994, for the first time, I was brought into fairly direct contact with one of the groups where those manifestations were occurring. A group of leaders went to some of their meetings and returned all excited, saying they had experienced something wonderful and we all needed to experience it. They said, “Now, you don’t test it. You don’t try it out. You don’t examine it. You just open up to it and receive it.” That was the first time that I really began to be suspicious of some of these things, because such a statement is directly contrary to Scripture.
In I Thessalonians 5:21, Paul says to Christians, Test all things: hold fast what is good. So, if we do not test things, we are disobeying Scripture, and anybody who tells us not to test things is, himself, not in harmony with Scripture.
Our hearts cannot be relied upon to give us the truth. Proverbs 28:26 says, He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. So do not be a fool. Do not trust your own heart. Do not rely upon what your heart tells you, because it is not reliable. Again, in Jeremiah 17:9 the prophet says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Every genuine manifestation of the Holy Spirit will, in some way, harmonize with Scripture.
The greatest single danger in this end time is not sickness, nor poverty, nor persecution. It is deception. If anybody says, “It could never happen to me,” it has already happened to that person, because that person is saying something could never happen that Jesus said would happen. That is a sufficient indication that such a person is deceived.
It is very essential to understand that. Signs and wonders do not determine truth! Truth is already determined and established, and it is the Word of God. In John 17:17, Jesus is praying to the Father, and He says, “Your word is truth.” And in Psalm 119:89, the psalmist said, Forever, 0 Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Nothing that happens on earth can ever change the smallest little sign or letter of the Word of God. It is forever settled in heaven.
The coming of the lawless one [that is the title of the Antichrist] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So, Paul says here there are such things as lying signs and wonders. There are true signs and there are lying signs. True signs attest the truth. Lying signs attest lies. Satan is fully capable of supernatural signs and wonders. Unfortunately, many in the Charismatic movement have the attitude that if something is supernatural, it must be from God. There is no scriptural basis for that assumption. Satan is perfectly capable of producing powerful signs and wonders to attest his lies, and the reason such people are deceived is because they did not receive the love of the truth. On such people God will send strong delusion.
That is one of the most frightening statements in the Bible. If God sends you strong delusion, you will be deluded. I think that is one of the most severe judgments of God recorded in Scripture, sending these people strong delusion. They will be condemned, these people, because they did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Therefore, signs and wonders are not a guarantee that something is the truth. There is only one sure way to know the truth. It is in the Word of God. Jesus said in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” There is no other way to be sure that we can escape deception in these days except that we know and apply the truth of God’s Word, the Scripture.
That word deceitful in the Hebrew is a very interesting word. In 1946, I was attending the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a guest student studying the nature – or the law – of the Hebrew language. I was listening to the head professor in this field at that time talking about this verse: Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things. He gave reasons which I cannot carry over from Hebrew to show that this form of the word deceitful is active, not passive. It does not mean that your heart is deceived. It means that your heart deceives you, so you cannot trust your own heart.
The professor gave a very vivid picture of what it means to find out the truth about your own heart. He said it is like someone peeling an onion. You peel off skin after skin, but you never know when you have reached the last skin – and all the time your eyes are watering. So that has remained with me now for 50 years – such a vivid, scriptural warning against relying on my own heart to tell me the truth. There is only one source of truth, and that is the Scripture.
MOVEMENTS WITH MIXTURE OF IDEAS
Now, I have observed this carefully, and I have had grievous experience of this condition of a mixture of spirits. I find that it is something which the Scripture warns us against. For instance, there is a character in the Bible, King Saul, who had a mixture of spirits. At one time, he prophesied in the Holy Spirit; at another time, he prophesied in a demon. His career is really a warning. He was a king who ruled for forty years. He was a successful military commander. He had a lot of successes. But mixture was his undoing, and his life closed with tragedy. On the last night of his life, he went to consult a witch, and the next day he committed suicide on the battlefield. Surely that offers no encouragement to any of us to cultivate any kind of spiritual mixture in our lives.
I have observed that the result of mixture is two things: first of all, confusion; and then division. For instance, we have this mixed message, part of which is true, part of which is false. People can respond in two ways. Some will see the good and focus on it, and therefore accept the bad. Some will focus on the bad, and therefore reject the good. In either case, it does not accomplish God’s purposes.
Once upon a time I was a pastor, a long time ago, but I remember that the most difficult kind of people to deal with were people who were a mixture. I will give you a little imaginary example. We have Sister Jones in our congregation. One Sunday she gives a beautiful, prophetic message and everybody is uplifted, excited. But two Sundays later, she stands up and gives a revelation which she had in a dream. The further she goes with this revelation, the more confused and confusing it becomes. Eventually, as pastor, I have to say to her, “Sister Jones, I thank you, but I really don’t believe that is from the Lord,” and she sits down – but that is not the end.
After the meeting, Sister White comes to me and says, “Brother Prince, how could you talk to Sister Jones like that? Don’t you remember that beautiful prophecy she gave two Sundays ago?” And when Sister White is gone, Brother Black comes to me, and he says, “If that’s the kind of revelation she has, I won’t listen to any more of her prophecies!”
So, you see what we have? Confusion, and out of confusion, division. I believe that is exactly what is happening in the church: confusion resulting in division. Certainly there is tremendous division! I believe confusion will always produce division.
The Bible gives us no liberty to tolerate the incursion of evil into the church. We are not to be passive; we are not to be neutral. Proverbs 8:13 says, The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. It is sinful to compromise with evil. It is sinful to be neutral toward evil. In John 10:10 Jesus spoke about the thief, the devil, who comes: to steal, to kill and to destroy. We always need to remember, whether it is in an individual life or in a congregation, the devil only comes with three objectives: to steal, to kill and to destroy.
I can remember many times I have been speaking with a person who needed deliverance from an evil spirit, and I have said to that person, “Remember, the devil has three reasons for being in your life: to steal, to kill and to destroy. You need to take a stand against him, not be neutral – you must drive him out.” What is true of an individual is true of a congregation. It is true for the body of Christ, worldwide.
BEFORE YOU http://wp.me/p2M7AJ-2fx
NATIONAL AWAKENING http://www.scribd.com/doc/226939087
CONTROLLING CHURCHES and LEADERS: http://wp.me/p2M7AJ-1d