The Vineyard Movement's 'Toronto Blessing' (Part 2)CONTENTS:
Out With The Old, In With The NewIn these excerpts we discover that the old traditional church is being replaced by an entirely new church. How do the Vineyard/Toronto Blessing teachers come to this conclusion? By changing Jesus' original meaning of the old and new wineskins representing the old and new covenants to them representing the old and the newly emerging church.
Matthew, Chapter 9, verse 16. A passage that we're all very familiar with, about the wine and the wineskin.
"But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment," the Lord Jesus speaking, "For the patch tears away from the garment and a worse tear results. Nor do men put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wineskins burst and the wine pours out and the wines are ruined. But instead they put new wine into fresh wineskins and both are preserved."
I think that word "preserved" is a key phrase. The Lord Himself said that no one puts new wine in old wineskins, and the Lord is no exception to that principle of wisdom. He doesn't put new wine in old wineskins.
I believe that one of the burdens of the hour, talking, you know, ending the 80's, preparing for the 90's, is the necessity of discerning new wineskin. We've heard that for about the last ten years. You've been hearing different trumpets, you know, across the nation, speaking about that. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
I think of the church in Revelation 3, the Laodicean church, and Jesus gives them advice to do three things. And when the Son of God appears in the flesh and meets a man face to face, a man like John the Apostle and gives him advice for the church, how many of you know it's serious advice for the church to listen to? And yet today there's a portion of the church, maybe even a large portion, that isn't taking that advice serious. And I believe at this hour -- I'm speaking prophetically -- that there's never been a time in the church where the advice He gave in Revelation 3 is more pertinent than right now, 1989, preparing for the decade of the nineties, where we're going to see a great transition take place in the church, and the purpose of God is going to take...three steps forward in terms of God's purpose that He's had in His heart from the beginning. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
This is an hour to, I believe, to look at all of our activity, all of our priorities, our vision, and throw the whole thing out and start over and say "Lord, whatever was You of yesterday, bring it up again. Give it to me in a fresh way. Don't make me draw on the '70's for what I'm doing in the '90's, because the guard is changing, so to speak. And Lord, new commissions are being given. Lord, please tell me again what You told me before, just for my own sense of confidence, because I know transition." I think the Lord would honour that. That's the acts of the white garments.
.....We need to get discernment on God's ways, because I believe that what God's about to do is He's about to back up His ways. I believe that the verse in Acts 17, you know, when Paul, I think, is on Mars Hill or whoever that was, and he says that God winked in former times at ignorance.
I believe that in the last, you know, couple hundred years or 2000 years or whatever, God has winked at the ignorance of the church leadership, but I believe that today He is saying in a fresh way -- now I can't take time to give you the full dramatic impact as to how the Lord is giving some of these revelations to us, but I'll just say this -- you don't know me very well, so I guess that won't carry a lot of weight -- but the Lord is, in an authentic way, revealed it to us in a level of revelation that you were accustomed to last night, that you saw Paul moving in. The Lord has given us five or six men that have an incredible encounter in the supernatural realm. I would say Paul [Cain] clearly has that strongest dimension, but we got four or five others that move in a very authentic, credible, -- what's the word? -- you can test it, it's verifiable. Let's put it that way. It's credible reams of revelation with an accurate history of foretelling the future with precise dates and giving names and all that kind of thing. And all of them in a whole kind of a, and just dwelling on that, that whole base of revelation's come.
The Lord has said one thing over and over and over again: The church must get eye salve. He has told us that dramatically by revelation. This is the hour. Not just in a general way -- like for two thousand years that's been the Word of the Lord -- but I mean in an urgency. This is the hour of all hours for the church to get eye salve, to get wisdom, to discern the ways of God, because God is not, right now, going to wink, as He did in times past, but He's going to roll up His sleeves, so to speak, using human kind of analogy, and He's gonna start the work of I believe the culmination of that endtime purpose, and He's gonna kick it into a new gear. And I believe with all of my heart I'm speaking that by the revelation of the Lord for 1989, 1990, 1991. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
One would almost swear that we have suddenly gone back two thousand years and those years have never taken place. Jesus just ascended back to heaven and the Bible is currently being written. The Old Covenant is out and the New Covenent is being ushered in. But no, two thousand years have passed. The Bible says that before the New Covenant was initiated God winked at ignorance, but would no longer. Now the Vineyard/Toronto Blessing is saying that He has winked at the ignorance of church leaders up until now, but would no longer.
But, Matthew, Chapter nine, Jesus said "Here's the key. You want new wine?" He said "Get a wineskin consistent with it." We got a lot of people searching and praying for new wine, but I believe that we're wise to prepare a wineskin that can receive the new wine, because He's not going to just give the wine and let it pour on the ground. He says "I'm not going to let the wine be lost this time." And I believe that all three of those advice in Revelation 3:18, all three points of advice -- we'd better take them very serious. But I don't know how effective it is to pray continually for new wines without labouring to discern the wineskin the new wine will be given in context to. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
Wasn't it careless of God to lose that wine? As we shall see, however, God has learned from His mistakes. (What kind of a God do Vineyard/Toronto Blessing people have?!)
....There's something about man that, when he learns something, he has an instant bias against something contrary to what he's learned, and that seems to be one of the most stubborn obstacles before the work of God, is the bias of man once he learns something. It's kind of like the bone is broken, it's set, and once that bone is set it's so difficult to correct it. Once a person has learned a certain amount of information, it's kind of like their genetic code is set, and it's so difficult to get them to become a learner again.
And one of the, I think, the greatest kind of mysteries as to why the Lord has allowed the genetic code of the whole religious system, the religious leadership of, I'm talking about the Christian, of this nation to be set in ways to where they're so confident in their understanding, and yet they're so, I'm assuming, so many missing elements in their understanding, and yet they don't have a sense of desperation about that. Whether they have a secret confidence of having understanding even beyond what they have. And I think if we have a secret confidence of really knowing, the Lord will see that bias in us and I think He'll visit us. He'll give us an opportunity, but men don't quickly forsake that bias. They hang on to what they learned in days past.
Once that genetic code is set, it seems like it's a violent process to reprogramme it. But the Lord says "break up the fallow ground of the heart." Hosea 10:12. "Break up the fallow ground of the mind." Become a learner again. And there's something about that process of becoming a learner again, that for some reason it is so terribly risky to a man to do that. Because I guess if you've got a big empire and you've got a whole following, to admit you've lead them the wrong way for twenty years, or to admit that you've hardly got anything when you're entire identity has been built around the fact you're giving them the whole counsel, I guess that's too brutal for, it's too big of a pill to swallow. To stand up twenty years later, thirty years later and say "Guess what? I've only given you ten percent. I've presented it as the whole, but in fact it's only barely a part." And there's something about the unwillingness of man to say that to his following and his clientele that he can't quite become a learner again because it must be too risky financially and in the realm of honour to stand before some of the great prominent ones of, you know, millions following and say "Guess what? I said it was the whole. It's hardly a part. I mean it's an infinitesimal small part. Look, I'm sorry. Let's become learners." The people would follow them in a minute, but somehow it's too risky, it's too violent. And yet the Lord is requiring that very thing of us right now. To look at our own leaders, I mean the people that are following our ministries. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
....So I believe the eyes of the Lord are searching. And if there's any one quality that I believe is mandatory for the ever-searching eye of God to find, it's the learner's heart in leadership. The reason, as most of you know, that God almost always raises a new leadership from the existing one is that one point right there. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
Why do we need a new wineskin? Verse 17. "So the wine and the wineskin are preserved." So that both are preserved, the New American Standard says, the way that words it. The wine and the wineskin are preserved. We know from past history that almost every visitation of the Lord -- not every one, but almost every one -- ten to fifteen years later, in the communities of the visitation, it was almost as though there were no visitation fifteen years before. The wine was lost in almost every circumstance. Normally there was one or two truths deposited into the body of Christ, but in terms of a devout, humble community of God -- a church is what I'm talking about, a local church existing in those areas --the wine didn't exist. The wine was lost. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
I think "God, when will this take place?" And the Lord says "Well, the reason the wine was lost" -- I believe this is the answer -- "because there were not wineskins to contain the wine." You think of the great Finney revivals, and Wesley and Whitefield, although Wesley, he raised up some wineskins and a hundred years later we've still got the Methodist church, and, I won't make comment on that, but at least a number of years later in the Wesley, in his labours there, there was the longest preservation of the working of the Spirit in terms of a fresh conviction of sin, etc., in the people. But I don't think the Lord's going to give wine again without a wineskin being established. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
Persecution and Rejecting This "Move of God"Mike Bickle: I'm just going to say this. You know, ten years ago the Lord literally spoke by His audible voice. He literally sent the Angel of the Lord, He literally moved sovereignly and supernaturally by His Spirit, and He told us there would be an outpouring. He told many people. The outpouring is beginning, but He told us that there would come a time when people would draw back from the move of the Holy Spirit. And the reason they would draw back from the move of the Holy Spirit, and that's why I want to pray about it, is because of the fear of man. In the end it is because of the fear of man. It's the fear of man that I want to ask the Lord to help us with.
.....So Father, I come before You. Lord, you've spoken sovereignly to many, many people about this time and this hour, and Lord you said that there would be a time of difficulty. That there would be a rage of Satan that would attack the outpouring of the Spirit that would honour the Lordship of Jesus. And Lord, we ask you to continue to send the rain of your Spirit. We ask that in many nations you would send the wine of the Holy Spirit. I ask that in this place that you've ordained to cause the impartation to go forth, that there would be the fire of God, the impartation that would go forth. We ask that the vessels would spread in all the villages and towns and cities represented in this room tonight. Lord, I stand before you, having stood with people that have prayed night and day. Hours a day, Lord, you've called different groups together to pray. We've asked you for this day, and Lord we thank you.
But we tremble in our weakness as we rejoice in our spirit. We rejoice that the word of the Lord was proved true. We're rejoicing that the infallible proofs given by the Holy Spirit are now being manifest before nations. The nations are gathering to hear and receive from the Lord.
.....Lord, I know that it's the will of God that we would stand and not fall. I know that in the hour of temptation that you can cause us to have boldness even before those who are against us. I ask for the love of God and the boldness of the Holy Spirit. I ask that you would keep our feet from temptation. I ask that we would not waver, but we would stand in loyalty for the Lordship of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, we will not debate and argue manifestation. We will stand our ground for Christ Jesus and the rain of the Holy Spirit. And Lord we ask You, I ask You soberly....
Bob Weiner: Oh Lord we thank You for this wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit....And so Lord God we pray for the honour to be persecuted for righteousness. But give us wisdom in this hour. Give us wisdom in this hour. In Jesus' name. (Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 14, 1994)
Now another thing that we know from history, that the most recent move of God is always the most violent persecutor of the next move of God, and we've seen that in history. The most recent move of God, which I have no hesitation to belief that it's the Charismatic move that will probably be the most violent opposers to the new thing that's going to come forth, if history is repeated, which it normally is. I don't know if that's..I'm not saying that prophetically, I'm just saying history says that that move that hit the seventies and eighties where millions came into a fresh awareness of the Holy Spirit, normally the leadership of that group, as a rule, becomes the most violent opposer to the new thing that is emerging. I don't know if that's going to happen, but like I said, history repeats itself as a rule. So the Lord wants to put new wine in new wineskins. (Mike Bickle, Prophetic Preparation For Leaders, Introduction To The Prophetic Series, Tape 4 of 8, July 24, 1989)
.......You know, the Christian church is very much like the root from which we have grown from, the Israelite people. Remember what they said? You know, you kill the prophets and then you build tombs to honour them. We honour Wesley, and we honour Whitefield today, we honour these names of mighty men of God, but when they were ministering they were persecuted and misunderstood. And they had their CRI, and they had even the bishops who didn't like them, and they were put out of the church. And so, because they were put out of the church, they preached in the fields.
Can we honour people who love Jesus? Can we honour them so that they are willing to be tarred and feathered? And rotten eggs thrown at them? Can we honour them that when it was no longer -- at that time, now, since the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International has kinda brought some people with money and education into the limelight and the Charismatic renewal, this thing of speaking in tongues is not really such a bad thing anymore, because it doesn't have the stigma that it used to have. But in those early days they were severely persecuted, and most severely persecuted by the Christians.
I hope that we've come beyond that, but I fear we haven't. Because the present-day, in my opinion, move of the Spirit of God, this time of refreshing that is now renewal but is quickly becoming revival, is still the worst press we have is from our brothers. It's not the secular newspapers, it's from our brothers. I wish we could learn.
It is not always going to be popular. None of these moves were considered popular at the time. None of these moves that I'm sharing with you was really welcomed by the established church. Almost every one of them was fought. And it means there's always going to be people that's not going to like what you do, and ridicule you and maybe mock you. But my one prayer is that we would be so touched with the love of God and the power of God, and the grace of this thing, that we go home on fire and see the fire fall in our churches and then spread to our cities and to the nations.....Our detractors can take, out of context, soundbites, and put them on the radio, but I promise you we will know there's been a major healing in the church if they would take the soundbite of 50 to 100 or 200 young people in their early twenties and late teens, weeping for the nations, standing at the front at the end of an altar call to give their life to go to the nations, and hear God's heart for the nations. Would to God that would be the soundbite that was played, because that's the only one in the end that matters. (Randy Clark, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)
Randy Clark certainly has a flair for the dramatic, and maybe just a touch of a persecution complex.
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)
The first Great Awakening came before the Revolutionary War. The second Great Awakening came before the war of 1812. The 1857 Prayer Revival came before the great Civil War. The Azusa Street came right before World War 1. The great Korean Revival came before the North invaded the South. I believe we're on the verge of a great mighty outpouring upon the church, and I also believe it's going to be followed by persecution. But, persecution has always caused evangelism. Persecution has always caused a purification of the church, and the persecution is always what causes the falling away of the hypocrites and the ones that's in it for the wrong reasons, and it will have purity. The world sees the people who are willing to sacrifice for the Son of God, and God honours it and there's a great harvest. Oh, gosh. (Randy Clark, Evidence Of This Present Move, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 15, 1994)
.....Okay, what about those who are opposed to this? Well folks, there's always been opposition to the work and ministry of God, you know. They opposed the prophets, they opposed the apostles and they've opposed all those that have followed behind them.
Now, who has opposed it? Frankly, it's not been the world, it's been the religious community. The religious community always gets its back up when God moves, and always starts clicking the tongue and waggin' the finger, you know? And we gotta watch out for that in our own hearts, you know? We've got a little bit of Pharisee in all of us and we gotta watch out for that and be careful that we not judge in that way.
But it's common for there to be persecution. Both Whitefield and Wesley suffered more than their share of persecution. Colin Whitaker writes. He says "In violent opposition from mobs in their open air meetings, rotten eggs, stones and dead cats were thrown at them. On several occasions their lives were in danger. When Whitefield was 42 years old he almost became a martyr while preaching in Dublin. In a letter he wrote to a friend in England, he said 'Volleys of stones came from all quarters and every step I took, a fresh stone struck and made me reel backwards and forwards 'till I almost was breathless, and all over a gore of blood. I received many blows and wounds. One was particularly large and near my temples.' Wesley also came very near death in Wastle and he said that an enraged mob who cried out 'Drown him! Hang him!' They even cried 'Crucify him!' Some shouted "Strip him! Tear off his clothes!' to which he mildly responded 'That you need not do. I will give you my clothes if you want them.' One violent blow made his nose and mouth gush with blood and he testified afterwards that he felt no pain and could well understand that the martyrs on occasion had felt no pain in the flames. He was eventually rescued by the very man who had led the mob. 'Sir, I will spend my life for you' he said. 'Follow me and not one soul here shall touch a hair on your head.' He lifted Wesley on his shoulders and he waded through the river safely."
Now if you want to read more about this, read Hebrews Chapter Eleven. There's always opposition to a move of God. There's always opposition to a move of God, and we just don't want to be those who oppose it. (Carl Tuttle, The Work And Ministry Of The Holy Spirit At The Anaheim Vineyard, Tape #00363)
Fellow opposers, prepare your dead cats! I don't think anything has to be added to the above. The total absurdity of the above statements by two of their leading prophets, including the one who started the "Toronto Blessing" in Toronto, should be apparent.
Pharisees.....Actually, all the people were excited, and they were cheering, just as we're seeing right now. People were cheering, they were glad for Jesus' coming to Jerusalem, and coming in their midst. They said "never was there a prophet like this," and the common people were excited, but the religious leaders, the Pharisees, who were actually very fundamental and orthodox, and they really wanted God, but they were scared that if they got away from the prescribed means that they would get in trouble because they got in trouble already so many times they were carted off to Babylon and other places. (Wes Campbell, Manifestations Of The Holy Spirit, July 1994, Anaheim Vineyard)
And as He approached Jerusalem He saw the city and He wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace -- but now it is hidden from your eyes." Hidden from your eyes. Remember that. Things get hidden from the eyes of religious people.
"The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground," That means they're going to take the people of Jerusalem and they're going to pick them up and smash their heads into the ground. "and you and your children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." The other translations, King James Version, NASV says "you did not recognize the day of your visitation." Jesus said God has come, the Father. He said "If you've seen Me you've seen the Father. The Father has sent Me. I am the manifestation of God in your midst, and I've come amongst you and you are looking for something different. You didn't recognize Me. And here I've come amongst you. I've walked with you. I've tabernacled with you. I've taught to you. I've healed in front of you. And you didn't recognize it. Why? Because you were looking for something else."
And God has come many, many times through history. He came all the way through the prophets. Jesus said this; "You tell Me one prophet that's ever come in My name that you didn't first denunciate. You rejected them. Finally you stoned many of them. You killed some of them, and then later on you build a monument to those prophets and then stone the present prophets."
He says it's always the way. And this is the way of visitations, and presently we are, many believe, in one of the greatest forefront stages of one of the greatest visitations the world has ever seen.
.....And God is visiting, and so many things are happening, but many people will miss it. Why? Because they don't like its' face. Its' face is different than they thought it would come. It's different, like Jesus when He came, they didn't recognize Him. He was born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. He was laid in a manger. I mean, He was in a cave with animals. They said "How can this be? He came from Nazareth. What good thing can come out of Nazareth?" And so they didn't recognize Him and they cast it off, and then later many of them came to faith.
And you know, right now we're in a visitation, and the danger is that many people will miss what God is trying to do because the face of the thing scares them. Because the face is different than they're ready for. And we want to talk about that face today. (Wes Campbell, Manifestations Of The Holy Spirit, July 1994, Anaheim Vineyard)
.....So, that's one incident where the Pharisees stopped revival. As a matter of fact, Charles, when George Whitefield was going to make his -- he was one of the great preachers of The Great Awakening -- was going to make his 1744 tour of the colonies, Chauncy organized a boycott of him, so when Whitefield came before, in 1742, all the churches were open to him. When he came in 1744, he couldn't preach in most of the churches, and the revival sort of ran out of steam.
There's another example of really a successful Pharisaical counterattack to a major revival, and maybe the last one in the American church, and hopefully maybe the last time it will ever happen that the Pharisees really win, at least for a season, and that's the evangelical faith revival of 1892. Many of you haven't heard of it, because it was so completely wiped out that they didn't make most of the text books that you read as pastors, when you read church history. (William DeArteaga, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)
.....One of the reasons I think that the ongoing debate between what I would call Phariseeism and the prophetic in the body of Christ is not really a theological issue, I think it's a spiritual issue, is because people that say they're biblically based don't really believe a lot of times what the Bible actually says. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you into all truth. Proverbs 3, "Lean not to your own understanding, but trust in the Lord with all your heart." But we have so much of a confidence in our understanding of how the Kingdom works and how God moves, and so we come up with endless strategies, practices, things, endeavours, and we do them all in the name of Jesus. But so much of the time there's no anointing on them,... (Marc Dupont, Prophetic School - Part 3, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)
We have already seen how most key Vineyard/Toronto Blessing leaders refer to those who differ in their views as Pharisees.
Prophets and ProphecyOne of the most serious errors the Vineyard/Toronto Blessing leaders make is re-defining what prophets are. They persistently state that New Testament prophets such as themselves are a different type of prophet from the Old Testament prophets and don't have to be 100% accurate. Thus they don't have to go by the Biblical standards of Deuteronomy 18. After stating this, they proceed to act as though they were Old Testament prophets, even adding at times "thus saith the Lord." Here we see how they attempt to justify this sort of position, completely forgetting that the New Testament Scriptures warn us of false prophets.
Now let's move into a healing arena. We love to see people healed. Don't you? Larry was saying, you know, you can call twenty people up and the evangelist can go down the line, "You're healed, you're healed, you're healed." Only one gets healed and [we say] "This guy got healed, praise God!" But if a prophetic person goes down the line and, you know, boom, boom, boom, he got 19 out of the 20 right and one guy wrong, they say "let's stone this guy. He got that guy wrong." (John Arnott, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Dynamics of Receiving Spiritual Experiences, Friday, November 18, 1994, 1:30 pm Audiotape Transcript)
.....Judging The Prophetic Ministry. You know how you're supposed to judge? By fruit, not by methods. By fruit, not by methods. You know how a lot of people judge prophets? By methods, not by fruit.
What is the fruit? This is the three things I'm interested in:
Does the prophet have passion for Jesus? You know, God, in a general sense, is not enough. A lot of people, you know, God is everywhere. I want to know what they think about Jesus Christ, specifically. "Oh, I don't just love God." I mean, we love the Father. The whole thing is, you know, God. You know, like I said, I don't know the terminology for all this, but Jesus. I want to know, do they love Jesus Christ specifically? And a prophet that doesn't name the name of Jesus, and they love Jesus, we're not interested in that prophet.
...Secondly, they have to have a holy lifestyle, and thirdly, honour the Word of God. But it's not enough for them to have those three things. They have to produce those three things in the people that hear them. And at the end of this week, if you don't have a greater motivation for the Word of God, for Jesus and pure living, we have not done an effective ministry here. We must leave these three things behind in the prophetic ministry.
...The Difference Between Old And New Testament Prophets. Old Testament prophets by direct revelation, versus prophesying by faith. You know, the New Testament prophets prophesied by faith. The Old Testament prophets just saw open visions or heard the audible voice of the Lord. B. The Old Testament prophets -- you're stoned or you're killed. If you're only 18 or 20 you're killed if you're wrong. The New Testament prophets, they're supposed to judge each other. You know what the implication of that is? The implication is -- Paul said to the prophets, "Get together and discern it. Judge each other." -- The implication is there will be the human element involved in the New Testament ministry. You know why there's the human element? They minister by faith, that's why.
John Paul (Jackson) stands up here, he gets impressions. He gets distinctives. He'll see faith visions and everything is in a movie screen and it's accurate, but you've got to move by faith. It's like Paul Cain says, "you've got to give expression to your impressions or you'll never grow." And you have to grow by stepping out. And if you step out, there's gonna be human element involved. So the answer isn't to judge the guy as wrong, he's not of God. The answer is, is to understand that in the New Testament there's, it's the ministry by faith. There's mixture. We judge one another. We wait and get counsel, is what we do.
In the Old Testament, see, there were just a few of them in the whole earth. Maybe a few prophets in a generation, as a rule. There was a few times they had the school of prophets, but most generations had a few of them for the earth. In the New Testament there were several prophets per city, it seemed like. I can't prove that, but, I mean, and the prophets in the New Testament, D, or the prophets of the Old Testament, D, spoke to the national leaders. The New Testament normally speak to the leadership in a city. The stature of the New Testament prophet is not the same as the stature of the Old Testament prophet, and the standard, the stature is not as high of the New to the Old, and so the standards of the New Testament are not as high as the standards of the Old Testament. We have to have room for error without stoning the people.
If your idea is to have to be 100 percent finished, or they're finished, you will not see New Testament prophets emerge in your midst, and the reason is because you don't discern the Scriptures accurately. And people that have read that, they say "we're going to be of God. We're going to judge them" and the truth is they don't know the Word of God. The problem is exactly opposite to what they think. They think the problem is the guy is wrong, and the guy is moving in growth patterns, by faith, and he's growing in cycles of growth over the years. And they don't know the Word of God and they get rid of him. (Mike Bickle, Principles For Nurturing The Prophetic Ministry, Introduction To The Prophetic, January 1989)
Finally, the last thing, the testing of the vessel. I think it's important that we test the vessel through which the word comes. Now, this may sound contradictory, but in Deuteronomy, Chapter 18 and verse 18, it says there that God will speak through His prophet and He'll put His Word in his mouth and the test of a prophet is whether that word comes to pass. I believe that, that, that is sort of overridden, if you like, and there's another way of looking at that, if you look at that portion of Scripture. But I believe the test of a prophet is not whether his word comes to pass, it's his lifestyle. It's the character of the individual. That is how you test a prophet. You don't test him by his prophetic word, you test him according to the quality or the character of his life. I say that for this reason; because in Deuteronomy Chapter 13, a few chapters prior to that, Moses writes this: "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams rises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder and that sign or wonder comes true concerning which he has spoken to you, saying, 'Let us go after the other gods whom you have not known and let us serve them.'"
Now notice, here is a prophet or a dreamer, he gives you a sign and a wonder, and there is a fulfilment. That sign and wonder comes true. The Bible says that what he's trying to do is deceive you. So it's not a matter of whether the word comes to pass or not, it's the nature of that person's life.
In Matthew, Chapter 7, and I'll close with this, but Jesus warns there about false prophets and of course we've got another warning there in Matthew Chapter 24. But in Matthew 7, verse 15: "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing." Now notice they come to you appearing like sheep, and it says "but inwardly they are ravenous wolves." Now notice there is something about their makeup, about their nature, their character. Not inwardly, sorry, not outwardly they are giving false prophecies, but inwardly they are corrupt in their nature, their character. And He says "you shall know them by their fruit." "Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit."
And then He goes on to say, verse 20, "so you will know them by their fruits. Many will say unto Me in that day 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And I will declare "I never knew you. Depart from me, you who practice iniquity, a lawlessness.'" Notice their lifestyle did not back up what they were saying with their mouth. These were not backslidden prophets. The Greek word that is used there "depart from Me, I never knew you" means never, at any time, have I never known you." It wasn't that there was a deterioration in their relationship with the Lord, He says "I've never known you. Not even at any time have I ever known you." And the test, again, was the fact that they did not have any sort of character. (David Ravenhill, Understanding Prophecy And Its Fulfilment, Introduction To The Prophetic, Tape 90917, September 17, 1989)
What happened to prophetic accuracy? Doesn't it seem natural to assume that a fruit of a prophet would be accuracy? Mike Bickle doesn't seem to think so. David Ravenhill has decided to override the plain words of Scripture in order to avoid having prophets take responsibility for the fruit of false prophecies.
The Vineyard/Toronto Blessing pastors would have us judge prophets by their character, their lifestyle, whether they honour the Word of God. Rest assured that a prophet who prophesies falsely does not honour the Word of God when he has to re-define or ignore Scriptural passages in order to escape responsibility for his false prophecies. As for a person's character, there have been many people outside of Christianity who are meek and humble, including Buddhists and Hindus. Many atheists are the nicest people you would ever want to meet. On the other side, some Christians are so worldly that one would never suspect them of being Christians. So those aren't all the fruits that one must display.
The most important thing that I could say in pastoring the prophetic in the midst of phenomena is that it needs to be pastored. This stuff, this stuff, without pastoring, is like fire, because that's a component of the Holy Spirit. Fire. Fire, under control, is of great use. Wild fire can do great damage. We're in a season right now, we're in a thin slice of time where, without pastoring, this stuff can do so much damage, but with pastoring it can be intensely sharp and focused and produce great amounts of good. In fact, many of you may have been burned by unpastored prophetic. Burned. In our church, we were almost burned by this prophetic because it was so strong. (Wes Campbell, Pastoring The Prophetic, Catch The Fire Conference, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)
Does it appear as though Wes Campbell is saying we must learn to control the Holy Spirit? In the next passage it appears that experienced prophets no longer have to check the Scriptures.
They have, you know, prophetic people have all sorts of stuff going in them. We have people, we have women that actually see things with their eyes all the time. I mean, they're, you don't know this 'cause you don't know me -- I'm fairly dense in the things of the Spirit. The fact of the matter is, I just got put on top of this wave, but I'm not doing it. I mean, by osmosis and by watching them I've learned and I've become, I think, functioning in the common role of everybody hearing God. I've come to function that common role. I didn't even function in that until about two years ago.
[Beginning of side 2].....wait on God and give it, and you know, they do it. And they don't need to have the same affirmation. They don't need to check on everything -- "is this God, isn't this God?" You know, "how do I know?" -- They've done it for so long that they know the voice of God, and they do it and it's strong and it's powerful. You have to have the pastoring, the care, if this thing is going to mature and nurture. It must be there. And I'd say this; pastoring the prophetic --pastors, you take an active role in this. Who do you want them relating to? You say "I don't like the prophetic. It's always bad. They're mad at me." Well, make them your friends! They'll help straighten you out, you can help care for them. It's a place of grace. (Wes Campbell, Pastoring The Prophetic, Catch The Fire Conference, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)
And so we have people, 'cause our church is quite a prophetic church, hundreds of people want, you know, they aspire, albeit well enough, and they want to do this, and we tell them all the time, bring your stuff, bring your stuff, but don't allow people to give the stuff that's directional or heavy or, you know, major in nature. Let them begin by blessing, and let them begin by affirming, and let them work with those that are prophetic gifters around them to discern what they're doing. Because I'm telling you, everybody receives this stuff and they get it a different way, and to them it is the most important thing in the world. I mean, to them, they are Chicken Little and the sky is definitely falling. It's true. And so, for their own care, you need to dialogue. And people must be accurate. There is nothing wrong with saying "What is the word?" And if they don't know the word, then get them to pray and, but there's nothing wrong with taping words, writing down words, and when somebody's beginning, if somebody is a beginner, and let's say this gentleman's going to prophesy to this gentleman, I would say, you know, "speak it" and then I would stop and say "does this relate to you?" And if that person is on a bent and they've given ten or fifteen bogus impressions, you sit the person down and you say "I'm sorry. This one was not of God, this one wasn't God, this one wasn't God, this one wasn't true, this one wasn't accurate, this one wasn't right. You are not hearing." Now, tuck in behind three or four that are, and watch and affirm. Everything that people are hearing is not God.
.....Put them in the room, week after week, prophesy week after week, record it week after week, measure it week after week, affirm it week after week, prune it week after week, encourage it week after week and after a good while you'll have a mature plant. A mature plant with good, good fruit. And yet God wants all of you to hear from Him. Amen. (Wes Campbell, Pastoring The Prophetic, Catch The Fire Conference, Toronto Airport Vineyard, October 13, 1994)
When he got through speaking, I called all of them to come up to the front. When they came up to the front I looked at Julie and I said -- by the way. Do you know how things can get exaggerated? You know how we can say the Lord did something when He didn't do it, or sometimes you can be called out by a prophetic person and they can be just a little bit off, or sometimes a lot off, and you don't want to embarrass them, you don't want to hurt peoples' faith, so you say things that are true when they weren't really true, when a person's speaking to you?
I know that happens and I don't want to be part of that. I don't want to lose integrity or help the Holy Spirit out by moving into unreality. (Jack Deere, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 20, 1994)
What follows an example of what can happen when prophets are turned loose in a church. Even Jack Deere warns of the dangers. Jack Deere has just told about a prophet who gave encouragement to someone:
Who in the world could be against that [prophetic] ministry? Why in the world wouldn't someone want that in their church? I'll tell you why they wouldn't want it in their church. They don't want it in their church because it causes messes. That's the good side. But that kind of ministry causes messes. There's a price to pay to get that in your church.
To that same prophetic minister who did that wonderful ministry that night on Sunday night, a few months later he's standing before a group of 800 kids --800 high school kids. And he starts out, he comes out on the stage, and he's humbled and he's a little bit frightened and kind of awed at the responsibility and he starts calling people out of the audience.
And he starts getting it right and the people start oooing and awing, and his chest started coming out like this and you see this garment of pride come down, and then he calls out a young man, an 18yr old young man, 19yr old young man. And he says,
"You're into pornography. And the Lord says you have to repent."
The young man begins to cry. Sits back down. The only problem was, the young man wasn't into pornography. He was publicly humiliated before 800 high school kids. We had to go back to his church, apologize to his whole church, apologize to the whole conference. It was a horrible mess.
I have an 18yr old boy, and if someone were to call my 18yr old son out and accuse him of something like that in a public meeting and humiliate him, I would be furious with him and I'm not sure I'd want, if that's all I saw of that ministry, I'm not sure I'd want that in my church.
But do you know what? God is in the process of offending our minds in order to reveal our hearts. And I don't know any place where He's going to give us a pure ministry. I don't know any place where it's going to be 100 percent right. There's going to be stumbling blocks in every ministry that the Holy Spirit is really responsible for. (Jack Deere, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 20, 1994)
.....One of the crucial differences we have to understand between Old Testament prophetic ministry and New Testament prophetic ministry is in those days very, very few people could hear consistently from God. Very, very few people actually had the Spirit of God upon them. There would be the prophets, of course, there would be sometimes the kings and the judges and a few elite men and women. So, if Samuel or Elijah or Elisha rolled into town, everybody gathered around them, and if he said it's time to go to war or it's time for this or it's time for that, you know, everybody jumped, because he was the one that heard from God.
But this is the basic difference between, not just between the New Testament and Old Testament prophets, but between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant, is both Jeremiah and John said no longer shall you have to teach one another, for you shall all know, you shall all have the Spirit of the Lord.
And so prophecy in New Testament times is not to control anybody, and I'm speaking here not only as someone who's been involved all over in prophetic ministry for twelve years, but I'm also speaking as a pastor. Prophecy is not to usurp the priesthood of the believer. Now I'm not saying that prophecy doesn't come with authority, but the weight is now upon the hearer of the prophecy to respond to God rather than to be controlled by the prophecy. (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 2, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 14, 1994)
.....Now, of course, the question comes up "My pastor does not believe in the things of the Spirit, my pastor does not have an openness for the things of the Spirit, my pastor..." What are you doing there? What are you doing there? (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 2, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 14, 1994)
Vineyard/Toronto Blessing pastors often accuse others of causing division in the body of Christ. What would Marc Dupont call the above if he heard someone who didn't believe in prophetic gifts telling someone else who didn't believe in prophetic gifts to get out of a Vineyard/Toronto Blessing church?
.....Anybody, and I don't mean to say anybody, but almost anybody, can walk into a meeting, and if there's a certain amount of revelation flowing, can pick people out that have adultery in their lives, and maybe hidden homosexuality, have drug problems. You know, when you really start cranking in this stuff, you know, it comes when you're not even asking for it. You can walk into the malls and you can begin to pick people out if they're in adultery or, you know, have gone through divorces, or sexual abuse, all sorts of things. (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 2, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 14, 1994)
The above statement sounds like something a psychic would say who has a familiar spirit.
In the Old Testament times...the weight was on the prophet to prophesy perfectly. Today the weight is on the hearer to pray and discern. Now what we need to understand, and this is where a lot of people get stumbled over the thing; "Well, if a person is really a prophet, they'll never have a false prophecy, and so there's no room in the New Testament church for people learning to prophesy and possibly making mistakes." But we are a whole people, we are a nation of priests, a people that are drawn to seek the face of God and experience intimacy with Him, and so we're like a bunch of children, and you know if you had young children, when they're learning to walk you get out there with your camcorder and everything and say "Oh, look at Junior, he's taking his first steps." He takes one step, maybe two, then bam, he's on the floor. You know, you don't throw that camcorder down and pick up Junior and say "That's it! How could you do this?" But it's just such an awesome thing when that child is learning to take steps.
Jesus said you must become converted and become as a child. And there needs to be accountability. We're going to talk about this later in judging prophecies, but God has created us to be His children, to experience intimacy. This is what we spoke about Friday night. (Marc Dupont, Developing A Prophetic Church, Prophetic School - Part 3, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)
Again, we need to understand that it's a whole different thing today. The weight today is not necessarily upon the person to be perfect in his prophecies, although we do need accountability, but the weight is for us to pray and discern. I have a saying about prophecy, that quite often it's a pool of prayer, it's a diving board into a pool of prayer. Prophecy can be a diving board into a pool of prayer. What do I mean by that? (Marc Dupont, Developing A Prophetic Church, Prophetic School - Part 3, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)
The above seems like an ideal way to shift responsibility for false prophecy onto the shoulders of the person who hears the prophecy instead of onto the shoulders of the prophet.
But one of the things I feel that God is giving me open doors is, is because I believe prophecy is to encourage. God doesn't call me to straighten churches out! He doesn't call me to come and be the Answer Man and say "You're doing this! Change now!" A lot of people in churches would like that, but God has called me to be an encouragement and to bless people, not to try to manipulate or control people. (Marc Dupont, Developing A Prophetic Church, Prophetic School - Part 3, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)
Now does that above statement tell you something about Marc Dupont's views on name-calling?
Number Five. There's more to come. Jesus -- now you gotta get this. If you don't get anything else, get this -- although He was the greatest expression of the Kingdom of God, greatest Revival packaged in human form to hit planet earth, He came as an infant. Do you hear me? His ministry was embryonic. He was born a babe. He couldn't even articulate His purpose or calling. "No, we think Jesus [sound effect], full grown, be healed, eyes open." No! This is where we run into complications for renewal. We want it to be perfect, we want it to be full-grown. It's never been God's way, it never will be God's way. He's a farmer, He grows things!
.....This revival is so embryonic it needs to be fostered and parented by you and me. We need to cultivate what God's doing. He has made us stewards over His heritage. Now, as a young Pentecostal boy we believed that theology. If it's God, three angels will drop-kick us right on the floor and move our jaw and make us speak in tongues and laugh. It's just a baby, it's got problems, there's messes that are made! How many of you analyze your child? ....You can't judge the seed. You've not been asked to judge the seed. The Scripture says, "Judge the fruit." The seed begins, the fruit develops. How can you look at a baby and tell what he's going to grow up to be?....Don't judge what you're seeing now. It's going to change. If you guys are still getting drunk and falling on the floor and laughing two years from now, we got problems! But for right now, it's all right.
But you're going to grow into greater expressions of spiritual phenomenon. You're going to grow in manifestations. It won't just be laughing. It'll be raising the dead, opening blind eyes, healing the sick. Hang on! Bear with us!
"Well, that's just messy! Just messy and weird!" How 'bout this: "That's not God!"
Since when have you ever been right about anything previously? Let me help you. How many of you believed there was a Santa Claus when you were a kid? You found out there wasn't. You were wrong. How many of you believed there was an Easter bunny? Come on! You were wrong. How many said, "I'll never get saved. There's nothing to that God stuff!" Wrong! You get saved, you say "Okay, but I'm not receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That tongues is from the devil." Wrong! You receive the Baptism of the Spirit, you say "Healing is not from God. That's witchcraft." You get healed. Wrong again. "Prophecy's not from God, that's divination. Someone prophesies over you." Wrong again. We've been wrong all along. Why are we right now? We've never been right about anything! We don't have that good a discernment!! C'mon! You know I'm talking to you, don't you!
Someone said, "I wish we had a flesh beater." Some Christians do have them. They're coming to discern what's, they come in and say [sniff] "something's wrong here." Well, yeah, you're the problem, you're wrong. "There's something that smells strange here." Yeah, the odour's coming from you! Someone came to my church that I was pastoring and said, I said, "What's wrong with you?" He said "God's not here." I said, "Well, why didn't you bring Him with you? Haven't you have any sense? Invite Him!" Those excuses don't cut it anymore. "Well, they're in the flesh." Boy, are you a prophet!!" Where two or three are gathered together in His name, there flesh is in the midst of it. We've got flesh, we'll always have flesh! There will be some measure of flesh....Don't throw the baby away with the bath water. That wasn't that funny. It's getting hot up here. (Larry Randolph, Renewal and Revival Today, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 18, 1994)
Quenching The SpiritMy thanks to Debra Bouey from Louisiana for the following:
The two central figures in the Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, were both avowed Calvinists all their Christian lives. Therefore, I find the following comments by William DeArteaga on the audiotape of 10/13/94, Toronto Vineyard Airport 9:15 AM meeting puzzling. He blames Calvinism for shutting down the Great Awakening revival, credits Edwards with developing the Protestant "theology of discernment" and yet its two primary figures were Calvinists:
"Calvin has no theology of discernment....We all now associate the Great Awakening with Jonathan Edwards and his great books on the Awakening....So, really, Jonathan Edwards developed the Protestant theology of discernment as far as I can see....his theology is probably the best that there has ever come around. So, that's one incident where the Pharisees stopped revival."
In his book, Quenching the Spirit, the primary theological "bully" is Calvinism and on pp.32, 52, DeArteaga asserts:
"Calvinist theology could not interpret the spiritual experiences that were to accompany the Great Awakening....using the assumption of Calvinist theology, Charles Chauncy ensured the defeat of the Awakening."
How could such assertions be accurate in light of the fact that Jonathan Edwards was an avowed Calvinist all his Christian life? And Charles Chauncy not only had Armenian leanings, but he would go on to become one of those who helped found Unitarianism. Thus, DeArteaga's assertions will not stand careful historical scrutiny.
When the Great Awakening died out, Edwards evaluated the reasons why and concluded it was not the opposition who were the cause of it as Ian Murray states in his biography, "Jonathan Edwards", p.216:
"He came to believe that there was one principal cause of the reversal, namely, the unwatchfulness of the friends of the Awakening who allowed genuine and pure religion to become so mixed with 'wildfire' and carnal 'enthusiasm,' that the Spirit of God was grieved and the advantage given to Satan."
It is obvious Edwards believed the Awakening was quenched by fanaticism, extremism, and not "pharisaism", let alone Calvinism. DeArteaga equates pharisaism with Calvinism, which leads back to incongruence when the steadfast Calvinistic leanings of Edwards and Whitefield are carefully examined.
DeArteaga, even well aware of Edwards' conclusions about fanaticism ending the Awakening, makes the following comments in his book, p.55:
"In spite of Edwards' own theories, it seems that the Great Awakening was not quenched because of its extremists. It was quenched because of the condemnation of its opponents. This condemnation demoralized the supporters and marred the faith of the public to the point where they no longer welcomed the presence of the Spirit."
DeArteaga has no historical evidences to support those allegations. Rather, the historical evidences refute those suppositions.
I would encourage people to read the works of Jonathan Edwards for themselves rather than basing a conclusion upon selected quotes alone. It is why I listed the specific page numbers in my quotes.
The most dangerous counterfeit is always the one which most closely resembles the truth. It is usually the nuances and subtleties by which error is discerned in matters like this. Which is why the perfect "theology of discernment" is found in Scripture:
Psalm 119:105: Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.
Proverbs 2:3-6: For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Return of Jesus Christ.....Here's what I think is going to happen. Someone asked me, "Where is this revival going? Is it going to stop with the laughing? Is it going to stop with the shaking? Where is this revival going?"
I think this revival, the renewal that we're experiencing, is embryonic, First Grade. It's wonderful. Everybody has to be there. I'm in First Grade with you, gaa gaa, goo goo, I'm here. But I think we are going somewhere, glory to glory. I have a promise from the Lord in a visitation that He gave me some years ago, that before this decade was over, before the year 2000, that there were going to be manifestations in churches where Jesus Himself is going to appear. We won't be able to carry on church as we used to carry on church. That we're going to be so caught up in the person of Jesus Christ that we're going to forget about having church and become the church. We're going to forget about looking for a word of prophecy and we're going to become the word of prophecy. Praying will be secondary to being a prayer. We will read the Bible, but more than that, we'll become His Word, living and breathing in this earth. There is a change in the atmosphere and in the air and I tell you, that change is nothing other than the Man Jesus Christ taking control of His church again, being intimate with His bride once more, pastoring His church on earth. (Larry Randolph, Pursuing Jesus Before His Gifts, Prophetic School - Part 3, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 19, 1994)
Jesus warned us, "So if anyone tells you, `There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, `Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:26, 27. Jesus Himself condemns what Larry Randolph just said. Now who are we going to believe, Larry Randolph or Jesus Christ?
I see the day coming, maybe months, maybe a few years, where in a meeting like this the Spirit of Jesus will so overwhelm us, and He will so personally visit us, that we will not be able to stand up on our feet. The glory and the awesomeness of God, the holiness and the power of God is so going to permeate His people, miracles and signs and wonders will happen and we won't even know they happened. No man will get the glory. No man will cheerlead it. No man will foster it. It will be signs and wonders wrought as a result of relationship with Jesus of Nazareth, for when He is lifted up, all men are drawn unto Him. He is our focus. He is the centrality of everything that we do and everything that we say and all that we are. It is Jesus! How else can I say it? I don't know how to say it. It's Jesus! Jesus! We love You, Jesus! Tell Him that! Lord, we love You, Jesus! We thank You, Jesus! Praise You, Jesus! We're sick of love. We're sick of anyone else's love. Lord, we're sick of just the ministry and just having church. We want You, Jesus. We want You, Jesus! We love You, Jesus.
And it was said of the disciples "and they were ignorant and unlearned men. But it was perceived that they had been with Jesus." The same is going to be said of us. "They act weird. Shaking, flopping, laughing. But that's secondary to the fact that they have obviously been with Jesus."
Get ready! There's a whole new level of anointing coming. I am less and less anointed to prophesy because the Spirit of prophecy is wanting to break in on the church. One man modelling a gift of God in front of 3,000 people is wonderful, but it's gonna be overshadowed by a corporate anointing. One new man in Christ Jesus. Greater works as a corporate body shall we do. As Paul King says, a faceless generation doing signs and wonders birthed out of relationship with Him. (Larry Randolph, Pursuing Jesus Before His Gifts, Prophetic School -Part 3, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 19, 1994)
Salvation.....Jesus said unless you become converted and become as a child, you're not going to get the Kingdom. Well a lot of us have become converted and become theological and trained in ministry skills, but we haven't learned how to be childlike. I'm not saying childish, but childlike with the Father. (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 1, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 13, 1994)
Jesus said in Matthew that there are going to be people locked outside the Kingdom that are going to say "Lord, we prophesied, we've cast out demons, we've healed the sick in Your name," and to some of those people, He's saying, "I never knew you." And they say "But, Lord, we did all those things," and He's going to say "Not those who say Lord, Lord, but those who do the will of My Father." (Marc Dupont, Prayer of The Prophetic, Part 1, Toronto Airport Vineyard, Catch The Fire Conference, October 13, 1994)
.....The tendency, or I should say, one of the strong goals of the spirit of Phariseeism is to get us to do Christian things, to do religious things, but miss the heart of it. And when we look at, especially the Pentecostal church or the Charismatic church or churches that have been involved in the things of the Spirit, I think there's a problem that we've assumed that just because we occasionally see healings and because we speak in tongues and because we can prophesy, that we must be in the centre of God's will. But Jesus said quite clearly in Matthew there's going to be some people who are going to be locked outside the Kingdom, and they're going to say "But, Lord, we did all these things. Lord, we healed people. Lord, we prophesied. Lord, we cast out demons," and to some of those people Jesus said He's going to say "I never knew you." "Not those that say Lord, Lord, but those that do the will of My Father."
When we look at Jesus' lifestyle -- John 5:19 and 20; John 8:28 and 29 --Jesus was constantly doing the things He saw the Father doing. He delighted in pleasing the Father. He operated out of a love affair here. Jesus said something that is really hard to reconcile. He said "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me. My load is easy, My burden is light." But Jesus, so to speak, carried the weight of the world on His shoulders. But His secret was, with all the incredible importance of what He was doing, bringing salvation to mankind, He ministered in and by the Spirit of God. And here in Psalm 95, most of us are familiar with this, and it's reiterated in Hebrews, but the Hebrew people of that generation, coming out of Egypt, they were judged, not just because of the sin of the golden calf and some of the other things, the immorality, but because of their basic unbelief that God could be God, and judgement came down and they failed to enter in to the rest of the Lord. They failed to enter in, they failed to cross over into the promised land. And I believe that much of the church today, including many of us as leaders, we are preoccupied with doing Christian things, we're preoccupied with doing ministry, but that doesn't mean we're necessarily right in the heart of God's will.
And so when Joel prophesied that a time would come when there would be a major, major move of the Spirit of God, he said it would also be accompanied by the prophetic. (Marc Dupont, Prophetic School - Part 3, Pastor's Meeting, Toronto Airport Vineyard, November 16, 1994)
I think that the suggestion is very strong here and in other quotes that unless we believe all the things the Vineyard believes, our chances of being saved are very slim indeed, regardless of the fact that we've accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
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Copyright 1995 by Bob Hunter
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