The Lord Jesus Christ saved me from occultism on 7-27-1966. He baptized me in His Holy Spirit a month later. He then used a series of miracles during the next four months to call me to the ministry. In a dream, which came two nights in a row, God showed me some things that will occur in my lifetime. Some of them are now (2006) close to fulfillment.
In 1967, a year after my conversion to Jesus Christ, I was deceived into a different form of occultism by a demon claiming to be the "Great Three-In-One." Before my salvation, all of my occult gurus denied the Bible. After Jesus saved me, Satan knew he couldn't fool me with deceptions that denied the Bible, so he sent a deceived Christian to me, who alleged that the Holy Spirit gave him the "gift" of automatic handwriting. Tom quoted so many scriptures to justify his claims that I felt very confused. As a novice, I was unprepared for this attack. After four days of testing his "Holy Spirit," I yielded to the deception and got sucked into a different form of the occult. God, in His faithfulness, intervened three days later to deliver me from that counterfeiting demon. I actually felt it leave me when I repented and rebuked it in Jesus' name.
Afterwards, the Lord strongly impressed upon me the warning in Galatians 1, and the prophecies about lying signs and wonders. The most notable prophecy is about apostasy in the church during the end times, which will be influenced by seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
When the devil saw how he failed to ensnare me in 1967 with "Christian" occultism, he began assaulting my life with people who taught false doctrines like ultimate reconciliation, free grace, British Israelism, eternal security, sonship, and metaphysical faith. Every attack against me resulted in many hours of Bible study to see who was telling the truth. God gave me discernment against occult infiltration into the church as a result. He trained me not only to be a teacher, but also to minister deliverance.
There was a night in 1969 when I felt something strange upon me as I slept. I woke up praying, which drove it away. When I went back to sleep, it returned. I woke up again praying, and it left again. Since I never experienced anything like that before, I didn't know what to do, so I went back to sleep. The next time it returned, it spoke to me sternly, "Don't resist the Holy Ghost!" The thought of resisting God caused me to hesitate my previous prayer response. In that moment of hesitation, I felt something enter my chest. Three days later, I became sick with Hong Kong Flu, the worst symptom being chest congestion. I asked for prayer the next day. Someone laid his hand on my chest and prophesied my healing. When he withdrew his hand, the infirm spirit popped out of my chest and I was healed. Suddenly, I realized that a demon impersonating the Holy Spirit gave me Hong Kong Flu. God used that experience to not only teach me about infirm spirits, but also to alert me how they impersonate the Holy Spirit and counterfeit His gifts. They also use spiritual extortion to influence believers to submit to them. False prophets and false apostles often terrorize the saints with accusations of resisting the Holy Ghost, quenching the Spirit, grieving the Spirit, and/or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Counterfeiting demons do the same.
For a better understanding of spiritual counterfeits, I suggest reading The Challenging Counterfeit by Raphael Gasson and books by Tal Brooke and Kurt Koch. Raphael Gasson was much deeper into the occult than I was before the Lord Jesus saved him. Tal Brooke was the highest-ranking American in an Indian cult led by Sai Baba before his conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ. He personally saw hundreds of cult followers knocked backwards to the ground, laughing uncontrollably at a simple gesture or command. Sai Baba could make his followers do all sorts of foolish things under his mesmeric control. The laughter Tal witnessed in India is not only a demonic manifestation of Kundalini Yoga, but has also been duplicated by Tony Angelo, who calls himself "The World's Greatest Hypnotist."
Uncontrollable laughter cannot be found anywhere in the Bible as a genuine manifestation of the Holy Spirit. However, self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. That is why Paul wrote, "The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." Thus, such laughter is from the same source as Tom's "gift" of automatic handwriting. Other informative books, which expose occultism in the church include: The Seduction of Christianity, Beyond Seduction, and Occult Invasion, by Dave Hunt. Hank Hannegraaff wrote Christianity in Crisis and Counterfeit Revival to wake the church up to the way it is headed toward apostasy by accepting such deceptions. Spirit Wars, by Peter Jones clearly outlines how occult infiltrators are seeking to corrupt the church in such a way that it can be amalgamated into a world religion under a Luciferian, New World Order.
Rev. Robert Liichow wrote Two Roots of Today's Revival, which proves that the powers at work in Toronto, London, and Pensacola are the same powers behind Kundalini Yoga and the Shakers. Robert's wife was a disciple of Muktanada, an adept of Kundalini Yoga. She personally experienced uncontrollable laughter when he laid hands upon her. She also roared like a tiger. When she turned to Jesus as her Lord and Savior, He cast those demons out of her. The founder of the Shakers was a woman named Ann Lee, who claimed she was the female incarnation of God. There is not one shred of Christian truth in Shaker doctrine. Everything they believe is a doctrine of devils. Thus, what they call "holy laughter" really isn't holy at all.
The main reason God was able to rescue me from the occult in 1966 was because 3 Christian friends cared enough to challenge, correct, and pray for me. God rescued me again in 1967 because another friend and a pastor cared about me. Because of this and other personal experiences, I too care about everyone suffering from religious deception.
Since the source of spiritual manifestations can be discerned by its roots, the people embracing the "Toronto blessing" should investigate its origins. Most people don't know John Arnot went behind the back of Pastor Arthur Leis while he was in Kenya to lure his elders away with promises of money and prestige. God expects His servants to act with integrity, not behind another's back. Yet, someone with ulterior motives would do that. People also should know what was preached in the Arnots' church before it burned to the ground. That fire was the judgment of God. He sent Rev. Cunningham to them with a message about the plumbline of righteousness and truth that He uses to measure us, and how His judgments begin at His house. Their love for truth and righteousness was evident by the way they sent Rev. Cunningham away without an offering. Their church burned down a week later.
Since most of the above is rather subjective, I don't want this to be a case of my word against Toronto's word. You also need objective truth to discern what is really happening there. Gal. 1 warns against false ministers who preach "another gospel" and "another Jesus" under the influence of "another spirit." The Greek word for "another" is heteros, which means "another of a different kind." The nine genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12 can be categorized by the way Paul used allos ("another of the same kind") and heteros. Thus, Gal. 1 refers to a counterfeit gospel, a counterfeit Jesus, and a counterfeiting spirit producing a counterfeit salvation.
You should also examine another root of the "Toronto blessing." Randy Clark, who brought it to Toronto, received it in Tulsa, the Vatican of the Faith Movement. I was involved in the Faith Movement myself between 1978-1986 before the Lord showed me how deceptive it really is.
What the main leaders of the Faith Movement teach about Jesus actually denies His blood and His deity. The only way that Jesus could turn into a child of Satan on the cross (according to them) is if He really isn't God. His blood could not be called the price of our redemption if anything more was required in hell. Jesus' blood would not be a propitiation for our sins if anything more was needed in hell either. We are saved by His blood, sanctified by His blood, forgiven because of His blood, justified by His blood, and given access to the Father by His blood. If the Father required anything more than the shedding of Jesus' blood, the veil in the temple would have been rent on the day of His resurrection instead of the moment He died. Tulsa doesn't preach the message of the cross. Their faith is a metaphysical faith. It grieves me greatly to see so many people, who sincerely love the Lord, being deceived by this.
Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but also God the Son. He is God manifest in the flesh. The literal Greek of John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word." The Aramaic Peshita is identical. God cannot cease to be God. When Jesus committed His spirit to the Father, He was not talking to Satan (according to WOF), but to God. The correct way to interpret what Paul said about Jesus becoming sin can be found in Vine's N.T. Dictionary. That Greek word also means "a sin offering," and cross-references to Isa. 53:10, which says He became an offering for sin. When Jesus bore our sins on the cross, He did not become a satanic being. He became a sin offering. He never ceased to be God.
Jesus also told a thief that they would be together in Paradise that same day. The "faith" teachers corrupt the Greek when they move the comma in that statement. Greek is much more precise than English. If it is proper to move the comma in that statement, it must be moved the same way in every other statement Jesus began with, "Verily, verily..." Doing so would turn all similar statements into nonsense.
Since the Faith Movement denies the blood of Jesus and the deity of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit only performs miracles to confirm the truth, the supernatural power behind their false doctrines is not the Holy Spirit. They are preaching another gospel and another Jesus under the influence of another spirit. That is why Kenneth Hagin is presently into levitation. It also explains why Ken Copeland, John Avanzini, Morris Cerullo, and Benny Hinn have all proclaimed themselves to be gods. I have all of these men on audio cassette to prove it.
The deity of self is the main doctrine of New Age occultism and originated in Eden. The first stage of Shaktipat Initiation in Kundalini Yoga is evident by the experience of uncontrollable laughter. Animal sounds occur in the second stage. Animal behavior occurs at the third stage. Blue lights appear in the fourth stage. All of these have occurred in Toronto and/or Pensacola. The final stage is reached when the occultist believes he has become a god. Morris Cerullo, John Avanzini, Ken Copeland, and Benny Hinn all show signs of full, Kundalini possession. Thus, the "Toronto blessing" has its roots in occultism both in doctrine and in practice.
Tracing these roots back further, Tulsa received it from Rodney Howard-Brown, who graduated from a Hagin school in South Africa. His salvation is questionable because they taught him to believe in a "Jesus" whose blood is insufficient for propitiation. Unless he has repented of the Word of Faith cult, his "Jesus" is not God because the true Jesus didn't cease to be God on the cross.
RHB seems to want power more than holiness. In three of his books, he said that the day "God" gave him power, he gave God an ultimatum -- "Either you come down here and touch me, or I am going to come up there and touch you!" That sounds similar to Lucifer's aspirations. What arrogance! You can read this for yourself in his books – The Touch of God, Fresh Oil from Heaven, and Manifesting the Holy Ghost. By referring to himself as "The Holy Ghost Bartender," he is extremely irreverent. Rodney acts more like God's boss instead of His servant. He also curses those who question him. The apostle Paul commended the Bereans for questioning him. The apostle John told us to test the spirits because of the many false prophets in the world. Even Jesus commended a church in Revelation, which tested false apostles. Thus, RHB's attitude is the opposite of Jesus Christ, Paul, and John. A puffed up saint is a puffed up aint.
Another serious matter is the way uncontrollable laughter has been imparted not only to believers, but also to unbelievers. No one can receive the true Holy Spirit unless he first knows Jesus as his Savior. Yet the bartenders of this counterfeit wine have imparted it to sinners as well as to saints. Four ministers, who once promoted this, resigned after they saw sinners "manifesting the Holy Ghost." One was from Toronto, another from Tulsa, and the third from Pensacola. You can read about their experiences in the book they co-authored, The Signs & Wonders Movement Exposed.
There were 3 times in my own experience when demons were imparted to me by the laying on of hands. The first time it happened was during a men's prayer meeting. One man suddenly fell backwards to the floor. When his hand touched my foot, I felt a demon attach itself to my foot like a barnacle. It took me three days to pray it off. On another occasion, I was praying for a friend when someone crept up behind me and laid his hand upon my shoulder. The Holy Spirit prompted me to rebuke him, but not wanting to disrupt the service or offend anyone, I held my peace. As a result of disobeying the Lord, I felt a demon crawl off that person's hand onto my shoulder. The Lord helped me to get rid of it as before. The third time, someone, whom I discerned with a religious spirit, offered to shake my hand under the pretense of a friendly greeting. The Holy Spirit prompted me to refuse his gesture. Not wanting to offend him, I shook hands with him anyway. The moment I did, I felt a demon slither off his hand and onto mine. It took repentance to get rid of it. As a result of these experiences, I learned that demons operate through the laying on of hands as a counterfeit of what God does. If you allow someone with a demon to lay hands upon you, it might be transmitted to you.
When I worked with a missionary to the Canadian Indians, he took me to a church that was once infiltrated by two false prophets, who imparted demons to everyone there by the laying on of hands. The missionary himself was the only exception because he discerned the true spirit behind their activities and refused to allow them to touch him. After the false prophets left the meeting, everyone went to Rev. Tucker and asked him to pray for them because they all felt a tight, invisible band around their heads. Thanks to God answering his prayers, they all went home delivered.
For a detailed explanation of how Christians can open themselves up to the influence of demons, I highly recommend Dr. Terry Wise's book, Foundation for Spiritual Warfare and Dr. Ed Murphy's book, Manual for Spiritual Warfare. Dr. Murphy knows 3 ministers who went to Toronto with a desire to meet God in a fresh way. When they all discerned that religious spirits were manifesting, however, they quietly engaged in spiritual warfare. Nothing more happened in that meeting afterward. The true Holy Spirit cannot be bound. That is why Jesus was able to perform His greatest miracles in a hostile atmosphere. Satan cannot bind Christ, but Christ can bind Satan. Thus, if the "Toronto blessing" was really of God, those 3 ministers would not have been able to stop it when they were there. They originally went to Toronto with an open mind too. If it really was of God, they would not have discerned religious spirits instead.
My daughter and I once visited a church in NJ, which was infiltrated by the Toronto deception. We were ignorant of the problem before we went. If we had known, we would have stayed away. A woman, who arose to give the announcements, started having such fits of laughter that she was barely able to speak. Her behavior made me wonder why they ignored the verse, "Let everything be done decently and in order." At the end of the meeting, the pastor tried to get everyone else into "the blessing." I quietly rebuked the demons, and a group of people, who were shaking grotesquely, suddenly stopped. When the pastor felt the opposition, he instructed the members to lay hands on everyone until they could get a "breakthrough." In violation of the verse, "Lay hands suddenly on no man," the church members began laying hands on everyone around them. When one tried to lay hands on me, I politely stepped away and she stopped. However, two others cornered my daughter so that she could not get away from them. Since when does God force Himself upon anyone? God respects our free will. Satan doesn't. So I prayed for my daughter and God protected her. Since God knew how we felt about this "blessing," it is obvious that those people were not being led by His Spirit or they wouldn't have tried to impart it against our wills. We were so concerned by their pushy behavior that we left before the service ended.
The "revival" which occurred in Toronto eventually spread to London, England through a pastor who visited the Arnots' church. He was so filled with demonic power when he returned to England that everyone in his church experienced the "blessing" when he laid hands upon them. One man in his church physically transformed into the shape of a large ape during a service. Then the ape-man began making sounds and gestures exactly like a real ape. Most of the deceived onlookers began saying, "We praise you Lord for the work of your Holy Spirit." Those with discernment left the meeting. What happened to him was the same as the physical transformation in J.Z. Knight when she channels Ramtha, her spirit guide. If such shape-shifting seems incredible to you, it is also reported in Kurt Koch’s book, Occult A,B,C’s and in The Twilight Labyrinth by George Otis Jr.
From England, the "revival" then spread to Pensacola, Florida through Steve Hill, who received the "blessing" while visiting the London church. The pastor's wife from Pensacola also picked it up while on a visit to the Toronto Vineyard. I only know one minister, who visited Pensacola and did not discern anything demonic. Everyone else I know saw much evidence of demonic activity. For example, in one service, about 80% of those attending were jerking their heads like someone with Parkinson's disease. In another, a woman began acting and sounding like an ox as she ran around goring others. As noted above, animalistic behavior is the third stage of Kundalini possession. Thus, those, who insist that the manifestations in Pensacola are not connected to Toronto, are lying. All of these churches have been infiltrated by Kundalini snake demons. That is why none of these manifestations can be found in the Bible. The appearance of blue light, which occurred when Rick Joyner was there, is a manifestation of the fourth stage of Kundalini possession. For more information on this subject, check out the web site entitled “The Kundalini Connection.”
The apostle John was 100% correct when he admonished, "Test the spirits to see if they really are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." The apostle Paul gave us wise advice when he wrote, "Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good." The prophet Isaiah was correct when he said, "If they speak not according to this word (the scriptures), it is because they have no light in them." The Lord Jesus warned us to take heed so that the light in us does not turn into darkness.
The only fruit that will eventually come from Toronto is apostasy. An example of this can be seen in the lives of all the people from a youth group in a church near our home. Shortly after they went to visit Pensacola, all of the girls became prostitutes or lesbians. The guys became fornicators or homosexuals. Before they went to Pensacola, they were all on fire for God. Today, they are all backslidden. Those, who were unable to go with their friends, are still on fire for God. The best way to avoid deception is to love the truth and righteousness. Otherwise, God may allow you to believe the lie and be damned.
One of the signs of the end-times will be apostasy, according to what the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Tim. 4:1 and 2 Thes. 2:3. If you avoid supernatural experiences, which are not explicitly taught in scripture, you will not be among the deceived. If you seek God for Himself instead of personal experiences, He will initiate the experiences He wants you to have. When you see something supernatural, which God initiates, it is a vision. When you try to picture things for yourself, you are practicing New Age psychopictometry (visualization). The true joy of the Lord does not promote foolishness. In fact, a verse in Proverbs says, "The thought of foolishness is sin." When people were prostrated by God's manifest presence in the Bible, they fell on their faces, not on their backs. I hope God will use this to help you discern the difference between the genuine and the counterfeit, the holy and the profane. Just because the advocates of these manifestations call it "holy laughter" does not make it genuinely holy. Just because they attribute it to the Holy Spirit does not mean it really is from Him. Remember what Paul said about the way Satan can transform himself into an angel of light.