To all our friends who receive the Prophetic Telegraph, Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, and many sincere thanks to all those who have written or phoned in response to our letter sent out with P.T.59. We were overwhelmed by the size of the response, and this in itself is a sure indicator of how important the Toronto event has become to many deep-thinking believers. The summary of all that we have received may be understood by our heading – PERPLEXITY, CONFUSION, & POLARISATION. And it is because of the response that we have found the need to address the situation once again, after only a few weeks gap. Whereas quite the majority of our readers have been glad of the information and conclusions we have already published in the last 4 numbers, (and this does not come as a surprise) yet at the same time some have expressed caution and doubts, because in their own churches they are witnessing events in the lives of others which, they say, can only be classed as blessings from God. How then, they ask, can tears of repentance, reconciliation, restitution, deepening of one’s prayer life, a greater awareness of the presence of the Lord, and many other features be part of aSatanic delusion? Surely such “fruits” can ONLY be the true work of the Master, the Lord Jesus Himself.
And we have hesitated before answering such questions, because it is a very serious thing to classify the works of the Holy Spirit of God to an alien, satanic energy. We are wholly aware of the difficulty confronting us, and want our readers to know that we have ourselves found great perplexities facing us in the handling of this matter. Several well-known and highly respected figures in the Christian life of this land have given their whole-hearted support to all that is happening (barring fleshly excesses, which they say are to be found in any movement, particularly those that are Pentecostal or Charismatic.) And yet at the same time we have received a flood of literature wholly condemning everything “Toronto”, though to be fair most of this comes from organisations which are outside the present Pentecostal, charismatic movements.
In other words, it appears that quite the majority of Pentecostal/Charismatic churches are in favour of the new wave of power, whereas the rest are either opposed to it or waiting to see where it is leading. This is an interesting observation, because of the prophetic vision I received in 1974, and which formed the basis of P.T.56, in other words “The Sugar-Ice Duck”. In that vision, the Lord warned His church of the dangers of charismatic excesses, some 20 years ago, saying that a time would come when their eyes would be so blind to truth that they would be ready and willing to receive the antichrist. I have written warning people that there is a distinct possibility that we are now moving into this later phase of the Duck vision. A number of readers have agreed with me. No one has written to deny the possibility. So where do we stand? There are these two sides of the problem, and to many they are incapable of resolution. Hence they are taking the “safe” course of standing on the side-lines to watch the match in progress before agreeing to take part in the “fun and games.”
I have said all this by way of introduction, and in the following analysis I hope to provide a few answers. Perhaps it would be better to say that I shall hope to provide our readers with the material they need to make their own rational judgment. The following facts are presented from the material at hand.
1. First of all, our own pamphlet sent out last October, which is now reproduced here. Many will say that the Lord gave us a clear prophetic announcement of the coming of the Toronto blessing, at almost exactly the time when it started in the U.S.A. In the light of what has happened, we have been almost incredulous, taken by surprise! But when the Lord conveyed this vision and prophecy, we never saw it operating in the “Toronto” manner. We are not aware that in the “Toronto wave” TRUTH IS REPLACING FALSEHOOD, or that JUSTICE IS REPLACING LAWLESSNESS. Some may argue that it is doing just that, but I am not convinced. Regardless of how many reported “blessings” have appeared, there is still far too much of what I would call NEGATIVE material to link the vision with the Toronto event. Several hundred of our small pamphlets were distributed, country-wide, but more concentrated in Lincolnshire. As yet no one has linked the pamphlet with the Toronto event.
2.Most people have heard of R.T.Kendall, minister of Westminster Chapel in London. R.T. told his church that Toronto was “not of God.” But when two prominent ministers approached him and his wife, and asked if they could pray for them, the “power” struck. R.T. has now “repented” of his former attitude, and so also has his wife, who collapsed under the power.
3. It is still commonly believed that the Toronto event began in Toronto, at the Airport Vineyard Church. But from information that I have gleaned from various magazines and papers, it seems that in such distant places as Siberia, the power was suddenly felt, without any contact with outside. At the present time reports are coming in from almost every corner of the globe, many of them declaring that the power arrived quite spontaneously.
4. But nevertheless, it would be true to say that the power also seems to be “contagious”, in that those who possess it can pass it on to those who do not. One teen-age girl saw a lady approaching her down the aisle in the church. Just as she laid hands on her, she was so scared that she ran out of the church. Our son was prayed for in this manner, but he felt the necessity to ask for protection from anything that was not from God. The one who ministered to him seemed a little impatient when no results were apparent. Another esteemed friend went to a weekend retreat, where there was quite a lot of emphasis on Toronto. He prayed that if the power was not of God, it would be kept out of the meeting. In the first meeting, nothing happened. But in the second, he was not able to maintain the shield. But he himself felt protected from it. As a result of the weekend, he writes to say that he is adamantly opposed to all that is going on.
5. At one pro-Toronto meeting, a prophecy was given to the effect that “God is going easy on us so that when the real power shows up we won’t be terrified.” I am very concerned when I hear things like that. I still find myself extremely wary of the whole Toronto power-surge, and wonder what exactly the “real power” will be like – and when it will arrive.
6. Derek Prince has published a booklet entitled “Uproar in the Church”, in which he promotes the positive view of Toronto, based on the experience he himself had when he first came to know the Lord back in 1941. We were very disturbed by his testimony, containing as it did, events which to our way of thinking should never be classed as emanating from the throne of God. However, we are under no delusion about Derek Prince. He has BECOME a true man of God, regardless of the peculiarities in 1941. We recommend our readers to obtain this booklet for themselves. It contains a number of strange inconsistencies and contradictions. Far too many people rely on him for their lead in matters of Christian living, instead of allowing their own spirit to tune in to the Holy Spirit. This is true of all the “big men”, who cannot be blamed for the way in which the crowds cling to them, almost parasitically.
7. At Spring Harvest this year, before the Toronto event hit this country, Alex Buchanan received a word from the Lord, which was printed in Prophecy Today, July/August edition. In that prophecy were the following words – “Many leaders in my own church have removed my landmarks – my laws, therefore I am shaking my church in severe judgment.” After asking for a positive response from Christian people, the Lord concluded by saying, “If I see a response in this way, I may use you to save your nation from my total judgment.” (See page 18 for the full text.) I can readily accept this word of prophecy. Not only do I have great confidence in Alex Buchanan as a man of God, but the word he received is fully in line with many other spiritual outpourings of recent years – all directed towards the failure of the church in many respects. One may ask the obvious question – how can times of refreshment and blessing arrive after the Lord has spoken in such manner? I might add that Clifford Hill also published a lengthy prophecy addressed to the church in Britain, and particularly towards its leaders. Once again, repentance was called for, and on reading the prophecy I could see no room at all for the Toronto power-surge, and the way in which it is working. Above all, the repentance God desires surely cannot be accompanied by the universal outbreaks of laughter so commonly reported. God’s word is serious. Tears are in order, not laughter.
8. In the September/October edition of Prophecy Today, Clifford Hill wrote a long article entitled “Toronto Blessing – True or False?” In this article he related a living parable which the Lord showed him amongst a flock of sheep. The Lord’s word then came to him, saying, “An alien spirit is moving among the flock and will cause much division and hurt. Exhort the believers to stand firm, to seek the truth, to keep their eyes upon the Lord, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and never to lose their love for Him or for one another.” Amazingly Clifford then went on to say, “I do not interpret this dramatic parable to mean that the so-called Toronto Blessing is an alien spirit.” My question is this – the Lord said that an alien spirit IS MOVING among God’s people. Because the present tense was used, it must refer to something that is currently at work. If it doesn’t relate to the Toronto event, then what does it refer to? We must ask our readers to refer to the whole of this article if they haven’t already done so.
9. The Elim magazine reports that over a thousand churches in Britain “have been affected by the latest wave of the Holy Spirit.” Note carefully that in this report, as in most others sent to me, the Holy Spirit is said to be the Author of the activities, without question. It seems that to those who have been immersed in the “new wave” there is no point in asking questions, “just go with the wave”, they say.
10. In this same magazine, there is a report about the Brethren Assembly at Diss in Norfolk experiencing a most strange happening. Traditionally these believers have always been sceptical of Pentecostal phenomena, and may be thought of as the least likely to come under the influence of this “new wave”. But apparently during a service recently, whilst they were praying, every one began to speak in tongues. The upshot of this was that they had to invite the local Pentecostal minister to come and explain to them what had happened. The magazine reports the event as being similar to Pentecost. But a moment’s reflection must surely dismiss this conclusion. At Pentecost, the 120 in the upper room were waiting for “power from on high”, promised by the Master. But in the Brethren meeting, were they in the same attitude of waiting? I should hardly think so. Does the Lord distribute the gifts of the Holy Spirit in this manner? Are we not encouraged to SEEK and to ASK for the gifts of the Holy Spirit? I have always been troubled when I hear about people finding that they possess spiritual gifts without ever having sought them. Is this nit-picking, or do I have a Scriptural mandate for my position?
Please continue to write to us. Thank you.