Today's revivalism has been reduced to how many people attend a churches meeting. Biblically, numbers meant nothing to Jesus, he was looking for quality, serious commitments. The cults use the numbers to validate they are of God, hopefully your not falling into that inclination.
After talking to people who have gone to these meetings and are impressed by the presence they feel (many of the same type I have personally attended.) I like to ask certain questions to find their standard and what they are looking for in church.
When asked whether or not people have tested their experiences, their reply is "Yes!" The question I next ask is how? Did they judge by their feelings or do they just know that it's God by their intuition and not by His Word? I find this to be so most often of the time. How can one test accurately by their feelings, the same feelings they are accepting all of this in the first place.
Being in church and seeing strange or new things happen doesn't necessarily mean that it's from God. We are told to test all things. The spiritual man judges all things; not hearts but doctrine and activities.
We are to be vigilant in receiving what is good doctrine and be responsible, mature enough to stand up to what is wrong. We are to reject the bad and cling to what is good.
A spiritual person is constantly aware that there are two forces at work in the spiritual realm. If one thinks that only the Holy Spirit can influence them in spiritual matters, then they are likely candidates for being deceived. This would mean that since we have God, we are infallible. One may not want to admit it, but this is the logical end of their view.
If pressure is being put on someone to act a certain way or believe a certain thing along with everyone else, without any test applied -- BEWARE! This is not what Scripture tells us. What we have found is that there is a lot of psychological conditioning and autosuggestion involved to make the audience at a Rodney Howard Browne or Toronto service be geared for expectation. Everyone wants to be part of what God may be doing and no one wants to be left out, so there is pressure to conform to whatever behavior is being performed by others in the service, even if it is strange.
This foreign anointing running rampant through the churches is actually an initiation into the occult. Buzz words become "triggers" for peoples experiences. Using the repetitive words and phrases as mantras for long periods of time is no longer uncommon in services. Phrases like "The fire, now lord, touch, more" etc. are used as a springboard to hypnotic actions. In the same way Music is used to set an atmosphere that makes one open to experiences. It was Rudolf Bultmann (1884-1976) who believed Jesus must not be located in the realm of objectivity or facts. He is not the Jesus of history but the Christ of faith and present experience.
Benjamen Creme an occultist who promotes Maitreya as the Christ was asked what he thinks of the Toronto blessing. his answer should stop anyone dead in their tracks, "People are reacting to new energies entering our planet, they are emanating from the new age Christ." In other words they are coming from Maitreya who is breaking down the walls of separation in religions. How is this done? By giving people a common experience to share, its called mysticism and people have had these type of experiences for Millennia.
What we see happen that is called manifestations of the Spirit is, in my opinion, more closely classified as works of the flesh. Gal. 5:21--The word "revelries" refers to "a cutting loose; rioting; a consequence from being drunk." Likewise, the word "lasciviousness" means in excessive action; an absence of restraint". Feelings or manifestations cannot be justified on their own as to whether or not they are from the Holy Spirit. They must be examined by Scripture. False teachers will always distort the plain meaning and attach an experience or a miracle to it. The text is always geared toward producing the experience.
Consider John Kilpatrick launched in intercessory prayer and praise. He states "When the pattern is right, the glory will fall." he then explains "You can't stop the glory from falling because God wants to share his glory among his people. However God is not bound by his own word and the parameters of his word first must be met. Revival came to Brownsville because the pattern was applied" (quoted from Vanguard Newsletter issue 3)
This is contradictory in itself and to the Bible. Where do find patterns used in the New Testament or the old to summon Gods presence. Did not Jesus do healings and miracles different to prove God has no pattern for miracles. How can God not be bound by His own word if it must be met first? God is bound by his word because its truth and flows from his nature, but it is fulfilled in his timing and his way there are no methodologies by man to insure he reacts. (Isa.55:11)
In a service Evangelist Hill who is the catalyst for this outbreak describes a man writhing on the floor telling the congregation they are witnessing the deepest form of intercession for their souls- moanings and groanings that can't be uttered. He then interprets this as the man "giving birth to you" and "he is dying for you right now". Hardly biblical to say God is the cause of all this. Christ died once for all Heb.10:12-14 and it is the Spirit who groans to God and utters what we can't, he's able to search our heart to make more plain what we want to express, but we don't see or hear this.
There is not much difference between this and carpet time at the Toronto Church where people are being operated on the floor. Others are screaming in pain as in childbirth giving birth to something new. Wimber being interviewed in the HTB in focus newsletter Oct 9,1994 quoted in Mainstream said "Theres nothing in scripture that supports this kind of phenomenon that I can see and I can't think of anything throughout the church age that would. So I feel no obligation to explain it. It's just phenomenon..I think we should ignore it... I think we're all delighted with babies but I don't think very many of us want to attend the birthing process. And I believe what we have in the Church is a birthing process." Lets ignore it even if it may be deadly phenomenon. Would one do that with a fatal disease? They are right! It is a new thing, but is it a new thing from God? Just look at the lengths they go to explain or not explain the phenomenon.
When people put down their defenses and believe that it is God who is touching them, they are training themselves for this particular sensation or feeling and will become expectant that this is what it feels like when God is there. So they have a need to expect this the next and every time afterward to know God is present. The presence of laughing, incoherence, and paralysis is the exact opposite of the fruit of the Spirit which has self-control and sober-mindedness. The person with the fruit of the Spirit does not succumb to the excessive behaviors previously mentioned. The spirit does not make someone do the opposite of what he has written for one who is filled with the Spirit.
Many have been conditioned from the new revivalism that this is how God does his work. The lines have been clearly delineated. Its not that certain men have crept in unaware any longer. There have been many who have made the Church quite aware. We are at a crossroads and it is up to each one of us to stand for what the bible teaches or suffer the consequences of silence. I can only hope we are not too late, and strengthen what remains. Wake up Church! The clock is ticking.
In light of what we have just discovered about this phenomenon, we will take this portion to discuss what Scripture tells us concerning how to discern false teachings and behavior. These new movements are training Christians not to use their minds that the spirit bypasses the Mind. The problem is you can't feel error or truth. Discernment is of the mind, to judge something you must use your faculties. Unfortunately today spirituality has become attached to the Spirit only without the mind.
1 John 4:1 tells us to try or test the spirits. Why? because there are false prophecies given by false spirits, This mandate is for our protection. Dont believe everything is from God just because it takes place in a church.
In 1 Cor.12:1 0, there is mentioned the gift of discerning spirits. One is to distinguish, judge, or discriminate whether a spirit is from God or some other source--possibly evil (Gr. Diakrisis). Most importantly, the Word of God in Heb.4:12 is quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. So we are to use it for ourselves and others to discriminate concerning what exactly is transpiring. (for more on testing supernatural phenomenon< click here)
The Word must have its correct interpretation or one finds himself wandering from the original intent of the author which would put them outside the truthfulness of the Scriptures. They would then be believing in a false concept of the Word which God never intended. This is something the Holy Spirit cannot honor nor validate.