Perhaps we should all look at the history of events over the past one hundred and fifty years. These concern the baptism with the Holy Spirit and His gifts coming into the church again. Certain believers discovered from the Bible that the the Lord Jesus would still give the experience the one hundred and twenty disciples, including twelve apostles, had on the Day of Pentecost. Most writers date it back to 1906 at Azusa Street. However, some things we can ascertain are overlooked and I suggest that no one has the history during the whole of that period as to occurrences of like nature in the five continents of the world. It is reported to my knowledge and others could certainly have access to to other information. In 1860-61 many churches in the town of Tirunivelli in Tamil Nadu and surrounding districts experienced a revival of times of refreshing sent from the presence of Lord (Acts 3:20). This began with believers being filled with the Holy Ghost as they were in Acts 2:4. It continued throughout a few denominations and included manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are listed in 1 Corinthians 12. Some time later, similar occurrences were reported from Travancore in what is now known as Kerala. This was in 1873-74. As far as I know there were no missionaries involved. In 1904 there was a missionary, Walker of Tinivelli, who preached about revival by the Holy Spirit.
In the meanwhile, there were many believers who were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues in many parts of the United States. A woman evangelist was involved, named Mrs. Woodworth-Etter. I read her wonderful book years ago. She was a Brethren and certainly experienced, even being a woman not allowed in their midst to voice her testimony, the power of the Holy Ghost. The Brethren let her go evangelizing with their blessing. Historically, the present day experiences of millions goes back to what occurred in Azusas Street, Los Angeles, in 1906. I am sure that many in Britain were experiencing similar blessings. People began to be filled with the Holy Ghost speaking in other tongues because they saw it was in the New Testament for today. Since then, millions world-wide have experienced the same blessing. We ourselves would have heard around a million, in estimation, speaking in other tongues. It is not gabble, it is not of the Devil, it truly is the Holy Ghost. People, including myself, know it is supernatural and miraculous. We could never have this in a natural way.
They have sometimes been identified as certain languages. In 1970 I was preaching in a church in Semarang, Indonesia. I went to that country not with the intention of seeing outpourings of the Spirit but to preach the wonderful truths I then knew of the Word. When I saw the Pentecostal Churches were void of this experience of the Holy Ghost what else could I do but preach and minister about the baptism with the Spirit? In one of my first meetings, I preached on Holy Ghost blessings and worship. At the end of the sermon, I said to the people, “Let us all being to praise the Lord in other tongues”. They all did. Afterwards their pastor said to me: “Sister Bonney, if you had asked them to do that last Sunday they would not have been able to, except for a half a dozen people. You are the first person to come to our country for this to happen – except for a Dutchman and we did not like him because chairs went flying!” Personally, I think that dear brother may have been out of his depth. There were three hundred members that Sunday morning who worshipped the Lord Jesus in other tongues by the Holy Ghost. At the end, when there was silence, a man began speaking a message of encouragement in English, good English and with an educated Australian accent. Point one was that all over Asia, one never hears English with an educated or any Australian accent. It is always British or American. Point two was that he then spoke in Indonesian. My interpreter had been a Professor of Science at the Yogjakarta University. He had studied for four years in the U.S. and his English was perfect. He said to me in wonder, “This man has said in Indonesian exactly what he just said in English”. He then questioned the man: “Do you know English”. The reply, in Indonesian of course, that was passed on to me was “No”. the professor then questioned the congregation as to whether man could speak English. They responded with a “No”. So yes, speaking in tongues is not of Satan but of God – when it is believers washed by the blood of Jesus.
Then in 1948 there was the Latter Rain outpouring that occurred first in Vancouver, Canada and was transferred with the people being expelled from the Pentecostal Church of Canada, to Shalom Orphanage, Battle Creek, Saskatchewan. They took this outpouring with them. It has to be said that they were in error. They were seeking God and going outside of the Scriptures. That can never be done with impunity. So they were receiving so-called revelations from the Spirit, prophesying, laying hands on certain specified ones for ministry and so on. The problem is that it was all revelation based. Where that continues in Australia today, the leaders are still receiving revelations wrongly, as it has been told me.
That lay dormant and came to life during the Charismatic Move where it infiltrated world-wide. Of course, these dear denominational people and the new converts had no idea as to what was happening. How could they? Then came the false idea of Restoration of David’s Tabernacle. This was commenced in Vancouver at Glad Tidings Tabernacle under Reg Lascelles. It was based on music, singers, instrumentalists and dancers, with prophecies – in imitation of the worship in the tabernacle that David built and for which the Psalms were written. This has spread world-wide. Acts 15:14-17. Thus we have the major emphasis, if not idolatry, placed on music. Eventually along came Hillsong, from Frank Houston and pastored by his son, Brian. They have used ex-rock singers and introduced the rock music scene into the church. These events have brought the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches well-down the path of Old Testament and external worship. The world has infiltrated these churches in a major way.
The Charismatic Move began in the sixties and it spread all over the world and invaded every denomination in some way. It has been called the Renewal and without a doubt, there were many who got saved and multitudes baptized with the Holy Ghost. However, there were always more Neo-Charismatics who rejected speaking in tongues and they existed also by the millions. As there was an inter-church feeling of love spread, pastors, leaders, denominations and people began to accept any kind of doctrine. Some would go from one area to another. Wrong doctrines are the bases for wrong revelations and wrong occurrences. How to flow truly in the Holy Spirit becomes a rarity and the truths of the gospel begin to fade. This has happened. There have been wrong doctrines, false activities of spirits in many a place.
There have been the false prophecies of the Kansas Prophets. Then there were the errors of Vineyard, in which were involved Wimber and Wagner, both of whom I believe had been involved in Fuller Bible Institute with Church Growth. That has proved to be less than a blessing. Emphasis has been placed on money, on tithing and this in part, sprang from the teachings of Copeland, back to Hagin. Daddy Hagin plagiarized Kenyon’s Christian Science based books. I have read them all. That grave and evil error is coming to full fruition in that the Charismatic preachers, fully, and Pentecostal preachers, either fully or partially, send it world-wide vie Television’s Christian Channels to hundreds of millions of believers. Added to this are the unsaved who listen.
We have had the Toronto Blessing, Pensacola and Brownsville. Then there has been the greatly tatooed Todd Bentley of Florida, He was prophesied over and confirmed as true by Wagner. The idol has fallen. Of course, we have had the peculiarities of Benny Hinn.
All of this has led up to our present situation. From another side, there has been an intrusion of error into many a church, Charismatic, Pentecostal and Main-line, of the false beliefs under a Christian heading, of Rick Warren. These have been promulgated in “The Purpose Driven Life” and “The Purpose Driven Church” books, bought by millions. He can be traced back through Robert Schuller to Norman Vincent Peale. there is no sin and the blood of Jesus is an anachronism! They follow Positivism or Positive Thinking (no negativity ever) and Words being Creative. Positivism is a philosophical belief of a non-Christian. It renounces Deism (that includes our supernatural Deity, the Triune God). It is a religious system found on this according to the dictionary. It is outside the bounds of the Christian Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the great God. They, of course, would deny the Deity of Jesus Christ who was on earth for about 33 years as God and Man.
The most popular Television evangelists all follow some if not all of the above beliefs. They are pronouncing a false gospel. Paul said that if any one or even an angel from heaven, preached any other gospel than the one he preached, “Let him be accursed” (Gal.1:8). Now I personally do not say anything. Let the word of the everlasting gospel speak.
Yet hundreds of millions are listening to, reveling in what they see and hear and absorbing it all as truth when as it is error based, it is heresy. One could weep at what one sees. It is no wonder Jesus wept over Jerusalem. After all, He is and was the Savior whom they spurned.
We quote 2 Timothy 1:6 that is the basis of much preaching in some places today. This verse is wrongly taken,according to a special revelation among them, to indicate the basis for laying hands on members of the Body of Christ and setting them apart for particular ministries in that body.This occurred around 1948 in what is called the Latter Rain Outpouring that was occurring in Shalom Orphanage, Battle Creek, Saskatchewn Canada. It was largely found on special revelations. However, such were not based on the Scriptures but on what they thought the Holy Spirit was telling them. In actuality, such were outside of the Scriptures. This we are not meant to do. Acts 13 is the only occasion where ministries were sent out. All they did was fasted and prayed and then laid hands on them only, it being Barnabas and Saul (Paul). There was no prophesying. Here is the verse: “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”, The only gift mentioned in the New Testament, that can be received by the laying on of hands is the gifts of the Holy Spirit that comes as the baptism with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 1:4,8; 2:4 and it always has the power given of speaking in other tongues. This is dunamis meaning, the power to do a miralce or the miracle itself among others. No one receives salvation whereby the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, goes into a person to effect the new birth. That is outside the perimeters of what Christ has called ministries in His church to do.
There is in indication in the Bible that hands are to be laid on a person receiving Christ. Paul said to the jailer, “Believe on he Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved along with your house”. So it was out of Scriptural order for Clark Taylor to be laying hands and slaying each person who came forward to accept Christ. This has led to a falsity in hundreds of churches where the people expect to be slain often by going forward for prayer. Paul did not lay hands on any of the staff or relatives in the prison. He advocated ministry of the Spirit in Galatians 3:5 “He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he do this by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Paul indicated the process through which many believers have the Spirit ministered to them and it can include the laying on of hands. It is through the Gifts of the Spirit that are Faith and Miracles – as I have seen for over forty years. There is an example of Paul ministering the Spirit here: “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke in languages, and prophesied” Webster (Acts 19:6). The spoke in tongues as at Pentecost in Jerusalem. Then those in Samaria, Acts 8 did the same, followed by the example in Acts 10 of their receiving the sovereign act of God, the baptism with the Holy Ghost without any ministry of such from Peter..
Paul had laid hands on Timothy to minister the Holy Ghost in 2 Timothy 1:6 and as v.7 shows, it was a impartation, not from Paul but from the Lord Jesus, of the Holy Spirit of power, dunamis, of love and of a sound mind. Then in v. 8, he tells Timothy: “Be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God”.It is obvious that the Christian life is not meant to be a bed of roses. It is not intended that through positive thinking, positive confessions and no negativity that we sail through life always in success, prosperity and health. To state that this is the way we should be is a lie from the pit of hell. There are afflictions that come with believing and following gospel truth. There is suffering of some sort for all the true children of God. For one thing, if we are in His love, He will discipline us and that is hard to take! What of Paul’s testimony of his own sufferings: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings on behalf of you, and I fill up in my flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ, on behalf of his body which is the church” LEB (Col.2:24).
We should note in th preaching of all of the Television Evangelists,, the aberrations in the preaching of many, according to the Word of the Lord – not my ideas, my beliefs or my words – look at the Word from Christ for yourself Let us follow Truth. If we do not follow Truth we are following non-truth, a human conception and a lie.
We must follow the word of truth, the gospel as it is set out clearly in the Bible.
There is hope for all, who follow the truth. There is the grace of God in abundant supply that He lavishes on His children. His grace surely has covered many an error and mistake we all have made in our Christian lives and that still continues in believers today. Yet we should seek to know the truth fully and to follow it.