As we have talked about the power of Pentecost, which is supposed to be a continued power available to all who believe, we can easily see that this power is not present in the church today. The only true conclusion you can draw without adding to and subtracting from scripture is that God has turned His face from shining on us. This has happened because the church turned away in disobedience and went their own way. Job 21:13 “They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. 14 Yet they say to God, ‘Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways. 15 Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?’ 16 But their prosperity is not in their own hands.” Isaiah tells us Isaiah 1:2 “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 2:6 “You, LORD, have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and embrace pagan customs. 7 Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. 9 So people will be brought low and everyone humbled— do not forgive them. 10 Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from the fearful presence of the Lord and the splendor of his majesty! 11 The eyes of the arrogant will be humbled and human pride brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 12 The Lord Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled).” The problem is that the church refuses to admit to this sin and repent and still continues to go their own ways. Jeremiah 8:6 “I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.” Malachi tells us that even after God told the people what the problem was, they still questioned God. Malachi 3:7 “Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.”
By setting aside the word of God, it then becomes very easy to say what have I done wrong. It also makes it very easy to be led astray. When God turns his face from us that means we have not only lost the available power but the knowledge of truth to know we have lost it. Paul said to Timothy, 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.” 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” We are supposed to live by truth. Titus 1:1 “Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior.”
We have talked a lot about the lack of power in the church, which is very easy to see. To see this powerlessness, all you have to do is read the bible and then compare it to the church and they look nothing alike. While the words are similar, the power we see in scripture is not present. As we will see today the power that some churches think they have is not the same power that flowed from Jesus, thus the deception. When we follow God’s word, we will not be deceived. Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. 114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” Scripture is supposed to be our guide but we have let those who lead, lead us astray by their teaching. Lamentations 2:14 “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” Deuteronomy 11:26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” Deuteronomy 32:17 “They sacrificed to false gods, which are not God— gods they had not known, gods that recently appeared, gods your ancestors did not fear.” This has happened in the church on an astonishing scale. Jesus warned us not to be deceived and we were also warned to test the spirits. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” John tells us John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The bible is the very word of God, so when we turn from the bible by adding and subtracting, we turn from Jesus. If we acknowledge Jesus is from God, we acknowledge the bible and do not change it as the church has done even though we are warned many times not to. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”
Every church will tell you they follow God’s word wholeheartedly, yet every church is different so something is wrong. We have talked about the abomination that causes desolation as the reason the church looks nothing like the church was supposed to look. Daniel saw Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” Daniel 9:27 “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 11:31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.” We were warned by Paul who said 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” We were warned that this was going to happen but the church has not listened. Matthew 24:4 “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Millions around the world have been deceived. 2 Peter 3:17 “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.”
We were told to test the spirits because Jesus said we were supposed to for a reason; satan was going to deceive. Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Revelation 16:13 “Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. 15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Matthew 24:43 “But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” We see these spirits when Micaiah prophesied. 1 Kings 22:9 “Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ 23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
So how do we know the truth? The answer is easy; follow God’s word as you are guided by the Spirit of truth. The problem is the church has set aside God’s word to listen to men and women tell you what God’s word is saying when truthfully those are there own words not God’s, therefore the Spirit of truth is also missing. Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 5:30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” As we have seen before, every Sunday in Joel Osteen’s church they start off by saying; “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess: My mind is alert, My heart is receptive. I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same. Never, never, never. I will never be the same. In Jesus name. Amen.” And then they promptly set the bible aside and listen to the words of a man as he leads you astray with false teaching. Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?” Isaiah 9:16 “Those who guide this people mislead them, and those who are guided are led astray.” 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” Again the church has been warned about this.
Jesus said he would send the Spirit of Truth after He ascended to heaven. This is how the church was to operate. John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” 1 John 4:6 “We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.” The church is supposed to be worshipping in Spirit and truth as Jesus said, John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”
Unfortunately many did not test the spirits and set aside God’s word for what they thought was God. We are supposed to be built up not torn down and left in devastation. Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Because the spirits have not been tested and the word of God held in high esteem, our enemies have infiltrated the church and have brought destruction upon the church. Nehemiah 1:3 “The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Due to the rebellion in the church, people are being tossed around by every wind of teaching and destroyed and taken captive just like Israel and Judah.
Today I want to look at a date 25 years ago. Yes this is father’s day, so happy fathers day to you fathers. Twenty-five years ago on Father’s day 1995, a so-called revival broke out in Pensacola, Florida at the Brownsville Assembly of God. So why talk about something that has come and gone? I want to use this as example of how to discern truth by testing the spirits and keeping the word of God front and center. If you say you are going to be taught by the word of God, then you had better know the true voice of God. Millions of people have been deceived by these false revivals including the Toronto Blessing that started in January 1994 and many others offshoots since. People assumed that because the leaders said this is God, they accepted their words as truth. To be sure, the leaders themselves thought what they were seeing was truth. Both these revivals as do others had manifestations take place so people just assumed and continue to assume what they were part of was God but if they had just listened and stood on God’s word, they would have known this was not God at work but satan. This is part of the abomination that causes desolation. The power satan has over the church is astounding. This is why Daniel said, Daniel 8:27 “I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.” Even then Paul said, Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Now before you think those charismatics again, let me remind you that those like John MacArthur who are against the charismatics and just as bad and just as false. They have also led the church astray just in a different way. This has happened in the whole church.
The other day I listened to the sermon that Steve Hill preached on the Father’s day in 1995 at Brownsville. There was very little scripture. His main point was to remember the miracles. His text was Psalm 77:10 “Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” There was lots of “God said this to me,” and he told of his experiences and saying what God told him He was going to do that day but very little content of scripture. It is at this point the people had a choice. He even said he almost missed it. It would have been better for him if he did. He told the people to recall the miracles so if you are called to remember the miracles, then our example would be the miracles of Jesus. You would even remember the miracles that took place in the Old Testament. To do this you go to God’s word and look at the miracles and see if there is a comparison. People falling on the ground on their back, or being drunk, shaking violently for example looks like God or satan at work. The answer is easy because Jesus showed us himself what the true power of God looked like. For example there was a man “so violent that no one could pass that way.” Luke 8:29 “Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. 30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him.” Then Jesus casts out the demons into the herd of pigs and 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” When you see the manifestations at these so-called revivals you have the opposite of what we see with Jesus. There are manifestations like writhing, shaking, convulsing, paralysis, drunkenness and falling down, laughter, roaring. The big one is being slain in the spirit (carpet time), which is not God. Is it real? Yes but it is not God. Yes people want to explain these manifestations as fake. While some are, much of this is satan at work. The person goes down as supposedly the Holy Spirit has taken control yet they have to cover up the woman’s legs with blankets? If you watch any of the videos it is complete chaos. When Jesus cast out the demons, the man sat in his right mind; instead these people have been infiltrated by the demonic. You can see all this still happening today.
I will let you take a peek on your own at some of the chaos that not only happened in the Brownsville revival and the Toronto Blessing but continues to happen around the world. As I watched the service on that 1995 Father’s day, the alter was opened and people came forward and all he basically said was “more” meaning more of the Holy Spirit. The manifestations picked up speed following this service but sadly this was not the Holy Spirit people were being filled with. If this was the Holy Spirit at work then the gifts of the Spirit would have been given and they would have distinguished that this was the work of satan and shut it down. Jesus warned us Matthew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” As we read earlier it is possible for the secure to fall. Paul told us 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
These false teachers have deceived millions upon millions of people who were seeking God. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” False teachers and prophets are everywhere in the church today because those who follow refuse to test the spirits. Due to the disobedience of the church as we read, satan deceives but God also brings upon them delusion. So you have people thinking they are worshipping God, when it is really satan they worship. I realize that this may be hard to accept but test the spirits; read scripture! Again this is not just happening in charismatic churches. You have false teachers in all denominations and belief systems. What does the bible tell us? Jesus warned us not to be deceived yet most have not and will not listen to those words. A church like Brownsville should not be trying to light that fire again but to repent before God for leading so many astray. A church like MacArthur’s (non-charismatic) should not be trying so hard to put out the fires but to repent for nullifying scripture. I haven’t even talked about those leading the army of the lukewarm. We are told 2 Chronicles 7:3 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” Ezra 9:4 “Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.” There is only a remnant left and we should also be appalled at what has taken place in the church. God said 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.” Malachi 3:7 “Return to me and I will return to you,” so return and stand firm on the word of God. Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Psalm 56:10 “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—11 in God I trust and am not afraid.” Psalm 119:9 “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.”
They say this Brownsville revival continued for about five years. At the end there was chaos of a different kind. One writer asked where the fire went? “I am wondering why the church that hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors has shrunk to a few hundred members, and now owes millions of dollars for a building they can’t fill. I am struggling to understand why so many people who once were part of the Brownsville church now feel hurt and betrayed.” One article from 2012 said “For years starting in the mid-1990s, millions from around the globe visited a humble church in Florida's Panhandle for lively Pentecostal revival services where believers flocked on stage to be healed by God for cancer, addiction and broken hearts. At its height, the "Brownsville Revival" drew as many as 5,500 people a night for six years — estimates put the total between 2.5 million and 4.5 million people. Donations poured in as the Brownsville Assembly of God added staff, built a massive new sanctuary and opened a school for preachers. In the decade after being the home of the largest Pentecostal outpouring in U.S. history, the church has been on the edge of financial ruin. It racked up $11.5 million in debt, to be paid after the out-of-town throngs and its former pastor moved on. The red ink is mostly unknown outside the congregation. Rev. Evon Horton, Brownsville's current pastor said, every Monday I find out what the (Sunday) offering was and we decide what we can pay this week. The good news is last week we paid our mortgage. The bad news is it drained our bank accounts." The paid staff is down to six from around 50, and the newsletter is printed monthly instead of weekly. About 800 to 1,000 worshippers total attend two Sunday services, but most pews go empty in the 2,200-seat sanctuary. Another 2,600-seat sanctuary built just for the revival is used for a gym, community classes and storage. The church has trimmed millions off its debt by selling property and slashing expenses, and it's raising money to pay off the remaining $6.5 million. The Pensacola News-Journal raised questions at the time about the revival's finances and claims of miraculous healings, but the crowds kept coming. Horton said he's still unsure what happened to all the money, but he's concentrating on the future. "What good would it do me?" he asked. Kilpatrick (previous pastor) said he doesn't recall the financial details, but he's saddened by his old church's struggles.” Both pastors of this revival had their own ministries. “John Kilpatrick Ministries was birthed in 1996 out of the white-hot fires of the Brownsville Revival.” Interesting that he named it after himself during a revival.
From The Brownsville churches’ website you can see the history of the revival. They said, “In 1993, Dr. David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea, the world's largest church, conducted a meeting in Seattle, Washington. As he prayed for revival in America, he questioned, "God are you going to send revival to America, or is she destined for judgment?" (Remember what Micaiah said “ So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” That was not a revival from God) The Lord instructed him to get a map of America. He did so, and the Holy Spirit told him to point his finger at the map. As he did, he felt his finger drawn to the Florida panhandle and to the city of Pensacola. "I am going to send revival to the seaside city of Pensacola, and it will spread like a fire until all of America has been consumed by it," said the Lord to Dr. Cho. Dr. Cho shared his experience with others and the word predictably spread to many of the pastors in the Pensacola area.” That definitely didn’t happen. In a video I watched, Dr. Cho prophesied to Kilpatrick the senior pastor, “that the Brownsville Revival will continue until Jesus Christ returns: “We don’t know how long this revival will continue.’ I’ll tell you. This will continue until Jesus comes.” Well Jesus did not come and the place fell apart but that is not the only reason why this is a false revival. It is false because it looks nothing like the power Jesus displayed. The demonic manifestations such as jerking and twitching, falling to the ground on their backs, drunkenness tells you God is not present. Remember satan masquerades as an angel of light and he is mocking God. Watch the videos and you will feel sick to your stomach.
Cho also prophesied about the Toronto Blessing. “I was afraid to confess that, but when I was praying the Spirit of the Lord would impress my heart to say it. I was afraid because I already thought that America was far greater than Canada. If ever God would use country He should use America instead of Canada. America is a country with greater resources and more population. But again and again God spoke to my heart that he was going to use Canada, so finally in Toronto, with great inner faith I prophesied as the Holy Spirit anointed me. I really believe that God is going to bless Canada, and the Canadian church is going to rise up once again and go to the four corners of the world, and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to pave the way for His second coming.” These two revivals produced nothing but chaos and led millions astray. Cho may need to listen better when it comes to finances.
So how do we discern the truth? The first step is to return to the words of God and then turn away from these false teachers and prophets. Unless we are saturated in God’s word and humble ourselves before Him, we will be deceived. We also desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit among us once again so we must wait just as the disciples were told to wait. Luke 24:48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” When we read about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we see “distinguishing between spirits.” There is little to no discernment in the church today to distinguish spirits. It seems anything goes. Yes others will disagree but there will be enough followers to carry on. It doesn’t seem that the church today is interested in the truth as everyone preaches their own version of the truth. John MacArthur will tell you he stands on the truth yet denies the power of the Holy Spirit. The charismatics will tell you God is present, yet they do not realize it is not His presence they have been infiltrated by. As you look into the deception in the church around the world, it is disheartening to realize the shear magnitude of the destruction caused by satan, meanwhile everyone looks for the return of Jesus in one way or the other with absolutely no fear of His judgment. This lack of fear has resulted in everyone going their own way. Exodus 20:20 “Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
The only way to return to God is to return to His word and be guided by the truth. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.” When Steve Hill preached this first message on that Father’s day in 1995, there was no revelation. The word of God was set aside as was the true anointing of the Holy Spirit. People thought they were receiving the Spirit but instead were infiltrated by satan because they did not test the spirits. Proverbs 30:20 “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.” When you look at Proverbs you can see the decision that must be made. You either follow wisdom or the folly of the adulterous women. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” If we do not fear God we will not trust Him. If you truly feared God, you would not mess with scripture. Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” Isaiah 11:1 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Jesus said Matthew 15:7 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” Most people in church do not check into what they have been taught; they just accept it blindly. We are also in a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.”
It is very important for you to take the time to read Proverbs 1-9. This gives us insight on how to be guided by the word of God. Proverbs 7:1 “My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and to insight, “You are my relative.” 5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words.” Take a look at all the verses in Proverbs that start with “my son.” Proverbs tell us there are two voices calling to you; the voice of God and the voice of seduction, the same voice that spoke to Adam and Eve when they disobeyed and were cast from the garden. Proverbs 1:20 “Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; 21 on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? 23 Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. 24 But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25 since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, 29 since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. 30 Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. 32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Then if you go over to chapter nine you see how similar the voices can be but one leads to life and the other death. Moses said in Deuteronomy 31:15 “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Listen carefully to how similar the voices are so you can understand why so many have been deceived. Proverbs 9:1 “Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” 7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. 9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. 13 Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” Proverbs 2:16 “Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, 17 who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. 18 Surely her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. 19 None who go to her return or attain the paths of life.”
These examples of the revivals I gave earlier are a seduction by satan which in the end leads to death. If you cannot tell the difference between the voice of God and the voice of satan you will be deceived just like the millions who have already been deceived. Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Jesus said John 10:25 “Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
When you see people on stage or around the stage sauntering as if drunk, know this is not the Spirit of God but the maddening wine of the enemy. Revelation 18:3 “For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries.” Revelation 18:4 “Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. 7 Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ 8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” Revelation 17:1 “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries. 3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. 5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. 6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” Yes as we see in Hebrews 11 many will die and never turn from God. Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
But as we saw in these false revivals, many will not stand firm but fall to the lies of the enemy. Revelation 14:8 “A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” 9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, 10 they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” Yes people are waiting for the mark of the beast to appear on the forehead in the future but the mark has already been given to those who have worshipped these false gods. You can read more about this in my Blog Day 13, 14 The drunkenness you see on stage is the intoxication caused by the demonic. We also see this intoxication in non charismatic churches Isaiah 29:9 “Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer. 10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).” Deuteronomy 29:4 “But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.” Paul said in Romans 11:8 “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.” 9 And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. 10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”
Be reminded of the grace of God during this time. Matthew 24:22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.” We do not deserve His grace but God will keep His promise to David. Luke 21:8 “He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.”
On this fathers day commit to the Lord that you will stand firm on His word.” Jesus said, Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Psalm 119:89 “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Deuteronomy 32:47 “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”