I was involved in two different “moves of God” that took place–the Asbury Revival (from which the Jesus Movement came) and the Toronto Movement (from which came the Pensacola “Brownsville Revival,” and many other special meetings that people flocked to around the world.) I learned much from being involved in these two events. In the spring of 1970 the kids in the college chapel in Wilmore, Kentucky (Asbury Theological Seminary) had a special visitation from God. These kids spent hours and hours in prayer and they got filled with the Spirit on a Christian campus that was not Pentecostal! But it did not stay there. They went home on spring break with their fresh infilling and took the gospel to other young people they knew and it spread from there. Church buildings could not contain it. As a result, the Jesus movement took place in parks, on the streets and in coffee houses in the run down parts of towns. God was saving and filling these young people with the Spirit and they were taking the gospel back out into the highways and byways to the Hippy movement many of them came out of. Thousands were saved out of that “tune in, turn on and drop out” culture that was centered on drugs, sex and rock and roll. I was part of this move of the Spirit. It was an exciting time and was propelled by the Spirit of God… until men rose up, became the new “spiritual gurus,” and started building their own followings and denominations out of what God sovereignly started. That was “the day the music died.” As for Toronto, Brownsville, Rodney Howard Brown, Randy Clark, John Arnott, Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, etc., I was in on the beginnings of that move too in the early 90’s because I did not want to miss “the next move of God.” The important difference between these two moves was that the people saved in the Jesus movement were not seeking after signs and wonders. They only wanted Jesus! But in the Toronto type meetings I went to, people came flocking to special buildings so that they could get a “special touch” from a guru who “had the power” and as a result many got manifestations in their bodies like “holy laughter,” “spiritual drunkenness,” crawling around on the floor while making animal noises, or shaking violently. Some women even made suggestive movements with their bodies as they danced. It was not God! Why? Paul warned us that this would happen before Christ returned.
“And then shall that Wicked One be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deception of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10 KJ2000)
Yes, before Christ returns, Satan will be turned lose with “all power and signs.” This is not a time to be seeking signs and power! Many people that I knew who got these “special touches” in these meetings ended up with all kinds of emotional problems and mental disorders. What made the difference was whether they wanted Christ only, or they were looking for manifestations and power in their bodies! Jesus called seeking after signs spiritual adultery (see Matthew 12:38-40). Why? Because we go to mere men to get our signs and wonders preformed! Those Pharisees did not believe that Jesus was the Christ as they looked for a sign from Him. Clamoring after men and women instead of Christ as the Son of God is adultery in the eyes of God. Paul and the early apostles were quite emphatic that people did not do that to them. In Acts we read:
While he [the healed lame man] clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s, astounded. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? …And his [Jesus Christ] name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all. “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers…” (Acts 3:11-17 RSVA) He listened to Paul speaking; and Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and walked. And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycao’nian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, because he was the chief speaker, they called Hermes. And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the people. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out among the multitude, crying, “Men, why are you doing this? We also are men, of like nature with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. (Acts 14:9-15 RSVA)
“The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” Boy is THAT a pregnant statement as to what is wrong with Christianity today! Paul warned the Corinthians about this very thing…
But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh, as babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food; for you were not ready for it; and even yet you are not ready, for you are still of the flesh… For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” and another, “I belong to Apol’los,” are you not merely men? What then is Apol’los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apol’los watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth… So let no one boast of men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apol’los or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-23 RSVA)
All things pertaining to God are ours in Christ, dear saints. Quit looking to men.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek HIM. (Hebrews 11:6 KJ2000 – emphasis added)