This is a book that I have for a little bit and was given to me by a friend. I had not read it partly because I could write it. I know the pneumatology of Global Awakening, Randy Clark’s ministry that well. However I want to go ahead to check out and recommend The Essential Guide to the power of the Holy Spirit by Randy Clark. Continue reading…
Tagged in: Randy Clark
Randy Clark is a man that lives with expectation. I have come to respect him very much. We do not share all the same doctrine but I still value him and his ministry. You do not have to be a Pentecostal to be used by the Holy Spirit. (despite popular belief) Continue reading…
Some of you may have heard that Todd Bentley has extended meetings just outside of Toronto in what he is calling the Glory Awakening. I am very happy to see Todd doing meetings again and seeing the works of Jesus manifest. I make no mistake about it: I am a fan of Todd Bentley. Continue reading…
I was one of those people who made the trip to Toronto back in the 1990’s. I remember when the renewal was underway and people were praying “More, Lord!” I have always been thankful for the times that people like John Arnott, Rolland Baker and Randy Clark prayed over me. It became known as the Toronto Blessing. Continue reading…
I use to be part of YWAM and I still love them but if you are thinking of doing a mission trip with them, you might want to know some things. While they do some amazing things around the world, they have become very dailed down in some core expression of the Kingdom. Depending what tradition of the faith you come from, this could become an issue.
Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With A Mission, is the son of an Assemblies of God pastor. In fact, many believe that YWAM was designed to be part of the AG movement from the start but it couldn’t work for political reasons inside the movement. This is important to know because people use this to think that YWAM is Pentecostal friendly.
This is not the case anymore.
In a quest to open the doors to other traditions, Methodist, Baptists and even Catholics; the emphasis on the Holy Spirit has been dailed way down so people will not get scared from casting out devils or healing the sick. Really a sad reality but it is what I saw in many of the bases that I visited when I was part of YWAM.
Mission trips with YWAM are not miracle crusades
This is important because in the Pentecostal tradition, when we go to a nation; we plan to see the blind see and the deaf hear. Miracles, signs and wonders are what we are in faith for and it is the only thing that we will be happy seeing. We want to see people come out of wheelchairs and having someone popup out of the casket would be amazing.
The problem with that is most people in YWAM are not even sure if they believe that miracles happen today. Many tend to align themselves closer to the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church than they do the General Council of the Assemblies of God and the General Assembly of the Church of God.
In my experience, the number of Pentecostals and Spirit-Filled Charismatics in the ranks of the mission group is now a minority. If anything, we are struggling for a voice than being the main expression that started Youth With A Mission.
I remember being on a mission trip in Los Angeles and there was a man that was having alot of problems. The YWAM trip was praying for him to have “peace.” The problem is you can’t have peace when you are tormented with a devil. I pushed my way to the front and told him, “You have a devil on you. Do you want me to cast him off you or do you enjoy your devil?” Twenty minutes later, he was delivered and the whole YWAM group was offended. They didn’t really believe in casting out demons.
Am I telling you that you shouldn’t go on a mission trip with YWAM? Not at all. I am just telling you that if you come from a Pentecostal tradition, you might be surprised how little of Pentecost is left in the movement these days.
YWAM is a tribe
What I mean by that is there will be major pressure put on you to do a Discipleship Training School if you have not done one yet. There will be pressure for some school as that is how Youth With A Mission pays the bills. Personally, I only did a DTS as I was taking classes at Oral Roberts online. I found that to be a much smarter choice for me at the time.
You will find the pressure to join YWAM as a missionary, do schools and if not, support the mission base financially to be pretty intense. I am not saying you shouldn’t do any of them; I am just saying the tension with be very much real.
Even though I was part of the YWAM movement, I can’t say I ever really believed in it wholeheartly. I was always a classic Pentecostal with some faith movement leaning and was in the middle of the prophetic movement. It was me and I know it. I was a square in a round hole when I was working with YWAM. I didn’t buy into the vision completely. I believe that was for good reason as I look back.
While they might not be a denomination in the purist sense but have many of the same thinking patterns as those who are in one. I find that YWAMers can easily get an elitist spirit and I do not think it is productive.
Do your mission trip with your eyes open
I am not telling you that you should not do a trip with them. Far from it. I am saying that you should do it with your eyes wide open and your ear open to only the Holy Spirit. Knowing the facts is more important than anything. If you know the political spirit and the controlling spirit is there beforehand, you are better prepared when you see it. That’s all I am saying.
I am very thankful for the time that I spend with YWAM and I still work with them. However, I know what is happening in the ranks and I am not smiling about it at all.
I hope I did not make you think they are bad people or a “cult.” I do not believe that. I just believe there is some serious problems inside the movement that need to be dealt with but won’t. These same issues were there back in the 1970’s and have always grew from then. I do not expect them to be fixed in my lifetime.
John Wimber believed in what we called Power Healing. It changed the church world as we know it. I would say that John Wimber did more to bring renewal to the Bride of Christ than anyone we know. In fact, the renewal outlived him if we are to honest.
I did not know much about John Wimber as a kid. I do remember my grandparents flying us to California for a conference and we went to Disneyland while there. They was always going to meetings when my grandpa was not preaching a “revival.” I was more interested in the roller coasters than I was sitting in church meetings at seven.
I look back and realize that those meeting was really important and they was at the Vineyard Church that John Wimber pastored. We enjoyed the services and I knew that grandpa spend a morning in a special meeting with leaders. I did not know (nor cared) then but he was sitting down with John Wimber to talk about world missions.
Thinking back, I would have loved to be in that meeting. A hard core classic Pentecostal that built his ministry on telling people to “Rapture ready” and a pastor that was Amillenialist and disagree with many of the core values of Pentecostals. They did embrace each other.
Power Healing renewal in Toronto
The renewal in Toronto, or the Toronto Blessing, came out of the Vineyard movement and started the Airport Vineyard Fellowship with John and Carol Arnott as pastor and through the ministry of Randy Clark, the pastor of the Vineyard in Saint Louis. The early days of it was mainly to people in the movement. It was not until late 1995 that it really started to spread to everyone.
On December 5, 1995; a sick John Wimber along with Todd Hunter made a very hard call: they asked John Arnott to leave the Vineyard unless they submitted to things that would make the religious people less angry. In some ways, this was not like Wimber. However, no one really know he was sick with cancer either.
What I get from this was no as much a rebuke but a promotion. He knew that the Vineyard could not last with him and in the middle of a renewal as well. Something had to give somewhere. They had to kill the renewal or remove it. They removed it and the Toronto Blessing went on without Wimber and the movement.
I see the move as the continuation of the movement, not the split of it. The Vineyard became a more traditional church that focused on people’s need and pastoring people. The Toronto movement would focus on bringing renewal to the church. Both were who John Wimber was.
Both ministries would focus on Power Healing to some degree. Many of the ministries that was born out of the renewal would focus on different truth that they learned from John Wimber and the wider Vineyard movement. Randy Clark, a major leader would go on to build his whole ministry on power healing and power evangelism.
What about the Kansas City Prophets?
I was attending Metro Christian Fellowship under Mike Bickle. We was a member of the movement and we was very close to what was happening in Canada. There was no way that they could be gone and we could stay. We both had very strong emphasis on power healing and the prophetic. Either Toronto had to stay or we had to go.
Well, a few months later, Mike Bickle told the church that we were not a member of the Vineyard Association of Churches anymore and we were on our own again. It was a bitter moment as my mother (and others) felt that power healing had been put on trail by the man that introduced all of us to it. Was John Wimber rejecting his own teaching? People were starting to wonder.
Many of us in Kansas City was trying very hard to honor Wimber and bless him but the actions over the last few months left us completely undone. Was Wimber becoming a heresy hunter, was he in bed with John McArthur, was he looking for “brownie points” with evangelicals or was something deeper going on?
We did not know it then but shortly after, we learned that he was sick and was battling cancer. It made things make sense alot more. He was taking action so that the Vineyard could go on without him. Having people running around doing power healing and the prophetic without any real leadership was not going to work out.
Was John Wimber right?
Looking back at it twenty years later, I still believe that John made the wrong call. I get it but I do not agree with it. It seems that John Wimber put Power Healing on the altar as a sacrifice. Vineyard Churches today look more like Baptist than Pentecostals currently. The few Vineyard pastors I know do not talk much about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit anymore.
It seems like they have went Baptist on us and believe in healing like them. They love to talk about Jesus healing people in the Bible but don’t focus too much on healing the sick today. This was the fundamentals of John Wimber and the Vineyard’s core teachings. They have lost power healing!
I am not saying the movement is completely dead. It is not. They are meeting alot of good people’s needs. They are doing alot of social justice, something renewal churches suck at. They are serving a purpose but miracles, signs and wonders is something that they suck at pretty bad if you ask me.
I have been very impressed with Rich Nathan out of Columbus. He has really made a practical outreach to his city and he really does Columbus and especially Westerville area. I honor that.
Add to the mix, the whole servant evangelism movement came out of the Vineyard. While they may not have power healing happening anymore, they are still doing alot of things right.
Looking at my Kindle and I reading several books, one of them is Darren Wilson’s Filming God. I like Darren as a guy and I love to hear his journey out of unbelief into being “the defender of the miraculous.” He is alot like Randy Clark in alot of ways (minus the 1990’s haircut that Randy keeps)
When I am reading his book, I have remind myself that he is not a classic Pentecostal or someone raised in the Charismatic renewal. He was a good ole Baptist boy that questioned everything just a decade ago. His “mainframe” is your normal one that people who stand strong on healing have. The wiring is a different color.
I really am enjoying the book and most of his thoughts I agree…. but there is one that I have to passionately disagree with. I am sure Darren means well and I am sure this is his baptist roots kicking in. If someone even believe God could heal someone is radical in the Baptist movement. If you believe he would heal, you done lost your mind and went Dr. Ron Philips on everyone.
Divine Healing is not a gift!
This is where I fall off the train with Darren, theologically. I understand where he is coming from. I do. I just do not see it biblically as he does. I do not see healing as a gift. More on that in a minute.
In my experience, the main hurdle many people must overcome before they will fully put their trust in a God who loves them enough that He might possibly heal them through miraculous means is to come to an understanding that He might not heal them. (Darren Wilson, Filming God)
If you believe in the atonement of Jesus Christ (as I do), you can’t believe that God “might not” heal someone. Healing was paid for with the same blood as salvation. If God won’t heal you, He also did not save you. No one with any theological background (beside hard core calvinists) would not agree with that statement. Healing is part of salvation though.
At the heart of this discussion is what we call sozo. It is life to the soul and spirit but also to the mind (delivernce) and to the body (healing). It is complete transformation of the person. That is what salvation is.
Many will hold, “Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers.”
I agree with that with one little issue: privilege is too weak of a position. It is not just our privilege but is our birthright to be healed.
The fact of the matter is God loves to heal and in order to heal through us, he has to get healing to us. Miracles are just for you, they are to empower you so that miracles can flow through you.
The preaching of salvation with signs, wonders, and miracles was God’s design in the New Testament.
Healing is for you!
“Christ’s death on the cross not only provides for forgiveness of sin, but also healing for sickness. The One who gave you the gift of eternal life…is the same One who can heal your body.” Rev. Doug Clay
While Doug could not be considered a Benny Hinn type of any measurement, his thoughts are very powerful. This is coming from a man much more related to pastoral ministry than having an evangelistic signs and wonders ministry. In my view, pastors are normally the weakest on healing. (That’s another discussion)
When I hear a pastor made a blunt statement about healing like this, my ear pop open. Realizing it is not the common position for them; I know that the Holy Spirit must be speaking to them.
While I think saying that God can heal you is a copout, I do understand the reason for someone in a position of Clay would give the chicken exit. I am sure if I said the same about salvation; everyone would be completely up in arms. I have no idea what they do with the atonement.
The movement that Doug is part of is one that I was part of since the day I was born and I was saved in the Brownsville Revival. I love them but the Assemblies of God have become wimps when it comes to healing. Alot of Assemblies do not even preach it anymore. They prefer to talk about having your best life now and living with purpose.
Why Healing matters in revival?
We are a ministry committed to revival so why should we care about healing? It is not just an add-on on the evangelist’s menu of things to preach. It is the center of the message of the Kingdom of God. Healing is critical to winning the lost. As Mike Francen likes to put it, “A miracles settles the issue.” One miracle and the town repents and turns to God.
The reason that guys like Benny Hinn, Reinhard Bonnke and Richard Roberts put so much emphasis on healing is that is one thing that will convince the masses more than a thousand sermons. Without the supernatural, Christianity is just a story of a guy that made some pretty outlandish claims. Miracles are what makes them legit.
I have seem it a dozen times. A chief in the village comes to a crusade, he is healed by the power of God, when the people see he is healed, they all come to the crusade and get saved. One miracle will truly save a village.
Some of you have become arrogant, thinking I will not visit you again. But I will come—and soon—if the Lord lets me, and then I’ll find out whether these arrogant people just give pretentious speeches or whether they really have God’s power. For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. (Apostle Paul)
Here is the video of Doug Clay about healing
Here is the promo for Holy Ghost Reborn by Darren Wilson
One of my heroes of the faith is John Wimber. I love how real he was and he tried to live the Kingdom of God to the best of his ability. He was not perfect and I completely disagree with how he handled the renewal at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (now Catch the fire Toronto)
However, his realness is something you just have to love. He was as real it is gets. He always believed that the way on is by living the way in (Gospel of Jesus). You can’t help but love that the guy.
The Church, especially in North America is better because of John Wimber than we would have been without him. He was critical to getting us out of the hymnals and worshiping Jesus in a way that pleasing Him and was not a jail sentence to us at the same time.
I believe he took the renewal as far as he took and knowing the medical issues he was facing, he just let guys like John Arnott and Randy Clark tell the baton and run with it from there in his absence.
John Wimber loves Justice
One thing that impresses me about him was his love for the social justice. This is really lacking in the American Church, and especially in the renewal movement. We could use a good dose of justice. It would be to our benefit, actually.
“When we stand for social justice, we testify to the presence of the Kingdom.” –John Wimber
While the Vineyard was better known for healing and power evangelism back then, I think the issue of justice for the poor was just as important to John. It is just not what draws the masses to conferences. People want to hear about healing, not ministry to the poor.
However, you could not be more biblical to understand that in our justice, we are releasing the Kingdom of God through us.
The spiritual almost always a practical parrell and the Kingdom of God is spiritual but it has a practical application: ministry to the poor.
John Wimber marked his life with the concept that we should take a portion of our time, our treasures and our talents to give to those in need. He believed that we was to redeem people and to care for them as people, not just as lost souls.
As an Evangelist, it is easy to lose touch with the humanity of the world. We see people rushing the altars but each them have a story and many need justice to overcome their issues. They likely can’t do on their own.
He also hold that view that the poor have an impartation for us just as much as we can physically help them. They have a word, a song, and a hymnal to release unto the Bride of Christ. We need to allow them the opportunity to do so but help with through social justice.
“We will never step out of our middle class mindset and do anything for the poor until we’ve caught God’s heart for them. Our actions will change when our heart is changed.”—John Wimber
He was a prophet of Justice
At one point, he was said to have told pastors that they should live very modest lives so they could invest as much as possible into helping the less fortune. He told to live on less so they could give liberally to the Kingdom works and to social justice.
The reason I believe that he was a prophet crying out is this went against everything that most Charismatics believed at that time. This was the late 1980’s when the prosperity movement was in full operation. Living modest was a hallmark of the word of faith.
He was like a modern Jeremiah that cried with fire in his bones for the famous to Jesus to be known, not how blessed a televangelist could become. Wimber really went against the grain on so much.
In fact, he told a group of pastors once that greed and materialism was the two things was undoing healing ministries globally. He was not impressed with Italians suits and private jets. It just wasn’t the Wimber way.
“The same Lord who gives sight to the blind and creates miracles through our hands is the very One who feeds the hungry through our hands and watches over the immigrant. We must never ignore the poor & needy. We must never spend any outpouring of Gods Spirit on ourselves.”—John Wimber
Have we fallen short?
I am not here to throw stones at anyone but there is one area that I believe in our ministries, we have become anti-poor: Conference ministry! I have watch this get out of control. Meetings that use to be free or very cheap (only to pay the travel for speakers) are starting to get into the $100 mark.
If a person is struggling to put food on the table but has the time to go to a meeting; we should not tell them to make a choice between dinner and impartation. I find this to be problematic for us and it is not the heart of Jesus.
I get that conferences are pricy and they cost a lot to put on. I have done them, I know that. However, we have to be more mindful of those who are hungry but can’t afford to pay the money to come. It really does happen.
I am not sure I have the answer on how to address this issue and if there is a good way to even address it. It could be a serious challenge to do something in either direction.
However, we can’t exclude the poor from receiving just because they can’t pay a day wages to attend the conference. I do know that.
I have had Darren Wilson’s book Filming God on my Amazon Kindle for some time (downloaded it during his free day, thanks Darren) and just had it in line. It was after reading a book about Smith Wigglesworth and reading Daniel Kolenda’s new book. I must say it was in good company.
My journey with Darren is very, very loose. I use to see a girl very shortly (as in weeks) that was a student of his as a professor at Judson University. She gave me an email to him because he was looking for people who knew people in revival for a film he was trying to do. It was his first film, Finger of God.
Outside of being Facebook friends and have a chat here and there about camera gear and camera stuff; I do not have much of a relationship to him. With that said, our mutual friends in real life is growing. We run in the stream of the river of God.
Is Filming God about God Stories?
In his book, he openly says the following,
Do people lie about the spiritual things that happen to them? Of course they do. Could some of these people be lying to me? I would be naive if I said no. But no one ever told me a story because they thought I might put it in a book. Many times the camera wasn’t even rolling. There is little motivation to lie.
While I would not go as far as say people lie about them, even though I do know of cases that they happened and it is sin when it does happen. I think more often, people do not know the different between imaginations and the prophetic. It can lead to some people coming up with some pretty wild ideas about God, the Kingdom and especially revival.
This is especially true when it comes to raising the dead! As a standard, if you claim you have raised the dead, you better get medical verification or people will eat you alive. Hank Hanegraaff lives for things like this.
With that said, people DO have wild experiences with the Holy Spirit. I tend to believe that God could be moving in their dream life and prayer journey more that He is not. The world is full of doubting Thomas wannabee. I might be from the Show Me State but I tend to trust people’s spiritual encounters.
I am glad to see that Filming God is full of faith, not doubt. What we need is people telling us what is possible in the Holy Spirit, not why we shouldn’t expect Him to speak.
How do you discern God Stories?
Well, there is a test that I use. It is really three simple questions and if the answer is yes to each of them; I accept it as from the Holy Spirit.
- Is it the heart of the Father?
- Is it in accordance with message of Jesus?
- Is it in line with the history of the Holy Spirit?
The heart of the Father is one of love for humanity and one of protection from Evil. If someone has a prophetic experience, is the heart of the Father revealed through their experience. If they came to me with a “God is pissed off” message; I discard it right away. God is not mad at humanity. He loves them enough to send His Son to die for their sins. (If you need more information, Check out Floyd McClung’s book on the Fatherhood of God)
The gospel of Jesus, red letters, are the center point of the faith. Any prophetic experience will bring the gospel closer to the hearts of men. I believe in the prophets, Pauline letters and the epistles but I put the words of Christ on a whole new level. If your encounter does not make you burn more for souls and give you a new passion for the lost; Sorry but I question if it is from the Lord of the Harvest.
The Holy Spirit has a long history of speaking. He has been speaking for a long time to alot of people. He doesn’t change. Does your spiritual experience line up with what the Holy Spirit has been speaking to us over the last decade to a century? Runaway prophetic experiences can’t be trusted.
What about the person having the experience?
So you noticed I did not talk at all about the messenger in judging the prophetic encounter? You are right. I do not determine what the Holy Spirit is saying based on who He is speaking it through. Church history is full of screw ups with all types of problems that God used powerfully. Where would be with the Charles Fox Parham, a known cold molester? What about the self-kidnapped Aimee Simple McPherson? Healing ministry would not be where it is today with self-proclaimed Elijah, aka, John Alexander Dowie or the drunk A.A. Allen. The Jesus People movement started using flaming homosexual on a acid trip known as Lonnie Frisbee.
While there is a place and a time to do a “fruit inspection,” I do not believe trashing a prophetic word that gives life and deliverance is the right thing to do. The Bible is full of screw ups that God used. He is even know to have a jackass prophesy.
Randy Clark, a traveling minister, that started the renewal in Toronto, that is led by John and Carol Arnott, said one of the early prophetic words he saw in his Baptist church was from a man known to be a complete hypocrite living a double life. God really does use the foolish to conform the wise, doesn’t He?
Is filming God worth reading?
It is very much worth a read. It will encourage you to go deeper in the Spirit and have more expectation for the Kingdom of God to be tangible in your life.
I am done with doubting people’s experiences and treating prophetic people guilty until proven innocent. I have had enough of that for my lifetime and the next. I just don’t see a need for it anymore.
As we grow in the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know the Lord of the Harvest better, (Eph 1:17) I hope we can move towards “Come, Holy Spirit, do it today,” instead of doubting every prophetic word that we hear.