Imagine if you went to school and all your teacher did was goofed around; Not a bad idea at all, if you like to play with your Xbox , racing cars plus listen to music. I think that teacher would be the coolest ever! But here is where we would have a problem- Test time. After all, we would have nothing to recall since we hardly studied. I think you understand where I am going with this, God said to tell you that it is test time in the Body of Christ and like Jesus in Luke 4, we must be able to apply the Word correctly as the devil will use the scriptures, by twisting them to delude the people of God. He did it to the First Adam and the Second Adam, what say you and I the children of Adam?
The late John Wimber, conservative professor turned charismatic pastor died being misunderstood. This stalwart, famous for his network of churches called Vineyard Churches, was ostracized and pushed to the side in the latter end of his life. This happened when he trumpeted for more biblical teaching and sound practices. He is especially famous for parting fellowship with Toronto Airport Church, which came to fame for the Father’s Day Revival (began 1994 and lasted until late 1990s). This revival bore much fruit as it drew many from around the world and sent out a new style of missionaries back into the world.
However, Toronto Airport Church was more than that. It was popularly known for the laughter, weird animal sound and kundalini type manifestations. Many in the Church found a way to discredit this move of the Spirit; and when this apostle and pioneer spoke up and said these experiences must be filtered through the Word, so many rose up and accused him of being a “Pharisee”. He made a bold decision to have the pastor of the revival “clean things up” or lose charter status as a church belonging to the Vineyard. When nothing changed, Wimber stood valiantly and dismissed Toronto Airport Church. He was vilified for that. Personally,I believe Toronto Revival was a case of a child with the right mother but the wrong father – sired by false teachings she has gotten into bed with. (I consider this a bold and risky statement but one worth being said).
Here is an excerpt from Carol Wimber’s memoir of her husband, “The Way it was”:
That’s all there was to the ‘JOHN WIMBER REJECTS PROPHETIC’ idea. He never rejected the prophetic. He attempted to correct some of the doctrine of the prophetic people and was successful to one degree or another. He attempted to discipline Bob Jones, but he didn’t reject the prophetic gifts. He loved and welcomed the whole spectrum of the Holy Spirit.
It was a similar situation with the Toronto outpouring. There was never anything but gratitude to the Lord for the time of refreshing. The problem was with the focus. John felt strongly that the focus of a revival couldn’t be the revival itself [or the physical manifestations that occur sometimes in the presence of the Holy Spirit].
God saw trouble in Israel when the number of teaching priests got to nil. Heaven knew God’s people were in trouble.
Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.(2 Chronicles 15:3)
John and Carol Arnott, still yet are of a purer breed than some of these charismatic guys around today. Sadly, the Church itself is filled with men who only care about the figures more than they do the letters. Money and the number of attendees are the major concerns; No longer the letter of the Word. Multiply the money if you can, but remember we are to divide the Word of God(2 Timothy 2:15).
The writer of Hebrews mused over the lack of structure in the Church and tied that to the lack of teaching among the believers. Surely, just like school we cannot matriculate until we have passed the test.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat (Hebrews 5:12).
Here are some things to think on:
- Prayerfully read through the whole bible before attempting to preach it.
- Try to understand the culture of the time and also the context of the writer.
- Get several different versions of the bible, including the King James Version.
- Find a local church where the believers are encouraged to read the Word and the Bible is taught.
My hope is that the Churches in Jamaica and the wider world will be strong because of the Word and Spirit.
Love and Life,