The Toronto Blessing
A Counterfeit Revival Spirit-controlled “Holy Laughter”

Senior Toronto Pastor John Arnott warned, “If you play it safe with this thing, the Holy Spirit,
you know what? You're never going to get anywhere …
I don't want you to even entertain the thought that you might get a counterfeit.”

“Toronto Airport Vineyard” tape Friday Dec. 16 1994
Counterfeit Revival – Hank Hanegraaff p.112

A secret and deceptive spirit called the “Toronto Blessing” is at work invading the church today. It has entered many who call themselves Christians. “Toronto Blessing” leaders are against using the Bible to test the “Toronto” spirits to see if they are from God. Toronto leaders and advocates say “God is doing a new thing” based on their feelings, contact with spirits and counterfeit signs and wonders, not on the “old” Bible. Thus they put their feelings and experiences above God's truth as recorded in the Bible.

Redefining the Trinity
Counterfeit revival leader and Senior Pastor, Carol Arnott, spoke with a spirit she calls the Holy Spirit, who told her, “'You know, the Father, and Jesus and I have been together for all of eternity. But when Jesus went back to Heaven to be with God the Father, I came to earth.' And He said, 'I am so lonely for Jesus.' He said, 'So that when people really, really love Jesus, and really honor Him,' He said, 'I love to be around those kinds of people.'” … Carol went on to say, “He misses Jesus, and He misses the Father.”
Revivalist, Jesse Duplantis, in one of his mystical trips to heaven, learned the Holy Spirit is separated from God the Father and Jesus, “I actually understand the Trinity physically now. I've seen Jesus come out of Jehovah-Elohim-God. And I asked that angel; now, you know kind of a dumb question. I said, 'Where is the Holy Spirit?' And the angel looked at – and I could see it in his eyes like, 'This boy ain't got a lot of sense.' I said, 'I see God the Father, I see Jehovah-Elohim-Yahweh. I see Christ Come out of Him. Where's the Holy Spirit?' And he just said, 'Jesse, He's on the Earth' I said, 'Yeah, that makes sense.'”

The Toronto Blessing Vs Discernment
Author Rick Joyner is considered by many within Toronto's Renewal and Revival movement to be a “Prophet” and/or “Apostle.” In chapter 9 of his book, Epic Battles of the Last Days, Joyner teaches 25 “Warning Signs of a Religious Spirit.” I will examine the following “Warning signs,” because they attack Christians who would discern Biblical Truth from error.
Warning Sign #
  1. “Will often see as his primary mission the tearing down of what he believes is wrong.” This sign uses the emotional words, “tearing down,” to skew the way listeners view the discerning Christian. “Tearing down,” is used against the Christian who says, “The Bible says…” This sign leaves no room for the Christian who biblically judges the “Toronto Spirit” as wrong. Coming against Joyner's belief system is all that is needed for a person to be labeled as having a “Religious Spirit.”
  2. Unable to accept rebuke … The assumptions are: 1) Joyner's belief system is the correct one.
  3. Anyone against his beliefs is incorrect or unbiblical. 3) Toronto has the authority to rebuke.
  4. Will not listen to men – only to God. This sign is written for anyone who would hold firmly to biblical instructions that disagree with “Toronto.”
  5. “Will be inclined to see more of what is wrong with other people, other churches, etc. than what is right with them.” The Toronto adherents find fault with the Christian who is being careful to test all things to see if they are from God. This sign was used against me because I disagreed with “Toronto” theology. Note the contradiction; this sign finds fault with anyone else who finds fault.

  1. “Will believe that he has been appointed to fix everyone else.” Joyner goes on to say the biblical discerner is “self appointed” and serves “only to keep the church in a state of annoyance and agitation if not causing serious division.” This sign nullifies the biblical directive to judge right from wrong. It denies the fact that God still calls some believers to be a “watchman on the wall.” Many pastors have this calling to protect the sheep.

  1. “Will be overly repulsed by emotionalism.” This instruction finds fault with anyone who disagrees with the gospel of emotions. The Toronto Blessing's hallmark is emotionalism. This is evident in its Holy laughter, falling down (Slain in the spirit), barking, mooing, howling and other kinds of animal noises. These emotional responses understandably repulse potential converts and Christians who disagree with the manifestations.
  2. “Will use emotionalism as a substitute for the work of the Holy Spirit…the Religious spirit will often take contradictory positions in its drive for self-preservation and exaltation.” Sign # 14 is against #15. With this combination we are wrong no matter what we do, when we disagree. In this section, Joyner mentions Jonathan Edwards. Like other Toronto Blessing leaders, He likes to quote Jonathan Edwards because of the weird manifestations that came about late in the Great Awakening. Edwards is quoted to prove points supporting the Toronto manifestations, when in fact, Edwards was against falling to the ground, shaking and quaking, or comatose manifestations. To say that he was against “faking the manifestations,” is very deceptive since he believed all the manifestations were false.

  1. “Will glory more in what God has done in the past than what God is doing in the present.” This sign is applied to Christians who quote Scripture against Toronto's theology or its signs and wonders.

  1. “Will have a tendency to reject spiritual manifestations that he does not understand.” This sign implies that the reason Christians reject these manifestations is because we don't understand them. It also implies that if we understood them we would accept them. This permits followers of the Toronto Blessing to ignore everyone's line of reasoning unless he has personally experienced “the blessing” with its manifestations. The only way anyone can understand the blessing is to experience the manifestations. This allows Toronto supporters to label anyone who disagrees and has not gone to Toronto, as unfit to judge. One of my former Pastors used this approach, stating he wouldn't listen to anyone who had not gone to Toronto.

  1. “Will overreact to carnality in the church.” This sign implies that we should be more tolerant of carnality in the church. Is Joyner into convicting the sinner of his sinfulness or changing him over long periods of time? “The critical person will go on to annihilate those who may be 60% carnal, but were 95% last year and are making progress …”
  2. “Will overreact to immaturity in the church. There is an immaturity that is acceptable to the Lord.” However, Hebrews 5:13-14 says “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” God's Grace tolerates our immaturity, but maturity is God's desire for us, according to the scriptures. Rather than condoning immaturity we should be promoting maturity and repentance.
  3. “Will be overly prone to base evidence of God's approval on supernatural manifestations.” This is the very thing that the “Toronto Blessing” advocates do themselves. (Refer to Sign 19)

Why Should I be Concerned? (Memory Verses)
- 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 Tim 2:17 – 18 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
- 1 Cor 5:12 – 13
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
- 2 Tim 4:1 - 4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men 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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
- 2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Titus 1:9 [An elder] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
- 2 Thes. 2:9 - 15 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. … So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
- 2 Cor 4:1 – 2 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

The Counterfeit Revival Hits Home
Recently a sermon was preached, in a local Baptist church, directly from Rick Joyner's book. The sermon dealt specifically with twenty of the warning signs of a religious spirit. The church leadership had been warned at least a year earlier that this Pastor had gone to Toronto and received the spirit. They also knew that he was leading a small group in a home, and had been taking other members of the church to Toronto. As a result of their decision to maintain the status quo, nothing was done to counter this counterfeit revival at its beginning. This example clearly illustrates how easily false doctrine can spread within our churches if we choose not to take action.

For Further Information Contact Marshall Almarode (509) 582-5627
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