THE STRANGE HISTORY OF PENTECOSTALISMPART 3 OF 3
Way ofLife Literature, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Way ofLife publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at theweb site -- http://wayoflife.org/~dcloud. The End Times ApostasyOnline Database is also located at this site. 360-675-8311(voice), 240-8347 (fax). firstname.lastname@example.org (e-mail)]
August 3, 1998 (David W. Cloud, FundamentalBaptist Information Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA98277) - The following is Part 3 of 3 of "The StrangeHistory of Pentecostalism" by David W. Cloud--
The ministry of Pentecostal healer ORAL ROBERTS(1918- ) presents another case study in confusion. Roberts claimsthat sickness is of the devil, and during the early years of hisministry, he claimed to be able to discern the demons of illnessthrough his right hand. He said that when he began his healingministry, the power of God flowed like a current of electricitythrough him, at times feeling as if "liquid fire" weresurging through his arm. A 1949 issue of his magazine, HealingWaters, described the visit of William Branham to a Robertshealing crusade in Tampa, Florida, noting: "Both had heardthe voice of God, both felt the healing power in their hands.Brother Branham in his left through vibrations, Brother Robertsin his right with power to detect the presence, names and numbersof demons." Roberts claimed that he "felt amanifestation of God's presence in his right hand" whichsupplied a "point of contact" between the believer andthe healing power of God, giving him "an assurance thatresulted in the healing of thousands of people" (Harrell, AllThings Are Possible, pp. 49, 50). In the early 1950s,Roberts began to promise his followers that their financial giftswould be returned to them by God seven fold. In 1954 he initiatedhis "blessing-pact," whereby he offered to pray thatany gift given to his ministry be returned "in its entiretyfrom a totally unexpected source" (Ibid., p. 49). In 1950Roberts claimed God had instructed him to tell people to expectJesus to return that year. In 1954 he predicted "a comingtogether of God's anointed for the final revival" (Ibid., p.50).
The cover of the March 1952, issue of HealingWaters featured "three great medical doctorscongratulating Oral Roberts." One of these was identified asDr. J.H. Miller, "outstanding medical doctor and presidentof a medical society of over 20,000 physicians." When aninquiry was made to the American Medical Association by twoPresbyterian ministers, it was learned that there was no recordof these "great medical doctors." Presbyterian pastorCarroll Stegall, Jr., attended Oral Roberts' crusades and didfollow-up interviews of those who were supposedly healed. Hetestified that there was no basis to support Roberts' claims.Writing in 1955 in the Presbyterian Outlook, Stegallconcluded: "I have never seen a vestige of change. Ichallenge any honest investigator to follow my technique and seewhether his findings do not agree with mine." Referring tothe Pentecostal healers in general, Stegall said:
"So far from curing, they often kill. Far from blessing, their arrival in a city is rather a curse, a misery, a racket, a destruction of faith in simple people."
In his biography of Oral Roberts, DavidHarrell, Jr., noted that John Kobler interviewed two individualsrecommended by Roberts as 'the most striking instances of cures.'Kobler reported that 'while both believed themselves healed, onehad never visited a physician, and the other had subsequentlyundergone surgery to remove a cancer'" (Harrell, OralRoberts: An American Life, Bloomington, Ind.: IndianaUniversity Press, 1985, p. 164).
A Toronto physician examined 30 people whopassed through Roberts' healing line, and he found no case ofhealing "that could not be explained, in terms ofpsychological shock or straight hysteria." At least one ofthe 30 had died.
Disasters have repeatedly overtaken Roberts'healing crusades. On September 8, 1950, in Amarillo, Texas, a64-year-old man died when he ran from the tent as it was beingbuffeted by a wind storm. Two days later, another wind stormdestroyed the crusade tent and sent 50 people to the hospital.Roberts sent William Branham to take his place in scheduledmeetings for the next two months. In 1951 an Alabama businessmandied while attending a Roberts crusade in Atlanta. In 1955 JonasRider died during a Calgary, Alberta, Canada, crusade. In 1956,Mary Vonderscher died twelve hours after appearing on Robert'stelevision program to testify of her healing. In January 1959, a64-year-old man died during a campaign in Oakland, California. InMay 1959, a three-year-old girl died during a healing crusade inFayetteville, North Carolina. An elderly Indian woman died on herway to that crusade. In July 1959, a woman died after believingherself healed in a Roberts crusade.
Please understand that we are not gloating overthese tragedies. These are very sad events and there is no joy inrelating them. The reason we do so is that Oral Roberts, togetherwith many of his latter rain Pentecostal friends, claims thatphysical healing is guaranteed in the atonement of Jesus Christ.They claim that the apostolic sign gifts are operative today.These claims must be taken seriously. If physical healing in thislife is guaranteed in the atonement, if special healing giftsbelong to Christians today, if God wills that Christians behealthy and prosperous, it will be evident. These facts from thevarious latter rain leaders show that their claims are not true.They have the same problems, the same sicknesses, the sameafflictions, the same financial difficulties, as Christians whodo not believe in Pentecostal doctrine.
Another popular Pentecostal "faithhealer" of our day is MORRIS CERULLO, who took over theHeritage USA properties after Jim Bakker was convicted andsentenced to prison. Cerullo teaches that healing is in theatonement, and he practices the supposed "word ofknowledge" ministry of identifying healings which are takingplace in his meetings. In a 1976 mailing, Cerullo referred tosomething new in his ministry called a "Revelation-HealingInstitute" through which he predicts "unusualmiracles--miracles that require deep penetration of theSpirit" (F.E.A. News & Views, FundamentalEvangelistic Association, Nov.-Dec. 1976). At his healingcrusades Cerullo proclaims that "it is God's will to healevery person" (Calgary Herald, Calgary, Alberta,June 6, 1987), yet those with obvious sicknesses--such as thosein the wheelchair sections--go back home disappointed.
The September 1992 issue of the EvangelicalTimes contained the following information about Cerullohealing crusades:
"Miss Audrey Reynolds attended a Morris Cerullo healing crusade in London and believed she was healed of a brain abnormality. She stopped taking her medicine and, as a result, suffered a fatal brain seizure. Sir Montague Levine, the Southwark Coroner, told the inquest, 'It was a tragedy that she went to this meeting and thought she was cured of everything. Sadly, it led to her death.'
"Andrew Fergusson, a general practitioner for ten years and currently the General Secretary of the Christian Medical Fellowship, was present at the Earl's Court meetings. He recently wrote, 'The healing miracles of the New Testament were instant, total reversals of obvious, organic disease which nobody could argue with, and indeed that was the gold standard Cerullo set by his advertising. We saw nothing verifiable that approached this'" (Evangelical Times, September 1992, reprinted in Australian Beacon, Oct. 1992).
Foundation magazine, published by theFundamental Evangelistic Association of Los Osos, California,wisely warns: "Multitudes have been discouraged and ledastray by so-called faith healers such as Cerullo. Their pathsare strewn with heartbreak and confusion. I realize that manyfeel it is wrong to speak publicly against supposed Christianpreachers such as this, but this type of thing is a greatwickedness. It is a serious matter to claim that God wants toheal every sickness" (Foundation, May-June 1980).
The ministry of the late JOHN WIMBER(1934-1997) is yet another case study in confusion. He was not aclassical Pentecostal, but he was definitely a key figure in themodern Charismatic movement. I heard him speak at the NorthAmerican Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization,held August 1990, in Indianapolis. Wimber said: "After Godhas given you his Son, why would he withhold healing from you?... Up in heaven the angels rejoice when they see the servants ofGod on earth doing the deeds of the Son and ministering in thepower of the kingdom. ... I believe right now that the Lord isreleasing healing angels among us and that they are here tominister on his behalf..." In spite of such claims, Wimber'shealing success was no better than that of any Bible-believingpastor who prays for his people. Five Christian medical doctorsattended a Wimber healing crusade in Leeds, England, andconcluded: "We saw no change that suggested any healing oforganic, physical disease. To encourage techniques which producehypnosis and hysteria, and to teach that one is learning how toexercise Kingdom rule over demons, disease and nature is false;it is a misrepresentation" (Dr. Verna Wright, "AMedical View of Miraculous Healing," chapter 11 of PeterMasters, The Healing Epidemic, London: The WakemanTrust, 1988, p. 213; Wright is chief of rheumatology at LeedsUniversity). During the Wimber crusade in Leeds, a girl with deeppsychiatric problems who fell down screaming and was pronouncedhealed had to be committed to a psychiatric hospital three monthslater. When questioned about his healing ministry in Australia inMarch 1990, Wimber testified that not all diseases are equallyresponsive to his healing ministry. He admitted that he had ahigh success rate for headaches and back aches but that of the200 Down Syndrome children he had prayed over none had beenhealed (Phillip D. Jensen, "John Wimber Changes HisMind!" The Protestant Review, July 1990). In otherwords, he could "heal" sicknesses which can be"healed" just as successfully by hypnotists andshamans, but he could not heal organic diseases. Having acceptedthe heresy of continued revelation, Wimber had no settledFoundation. He lurched from one unscriptural thing to another. Hepromoted the Kansas City prophecy movement in spite of itsmanifold heresies. The Kansas City prophets made the nutty claimthat prophets today do not have to be 100% accurate. Wimberexalted Paul Cain in spite of his Manifest Sons of God heresy. Heaccepted the Laughing Revival as a move of God, even though hequestioned some of the grosser manifestations. Though he diddismiss the Toronto Airport Vineyard, he allowed the LaughingRevival to sweep through large segments of the Vineyard movement,and he retained a close relationship with Toronto even after thedismissal. Wimber taught the heresy of "powerevangelism" throughout the world via his books and the"signs and wonders" conferences.
CHARLES AND FRANCES HUNTER
CHARLES (1920- ) AND FRANCES HUNTER (1916- ),also known as the Happy Hunters, are well-known charismatichealing evangelists of our day. The May 1986 issue of Charismamagazine stated that the Hunters were among the top 20 mostpopular and influential Charismatic leaders. The Hunters promotethe doctrine that healing is in the atonement and conduct"Healing Explosion" conferences to teach Christians howto heal the sick. They also distribute their healing seminars onaudio and video cassette. Hundreds of thousands have attendedtheir crusades in various parts of the world. Almost 200,000people attended the first 21 Healing Explosion meetings in theUnited States in 1985, and as many as 50,000 people attendedsingle crusades. Their annual budget was more than $2 million in1987.
The Hunters claim that "everySpirit-filled Christian can and should be healing the sick on adaily basis" (advertisement for Healing Explosion crusades).In How to Heal the Sick, the Hunters say: "Yes, itis God's will for you to be healed. You do not bring glory to Godby walking around sick, saying, I am being sick for the glory ofGod. Sickness does not bring glory to God -- healing and healthbring glory to God!" (p. 18).
In their Handbook for Healing, theHunters say, "There is nothing that will convince a sinnerof the reality of Jesus faster than witnessing a miracle"(p. 28). The Lord Jesus Christ taught that such a philosophy iswrong, that if people will not believe the Scriptures, they willnot believe even if they see someone rise from the dead (Luke16:29-31). In the Handbook for Healing the Hunters alsoteach that when Christians heal "a force field of powercomes out of you" and "the closer you are to theperson, the more power they will feel and receive" (p. 91).
The Hunters teach that "miracleevangelism" is part of God's end-time program and thatthrough this means a great ingathering of souls will precedeChrist's return. They claim that in June 1980 God gave them avision about worldwide miracle evangelism and instructed themthat healing is part of the message of salvation (How to Healthe Sick, p. 5). The Hunters also believe their ministry isa fulfillment of a vision allegedly received by Tommy Hicks in1961. He claims that he saw Jesus stretching forth his hands topeople throughout the world and that a stream of "liquidlight" issued forth from his hands to the people, signifyinghis miracle-working anointing upon end-times Christians. TheHunters published Hicks' alleged vision in their book How toHeal the Sick.
I have personally witnessed the Hunter'shealing meetings on two occasions, and both times the wheelchairbound people who attended left unhealed and extremelydisappointed. I did not see any significant healing at thesemeetings. During a healing crusade in the Philippines in January1988, Frances Hunter developed an eye infection and in spite ofattempts by the "healing teams" to heal her, she wasforced to go to a doctor and get medication. She was embarrassedto find a copy of their book How to Heal the Sick in thewaiting room of the doctor's office.
In a Hunter healing crusade in Long Beach,California, all of the members of the healing team caught a virusthat was moving through the area. Frances Hunter had to returnhome and spend 10 days in bed with this virus (MinistriesToday, Nov.-Dec. 1991, p. 28).
In a Honduras crusade in 1991 Frances Hunterinjured her knee and was unable to attend one of the meetings.
In 1989 the Hunters were ordered by a federaljudge to pay $300,000 to a 67-year-old California woman, EvelynKuykendall, who was injured when she was "slain in thespirit" at one of their meetings. She fractured her back andspent two months in the hospital from the injury sustained duringone of the Hunter's healing meetings (Francis MacNutt, Overcomeby the Spirit, p. 171).
While conducting a healing crusade in Englandin 1995, Frances Hunter broke her right heel and had to bebrought back to the States in a wheelchair.
In their book Handbook for Healing theHunters even give instructions for healing baldness: "Toheal baldness, command healing to the hair follicles and commandthe hair to be restored to normal growth" (p. 106). In spiteof their own instructions, both of the Hunters are partiallybald!
The Happy Hunters, as already noted in thisreport, promote the unscriptural Laughing Revival; and theirministry is characterized by the dangerous and unscripturalphenomena of "spirit slaying."
The Hunters teach people that they need tospeak in tongues to have God's miracle power. To receive the giftof tongues people are urged by the Hunters to stop thinking andto start muttering sounds so that God will allegedly take controlof their tongues. This is the instruction given by CharlesHunter: "In just a moment when I tell you to, begin lovingand praising God by speaking forth a lot of different syllablesounds; but not in a language you know, and don't try to think ofthe sounds. At first make the sounds rapidly so you won't try tothink ... Continue ... with long flowing sentences ... loudly atfirst" (Charles Hunter, Charisma, July 1989). Thisis foolish and unscriptural counsel.
In 1979 the Hunters published a book entitled Angelson Assignment which records alleged angelic visitationsexperienced by an Assemblies of God pastor named Roland Buck.Among other things, Buck claimed that an angel appeared to himand told him that Jesus Christ "didn't taste physical deathfor us." After being challenged about this statement byWalter Martin, this part of the book was rewritten, "leadingMartin not only to question the authenticity of these angelicvisitations but also to comment tersely, 'How can one edit anangel's words?'" (Foundation magazine, Jan.-Feb.1980, p. 21).
JAMIE BUCKINGHAM (1933-1992) was a popularCharismatic speaker and writer. He authored 40 books which sold20 million copies, and he was editor-in-chief for MinistriesToday magazine and editor-at-large for Charismamagazine. He pastored the 2,000-member non-denominationalTabernacle Church in Melbourne, Florida, was a consultant forWycliffe Bible Translators and was the president of the NationalLeadership Conference. Buckingham began his ministry as aSouthern Baptist pastor but after being "baptized by thespirit" at a Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship meeting,he became a Pentecostal.
Buckingham was a radical ecumenist who calledfor unity between Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, andPentecostals. In an article entitled "Bridge Builders"(Charisma, March 1992, p. 90), he said there is nohigher calling than ecumenical bridge building. He praised DavidDuplessis for building bridges between Pentecostals and RomanCatholics, and he praised Jewish rabbi Yechiel Eckstein forbuilding bridges between Jews and Christians. At the massive 1977Kansas City ecumenical-charismatic conference he warned: "Wecannot have unity based on doctrine. Doctrine will alwaysseparate the body of Christ ... the only way we can have unity isto have it around Jesus Christ." This is frightfullyunscriptural counsel. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim.3:16) and absolutely no false doctrine is to be allowed in thechurches (1 Tim. 1:3).
Buckingham taught that God has promised healingthrough Christ's atonement. In June 1990 he was diagnosed withcancer and was first told that it was inoperable. His wife andsome Charismatic leaders, including Oral Roberts, prophesied thathe would be healed. Buckingham claimed that God also spoke to himin the shower and told him that he would live to be "atleast 100 years of age in good health and with clear mind."In July 1990 he had an operation and the doctor told him that thedisease was limited to his kidney and that he had gotten all ofthe cancer and that he would be fine. In October 1990 Charismamagazine published Buckingham's testimony entitled"Healed!" In April 1991 Charisma magazinepublished another testimony by Buckingham entitled "MySummer of Miracles." Note the following excerpt from thatarticle:
"One day my wife ... suddenly spoke aloud [and] said, 'Your healing was purchased at the cross.' ... Here is what I discovered. You have what you speak. If you want to change something, you must believe it enough to speak it. ... If you talk poverty, you'll have it. If you say you're sick, you'll be (and remain) sick. was not mine. It was the devil's. I didn't have cancer. I had Jesus. The cancer was trying to have me, but the Word of God said I was healed through what Jesus did on Calvary. ... It was a Friday afternoon. The tape was an Oral Roberts' sermon ... I came up off the sofa, shouting, 'I'm healed!' My wife leaped out of her chair and shouted, 'Hallelujah!' For the next 30 minutes all we did was walk around the house shouting thanks to God and proclaiming my healing" (Jamie Buckingham, "My Summer of Miracles," Charisma, April 1991).
Ten months after the publication of thisarticle, on February 17, 1992, Jamie Buckingham died of cancer.Not only did Jamie Buckingham lead others astray with his falseteaching, but he deceived himself.
These examples could be multiplied exceedingly.Please note again that the individuals mentioned above are allrecognized leaders of the Pentecostal movement. They are alldescribed in the Dictionary of the Pentecostal andCharismatic Movements and are included in any importanthistory of the movement.
Please note, too, that we are not mocking abelief in the miraculous power of Almighty God. We know that weserve a mighty God who can do absolutely anything. We believe inHis miracle-working power, having experienced it in our own livescontinually for almost a quarter of a century. We have witnessedhealings in answer to prayer. We have seen the gloriousconversion of lost sinners. We have seen God provide our needs inmiraculous ways. I made one trip completely around the worldwithout any money. God performed a miracle at every step of thejourney. On that trip one man gave me a late-model automobile.Another man, a stranger, gave me a large sum of money. Many otherpeople gave me gifts which made it possible for me to continuethe journey. This was merely one of many such trips in which Icommitted myself into God's hands and witnessed a continualmiracle of divine supply. I know what it is like to serve amiracle-working God. I also know that God is God and that He doesthings His own way and according to His own time schedule. To saythat God did something a certain way in the past is not to saythat He is doing that same thing today. There was only onePentecost, and there was only one apostolic era. It had itsunique purpose, and it passed away. I believe in divine healing,but I don't believe in healing evangelists. I believe there aresupernatural gifts operating in the churches, but I don't believethe apostolic sign gifts are operating today.
The confusion and duplicity that has plaguedthe Pentecostal latter rain movement throughout the century arevery evident in the current Laughing Revival (otherwise known asthe Toronto Blessing and the Pensacola Outpouring). Many of theamazing healings claimed by the Laughing Revival have proven tobe deceptions. Commonly, when investigators attempt to verify the"healings," they find no evidence to back up theclaims. The Pensacola News Journal diligently attemptedto document miraculous healings which have been claimed at theBrownsville Assembly of God, but even after tracking some of thevisitors from other states, they were unable to obtain medicalverification for even one healing ("No medical proof of'miraculous healings,'" Pensacola News Journal,Nov. 20, 1997).
The leaders of the Brownsville Assembly of Godhave made many bold claims which have proven to be false. After afour-month investigation into the "PensacolaOutpouring," the Pensacola News Journal exposedmany deceptions and exaggerations. I have read the lengthyreports by the Pensacola News Journal as well as thebrief reply which the Brownsville Assembly placed on theInternet. In my estimation, the Brownsville Assembly's reply is asmoke screen which dodges many of the accusations. Others havealso seen this. A discerning look at this matter entitled"Problems with the Brownsville Response to the PensacolaNews Journal" is published on the web at
I have attempted to get more information fromBrownsville, but they have completely ignored my requests.
CLAIM: In hisautobiography Stone Cold Heart, Brownsville Evangelist Steve Hillclaims he was arrested 13 times. FACT:There are only four arrests which can be documented. CLAIM:Hill claims he was a heroin addict. FACT:He admitted to the Pensacola News Journal that this wasnot true and that he exaggerated the stories about his drug useto make a bigger impression. CLAIM:Hill claims to have wandered the country for three years, workingodd jobs and using and selling drugs. FACT:Employment records show he worked a full-time job in Huntsville,Alabama, during those three years. CLAIM:Hill claims he was expelled from high school. FACT:He admitted to the Pensacola News Journal that thisnever happened. Hill also admitted that other details of hispublished testimony are not accurate, that even some of the namesare made up. (This information is from the article "Hillsbio fraught with fallacies Revival leader admits he inflatedstories," Pensacola News Journal, Nov. 18, 1997).Again, we attempted to obtain more information from Brownsvilleabout these matters, but our request was completely ignored.
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claimed the revival has produced a significant decreasein crime in Pensacola and the surrounding area. FACT:The Escambia County Sheriff's Office crimes and arrestsstatistics show that crime actually rose in 1996 compared to1995, the year the revival began. Escambia Sheriff Jim Lowmansaid he can't see that the revival has had a great impact on thecrime figures. Escambia Sheriff 's Office statistics show thatjuvenile arrests almost doubled in 1996 compared to the yearbefore, increasing from 1,243 to 2,392 ("Escambia sheriffdisputes claims of crime reduction," Pensacola NewsJournal, Nov. 20, 1997).
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claim the revival is slowing illicit drug use in theirarea because of the conversion of drug dealers and users. FACT:Local authorities who head drug abuse treatment centers deny thisclaim. Leo Donnelly, executive director of a treatment centercalled The Friary, says admissions have climbed from 250 in1993-94 to 398 in 1996-97. The Twelve Oaks center says itsbusiness has almost doubled. None of the other treatment centersor drug abuse authorities contacted by the Pensacola NewsJournal cited a decrease in the problem. None were aware ofany specific cases of those who had left treatment because of theBrownsville revival.
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claim that law enforcement officers are so impressed bythe revival that on occasion they have hauled suspects into therevival instead of taking them to jail. FACT:That has never happened, Escambia Sheriff Jim Lowman said, and itsimply could not happen because it would be a violation of lawenforcement procedure. "We don't have any information thatindicates we have ever done that, nor has any other lawenforcement agency." Jerry Potts, Pensacola Police assistantchief, said that a number of people have asked him if there isany truth to that story. Potts said, emphatically, that none ofhis officers ever took such action (Ibid.).
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claim the revival's influence is cleaning upprostitution, drugs, and street crime in Brownsville and that therevival is touching their entire area after the fashion of sometrue revivals of old. FACT: Not true,residents say. "What has happened is the prostitutes havemoved closer into our community away from the church," DoriRice said (she lives a block from the church). "Now johnsare driving up and down the streets where our childrenplay." Roscoe Urbaniak, who has lived a few blocks fromBrownsville Assembly of God for 50 years, said other crimes areon the upswing, raising anxiety throughout the neighborhood. Hetold the News Journal that elderly neighborhood womenare afraid to come out of their homes because of a recent rash ofpurse snatchings (Kimberly Blair, "Neighborhood sees nobenefit from revival," Pensacola News Journal, Nov.20, 1997).
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claim the Pensacola "revival" beganspontaneously on June 18, 1995. FACT:In the weeks prior to June 18 many key members of the BrownsvilleAssembly, including the pastor's wife, visited Toronto, and theywere earnestly seeking the same experiences for Brownsville.Prior to June 18 a video of the Toronto experiences was shown tothe Pensacola congregation to encourage the congregation todesire the same thing. Prior to June 18, Pastor Kilpatrick talkedpersistently about bringing the Laughing Revival to Brownsvilleand threatened to quit if the church did not accept it("Pastors orchestrated first revival Hill's persistenturging pushed crowd to react," Pensacola News Journal,Nov. 19, 1997). Pentecostal Evangelist Steve Hill was notrandomly selected to speak at Brownsville on June 18. He wasselected by Pastor Kilpatrick because Hills was earnestlydesiring to be involved in the Laughing Revival and was searchingfor a place to conduct a long-running latter rain"revival." Hills had recently sought the LaughingRevival anointing at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, England.
CLAIM: Brownsvilleleaders claim that on June 18 a mighty wind blew through thechurch, that it affected everyone present, that great numbers ofpeople fell to the floor, that it was a mighty supernatural moveof God. FACT: The video recording ofthe June 18 service and testimonies of people who were theredisprove the claims. It is very evident, in fact, that the eventswere highly manipulated by Evangelist Steve Hill. When he firstinvited people to come forward for the laying on of hands, onlynine people fell, but Hill continued to cajole the crowd.Eventually another six fell, then a few more. It all appears tobe manipulated by Hill. In fact, so little happened in spite ofHill's shouting and demanding and wheedling, it is embarrassing.When people began to leave the church, Hill shouted at them notto leave. In apparent desperation Hill called for all thechildren to come forward. He told them that he was going to prayfor them and they were going to fall to the ground. In spite ofhis prodding, only one little girl fell down.
CLAIM: In their replyto the Pensacola News Journal, the Brownsville Assembly of Godclaims that the Journal was wrong in stating that there has beena large exodus of old-time members from the church. Following isthe exact statement which is posted at the Brownsville web site:"Since the revival began in the Brownsville Assembly of God,less than 150 previous members have cancelled or moved theirmembership, while 1530 new members have been added. Of thosemembers who were in the church for 25 or more years, none of themhave left because of the revival, and only 4 officials out of 27have left the church since the revival began. Simply stated,there has not been a mass exodus of members, contrary toallegations made by anonymous former members in theJournal." FACT: Though thisstatement might be true technically, it is an attempt to hide thereal situation. The fact is that a great number of Kilpatrick'sclosest acquaintances rejected his "revival." This isadmitted by John Kilpatrick. For example, in his message at theNational Church of God, Washington, D.C., June 7, 1997,Kilpatrick said: "We lost ALL of our best friends that wehad in this world over this move of God. We lost them ALL."Note the word "all." The Pensacola News Journalarticle in question was titled "Sadness, fear fill memberswho left Brownsville," Nov. 17, 1997. The Brownsville replyis a smoke screen. It merely dodges most of the assertions of theJournal's report. The Journal stated, forexample, that Kilpatrick claimed those who left were demonizedand that he gave prophecies that those who resisted the"revival" would suffer. Those assertions are true. Inhis message on June 7 in Washington D.C., Kilpatrick mentionedone church member who left because of the "revival,"and he specifically said that she was manifesting demons.
CLAIM: John Arnott ofthe Toronto Airport Church says the healing of Sarah Lilliman isa key example of the miracles being performed in the LaughingRevival. According to Arnott, Lilliman was like a vegetable,totally incapacitated, paralyzed, and blind. One of her friendsattended the Toronto church and after being slain in the spirithad a vision of Jesus telling her to go to Sarah, that He wasgoing to heal her. Arnott claims that Lilliman subsequently"rose up seeing." FACT: In CounterfeitRevival, Hank Hanegraaff exposes this false claim. He saysthe story is wildly embellished, that Sarah Lilliman was nottotally incapacitated, paralyzed, and blind, that her doctors haddiagnosed psychosomatic emotional problems underlying herphysical problems. "Today, despite the broad circulation ofthis story by Arnott and his associates as evidence of God'spower in the Toronto Blessing, Sarah Lilliman is still, asbefore, legally blind. Unfortunately, just as before, she and herfamily are continuing to struggle with her physical andpsychosomatic disorders" (Counterfeit Revival, p.60). Hanegraaff's testimony about Lilliman is confirmed intestimony available in the article "Jon Ruthven Admits HankWas Right,"
The Bible warns: "Mark them which causedivisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you havelearned, and avoid them" (Romans 16:17). Certainly thisapplies to the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. It has rightlybeen called the glue of the End Times Apostasy. The onlyprotection from it is to obey the Bible and separate from it.