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TORONTO BLESSING HELPLINE ARCHIVE DOCUMENT

Many Believers feel lost in the heady Toronto Blessing atmosphere. This false movement is still making its way around the world and it is not unusual for true Christians in areas not yet affected to wait in a state of anxiety. This need not be! There is much that Believers can do, both before and after this vile movement hits town. Without doubt the most important factors are: prayer, personal holiness, scripture knowledge coupled with understanding, and the courage to make a stand.

Prayer

We are referring to prayer as it is defined in scripture (see BTM article on prayer meetings). For present purposes, this means praying for the strength to stand against the pressures that WILL be put on you and on all who reject the 'Blessing'. It involves praying for those who are fellow Believers, by name and without ceasing. It also involves praying for the downfall of TB leaders and the movement itself, including charismaticism in general.

 

When it comes to corporate prayer, in ordinary prayer meetings or otherwise, be careful not to merely repeat the same tired format! The ONLY prayers that 'work' are those given specifically by God. Thus, true prayer is when we give back to God what He has given us to pray for. Groups should not think that just meeting together is enough. No - true 'corporate' prayer (the only corporate prayer allowed by God apart from representative prayer given by pastors, etc.) is when ALL members are given exactly the same burden at exactly the same time. This is what is described in scripture as true ‘corporate’ prayer!

When the unity of prayer has been established, go ahead and pray. Do not pray otherwise, for the words you utter will be worthless. You may think this is extreme but, my friends, the Toronto Blessing is extreme - and worse is to come! This is no time to fall back on tried and tested failures (for standard 'prayer meetings' are failures). Now is the time to begin afresh with the true path set out by the Lord, as found in His word. Now is the time to discover, at last, what real prayer is all about.

Personal Holiness

This is NOT the false charismatic 'holiness', or an 'holier-than-thou' attitude, but is the holiness that arises from a life given over to the Lord. It is a fact that those superficial Believers with scant Biblical knowledge and understanding who attempt (wrongfully) to 'cast out demons', invariably fall foul of their own ignorance as they, in turn, become attacked and oppressed. Likewise, lukewarm Believers who attempt to stand against the 'Blessing' without first knowing their own spiritual state, are heading for trouble.

The most important thing is the state of a Believer's heart, not the amount of knowledge he may have. God will do something with a heart given over to Him, but He will do nothing with a heart that cares little for His word or His will! Personal holiness is ALWAYS based on God's word and on His Truth. Charismatic claims to 'sudden' holiness and ‘sudden’ spiritual 'fruit' regardless of previous intentions, are therefore erroneous. Striving towards the goal; aiming to please the Lord at all times; praying for guidance; serving Him in humility and without thought of gain... these are the signs to look for.

Scripture Knowledge and Understanding

These two factors are bound together: knowledge can also mean 'understanding' in the Greek. However, knowledge generally means to read scripture, to pray that the Lord will implant it in the heart and mind, and to seek to use it wisely. Such knowledge is always growing and deepens day by day, unlike the often ridiculous and mistaken claim to 'knowledge' found in charismatics and non-charismatics alike.

The gaining of true knowledge is always accompanied by excitement and pleasure. Learning what God is saying to us is a marvellous and fulfilling experience. There is something new to learn, even if we read the same passages over and over! Of course, once we learn something we must pass it on to others. That is our responsibility, duty and love.

Many make excuses when it comes to knowledge: that it is the "pastor's job to learn the Bible"; or "I'm no theologian - I don't understand it", or "I believe what I believe and that's that!" and so on. Let's be blunt about it - every Believer has the responsibility to read his or her Bible and to deepen that knowledge continuously.

The reason why so many Believers have been duped by the Toronto Blessing is exactly because they have not bothered to gain in knowledge! It is to their shame. Now, Believers have NO CHOICE, for they either learn what God says to them, or they will go under, as wave after wave of charismatic nonsense crashes over them.

In teaching circles it is a fact that a sure test that a student has truly understood the knowledge he has acquired, is when he can repeat what he has learned in his own words. To be able to do this, the person must juggle with the underlying concepts. If he understands the concepts, then he will be able to reword what he knows. More than that, he will be able to use it as a basis for further study. In this way he builds up knowledge slowly and surely - something advocated by scripture: "precept upon precept...". There can be no substitute for gaining knowledge, and there is no way to do so suddenly and without effort!

The Courage to Make a Stand

Knowledge without understanding makes one a parrot, repeating formulae. Most Christians are like this: they repeat what they have heard, but have no idea what they are talking about. Thus, they do not understand their own faith, or what they say. When hard times arrive, then, they fail miserably, as their hotchpotch of ideas comes crashing down around their ears! Get to it! Prayerfully obtain knowledge, not for its own sake, but in order to please God. Ensure you understand it. Then, put it to use.

In the present climate, this means having the courage to make a stand against the Toronto Blessing and charismaticism, whether you are shy or outward-going. You do not have to always fight face to face, but you DO have to testify to your own faith and against the falsity of the 'Blessing' whenever the opportunity arises. Then, as others have discovered, the Holy Spirit will give you abundant blessings; in the New Testament, the Greek word means to press down (as in, say, a cup) and yet to overflow, continuously. He will enable you to stay firm and true, giving you a courage you would not be able to muster for yourself. And that is really the key - to act in His strength and not your own. God bless you in these days of trial.

© March 1995

Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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