by Antti Huima
There are three things that are often told to people going to receive ministry in meetings involved with the so-called Toronto Blessing. I'm going to describe these things shortly and show why they harshly contradict Bible; then I'm going to draw some conclusions.
"Another thing that hinders is people pray all the time. Praying in English or even praying in tongues. Mention the Holy Spirit and they start praying in tongues, you know. Our experience is that that will hinder substantially your ability to receive. And so I say to people, `Look don't pray.' It's hard to pour out and to pour in at the same time. It's like a bucket that's got a hole in it because you are pouring out in prayer. Stop and receive and let the Holy Spirit fill you. Be like a sponge and desire the Lord with everything that's within you. Every case that does that, they are on the floor receiving. People pray for you, that's your time to receive. Pray on the way out, you can pray later. Don't take control, you can take control later. The whole deal is, you lose control, He takes control. He gets you out of your comfort zone, makes you feel vulnerable, right? You can analyze it later can't you?" (John Arnott, at Holy Trinity Brompton, England, February 14, 1995)
This is not always commanded but it isn't quite unusual neither. People are told not to pray, because they cannot "soak" meanwhile they are "pouring out".
This is very clearly contradicting the apostolic teaching that we should pray continuously. Why should it hinder God's work that His people is praying? Whose work it should hinder indeed?
Did Jesus or the apostles ever teach that the Spirit of God gets disturbed of praying? All right, many people are nowadays praying just because they have used to do that (like John Arnott says). Still it doesn't make God's truth drain away. I don't pray because it's my custom; I pray because I need it. And in these meetings, I need it more than in many other places. Why I'm told not to do that?
This is a very common teaching. It clearly contradicts the teaching that we should be "alert", "clear-minded" and ready to discern different things on the basis of our knowledge of God and His Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
How can we discern things if we are told not to use our minds? With our feelings? With our senses? If we're to trust in our heart, feelings and different impulses coming from outside we are on our way to deception.
I once discussed with a man who had been in the New Age movement before he had repented and converted to believe in Jesus. I told that once, when I was in a Toronto meeting I felt how some kind of spirit was around me and tried to get inside me. I didn't understand what it was and so did my friends neither.
This man told me that it's just the same thing happening in the Occult and is very dangerous -- some spirits trying to take hold of you. Moreover he told that it feels bad only so long the spirit isn't inside you. After getting inside, everything feels fine, very great indeed.
Another guy told me that once this kind of spirit/power had went to him and it felt "quite good, not bad at all". It felt good so long he didn't stand against it... then it began to feel bad. Ok, perhaps it was the spirit of God, and when the guy began to oppose, He got grieved? The story ends so that he detached from the spirit in the name of Jesus and all the feeling disappeared leaving a sense of cleaness and holiness.
I don't know that guy further and don't know if he indeed is reliable or not. It's just interesting that it was quite the same thing I had experienced.
This contradicts the clear teaching that we should: discern spirits, not believe every spirit in the world, beware of false spirits etc. Bible never tolds us to receive freely what comes from the supernatural world; instead it tells us to test things.
It's said that if somebody opens himself to the supernatural world without questioning, he's just asking for trouble. If you "open your heart" (a phrase that isn't found in the Bible neither) and turn off your discerning mind, you can't be sure whether you're really getting God or not.
God's work will be not hindered by people who are careful about what they get into the dwelling place of God's Spirit. I think it's just honoring God's work that people don't want to receive "freely" anything inside them. Instead, people who don't question things and just get what ever is given are in the worsiest cast defiling the heart God is owing.
If people are not obedient to God in these three major points: praying to God when encountered by a new, strange phenomenon; being ready to alertly discern things, whether they are of God or not; and discerning spirits whether it's Holy Spirit who is affecting (or trying to affect) you or not, it's definitely not strange if something really happens that don't need to be from the God of the Bible.