Chapter One

A CAN OF WORMS - DRAFT How I was thrust into an unexpected and terrible conflict concerning religious experiences
“So what do you think about Rodney Howard Browne and all the weird stuff that’s going on in some of his meetings?” I was attending an intensive inductive Bible study workshop and for three days, our class had been so immersed in studying the heavenly truths in Colossians, I had given little thought to contemporary events. However, during the question and answer period at the end of the seminar, I was jolted back to earth when one of the students brought up what had become a hot topic in the news. I had a feeling this group might be somewhat less than enthusiastic about the South African revivalist’s style but I was not prepared for the intensity of their reactions. With a collective gasp, the entire class began discussing the “dreadful events” taking place in the Body of Christ as a result of what the media dubbed “The Holy Laughter Movement.” Simply put, these non-Charismatic evangelical believers were horrified by this alleged revival. Having gone to a conservative denominational college for a couple of years, I suspected this group might have some misgivings, especially in light of the unusual nature of the physical phenomena associated with the movement, but utter horror? I must confess that as a member of a charismatic church that had embraced and was actively participating in the Holy Laughter Revival I was puzzled. These people were dead certain that Howard Browne was a false teacher and the movement bogus. What a stark contrast to the leaders of my church who said it was God. This provoked an immediate question—what was true? Normally, it would have been easy to write off my study group’s concerns as being typical of non-Charismatic evangelicals. At this point in my life, I was typically Charismatic in believing most Christians who did not believe miraculous spiritual gifts were for today usually over-reacted to anything supernatural but this time I could not be so smugly dismissive. This was the second three-day workshop I had attended with this group and with all due respect to my Charismatic friends, I had never been with people who so carefully and lovingly handled God’s Word. In our circles, we had a tendency to stereotype non-Charismatic believers as being overly concerned with doctrine and “theological correctness.” However, as the class progressed, my preconceived notions crumbled. I did not see these believers as “nit-picky” nor did I see them as holding to dry or dead orthodoxy. Instead, I was humbled not only by my instructors’ knowledge of Scriptures but also by their quiet confidence in God and radiant passion for Jesus. Even though I saw certain biases surface at times, I came to deeply respect the integrity of their approach when it came to studying and handling Scripture. Total objectivity is a myth but as much as humanly possible, the workshop instructors refrained from expressing personal opinions, even when we begged them to explain things to us. Steadfastly, they taught us how to dig for truth ourselves. The importance of learning to study for myself was freshly underscored as our church had just come through some difficult waters. Since I had seen the painful consequences of deception first-hand, by the time I attended my first study workshop I was already in the process of re-examining some of my foundational beliefs. For this reason, I was thankful when, in the initial session, we were challenged to do our best to lay aside pet theories and doctrinal presuppositions in order to carefully observe the Word in context and let it speak for itself. I began to see that a great deal of my faith, more than I cared to admit, was built on a hodge-podge of teachings I had absorbed over the years—some were fine and solid, but some were questionable. I realized that I had studied and read many books about the Bible but when opinions clashed, which they often did, I felt insecure in my ability to interpret the Scriptures. If gifted, anointed teachers could not agree, how could I know if my conclusions were sound? What then? Should I just pick and choose what sounded reasonable to me? Learning principles for effective


study proved to be immensely beneficial throughout the following year as I asked questions and searched the Scriptures. Little did I know then how crucial these study skills would become in the months to follow. I was still in the process of re-evaluating certain issues when Rodney Howard Browne came to St. Louis for a four-week campaign in spring of 1994. Strange and Unusual Days Long before the Holy Laugher Revival began, our pastor had met and developed a friendship with Arthur Wallis, author of God’s Chosen Fast. When Arthur visited our young congregation, he would speak to us about the benefits of revival and how it could change the course of nations. As we listened and learned from him personally, then read his book In the Day of Thy Power, an increasing hunger began to grow within our hearts to see God move in the United States. Many in our local church began faithfully praying towards this end. Later, when we heard about what was happening in Rodney Howard Browne’s meetings, our spiritual antennas went up. Was this it? Was this the beginning of the long awaited revival many had been praying for? Several members of our church trekked to St. Louis for Howard Browne’s meetings to see for themselves. At the urging of a friend, our pastor investigated, concluded it was God, and encouraged more of us to go. Still others made the trip, coming home with incredible reports of people being filled with the Holy Spirit. Not wanting to miss anything God might be doing, I too went to several meetings. In a typical gathering, we would worship, Rodney Howard Browne would share stories from his ministry, have people give testimonies about what happened after they received a “touch from God,” and talk about giving, but the main attraction was what he called the “signs and wonders”. Sometimes, without Howard-Browne doing anything at all, people would break out in hysterical laughter or jump up out of their seats and run around the auditorium at what looked like hyper-speed. Clusters of people would slump to the floor in a trance-like state and lay there for hours. When Howard-Browne would lay hands on people, some would shake, jerk, convulse or appear to be drunk. Though I had been involved with the Charismatic movement for several years and had witnessed some strange things, I had never seen such unusual physical manifestations. (For those who have never been to a renewal meeting, a “manifestation” is a word used to describe the way people react physically when they were having a supernatural experience.) Howard Browne explained people were laughing because God was pouring out the new wine of the Spirit and wanted us to be “drunk” with joy. Some people from my church were being dramatically affected yet as we talked among ourselves several of us struggled not just with the strangeness of the phenomena but also with certain aspects of Rodney Howard Browne’s attitudes and teachings. From the very beginning, he called those who disagreed with him Pharisees and made statements about his ministry and anointing/spiritual gifts which discouraged questions. He spent quite a bit of time defending himself from the critics, talking about what happened when people opposed a move of God. Several times he said it was only the “religious” people who got offended and left his meetings, referring to them at times as “deadheads.” It was hard to understand what was happening. Because I personally knew several people who were experiencing some of the physical phenomena I simply could not attribute all that was taking place to mass hysteria or people getting worked up in “flesh.” There was definitely something supernatural at work in the meetings. Was it Satan? At the time, it seemed highly improbable. Though later I discovered otherwise, I had never heard of genuine believers being bodily overwhelmed in such a powerful fashion by anyone or anything other than God. Plus, even though aspects of Rodney Howard Browne’s presentation were troubling, since he was preaching Christ and not some strange New Age religion, it seemed logical to conclude that in spite of some of the unusual manifestations, God was involved.


As more and more people in our congregation made the trip to St. Louis for Howard Browne’s meetings, excitement and anticipation began to ripple through our home church. One night our pastor prayed for some people after service and they fell backwards over their chairs. I don’t know who was more surprised—our pastor or the people who fell. Random, spontaneous events like this began to happen more frequently in our meetings. Up to this point, only a scattering of individuals in our local church had received a “touch from God” but on one Saturday night in April 1994, the movement began to influence our congregation on a much wider scale. Once a year, usually in the spring, we customarily set aside a week to fast and then gather for three days of special meetings in order to seek the Lord. C. J. Mahaney, a pastor from Maryland whom we respected and loved had agreed to conduct the services. At that time, he was still skeptical of the Holy Laughter movement and had not embraced it, a point which I make to highlight the fact that on that first night there was absolutely no manipulation or hype by a charismatic leader or any attempt to “get something going.” On the first night of meetings, C.J. gave a challenging teaching on trials from James 1. The next night he intended to teach a sobering message about Solomon. The service started like many others with a prolonged and lively worship session. It took an unusual turn however, in that during this time, several members of our congregation began to giggle. We took a break between worship and the sermon but when we came back to our seats, some people were still smiling and trying to suppress laughter. In spite of this, C.J. started to teach. As the words, “perhaps the greatest tragedy in the Bible is the life of Solomon,” came out of his mouth, the giggling experienced by some during worship erupted into overt laughter. C.J. tried his best to ignore it and continue but the laughter increased. He consulted with the elders and tried once again to speak. Still more laughter. He could not preach. Finally, he confessed he was not sure what to do. He simply asked all those who were effected to come forward. When they converged in front, the laughter intensified to the point that many of them doubled over, fell on the floor and continued laughing uncontrollably—some for an hour or two. The rest of us who were not experiencing these things did not know what to do, so we awkwardly stood around and watched until our pastor suggested that we line up around the walls of the sanctuary. He then encouraged those who were laughing to lay hands on the rest of us and pray that we too would be “touched by God”. Some of those laughing had to be carried from person to person and some crawled as they had little control over their bodies. People began to pray for one another. It went on this way for the rest of the night. Some had such intense physical experiences they could not drive and needed help getting home. For others, nothing happened. If you have never attended a “revival” meeting like this, you may think this behavior sounds foolish and wonder why we would go along with such things but you must understand our mindset as a congregation. Because of our association with Arthur Wallis, some of us had read a little about revival. We knew strange things happened and that people were sometimes physically overpowered during a spiritual outpouring. We were not particularly shocked by the unusual manifestations, as someone might be who had never heard of such things. Also, when the movement started in our church, we were not praying for something to happen. We had simply come together to seek the Lord and hear good, sound preaching which is exactly what C.J. Mahaney tried to deliver. The people who were first overcome with laughter were not flamboyant exhibitionists. In fact, some of them were the least likely people to demonstrate this type of behavior. And it was clearly out of their control. We had not worked up something “in the flesh.” Quite the contrary—C..J. Mahaney and our leaders had done their best to suppress the outbursts of laughter so we could hear the teaching but they were unsuccessful. From all we had read about revival, what we had seen at Rodney Howard Browne meetings, and what we had just witnessed in our meeting, based on what we knew at the time, it was hard to conclude that it was anything other than God.


In the weeks that followed, our pastor shared many excerpts from the writings of Jonathan Edwards describing the phenomena that occurred during the Great Awakening of 17341743. This served to relieve doubts and to reinforce the thought that this was indeed God. We were encouraged to read Edwards’ book about revival called The Distinguishing Marks of the Holy Spirit in which he gives a detailed exposition for testing spirits based on I John 4:1. Our pastor also read accounts of jerking, barking, dancing, singing, and laughing that had been recorded during the Cane Ridge Revival in Kentucky and other outpourings. Christian History magazine published by Christianity Today released two issues about revival and related subjects giving credence to the fact that yes, strange and unusual things do happen during revival. In light of all this evidence, we were encouraged to overcome our fear of deception and jump into “The River,” which, based on passages from Ezekiel 47: 1-12, is what the revival was called at times. Personally, I was still torn. I heard testimonies of what God was doing in the lives of some but others had not been “touched” at all. One man said he began to feel like a wallflower at a high school dance when he came to church. Those who “had it” were having a party while those who did not “have it” were relegated to standing around and watching. For some this became a real struggle of faith. If this experience was as vital to our Christian life as some were saying, why didn’t God give it to everyone? Some of the rhetoric was distasteful and bordered on irreverence. Rodney Howard Browne billed himself as the “Holy Ghost Bartender.” We sang a song about “drinking new wine down at Joel’s Place” and when people laid hands on each other and prayed, phrases like “have a double” and “pass the wine,” were frequently used. Some would even blow or wave their hands over others as if sending the wind of the Spirit their way. Oddly enough, certain people would experience physical manifestations when this was done. Some of the theological reasoning under-girding aspects of the movement was weak and far-fetched. In reality, there was more talk about getting filled with the Spirit and “jumping into the river” than of Jesus. The focus of many messages was on the importance of having an experiential encounter with the Holy Spirit rather than Christ. What kept us on this path in spite of some of the seemingly outrageous behavior was Jonathan Edwards’ observation that in the beginning of revival people often do not know how to respond to such unusual happenings and at times do immature or even fleshly things. Even if there was error and excess, he believed it was important to further the work of God by promoting revival while giving leadership time to make corrections. Yes, there was some silliness and disturbing behavior but how could you explain the reports of changed lives if God was not somehow involved? Also, I felt somewhat better when our elders, along with Terry Virgo, an international leader from England who was mentoring our church at the time, talked to Rodney Howard Browne personally. They decided that even though they did not agree with some of his doctrine or attitudes toward the local church, his anointing to stir up revival was from God. Because I could not reconcile my misgivings with the good reports, I decided that, as was often suggested from the pulpit, the hesitation I felt was probably due to fear or over analysis. So I did something that I now would not advise anyone to do—I suppressed my “red flags” and began actively seeking a “touch from God”. Nothing happened to me at the Rodney Howard Browne meetings I attended or at first, even in our local church. My initial encounter with “holy laughter” happened unexpectedly at a little Vineyard church in St. Louis, which was pastored by Randy Clark, one of the leading figures in the contemporary revival movement. During the ministry time, I was sitting in a pew praying with someone when I started to chuckle spontaneously. A woman who was praying with others on the platform noticed and began to “blow the Spirit” towards me (just like blowing wind on someone). She motioned to revival leader, Randy Clark to come and lay hands on me. When he prayed, my giggles erupted into full-blown laughter. I cannot quite describe the experience except that I was still aware of people around me but they seemed far away, like I was viewing them through the wrong end of a telescope. For the most part, I lost awareness of people around


me but my senses were heightened. From that point on, everything seemed funny and when the worship band played, I felt each note very keenly. I had no revelation of Christ per se or conviction of sin. Mainly, it was just a lot of fun. On the way home, I was cracking silly jokes and continued to giggle throughout most the night even after I crept into bed. All in all, the sensation was similar to having a little too much to drink. In my home church, manifestations began to take place regularly in the worship services. Some people laughed, some would go into a trance-like state and even fall out of their chairs. Others’ heads would shake or their hands and bodies would tremble or jerk. Some would be “glued” to the floor, unable to move. Sometimes people grunted and looked like they were giving birth or marching to music no one else could hear. Though some of these behaviors happened spontaneously during worship, we also followed the pattern established in Rodney Howard Browne meetings. After the sermon, we would clear chairs away in the front and people would come forward for prayer. A team of people would lay hands on those who came forward, saying various things like “more Lord,” or “fire of God on you.” When this happened, many more would have physical manifestations. At this time, we also began hearing reports of an incredible outpouring of the Spirit at the Airport Vineyard Church in Toronto, Canada. Several members of our congregation, including some of the leaders, went to see what God was doing there. Again, they came home with reports of people having life changing experiential encounters with the Holy Spirit.” The reported theme in Toronto was that God was giving a party and we were all invited. In subsequent sermons, based on what our leaders had heard in Toronto, we were told of the desirability of becoming “saturated,” “soused,” “soaked,” “pickled” and “marinated” in the Spirit. As it was explained to us, this would happen as we were filled with the Spirit by receiving a “touch from God” either spontaneously or through the laying on of hands. If we were overcome by the Spirit and fell to the floor, which was fairly common, it was suggested that we simply lay there quietly allowing God to minister to us in the Spirit. Lying on the floor for a period of time was called doing “carpet time” or “resting in the Spirit.” Often, others would come and pray with whoever was on the floor, asking God to reveal more of Himself, anoint them with power, give the person greater gifts or meet them in a personal way. We were encouraged to seek this experience again and again for the purposes of being refreshed, restored and empowered for greater service. At this time, people also began having “God parties” in their homes. Small groups of people would gather to seek an experiential encounter with the Holy Spirit. We also heard reports that revival had broken out in Pensacola, Florida. Again, some members of our congregation went to see for themselves, coming home with glowing accounts of all that God was doing there. Stories began circulating about what was happening in England as well. In our minds, this sealed it—God was definitely pouring out revival upon His church. During this entire time people testified of the work God was doing in their lives. Some reported that God was becoming more real to them, others spoke of restored marriages, some told of unusual opportunities to witness or deep changes in their prayer life. The story that affected us the most was about how one man who was known for his reserved, somewhat controlling personality was overcome by the Spirit. He laid in a trance-type of state for several hours but when he got up, he was totally different as evidenced by how he began to treat his wife. We were thrilled. One of my friends started having amazing, specific, accurate and redemptive prophetic words about people. Personally, God released me from a deep hurt, led me into repentance for some critical judgments and prompted me to forgive some things that had been difficult to resolve about past events at our church. Some of these experiences were accompanied by physical manifestations, some were not. Sometimes I experienced laughter spontaneously during worship, sometimes as a result of someone laying on hands and praying over me. Though I had some positive encounters with the Lord during this period and did not doubt that others had too, I still felt a low-level uneasiness that I could not put it into words. The rhetoric and the way the Word was handled continued to trouble me but I pushed my concerns


aside, attributing them once again to my own fears and reservations. By this time, many people throughout the Body of Christ were saying this was God. How could they all be wrong? What Makes You Think I am Deceived? It was against this backdrop that I went to another study workshop. When the subject of Rodney Howard Browne came up and there was such a strong reaction, my thought was that, “if these people could only hear how it started in our church, surely they will see that God is in this.” Tentatively, I raised my hand and shared what was happening in our church. Instead of being convinced, people began to express deep concern for my welfare. One girl showed me a magazine article by someone called the Bible Answer Man “proving” this was deception. I had never heard of Hank Hanegraff before and was not impressed with his arguments in this particular article as they seemed one-sided and reactionary. Others looked at me sympathetically. Because I had come to respect this group of people and their knowledge of the Word, I became even more curious about their opinions. How could they be so certain it was deception? Maybe they knew something I did not. I asked my instructor. Wisely, she refused to give an opinion, pointed me back to the Word and challenged me to study for myself. At the time I was frustrated with this. Because it was happening in our church, I was in the middle of this “revival” whether I liked it or not. If it was deception I needed help NOW. I did not have time to study for several months or years in order to make a sound judgment. After the meeting was over I talked with a woman I had met at the workshop named Patty. As I listened to Patty relate several Scriptures about lying signs and wonders and deception in the end times, I privately thought she was over-reacting without considering the evidence. How could she make any kind of reasonable determination if she had never even been to a “revival” meeting? However, I had to admit she made some good points. And where I was torn and still shaky in my theological stance about the movement, she was adamant in her position. I admired her clear convictions. Likewise, I felt I had made some good points as well and believed if she would investigate for herself, she would see that in spite of possible errors and excesses, God was in it. We traded addresses but she agreed not to say more until I had a chance to search Scriptures. Spurred on by the controversy, I plunged into a study of the Book of Acts while Patty and I exchanged letters. She thoughtfully refrained from verbalizing objections but since she continued to send me Scripture references regarding deception, I had a pretty good idea of her position. Finally, she sent me an article by Warren Smith from the Spiritual Counterfeit Project (SCP) Newsletter that echoed her opinions. She also included an article, which described similar phenomena that had occurred in the New Age Movement. In light of these articles she challenged me to take a stand. I read the article with apprehension—what if I was totally wrong and thoroughly deceived? After reading it however, I relaxed and smiled with confidence. With the finely honed skills of a college debater I began to rip apart Smith’s arguments in my mind, intending to disprove his objections one-by-one in a letter to Patty. As I proceeded to build my case however, I became increasingly uncomfortable with my attitude. It was as if the Spirit said, "Do you want to know the truth or win an argument?” I had a growing sense that uncomfortable times were ahead. I was right. A Frightening Turn of Events The entire issue became much more personal and urgent when sometime after receiving the Warren Smith article I had a frightening experience. At the end of one service, there was an altar call for healing so I went to the front. I did not go forward seeking an experiential in-filling from the Holy Spirit. I simply went to ask God for physical healing. Two men whom I have


known for years prayed for me—one laid hands on me, the other stood behind me to “catch” me in case I was overcome by the Spirit. Unexpectedly, when they prayed, my knees became like jelly and I slumped to the floor. I lay there quietly as we had been encouraged to do. Considering why I had come forward I was quite surprised when suddenly and without warning, one of my shoulders jerked up off the floor. Though I was startled, I continued to lay still. Then my other shoulder lifted up spontaneously, followed by the other shoulder. My torso began to rock back and forth, while my head turned in the opposite direction, slowly in the beginning, then faster and faster. At first, I was so surprised I did not try to stop it. Then my feet started moving back and forth as well. My entire body started rocking faster and faster, head, body, legs and feet moving in opposite directions. How could my physical frame twist in so many different ways at the same time? I was shaking so violently that I began to feel like a paint can in one of those shakers at the hardware store. This was so different from my previous experiences I was not sure if it was God, especially since I was not aware of any “heart” work being done. I honestly did not know what to do. Because it was physically violent, part of me wanted to ask God to make the shaking stop. However, since we had been told so often that we needed to receive whatever “blessing” God wanted to give and that these experiences came from God and not Satan, another part of me was concerned that if I did, I might quench the Spirit. As an experiment, I momentarily tried to stop it myself but I could not. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps this is what demonic possession felt like. For the first time, I actually felt frightened. After what seemed like forever, the shaking finally subsided. At that point and again, unexpectedly, I started “laughing in the spirit.” Someone lay down beside me on the floor and started laughing too. Another friend walked over to watch me “get blessed” (the term used when someone is having an encounter with God that results in a physical manifestation). Finally it was over. I lay on the floor, exhausted and confused. What in the world just happened? Because I know myself I was positive that I had not “worked up something in the flesh.” I tried to get my body to move the same way later on and it was impossible to duplicate. Even if I could have forced my body into such contorted motions why would I want to? If I wanted attention, I certainly would have chosen another, more attractive method than flopping around on the floor like a fish out of water. Also, this experience had a totally different quality than what I had previously encountered. I could discern no heart work or communion with the Holy Spirit. I felt no peace afterwards. By the end of the night, I knew one thing—something had taken possession of my body. It was either the Holy Spirit or something else. There was no in-between. The more I thought about this, the more bizarre it seemed so I called one of our elders for guidance and perspective. He encouraged me not to over-react. In his opinion, since I was praying to God and not Satan at the time, based on Luke 11: 11-13 there was no reason to think it was demonic. Though I came to question this perspective later, based on what I knew at the time, it sounded reasonable. Also, he had talked with other people who did not understand what was happening at the time then later saw positive changes in their lives. Some who had similar experiences said it was God’s way of taking complete control of them. My elder likened it to “God coming in and re-arranging your furniture then later showing you the finished work.” What he said made some sense—maybe God was trying to deal with some unseen heart issue. Others had explained similar manifestations by saying that God wanted us to appear foolish at times as a way of dealing with pride. Perhaps that was the purpose of this episode. I asked my elder what he knew about counterfeit spirits. He told me the church leaders had discussed counterfeits both in a recent meeting and at a regional leadership conference. It was decided even if there were counterfeits in revival, we should not let that keep us from pressing into God. I mentioned War on the Saints a book by Jesse Penn Lewis, describing how counterfeit spirits affected the Welsh Revival of 1904 but my elder said the other leaders felt it was not balanced and could introduce negative fear that might hinder revival. He encouraged me to be patient and see what God might do in my life. I agreed not to be reactionary but I told him


about my conversations with Patty and the Warren Smith article and shared my misgivings regarding Rodney Howard Browne. I told him I was exchanging letters with Patty and asked if he would read and critique them to see if I was handling Scriptures accurately. He said he would. I vacillated about what happened but finally concurred with my elder—I thought I had already surrendered my life to God but maybe there was a residual control issue I did not see. Or what if the experience had a different purpose? There had been a lot of talk about how God anoints His people with power and gifts during revival. I had been studying the Word intensely for a lengthy period of time. What if God was empowering me for some future task? And it was true—I was praying to God not Satan so how could it be a counterfeit spirit? Maybe it was the Holy Spirit after all and I just did not understand it. No matter how I rationalized though a little part of me remained unconvinced mainly because this episode had no content and seemed so different than previous experiences. I studied Scriptures with an ever-deepening hunger and continued to read accounts of past revivals. A friend sent me a set of tapes called “Counterfeit Revival” by Hank Hannegraff. Though I did not care for his tone of voice—it did not seem all that different to me than Rodney Howard Browne’s—I transcribed the tapes and thoughtfully considered his arguments. I also re-read Warren Smith’s article again, this time with a very open mind. Since Smith referred to War on the Saints, I went through it again cautiously. I had read it once a couple of years before when I was involved with a woman who was having episodes of automatic writing.1 A friend told me about War on the Saints, explaining it was a manual designed to help believers discern and deal with demonic spirits. While parts of it were useful in helping the woman, at the time I did not understand the references to physical manifestations and counterfeit spirits during revival. After my recent experiences, I saw the book in a new light and felt certain insights were helpful but I was not sure if I could trust Penn-Lewis’ conclusions. Besides what my elder said, I had read in another journal that it “was reported and is probable” that “even though she seemed to have had the best of intentions,” Jesse Penn Lewis played a significant part in bringing an end to the Welsh Revival by persuading Evan Roberts, one of its main leaders, to “withdraw from the revival because he was getting too much of the attention that should go only to the Lord.”2 Though I had questions, I certainly did not want to draw hasty conclusions, over react, and then inadvertently be used to somehow damage God’s work. Again, I decided the best course was to take my elder’s advice and participate in the movement. I continued to experience manifestations but they were different somehow—more frequent and often more physical. After watching me jerk throughout one meeting a man who had not been “touched by God,” said wistfully, “Man, I sure wish I had some of what you got.” His statement pierced me. As believers, we both had Christ and were indwelt by the Holy Spirit. What did I have that he did not? What were these physical experiences adding to my life in Christ? By this time, I began to experience other troubling manifestations. My head started to shake frequently in worship and prayer meetings. We were encouraged not to quench the Spirit, but secretly, even though it was taught we could not receive an unholy spirit if we were praying to God, I began to wonder. Another Wild Ride My questions and my confusion grew when, during a corporate prayer meeting, I had another dramatic and puzzling experience. One of our leaders read the scripture in Revelation 19:11-16 about heaven being opened and Jesus riding to earth on a white horse. When he said, “. . . and His name is called the Word of God,” it felt like those words went into the very center of my heart. Spontaneously I began to rock back and forth in my chair then completely lost consciousness of everything around me. During this time, I experienced the extreme physical sensation of actually riding that white horse with Jesus. (Later people told me it looked like I was literally on a horse.) Remember the scene in the movie Man from Snowy River when the man on


horseback plunges down the mountainside almost vertically? That is exactly how I felt, but instead of riding down a mountain, I felt like I was starting in the heavenlies and descending to earth. It was like riding the Screaming Eagle Roller Coaster at Six Flags magnified a hundred times. I think I even screamed like someone on a coaster ride but since I was lost in the experience and completely unaware of what was around me, I do not remember for sure. I do not know how long I was “out”–friends told me it was only a few minutes—but when I came back to reality, I had evidently rocked the chair so hard, I wound up on the opposite side of the room. A friend of mine who was in the connecting chair had traveled across the room with me. After it was over, I was physically disoriented so I purposely lay down on the floor to steady myself. Same as before, I was aware of no heart revelation of Christ during the physical manifestation but as I lay quietly on the floor Revelation 14:19 and 20 came to mind. When I thought about the phrase, “the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles,” I began to weep because I knew Jesus really was coming some day, God’s wrath was real and many people, including Christians were not taking it seriously. I wept for the “party mentality” that was sweeping through some of the churches that were participating in the Holy Laughter Movement. I wept for the lost who were going about their daily business not realizing that at some point, God’s terrible wrath would be unleashed upon the earth. My friend continued to sit next to me while I cried. As I was leaving the prayer meeting, some people chuckled about my experience and patted me on the back. Others said God must be giving me a powerful anointing. Again, someone expressed the sentiment they wished they could have a similar encounter with God. I didn’t know what to say. The second part of the experience seemed to have content but the physical manifestation was so intense I could not sort it all out. I was getting weary from so much emotional and spiritual turmoil. I decided not to think about the experience too much and just let it be. A Time to Question Looking back, I can see that after that day I began to change. I wanted to know truth more than ever before. I admitted to myself that no matter how many people quoted Scriptures to support certain aspects of the movement some of them did not ring true to me. I was tired of being tossed around like a little child by this or that teaching or perspective—I wanted to reach solid conclusions about what Scripture actually did say. And while I wanted to be a part of revival and receive all that God had for me, I did not want to talk about the things of God lightly nor did I want to hear rhetoric about partying and getting drunk in the Spirit. I also did not want people to lay hands on me anymore and pray for me to get the “gift” of laughter. I began to crave holiness, reverence and the solid ground of Scriptural substance. I wanted to hear about Jesus. Also, by this time, my husband started having reservations and our two sons were reacting negatively to the continued pressure for the youth to go forward and have an “encounter with God.” While not wanting to be disrespectful to my leaders, I realized I needed to ask some hard questions for the sake of my spiritual sanity. One revival writer advised that if you get into spiritual situations you do not understand, it is best to pull back until you have time to pray and make careful evaluations. After several more physically violent episodes with little or no spiritual content I knew it was time to take this advice and withdraw until I reached some kind of clarity. Needless to say, this was extremely uncomfortable as people in my church continued to embrace the movement. Because I did not want to create confusion or undermine leadership, I shared my quandaries with only my husband and a few close friends. I continued to show one of our elders the letters I was writing to my skeptical friend Patty in hopes that he might help me sort through some of the controversy and confusion, but he did not respond. I was not surprised. From listening carefully to sermons and


exhortations given at this time, I had a fairly informed idea of our leadership’s position and realized the questions I was raising were uncomfortable. Except for the support I received from my family and a couple of close friends, I felt very alone. It was a terrible time. I simply could not reconcile the conflicting evidence. Though some people were calling this a counterfeit revival, I had seen amazing heart changes in the lives of some. I could not attribute these things to Satan. If God was indeed the source of the movement and I criticized it, I could be opposing God Himself. I had heard stories about what happened to people who stood against God and I did not want to be one of them plus, as was consistently pointed out by movement leaders, I could “miss the blessings of God” if I did not continue to participate. At the same time however, I began to question the validity of some of my own experiences. If Satan was behind them somehow and I continued to submit my body to these experiences without qualification, I could be unwittingly consorting with demons that were mocking God right in the midst of His church! If I was honest, I had to admit that some of the aspects of the movement seemed increasingly unedifying. As the novelty wore off, it became irritating when at times laughter, whoops, and screams drowned out the preaching. Certain people were having physical manifestations almost every time they came to church. I was concerned that I was becoming one of them. Others were experiencing physical manifestations at home and in public at restaurants. One woman jerked and made a type of squawking or hiccupping-type of sound throughout entire services for months. Eventually, those months turned into years. Her behavior was explained by saying she was a “lightning rod for the Holy Spirit.” We were told that even though we did not understand, we should be careful not to quench the Spirit by criticizing the way she or anyone else “worshipped” or else we could be in danger of making the same mistake Michal did when she despised David. This was only one of several other disturbing, ongoing behaviors that were being exhibited by some. It also bothered me that in genuine revivals, many people come to know the Lord yet in the second year of the “revival” at our church only a handful of people had become Christians. Instead of calling it a “revival” as we did at first we began to use the word “renewal.” I knew things were serious when I no longer had confidence to bring unbelievers to church. How could I tell them some of the unusual behaviors were from the Holy Spirit when I was no longer sure myself? In Over My Head What was the power behind this “revival? Was it God, Satan, the flesh—or was a mixture involved? The more I considered this issue, the more I realized the stand I took about the Holy Laughter Revival had serious implications. It is clear from Scripture that discerning whether or not a supernatural experience is from God or Satan is no laughing matter. As finite human beings it is inevitable that we will engage in theological disputes or differ in style or emphasis from time to time. I can accept tension in some of these areas. However, after being accused of casting out demons by the power of Satan, Jesus said that “whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him either in this age, or in the age to come (Matt 12:32).” Some have used this Scripture to intimidate people into not asking questions. That is not my intent. But it does highlight the fact if you attribute to Satan what is being done by the Holy Spirit there can be serious consequences. From these words, it is clear that this is not an issue to be discussed lightly or decided hastily. On the flip side, there are ample Scriptures that refer to attempts by Satan to deceive believers, which also must be considered seriously.


One thing was clear—this was no academic debate or intellectual exercise to be cozily pursued over coffee at the local Steak-n-Shake. This was real life in the trenches and spiritually, the stakes were high! My deepest fear had to do with failing God. More than anything, I wanted to be part of advancing His purposes on the earth. If I truly believed God was at the center of this movement then in spite of some of the apparent foolishness I needed to persevere, trusting that corrections would come in time. However, I was not sure how this could be carried out practically if certain aspects of the movement were questionable. If deception was involved, even if only in part, how could I participate without violating my conscience or tacitly leading others astray by my participation? What would happen if, after asking hard questions, I came to a different position from my leaders and friends? How would it affect my relationships? Would I have to leave my church? Though I was afraid to acknowledge the reality of these issues, the deeper part of me wanted to know the truth no matter what it cost.

The Conflict Deepens
In an effort to gain perspective, I began reading whatever I could find about the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing—both pro and con. Though some books provided interesting and helpful insights, they did not solve my personal dilemma. In fact, some only increased my confusion. Many of the early books tended to be either all for the movement (while acknowledging some of the extremes) or all against it. It seemed like some of the authors had already made up their minds and found evidence to support their point of view as opposed to carefully sifting through both sides of the issues. Sometimes, counterfeits and fleshly experiences were mentioned in passing but I did not find much that shed light on my personal experiences except in a book I did not trust because of its serious flaws. The other disturbing factor in some of these books was the strident tone taken towards those who disagreed with the particular author’s perspective. Lines were drawn with dire warnings given to those on the other side. Key pro-movement leaders were circulating prophetic words predicting that civil war would erupt in the body of Christ over this revival and that anyone who did not embrace this as a work of God would be left behind. Some of those against the movement said the revival was a counterfeit and talked about lying signs and wonders and the judgement false teachers would face. Scriptures and historical examples were taken out of context on both sides. Harsh things were spoken. In some cases, entire groups of people were judged and written off. It was difficult at this point to know who or what to believe. In spite of some of the helpful information, I did not entirely embrace the viewpoints expressed in many of the books because of the tone of voice and the imbalanced use of information. Also, though many claimed Biblical authority for their views, to me, it was apparent that the conclusions some of the authors reached depended on whether or not they were Charismatic or non-Charismatic. At times, I felt caught between two very different and sometimes, incompatible models of the Christian life. This proved to be a good lesson in how religious worldviews influence the interpretation of Scripture and a wake-up call that perhaps, I might need to adjust my own set of “eyeglasses.” Later, some works came out that took a more impartial approach. I appreciated the calm and even tone of voice but while useful in gaining a more balanced perspective of the movement overall, they still did not say much about how to discern personal religious experiences. Reading through the books however, did help me see an important connection—the Holy Laughter Revival was not only birthed out of the Pentecostal/ Charismatic movement but like some sets of conjoined twins, the two could not be separated. In fact, several of the unusual behaviors were simply a result of carrying out certain Pentecostal/Charismatic teachings to their logical end. Since teaching shapes beliefs and beliefs often influence experiences, if I was to get to the bottom of what happened to me there was no choice but to re-examine some of the teachings and practices I had embraced. This meant reconsidering everything from the laying on


of hands, the role of the supernatural, transference of the “anointing,” and the relationship of the Spirit and the Word to learning more about testing the spirits, detecting false teachers, and how to recognize the difference between genuine or lying signs and wonders. Other issues to examine related to the manifest presence of God, whether or not Christians can be deceived, assaulted or possessed by demons, the validity of contemporary prophecy, interpreting prophetic Scriptures, rethinking how and when the Holy Spirit is given, His function, and the role and practice of spiritual gifts. If this was not enough, because it was heralded as a Holy Ghost revival complete with signs and wonders, to assess the Holy Laughter Movement/Toronto Blessing and the related experiences it was also necessary to work through a complex set of issues related to contemporary and historical revivals. Questions about what constitutes a genuine or counterfeit revival came into play. Those for and against the Holy Laughter Revival interjected a dizzying array of historical issues into the controversy. Debate revolved around issues connected to the First and Second Great Awakenings, The Welsh Revival of 1904, Calvinism vs. Arminianism, opposition to revival, what it means to be a Pharisee, and the ministries of historical figures like George Whitefield, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, Jesse Penn Lewis, and Evan Roberts. Other disputed matters related to historical groups like the Montantists, Quakers, Shakers, Irvingites, and Catholic mystics who also experienced physical manifestations. Contemporary Pentecostal revivals like the Azusa Street Revival, the Latter Rain movement and Healing Revivals of the 1940’s and ‘50’s were also part of the controversy. The number of practical questions grew. If, as history seemed to indicate, it was not unusual for revivals to have a mixture of true and false experiences, how could you identify a counterfeit from the flesh or the real thing? Was it possible to participate in an outpouring of God and protect yourself from counterfeit experiences at the same time? The enormous complexity of all that was involved in discerning these issues began to hit home. Light at the End of the Tunnel The first major turning point came when, in addition to studying Scriptures, I started reading original historical documents. Since authors both for and against the movement quoted Jonathan Edwards to support their point of view, I decided to look at what he said for myself. I cannot tell you how thrilling it was when I came across his discussion of how counterfeit religious experiences negatively effected the Great Awakening in its waning years. Edwards talked about how a movement and some of the accompanying manifestations could be from God yet if certain conditions were fulfilled, counterfeit spirits could influence even genuine believers! He also wrote about how to recognize the difference between genuine and counterfeit experiences. Much to my delight, his discussion was both detailed and balanced. For the first time, I began to gain some understanding of what happened to me and see a possible explanation for the mixture of true and counterfeit that I had witnessed in revival meetings. This rich historical find provided initial relief and gave me confidence to address other aspects of the controversy. The next break came when I made an extensive list of arguments for and against the movement and grouped related issues together. My goal was to compare each argument to Scripture in order to determine what was true and what was false. What I discovered however, is that while it sounds nice in theory when people tell you to go back to the Word, in practice it is not so easy. For instance, the Bible does not give any examples of the Holy Spirit causing people to laugh like we had seen in this movement. But then again, neither does it give examples of people laughing while under the influence of demonic spirits so how do you determine what the Word says about these manifestations? Many issues were like this—it was difficult to find one Scripture or set or Scriptures that made everything perfectly clear. Searching the Word was worth the effort though as little by little, things started to make more sense.


The Greater Issue As I continued to work through this process, I began to notice a decided shift in focus. Initially, I was mainly intent on studying the Holy Laughter Revival in order to understand what was happening to me but increasingly, I found myself drawn to the larger subject of discernment. First, while advocates of the contemporary revival movement insisted that pharisaical opposition caused the demise of most revivals, Jonathan Edwards had a different opinion. He believed it was undiscerned counterfeit experiences that brought an end not only to the powerful revival in his day but also to most spiritual outpourings throughout history. Edwards observed that when counterfeit religious experiences are not properly discerned, the results are “inexpressibly dreadful.” According to Edwards, not only can they cause “religious affections to degenerate,” but Satan also uses them to set believers against one another with a “great heat of spirit.” This leads to “vain jangling” about religion which confuses and discourages the sheep to such a degree that eventually, the flock may scatter. The end result is that “heresy, infidelity, and atheism greatly prevail.”3 Edwards did not dismiss the benefits of revival or write off all physical manifestations as false but he did warn that without discernment, revivals could degenerate and even end up harming the cause of Christ. Sadly, from what I could see, some of the same practices Edwards and others described as opening the door to counterfeit religious experiences had been an integral part of the contemporary revival movement from its inception. As a consequence of not discerning the genuine from the counterfeit, some of same errors that brought an end to previous revivals were also repeated. The more I studied, the more I became convinced that a great deal of the conflict and controversy associated with the contemporary revival movement could have been avoided if better discernment had been practiced from the beginning. Beyond trying to understand the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing itself, there was another reason why learning how to discern religious experiences became a pressing matter. Even though the Holy Laughter Revival had waned by the time I comprehended the full importance of testing experiences, interest in revival continues to remain strong. Almost as soon as the contemporary revival movement began, those involved started predicting that an even larger revival would take place in the near future, one that might even possibly usher in the return of Christ. Believers in many different streams—including those who would have never dreamed of participating in the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing—have also consistently prayed for revival to sweep across the nation and across the world. While it is true that revival can bring great blessings, history teaches and the contemporary revival movement demonstrates that in reality there is a downside as well as an upside to revival that many believers may not be prepared for. This is why discernment is critical. As Edwards explained, if revival is to flourish, believers must learn how to distinguish between “true and false religion, between saving affections and experiences, and those manifold fair shows, and glistering appearances by which they are counterfeited.”4 If the Holy Laughter Revival provoked so much controversy and as I came to believe, discernment about several foundational issues was lacking, I began to wonder what would happen if another, even larger revival did indeed materialize. Besides protecting the health of revivals, there was yet another urgent reason why the subject of discernment captured my attention. We live in a day and age when a spiritual awakening of sorts has taken place in our nation. On the surface, this may sound like good news, but statistics show that while interest in spirituality is high, overall, interest in Christianity is declining. In one way, this should not be surprising. Since the sixties and seventies, the United States has been flooded with Eastern and New Age religious influences as well as occultic practices that at one time were mainly seen in Third World countries. Zen, spiritism, shamanism, witchcraft, mediums, psychics, transcendental meditation, paganism—many religious


philosophies and practices that were once considered exotic, aberrant or only pursued by smaller fringe groups have become more common and acceptable today. This philosophical flood has in turn fostered a smorgasbord approach to spirituality in which individuals take a little of this and little of that from various religions to create their own, personalized faith system. In our postmodern world, this approach to do-it-yourself religion is based on the premise that absolute truth does not exist. In fact today, many no longer see the Bible as the authoritative source of truth but view it as only one source of truth among many. From a Christian perspective, these disturbing trends indicate a general decline of spiritual discernment in our society. What I found more alarming though, especially after my experiences with the contemporary revival movement, is the way these trends have compromised discernment within the church. As we will see later, at the same time that knowledge of the Bible is decreasing, there has been an increasing emphasis on the importance of having experiential encounters with God. Many other Christians besides Charismatics and revival participants are now seeking to know God directly through mystical, spiritual experiences. Surprisingly, even some Bible-believing, non-Charismatic evangelicals have embraced the idea that we can know God experientially apart from the Word. While there is definitely a place for genuine religious experiences in the Christian life, the problem is that without a thorough knowledge of Scripture, believers will not be able, or perhaps may not even see the need, to discern truth from error or to distinguish the genuine from the counterfeit. Although I had reservations about some of pastor and author John McArthur’s views, as I continued the research process, I came to agree with his perspective that “true discernment has suffered a horrible setback in the past few decades . . . the visible church in our generation has become astonishingly tolerant of aberrant teaching and outlandish ideas—and frighteningly intolerant of sound teaching.”5 The reason this lack of discernment should concern all believers is because Scripture teaches that deception will only increase as we move closer to the return of Christ. According to the Bible “the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” (I Tim 4:1) Scripture also says that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matt 24:24) These attempts to seduce and deceive will set the stage for the evil one (antichrist) who will eventually come “in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness.” (II Thess 2:9) Of course, we do not know when Christ will return and opinions differ as to who or what the antichrist may be, but one thing is clear now—deception is increasing and many believers are ill equipped to distinguish truth from error. If the church loses her ability to be discerning and consequently tolerates an unholy mixture of the genuine and the counterfeit within her walls, then what hope is there for the rest of the world. Painful Choices As we discussed and pondered these things, my husband and I realized that we could no longer continue to participate in the “revival” in its current form. Though it meant separating from dear friends, many of whom we knew would not understand or agree with our decision, it became clear to us that we could not in good conscience stay at our fellowship because we were no longer in alignment with our leaders. This was especially sad because we had known and loved this group of people since our college days. We also knew that since our children were very young when we started going to this church, making a change would be a major disruption to their lives as well. Because we were still sorting through issues and did not want to create strife or cause confusion, we decided the best approach was to talk directly to our senior pastor. We told him of our concerns, not only about the revival but also about some of the prophetic words that had been circulating in our congregation and let him know we had decided. He was very gracious and


understanding, which was a relief to us—we were not quite sure what to expect— but while he said he would consider our concerns, he did not seem to share them. Basically, his point of view was that some people prefer steak at a certain point in their lives while others might prefer potatoes and that perhaps, we had come to a place in our journey where it was best for us to be with a different group of people. Needing a quiet place to re-group and re-evaluate what we had been taught over the years, we left the fellowship we had been a part of for twelve years and joined a small, non-Charismatic church. In the next few years, other families became disenchanted and made the decision to leave as well but the fellowship as a whole, continued to participate in the movement. After we left, because I still had many unresolved questions, I continued to research and study the issues that had surfaced as a result of the controversy surrounding the revival. Over time, we noticed the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing seemed to subside yet it did not entirely die out. Some of the teaching and practices became an ongoing part of church life in certain pro-movement circles and participants claimed the revival continued to have a ripple effect around the world. However, at some point, media attention peaked and for the most part, the contemporary revival movement became old news. A Controversial Case Study Since several books have already been written about the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing and most interested parties took a position on the controversy long ago, in one way, it seems like there is no need for further discussion. However, the more I considered the confusion associated with the contemporary revival movement in light of Edwards’ perspective regarding the negative effect of undiscerned counterfeit experiences, the more I came to see the benefit of using the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing as the basis for a contemporary case study on discernment. In this way, the goal of this book is not to rehash old controversies about whether or not the revival was from God or Satan. Rather, the purpose is to learn what we can from recent history and combine these lessons with insights from past revivals so believers in all streams and denominations can grow in their ability to discern the genuine from the counterfeit, especially in the area of personal religious experiences. Not only will a study of this nature help us be prepared if a major revival occurs in the future but we will also be better equipped to discern challenging issues that have surfaced as a result of the contemporary emphasis on experiential faith. Of course, sorting through the issues will require us to discuss some difficult and disputed topics so a measure of controversy will still be involved. While it is not spiritually healthy to “dine on controversy” it is important to know that we need not fear it either. In fact, if approached with wisdom, controversy can actually advance the cause of Christ! As J. Greshem Machen said when he defended the faith in his day, God save us from any smoothing over of these questions in the interests of a hollow pleasantness; God grant that great questions of principles may never rest until they are settled right! It is out of such times of questioning that great revivals come (Italics added). God grant that it may be so today! Controversy of the right sort is good; for out of such controversy, as Church history and Scripture alike teach, there comes the salvation of souls.6 If we refuse to attack personalities and instead focus on central issues, controversy can have a purifying effect. Charitable discussions and debates about essential matters often drive us more deeply into the Word. In addition to providing insight and perspective, searching Scripture exposes error, challenges personal biases and causes truth to shine more brightly. As a result,


faith flourishes. This being the case, the question now is how do we go about having “a controversy of the right sort”? Surprisingly, I discovered the key is to begin not with a discussion of the experiences themselves but with more basic, foundational issues. In reviewing the literature related to the contemporary revival movement, it became clear there is a great deal of confusion about the nature of the discernment process itself. Since we cannot practice discernment unless we know what it is, the first order of business is to thoroughly explore this important subject. Second, in listening to both those for and against the Holy Laughter Revival/Toronto Blessing, while the unusual manifestations were definitely controversial, I came to see that the deeper conflict had to do with differing opinions about the Word and the Spirit. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say the differences amounted to nothing less that a serious clash of Christian worldviews. This underscores the fact that we cannot assume all Christians have the same understanding of what we often think of as the “basics” of the faith. As the debate demonstrated, unless terms are first defined and some kind of common understanding about foundational issues is established, it is nearly impossible to have a productive discussion about religious experiences. This only makes sense. Though many Christians believe the Bible is to be our standard of truth, a sizable number of professing believers do not necessarily see it this way. And even among those groups who do hold to the authority of Scripture, there is often disagreement about how to interpret and apply biblical truth. How can we even begin to weigh what is true and false if we are not first settled about the role of God’s Word and how to handle it accurately? How can we know what experiences are truly from the Holy Spirit if we are not clear about the Spirit’s person and His work? Once the discussion of fundamentals is complete, we will look at past revivals and see what we can learn about discerning experiences from those who have gone before us in history. Then, in the last sections, the focus will be on issues specifically related to the Holy Laughter Movement/Toronto Blessing. This will involve two critical steps. First, since teaching influences and often shapes experiences, it is essential to learn how to test the messenger and the message. This is an important link to understand because if false teaching is being promoted in a movement or group, then it is highly likely some of the experiences will also be questionable. Since he was the primary catalyst for the contemporary revival movement, it will be a helpful exercise, critical in fact, to take an up close and personal look at Rodney Howard Browne and his teachings. Finally, we will evaluate specific spiritual experiences associated with the movement like holy laughter, being drunk in the spirit, animal noises and other unusual phenomena. A note of warning before moving on—the length of the foundational sections may be frustrating to some who want to get on to what at times is referred to as the “interesting stuff” like the physical manifestations and other phenomena. However, as noted above, unless we do our homework regarding the basics it will be almost impossible to develop a biblical understanding of religious experiences. So, armed with patience and a determination to be diligent, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started.


Chapter One – Endnotes
Note: Automatic writing is a demonic manifestation in which the person goes into a trance and writes whatever the false spirit dictates. In this case, the woman could correctly write entire blocks of Scripture that, when alert and in her own mind, she did not know. She was also receiving accurate words of knowledge about people in her congregation which at first led her to believe it was the Holy Spirit until she began to realize the knowledge was not given in a constructive manner and was being used to humiliate rather than edify. 2 Rick Joyner, “Lessons from the Welsh Revival,” The Morningstar Journal (Vol. 2 No. 4) 68, 69. Please note that others would not necessarily agree with this assessment of Jesse Penn Lewis’ role in ending the Welsh Revival. 3 Jonathan Edwards, “Treatise Concerning Religious Affections in Three Parts” from The Works of Jonathan Edwards Volume 1 (Peabody, MS: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. 1998) 234. 4 Ibid. 5 John F. McArthur, Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books 1994) 19. 6 J. Greshem Machen as quoted by J.I. Packer in “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.) 177.