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The Late, Great, Toronto Blessing

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First it was a worldwide 'awakening'. Then it was the biggest 'revival' since the church began. Then it became a 'refreshing'... and then a 'blessing'... with numerous other accolades sprinkled in between like star-dust! Now, it is a 'pre-revival' movement. The Toronto Blessing has been them all - and not one of them is true!

The so-called 'prophecies' concerning the Toronto Blessing have failed dramatically. That makes the Toronto leaders - whether international, national or local - false prophets, worthy only of death and dishonour.

Even when this evil movement was kicking its infant legs, BTM had no doubt whatever as to its Satanic source, and said so publicly, that others might be warned. Really, it was not 'courage', but obedience to the Lord, Whose word and promptings ensured that we spoke out. A very small number of others also did so. And we all shared the same castigation, shunning, hatred and abuse (charismatics mistakingly thought this was a sign of God's anger with us!). We all had the same attacks, but we also had the same divine uplifting by the Holy Spirit, enabling us to soar above the abuse and attacks, and to continue in spiritual strength.

Today (June 1996), the Toronto Blessing is still dribbling along in some areas, but it is now virtually defunct. The 'greatest revival of them all' left the world untouched! What observations can we give, now that the marvel of the age has died? (2006 note: Though the TB died, it has been replaced by other forms of a similar nature).

Firstly, the Toronto Blessing was a judgement from God on churches that had forgotten Him. His judgement was carried on the wings of Satan, who obliterated countless churches. In the UK it is estimated the TB carried away about 80% of all churches (some say 40%)!

The purpose of the movement was to sift the churches like wheat. In the few years leading up to the widespread movement that gripped Christians by the throat, a number of faithful pastors fell, were removed, or left the ministry, leaving the way clear for fringe groups to dominate. These fringe groups were the charismatic churches, who were never much of a force (because of their heresies). But, the TB gave these fringe, heretical groups new life, and now they dominate the church scene nationally and internationally. Satan has, then, laid a new foundation, in an attempt to replace the foundation already laid - Jesus Christ. The purpose is to produce a cult church, a false church; one that can have many facets and beliefs; one that joins with Rome and with all other cult and occult movements; one that rejects scripture as it written.

Significantly, new Bible versions have proliferated and no 'respectable' charismatic now uses the AV Bible. New versions masquerade as 'new translations', when they are not translations at all! By calling them 'translations', these Bibles assume credibility... at least with the gullible majority. The purpose behind this, is to remove the only reliable Bible we have, and to put an ever-changing text in its place. Added to this has been the introduction of a new theology, which is extra-Biblical. Satan ensured that this was well under way before the Toronto Blessing erupted. In the UK, it took the form of the Alpha Course. Once the TB had done its job, the Alpha Course took over, and is now misleading and wrongly teaching thousands throughout the world. Satan is, then, reinforcing his position, ready to inflict even greater evils on the churches and the world at large.

A surprising number of Christians assume the Toronto Blessing was 'just another fad'. But that is a mistake. Those of us who fought this movement face to face know that it was not just a fad, but was a well-planned and executed commando raid! Once it had done its job, it slipped away. Its job was to deplete the churches by the fall of thousands of Believers. It was also used to cause many thousands to 'join the church' - that is, charismatic churches (of any denomination or none). But, because charismaticism is gross Arminianism, with a base of Pelagianism, etc., its preaching and gospel message is false, and so many who think they have been saved, are not saved at all.

Amidst this mayhem and confusion there is a blessing! The blessing is from God, but it is not within the Toronto Movement at all. The blessing is that some of the remnant have been spurred to new action and down the path of renewed and empowered faith. Note that only some of the remnant know this renewal of their minds and hearts in the Lord Jesus. Sadly, although the remnant still exists, only a remnant of the remnant stood firm and raised the banner.

Only a small handful of ministries and individuals stood against the full force of the TB. As they received the fury of Satan and charismatics, very few faithful pastors and churches stood with them. Some of them privately told myself and the other 'fighters' that they agreed with our stance. But, they never made that stand publicly, nor did they raise even the mildest of dust storms in their own churches and localities. One or two notable exceptions stand out, but, for the most part, we were watched from a distance. No actual support was given by the watching pastors and churches, and very few of them said they were praying for us. Instead, they watched and did nothing as we were battered and bruised, and as thousands of ex-charismatics were forced to leave their churches.

About May 1996, John Stott finally admitted that the TB was of Satan... and there was applause! Yes, it is good that someone so well-known declares the Truth. But where was he when the rest of us were being ground into the dust? It is good when a man makes such a firm commitment, but oh! how we could have used his support when the fury of Satan was at its height! Sadly, too many Christian teachers held to the idea of 'wait and see' - when all along the signs of apostasy were clear and obvious; scripture contained the truth of the matter (Isaiah 33:5). There was no need to wait to see the outcome. Indeed, if they waited to see, it proved they had no discernment to begin with and could not distinguish good and bad.

Now, many churches that helped to spread the mayhem and lies, are spreading the Alpha Course. They are trying to forget the TB and are pretending it never took place. Some are even denying that the Alpha Course is connected with the TB!! The damage has now been done, and they are attempting to become 'respectable' again, but are standing on a charismatic platform. They taught blatant lies and heresies and are continuing the process (they should note Isaiah 33:1!). Because charismaticism is currently leading the way it has popular support, and so the wilder aspects of the TB are not needed. However, more is to come! Keep watching the horizon! (2010 note: This came about in various movements, including the current Todd Bentley horrors).

Looking back, then, on one of the most remarkably destructive periods within church history, we can say the destruction has only just begun. It is unlikely - given the warnings in scripture - that the churches will ever recover. Nor will we see revivals as in the past, except, possibly, in isolated cases (salvation on a large scale in areas previously untouched by the Gospel is NOT 'revival'). Rather, we shall see apostasy on a massive and growing scale, and then the end. Until then, we shall have many false prophets and teachings and a weakening of ‘faithful’ churches and men.

Be wary and test the spirits. Love the Brethren. Judge where judgement is due and rebuke when necessary. Do not flinch from the fight, but stand firm. Great adversity will come - but the Lord commands the army! In Him alone is victory, but He requires us to fight the battle, and not to stay quiet and secluded, afraid of criticism and of the accusation: 'controversial'!

Finally, the TB has given the faithful a tremendous opportunity, to cast off useless traditions and lifeless teachings and practices. Re-examine the Truth and teach what scripture says! Then God shall be your armour and your sustenance (Isaiah 33:6). Those who continue to ignore the warnings are heaping coals of wrath upon their own heads. You should leave TB and Alpha churches immediately. Do not think where you are to go, just leave, for the sake of the Lord and for your own soul's well-being! The Lord will direct your paths, but you must first obey, by leaving your apostate church. Meanwhile, watch and wait for the next wave of gross deception, for it will surely come, soon.

© June 1996

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