Question: What has been called the “Laughing Revival” is evidently not all fun and games. I’ve been told that there is a very militant side to it. Is that true?
Response: To borrow a phrase, “There’s not all joy in ‘the joy movement.’” Many who are defending the so-called holy laughter revival and other bizarre “spiritual” manifestations are doing it with an element of vengeance. For years now, Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries (www.banner.org.uk) has been following the prophesies and teachings of those who proclaim that we are in the midst of God’s great last-days revival. She writes,
Those who harbor doubts about the renewal are accused of stubbornness and Pharisaical legalism; those who test the spirits are called blasphemers of the Holy Spirit; those who put questions to their elders are accused of “rebellion.”
She quotes Kenneth Copeland who strongly implies that those who resist God’s move could be making a fatal mistake:
One of these days, you may just be talking to someone, asking them how things went at church last Sunday, and they may say, Oh it was great! The glory of God was so strong it heeled ten cripples, opened the ears of thirty deaf people, cured seven cases of cancer and killed Brother Bigmouth and sister Strife….
When the fire of God begins to burn and the rivers of the Spirit start to flow…he’ll either have to yield to the Spirit,…or he’ll have to resist the flood of God’s Spirit and be swept away (Voice of Victory, Oct 94).
Paul Cain’s roots go back to the origins of the Latter Rain movement which was referred to as “The last great outpouring that was to consummate God’s plans on this earth.” As a “prophet” of the Kansas City Fellowship/Vineyard prophetic movement, he issued the body of Christ this warning: “Don’t speak a word against signs and wonders and the prophetic ministry in these last days or God’s zeal will chasten you!” (Christ for the Nations, Sept 89). Rick Joyner, another advocate of “what the Holy Spirit is doing today,” added his “prophetic” challenge:
If the leaders resist this move the Lord will continue it through the congregations. These groups will begin to relate to the other members of the body of Christ and their bonds will grow stronger, regardless of the resistance or warnings of their pastors. Some pastors and leaders who continue to resist this tide of unity will be removed from their place….Some that were used greatly of God in the past have become too rigid in doctrinal emphasis…to participate in this revival….Those who are linked together by doctrine…will quickly be torn away (Restoration, May/June 88).
In Vengeance is Ours by Al Dager of Media Spotlight (P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073-0290) he documents the false teaching that those who are critical of or who oppose the “New Wave” of God’s Spirit are either possessed or oppressed by a “Jezebel spirit,” or are into witchcraft. He quotes Rick Joyner:
This is the year when the Lord starts to bring down the spirit of Jezebel. He will begin by calling her to repentance. Those who have become vessels for this spirit, and who do not repent, will be displayed as so insane that even the most immature Christians will quickly discern their sickness….
The source of witchcraft against us may not be the obvious satanic cults or New Age operatives. It can come from well meaning, though deceived, Christians who are praying against us instead of for us (149-50).
Rodney Howard-Browne gave this “prophecy” last year at New Life Center: “Do not compromise. For if you compromise, you shall not only lose the anointing that I placed upon you, you shall lose your life.”
These are only a few of the many indications that there is a very sobering side to what Vineyard leader John Wimber calls “a refreshing” or “a renewal.”