To answer some of the questions we are getting about Pensacola and the Toronto Blessing, we searched the Scriptures beginning with the Old Testament. Many modern teachers teach out of the Old Testament today.
The Holy Ghost is a person of the Godhead and He is not spoken of until the New Testament. The Old Testament teaches of "the spirit of wisdom." When prophets received the sprit of wisdom they knew the truth around them and could prophecy. God filled them with the spirit for a purpose. In the following Scripture the spirit of wisdom was given to those who were to prepare God's Tabernacle for God to reside in.
"And thou shalt speak unto all [that are] wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office." (Exodus 28:3)
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set [them], and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee; The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that [is] thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle, " (Exodus 31:1-7) Notice the word spirit is does not begin with a capital letter, in the New Testament spirit begins with a capital letter indicating the person of the Holy Spirit.
"And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in the cutting of stones, to set [them], and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, [both] he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, [even] of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded." (Exodus 35:31-35; 36:1)
"Afterward he brought me to the gate, [even] the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice [was] like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And [it was] according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, [even] according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions [were] like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard [him] speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, [neither] they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. (Ezekiel 43)
The Scripture emphasizes that God withdrew from Israel due to their abominable behavior.
To get their attention once more, God sent His Son to build a new tabernacle built without hands in which the Holy Ghost would reside. John the Baptist was to prepare the way. "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." (Luke 1:15) John the Baptist was an Aaronic priesthood decendent. His father Zacharias was an Aaronic priest by birth. "And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,.." (Luke 1:67)
The Holy Ghost is a person. "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: (Luke 1:41) Mary was with child when she came to visit Elisabeth and this child was fathered by the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost is not an energy, electricity or a manifestation of gold or heat. The power which accompanies the baptism of the Holy Ghost is bold, courageous, fearless, unafraid of dying, or of loss of material possessions, teaching of the Gospel. The personage of the Holy Ghost is under attack just like Jesus was under attack. If a person allows the Holy Ghost to take the throne in their hearts, the person will be under attack as well.
Evil spirits recognize the indwelling Spirit and the evil spirits are in control here on earth due to Adam's transgression and they want to maintain until their time is up. That is why the church is under such an attack as it is today. The devil divides and conquers.
"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:7,8) The manifestations are the result of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit which are received by laying on of hands usually. Since we have not had any substantiated evidence of bonafide healings in these ministries the gifts are most likely not in action. When ministers place the blame on the person who is supposedly undergoing a healing, that they do not have enough faith, is utter nonsense. They certainly would not have traveled many miles in many cases and spent untold dollars to get the healing. There is insufficient evidence to prove that the gifts have indeed been handed down by laying on of hands over the last 1900 plus or minus years.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4) This Scripture makes some ministers of the Gospel say that their church smells like smoke or they see fire on the ceiling. These tongues were the ability to speak in other languages so they could witness to people who spoke other languages. Notice also "Spirit" is in capital letters which we are speaking of the Person of the Holy Ghost who personally gives them utterance. He is the teacher who endeavors to teach those who want to hear the Gospel.
Following is another incident when an APOSTLE received the Holy Ghost because God commanded this event to take place so the Apostle could teach the Gentiles. "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts 9:17) So were the rest of the disciples filled with the Holy Ghost. After all their utterances were to teach the whole world. "And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost." (Acts 13:52)
The movement seems to be evolving like a chameleon changing appearance outwardly by taking on various names but inwardly still the same old root of mysticism, can be summarized to depend on certain Scriptures. The Charismatic Ministries/ Assemblies of God/ Toronto Blessing/ Pensacola/ The River/ Vineyard Movement/ Joel's Army/ etc.. depend on the following Scripture which they twisted to mean that this blessing is being pored out on us today and that we are in authority when we are not. When you read the whole content of what the Apostle Peter said you will realize that that blessing does not occur until Jesus returns considering the physical environment described in his utterances (Utterance from the Holy Ghost through Peter).
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:17 - 21)
Joel 2:28-32 addresses Israel and describes what Peter is talking about. " And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." The Remnant refers to Jews.
The note on p. 1111 states the following: There is a great controversy over the time when this prophecy was or will be fulfilled. Some people believe that the "first stage" of this prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost. The verses were cited by Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-21) in response to the question from the multitude, "What meaneth this?" (Acts 2:12). They clain that Peter connected the events of that day with Joel's prophecy dealing with the coming "Day of the Lord" (Joel 2:31). However, many parts of this prophecy were not fulfilled in Acts: sons and daughters did not predict; young men, as a group, did not see visions; and old men did not dream dreams (cf. Joel 2:28). The passage in Acts does not even follow the grammatical formula used for the fulfillment of portions of the OT (cf. Acts 7:37; 8:32; 15:15). Those who believe that Pentecost was the "first stage" claim Peter was saying that only the first part of Joel's prophecy was being fulfilled.
Others claim that none of this prophecy was fulfilled at Pentecost, and that it was used by Peter as an example of how the work of the Holy Spirit may be marked by extraordinary phenomenon. His emphasis was that he was calling "on the name of the Lord" (Acts 2:21; Joel 2:32). Peter was merely responding to those who said they were drunk. The fulfillment of this prophecy, or the second stage of its fulfillment, will be evident in the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the Great Tribulation. The day of darkness and gloom, along with the wonders in the heavens, will follow the opening of the sixth seal (Joel 2:2,30,31, cf. Rev. 6:12).
We are threatened by many modern teachers with the following verses. If we don't accept their interpretation of the Scriptures, we are condemned. They should heed their own advice. They will be judged much harsher then their subjects. "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy [against] the [Holy] Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come." (Matthew 12:31,32)
Jesus simply told the disciples the following: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:19,20)
In case you have a problem with being baptized as part of this command, it is the explained in the following manner. When reading this Scripture we are referred to Jesus' remark in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16) The note for this verse: The word "believeth" is pisteusas , an aorist participle referring to one who has believed at some time in the past. Also, baptistheis (907), translated "is baptized," is aorist participle but in the passive voice. This form refers to an act of outward obedience, in this case, baptism. Therefore, the correct translation here should be stated, "He who believed and who was baptized shall be saved." However, the Lord adds, "... but he that believeth not shall be damned."
It should be noted that this negative statement does not include a reference to baptism, making it clear that what saves a person is living faith in Jesus Christ. This is made clear in Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith... " The word "saved" is translated from the Greek word sesosmenoi, which is a perfect passive participle. It means that this salvation took place at some point in the past and is continuing on in the present, being accomplished by Jesus Christ Himself. If baptism were necessary for salvation, Ephesians 2:8 and many other verses should have been translated "ye are saved through faith and baptism." There are examples in the NT of people who were baptized for selfish reasons, rather than for the purpose of demonstrating their inner, saving faith in Christ (Luke 3:7-9, the Pharisees; Acts 8:9 - 25, Simon). Baptism is a distinct act of obedience apart from salvation. This is clarified by the order in which the words "believe" and "baptize" occur in the text (cf. Matt. 28:19 [note here that the word "teaching" precedes the mentioning of "baptism"]; Acts 2:38; 10:44-48].
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) The note on page 1357 explains thus: The main verb in this verse is metanoesate (3340), meaning "repent." This refers to that initial repentance of a sinner unto salvation. The verb translated "be baptized" is in the indirect passive imperative of baptizo (907) which means that it does not have the same force as the direct command of "repent." The preposition "for" in the phrase "for remission of sins" in Greek is eis (1519), "unto." Literally, it means "for the purpose of identifying you with the remission of sins." This same preposition is used in 1 Corinthians 10:2 in the phrase "and were all baptized unto [eis] Moses." These people were identifying themselves with the work and ministry of Moses. Repentance is something that concerns an individual and God, while baptism is intended to be a testimony to other people. That is why baptistheto, "to be baptized," is in the passive voice indicating that one does not baptize himself, but he is baptized by another usually in the presence of others.
The New Apostles and Prophets have obviously moved away from the simple truth.