David matthieu 2011-05-28 07:25:56
A Toronto Blessing… Or Kundalini Curse?
Holy Laughter & Company January 1, 2000
“Do not trust in deceptive words saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord,
the temple of the Lord…” Jeremiah 7:4
By Greg DesVoignes
Picture yourself sitting in a church. While the preacher is preaching, he is
interrupted by spontaneous laughter from one or several persons in the
meeting room. The laughter is explosive and uncontrollable. The preacher
also starts laughing, and so do others in the room….
In the front row, a man stands up and with a walk of one who has had too
many intoxicants, staggers drunk like in front of the stage and collapse on
the floor…. During an alter call people are falling to the floor after
being touched or prayed for. Some are curled up in pre natal positions.
Their eyes are rolled back and rapidly moving… Some people are twitching,
some are giggling, and some are making animal like sounds.
“Holy Laughter”, or “The Toronto Blessing”, as it is called, is an
experiential phenomena that is said to be manifestations of the presence of
the spirit of God. It was primarily introduced in North America and spread
by Rodney H. Browne, an evangelist from South Africa. Over the past couple
of years it has been spreading swiftly through Vineyard and other churches,
seemingly passed from person to person. Some pastors and others have flown
to Toronto, where it started, to be able to “catch the fire”. It since went
to Pensacola, Florida into the Brownsville Assembly of God church where this
became the major focal point for the “revival”.
Sometimes also referred to as “The Anointing” or “Awakening”, “The River”,
“The Fire”, participants have reported seeing visions, received healings,
and transformed lives as a result of these experiences. Whatever it is
called and whatever manifestations come out of it, supporters believe it is
a new Holy Spirit revival. But is it?
While wanting to insure that we do not stifle the work of the Holy Spirit,
we must also insure that what we see, and what is experienced is really from
God. We are told to “test the spirits to see if they are from God”. We would
not have been told this UNLESS, there be a danger in accepting signs,
wonders, and experiences as being all from God. It is a misnomer to believe
that everything that goes on inside a church has to be from God. Not so,
especially in these times.
This article looks at The Toronto Blessing and tests it according to the
standard we have; the Word of God, and with other sources.
It appears that this type of “revival” phenomena has happened at least twice
in the history of this country. The first in 1801 at what is called the
“Cain Ridge Revival” in Kentucky, and again in 1907 at what was called the
“Azusa Street Revival” in Los Angeles.
Christian History magazine said that at Cain Ridge, people were falling
down, heads were jerking back, some so fast that facial features could not
be seen. Yelps and other noises would emanate from some, while others would
go into convulsive trances. Some would laugh hysterically. Similar
experiential manifestations were reported 106 years later at the Azusa
Street Mission. During this time, trembling, laughing, and what is called
being “drunk in the spirit” were frequent manifestations
Now, about 90 years later, the same manifestations are happening again. If
what we are seeing today is an indication of what happened historically,
there must have been some indignant eyebrows raised. I recently caught
Rodney H. Browne on the Richard Roberts show on TBN. By the time I had tuned
in, Brown already had the audience 3/4 captive. Roberts and many others were
sitting on the floor & sporadic hysterical laughter was breaking out.
A “Mr. Peepers” looking man, “drunk in the spirit”, stood up and started
staggering around. His eyes were crossed and he would fall down, stand up,
and fall down. The man, in drunk comic Foster Brooks fashion, looked at
Brown, struck a “Why I never” pose, and collapsed in his seat. The audience
was roaring with laughter at his drunken antics.
I wondered as I watched this, if there was really a difference between being
drunk on alcohol or drugs, and being drunk in the spirit. If this man had
driven would have he not endangered himself and others? Would he have been
arrested for driving under the influence of God? I failed to see the humor
or a holiness in it.
So can we say that because this experiential phenomena happened historically
that it is a manifestation of God? Was it of God then; is it of God now? I
think not on both counts.
A Personal Visit
Several months ago I sat in on a service of a local church involved with The
Toronto Blessing. The pastor of this church had made a visit to Toronto,
brought back the experience and shared it with the congregation. I share
this with you because what I observed is going to be pertinent later.
The manifestations began at the end of the service. After the chairs were
removed [in anticipation of falling people], the music worship people
repeated the same song over and over for a long time. In fact, the song was
repeated through the whole experience which lasted about 40 minutes.
After about 15 minutes of this song, several people began to lay their hands
on people, or move their hands back and forth in front of their heads or
chests. People began to fall to the floor. The same song continued.
Eventually there were about 100 people on the floor. I watched as some
curled up in prenatal positions, while others lay flat on their backs. Some
appeared frozen in the postures they were laid down in; others trembled. One
teen age boy had his arms straight up without any movement for about 30
minutes. Some made sounds, some giggled, some moved their hands back and
forth. Even with their eyes closed I could see rapid eyeball movement.
Searching the scriptures, there is no reference to what I saw or any of the
other manifestations I shared. In fact John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard
churches [of which are leaders in spreading this] admits there is no
biblical basis for such things as roaring like a lion. [animal sounds]. Some
churches do not allow some of the experiential manifestations to continue.
But who is to say what is acceptable as to be from God or not? What is the
standard that is used to determine this? Disruption, not scripture, is the
So while it may be all right to walk around drunk like, lay on the floor and
convulse; screaming, running, roaring and acting like an animal are really
not appreciated. But if it is of God, who is man to stop it?
One of our readers from California told me his wife heard a Vineyard woman
say she had a sexual o***** while under the “anointing”. Would this be an
acceptable experience? In fact, can we say that any of these manifestations
are truly spiritual encounters with the God of the Bible?
While the Toronto Blessing experiences put a person on the floor, cause
physical contortions, and epileptic type symptoms, Biblical examples of
encounters with the real God and His Spirit show quite a different scenario.
In Ezekiel 2:1 Ezekiel was given a prophetical vision by God. In vs. 26-28
he sees what he describes as,
“…the likeness of the Glory of the Lord”. He said when he saw this, he
fell on his face [out of fear]. But what happened next is most revealing as
we consider and compare the Toronto Blessing.
“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man stand on your feet that I may speak with
you’. And as He spoke to me the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet.” Ez
What? Notice that when the Spirit entered Ezekiel, it set him on his feet,
and did not put him to the floor. It lifted him, strengthened. This Biblical
example is contrary to the “anointing” of Holy Laughter or the Toronto
Blessing in which people are put to the floor and weakened with some sort of
sensual experience for hours. But it’s not the only one.
Elijah’s encounter with an angel is also revealing. In Kings 19:5-7 we see
Elijah in despair and giving up. But an angel of the Lord said to him,
“Arise and eat”. This happened twice. The angel lifted him. His presence did
not keep Elijah on the ground or weaken him or cause strange manifestations.
Daniel had a similar encounters. In Daniel 8:15-18 Daniel falls on his face
from fear at the sight of a vision. But we see in verse 18, Daniel said of
this being, “but he touched me and made me stand upright”. The same thing
happened in Daniel 10:9-18. Encounters with the spiritual realm of God lift
the person up but did not put them on the ground.
The New Testament gives us similar examples. Consider the work of Jesus. In
Matthew 9:27 Jesus tells a paralyzed man, “Rise, take up your bed and go
home”. And what about those who touched the garment of God incarnate? They
were healed, not put to the ground, not filled with shaking, twitching,
Aside from the lack of Biblical evidence and the scripture contradiction of
these manifestations, another thing that bothers me about the Toronto type
There are many people who manifest many of these same symptoms that wish
they would wouldn’t. These are the people with neurological problems that
they have through diseases, injuries, the result of using drugs, or just
being born with a problem. They would like to stop shaking and trembling.
They would like to come out of their curled up positions. They would rejoice
if they could stop taking insulin so they would not stagger and manifest
signs of intoxication as a result of insulin shock. The epileptic would
desire not to fall in a public place, lose control, and have people watch as
their eyes roll back or twitch under their eyelids.
Are these experiences we seek? Would an encounter with God cause symptoms of
disease, brain injury, mental illness or even possession? Or, like we see in
scripture, would an encounter with God stop these things?
Receiving The Holy Spirit?
There is also no reference to the anointing of the Toronto manifestations in
receiving the Holy Spirit. In Acts 10:44 we see that while Peter was
preaching, the Holy Spirit fell upon the people who were listening to the
message. The account of this in verse 46, “For they were hearing them
speaking in tongues and exalting God”. In Acts 19:6 the results of laying on
of hands was speaking in tongues and prophesying. Again, no animal sounds,
no uncontrollable laughter, no staggering around.
If It’s Not Biblical, What’s The Source?
After reading literature on this phenomena from various sources, and
watching it myself, I have concluded that what is happening is the result,
in part, of emotionalism, or having the mind altered. There are many things
that can trigger the latter, and sources other than scripture where these
things can be found.
We have “tested the spirit” of this “anointing” using the Word and cannot
find anything to validate this phenomena. This should put up warning flags
and tell us there is something wrong. So if it is not found in the Word of
God, if it cannot be validated by the standard God gave us, where can it be
found? Let’s start out with something “light”.
Witches Laugh Too
Holy Laughter and it’s alleged benefits are not confined to inside churches.
The WICCAN witch Carol Christ says in her book The Laughter Of Aphrodite;
“I laughed for hours and hours. All my private personal suffering… was
dissolved in laughter… I felt transformed… and have always viewed what
happened as a kind of spiritual experience… people do not think of
laughter as a spiritual experience. I now understand that laughter can be a
mediator of transformation. Gavreil’s laughter, like Aphrodite’s enabled me
to distance myself from pain, opening a new perspective to my life.” Carol
Christ, The Laughter Of Aphrodite: Reflections On a Journey to the Goddess,
Harper & Row, 1987, pgs 5, 6.
Question. Is this laughter experience of a witch from God; or is the Holy
Laughter really a generic occult experience from some other spirit that
touched the witch?
Carol Christ said it was a spiritual experience that transformed her life
[but it did not turn her to God]. Consider this. Its not in the Word, but
note that Carol mentioned that laughter enabled, not just her, but the
Goddess Aphrodite, to be distanced from pain. So, this phenomena is not in
the Word, but a witch has a transforming spiritual experience the same as
church members report. Seeing these things led me into a search in an occult
I explained the phenomena and experiences, and manifestations of The Toronto
Blessing to two employees of this store. I asked them if they had ever heard
of such manifestations or where I might find references to them. One person
told me that the manifestations [falling down, trembling, and all the others
previously mentioned] sounded like something that happens in aspects of
African religions such as Santeria. He offered to have some Santeria
priestesses contact me [I declined].
Now this made sense, as it brought back a remembrance of a study I did
several years ago on Voodoo [which originated in Africa]. Voodoo rituals mix
aspects of Catholicism and the occult. Their rituals start out with a
Catholic type service. They sing Christian songs, and say prayers. After
this is completed, the Voodoo rituals start with repetitive music and
Some people go into what the Voodoo practitioners call “Trance”. Another
word they use for possession of the Loa, or Voodoo deities. This trance
state can happen automatically to some when they are under hard situation.
What happens in this trance?
According to Kyle Kristos in his book, Voodoo, this trance puts a person in
contact with spiritual forces. The trances are indicated by trembling,
convulsions, a feeling of emptiness, and fainting. During this trance there
is no self control; legs tremble, and there is rapid eye movement under
closed eye lids.
While in this trance, some crawl on the floor and staccato sounds come out
of their mouths. The Hungans [which means priest or witch doctor] watch and
try to catch people as they fall to the ground. Why are these same
experiences and manifestations going on in churches?
Now I do not believe that a Christian can be automatically possessed.
However, when a person’s mind becomes empty by flirting with unbiblical
methodologies and expectancies and goes into an altered state, we can open
our minds to manipulations of things other than God.
For instance, if a Christian were to take a hallucinogenic drug, he would
have the same experience as a non Christian. If you play with fire, your
going to get burned. A good example is the experience Johanna Michaelson
speaks of in her book, The Beautiful Side of Evil. Through the use of the
occult practice of visualization, she had contact with demonic spirit
guides; and lot’s of trouble.
Kundalini In Church?
One of the employees of the occult bookstore also suggested browsing through
their books on Eastern Mysticism. The most revealing book I found was one on
Kundalini Yoga. What was not found in scripture on the manifestations and
other aspects of the Toronto Blessing, I found in a book called Kundalini:
The Arousal of the Inner Energy, by Ajit Mookerjee. The purpose of this
Eastern practice is to arouse the Kundalini [serpent force] at the base of
the spine. It is a form of Yogi meditation and the phenomena, experiences,
and manifestations happen while the mind goes into an altered state.
Two Parallel Roads
This altered state is triggered in many fashions, including the use of
repetitive music. As you read the following quotes from this book, keep in
mind what is involved in the aspects of the Toronto Blessing. The goal of
Kundalini, like The Toronto Blessing, is spiritual growth. Like The Toronto
Blessing, Kundalini “energy”, experiences and manifestations can be passed
from person to person. For a full comparison between The Toronto Blessing
and Kundalini, see the table later in this article.
In a chapter called The Kundalini Experience Classical and Clinical, the
“The ascent of the Kundalini as it pierces through the chakras is manifested
in certain physical and psychic signs.
Yogis have described the trembling of the body which precedes the arousal of
Kundalini, and the explosion of heat which passes like a current through the
Sushumna [the supposed channel by which this energy rises through the
body]….inner sounds are heard… the head may start to feel giddy… the
yogi visualizes a variety of forms… pure light…numerous signs and
symptoms may be experienced… as creeping sensations… tingling sensations
all over the body; heaviness in the head or sometimes giddiness; automatic
and involuntary laughing or crying; seeing visions of deities…
The chin may press down against the neck; the eyeballs roll upwards or
rotate; the body may bend forward or back, or even roll around on the
floor… the mind becomes empty… there is spontaneous chanting of mantras
or songs, or simply vocal noises
The eyes may not open in spite of one’s efforts to open them. The body may
revolve or twist in all directions. Sometimes it bounds up and down…
sometimes the hands move… some speak in tongues… Sometimes the body
feels as if it is floating upwards and sometimes as if it is being pressed
down into the earth… It may shake and tremble and become limp, or turn as
rigid as stone.
In the process of the arousal of Kundalini, Muktananda went through an
experience of extreme sexual excitement. Not everyone will experience all or
even most of these signs. The Sakti [foundational consciousness] produces
whatever experiences are necessary for the disciples spiritual progress
according to his samskaras [impression or fruit of Karmic action] or habit
pattern formed by past action”. Pgs 71, 72
There is something wrong when we cannot validate the experiences and
manifestations of The Toronto Blessing through the Bible, the standard of
truth, but find these same manifestations in books on Eastern mysticism.
What is also interesting is what is said about these symptoms.
“Symptoms, when caused by this process, will disappear spontaneously in
time. Because it is essentially a purificatory or balancing process, and
each person has only a finite amount of impurities of the sort removed by
Kundalini, the process is self limiting. Disturbances seen are therefore not
pathological, but rather therapeutic. The people in whom the physio –
Kundalini process is most easily activated, and in whom it is most likely to
be violent and disturbing, are those with especially sensitive nervous
systems”. Pg. 94
To view the list of comparisons: GO TO CHART
How interesting that the Kundalini manifestations [which are described as
“disturbances”], as well as the Toronto manifestations, are considered
therapeutic. In other words, they have a healing effect. But what is doing
the healing.? Let’s consider what happened in the spiritual confrontation
between Moses and the sorcerers of Pharaoh.
Not All Manifestations Are Of God
“Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘when Pharaoh speaks to you,
saying, “Work a miracle”, then you shall say to Aaron, “Take your staff and
throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent”‘”…. Then
Pharaoh also called for the wise men and sorcerers, and they also, the
magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw
down his staff and they turned into serpents” Exodus 7:8-12
Satan also has power to attempt to duplicate the works of God that he may
deceive. Not all so called manifestations are from God, including speaking
in tongues at times. Notice that speaking in tongues was one of the
manifestations of Kundalini. Perhaps that is one of the reason we see Paul
saying that if one does this publicly, there should be an interpreter, and
also as John said, that we should test the spirits.
A case in point is the false prosperity teacher Robert Tilton. While
watching him on TV several years ago, I could not help notice that on every
showing he kept repeating the same words while “speaking in tongues”. I
appropriate for Mr. Tilton [who has since been exposed]. My finding was
verified by a person I know who used to be into demonology. He was also
watching Tilton. He said that the words Tilton was speaking were the same
incantations he learned to call on prosperity gods.
Signs & Wonders
John said, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to
see whether they are from God” Why? “because many false prophets have gone
out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
As we saw with the magicians of Pharaoh, Satan will counterfeit the works of
God. And as we see in the above verse, because of this we are to test the
spirits because there are teachers today that are not teaching truth, but
the things of Satan. And since we cannot validate the Toronto phenomena
biblically but find it in occult practices, Satan appears to be the source
of these manifestations.
There was something interesting about the encounter between Moses and the
magicians of Pharaoh. After the magicians turned their staffs into serpents,
the Word tells us, “But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs”. Exodus
7:12 So it is with all false teachings. The real truth powers over the
counterfeit. Speaking of the encounter with the magicians of Pharaoh, Paul
“And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the
truth, men of depraved mind, rejected as regards the faith. But they will
not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, as also
that of those two came to be”. 1 Timothy 3:8-9
We make a big mistake to just accept everything we are told. It is our
responsibility to verify scripturally what we are taught, and what manifests
spiritually. We also become in error if we seek after these experiences.
Seeking Signs: A Sign of Disobedience
The New Age religion is one of seeking experiences, signs and wonders. In
fact in their own doctrine, spiritual experience is pre emanate over faith.
That is possibly why Paul said that false teachers are rejected as regards
the faith, relying upon signs and wonders instead. In other words, faith
rests upon experience in the New Age. What happens when the experiences pass
away or become boring?
“An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign”. Matthew 12:39
And Paul warned through God,
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall from the
faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”. 1
This is descriptive of the New Age today, and the church which has fallen
into the things we have seen. For it is evident that things you can see
witches involved in, and things found in books on Voodoo and Eastern
mysticism are doctrines of demons.
We need to understand that the Word tells us that an apostasy of the church
will happen before the revealing of the Anti Christ [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4] And how does he deceive? Through signs and wonders [2 Thessalonians 2:9-11].
Everything we see happening today to deceive and take us away from faith, is
a preparation to accept this man of sin.
It is not really surprising that churches would succumb to involvement in
experiences not found in the Bible, but found in the occultism of deceitful
spirits and doctrines of demons. For we were also pre warned long ago;
“If there arises among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth
thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, whereof
he speaks to thee saying, ‘Let us go after other gods” what thou has not
known, “and serve them”;
Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of
dreams; for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the
Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep his commandments, and obey His voice,
and ye shall serve Him and cleave unto Him”. Deuteronomy 13:1-4
Just because it works, just because it is spiritual, does not mean it is
from God! How important it is today not just to accept everything we are
told. None of us are immune from the potential of being deceived. It is easy
to be deceived, and that is why we must read the Word, study it, meditate on
it. We cannot see what the lies are unless we first know the Truth. This is
an individual responsibility.
In doing the research for this newsletter one thing that really stood out to
me is the difference of God’s word in comparison to things outside of it.
How God dealt with His people, lifting them up, not throwing them down gave
me a refreshed view of the sweetness and gentleness of His Word. And He
still is this way today, even if we realize that we have strayed away from
the truth and have gotten into things we should not have.
By the scriptures we have read, it was not to be a surprise to God that His
own people, as Israel did, would fall into false teachings. He knew it! And
if we, even in ignoring the scriptures to test the spirits and watch for
these things, find ourselves involved in false teachings, His grace is still
there. He is still there to lift up, strengthen and set us on our feet.
Speaking of this last days system that God said would infiltrate the church,
He graciously says,
“Come out of her My people…” Revelation 18:4
“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them,
does not leave the ninety – nine in the open pasture, and go after the one
which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on
his shoulders, rejoicing.” Matt 15:4-5
This is love and grace, in spite of us. The question being, will we listen,
come out of following these things, and receive His lifting?
Bfellows1 2011-05-28 07:26:13
Consider the first pentecost. The Holy Spirit came upon them as tongues
of fire. They spilled out into the streets and God had to empower Peter
to speak for them. Why? They were thought to be drunk, Hmm. Laughing,
staggering, apparently babbling, all symptoms of drunken-ness but with
one exception…these people were drunk on the Holy Spirit and the power
of God, a power so strong and consuming that they could not control it.
I agree that animal sounds, screeching, etc are probably not from God
but I wouldn’t dare to judge someone who’s life is Christ centered and
Christ serving on the basis that some things don’t appear to make sense
You need to ask questions and examine their lives. What is the purpose
of the thing I question? Is it being used for any purpose other than to
turn people toward God? You will find that Rodney Howard Browne and his
wife gave up everything and lived in poverty for many years before they
became even relatively comfortable preaching the message of God’s love.
They suffered extreme ridicule and lost out on chances to make money
they could have used desperately but they never once changed their
message and they never once suggested or hinted that God was not who the
Bible says He is.
Remember too that the bible warns us that the devil takes that which God
created (intended) for good and perverts it, using it for evil. We have
to understand that there probably are people who are reacting to
stimulus other than the Holy Spirit at these meetings. Some, because
they desperately want to be a part of it but can’t yield themselves and
others because they are makining a mockery of our faith. We can’t
control that but God is not unaware of it.
Just keep in mind that “All thigs work together for good for those who
love God, for those who are called according to His purpose”. God
Himself will sort the wheat from the tears (chaff) and He wil make good
come out of anything which we entrust into His hands with faith.
We have to stop judging and start praying that He will put His Truth
into the hearts of his people so that each will be able to know without
doubt what that Truth is and to stand strong in these, the last days.