“Offering of Strange Fire”

By Akin Ojumu

What does the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1915), Toronto Blessing Revival (1994), and Brownsville Revival aka Pensacola Outpouring (1995-2000) all have in common? These religious incidents were all characterized by rapturous singing, ecstatic dancing, gibberish speaking (aka “speaking in tongues), and hundreds of people shaking, jerking, and writhing or lying dead-still on the floor all in the name of Christ, supposedly.

Yet, many of these phenomena are commonly found in the pagan religion. The ecstatic babblings, uncontrollable shaking, jerking, and writhing on the floor are all part of the rites of Hindu kundalini yoga tradition known as “shaktipat” and “kundalini awakening.” These are the ecstasy and enthusiasm of the Mystery Babylon religion. 

But you wouldn’t know any of these talking to the folks who believe that these three events are authentic Christian spiritual revivals. In their eyes, what happened in Azusa Street, Toronto, and Brownsville was the move of God in our generations. They firmly believe that the wild and weird occurrences are evidence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, these counterfeit revivals have spawned generations of heretical Christian denominations. The bloodstream of the so-called churches that trace their origin to the false revivals is running with false theology and a DNA of erroneous doctrine is encoded in their genetic stream. Because their foundation is rooted in Satanic deception, the offspring continues in the tradition of propagating false teachings.

For the discerning, these houses of false worship are not difficult to detect. You know them by their emphasis on the Holy Spirit above other aspects of the Trinity. Yet, their own Holy Spirit is totally foreign to the Third Person of the Trinity. Whereas the Holy Spirit of the Bible glories Christ and testifies of Him, their Holy Spirit glorifies himself.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-14).

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” (John 15:26).

Whenever or wherever you see deficiency in the nature of Christ, or the prominence or preeminence of Christ, or the Gospel, this is not the work of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who is wrong on Christ or who diminishes Christ or pollutes the Gospel or who distracts from the Son to the Spirit, is not operating in the Holy Spirit.

Jonathan Edward it was that said, “the Devil always seeks to draw attention away from Christ to a false Holy Spirit while pretending to honor Jesus.” The true work of the Holy Spirit exalts Christ in all His glorious preeminence. 

When the Holy Spirit is the person sought, His work has been rejected. When this happens, Christ is obscured, Scripture is depreciated, and there’s a preoccupation with counterfeit experiences imagined to be induced by the Holy Spirit but do not have anything to do with Him at all.

Show me a person obsessed with the Holy Spirit and I’ll show you a person not filled with the Holy Spirit. Show me a person obsessed with the Lord Jesus Christ, never tiring of learning and loving Him, entranced by His magnificent glory, and seeking to obey Him and be like Him, and I’ll show you a Spirit-filled person (John MacArthur). 

The sappy emotionalism, bizarre fantasies, and esoteric performances attributed to the Holy Spirit that have become commonplace in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. These are all like the strange fire that Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, offered before the LORD which He had not commanded.

Next time, we’ll review another means by which we can test the spirits.


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