Weird Manifestations – David Wilkerson

Enthusiasm – “Any of various forms of extreme religious devotion, usually associated with intense emotionalism and a break with orthodoxy”; “possession by a god”; “excessive religious emotion.”

What is Wilkerson grieving over here? The Toronto Blessing / Catch The Fire movement. Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth Hagin, and Kenneth Copeland. The Word of Faith / Prosperity Gospel Movement. And the “holy laughter” movement. All of these intermix. But mainly, this would be what is nowadays called the “Third Wave” / or the “Catch The Fire” / or even “prophetic movement.” Modern proponents of these heresies:

  • Rodney Howard-Browne
  • Randy Clark (Global Awakening)
  • John Arnott (Catch The Fire)
  • Todd Bentley
  • Bill Johnson (Bethel Church)
  • Rick Joyner (MorningStar Ministries)
  • Kenneth Hagin
  • Kenneth Copeland
  • etc, etc, etc.

One word about holy laughter. I do believe there is a genuine and a counterfeit. I believe the genuine article occurred under John Wesley’s and Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministries. It was brief and under control, a flood of joy from the presence of God. But even Wesley saw the demonic counterfeit, and condemned it as the “simplicity of the people.” Others call it mass hysteria. When any laughter puts down the Word of God or supports carnal and immoral activities, that’s when you know its a demonic counterfeit, and not a supernatural manifestation of the joy of the Lord. Romans 14:17: “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE and JOY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.”

Further Reading

Beverley, James. Holy Laughter and the Toronto Blessing.

Chevreau, Guy. Catch The Fire. Examines these manifestations in light of Jonathan Edwards’ writings. Supportive, but conditioned on holiness and fruit of the Spirit. I agree with Chevreau.

Hanegraaff, Hank. Counterfeit Revival.

Jennings, Daniel. The Supernatural Occurrences of John Wesley. Chapter 5: “John Wesley’s Experience with ‘Holy Laughter.’”

Martin, Larry, ed. Wild and Weird: William J. Seymour, Azusa Street and Early Pentecostalism as Reported by the Los Angeles Secular Newspapers.

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is the founder of WesleyGospel.com, a husband, father, and sometimes an open air preacher. He graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and views himself as a Baptistic Pentecostal. As a Christian, he feels connected with all members of the body of Christ, but can identify the most with churches like the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard. In 2015, he released "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," which is meant to be a Bible study for open air preaching. For his other writings, search articles on this site or see the E-Books section.
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