Spotting A Fake
Photo: SarahRichterArt, Pixabay.com
The Dangers Of Signs & Wonders At Large-scale Meetings
Over the past two decades thousands of Christians, including many Christian leaders, have flocked to large-scale "revival" meetings of self-styled evangelists claiming to demonstrate miraculous powers of healing and the working of miracles, including raising the dead. But each time, after the initial excitement has died down, questions have been raised about the reality of the miracles that were claimed and about the behaviour and lifestyles of those claiming to perform them. In many cases prophecies have failed to come true, the claims of healing have not been substantiated, and the men themselves have been forced to step down from ministry after evidence of sexual immorality, deceit and even fraud.
NOTE: God can and does move by his Spirit in large-scale Christian gatherings and performs miracles as he determines. But we need to be aware of the dynamics operating in large-scale meetings and the ways in which they can be, and sometimes are, used by the enemy to deceive the unwary, no matter how sincere they may be.
Jessie Penn Lewis in her classic book WAR ON THE SAINTS, written in the aftermath of the Welsh revival of 1904, warned specifically of the dangers for those seeking the baptism of the Spirit, because at such times people can be vulnerable to spiritual deception in their desire for genuine spiritual experiences.
How Can Christians Be So Gullible?
Q How could apparently spiritually mature Christians give their blessing to something that is a counterfeit?
A 1 Through IGNORING JESUS' WARNINGS
about being deceived by seeking signs and wonders
2 Through IGNORANCE
of well known techniques used by hypnotists and spiritual charlatans to manipulate audiences.
Techniques For Crowd Manipulation In Large-scale Gatherings
The aim of New Age practitioners and stage hypnotists is to induce a trance-like state (involving the right side of the brain by means of what are called alpha-waves) to get their audiences to stop using their rational minds.
The techniques used include -
• Loud noise including music and speech
• Rhythmic beats of 65-75 beats a minute that approximate the heartbeat
• Chanting using the same songs and rhythms sometimes for hours on end
• Rhythmic speech patterns using a technique called "voice rolls" involving hypnotic patterns of words
• A "Build-up" Process in which one speaker after another generates audience excitement & expectations about what will happen next
• The whipping up of increasing emotional excitmement and suggestibility through fear, anxiety and guilt as well as getting people to raise their hands in response to suggestions from the platform.
Five Tests Of A Genuine Work Of The Spirit
Jonathan Edwards listed five tests of a genuine work of the Holy Spirit as a result of his experience of revival in New England.
Jesus' Warnings About The Dangers Of Seeking Signs & Wonders
Jesus warned his followers to beware of people who go seeking signs and wonders.