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The New Mystics, Toronto, IHOP, drunkenness:

The New Mystics: “The New Mystics,” are one of the most recent movements growing within the church of the western world today. John Crowder, a former alcoholic and drug user, is the most prominent leader amongst them. Dave Vaughan is the most well known figure in the UK. He is presently a contestant on the reality TV program “Big Brother” and was invited on the show following an article the “Sun” newspaper published about them. The “New Mystics” believe they are involved in a great new move of God designed to attract the young into the church, especially former drug users and night clubbers. They claim they are Gods antidote to the “religion” they perceive to be making churches, including charismatic fellowships, unpopular amongst unbeliever’s today.

Getting stoned on God: These believers have taken the idea of getting drunk on the Holy Spirit one step further and think that God is now giving them drug highs from the Spirit. This is reflected in the phrases they use such as “tokin’ the Ghost” and “getting high on the Most High.” Their behaviour is so bazaar that many may not believe this unless they see it for themselves; I have therefore included several video links below, the first three centre on genuine Christian leaders - this is no joke.

i) John Crowder leading a meeting, (28 seconds).

ii) John Crowder “Tokin’ the Ghost,” (53 seconds).

iii) Benjamin Dunn snorting the bible, (2.39 min’s).

iv) Further effects of such ecstatic intoxication, ( 2mins). There are numerous other videos online.

v) The effects on one follower smoking the bible, (5 mins), his comments are very revealing.

Slosh Fests: They hold gatherings called “slosh fests” which look and sound like riotous pagan drug parties where people stagger around or dance wildly as if drunk or high on drugs, some with red puffy eyes, some making strange comments. They believe that this is worshipping the Lord. No alcohol or drugs are present though; instead they snort imaginary lines of cocaine from pages of the bible, suck on imaginary joints of cannabis, or pretend to inhale from wooden crosses in the belief that this imparts the anointing of the Holy Spirit to them. The leader John Crowder even sucks on a small plastic model of Christ and then claims he is getting stoned on the baby Jesus. They do get intoxicated through these things/methods but surely this is coming from the influence of another spirit?

John Crowder in India: What surprised me is that John Crowder’s large evangelistic meetings in India appear fairly conventional with the gospel being preached without any of these bazaar things taking place, (at least not in the videos I’ve seen). On his website Crowder also claims that 100,000 people have been saved in India through his ministry. No doubt this and his claims of miracles, deliverance’s and healings are greatly exaggerated but this has nevertheless attracted many to his ministry in the western world. We can see just how open to deception John Crowder is from the following video though, here he claims that his spirit can be in two different meetings at once and that small “Friar Tuck angels” accompany his ministry and pull on his trouser legs whilst he is drunk on God. It would be hard to take this seriously if this was not a growing trend.

vi) John Crowder teaches whilst drunk.

Reassessing drunkenness: The level of deception amongst the “New Mystics” is extraordinary. Perhaps God is allowing this to prompt the rest of us to re-examine the whole “getting drunk in the Spirit” experience which has become so popular amongst charismatic’s and Pentecostals over the past few decades? [I’ve briefly examined this issue from a biblical perspective towards the end of this article]. The New Mystics believe their drug like spiritually intoxicated experiences are an extension of the soaking meetings commonly found within the Toronto Blessing. Many of these experiences are also very similar, identical even, to those seen during Rodney Howard – Browns laughing and drunkenness “revival.” So the phenomenon of the New Mystics is leading many to reassess the idea of drunkenness in the Spirit as well. It is possible that many believers have been confusing drunkenness, (or drug highs), with the fruit of joy that comes from Gods Spirit as recorded in the scriptures? There is, in fact, no record of Jesus or anyone else ever experiencing drunkenness from God in the bible. Drunken behaviour is also something the scriptures always teach us to avoid in the natural so why would God want us to exhibit exactly same manifestation when His Spirit comes upon us, (see notes at end)? The question many are now asking therefore is “have these drunken experiences been coming from another spirit all along.” It is possible that this was the thin end of the wedge of deception that has now led to what the New Mystics experienced today?

Rodney Howard – Brown refers to himself as “Gods bartender” and people often roll around as if drunk at his meetings. Many of the Christians involved with the New Mystics movement no doubt see this and wonder why others criticise them for the drug highs they claim to receive from God when the manifestation are often identical. It is mainly just the way in which they receive this anointing that differs whilst the fruit of intoxication appears the same. The former lay on hands, the latter imitate taking drugs but both have the same effect. There is no doubt that something spiritual is being transmitted. The following video from Andrew Strom is well worth watching. It examines the possibility that many Christians have been getting deceived and that another spirit, similar to that experienced by New Agers and Hindus, has been infiltrating parts of the church over the past few decades.

vii) Are Kundalini spirits infiltrating the church?

Rodney Howard – Brown’s laughing and drunkenness “revival”: Rodney Howard – Brown came to the USA from S. Africa in 1987 and started revival meetings in 1989 claiming he had received a “new anointing”. The main manifestations of this were this drunkenness and laughter. A discouraged minister named Randy Clark received this anointing from the laying on of hands at one of those meetings. Clark was then invited by the Toronto Airport Fellowship to transmit that same anointing onto them. From there it went worldwide and became known as the “Toronto Blessing”. So the Toronto Blessing was not an independent move at all and didn’t come out from any existing revival as many believe. It is simply an extension and mutation of Rodney Howard – Browns new anointing and his laughing and drunkenness “revival.” This is now being followed by the intoxicating experiences of the New Mystics and their getting stoned on God. This is surely something those involved need to stop think and pray about as there really is no foundation in scripture for any of these manifestations.

ix) CNNs video report on Rodney Howard – Brown’s anointing, (3.45 min’s).

x) An example of Rodney Howard – Brown’s Drunken anointing, similar to that of the New Mystics, (4mins).

The Toronto Blessing: In the Toronto Blessing there is also an emphasis on people making animal noises and experiencing physical jerking movements and bodily contortions as well as laughter and drunkenness. All these strange manifestations are also experienced by the New Mystics today when they snort lines of imaginary cocaine off their bibles or drag on small statues of Jesus. The following 1990 prophecy from David Noakes is worth reading as it warned us that spiritual manifestations that appeal to the flesh would come and continue to enter the church in the future as waves of deception. John Wimber, (who was very open minded himself), expelled the Toronto Airport Fellowship from the Vineyards group after they refused to listen to his warnings about some of these same manifestations. Many people have written about this online in more detail than I have here. I would just like to underline though that no one, neither Jesus or any of the New Testament Christians, ever behaved drunkenly or made strange animal noises when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Sometimes people would go into fits or have strange bodily movements but this was always when a demon was being cast out of them. This was never taken as a sign that the Holy Spirit was manifesting through a person as many in Toronto circles believe today. In fact the exact opposite would happen as people stopped shaking and manifesting when hands were laid on and the Holy Spirit came upon them. In many parts of the church today we are therefore seeing a completely different type of spiritual manifestation to that which is described in the bible. Could this all be part of the deception that the bible warns will increase in the end times, (Matt 24; 24, etc)?

xi) See this video of dog manifestations and howling like a wolf, (2 mins).

I would recommend this article for anyone wanting to look further into the Toronto issue.

If there is no record of any such manifestations in the bible then why are so many Christians just assuming that this is from Gods Spirit today without testing these things with discernment and against scripture? Surely we should carefully consider and pray about this phenomenon because those involved in the New Age and Hinduism experience exactly the same coming from occult spirits.

IHOP’s Student Awakening “Revival”: The “God Channel” has been promoting this event almost daily since the start of 2010. They claim that it is a continuation of a revival move from IHOP’s base in Kansas, (The international House of Prayer), which started in Nov 2009. Toronto style manifestations are now occurring as the norm amongst those who attend these meetings, I’m referring here to the strange physical jerking movements which aren’t recorded anywhere as manifestations of Gods Spirit in the bible. Again there is a strong similarity between these and many of the manifestations experienced amongst the New Mystics today. I noticed that there is also very little, if any, genuine anointing on the IHOP meetings and hardly any real abandonment in worship taking place. Less in fact than I would expect in an average Sunday meeting in the local charismatic fellowships in the small town in which I live. Also those who go on stage and testify to having had emotional healing rarely seem to be happy at all which leads me to question this. They do put on a good show though with modern music and light systems etc but there is also something almost depressed looking about the worship team and the front men always come across as if they are trying to whip something up and guide the testimonies being given. This is rarely the case in genuine revivals. There are only a few unbelievers getting saved as well. God is more interested in saving people from hell than jollying Christians up and if His Spirit is really moving in revival then surely that will be the main feature and emphasis. We have to question a “revival” that has hardly any emphasis on salvation, only lame praise, but healings taking place.

[I have written about the dodgy foundation, associations and background to IHOP in a previous article on this site for those who are interested. IHOP is far from the conventional Christian group that its leader, Mike Bickle, presents it as].

A subtle move: As well as the Toronto style manifestations increasing there are now also many more reports of healings taking place at this IHOP “Student Awakening” than at first. At each meeting a dozen or so people come on to the stage to testify to these healings, almost all now displaying these Toronto style manifestations as well. This was not so much the case at the beginning of this move. The bible teaches us that the Satan is as cunning and subtle as a snake and it appears to me that he has been slowly and subtly introducing the wrong spirit into the body of Christ through IHOP. This all contrasts to the blatant deception that came into the body through Todd Bentley’s ministry in 2008. Those events of 2008 may have primed us to expect the dramatic and left us less prepared to investigate the more subtle move that is occurring at IHOP today. As a result many Christians could be getting the impression that the spiritual manifestations at this “Student Awakening” are part of normal biblical Christianity when in reality the two things are very different. For many these IHOP meetings could in fact be a gateway into deception and opening up to the wrong spirit.

Discernment and testing healings: No attempt is being made by IHOP or the God Channel to examine the testimonies or source of these healings, most of which occur outside the meetings without any of the IHOP team being present. There doesn’t seem to have been any independent verification of them at all or any follow up to see how long the actual healings last. Counterfeit healings that come from an occult anointing often don’t last very long when Christians are being healed. Without records being kept it is almost impossible to test these. These healings however are continuing to attract audiences and IHOPs popularity and influence has grown enormously over the past nine months as a result. If Satan has the power to heal, as we see so often within the New Age Movement, then isn’t it possible, likely even, that he would even heal Christians, (perhaps temporarily), in order to get the rest of the body of Christ to start following after a false and deceptive movement within the church? So that many Christians start receiving another spirit?

The God Channel: It was Rory and Wendy Alec who run the “God Channel” who were responsible for promoting both Bentley in 2008 as well IHOP today. Whilst they claim that we are moving into the end times they are failing to warn their viewers that those will be times of great deception. Surely they should be talking about the counterfeit signs and wonders that will abound in that season, including false healings from occult sources that will impact the church. They appear to have forgotten that this will be a season of;

“the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,” (2 Thess 2; 9),

With deceptions that can “to deceive, if possible, even the elect,” (Matt 24; 24).

It is hard to understand how the God Channel can keep promoting ministries in such a careless and cavalier way considering their end time’s views. It is as if they have learnt nothing at all from their errors of 2008, (see earlier articles on Todd Bentley, the Kansas City prophets and the God Channel for more information about these).

The Kansas City Prophets: The previous article, (link), shows the connection between IHOP and the wayward members of the Kansas City prophets. One of the most well known Kansas prophets, Bob Jones, even had the prophecy that led to IHOP being set up by its leader Mike Bickle, (who was Jones’ pastor at the time). It is surely only a matter of time before IHOP starts introducing some of the New Age spiritual practices engaged in by the Kansas City prophets, for e.g. calling upon the spirits of the dead to return to earth to minister to people and visionary experiences stemming from the belief that Christians can visit heaven at will whenever they want, (see earlier articles). Not surprisingly the New Mystics have already adopted even the most extreme of views from the wayward parts of this prophetic movement.

Rick Joyner’s ministry: The previous (unfinished) article on this site studies Rick Joyner’s book of prophetic experiences entitled “The Final Quest.” Joyner is also responsible for re-launching the ministry of Todd Bentley who led the church astray in 2008 with his false claims of raising 33 people from the dead through his TV shows. The New Mystics seem very drawn to Joyner’s ministry and teaching especially his call for a spiritual civil war against other believers. As we are examining the issue of false and counterfeit anointing’s, (those from another spirit), it seemed appropriate to include the following video from one of Joyner’s meetings for your consideration. I believe that Satan has been infiltrating a false anointing into the church of the western world for some time now and that this video could be yet another example of this.

Video of Rick Joyner’s meeting, (7 mins).

The end times falling away: Surely these are all signs that the end times are drawing near as well as the coming great apostasy and the falling away from the faith that the apostle Paul warned about in 2 Thess 2; 3, 11. It does appear that the various deceived trends within the church of the western world are starting to polarise and come together today. Such counterfeit manifestations may produce a form of spiritual expression and even contain demonic power to heal but will never produce genuine revival or strengthen the position of the church in the world. Not surprisingly the exact opposite always seems to happen as people get their hopes raised then either fall into discouragement and unbelief afterwards or move on to even greater levels of deception in a bid to move forwards. Receiving the wrong spirit almost always births false teachings as well and these can ultimately undermine a person’s faith in Christ. I believe that later on many will abandon the faith altogether as a result of these things whilst others will become so confused that they will end up merging with the interfaith movement which states that there are also other ways to God outside of Christ. We could be witnessing the start of the development of an increasingly apostate, deceived and ultimately false form of Christianity. And unless Rick Joyner changes course to one more in line with scripture I believe he could emerge as a leading figure within this.

Drunkenness and the scriptures: What is typically seen as drunk in the Spirit no longer appears to be of God to me, in fact this never did quite make sense although I had accepted the idea as it was passed onto me by my leaders. I now believe that a person can be temporarily unable to function, or move even, because Gods Spirit is moving powerfully within them but not that God would want any of his children to stagger around with slurred speech behaving as if they were drunk on alcohol or drugs. As we all know, the bible tells us many times that we should not get drunk on wine or strong intoxicating drink so why then would God cause exactly the same symptoms by His Spirit?

“Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators...nor drunkards... will inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor 6; 9, 10). Drunkenness is also of the flesh not the Spirit;

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are...murders, drunkenness,” (Gal 5; 19, 21).

Whilst God doesn’t mind us drinking alcohol, (so long as we are not prone to addiction), He clearly doesn’t like it if we drink so much that we become intoxicated. Surely this is because God doesn’t like the effect that drunkenness has on people, that He doesn’t like those particular symptoms? There are also no examples of Jesus or anyone else in scripture ever getting drunk in the Holy Ghost, none at all. Why then do so many Christians today simply assume that it is Gods Spirit causing exactly the same effects? Isn’t this because they are being influenced by peer pressure from other Christians just as I had been in the past? Probably also because they don’t believe that God would ever allow them to be deceived by another spirit in that way and therefore have a false sense of security. We know from scripture though that this can happen which is why the bible warns about deception so often. These misconceptions concerning drunkenness appear to come from a straightforward misreading of the following scriptures;

“do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” ( Eph 5.18, 19 ).

That verse does not say “do not get drunk on wine instead get drunk on Gods” as some claim today, it doesn’t say anything about getting drunk on Gods Spirit at all. Instead it is about being filled with the Spirit and then edifying one’s self and others in God by speaking and singing about the Lord just as they did in the early church in their main meetings, for e.g.

“Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm... has a tongue,... Let all things be done for edification,” (1 Cor 14; 26).

Another misinterpreted scripture appears to relate to the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts.

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind... And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues” (Acts 2; 2, 3).

Again there is no mention that they behaved in a drunken way. Some sceptical unbelievers accused them of this though as a way of explaining away the strange event of them all speaking in other tongues. But we should not draw our theology from the comments of those sceptical unbelievers;

“And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews... from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marvelled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? “And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?.. we hear then speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said they are full of new wine. (Acts 2; 5 – 13).

So it was the mockers who were falsely accused the disciples of being drunk whilst nothing in scripture suggests that they actually did behaved as if intoxicated. And Peter went on to deny this himself saying;

“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judah and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk... (Acts 2; 14 , 15).

Peter then went on to preach a detailed sermon on the history of the Jews leading up to receiving salvation in Jesus, which covers the next twenty five verses of scripture. He would not have been able to do this if he had been behaving as if intoxicated, instead Peter was clearly very sober minded during this time. See the following videos for a comparison with some drunken preachers today.

John Scotland attempting to preach. (4 mins).

A UK New Mystic minister, Dave Vaughan’s example of drunkenness, (7.37 mins).

Drunken Christians: It appears to me that this misreading of scripture has opened many to the idea that God wants them to behave drunkenly and that Satan has then been able to send another spirit on to them to produce these effects. Once this had become accepted and endorsed by enough Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders it was then incorporated into the culture of this part of the church. We have then ended up with the foolish situation of some Christians frowning upon the drunken behaviour of people intoxicated with alcohol then behaving exactly the same themselves when they mistakenly think Gods Spirit is upon them. I’m unaware of any good fruit ever coming from this. Self control and temperance are also two of the fruits of the Spirit and are about as opposite to the characteristics of drunkenness as it is possible to get.

Unbelievers: In the world drunkenness is not seen as a noble or godly characteristic amongst unbelievers. Even most drunks, whilst sober, do not like to be around other people whilst they are drunk. In short surely “getting drunk in the spirit,” as it is mistakenly called, seems a bad witness and paints a pretty awful picture of our God as someone who advocates drunken behaviour. Instead if the end times are approaching we should remain sober minded and watchful just as the bible advises us to.

Big Brothers example: Getting back to the New Mystic Dave Vaughan who is presently on the TV reality show Big Brother; some of the other contestants on that show have said that he is, quote, “a nutter,” that his getting drunk on God experiences are “a disgrace,” and that he is just trying to use God as a replacement for the drug and drink fuelled lifestyle that he had before he was a Christian. In fact not one of the other contestants appears to be impressed in the slightest by his claims to get drunk on God; at best some of them view him as eccentric. This is not attracting those unbelievers to the church or changing their views about Christianity in any positive way at all. This suggests that “getting drunk” or “stoned” in the spirit is going to do nothing but harm to the reputation of the church in the eyes of the world, that this behaviour will have the exact opposite effect to what the New Mystics expect.

Toronto Manifestations: I think the same is true to an even greater extent concerning the strange animal noises and weird bodily spasms and contortion that people involved in the Toronto Blessing claim is coming from God. What unbeliever is going to want a god who is effectively making a mockery of them in front of others like that? This isn’t the humility or simplicity that the bible refers to. There are no such manifestations mentioned in scripture. Of the churches that have got involved in this that I’ve been aware of over the past sixteen years, and the videos I’ve seen of the main Toronto church itself, it would appear that instead of this leading to revival and growing congregations it almost always leads to divided and shrunken churches. From my experience those who remain within this trend also become quite strange, sometimes moving in the Holy Spirit whilst at others times moving in a New Age/occult anointing. Most have closed ears and are very hard to reach by that time. There never seems to be any lasting fruit from these things either. This all suggests to me that these types of manifestations are coming from a demonic spirit and not from God at all.

The Future: I believe this is all a forerunner to an even greater wave of deception that will soon come upon the church of the western world, (perhaps as a form of judgement). Many believers in the west appear to have chosen the ways of the flesh, self indulgence and entertainment, instead of submission to Gods Spirit. Perhaps as a result of this God is giving many over to testing by a spirit that parallels those desires which is resulting in these unbiblical manifestations? The bible does say that we reap what we sow. I believe that the situation is about to get far worse very soon with many other forms of deception coming to test believers and that a great falling away is inevitable within the church of the western world. The bible tells us to “test the spirits,” (1 Jn 4; 1), and I think we must do this as a matter of urgency as well as get back to a more biblical form of Christian spirituality.

Serving God: I also believe that it is vital that we are submitting to God, and serving the purposes of God as our major priority in life, in order to avoid being led into deception or unbelief ourselves as we enter into the end times. I do believe God will be anointing those who remain in the truth more powerfully too and that there will be a great global move of Gods Spirit although this site focuses on the warnings.

God is sovereign, God bless,

S. Dobbs, Aug 4th 2010. N.K.J.V used throughout.

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