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Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3561

 Manifestations in the Church - Real or Fake?

Many Charismatics are wrong because they see all supernatural manifestations as being from God, when there are fleshly, soulish, and even demonic manifestations. Where there is the real thing, there will also be the counterfeit, even in the same meeting this can take place.

Many non Charismatics are wrong because they believe that any kind of supernatural manifestation taking place is of the devil. Supernatural manifestations of the Spirit have been taking place since the day of Pentecost and in many great revivals and moves of God.

I found a good balanced article on the subject that I want to share that I hope will shed some light on the subject.

I have been involved in Charismatic meetings since the early 70's and have seen it all. What we need in the Church today is is true discernment.

"Manifestations in the Church-Real or Fake?"

By Kenneth Justin September 5, 2013 Kingdom, Ministry,

"One group says every manifestation is of God and the other says every manifestation is of the devil. The truth is there are both real and fake Manifestations occurring. Manifestations like falling under the power, Holy Laughter are becoming common and it is high-time you learn the truth. There are lots of misconceptions in the Church when it comes to manifestations as many oppose every manifestation blindly. This principle will wipe out many misunderstandings- “You cannot have a counterfeit without a genuine article; You cannot have a false without the truth; you cannot have a wrong without a right.” Similarly if you have false or fake manifestations it clearly says that there are real, genuine manifestations too.

God’s power:

God is a Spirit and He lives in the Spirit realm. When God shows up in the natural realm, unusual manifestations occur. When people encounter electric power they shake and fall or sometimes are thrown away. You don’t see the electric power but you see it’s effect(manifestation. The same happens when God’s raw power invades the natural. You may not see His power but you will see the effects of His power in the natural. Holy Spirit is a invisible person but He manifests in various ways. You cannot see the chicken pox virus but you can see it’s effects on the skin of the infected person. Same with the Holy Spirit.

A confession to consider:

A man of God said-“During my early days of ministry, when crowds don’t turn up to my meetings. I place my own people in the crowd and will lay hands on them. They will fall on their own and the crowds will overflow. I faked. But now, when I lay hands on people they fall under God’s power for real”. I have personally seen people fall under God’s power when this man of God lays hands on them. This confession clearly shows that there can be both real and fake manifestations.

Spiritual Manifestations are both Biblical and Historical:

Some Christians have a special power to criticize. They call everything and anything-“It is of the devil”. If God doesn’t tell you-“It is of the devil” don’t leave out statements like that. Just take a leave saying-“I don’t know” because you may end up calling the Holy Spirit as the devil. If you don’t know something, the best thing to do is-“Shut up”.

I too had a problem with many manifestations until God showed me about manifestations in the Bible and in Church history. On the day of Pentecost, Holy Spirit came on the 120 and they were filled. During the first revival sermon, Peter explains what happened in the Upper room as the Outpouring prophesied by Joel as-“What you SEE and HEAR”. What did the people hear? The 120 speaking in tongues and praising God. What did the people see? Manifestations. What Manifestations? I don’t know but this verse proves that when God shows up there will be manifestations.

Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now “see and hear”. Acts 2:33(NKJV)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers asked who is Jesus? Jesus answered-“I am” and the Soldiers fell down. Why? I don’t know but something happened. When every saint in the Bible had an encounter with God, they fell face down.

Jesus went out and asked, “Who is it you are looking for?”They answered, “Jesus from Nazareth.”“I am he,” Jesus said…When Jesus said, “I am he,” they moved back and “fell” to the ground. John 18:4-6(NCV)

Many Christians believe that Spiritual manifestations crawled into the Church during the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement. But it is nor true. Spiritual Manifestations didn’t pop up during the Charismatic movement, they have popped up throughout Church History whenever God showed up or whenever people allowed God to show up.

In the meetings of John Wesley(1703-1791), founder of Methodism, hundreds of people used to fall under the power at a time. The first time this manifestation took place is in his meeting is an eye-opener. A woman sitting in the front row fell down while Wesley was preaching. Wesley stopped his sermon and went down to examine her. Doctors came and examined her but couldn’t find out why she was unconscious. Some said-it is hypnotism and some said-it is the devil. Wesley told them-“We will know who it is when she wakes up” and waited for 45 mins. She woke up and said-“Praise the Lord. Glory to God” and Wesley shouted-“It is the Lord”. When she came back to her senses, she said that she had a vision of Jesus. I love the wisdom of Wesley, He just waited and tested it and didn’t write it off as false right away like most Christians.

The first time manifestations took place in Charles Finney’s(1792-1875) meeting, it was viewed with suspicion. Later it was found that all who fell under the power were unsaved and got saved that day.

People will fall under the power in hundreds in the meetings of Sis. Maria Woodworth Etter(1844-1924) and most of the people who fall down will have visions. They will go down, see visions of Heaven or hell, then raise up saved. Judge everything by the fruit. During the Azusa street revival, people in the streets will also fall under God’s power. Reports tell us that People used to fall under the power while crossing the building in which D.L.Moody(1837-1899) was preaching.

The Bible says that when the believers were praying, the building started shaking. It was God’s power. If buildings can shake under God’s power why not humans?

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was “shaken”. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.Acts 4:31(NIV)

Falling under the power-Three types:

I believe in manifestations but am not saying that everything and anything is God. Falling under the power is one of the major manifestation seen in the Church. As we dig deeper into this, you will get an understanding on manifestations. It can be classified into three:

Power fall: In this type, people fall under God’s power for real when hands are laid on them or without the laying on of hands.
Courtesy fall: In this type, people fall on their own so that the preacher doesn’t get offended. Some preachers never take their hands off you unless you fall. They will push you down or pull your hair off. These preachers must be kicked out of Church stages and thrown into Wrestling rings.
Holy fall: In this type, people fall on their own so that others won’t look down on them. People think-“Everyone is falling down, if I don’t fall people will think am unholy” and fall.
When people Fall under the power for real, they won’t get hurt. When they fake, they get hurt. The Bible calls-“laying on of hand” as a basic doctrine. It is not wrong to lay hands on people, it is biblical. It is not wrong for people to fall under God’s power. It is wrong when preachers push people down and it is dangerous.

Kathryn Kulhman was criticized that she was pushing people down. I saw a video of one of her healing services, in which a woman falls even before Kathryn lays her hand on her and Kathryn slams to the crowd-“That’s for my skeptics”. Doctors and Skeptics declared that it was the Power of God working miracles in her meetings.

Church History and Manifestations:

Many Historians and Scholars have covered up and thrown out everything that was weird to the human mind from Church history. A Real study of Church history will tell you that crazy manifestations were the norm. Every denominational movements, be it the Baptists or the Methodists or whatever, was birthed with crazy manifestations of God. Later, when the fire died down, people covered up the crazy stories and took the neat ones, and ended up playing nice and safe. Every denomination that is dead and dry and void of the move of the Holy Spirit now, was birthed out of Holy Ghost fire-tunnels. I have talked only about “falling under the power” because it is the Kindergarten manifestation of the Kingdom of God. I don’t want to make you go nuts now. Crazy, bizarre, weird, out-of-world and mind-bending manifestations like “this and that”(I don’t want to mention) have been common throughout church history. Manifestations of God are both biblical and historical.

Fake manifestations increasing:

Some see their favorite preachers do something and fake it in their meetings. You don’t have to imitate a man of God, listen to God and do what He says. If God tells you to do something, do. If He doesn’t, don’t do because if you try to do things on your own you will end up pushing people down. Lay hands on people for prayer but don’t push them. Don’t try to imitate someone and fake in the Spirit. “Faking in the Spirit hurts God”. Fake manifestations miss the Holy Spirit and open doors for demon spirits. I have had many complain to me about preachers trying to push them down. This is cheap and insults God.

In the next great move of God, manifestations of God’s power will hit a higher level. I also don’t want you to be uninformed of the fact that fake manifestations will also increase. People will fake manifestations for popularity and mostly it will come from young leaders. But Don’t miss the real stuff on seeing the fake.

Demonic manifestations:

When demons are being driven out, people will manifest as they manifested during Jesus’ ministry. Which is biblical and normal. There can also be demonic manifestations(not deliverance type manifestations) in the Church to deceive people and direct them in the wrong way. Wrong teaching and Wrong lifestyles will open the door for demonic manifestations. God releases Holy Ghost fire to touch His people and the devil releases Wild-fire to deceive people. Be informed that the Church is not free from demons and demonic manifestations and workings are common inside the Church.

Purpose of Manifestations:

Manifestations reveal God’s Love and power, and makes the spiritual world more real. People get saved, have visions, get healed, and receive freedom during these manifestations. Good happens when God shows up because our God is a Good God.

Dividing the real and Fake:

I’m all for the manifestations of God but we must be able to divide between the real and the fake. There are made-up, cooked -up, fake manifestations and also demonic manifestations in the Church. Don’t cut off manifestations totally to be free from deception.

The Bible says-“Test every spirit whether it is from God” and not “Test every spirit whether it is from the devil”. There is a difference. The Church follows the wrong test method-“Is it the devil?? Is it the devil??” and cut off God most of the time. Specialists who are trained to detect fake money, are trained by being exposed to the real money so that when they see the fake they know it is fake because they know what the real looks like. Focus on God and let your testing method be-“Is it God??”.
Everything that glorifies Jesus and agrees that Jesus came in the physical is of God.
“Judge by its fruit” is the principle not “Judge by the manifestation”. God can manifest in whatever way He wants because He is GOD but He won’t bring forth bad fruit. So, check the fruit not the manifestation. If people are being saved, growing in love with God, getting healed and set free then it is God. If people are playing with sin and living like the devil, question the manifestation.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. 1 John 4:1,2(NIV)

You can identify them by their fruit. Matthew 7:16(NLT)

Don’t judge everything as real or everything as fake. There are both Real, fake and demonic manifestations in the Church. “There can be a mixture of all the three in the same gathering”. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to tell you what is real and what is fake. Develop spiritual perception to know when God is moving. Don’t judge by your understanding or your denomination’ doctrines because God is a specialist in contradicting your understanding of His book and your Church’s beliefs."


 2019/9/20 11:06Profile

 Re: Manifestations in the Church - Real or Fake?

Maria Woodworth-Etter was utterly false, and a precursor to Aimee Semple-McPherson and Kathryn Kuhlman. For years Benny Hinn said he was visited by the spectre of Kuhlman in the night, and Hinn, having the keys to their mausoleum, would lay hands on their graves for a renewal of (false) anointing.

Back to MWE: called "the trance evangelist," one (sympathetic) biography says of her: "Before she began her ministry, Woodworth Etter claimed that angels regularly came into her bedroom at night and carried her over prairies, lakes, forests, and rivers, where she would see long fields of waving grain that would fall into sheaves as she began to preach."

MWE received her "anointing" from the Quakers, a cultish group who pretend to be Christian, but who actually believe that no one needs to be born again in Christ, but that they need only be shown the light that already indwells every man. I guess Jesus didn't need to go to the cross after all---we just need to "get in touch" with our higher selves.

There are so many detailed accounts and assessments of the life and ministry of MWE. This is merely one:

 2019/9/21 15:01

Joined: 2010/7/9
Posts: 295
Canton, Michigan

 Re: Abide In Him

Brother Mike, Thanks for sharing this article. I do agree that the devil has counterfeited much when it comes to manifestations. I like what he says about testing and inspecting the fruit of such manifestations and if it is drawing people to God or pushing them further into deception.

I have for a long time believed that we look at men more than we look at God. I have said many times here that if a pure little lamb with pure motives comes seeking after God and may end up in the midst of wolves God is still able to save in spite of the wolves.

So i’ve Thought much about sharing various testimonies because many believe any supernatural manifestation is of the devil. However I am going to risk sharing this short testimony and ask you about the fruit we are to be inspecting and ask yourself if this is GOD?

The devil keeps putting this thought in my mind. He said, “You know you are going to mess up a lot of people’s theology if you post this?”

On the other Hand I hear “To him who has ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit is saying”

The comments at the very bottom of the YouTube by are very telling of what kind of fruit this is.

David Fella

 2019/9/22 12:45Profile

Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 2193

 Re: Disilllusioned and embarrassed

Where is all the soon to be seen "glory" so many of us were promised as young charismatics? Who ever knew what all these meetings and revivals would degenerate into? I haven't been perfect in my Christian walk so I can't be quick to cast stones but the supposed manifestations and events in the "Lakeland revival" was negatively dumbfounding in so many way! And embarrassing. Even though I distanced myself from the charismatic movement several years ago the events in Lakeland were the last straw for me. So many world known prophets were proclaiming it and its messenger as the real deal. Now it seems not a whit of true discernment was being practiced by those prophets supposedly known the world over.

What meetings or revivals over the last couple of decades are known for their purity of manifestations and real and lasting fruit? What nationally known meetings presented as real revivals could be a model for us? If God was not really moving as He was said to be it seems the last thing people should have done is make it happen. I've been pushed down by household name evangelistic superstars. I praise the Lord for every real thing that has happened but I'm disillusioned with all the talk of revival and embarrassing manifestations while the public has a large perception that the prosperity gospel is the norm for evangelists today. Great day what a mess!

Where is the REAL and what will it take to get back to raising the bar of standards again? Who will be bold enough to say that just doesn't measure up and I am not apologizing for pointing it out. The superficial counterfeit has got to be repented of. Thank the Lord for a forum that wants REAL REVIVAL.

Yes, I'll find my prayer closed soon today if possible. Venting a little I guess. Bless you all.

Again, what meetings or nationally heralded revivals over the last couple of decades are known for their purity of manifestations and real and lasting fruit? What nationally known meetings presented as real revivals could be a model for us?

David Winter

 2019/9/22 13:04Profile


David, I've had a bellyful of the phonies and intentional, repeated compromisers, and will not hesitate to name names, just as Hymenaeus, Philetus, Alexander the coppersmith, Nicolaus, Simon the sorcerer, and others are specifically named in the Scriptures by men of God who withstood the infiltrators.

One of the finest ministries in recent years that I have encountered is the School of Christ International, founded by B. H. Clendennen. Theologically he was a classical Pentecostal, moving in genuine anointing, training the native to reach the native with the Gospel in over 150 different countries. Clendennen NEVER fell into the charismania trap, and always recognizing Hagin, Copeland, and company as false prophets with a hellish, false anointing.

The School of Christ, named after T. Austin-Sparks' book of the same name, began in Moscow in the early '90s where the genuine church was still quite underground & persecuted even by the (nominally) Orthodox church. I have read, seen, and heard testimony after testimony of the remarkable work of God in that ministry where people were saved, delivered, baptized in the Holy Ghost, empowered for service, and sent forth to be vessels of recovery throughout much of the world.

Even the underground church in China has benefited greatly from the School of Christ, though the Lord has certainly done mighty works there prior to and apart from the SOC.

Much of what is famous (and commercialized) today in the religious world is apostate. Sadly, you can almost make that a hard and fast rule.

My friend Keith Malcolmson, based in Limerick, Ireland, heads up the SOC in Europe, and wrote a wonderful book called Pentecostal Pioneers Remembered which is hundreds of pages in length with rich history and verified testimonies.

Blessings in Christ,

 2019/9/22 14:04

Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 1100
Germany NRW


I love to hear brother B.H. Clendennon. I wonder who of his caliber is still around these days?

Are there any still living classical pentecostal preachers that have not been swept away by all kinds of false teachings?

 2019/9/22 14:26Profile


With SoC there is Robert Turnage, pastor of Victory Temple in Beaumont, Texas; Duke Downs, senior pastor of Living Waters church in Chino, California; Pete Spackman, formerly of Liverpool, UK who now runs prison ministries in Birmingham, Alabama (and elsewhere in the world--from Lurigancho, Peru to Siberia, etc.); and Keith Malcomson who pastors a church in Limerick & runs the SoC in Europe. These and others all hold to the same theology as Clendennen who mentored them. Look them up online. You can hear sermons, see publications, etc.

 2019/9/22 15:16

Joined: 2006/11/26
Posts: 3561


There have been many revivals that have began as a result of prayer have ended either because man tried to control the Spirit, organize the revival making it profitable to themselves, or not correcting the most blatant errors and false manifestations.

This also applies to many men of God that have been shipwrecked for various reasons. I utterly reject what Alec is saying concerning Catherine Kulhman, Maria Woodworth Etter, or even Benny Hinn, that the spirit that they operated by was a demonic spirit. Yes, in Benny Hinn's case, he did get into some serious error, and part of the problem was that men put him on a pedestal, and he was set up to fall. I did not watch Benny Hinn for many years, but about 20 or more years ago I attended one of his meetings, in which the true gospel was preached, a altar call was given, and I have no doubt that the presence of God was in that place.

Alec has claimed that the Brownsville Revival and Steve Hill were of the devil, so every time he comments on this forum about such and such a minister or a revival being of the devil, I am grieved in my spirit.

Charismatics bear much of the responsibility for placing more emphasis on signs and wonders than on character and the fruit of the Spirit.

The men that God used in the Azusa Street Revival such as Brother Seymour and Frank Bartleman were holy men of God that always preached the gospel and the preminence of Jesus Christ, but also saw many tremendous signs and wonders, and the fire of Azusa spread throughout the world.

Even the great Welsh Revival in which Evan Roberts was greatly used of God and great reformation came to the nation of Wales. Yet, Evan Roberts ended up having a nervous breakdown toward the latter end of the revival and ended up staying at the home of Jessie Penn Lewis and her husband. A book was written by Jessie Penn Lewis entitled War on the Saints, which dealt with demonic manifestations that were occurring during the Welsh Revival. So wherever there is true revival, the enemy will come in with his wiles attempting to bring mixture in to hinder and stop the revival.

If we are going to see true revival, Jesus is going to have to be at the center, and the men of God that He is using are going to have to stay humble, and remember that God has a purpose behind every revival, and every true revival will come as a result of prayer and intercession.


 2019/9/22 17:51Profile


The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Welsh revival was legitimate. Yes, Evan Roberts did end up shattered in health. We would do well to learn from Moses' example that the ministry was too much for only one man. At Moses' request God took of His Spirit from Moses and poured out upon seventy elders. I read Jesse Penn Lewis' War on the Saints years ago and concur with her analysis of why the Welsh revival ended.

I am well acquainted with the Azusa St. revival. It seems the work of God began with clean vessels on Bonnie Brae St. initially with William Seymour and company, but once things exploded on Azusa St. there were others with their own agendas who fought against Seymour, even stealing his mailing list so that he lost many vital contacts. Even his former mentor Charles Parham jealously turned on him. Parham was unfortunately a racist and, with strong allegations, a pedophile. Seymour has my sympathy as a sincere, humble man of God.

Mike, I am an impartial researcher. I am always on the lookout for praiseworthy men and women whom God can work through across the nations and generations. But the phonies, repeated compromisers, or those who started well, but went way off track will never have my applause.

The Bible is a brutally honest book. I am reading II Kings right now. Humanly speaking, it is disheartening to read of all the kings of Israel and Judah who continued in the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. Therefore when I come across the account of a king like Hezekiah or Josiah it is a welcome breath of fresh air. Imagine how God felt! And there were a few other kings who did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet they left the high places where people burned incense and sacrificed to strange gods. That's a mixture we should not applaud.

And so it is today.

 2019/9/22 19:16

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