Fire on the Canadian Ice-Cap

 

Eight years ago, January 20, 1994, when the story of Jesus was being preached in a little-known congregation in Toronto, Canada, the Holy Spirit fell in lightening-power and ignited a blaze that quickly swept around the world. News of the event traveled with astonishing speed. Since that notable day, more than 2,500,000 visitors have crowded into the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. What these visitors experienced was radical--and in some cases--bizarre manifestations of power. People fell, shook, groaned, vibrated as if hit by high voltage. Some laughed, others cried, as unusual sounds came from many. Significantly, church historians recognized the strange-ness as being the same phenomenon that appeared in the Great Awakening@ in Colonial America in Jonathan Edwards’ day, 1735, 1740-1742. There were many parallels also with the 1802 Cane Ridge, Kentucky, revival that changed the face of evangelical Christianity in North America. People at Cane Ridge also experienced extreme demonstrations of power.

Many visitors who came to Toronto intending only to be spectators, found themselves knocked to the floor laughing hysterically, groaning as if in painful prayer, or roaring with wall-shaking sounds. Others were unaffected, a few remained skeptical, and, as always, there were imitators, and the Toronto Fellowship soon fell under severe criticism. Eventually, this wonderful body of Christians was disfranchised from its parent organization. Even so, millions kept coming and many thousands found themselves radically changed--wonderfully transformed--by the power of God. Practically every nation on earth has now been registered among its guests. The Canadian Board of Tourism includes the Airport Fellowship among Canada’s great attractions. Perhaps there is a prophetic similarity between this church and another major Canadian attraction: Niagara Falls. Both are flowing rivers that shake the earth.

On my first visit to the Toronto Fellowship, one year after the Holy Spirit’s invasion, I met Christians from Madagascar, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, other remote nations, and some places totally unknown to me. Groups of Englishmen came every week in chartered flights from London. Clergymen from Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Brompton, London, arrived and received an anointing that has since reached another 20,000 churches worldwide. Note that I said 20,000 churches. I refer to Holy Trinity’s Alpha discipleship program that is being used by congregations everywhere. Steve Hill, who was instrumental in the long-running revival that exploded suddenly at Brownsville Assembly in Pensacola, Florida, stopped first at Holy Trinity, London, received the Spirit’s anointing from them, before traveling on to Florida. The rest is history.

Years ago, while standing in a cold Canadian wind, waiting to get inside TACF (as the fellowship is now affectionately called) I became acquainted with a beautiful Chinese brother. This young man was modest and gracious in the extreme. Later, to my amazement, I heard a roar come from the front of the church and looked up to discover it had come from him. The noise was so out of character for his behavior that I knew he had never caused it or volunteered for it to happen.

Later, to my joy, the explanation came. I found myself sitting in front of two Canadian couples who worshiped with us at Grace Fellowship in Boynton Beach every winter. I was their cold weather pastor. One couple was from Ontario, the other from Vancouver, British Columbia. At lunch, the husband and wife from Vancouver told me an interesting story. Their pastor also was Chinese; he was a quiet, almost timid brother, who had experienced the lion’s roar. This not only shocked him but embarrassed him. Afterward, he quickly retreated from the room, sought a private spot to pray, and asked the Lord what had happened. The explanation was astounding. The Lord assured him that it was not the sound that was significant but the prophetic meaning of the sound that was significant. When he asked what that meant, the answer quickly came, The roar of the dragon of China will be stopped by the roar of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

Last April, I returned to Canada and at the invitation of the Toronto Fellowship’s pastor, John Arnott, and his wife, Carol, I preached for the Saturday and Sunday services at this wonderful place. David Rhea went with me. The Holy Spirit moved in power and all of us were blessed. The Arnott’s Personal Assistant, Petra Dmovscek, wrote me later, The Lord totally blasted me that day and I honestly have not been the same woman since. The depths were stirred and the Holy Spirit did something that still excites me now in my heart.

In January this year, 2002, Jack Taylor, R.T. Kendall, and I, were invited to speak at the Fellowship’s annual four-day Pastors Conference, simultaneously holding our Word, Spirit, Power, event. This year’s wonderful gathering commemorated the Holy Spirit’s historic arrival eight years ago. Some 2,000 pastors and church leaders from approximately 25 different nations were present. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit came in power. Lives were changed. Bodies were healed. Ministries were empowered. Wearied minds were motivated. In short, the Kingdom came! Anglican Priests and Pentecostal pastors, Baptist preachers and Presbyterian theologians, Catholics and charismatics, simultaneously were overwhelmed in the Glory of God. There is no way to describe the power that went through the building. You simply have to go to understand what I say. I am awed when I realize that 25 different nations are already being impacted by the power of this meeting. Those men and women went home ablaze with the power of

What does the Spirits unusual manifestations mean? Let me explain as I understand it:

1. God is using radical methods to bring us to attention.

2. He is restoring His church to New Testament power.

3. To accomplish this, the Holy Spirit is calling believers together.

4. Individuals and church groups are embracing others in forgiveness and love.

5. True seekers are being filled with the Holy Spirit in the first-century pattern.

6. Signs, wonders, mighty deeds, now appearing, will begin to multiply incredulously.

7. The Church, as the ABride will be presented to the world in power and Glory.

8. The Kingdom will come! Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Many people love the Holy Spirit but are privately afraid of Him. Their own pride, ego, self-centeredness, keep them from trusting Him. These folks are afraid that He will embarrass them, make them surrender some cherished dream, or force them into an unwanted lifestyle. These unfortunate ones do not recognize the ice cap in their own life. First of all, the Holy Spirit loves us more than we can imagine. His only aim is to bless us beyond our wildest dreams and expectations. I enjoy telling congregations everywhere I go, You will love everything the Holy Spirit does in your life. It is impossible for Him to move in your life and you not like it. Impossible!

Canada is not the only place that has an ice cap. Churches all over America lie buried beneath this crushing, deadly cold. Perhaps you are uncertain about you or your church. Ask the Lord! Seek Him fervently. Tell Him you want to know the truth. If He says you need thawing out ask Him to send the fire. Should that happen radically, as in Toronto, welcome it! You will love every change the Holy Spirit brings.

CHARLES CARRIN'S ministry spans the final half of the twentieth century. He was ordained in 1949 and in his youth traveled with men who preached in the 1800's. For the first twenty-seven years of his ministry, Charles was a hyper-Calvinist Baptist pastor and Presbyterian seminarian who denied the miraculous works of the Holy Spirit. Mid-way in his ministry that abruptly changed. Personal crisis forced him to acknowledge Scriptures he had previously ignored. It was a time of intense pain and testing. The truths he saw were frightening; they had power to destroy his denominational ministry and at that point he had no hope that another, more wonderful ministry awaited him.

As a result of his submitting to God in that crisis, Charles emerged with an amazing anointing of the Holy Spirit. Today, his ministry centers upon the visible demonstration of the Spirit and imparting of His gifts. This new ministry has taken him to London's Westminster Chapel, the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, and other significant places. He, R.T. Kendall, the former, 25 year pastor at Westminster Chapel, and Jack Taylor, former Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, travel together holding "Word, Spirit, Power, Conferences."

As an evangelist/writer, Charles' articles have appeared in major Christian magazines in the United States and abroad. He travels extensively, teaching believers how to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit. Charles' web site is http://www.charlescarrinministries.com/.

 

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