Originally from the UK, Benjamin is now based at Catch The Fire's headquarters in Toronto. Ben serves as the...
Since 1994 over 4.5 million visitors from around the world have come to Catch The Fire Toronto (formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) to receive more of God. There are thousands of testimonies from every denomination that testify to how individuals have met the love of God in a powerful way through the move of God coming out of Toronto.
Those who have met John and Carol Arnott, the founding pastors, can testify to their genuine love and passion for the Lord Jesus. They are open, transparent and vulnerable leaders who have walked in revival and integrity for many years. As John and Carol have traveled around the world with the message of the Father’s love, they have seen God move and impact nations bringing personal revivals to many, plus physical and emotional healings and salvations.
Many church leaders have testified to the impact the outpouring in Toronto has had on their lives and their churches. R.T Kendall, the former pastor of Westminster Chapel and author of over 40 books, was initially dismissive that this movement could be God. However, when he witnessed the good fruit in the lives of those who were impacted, he quickly changed his mind.
A pastor from Cyprus came from a church background that was very suspicious of the meetings in Toronto. He sent this report back to his church after coming to see what was going on first hand:
"At practically every meeting I attend, I see new people who have come to witness for themselves the Glory of God, I see people healed of physical illnesses, I see people set free from emotional bondages and I see people make commitments for Jesus. In my own life, I have never been more in love with Jesus, more willing to serve the King of Kings and have been more fruitful in the Kingdom than at any other time in my Christian life."
Those who still have their doubts about ‘whether this can really be God’ are warmly invited to come and see for themselves; knowing that our heavenly Father’s ability to lead us and keep us safe from the devil’s schemes, is greater than the enemy’s ability to deceive us.
When we come to meet our Heavenly Father asking for something good, He will not give us something bad. Jesus explained this principle in Luke 11:11-13 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
When the power of God touches a person, it should not be surprising that there is often a physical reaction or ‘manifestation’. Some critics of the Toronto outpouring have been troubled by the extent of the manifestations and have attributed them to the occult or New Age. We would like to encourage these sincere believers that the power of God is greater than the power of the demonic. Many of the ‘manifestations’ or responses to the power of God in the Bible could be misinterpreted to sound sinister. When Zechariah met with the angel Gabriel in Luke 1, he could not speak afterwards; Saul of Tarsus was temporarily blinded by his encounter with Jesus. In Acts 10:10, Peter “fell into a trance” in which he saw a vision – this could be misinterpreted as being ‘New Age’. In 2 Chronicles 5:14 “The priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud” (NASV). The presence of God was so overwhelming, their legs could not hold them – did they perhaps even fall to the floor as many have done during this outpouring of God’s presence?
This is not to say that 100% of everything that has taken place within the congregation in a Catch The Fire meeting is from God. As in all church meetings there is the possibility of a mixture of the flesh and the Spirit – because we are not perfect people. Those who attend meetings operate in free will and sometimes respond ‘in the flesh’. We don’t believe in destroying the good wheat because there is a little chaff mixed in. It is the Lord who judges the motives of each man’s heart, not us.
We thank God for all He has poured out on us and the wonderful fruit He has grown in the lives of thousands of believers. We invite you to come and meet with your good Heavenly Father in confidence that He will bless you as He has blessed us.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
For further biblical teaching on the role of manifestations in the move of the Spirit, we recommend the book “Manifestations & Prophetic Symbolism” by John Arnott.
A short précis of this book can be found here.
This archived article was written by Benjamin Jackson for release in Feb, 2011. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.
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