Before the Toronto Outpouring broke out in 1994, a rash of horror books and films about killer plagues littered the secular media. The plots usually went something like this: somewhere in the African bush a monkey bites someone who gets on a plane bound for the US. Passengers on the plane begin to cough and wheeze. When the plane lands, infected parties disseminate the deadly virus throughout the unsuspecting populace. The plague spreads until large sectors of cities are dying. Suddenly a team of crackerjack physicians finds the secret cure and stops the plague before it wipes out the entire nation.
In retrospect, fiction became a prophetic picture of a wonderful plague God was about to release in the population of the world. “Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound...” In 1993 a powerful virus landed on John and Carol Arnott in Argentina. When they returned home to Toronto and invited Randy Clark to minister in January of 1994, they didn't realize - or maybe they did - that the holy infection would spread. With outbreaks occurring spontaneously throughout the body of Christ, the wonderful plague reached its tipping point in January of 1994. Ten years later, this Divine disease has spread to every continent of the world. Fortunately, no team of theological experts has been able to conquer it.
In November of 1994, I became infected. I'm still infected and want to stay “sick.” Lovesick for Jesus. Unfortunately, however, some folks got just enough of it to immunize themselves effectively. “We've had that” is their motto.
This year Bill and I have traveled to several new churches in places like Illinois, Texas and New Mexico where the populace is not yet immune to the holy virus. The infection is fresh with congregations lying all over the floor, writhing in happy agony, falling when you look their way and better yet, falling in love with Jesus again. They are gaining new strength to serve God and infecting others, even carrying the blessing to other nations. It's called the leaven of the kingdom of heaven.
Be careful. You've just picked up a magazine with the spores all over it. Between these covers you will find wonderful accounts of signs and wonders taking place all over the world through “regular” people who've soaked in something they are now carrying everywhere they go. Todd Bentley was a “druggie” several years ago, but after a few short months of soaking in the virus, he's a saved and transformed man carrying the plague and spreading the gospel with signs following.
Jamie Galloway made the mistake of getting too close to Randy Clark. He's another young man who somehow believes that signs and wonders are not just meant for the thrilling days of yesteryear. He is teaching others what he's learned: any available vessel can spread this virus with signs following - now!
“Come, Holy Spirit, make me totally infected with your love.”
Jeremy and Connie Sinnott and John Arnott are still so infected they're hopeless cases. They are still starting plagues in places like the Philippines and Ukraine while making sure the Toronto conferences and schools remain as breeding places for the holy infection.
Give special attention to the testimony in the “Fresh Fire” section of a couple who pastor a small church in a cornfield in Peru, Illinois. You'll realize that no place is safe.
If while reading this, you realize that you've somehow missed the plague entirely or you remember what it was like to be “sick” and realize that you need a relapse, just take a deep breath and pray, “Come, Holy Spirit, make me totally infected with your love.”
Originaly Published August/September 2004 Editor Melinda Fish