A few years ago, Dr Michael Brown made the following claim:
“According to church historian Vinson Synan, the Brownsville Revival (1995-2000) was the longest-running local church revival in American history, and as an eyewitness and participant in more than 1,500 revival services or classes during those years, I can testify to the fact that day after day, Jesus was exalted, the Scriptures were preached, sinners were called to repentance and believers were encouraged to surrender their lives afresh to God.”
Source: Dr Michael Brown, An Appeal to John MacArthur to Embrace God’s True Fire, Ask Dr Brown, https://askdrbrown.org/library/appeal-john-macarthur-embrace-gods-true-fire, Published 05/07/2013. (Accessed 18/08/2016.)
Brown further went on to say:
“During the revival, I calculated that someone visiting us for five days, attending the day sessions, night services, Sunday school and Sunday morning service would hear the Word taught and preached for almost a dozen hours, while students in our ministry school would be immersed in the Word for another 16 hours a week. Yet because we freely welcomed the move of the Spirit—although not as described by Pastor MacArthur—we were allegedly experiencing a mindless, irrational, emotional orgy.”
However, Dr Brown was exposed to be lying about the Pensacola revival. Not long ago, Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith reviewed a sermon by Dr Michael Brown that turned out to be no different to the demonically inspired sermons of William Branham.
Rosebrough exposes Dr Brown as a NARpostle at Isi De Gersigny’s circus church?
Oddly enough, Steve Hill also followed this Branhamite-model of preaching.
What was also clearly evident about this Brownsville revival sermon was the New Apostolic Reformation agenda. Steve Hill wanted to convert Christians by preaching the NAR Gospel of the Kingdom. This demonic gospel was well defined by William Branham:
“The gospel came not in word only but through power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. So the gospel is demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit… That’s how they find Christ. It’s because they believe in that manner.”
Source: William Branham, The Sound of God’s Voice, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNRiseu1oAQ, Uploaded 27/02/2013. (Accessed 15/07/2015.)
And this message was preached at Pensacola to bring together a false unity – which was also evident in Steve Hill’s message:
“You wont believe it how the Baptists are coming to our meetings! I am blown away! Catholics are coming out of the wood – woods friends! Methodists are eating it up! I’m going – WHERE ARE THE PENTECOSTALS? Lord have mercy! We were born in this!”
[^ Mr Apostle here is appealing to a false unity, including Catholics in this false experiential revival. And where are the Pentecostals? The Universal AOG has been fighting the Latter Rain/NAR cult since their inception – and you are witnessing the end of Pentecostalism in Brownsville.]
Where were the Pentecostals? Still standing with the American Assemblies of God, who in 1948, CONDEMNED the teachings/practices of the New Order of the Latter Rain/New Apostolic Reformation.
Steve Hill was deliberately going out of his way to CONVERT Pentecostals in Michael Brown’s Pentecostal AOG church to become NARismatics. This seems to be the major thrust behind this revival – Christians being converted to NARismaticism. This explains the elitism behind the tone of Michael Brown’s voice regarding what he was involved in. And this explains why Brown refuses to examine what he was a part of.
“Unity” and numbers are NOT a sign that something like Pensacola has God’s approval.
SERMON REVIEW – OUR OBSERVATIONS
We have transcribed some of the sermon Chris Rosebrough reviewed. More transcribed segments can be read at the end of this article.
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A “PROPHET” PROMOTING SORCERY IN THE NAME OF GOD?
Steve Hill claims that he is a prophet by claiming God spoke to Him directly:
“The Lord has spoke to me about this service on Wednesday around four o’clock in the afternoon. I was in my backyard and He came upon me. And He said, ‘Everyone in the service – on Sunday, every single person there that is dry will be drenched with the heavenly rain.'”
Already we can see that this is not of God but something else. Why? The ‘heavenly rain’ concept and doctrine can be traced back to the New Order of the Latter Rain, an heretical movement that gave birth to revivals like the Argentine Revival and the Pensacola Revival.
After listening to the review a few times, it was very clear what demonic force was behind the Pensacola Revival – and this stems from the false gospel of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). The NAR ‘Gospel of the Kingdom’ emphasizes that God wants to move in power to convince people He is a living God and not a dead God.
But the issue is that the gospel emphasizes POWER. And who was the one that brought this power? Steve Hill. Where did he get this power? From God’s Word?
No. From himself. (Emphasis ours.)
“My heart is full. I have – I want to begin today’s meetings by saying to you that I have never in my life seen what I am seeing now in our ministry. You’re listening to a young man who went through seven years of the Argentine Revival. And if you know anything about that, the Argentine Revival, you’d know you’ve seen it all. We have witnessed the lame walk, the blind open their eyes. We have witnessed people with cavities, filled in the meetings. We’ve seen things – we’ve had secular dentists come to the meetings and look and watch the handiwork of God, because they knew these people. And the people would go out to the meeting with cavities and come back and they’d be filled. There are so many documented cases it’s put to rest all the skepticism. So many secular documented cases. So we’ve seen all of that. And that’s good. It’s good to see the wonders of the Lord. But something more has happened. How many believe there is more?
If you don’t believe there is more, than you’ve got a boring God – because my God is bigger than all this. And I am believing the Lord for great miracles. How many can believe the Lord can take us by surprise? How many have been taken by surprise before? I have been taken by surprise friends and I want to share with you this morning what took place on January the 19th of this year. Now this is fresh bread. God does not serve stale bread. This is fresh bread. And we’ve seen more miracles in the last sixth months than I have seen in the last fifteen years. I have seen more people filled with the Holy Spirit in the last six months than I have in the last fifteen years. I have seen more people moved upon by the power of God. I’ve seen the lukewarm become white-hot. I have seen the DEAD – spiritually – raised to life. I have had so many pastors come up to me and say, ‘Never in my born days have I seen anything like this’. I have old saints of the church come up to me and go, ‘Bless God! This is Pentecost!’.”
The power of God in a Christian’s life is the Word of God,
“”It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” Romans 1:16
So a different spirit/God is being pushed at Pensacola.
Christ is our bread – and he does NOT go stale.
Yet Steve Hill is promoting the NAR “New Things” doctrine, encouraging people to believe his lies over the Word of God.
But notice where the authority of this revival is coming: The MAN Steve Hill. The power of God is moving in Steve Hill – so get on board with what
Steve Hill God is doing or miss out:
“I want to share with you how I received. Now I shared with a few of the leaders a few minutes ago that this old boy right here almost missed what God had planned for him. And that is a DANGEROUS, DANGEROUS place to be friends: where you can almost miss. And I have wept and wept and wept and said to Jesus, ‘I came THIS close to missing what you were doing’. Because of my analytical mind. Because of my criticisms. Because of my years of Christianity – you know we build around us without even knowing it friends. We build around us walls. And it’s hard for God to penetrate those walls.
I’m speaking from my heart this morning.”
So there you have it. He is not speaking from the Word of God (which is why it was so absent in his preaching. Hill said it. He claimed to be speaking from his heart- not the Holy Spirit.
Folks – this is WITCHCRAFT.
Who is playing God in this meeting? Consider what is being implied in this statement:
“I said that to say this: we may be praying for folks right here. And the Lord may speak to me about praying for someone right here. So if I’m right next to you and you’re going, ‘Finally!’ – and I’m praying for someone to your right – and I race to the other side of the church, it’s because the Lord told me to do that. Okay? Wait on the Lord.“
In other words, wait on Steve Hill to pray for you to receive a supernatural experience, to see the ‘Power of God’ move on your life.
There is Christ who is the Word and Power of God. Then there is another Power of God that is from the pit of hell. We can read about this false ‘Power of God’ in Acts:
“But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”
And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.” Acts 8:9-13
That is what Brownsville offered. Magic – not the gospel of salvation that grants the sinner true repentant faith in Jesus Christ. The final authority was the modern-day Simon, Steve Hill. All he preached was himself and how GREAT he was. Slapping Jesus on sorcery doesn’t make it Christian:
“Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”” Acts 8:18-24
Steve Hill, just like Simon, was using God to make themselves out to be the Power of God. They were the ‘Great’.
“But I want to tell you: God is moving around the world right now in a MIGHTY way. You’re listening to a man who’s lived through on of the greatest revivals in church history. Now I’m saying, this is greater than what I’ve seen.”
However, the Apostle’s rebuke to Simon would be given to Steve Hill as well.
THE SPIRIT BEHIND HILL’S SORCERY
What often operates behind witchcraft is the demonic. Evident in this review was Steve Hill tapping into the power of the demonic. What Steve Hill claims the spirit said to him demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that the spirit he was hearing from a demonic spirit and not the Holy Spirit:
“And [God] has said to pastor- he has said, “Steve, you’re gonna learn something and you’re going to learn it or nothing’s going to happen…”
So it’s up to Steve to learn what “God” is doing or the Brownville revival will not happen. What extra revelation did Hill have to get from “God” to start moving in this foreign power the church has never seen before?
The god of Steve Hill continues,
“…I am spontaneous…”
But the God of Christianity is omniscient and a God of order. He knows the plans he has for us, right? He is reliable. He is Wisdom. He is the potter, the skilled craftsman. Nowhere in scripture does God present Himself as “spontaneous”.
“I can do anything I want to do, when I want to do it, the way I want to do it.”
God cannot sin. God cannot lie. This is why we can have assurance in God and only God.
Furthermore, Jesus teaches us the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and points us to Jesus. So what was the fruit of the spirit behind Steve Hill? Steve claimed that an “analytical man” who was “as cold as ice” (but a Christian) gave up and received the power of ‘God’. This man clung to Steve Hill and said, “Touch me again” and he started speaking in tongues. This is the result of the demonic gospel of William Branham mentioned above.
Steve Hill is simply following the Branhamite model. Preach self, promote divine visitations and messages, preach their desire to increase so that Christ may decrease and get people to rely on them for God’s power to manifest in their meetings.
For Michael Brown to attribute witchcraft and the demonic to the reputation of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is blasphemy and should make Christians everywhere sick to their stomach. Slapping Jesus on everything and baptizing sorcery with biblical and Christian-ese language does not make it Christian.
Dr Michael Brown needs to repent of his lies and delusions and stop using this demonic revival as proof that he is a representative voice and authority on behalf of Christianity.
SERMON REVIEW – ROSEBROUGH’S OBSERVATIONS
From start to finish, Rosebrough pointed out how the Holy Spirit was absent in the sermon with Steve Hill’s:
- False gospel: the New Apostolic Reformation gospel (known as the Gospel of the Kingdom).
- Bible twisting.
- Promotion of heretics.
- Call for false ecumenical practices.
- Encouragement for people to turn off their discernment/brains.
- Psychological manipulation.
- Crowd-control tactics.
- Narcissistic preaching.
Chris Rosebrough exposed that the sermon that kick-started the Brownsville revival was indeed ‘Strange Fire’:
Steve Hill’s Bible Twisting at Brownsville “Revival”
00:07:10 Katt Kerr Channels Jesus?
00:18:36 Shawn Bolz Sees Dead People
00:35:13 Rick Joyner & Bill Johnson Discuss Hosting the Holy Spirit
00:54:26 Louie Giglio They Will Know We Are Christians by our _______
01:05:09 Sermon Review: The Father’s Day Outpouring by Steve Hill, June 18th, 1995 at the Pensacola Brownsville Revival
Source: Chris Rosebrough, Steve Hill’s Bible Twisting at Brownsville “Revival”, http://www.piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/2016/7/steve-hills-bible-twisting-at-brownsville-revival, Published 12/07/2016. (Accessed 30/08/2016.)
“I haven’t seen anything like this since my time with Jack Coe. And it’s not Steve – it’s the Holy Ghost. And I want to share with you just for a few minutes today friends, what the Lord is doing around the world.”
“This morning I just want to share from my heart what the Lord has done. Is that okay? I want you to understand that I’m coming to you today with an incredibly excitement. The Lord has spoke to me about this service on Wednesday arounf four o’clock in the afternoon. I was in my backyard and He came upon me. And He said, ‘Everyone in the service – on Sunday. Every single person there that is dry will be drenched with the heavenly rain.'”
“So this morning service, I’m going to share with you for a few minutes. I’m praying that as your pastor said you just have ears to hear. That is one of the prerequisites to receiving anything from God; is that you have ears to hear… We’re saying, ‘God – if you can do anything in my life, if you’re real, reveal yourself to me.’ And friends, I want to tell you, He is doing that in our meetings around the world.”
“And I’ve heard a lot of techniques. I’ve heard a lot of methods. I’ve seen everything a man can see when it comes to ministry- techniques, uh – and ways to hold a service. And do you know what the Lord’s been doing, friends? He has taken since January the nineteenth, He has taken all that and thrown it out the window.”
“This may be Father’s Day but friends, the Lord’s going somewhere today and I’m going with Him.”
“And we’re gonna look back. Some of you are going to say, ‘I remember Father’s Day in 1993 – and I remember 1994.’ But let me talk to you about 1995: ‘I’ll NEVER FORGET that Sunday! I’ll never forget what happened to me on that Sunday. We will remember the deeds of the Lord.'”
“I’m not going to live in the church of yesterday.”
“I’ve seen heaven come down in our meetings.”
“You can be around so many miracles you can become calloused… Want to see revival? … Careful! Careful!”
“Little did I know that this old boy had become cold to anything new from God.”
“I want my shadow to heal the sick. I want to see things happen Jesus! … But the devil will say, ‘But you’ve seen those things happen Steve… You’ve seen plenty. Why are you going after more?'”
“…. others who are analyzing everything. I love you brother. I love you sister. But I want to tell you: God is moving around the world right now in a MIGHTY way. You’re listening to a man who’s lived through on of the greatest revivals in church history. Now I’m saying, this is greater than what I’ve seen.”
“I know about the Rodney Howard-Browne meetings. The Benny Hinn meetings and all these, folks. I know about everything going on friends. Listen to me: I had my own world okay?”
“You’re going to receive from the Lord this morning because you’re hungry.”
“I got up. I was brand new. I was BRAND NEW!!! BRAND NEW! Now I wasn’t living in sin, friends! But little did I know how DRY I was, until God soaked me!
I got up – and I want to tell you, if you talk about a one hundred and eighty degree turn – I got up, it was like this. I was like a kid at Toys’R’Us.”
“I am laying a foundation for these services. God is doing something fresh. He is doing something new. And if you’re not careful, you’re going to miss what the Lord is doing. Be careful! Be careful!”
“There are people in our meetings who go down. And while they’re down, they have a visitation from the Lord. Boy! We’re beginning to sound like New Testament! We’re beginning to sound like church, pastor! Visions and dreams and signs and wonders. Anybody with me? It’s time!”
“Now let me explain something to the church. We’re praying for revival. How many are praying for revival? This church experiencing revival already. God is touching this church. But what we’re going to experience today friends is a rain shower.
Some may say it’s a gully washer. Anyone know what that is? Now we’re going to be praying with you… So here’s what I’m saying: this morning we’re going to give an altar call. Now these altar calls are going to be full…
Look this way. The bible says ‘Seek the Lord while He may be found’.”
Categories: New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
There’s a lot more sorcery to the NAR than most people would ever imagine.
From mysticism to ecstatic tongues to extrabiblical spiritual revelation to endorsing received knowledge from spirits/ other religions if it “works”.
Bob Dewaay (2012) “How the church becomes pagan” http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/orrel53.pdf
The beginning of the article mentions Vinson Synan. I am a relative of his, although I’ve seldom seen him. A very intelligent man, he was a professor at (false prophet) Pat Robertson’s Regent University School of Divinity, and he wrote a (thick) book about the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, including Catholics speaking in tongues, with pictures as demonstration (just one of his books my Dad had). I skimmed through the book, surprised at what he believed to be led by the Holy Spirit. Although I’m considerably younger and less educated than him, I totally disagree with his theology and concepts concerning the movement. Unfortunately, there are several Pentecostal preachers in our family whom I don’t believe would challenge his convictions. I was once impressed with his credentials and listened to those whom I thought had more knowledge, until God began to bring me out of error and reveal the deep truths of His word to me, for which I’m grateful. Now I’m the exception among family members who still attend and hold to Pentecostal teachings. The ones I’ve spoken with quickly dismiss my comments as being wrong. So be it. I cling to what I know to be the truth. Only the Holy Spirit can change their minds. I’m just sorry I have so many relatives who are believing error and deception. And may I say Michael Brown is one of the men who simply disgusts me. I don’t understand how he’s so respected and revered as one who knows and preaches truth. He preaches experiences…his own. I once heard him say that he used to believe in the doctrine of election, but now he believes in man’s free will as the way to salvation. I know God would not have him to believe the truth and then reverse his thinking to error. That’s not the work of the Holy Spirit and, therefore, raises a big red flag to me.
Michael Brown and his ‘Fire School of Ministry.’ Phhhht. How stupid! What a farce!
Example of stupidity from said webpage.
“Be empowered to live a radical, holy life.”
How? If anyone is born again, they already have the Holy Spirit, what more can Michael Brown offer to ‘empower’ anyone? What in addition to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God is given at this school? This school is obviously 3 years wasted on nonsense. Just another money grubbing scheme being spoon fed to the gullible.
The believers in Acts 19:2-7 didn’t have the Holy Spirit until Paul laid hands on them. The Samaritans in Acts 8:4-17 who received the Word at the preaching of Philip and were baptized didn’t receive the Holy Spirit until Peter and John were summoned to lay hands on them. It is clear from the scriptures that the salvation experience and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are different experiences. In Luke 11:9-13, we are admonished, as children to ask our Father not for salvation since we are already His children but for the Holy Spirit. You will probably spit this out, but it’s the truth. A famous man once said. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
The apostle Paul clearly teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free — and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
The indwelling of the Spirit occurs at the moment of salvation.
Ephesians 1:13-14 “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
The Holy Spirit indwells us permanently the moment we believe.
Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.”
Cheers, Team ChurchWatch.
I agree with all the scriptures you cited. I have to ask then – do you agree with the ones I cited? If so then the only way to reconcile the scriptures I put forth and the ones you cited is to conclude that there is an experience subsequent to salvation called the infilling of the Holy Spirit. How else can you explain Acts 19, Acts 8 and Luke 11 in juxtaposition to the scriptures you cited? Certainly you aren’t willing to just throw out all these scriptures? Actually, I expected you to incorporate them and comment on them in your reply. But alas my brethren, you have failed to address the scriptures I posited or the premise of my post I.e, that there is an experience subsequent to receiving Jesus called the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Certainly one receives the Spirit of Jesus at salvation, but If you are saying that one receives Jesus and after that, there is nothing else, then Act 19, Acts 8, and Luke 11 flies in the face of that interpretation The sum of His Word is truth – Psalms 119:160. You have to formulate your theology based on all the scriptures on the subject. Truth is found when they all harmonize. Thank you for allowing dissenting views on your blog.
Alas you haven’t addressed the subject of the post i.e the sorcery behind the Pensacola “revival”.
Cheers, Team ChurchWatch.
I have no personal knowledge of the Brownsville Revival. So I can’t comment on whether or not sorcery was involved there. I have, however, read your characterization of sermon excerpts from the revival, and what I found particularly disturbing was your ad hominem attack on Mr Hill. You concluded, based on the excerpt, “I’m speaking from my heart this morning” that Mr Hill was engaging in “witchcraft” and “sorcery.” Amazing! Are you willing to also label the Corinthian Church as demonic because of the excesses and sin they were involved in? Your criticism of the revival would carry more weight if 1) you personally attended the revival (You may have but I sense that you didn’t) and 2) You didn’t have preconceived bias and an obvious aversion to the gifts of the Spirit and infilling of the Holy Spirit in the modern church. I dare say that any revival where glossolalia and other manifestations of the spirit were in operation would be considered demonic by you and your acolytes. I hasten to remind you that Jesus also was accused of being demonic by the religious crowd of His day, and these are the words He left for us who followed in His steps: …If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Matthew 10:25
“Your criticism of the revival would carry more weight if 1) you personally attended the revival (You may have but I sense that you didn’t)”
That’s good. It looks as though we have credibility in your eyes on this.
“2) You didn’t have preconceived bias and an obvious aversion to the gifts of the Spirit and infilling of the Holy Spirit in the modern church.”
That’s good. It looks as though we have credibility in your eyes on this.
The reason why this is revival from satanic source is because of it’s origins from the demonic activity in the New Apostolic Reformation movement.
I am also one that has churches such as Bethel Redding on high alert and am eager to learn from those who also do. However, I was very disappointed in the very superficial write-up of this article. I was even more disappointed in the responses given by Churchwatcher to the comments by Aubrey Thomas.
If we are going to identify false brethrens or churches, we must be able to clearly identify the erroneous doctrines which they teach. We cannot just rely on our feelings and suppositions. That may suffice for the one who suspects, discerns or believes a church is a cult but not for his readers/listeners. We have to strive in all things to be truthful with the Word of God, rightly dividing it, rather than be sensational in our eagerness to prove a brother a liar.
I met Steve Hill back in late 1990’s in Pensecola. Looking back I’m glad God led me away from people such as himself. That’s all I’m gonna say.