I have related to Global Awakening led by Randy Clark on various levels for the last 20 years. I was at one point ordained by the ministry. I also made several trips out of the country with Randy to Brazil and Mozambique.
As a young man of God out of the fires of the Brownsville Revival, I believed in the power of God. Miracles confirm the gospel. Jesus Christ moved in anointing to confirm the message of salvation. This is fundamentally Pentecostal.
At the turn of the century, this fall out of favor in many Assemblies of God churches. They were moving to a more “seeker sensitive” model similar to Saddleback and Willow Creek. Preaching under the utterance of the Spirit was seen as “old school.”
It was clear putting a strong emphasis on miracles, signs and wonders was not going to have a place in the Assemblies of God that was a season of identity crisis. As a movement, they were Pentecostal in name only but was more evangelical in practice.
It was about that time, I came connected to ministries that came out of the Vineyard movement. Some of them were downright heretical looking back and other were questionable. The one that seems to be more solid was Global Awakening. I also knew there was many Pentecostals around him.
At the time, Global Awakening was far more solid than they are today. The focus on evangelism, miracles and impartation was something I could get behind. Global Awakening was basically the Brownsville Revival on a diet. The only real difference was a lack of holiness preaching in spirit and in practice.
However, in the years went by, things got more odd. Evangelism became non-existent. I “signed on” to their network early on for doing gospel crusades in South America. About a decade, that emphasis was a thing of the past. Street Evangelism went next. This was not acceptable.
When a ministry turns from the harvest, they turn from the Lord of the Harvest. Global Awakening more towards becoming a big business that does conferences and mission trips for profit. Everything came at a price. The finances were not poured into soul winning but building the ministry.
The major change that I could not agree to walk with anymore is the Kingdom Now or 7 Mountain mandate. Global Awakening became a leader in the New Apostolic Reformation. It was not about souls anymore but about “cultural transformation.”
In recent years, I have been on the edge of the ministry and mostly recently going to the Network Advance at the Voice of the Prophets in Virginia. It has become a very odd relationship between Global Awakening and Quest for Souls because they have become less and less Pentecostal or Charismatic.
The current structure for the ministry is more about business, impartation and pushing education (that generates income for the business side of the ministry). It has lost its’ passion for evangelism, revival and missions. The trips overseas are focused in the church, not the harvest.
One of the hard things for me to shallow was the promotion of false prophets. I believe in modern prophets and I am a strong supporter of prophecy. However, the scriptures are very clear about false prophets and those who operate in the spirit of divination. let’s just say that these people are not David Wilkerson and Leonard Ravenhill.
Who am I talking about? John Paul Jackson, Patricia King, and Kris Vallotton are people who should not (or should not have in the past) be given a platform. One of them was a false prophet that almost destroys the expectation of spiritual gifts in Kansas City. The other one clears operates in a divination spirit and the last one is a heretic and Trump prophet (that clearly missed it!) Yet, they continued to find a platform with Global Awakening.
Sean Smith and his current “wife,” Christa presents another problem. In Sean’s first book of prophetic evangelism, he thanks his wife Barb. He left his wife after writing and remarried another woman. This is clearly adultery and thus, a disqualifier for leadership with the church, locally or nationally. (1 Timothy 3)
All in all, the gift of prophecy is not taken that seriously in Global Awakening. People can’t operate in the true prophetic gift because they misuse 1 Corinthians 14:2 to say that “all prophecy must be encouraging.” This is bad hermeneutics. People “reading your mail” just does not happen. Most of what flies in the name of prophecy is closer to the gift of encouragement.
True prophets would struggle in the context of the Voice of the Prophets because they would address the issues of sin, righteousness and judgement. This is a divorce from the philosophy of ministry.
Many people would think of Randy Clark as the guy that started the “Toronto Blessing” in January 1994. In the minds of many, especially Pentecostals, it was the odd manifestations that people remembers. Things like holy laughter, animal noises, and gold fillings.
I have seen it all and I would use the advice I use to hear Rev. Steve Hill give. He would tell people in the Brownsville Revival that, “I don’t care if you go down or not but if you do; when you get up, you better be more in love with Jesus and longing to live more holy lives.” Much of the manifestations is self-seeking in Charismatic meetings.
While I am not a fan of the holy laughter myself, I do not have a theological problem with it in and of itself. At the end of the day, it could be the joy of the Lord. In some cases, it is not of the Lord and is quite honestly demonic. When people are laughing in a service as the Holy Spirit gives a word of prophecy, for example.
I have seen the Spirit do some extra-biblical things. Slain in the Spirit is one of those extra-biblical manifestations that are not wrong but can be used wrong, even demonically.
Peter Vandever is a Pentecostal Evangelist to the nations and a prophetic voice to the American Pentecostal movement. He is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri.