David Wilkerson on Weird Manifestations in Church That are Wrongly Attributed to the Holy Spirit

In a sermon that was preached at a World Challenge rally in Moscow in year 2000, the late Rev David Wilkerson (founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the well-known book The Cross and the Switchblade) addressed the issue of strange manifestations in some churches that are wrongly attribute to the Holy Ghost.

Jennifer LeClaire, news editor at Charisma, narrated the sermon as follows, in an article that appeared on Charisma Magazine:

Wilkerson was an Assemblies of God man who was well acquainted with the Holy Spirit. He was certainly one to flow with the Spirit of God. He heard from God. And it grieved his heart to witness the rise of strange manifestations in the name of the Holy Spirit—manifestations that were certainly not of God.

In his sermon, Wilkerson tells a story of a woman who was confused about what was going on in her local church. She explained, “Many of our church don’t know what to do. We were having wonderful services. The Spirit of the Lord was with us. But our pastor thought there was more. The church wasn’t growing fast enough. And he heard of revival. He went to this revival. He came home three months ago. He got up to preach. And he started to laugh for half an hour. He couldn’t control himself. He just laughed and laughed. There was no preaching. And he told us, ‘This is a new move with the Holy Ghost’.”

I want to stress this point: Wilkerson went on to explain that this wasn’t a one-time incident at that local church. This wasn’t some spontaneous outbreak of holy laughter. It went on for three solid months. There was no preaching for three months of Sundays. Only uncontrollable laughing. Wilkerson asked a pointed question: “The Holy Ghost who wrote [the Bible], who said, ‘The truth sets you free,’ will He cause the minister to laugh so he cannot preach this Word?” I’m not against laughing, but three months of laughing at the neglect of equipping the saints with the Word of God?

Without naming names, Wilkerson called out ministries where people barked like dogs and made other bizarre animal noises. He referenced unnamed churches where people hiss and wiggle on the floor like snakes. He described many strange manifestations—and explained how people call it the Holy Ghost. Fighting back the tears, Wilkerson said crediting these sorts of manifestations to the Holy Ghost makes Him look like a fool. Before the end of the sermon, Wilkerson was overcome with grief and began sobbing in his hands.

A recording of the above-mentioned sermon above can be viewed below:

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