The Toronto Blessing with its, “’More, Lord!’-come-get-your-experience” reputation, has received its share of criticism – some deserved and some not so deserved. But despite the controversy, Toronto was a blessing in my life largely due to its often-overlooked focus on the Father’s heart. The Arnott’s grabbed hold of the revelation of the Father’s love and its connection with the outpouring of the Spirit seen in Christ’s baptism as a prototypical experience for all believers. It was a central theme of the meetings I attended.
This anchoring of power ministry in the Father’s love deepened my appreciation of the Spirit’s work. When I experience the powerful touch of the Spirit I’m experiencing the same empowered compassion my heavenly Father had for his Son. I’m being secured and energized by love for loving service, just like Jesus was when he heard his Father’s voice and felt his touch as the Spirit descended upon him in the Jordan River. The Toronto meetings helped make this real for me.
What were the meetings actually like? Well check out this video. It’s a slice of history. It was taken from an old VHS tape I was given years ago so the quality isn’t the best… In December 1994 the Arnott’s were on the road and I was the guest speaker that week. I brought a young unpolished, grungy worship band from South Jersey with me. Their style wasn’t what most of the fifteen hundred or so folks present that evening were used to. They didn’t know quite how to respond at first. But suddenly the Spirit broke in and did something powerful. This video captures that moment. And yes, that’s Rick Olmstead prophesying. Over two decades later he and his wife Becky as well as others present that night, are to this day still faithfully contending for the next generation, which vouches for the legitimacy and genuineness of what we were experiencing that night.
Because the video is long I cut out the beginning of the service. It begins as worship is winding down. That’s when the action begins. It continues on with the rest of the service but the good stuff is the intercession portion of the recording, which goes to 1:05:00.
Or click on: https://youtu.be/1hB2_7WJtS0?t=47m8s and take a look.