Monday, June 30, 2008

A former "revivalist" explains why people fall over at "revival" meetings

Way of the Master radio interviewed Mark Havel who used to do the type of stuff Todd Bentley does.

In the interview Mark Havel reveals that people will fall over "slain in the spirit", and feel like they have been temporally healed, due to hypnosis.

He explains that hypnosis is often understood, and can occur through long worship sessions, flashing lights, dancing around, crowd dynamics, and the belief that the person at the front can do something for them.

He also reveals that this type of thing happens all over the world in different religions, such as Hindu Kundalini. In short, he says that someone could pray for you in the name of Homer Simpson, and you would experience these things.

So how did Mark Havel realize that what he was doing was wrong? Through reading the bible.

Let's encourage our friends who are into this, to read the bible.

Hears the link for the mp3, Mark Havel's interview starts at 37:29 minutes into it.

"Sharing testimonies" instead of preaching the word is a bad idea

Yesterday morning I wrote the post about the beauty of the Bible before I headed off to church. I am in the USA at the moment and was visiting a church. Sadly, although I had my bible with me, and had deeply enjoyed reading it earlier, I never once opened it during the service.

Instead of a sermon, the youth shared on recent Todd Bentley type experiences they had had. Then someone said that they now needed to be doing what Todd Bentley does, and there followed a time of prayer for this Todd Bentley stuff. There was supposed to be a sermon, but it was canceled as this other stuff was going on for a long time. Now a lot of the youth seemed really sincere, and my heart goes out to them. But for me, this was a tragic event to witness. the Church ignored the leading of scripture, and replaced it with the leading of individuals' subjective experiences.

Today I read God's command to Joshua before he led God's people into the promised land:

7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but myou shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jos 1:7-8.

Here, it is made clear that meditating on God's word day and night was the means God had ordained for Joshua to not go astray.

We see the same in the Psalms:

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ps 1:1-4.

God's people are characterized as those who mediate on God's word day and night, whereas those who do not do this, are the wicked.

In the New Testament we see that preachers are to preach in season and out of season:

2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 2 Ti 4:2-4.

So there is a danger that people will just want to hear things that their itching ears want to hear, and so it is the pastor's job to preach the word instead. Yesterday in church, a number of people shared about prophecies they were given, and they said, "It was exactly what I needed to hear." This worries me, as its very subjective, and the listener becomes the judge of what they need to hear, rather than the pastor. This means that not only is God's word circumvented in the whole process, but an individual's heart (which is sick and deceitful according to Jer 17:9) is the determining factor of what that person receives. In other words, their "itching ears" become the control of the food they live off.

So what should our approach be instead?

Firstly, the bible teaches that we as individuals should be meditating on God's word day and night (Jos 1:8; Ps 1:1). In the same way that we depend on physical food like bread, we should depend on God's word:

4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 4:4.

Secondly, our pastors must teach us the word, so that we are not blown about by the many new teachings that keep coming our way:

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Eph 4:11-14.

Thirdly, if someone shares something in church that is not from scripture but perhaps a prophecy, or maybe just someone sharing their own subjective experience of something, then we test it by scripture:

1 Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

1 Thessalonians 5:20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything;

Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Fourthly, if what is shared promotes a different gospel of the gospel preached by the apostles in the Bible, then that message, and the messenger must be rejected:

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

This whole process will only work however if the church and the pastor are steeped in scripture. Sadly the Todd Bentley message at the moment is that God will bypass the usual sanctification process (which is heavily dependent on the bible), and instead will give you years of sanctification through a spiritual experience when you get prayed for and "slain in the spirit." What I heard in this church yesterday echoed that. The truth is however that if God's people neglect mediating on God's word day and night, being taught from the scriptures each week, and testing "testimonies" from the front by scripture - then God's people will end up being,

Ephesians 4:14 tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The beauty of God's word

I really want to share these words from Don Carson's "For the Love of God" vol.1.

Deuteronomy 32; Psalm 119:121–144; Isaiah 59; Matthew 7

one of the great themes of scripture, and one that surfaces with special frequency in Psalm 119, is that the unfolding of God’s words gives light; “it gives understanding to the simple” (119:130) in at least two senses.
First, the “simple” can refer to people who are foolish, “simpletons”—those who know nothing of how to live in the light of God’s gracious revelation. The unfolding of God’s words gives light to such people. It teaches them how to live, and gives them a depth and a grasp of moral and spiritual issues they had never before displayed.
Second, God’s words expand entire horizons. A few paragraphs earlier the psalmist wrote, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts” (119:97–100). The psalmist is not saying that he has a higher IQ than that of his teachers, or that he is intrinsically smarter than his enemies or brighter than all the elders. Rather, he is claiming that constant meditation on God’s instruction (his “law”) and a deep-seated commitment to obey God’s precepts provide him with a framework and a depth of insight that are unavailable to merely brilliant scholars and well-trained political leaders.
One of my students may serve as illustration. He barely staggered out of high school. He had never been to church. When he asked his father about God, his dad told him not to talk about subjects like that. He joined the United States Army as a lowly GI, and lived a pretty rough life. At various times he was high on LSD. Eventually he joined the Eighty-second Airborne, and started carrying his Gideon Bible as a good-luck charm to ward off disaster when he was jumping out of airplanes. Eventually he started to read it—slowly at first, for he was not a good reader. He read it right through and was converted. He went to one of the local chaplains and said, “Padre, I’ve been saved.” The padre told him, “Not yet, you’re not”—and inducted him into some catechism. Eventually he found a church that taught the Bible. He came off drugs (and six months later many of his army drug pals were busted), eventually left the army, squeaked into a college, grew mightily, and is now in the “A” stream of Greek in the divinity school.
He was absorbing the words of God. It transformed his life, and gave him more insight than many of his teachers. The unfolding of God’s words “gives understanding to the simple.”

D. A. Carson, For the Love of God : A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word. Volume 1 (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 1998), June 27.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Todd bentley claims violence can be a prerequisite for God's Spirit to fall

In this disturbing video we see that Todd Bentley has kicked, punched, strangled, ran into, and leg dropped people on his stage. He claims that God tells him to do this, and that this results in the "gift of faith" or the "power of God" falling on people.

I have two major problems with this:

1) The Lord's servant is to not supposed to be violent, but is supposed to be self-controlled:

1 Timothy 3:2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, ... sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, ... 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

Titus 1:7 For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught,

2) The Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit works through the preaching of the word.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.

Acts 11:15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.

Ezekiel 37:4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5 Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

3) Some have defended Bentley's actions by saying that Wigglesworth used to punch people when he healed them. This means nothing. We are not supposed to discern what Bentley is doing by looking at Wigglesworth - instead we are supposed to look at scripture.

4) Some have defended Bentley's actions saying that Jesus put mud on the blind man's eyes (John 9:6), and so this is precedent for what Bentley does. There are 2 clear ways to refutre this thinking:
a) Look at points 1 & 2 above.
b) Study the story of John 9:6, see what it is about, see why Jesus made the mud, and then see if that relates in any way to what Todd Bentley is doing.

Todd Bentley claims a 13th person has been raised from the dead and praised him

This video below is very revealing as it demonstrates who is being praised, and glorified at the Lakeland outpouring. I have put some comments below.

1) Throughout the video I hear mention of the revival, but not much mention of God. The focus appears to be more on the lakeland outpouring, than it does on God. It is interesting that we don't see anything like this in the book of Acts. The focus in revivals in Acts is always put onto Jesus, his crucifixion, repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

2) The person who is reported to have been raised from the dead (in an unverified email), started praising God AND Rev. Todd Bentley. It actually says he was praising Todd Bentley. The Bible tells us:

ESV Deuteronomy 5:7 "'You shall have no other gods before me.

Matthew 4:9 And he [the devil] said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

So why did not Todd Bentley read that part of the letter in shock? Why did he not tell the people, "You must not praise me." This would have been a biblical response:

Revelation 19:10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God."

3) The letter says that Todd pulled him out of heaven. Not only is there no biblical warrant for saying this, but doesn't it seem to pit Todd against God? And doesn't it seem to portray Todd as more powerful that God?


I watch this video and I cannot see Christ being glorified. I do not hear of the crucifixion, or repentance, or of forgiveness of sins. I hear God's name used merely as an auxiliary for talking about Lakeland and Todd Bentley.
This scares me as I think about God's words:
Isaiah 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

Todd Bentley claiming Jesus would come and set foot on the stage

Two weeks ago Todd Bentley publicly said these shocking words on stage that Wendy Alec from God TV told him. I believe that these words conflict with the Bible. You can see him saying it in the video here, and read some of the transcription below:

Let me tell you the prophetic word that, that Wendy gave me ...
...if you live in ... and you're local... and you can be here ... Sunday night...
The Lord just spoke to me and said, "This is what will happen tomorrow night. The King and the King's anointing falls tomorrow night. The 8th June the anointing of the King of Glory falls. Jesus said, 'I am coming in person.' The king is coming in person. I sense so strongly there will be a personal divine visitation of the lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ to the revival tomorrow night. He will come in the clouds in his chariot surrounded by a great angelic host ...the king of glory is coming to visit Lakeland to visit the revival...tomorrow the king of glory sets foot upon the stage in divine personal one to one visitation."
Todd Bentley

I believe that the Bible contradicts this message. I shall below outline some of my main thoughts off the top of my head. I'm sure that if you search the scriptures yourself, you will find plenty more reasons.

1) Todd Bentley is inviting people to be in that building to experience Christ coming. This is something that Jesus warned us to stay away from:
Matthew 24:23 Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, 'Look, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out. If they say, 'Look, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

2) Todd (or Wendy Alec) inappropriately uses language that the Bible reserves for Christ's second coming:
e.g., "will come in the clouds," "surrounded by a great angelic host" and "I am coming" these phrases from Wendy Alec are too similar to:

Matthew 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

2 Thessalonians 1:6 since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Revelation 16:15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!")

Revelation 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.

All of these verses refer to the 2nd coming, was Wendy saying that the second coming was going to come then?

Just when you're sure she's saying this, Todd stops reading out what she wrote, and then adds his own bit, saying that it will not be a physical flesh Jesus appearing. Well in a way its good to hear him say that - but then again it seems to make God confused. God writes in his word that Christ will return one day on the clouds, with his angels, and "I am coming soon". Then supposedly God speaks through Wendy Alec using the same language, now saying it will be June 8th - but as Todd clarifies, this will be a spiritual visitation. My question then is, why would God use the same language in a prophecy today that he has used in scripture, to talk about a totally different thing? Why didn't he clear this up in the prophecy? Why did he leave it sounding like the second coming, needing Todd to step in and explain?

3) Even if Todd's interpretation of Wendy's prophecy is to be considered - nowhere in scripture does it suggest Jesus is going to spiritually mimic his 2nd coming before the real thing.

4) The Bible clearly teaches that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33), he made it clear to his disciples that he was leaving the world (John 16:28), and that when he left, the Spirit would function in his place (John 16:7-11). Then scripture tells us that one day he will return one day the same way that he left (Acts 1:11). In the meantime he is seated at the Father's right hand, and the Father has even told him to seat then until its time to consummate his kingdom (Heb 1:13). He is not going to be setting his foot on anyone's stage in the meantime.

5) Whilst it is true that the Apostle Paul saw Jesus - it does not say that Christ actually came down and set foot on the earth (not even in a spiritual sense). Rather it says that,
ESV Acts 9:3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.

Notice that a light flashes from heaven. It may be that this light was the glory of Christ. Paul's experience here is compatible with the rest of the scripture that says Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, because Christ can still be there - and let Paul see him from the ground. Paul's experience is different to Wendy Alec's prophecy.

6) Some might think this so-called prophecy is backed up by Matthew 18:20, but the context there is church discipline (see Matt 18:16) and God's presence in judicial decisions, not a prayer meeting where Jesus suddenly turns up.

7) Jesus' words in Matt 28:20 show us that Jesus has always been spiritually present with his church (shown in John's gospel to be through the Holy Spirit). Therefore it would be incorrect to view Christ as suddenly turning up spiritually, as Christ has never left us spiritually.

I have tried my best here to respond to what I think is an unbiblical prophecy. Obviously blogging is an instantaneous even that lacks the thought and care that goes into bible studies and sermons. Please check what I have written with scripture, in case I have made mistakes. Search the scriptures, and know Jesus through them! And look forward to his real return!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Matt Kottman's case study on Todd Bentley

My close friend Matt Kottman has taken quite a unique approach to the Florida Lakeland phenomena.

He has done a 1 hour teaching on the subject: The 1st half explains how we should biblically discern things, and the last half then makes a case study of Todd Bentley's message and work in Florida.

Matt does not mock Todd Bentley, nor does he dismiss it without biblical reason. It is clear listening to the mp3, and reading the pdf handout, that Matt is a pastor whose desire is to teach the people in his church how to biblically discern such matters.

I would highly reccomend this resource to anyone interested in the "Lakeland outpouring".

You can download the mp3 from here:
and the pdf from here:

Having encounters with angels, does not qualify Todd Bentley

Following on from my previous post about Todd Bentley, you will see that in the video below, Todd spends a lot of time explaining encounters with angels he believes he has had.

Some people respond to these talks with awe, thinking that they show he is a true messenger from God. The scriptures however warn us about people who keep going on in detail about visions.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

There is great danger in focusing on angels and the supernatural, whilst neglecting Christ Jesus who as scripture tells us,

Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Using the Greek New Testament for devotions part 12: Spotting LXX phrases in the NT

I've been reading Revelation in the GNT and recently, and Isaiah in the LXX.
I have found reading both the GNT and the LXX an incredible help to understanding God's word better. Here's just one example:

I noticed the other day that in the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation, the opening line for each letter is:
ταδε λεγει followed by a description of Jesus

This can be seen in Rev 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 3:7, 3:14.
In English translations this is translated as:
ESV "The words of him..."
NAS "...says this,"
NIV "These are the words of him ..."
NET "This is the solemn pronouncement of the one ..."

Now, a few days later when I was reading Isaiah, I saw this same phrase,
ταδε λεγει κυριος "Thus says the Lord." Isa 38:1.

I realised that I had read this a few days earlier in Revelation, I went back to Revelation and realised that all those ταδε λεγει's could be translated as "Thus says the one..." which is very similar to "Thus says the Lord".

I then did a search for this phrase in Bibleworks, and saw that Agabus used this phrase in Acts 21:11
ταδε λεγει το πνευμα το αγιον "Thus says the Holy Spirit."

This was very interesting to me because I have been reading various books on prophecy recently. Some claim New Testament prophecy is different to Old Testament prophecy, some claim it isn't. I don't think that my little discovery here ends the debate (and I'm sure I am not the first person to see this!), but it does show a certain amount of continuity between OT prophecy and NT prophecy.
The impression I get is that when Agabus prophecied, he believed he was speaking God's words, much like an Old Testament prophet.

So, all this to say, that it was by regularly reading a Greek New Testament and a Greek Old Testament that I was able to stumble across this. Nothing ground-breaking, but it does show one of the benefits of using your GNT for your devotions.

Monday, June 09, 2008

How should we respond to natural disasters? Matthew 24:29 "Don't be distracted"

Below is a sermon covering how we should respond to the terrible things that happen in this age, including wars and earthquakes.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

What does, "Do not judge" mean?

Whenever someone points out false teaching such as that of Benny Hinn, or Todd Bentley. It is common to hear people say, Jesus said, "Don't judge".

But what did Jesus mean? There are plenty of times in scripture where we are told to make a judgment about things, so what did Jesus mean when he said, "Do not judge".

Below is an old sermon I taught a while ago on these very words in Matthew 7:1-6

Friday, June 06, 2008

Todd Bentley admits he preaches angels instead of Jesus

You have probably heard by now of the so-called "Lakeland Florida Revival" led by Todd Bentley.

I have been disappointed in how many people have evaluated this without any biblical evidence. Some have supported it without decent biblical evidence, and others have opposed it without biblical evidence.

If God permits, then I will try to evaluate this movement from a biblical perspective on the blog, starting with this first point:

Todd Bentley's mission is not to preach Christ.
He believes instead that he has been called to preach angels (see the video below).

This is so contrary to the Bible's message. The apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (ESV)

So even though people in Paul's day wanted to see signs, Paul preached Christ crucified to them. In fact he said,

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)

Throughout the New Testament, we see this emphasis on Christ, and preaching him. This is not something that is only for non-Christians to hear, but is the message that is constantly taught to the church. Todd Bentley however feels that this is not necessary because the church aleady believes in Jesus. Instead he believes that the church's greatest need is to believe in angels and the supernatural. This means that the whole premise for his ministry is unbiblical.

You can hear his statements in this video:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What does, "Touch not the Lord's anointed!" mean?

You may have heard Benny Hinn say this before,
"Touch not the Lord's anointed!"

I've heard him say it when he's pronounced a curse on anyone who speaks out against him. I've also heard other people say it when they've heard Benny Hinn spoken against, and I've even had someone say it to me, where they were considering themselves as the Lord's anointed, and were warning me to not say anything about them.

So what does it really mean? Who is the Lord's anointed?

In the Bible, this phrase is talking about the King of Israel. It is never used to speak of a pastor, but always of the King.

It was used of King Saul, who rescued God's people from the Philistines, but then failed to live under God's rule. It was also used of King David, who did then rule God's people, in God's place, under God's rule. David actually was a type of Christ, his Kingship pointed ahead to a future King who would rule God's people, in God's place, under God's rule. So, years after David's kingdom fell apart, Jesus came and became the King, so that we can live as his people, in his place (Christ the temple), and under his rule. In fact this is what "Christ" means, "the anointed one" or "Messiah".

Therefore the phrase, "the Lord's anointed" today refers to the God's King over God's people, in God's place, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it is incorrect to use the phrase, "The Lord's anointed" to speak of pastors, or evangelists, or even tele-evangelists.

If you want to study this further, then here are the verses where the phrase, "the Lord's anointed" is found in the ESV Bible:

1 Samuel 16:6 6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before him."

1 Samuel 24:6 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD's anointed."

1 Samuel 24:10 10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, 'I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD's anointed.'

1 Samuel 26:9-11 9 But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?" 10 And David said, "As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go."

1 Samuel 26:16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is and the jar of water that was at his head."

1 Samuel 26:23 The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD's anointed.

2 Samuel 1:14-16 David said to him, "How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" 15 Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go, execute him." And he struck him down so that he died. 16 And David said to him, "Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, 'I have killed the LORD's anointed.'"

2 Samuel 19:21 Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, "Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the LORD's anointed?"

Lamentations 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the LORD's anointed, was captured in their pits, of whom we said, "Under his shadow we shall live among the nations."


Monday, June 02, 2008

False prophecies from Benny Hinn

In response to a message someone passed onto me the other day. Here are just a couple examples of prophecies Benny Hinn has made that never came to pass.

One was made in 1989,

"The Spirit tells me - Fidel Castro will die - in the 90's. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God."

The other was made in 1995

"The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90's, about '94-'95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it - with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed."

Notice what scripture tells us about false prophecy:
Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' 21 And if you say in your heart, 'How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'-- 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. (ESV)

Now, I am not advocating death, we are not Israelites living under Old Testament law. I am also aware that some (such as Grudem) argue that this does not apply to the type of prophecy we see in the New Testament and today. However, I would argue that if someone claims to speak like an Old Testament prophet saying "The Spirit tells me," or "The Lord tell's me," then their prophecy should be judged by the same criteria Old Testament prophets were judged by. In this case, this means that Benny Hinn has claimed God told him 2 things would happen, that never in fact happened. Notice also that this is not a case where a judgment is stopped because the people concerned repented - we can clearly see this is not the case.

Notice also that even if Benny Hinn's prophecies had come to pass, and even though he performs "signs and wonders" - the fact that he teachers "love of money" still means that he should not be followed, as God warns,

Deuteronomy 13:1 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, 'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known, 'and let us serve them,' 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (ESV)

Benny Hinn repeatedly teaches "love of money" which God warns,

1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (ESV).

So what do we make of Benny Hinn's ministry?

1) His false prophecies demonstrate that he presumes to speak God's words when in fact he does not. This means that Christians should not listen to him or follow him (Deut 18:22).

2) His signs and wonders do not indicate that he is a man of God (Deut 13:1-3, Matt 7:21-23, 24:24).

3) God tests people, to see if they really love him (Deut 13:3). If we follow Benny Hinn's prosperity Gospel message that God wants you to be rich, then we are demonstrating that we love money more than God's word, which is a dangerous place to be in, and leads to wander away from the faith (1 Tim 6:10).