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The Persecuted Church

 

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Benny  Hinn

updated Mar,5, 2001

 

TOUCH,TOPPLE,TILT!

The birth of the Pentecostal movement began at Azusa Street in the early part of this century. Since that time there has been a focus upon the Holy Spirit and his gifts. Some are genuine, healthy activities that brought new life into the body of Christ. Others are not so healthy in their focus. Based on the Mark 16:17 model for the Church, the renewal movements of the last thirty years brought a stronger focus on signs and wonders, miracles and healings. This gave birth to a rising of some new leaders esteemed to be apostles and prophets. These men have easily found Christian stardom because of the neglect of the church to discern truth. Whenever the church is not functioning in a correct and healthy fashion, a void opens and there will arise those who claim to have giftings. They attract great support in time and finances for their ministry that I believe should be directed toward the church’s own community and missionary outreaches. Instead of building up the local body the famed leaders build their own ministries. Today Tele-evangelism has grown into a 3½ billion dollar industry. Much of the giving goes into the preacher’s pockets and ministries. This enables them to continue traveling throughout the world, conducting so-called miracle healing crusades much like a rock concert tour. Benny Hinn fits into this category as one of the world’s most successful TV evangelists of all time. His programs can be viewed in almost 200 different countries (as of 2001), with audiences of 1 million a night. The Benny Hinn phenomenon continues to grow as the money flows in from thousands who honestly believe that he has the gift of God to heal and to give the anointing of God to others. Mr. Hinn claims to be a channel for God and that God comes into him and upon him. God allegedly takes over his mind and tongue as he performs fantastic miracles and words of knowledge, while casting out demons with power not seen since the apostles.  Benny Hinn becomes so intoxicated in what he calls “the anointing” that he often is totally unaware of what he said and performed later on.

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HINN’S HISTORY: Benny Hinn was born in Israel in 1953. He was raised as a Greek Orthodox and went to a Catholic school. He claims to have had two visions and an appearance of Jesus at age 11 before he was converted.1 This appearing he says continues to occur regularly since he became a Christian. When I was a little boy, I saw the Lord in this dream. It was really so real, it was really a vision because when - when He appeared to me my body became electric just like electricity went through me and when I awoke that electricity was still on my body." (Benny Hinn, This Is Your Day, June 11, 1997)

 At the age of 14 the family moved to Toronto, Canada. Hinn has given a few different stories about the when and how of his conversion. He claims it occurred in 1972.  But this differs from his story on a recorded testimony from a 1987 tape describing The Angel of the Lord in a vision taking him into a room in the high school and there he was saved.2 In his book, Good Morning Holy Spirit, he said the angel dropped him off on Don Mills road outside the wall of his school. Then in the 1981 publication of the PTL Devotional, he said “I got saved in Israel in 1968”.3 Yet in a 1983 message in St. Louis, he claimed that someone witnessed to him and he got saved after he came to Toronto from Israel.

He also tells of his family members giving their hearts to the Lord at different times. 4 However, in 1984, in his book War in the Heavenlies, he said his family all got saved   at  the   same  time. 5 

There are multiple claims in his stories and Hinn is found to be consistently inconsistent with his word. One can only wonder which story, if any, is accurate. In May of 1983, Hinn and five others survived a plane crash. This was discussed on the PTL show with Paul and Jan Crouch.6 

Hinn claimed the Lord spoke saying, “Nothing will happen to you.”  He explained, “When I walked out of that

plane, Paul, I did not have a scratch on my body.” Paul Crouch responded, “We remember that! Not a scratch!” Hinn claims that he walked away without a scratch or any injury and right on the spot he healed another passenger’s eye that came out of the socket. In the book, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, the documentation proves otherwise. Two newspaper reports, the F.A.A., the National Transportation Safety Board, the Sheriff’s Department and the hospital all agree on a different account than Hinn’s. The Orlando Sentinel reported that all six occupants were injured. The Avon Park Paper reported, “Hinn said he was in a state of shock” and he said, “It will be the last time I will ever fly in one of these (single engine airplanes) again.” There were no miracles reported by either Benny Hinn, the newspaper or the victims at the time. The records show that the Hinns were in the hospital.7) He was then released after two days and his wife remained in for three days.8) According to the sheriff’s report, Benny had multiple contusions, abrasions and lacerations.9) As far as the man’s eye being healed, he testified that Hinn prayed for his eye but the right eye that was injured was not healed. After various operations he is able to see today. This was attributed to surgery not to Mr. Hinn laying his hands on him.10)

Benny   Hinn   also   claims a   miraculous healing of his own stuttering. Numerous people from his past were questioned regarding this.  Only one, Friar Henri,  the director of the College Des Freres in Jaffa recalls him stuttering as a child. Apparently, nobody else recalls that he stuttered, even those he names in his testimony.11 Even the youth pastor from the church this miracle was claimed to have transpired in did not recall that he stuttered.12

 One of the most controversial stories is Hinn’s claim that his father was the mayor in Jaffa, Israel. An exhaustive search proved this to be one more contradiction to the facts. The Hinn’s are Arab, not Jewish. Furthermore the language spoken in the home was Arabic. Those who hold such offices in Israel are Jewish. The Jews would never elect an Arab mayor.13

Benny Hinn found himself in the middle of controversy a few years ago that brought him much attention from within the church. He introduced masses of people to a faulty interpretation of the Godhead and also a false view about Jesus. Teaching that He took upon Himself the nature of Satan on the cross became sin and then was born again in hell.14) “The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth… He’s [referring to Jesus] in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was begotten… Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn." (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1 1991), video #TV-254.) He apparently recanted on this and turned away from the flawed Word of Faith Jesus (at least some of it). He admitted that some of his early teachings were identified with the New Age and were dead wrong. However, he has been strangely silent on speaking out about this. Credible preachers speak out in favor of what they believe is the truth. His silence enabled him to walk out the back door without any heavy repercussions.  Millions of dollars were made in his books and in tape sales offering these teachings. Some are still in circulation. It doesn’t seem to matter to Hinn, who bought the corrupted materials and what these people may believe today. Of course there is a very real price to pay when exposing a falsehood that he taught himself and others are still teaching. It becomes especially sensitive as Benny Hinn’s program is on TBN. This TV network is the main promoter of the same destructive teachings. It appears that Mr. Hinn’s interests are more for himself and the preservation of his ministry than for the people he is so involved in “ministering to.” What has Mr. Hinn corrected? He earlier taught that there are nine in the Godhead (not just once; several times)!15) Benny has made some progress, but he is still vague in his description of the Lord. Why is this alarming? He is someone who “under the anointing” claims to know God in a special way and yet he is so wrong on the very fundamentals of God’s nature.

 

HINN’S TEACHINGS: Benny has taught the Egyptians were not drowned in the Red Sea but were crushed by falling ice (Praise The Lord Show 7/14/94)  “God's original plan is that the woman was to bring forth children out of her side" (Our Position in Christ#5, 1990) (Adam) “was the first Superman that really ever lived…he used to fly.…he flew to space.—with one thought he would be on the moon. "  (Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord   TBN 12/26/91) On man he has taught “Within me is a God-man…The Spirit man within me is a God-man…I’m a God-man.”16) “Are you a child of God? Then you are divine!...Then you’re not human.”17) “When you say I am a Christian, you are saying ‘I am messiah in Hebrew.‘I am a little messiah walking earth.”18) “You know what your last name is? Jehovah! So I’m Benny Jehovah!19)  "Though we are not Almighty God Himself, nevertheless, we are now divine." (Benny Hinn, TBN, 12/1/90) Let's say, 'I AM A GOD-MAN.' …This spirit man within me is a God-Man. …Say 'I'm born-of-heaven-God-Man. I'm a God-Man. I'm a sample of Jesus. I'm a super being." (Praise the Lord, TBN, Dec 6 1990). “I am not part of him, I am Him! The word has become flesh in me." (Our Position in Christ). "Are you ready for some real revelation knowledge... you are God" ("Our Position In Christ", tape # AO31190-1)

Numerous statements have been spoken while under “his anointing,” such as, “If we quit giving you new revelations we’re dead.”20) This approach has become the modas operandi of the Benny Hinn ministry that makes it the enigma it is today. On the nature of God, Benny said, “God the Father, ladies and gentleman, is a person and He is a triune being by Himself, separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost... See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person; but each one of them is a triune being by himself. If I can shock you and maybe I should, there’s nine of them! What did you say? Let me explain. God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul and his own personal spirit body.  You say, I never heard that!  Well, you think you are in church to hear things you heard for the last fifty years?”21) Lets not forget that this was done under the announcement

Hinn has repeated the exact same statement on the nature of God. Afterwards on the TBN show, Paul Crouch tried to correct his error. “You have been attacked too on statements that you have made concerning the trinity and the members of the Godhead. How many are there in the Godhead?” Benny responded, “Three!”  Crouch said, “Three.” Benny, “Simply three?” Crouch said, “Not nine!”  Benny, “No, goodness!” (Benny then laughed at the ridiculous prospect). Crouch asked, “Where did that silly charge come from?” Benny responded, “This thing has almost become comical.  Paul, here is what I believe. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost - three separate individuals, one in essence, one in work, and may I add, each of them possesses his own spirit body.  That’s what I believe.”22) (Crouch seems to have forgotten then Hinn taught this on his own program!)  What is said under the alleged anointing of God is dismissed by humor and corrections to hang on to credibility. Hinn’s explanations are still problematic and erroneous regarding God’s nature. He is still not orthodox in doctrine. The persons in the Godhead do not all possess spirit bodies. God, having three persons, subsists in one essence as the one God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are indivisible.

It is good that he has acknowledged problems and dropped this and other teachings. Yet we must remember the position Hinn claims, speaking while “under the anointing” as receiving revelation from God Himself. He would say, “I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me.” This is nothing less than modern Gnosticism, an immediate revelation from “the Spirit” that supersedes and contradicts the scriptures. This characterizes his operation in ministry. How is this kind of phenomena different than the Mormon prophet changing his mind over polygamy or the black people receiving the priesthood? How can anyone justify criticizing Mormons who believe God the Father and the Holy Spirit have their own separate bodies and still “touch not” the various TV evangelists who promote the same spiritual errors? What people need to ask, if someone has so many off-base, unbiblical, and distorted doctrines on the nature of God how can he be operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit?  Since Mr. Hinn changed his mind from “the Jesus in hell” doctrine and his confusion over the Godhead, there has been no difference in the way he conducts his crusades. The very same manifestations that happened when his so-called “anointed” words were not from a heavenly source still occur now. Therefore does God honor false teaching, especially having to do with His own nature? Does pseudo-Christian doctrine ever diminish any experiences? Hinn doesn’t seem to think so as he states, “He’ll heal if the preacher is preaching heresy… I’ve seen people healed in Church’s when the preacher is preaching heresy.” (This is your day 9/12/2000) If this is true than God does not care if what we say is true or false.  If God approves of Hinn’s teaching by empowering him with His Spirit, how can we possibly distinguish the false from the true that arises from the cults and varied religions? Doctrine does matter; it is our straight edge ruler to truth. Scripture admonishes us all to adhere to the doctrine of Christ in the apostle’s teachings (1 Tim. 4:13-16; 2 Jn. 9; Rom.16:17-18).

Benny Hinn continues to make the same kind of statements about revelation and experience that are questionable at best. He claims in the summer of 1974, he claims that he was awakened from sleep by a seven foot tall, three foot wide, black-robed figure that he describes as Death. It tried to choke him. Benny claims that he had an out-of-body experience at that moment. He sat up in bed and from the hips down he was still in his body; but from his torso up he was out-of-body. Therefore he could see everything clearly, including Michael the Archangel.  He saw many angels come in to do battle with the angel of death creature. He claims that these kind of extraordinary spiritual experiences happen to him all the time. He said, “Angels would appear in my bedroom at night and just stand and look at me…I would even see little boys in my bedroom with little white robes.”23)

On the TBN network Hinn described his victory over the “demon of poverty.” He claimed in a vision, that “I woke up one night and saw a man in my bedroom... the spirit of God said, that’s the devil of poverty.” Benny said, “I rebuke you in Jesus name.” Then he said the Holy Ghost corrected him saying he was doing it wrong; he needed to say, “It is written.” Then he said, “When I did that, that thing vanished. And from that day til’ this... I’m telling the truth I don’t have debts.” That part is believable! However most celebrities and national figures can equal his claim.

Much of Hinn’s fight is with the devil himself where he says “The devil has been broken receive your healing.” “Now I am going to read one scripture and then I am going to preach and the Devil is going to drop dead.” (Benny Hinn, The Christian Channel Europe "Praise The Lord" (TBN) 22/2/98) “There is something glorious happening in America. God is about to kick the devil right out of here.” (Honolulu Blaisdale Jan.21 1999) He then actually says “I am prophesying this. I’m not just preaching it. You must see this as surely as Jesus is Lord.”

Hinn speaks of many other experiences given over the TBN network. For example, he said that the Lord was in front of him and when he moved his arm so did Jesus. When he moved his foot so did Jesus. This continued until they walked together and they merged becoming one. Incredible! This “Christianity” he offers is more at home with a New Age Occultic experience than with the Christ of the Bible!

Again he said emphatically, “I remember a man in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, that turned into a snake before my very eyes and 2,000 people saw him.” (Impact News). Later on TBN he corrected the statement and changed the story to he slithered like a snake.

Another time on TBN he described a Roman Catholic communion he partook in.  Benny started to feel numb. He said someone stepped in front of him until the sensation became so real that he reached out and touched the robe which had a silky feeling. He went on to say, “I was feeling the actual form of a body.” Then his own body went numb. Benny concluded that God gave him a revelation and “when we partake of the communion, it really is Jesus and He heals your body.  So how can you stay weak and sick?”24) This is promoting the Roman Catholicism view of transubstantiation and the Bible teaches something very different. If you do not take communion in the correct manner, you actually become weak and people become sick. Some have even died being judged for not considering the body and the blood of the Lord. (1 Cor.11:30) Scripture mentions no healing from taking communion! Benny’s upbringing in a Roman Catholic school appears to still hold a big influence on him today.

 

HINN’S CRUSADES: While on stage, Benny Hinn uses suggestive thoughts to set the atmosphere like, “It’s special tonight! This is an unusual anointing! There is power here people! This is the best crusade ever!…His presence is greater here!…It’s like no others!” These became spiritual clichés to have the audience believe the Holy Spirits presence and work is among them. People then become enamored with what God may be doing in their midst.

Why do people come in great numbers to experience Benny saying, “TOUCH!” Is it so they can fall under the power? In my opinion, most spectators do not have an exciting walk with the Lord, so they go to see and feel something. Scripturally, we do not find anyone following Peter or Paul for there miracles. Those who tried this with Jesus were rebuked. People attending crusades today testify how they knew they would be healed if they came, so they travel from several states and countries to be present. After people are introduced to the worshipful atmosphere and preparation through suggestibility, the evening rolls out at an exciting pace. They hear, “Look at this! “Oh, there is power here!” “This is wonderful! Hinn keeps insisting that it is Jesus who does the miracle, yet it always flows from Hinn himself. If the miracle really were from God, Mr. Hinn would not have to touch people or throw the Spirit upon them. God is very capable of touching people since He is already resident inside believers. However, this new Pentecostal movement of the anointing is transferred by touch (impartation) from one person (the anointer) to another (the anointee), has a anointed leader being necessary. The source for all of this comes from The Latter Rain teachings of the late 40’s. Benny Hinn is infatuated with

Pentecostal power especially from Miss Kuhlman. When he first encountered Kathryn Kuhlman, he said, "I've got to have this...I want what Kathryn Kuhlman's got. I wanted it with every atom and fiber within me." (B. Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit, pp.9, 11-12)

Aimee S. Mcpherson and Kathryn Kuhlman are his mentors. Even though they are dead, he frequents their graves. He boasts that he is one of the few that has the keys to their tombs and says, “One of the strangest experiences I had a few years ago visiting Aimees tomb in California. Friday I am going to visit Kathryn Kuhlman’s tomb. It’s close by Aimees...I felt a terrific anointing when I was there...I trembled when I visited Aimees tomb. I was shaking all over; Gods power came all over me. I believe the anointing has lingered over Aimees body. Someone asked me how is it you can feel the anointing around a tomb? I have no idea man, but I sure felt it. Your gonna feel the anointing...I’ve heard of people healed when they visited their tomb...What a crazy thing. Brother there’s things we’ll never understand.”25 Yes, it is crazy, and I don’t understand how he can promote this nonsense. Do we get the anointing and healing from dead people? Let me ask you, who goes to cemeteries? If what he is saying is true, maybe we should all move to the cemetery and have church! The problem is, this is not an anointing from Jesus.  Friend, you can’t even get the anointing from another person when they are alive, so how in the world would you receive it from them when they are dead? No wonder he has no idea how this is possible; because there is no scriptural validity for his “experience.” While some may relate this to the miracle of Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21) when a dead man was thrown into the tomb of Elisha and touching Elisha's bones "he revived and stood up on his feet.” Neither Kathryn or Hinn are raising anyone back to life, its not the same thing!

 

part 2 continued

 

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