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).