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Some Weaknesses in the Teaching of
The Berean Call
The Berean Call, a journal produced by Dave Hunt, performs a useful service
to enlighten Catholics, Lutherans, and some others about false church dogma.
But it stops short of allowing the fulness of the spirit to come in. Here's a sample.
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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When you become a believer in Jesus, what you receive depends upon what you believe. If you believe you will receive the Holy Spirit but without spiritual gifts, that is what you get. But if you believe in the validity of spiritual gifts as part of the benefit of the Holy Spirit, then correspondingly you will receive according to your faith.
This is why proper teaching is vital if you want the full measure of what God offers believers. Expectation is very important, because Jesus often said to people that they would receive according to their faith. And faith is based upon what you believe the Word of God says and means.
We find an example of this in Acts 19. Notice:
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples [notice that they were true disciples] and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
So, Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied.
Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:1-6, NIV).
What is important to notice here is that these believers were genuinely repentant. They wanted to obey God. But they had not been taught the entire truth about what baptism pictures. They thought that it merely pictured repentance, as John the Baptist taught. While John prepared people to look forward to the Messiah and His further baptism in the Spirit ('with fire', see Matt 3:11), they didn't know He had offered people more, so they didn't expect to receive this 'fire' of the Spirit.
There are believers today who have similarly been taught incomplete truth on this subject. In fact, not only have they been told part truth, they have been fed error, thinking it's the whole truth.
It's a real shame, because they may mean well, but there's no escaping the results of lies. If you believe a lie, you will receive accordingly.
For example, if you believe that healing is not a promise from God for today, and if you think that God is merely capricious with His grace, you won't be able to have the faith that will cause you to receive it – because you just don't believe.
The same is true with all spiritual gifts. Mark's gospel is definite on this: these signs follow those who believe (Mark 16:17,18). Believe what?
Believe in Jesus? No. They don't accompany those who just believe in Jesus, but who don't believe that speaking in tongues or prophesying are genuine manifestations of the Spirit which are for you. These signs are experienced by those who believe in them, besides believing in Jesus.
If you believe in Jesus, but have been taught to think that when you receive His Spirit you will not receive any spiritual gift, you won't get any gift.
Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ (Rom 10:17, NIV).
But if you have heard a tainted message, one which is not all Jesus taught, you will suffer lack accordingly. You will still receive salvation, because God looks on your heart, but you won't receive all that He offers you here and now, if you have a misguided concept.
God is not going to give you gifts of the Spirit if you don't know what they are, or if you fear them, or don't think they are of any value.
This happened to a lady whom we knew in the WCG. For decades, the WCG taught against the gifts of the Spirit, and still doesn't accept them today (despite some feint 'noises' to the contrary). You would be hard pressed to find a WCG minister with any noticeable spiritual gift such as tongues, interpretation of tongues, or prophecy.
One day this lady was praying and suddenly she started speaking in tongues. It shocked her. She remembered what her church had said about tongues and so she shut it down. She admitted to us later that fear gripped her because of what was coming out of her mouth. So she stopped it.
Fear is a huge tool of the devil to thwart your spiritual progress! It prevents many receiving.
And so does incomplete teaching that attaches lies to gifts of the Spirit like tongues: saying they are of little relevance, or ceased since the apostolic era, or outmoded for our time.
Quenching The Power Of The Spirit
Paul wrote explicitly:
Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19).
Or as the NIV renders it:
Do not put out the Spirit's fire.
The fire of the Spirit is demonstrated through spiritual gifts primarily, and also through healings and miracles. Some in the body of Christ have been given the power to work miracles for the sake of publicising the Gospel (1 Cor 12:10). One such individual is Benny Hinn.
When God called Benny, he was a nobody, an immigrant in Canada from the Middle East. One day God touched him powerfully, and he had a very sentient experience with the Spirit of God. So real was this experience in which he talked with Him, that when it was time for Jesus to 'leave', he didn't want Jesus to go. Jesus told him that He had to. Wonderful experiences and ecstatic feelings given by the Spirit are not meant to last forever in this life: they are meant to prepare us to do a job for Him.
And that's what Benny Hinn has been doing ever since – fulfilling God's call upon his life. God has empowered him with miracle-working power and faith to 'operate' in such a realm.
At his meetings, besides countless healings, people are frequently 'slain in the Spirit' (fall down under supernatural power) as a very tangible demonstration of the presence of God. This 'anointing' came upon him from the time when God first began to make Himself tangibly known to him. Every time Benny would pray, he would fall down under the power of God.
That is not a normal occurrence for every believer. It's not meant to be. God was specifically preparing him for the task He had ahead.
For many people, however, it is a stumbling-block. They have not experienced such things in their ministry or personal life, so they jump the conclusion that it must be a demonic manifestation and not genuinely from God. They base their conclusion upon their own experience and intellectual grasp of God's Word.
But this is dangerous to assume that just because you have not experienced something or can't understand it, that it is of the devil.
Didn't the Pharisees do that when they saw Jesus casting out demons and gaining publicity by doing so? (Jesus didn't intentionally do that; the popularity came as a result of what He tried to do with the least possible fuss and publicity.)
The Berean Call gives much valuable teaching, by intellectual argument, to demolish the fallacies of the Catholic faith and Islam, but when it comes to the arena of the miraculous it is out of touch with spiritual reality!
The problem is one that revolves around experience. What you have not experienced you tend to not understand. So, tongues and other gifts of the Spirit which are incomprehensible to the rational mind, are either rejected, downplayed or shelved.
But God does not merely want us to believe Him with our intellect, He wants us to believe Him from deep within our spirit. And that is where gifts of the Spirit originate and operate.
You don't decide by your intellect to speak in tongues, or to heal the sick, or raise the dead. These gifts come down from Above, and are generated from within by the Spirit of God moving upon the spirit of the person.
Unfortunately, The Berean Call has little or no experience of spiritual gifts, and because of this failing, its approach to the bizarre happenings in miracle ministries such as Benny Hinn's, is to relegate it all immediately to the demonic pit. But that is dangerous territory. It's close to the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, of which the Pharisees were guilty for accusing Jesus of casting out demons by the power of the chief of demons (Luke 11:15).
For each person, what is needed is not to reduce the Word of God to the level of your incomplete and imperfect experience, but to raise your experience to the level of God's complete and perfect Word.
Otherwise, you are in danger of quenching the power of the Spirit – putting out its 'fire'!
Challenging Demonic Strongholds
I contacted Dave Hunt's ministry about the slanderous statements he has made of Benny Hinn, accusing him of being a spiritual fraudster and insinuating that he is working miracles by occult power, not the power of God.
29th December 2002
...enclosed are various other publications that I feel will help you to obtain a better perspective on various subjects. May they be a blessing to you. While the core of your teaching is sound, pointing people to Jesus as Saviour, your grasp of some peripheral aspects is in need of revision.
As far as I can tell, you don't preach the truth on healing, miraculous power, spiritual gifts or ministry gifts including apostles and prophets.
This is a time of restoration of truth, in line with the promise in Malachi 4. Paul's ministry was attested to by signs and wonders and various miracles (2 Cor 12:12). These are the things that verify an apostolic or prophetic calling from God, as well as that of evangelists who have faith in Jesus AND in His power. Where true faith exists, signs and wonders authenticate Jesus' presence, who is the benefactor of that gift of faith. Raising The Dead contains an example in the raising from the dead of a boy in Nigeria by an evangelist whom we support. God did this to verify his and our ministry, as you will read.
I notice that you have a very blanched view of the miraculous. Your work, as good as it is in the area of countering doctrinal error and dogma principally Catholic in origin, fails to move on into the realm of the miraculous. Such things cannot be fully understood by the rational mind only, for they are things supernal not normal. For this reason, you tend to decry what you don't understand (in contravention of the warning in Jude 10), and ascribe it to demonic power.
If you could come out of your cloistered environment and experience the full sunlight of the radiance of God, you would have a better grasp of these supernatural aspects. Where Jesus is being preached – however imperfectly and somewhat erroneously – and where faith in His power is present, He backs up His name and honours that faith by performing the miraculous. To insinuate as you do that it's the work of the devil that is seen at large evangelistic events, is to give the devil more honour than Jesus.
I trust you will rectify this error in your teaching, for it is leading many away from a full understanding of God and our Saviour.
I received no reply. Another letter followed later, outlining some other errors in his teaching:
PO Box 7019
19th February 2003
I wrote to you on 29th December 2002. I trust you welcomed that letter with enclosures.
In your excellently produced video Israel, Islam and Armageddon, you mention your view of how Jesus fulfilled Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy and reiterate a commonly held fallacy that the Antichrist will make a peace treaty with Israel, based upon the following text:
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering... (Dan 9:27, NKJV).
I explain more fully in the enclosed paper Daniel's 70 Weeks Prophecy Fulfilled, that it refers to Jesus, not primarily to any other fulfilment. Whether there is a secondary fulfilment, we shall have to wait and see. But I doubt it, because of the way it refers to Jesus.
While much of your ministry is of value to many people, I see no evidence of miracles, of the supernatural, of spiritual gifts, of prophesying, of dreams, visions or other revelations given by the Spirit to you. So, a question mark hangs over the depth of value which you can give your hearers. Paul's ministry was attested to by signs and wonders and many things that you seem to decry in others such as Benny Hinn.
I don't subscribe to his doctrine, either. But, just because he has some things to learn in that respect does not mean he is a false believer and will not be in the Final Count, or that all the signs and wonders in his ministry are to be repudiated. The signs and wonders which Paul performed were testimony to the validity of his ministry from God. So, I would ask you why you reject Benny Hinn on a basis that God does not support in the New Testament. In referring to false teachers and deceivers Jesus said: "By their fruits you will know them." Not by their teaching alone. The fruits He was referring to were spiritual fruits, further defined in Galatians 5. I'm sure you know the text.
You are right to point out the fallacies in his theology. But if your teaching is merely based upon a rational, intellectual, reasoned appraisal of the Word of God, there will be big holes in it, because the mysteries of God are not fathomable by the intellect alone. The paucity (I am being reasonable with you here; I could say "the absence") of miraculous signs and wonders, or of dreams and visions giving clarity and direction, throws a shadow over what you are promoting. There has to be evidence of the moving of the Spirit in your ministry, otherwise I can only surmise that it is YOUR ministry and YOUR exposition, not that inspired by the Spirit of God.
I enclose some publications for you, hopeful that you can reconsider some of your doctrinal positions. When we are shown to contact other evangelists and teachers, like yourself, we find that it is invariably effort and expense 'wasted' from a human point of view. We are not reimbursed for our costs in providing 'our' materials. Most people resent reimbursing another (even if God HAS sent him) with whom they disagree and for materials which they have not requested (and probably resent receiving because they don't want to change). It would be nice if they could realise that we come at the Spirit's prompting, not because we have some personal axe to grind which benefits us. (It doesn't!)
We find that wherever we go with more truth, most ministries and ministers are so engrossed in what THEY are doing that they don't have either the time or the inclination to examine anything further which God wants them to have. They continue on down the well-trodden path, the way they are used to, and they miss moving up a level with Him.
There are some holes in your teaching which need filling, so we hope that you can take the time to ponder what we have presented. It's not easy reconsidering or reappraising your position, but it's necessary in order to stay in the will of God.
Sincerely, in His love,
Malcolm B Heap
PS Some other points:
One dream which a prophet in Ethiopia received (Kassahun Ayele) warned of the spark which will ignite the tinder box in the Middle East (from our Newsletter 15, Sept 2001):
Yasser Arafat Killed and War Erupts
3rd June 2001. It seems to me that it was night. I saw in a room the leader of Palestinian people Yasser Arafat with some of his officials talking about a secret mission. I can't hear what he said to his officials. Suddenly he was shot and killed while he was in the room. After the killing of him a great war began between the Palestinians and Israel.
Zech 12 is not merely a positive account (as many Bible teachers seem to imply) about the nation state of Israel defeating her enemies which surround her. True that is part of it, but there is an integral part of horrendous suffering shortly coming, when the country will be engulfed in war and tribulation, so that the Spirit of grace and supplication can follow to save the entire nation (Zech 12:10-12; 13:1-2). Dumitru Duduman prophesied of this holocaust. God showed it to him in dreams (see pp 69-72, of Articles of Faith 5). He also showed him how all the people of God must be prepared to face this time of tribulation and not expect to be whisked away in a secret rapture. Many of those who are prepared to lay down their lives will save them. But many of those who seek to save their lives will lose them. (See Understanding The Book of Revelation.)
This time I received a reply, even though it was brief and inadequate, and written by a member of staff. Here is the relevant part of that:
10th March 2003
...You ask our reasons why we reject Benny Hinn on a basis that God does not support in the New Testament. If you were to properly include the Old Testament one might very well point to the growing string of false prophecies he has uttered.
Concerning his signs and wonders, he has been challenged on many occasions to produce a healing that can be verified. It is incumbent that we must contrast (1 Thes 5:21) Hinn's example with the experience of the apostles before the Jewish leaders who "beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it" (Acts 4:14).
And, concerning one's "boasting", it is better to consider the admonition of Scripture, "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips" (Proverbs 27:2).
Edwin L Newby
The last comment – a misuse of Scripture to deflect attention away from their lack of miraculous testimony – is devious. I replied:
20th March 2003
Is Benny Hinn A False Minister?
Thank you for your letter of 10th March, in reply to mine of 19th February. I'm sorry, but you haven't given sufficient evidence to justify the claim that Benny Hinn is a false minister.
He may well have spoken predictive words that have failed to come true, but Jesus did not give that as a guide to discernment in the NT. Why? Because men of God can get things wrong. (And anyway, Dave Hunt is not a prophet.) In fact, he has some things wrong. Would I be correct to call him a false minister because he has some of his scriptural exegesis wrong, and therefore makes false prognostications? No. Jesus provides latitude to errant humanity. He makes allowances for misunderstandings. He told us to look deeper, to matters of the heart – to the motives of individuals. And that perception can only come through discernment given by the Spirit.
That gift is given to true prophets, hence there is a pressing need to carefully consider their input in the body of Christ. But that is not carefully considered by most, particularly by most evangelists. They are too busy doing their own thing to really take note of what God is saying to His prophets. If I may, I would like to draw your attention to what is written under "God Is Trying To Draw You Back" on pages 120-122 of Testing The Spirits enclosed, and pages 132-134. There are other sections of that book which will help you to understand. When you have read it (which may take you a couple of weeks), I would be grateful if you would pass it on to Dave Hunt, or order another copy (oh, how few listen!).
I sent you previously one of our newsletters, to give you evidence of the prophetic revelation which God gives us continually as prophets in His service. Many of the things we say will not be understood by the majority of believers, so they will have to leave many of those things on the shelf until they can grow to the point of comprehension.
To come back to Dave Hunt. I said that I would not call him a false minister (at the moment) despite the false statements he has made and the wrong interpretations of some biblical prophecies. These are all matters of the intellect and understanding. Each of us has to grow into perfect understanding, and that takes time. Do we label each other 'false' (of Satan, in other words) just because we misunderstand? Or does that do the accuser of the brethren's work? I don't call Dave Hunt 'false', because it appears that he is a man dedicated to disseminating the truth (as much as he understands it), and he seems to have a burning passion to share the wonder of Christ's salvation to any who will listen. But men used by God have been known to turn false, by failing to move on when God turned up the heat.
Why can you and Dave Hunt not see a genuine passion for Christ fuelling Benny Hinn? Because you and he are not prophets, with the gift of discerning of spirits. This gift is integral in prophets' ministry. God frequently points out to us ministers who are false, through this gift. I have mentioned some in Testing The Spirits, although not by name. And as God shows me, I now name (in our newsletters) false ministers who are doing great damage to the body of Christ. But, you may appreciate that if He were to give us the low-down on all false ministers, we would get nothing constructive done. Besides tearing down, the prophet must build up. So restoration is very much a part of our ministry, hence the teaching materials in a wealth of publications which God has made possible over the past 11 years.
The reason I asked you for evidence of miraculous testimony in my previous letter is because of what Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18. When the disciples went out in obedience to Jesus' command, these signs accompanied them (Mark 16:20). Miraculous signs follow Benny Hinn's ministry. They accompany ours. It was a reasonable request for me to ask to see evidence of yours, otherwise, where is the evidence of the Spirit of God behind you, for those who can't discern by the Spirit?
Your deflective comment using Proverbs 27:2 – "let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth" – is deliberately evasive. But since you have used that tack, I'll take you up on it. Go on then, let another praise you. Provide me with an account (or preferably two or three, according to the biblical precept) of those who have received miraculous healing through Dave Hunt's ministry, or who have received a 'baptism' in the Holy Spirit and spoken in tongues as a result of your ministry, or who have been raised from the dead, or who have had demons cast out of them.
Or provide me with other miraculous evidence that God speaks to you, and works through the Berean Call. As I said, we publish most of our regular dreams in our newsletters, as evidence (besides other more obvious reasons) that we are a bona fide prophetic ministry (Num 12:6). "These signs will follow those who believe....", and they do. God gives us the evidence that we are true believers. So, if I am to promote you to others as true believers, I need some miraculous signs from you to that effect. Paul described the many signs God did through him (Acts 15:12; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:4), so why can't you?
And if you can't, then there is something else you should consider carefully. If Benny Hinn is being used by God – despite the occasions when he gives place to the devil through pride or failure to promote the truth as accurately as he should, or through false practice and wrong money raising – whom are you speaking against in your criticisms? Do you speak against the power? And if you speak against such when it is from God, is that not dangerous territory? The Pharisees misunderstood Jesus and where His power came from, and they blasphemed the Holy Spirit in their folly. Would you do the same? You would not like to think so.
About 9 years ago, we had some contact with Morris Cerullo's ministry, which has some similarities to Benny Hinn's in having obvious miraculous testimony. Many people came against him when he ministered in London. One day God spoke to us about why these people were out of place. It was a corrective word. He said that before they condemn, they should rise up to the same level of power and demonstrate equal miraculous testimony. Why did He say that? Because Morris Cerullo, for all his faults (and sadly he has gone downhill rapidly since then) was being used by God and those who condemned were not just condemning Morris, they were criticising God.
That is what you are doing – or should I say Dave Hunt?!
But I give him a chance to clear his name before we print what we must about our coming to you. I have not come of my own will. I have come at God's bidding. He gave me a dream about you last night, and I have followed up the prompt of His Spirit today. We require to know of you (not you, so much as Dave Hunt, since you follow him or are accountable to him) where you will stand – whether you will listen and heed, or whether you will rebel.
You say of Benny Hinn: "he has been challenged on many occasions to produce a healing that can be verified", and regurgitate the accusation that none has been forthcoming. Yet, I don't suppose Dave Hunt has gone to meet him to find out, or perused the documentation for himself. I have, and there is plenty of testimony! In each of Hinn's monthly teachings entitled A Word For Your Day he provides an account, usually directly quoting the words of the correspondent, telling of the miracle they have received. Invariably it is a miracle of healing. Nothing too unbelievable about that – except to the unbelievers! Shame on them! The accounts appear under the title "Ministry Spotlight".
Benny Hinn: Signs and Wonders Confirmed
For example in his April 2002 paper under "Ministry Spotlight" we read:
Forty-six year old Donna Oswalt enjoyed a normal healthy life before February 1995.
"I started having fainting attacks when I stood up," she remembers vividly. "My cardiologist hospitalized me for tests, and my condition deteriorated rapidly, leaving me unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes without fainting."
The diagnosis: Mitral-Valve Prolapse and Kidney Disease. Then an electrophysiologist confirmed Cardio- neurogenic Syncope, a debilitating condition. She was plagued by increasing fatigue, worsening hypertension, nausea, dizziness and profuse sweating. She became confined to a reclining wheelchair every day.
"In the worst of situations," Donna relates, "I watched pastor Benny Hinn on television. It's hard to describe to people that haven't gone through something like this, but I was at the bottom, yet my faith began increasing and I felt stirred to go to a Partners' Conference. As the ministry team prayed for me, I felt something like 'butterflies' inside, but nothing seemed to change yet on the inside. The next morning during the service, I felt an intense heat come over me. Then pastor Benny prayed over me. I immediately got out of the wheelchair and began walking. It was amazing!"
Four days later, on July 15th, she walked into the office of her cardiologist. He declared that Donna, "...has had significant improvement with what appears to be a spontaneous resolution of symptoms."
"That 'significant improvement' happened six years ago," Donna shares warmly. "I've been healed since then and never looked back. My life was changed so completely at the conference. I'm even serving in full-time ministry in my church. Praise God for His healing power!"
On our TV one day, we were playing a Larry King interview of Benny Hinn from CNN. A friend (who was not a believer) hobbled in (he was staying in our home at the time). He had hurt his knee playing football. It was seriously sprained. I told him "Hey, you should watch this." To my amazement he did. He sat and listened attentively.
At the end of the interview, Larry King (also to my amazement) allowed Benny Hinn to pray a short prayer for people on camera. When he had finished, and the programme was over, my friend got up to walk out, and – now to his amazement – he had no pain! His knee was completely OK. He was flabbergasted, but because he was not a believer, he couldn't understand what had happened.
All he knew was, he was in pain one minute and KNEW he had seriously damaged his knee (which injury could have taken weeks to heal), and the next minute there was now nothing wrong with it!
We knew, of course, that God had stepped in through the exercise of faith (which God provided for that occasion).
Perhaps it was not merely for our friend's wellbeing, but to provide one more confirmation of the anointing of God on Benny Hinn's ministry for the sake of honouring Jesus' name.
In January 2002, Benny Hinn's "Ministry Spotlight" reported:
On a fateful day in 1967 in a steamy Vietnam jungle, E-4 Joe Morgan accidentally tripped a wire connected to an enemy explosive. The blast that resulted catapulted him 50 feet and killed six others in his squad.
"I've been in horrible pain since that time," he related. "Eventually the doctors diagnosed me with severe degenerative joint disease of the spine and severe osteoarthritis in my hips, knees, ankles and shoulders. It continued to deteriorate, and in 1999 the doctors told me there was basically nothing else they could do for me. I could only get around on my little motorized scooter."
In September of 2000 Joe and his wife Carole decided to attend a Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade in Fort Worth.
"Honestly, I didn't go to the Benny Hinn meetings to receive a miracle for myself," he said. "I had several other friends and family members I was praying for, and I really wanted to be there for the fellowship and worship together with others."
God had different plans.
"I'll never forget that day – September 14, 2000!" Joe shared excitedly. "The only way I can describe it was being hit with electricity. It went down my spine. Then, as the service continued, I clearly heard the Holy Spirit tell me to step out in faith."
Everyone who knew Joe was amazed as he stood up and stepped away from his scooter.
"I raised my hands higher and higher," he remembers, "and I felt no pain. I stepped around and for the first time in years was able to move without excruciating pain!"
"Miraculous" is the word Joe's personal physician wrote in a follow-up report. And it's a word Joe and Carole use often.
"We thank God for what He has done," Carole said. "Our prayer is that Joe's testimony will encourage others to believe for their miracle also!"
From his July 2002 A Word For Your Day under "Ministry Spotlight":
In August of 1997, Sandy Buttram and her husband, Mike, were shopping in their Indiana hometown, when Sandy began experiencing pain in her left thigh.
"By the time we left the store," Sandy remembers vividly, "the pain had intensified to the point that I could hardly walk. Throughout the next week, I tried everything to obtain relief, but the pain became unbearable, spreading to my left leg and lower back."
A battery of tests revealed a herniated disc and severe osteoarthritis. Doctors began a series of epidural injections and large doses of pain medication. Nothing seemed to help.
"I began watching This Is Your Day," Sandy shared, "and I heard about a Miracle Crusade to be held in Nashville. We decided to make the trip from Indiana with our pastor and several other couples. During the service pastor Benny said, "There is a lady here with severe arthritis. God is healing you." At that moment, I suddenly realized that all the pain was gone!"
Back home in Indiana, doctors examined her thoroughly. The physicians detailed a powerful testimony: "Sandy had an amazing recovery... basically able to get out and do anything she really needs or wants to do... an immediate and amazing recovery."
And there are many other similar testimonies. You can find them for yourself if you want. However, critics don't want to, just like the evil-minded Pharisees in Jesus' day, who even wanted to murder Lazarus to destroy the evidence of Jesus' power. Why? They were filled with jealousy, resentment and hatred.
The reason Hinn's detractors, likewise, don't want to find positive testimony is that they are similarly evil on the inside. They operate in the flesh and so they can't understand the miraculous power that accompanies his work. So, they latch onto the negative testimonies they can find. And there are enough of those, too, because people lose their healing if they fail to move on in obedience to God's Word. The same thing happened in Corinth (1 Cor 11:27-31). People fall under God's judgement when they take lightly the holy things of God.
If detractors blame Benny Hinn and want to accuse him of being a charlatan, because of some people losing their healing or dying, or others failing to be healed when he expresses faith towards them, they should also reject the apostle Paul for the same reasons. The evidence of "Paul's failure" is there in the Bible in his own letter to the Corinthians, and the Word of God cannot fail!
I tell you, the greater problem is not with Benny Hinn, it is with the fault-finders! There is pride within them, which is a root of all evil. Last night, to brief me prior to writing you this letter, God gave me this dream:
20th March. M. Pride. In this dream, I was writing a long letter to various ministers – mostly evangelists. It contained much information, and clearly there was a lot that they needed to consider, and make changes. At the end, one thing stood out – there was a need to deal with pride. It was hindering what God can do through people on earth.
Meaning: God is warning about the damage of pride in hindering evangelism. Pride is so insidious, and so dangerous. Because of its subtlety it 'creeps up' on people without them noticing. It is the cause of the downfall of so many evangelists, and ruins God's work through them.
That dream has now been fulfilled. Pride is at the root of why Dave Hunt does not accept Benny Hinn. Satan knows how to ruin God's Work on earth through people. Judgement always befalls those who get lifted up. In evangelists, when their work for God prospers, or expands, or exerts considerable influence, this danger is ever-present to hinder and thwart further spiritual growth. That's the point when evangelists lose spiritual understanding and retrogress. Though God will still perform miracles through those to whom He has given this gifting with additional faith – not for their sake, but for the people's sake and for the sake of His faithful Name – they can step back and fail to move on in spiritual understanding or biblical comprehension.
I bring you discernment through God's Spirit. If you disdain the holy things of God which I present to you here, I declare to you in the love of God that you will also fall under God's judgement.
Healing is one of the gifts of the Spirit. It is one of the holy things of God. Benny Hinn's word of knowledge about the lady above being healed is another spiritual gift. When he stands at the microphone and speaks out about many of the maladies he sees in the spirit which are being healed, he's not making things up. He is conveying the words of knowledge the Spirit gives him, and what he sees taking place through the power of the Spirit of God.
I know whereof I speak, because it has happened to me, too, although I am not an evangelist. God gives these gifts of the Spirit as it pleases Him (1 Cor 12:11).
One reason you cannot get your mind around the bizarre happenings of this man of God is because these manifestations of spiritual gifts are outside your own experience. So, you reduce the Word of God to the level of your mundane experience, whereas it would be better for you to allow your faith to be raised to the level of God's miraculous powers. Oh, you may say that you accept God's power. Many do. But that acceptance is purely on a mental level. A transition needs to take place in the heart, too. Belief is not an exercise in the head only. It is a gift that is transmitted via the Spirit, and can only come in when the heart is right.
As I said earlier, pride is at the root of your rejection and failure to see beyond the scope of human reason.
I have also enclosed another book, Understanding The Mind of God: A Message To Law-Keepers. Although it was written to a slightly different audience, it contains truth about slaying in the Spirit, which you probably have trouble accepting, and some other revelations from God which can help you and Dave Hunt if you are prepared to accept it.
I wish you well, and await your reply with the miraculous testimony of which I ask you. Thank you.
Malcolm B Heap
No reply has been forthcoming to date. But the Spirit moved me to write again:
31st March 2003
In Islam's Peace, in your Berean Call for March 2003, you mention the terrible slaughter that various peoples have suffered under Islamic conquests.
I couldn't agree with you more. You have certainly researched the subject objectively and historically.
May I suggest that you send a copy of that, with a copy of your video on Islam to Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister at:
10 Downing Street
LONDON SW1A 2AA
Or, if you prefer, I can forward them here if you supply them to me, first.
It may also interest you to know more about how God delivered true Christians in Armenia before the carnage of the First World War. The story is narrated in Demos Shakarian's book, The Happiest People On Earth. That excerpt was included in a booklet entitled Why The Holy Spirit?, and which excerpt follows:
Gift Of Prophecy In Operation
Jesus promised us:
The Spirit of Truth... will be guiding you into all the truth, for it will not be speaking from itself, but whatsoever it should be hearing will it be speaking, and of what is coming will it be informing you (John 16:13, CLNT).
This is the gift of prophecy which the Holy Spirit makes possible in the Church.
Demos Shakarian relates one example of the gift of prophecy and why it is so important, in his book The Happiest People On Earth.
In the year 1900, when Isaac was 8... the news arrived that 100 Russian Christians were coming over the mountains in their covered wagons. Everyone was pleased. It was the custom in Kara Kala to hold a feast for the visiting Christians whenever they arrived. In spite of the fact that he didn't agree with the "full Gospel" preached by the Russians, Grandfather considered their visits as times set apart for God, and insisted that the welcoming feast be held on the large level plot of ground in front of his own home.
Now, Grandfather was proud of his fine cattle. With the news that the Russians were on their way, he went out to his herd and looked them over. He would choose the very finest, fattest steer for this special meal.
Unfortunately, however, the fattest steer in the herd turned out, on inspection, to have a flaw. The animal was blind in one eye.
What should he do? Grandfather knew his Bible well: He knew he should not offer an imperfect animal to the Lord, for didn't it say in the 22nd chapter of Leviticus, verse 20, "But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable..."?
What a dilemma! No other animal in the herd was large enough to feed 100 guests. Grandfather looked around. No one was watching. Suppose he slaughtered the big steer and simply hid the blemished head? Yes, that was what he would do! Grandfather led the half-blind steer into the barn, butcher- ed it himself, and quickly placed the head in a sack which he hid beneath a pile of threshed wheat in a dark corner.
Grandfather was just in time, for as he finished dressing the beef, he heard the rumble of wagons coming into Kara Kala. What a welcome sight! Coming down the dusty road was the familiar caravan of wagons, each pulled by four perspiring horses. Beside the driver of the first team, erect and commanding as ever, sat the white-haired patriarch who was leader and prophet of the group. Grandfather and little Isaac ran up the road to greet their guests.
These old Russian Christians would not say any prayer – not even grace over meals – until they had received what they called 'the anointing'. They would wait before the Lord until, in their phrase, the Spirit fell upon them. They claimed (much to Grandfather's amusement), that they could literally feel His Presence descend. When this occurred they would raise their arms and dance with joy.
On this occasion as always, the Russians waited for the anointing of the Spirit. Sure enough, as everyone watched, first one and then another began to dance in place. Everything was going as usual. Soon would come the blessing of the food, and the feast could begin.
But to Grandfather's dismay, the patriarch suddenly raised his hand – not in sign of blessing – but as a signal that everything was to stop. Giving Grandfather a strange penetrating look, the tall white-haired man walked from the table without a word.
Grandfather's eyes followed the old man's every movement as the prophet strode across the yard into the barn. After a moment he reappeared. In his hand he held the sack which Grandfather had hidden beneath the pile of wheat.
Grandfather began to shake. How could the man have known! No one had seen him. The Russians had not even reached the village when he had hidden that head. Now the patriarch placed the telltale sack before Grandfather and let it fall open, revealing to everyone the head with the milk-white eye..
'Have you anything to confess, Brother Demos?' the Russian asked.
'Yes I have,' said Grandfather, still shaking. 'But how did you know?'
'God told me,' the old man said simply. 'You still do not believe that He speaks to His people today as in the past. The Spirit gave me this word of knowledge for a special reason: that you and your family might believe. You have been resisting the power of the Spirit. Today is the day you will resist no longer.'
Before his neighbours and guests that evening Grandfather confessed the deception he had attempted. With tears rolling down his face into his bristly beard, he asked their forgiveness. 'Show me,' he said to the prophet, 'how I, too, can receive the Spirit of God.'
Grandfather knelt and the old Russian laid his work-gnarled hands on his head. Immediately, Grandfather burst into joyous prayer in a language neither he nor anyone present could understand. The Russians called this kind of ecstatic utterance 'tongues' and regarded it as a sign that the Holy Spirit was present with the speaker. That night Grandmother, too, received this 'Baptism in the Spirit'.
It was the beginning of great changes in our family's life, and one of the first was a change in attitude toward Kara Kala's most famous citizen. This person was known throughout the region as the "Boy Prophet" even though at the time of the incident with the steer's head the Boy Prophet was 58 years old.
The man's real name was Efim Gerasemovitch Klubniken, and he had a remarkable history. He was of Russian origin, his family being among the first Pentecostals to come across the border [into Armenia], settling permanently in Kara Kala. From earliest childhood Efim had shown a gift for prayer, frequently going on long fasts and praying around the clock.
As everybody in Kara Kala knew, when Efim was 11 years old he had heard the Lord calling him again to one of his prayer vigils. This time he persisted for 7 days and nights, and during this time received a vision.
This in itself was not extraordinary. Indeed, as Grandfather had been accustomed to grumble, anyone who went that long without eating or sleeping was bound to start seeing things. But what Efim was able to do during those seven days was not so easy to explain.
Efim could neither read nor write. Yet, as he sat in the little stone cottage in Kara Kala, he saw before him a vision of charts and a message in a beautiful handwriting. Efim asked for pen and paper. And for 7 days sitting at the rough plank-table where the family ate, he laboriously copied down the form and shape of letters and diagrams that passed before his eyes.
When he had finished, the manuscript was taken to people in the village who could read. It turned out that this illiterate child had written out in Russian characters a series of instructions and warnings. At some unspecified time in the future, the boy wrote, every Christian in Kara Kala would be in terrible danger. He foretold a time of unspeakable tragedy for the entire area, when hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be brutally murdered. The time would come, he warned, when everyone in the region must flee. They must go to a land across the sea. Although he had never seen a geography book, the Boy Prophet drew a map showing exactly where the fleeing Christians were to go. To the amazement of the adults, the body of water depicted so accurately in the drawing was not the nearby Black Sea, or the Caspian Sea, or even the farther-off Mediterranean, but the distant and unimaginable Atlantic Ocean! There was no doubt about it, nor about the identity of the land on the other side: the map plainly indicated the east coast of the United States of America.
...a little after the turn of the century, Efim announced that the time was near for the fulfilment of the words he had written down nearly 50 years before. 'We must flee to America. All who remain here will perish.'
...the instructions proved correct. In 1914 a period of unimaginable horror arrived for Armenia. With remorseless efficiency the Turks began the bloody business of driving two- thirds of the population out in to the Mesopotamian desert. Over 1,000,000 men, women and children died in these marches, including every inhabitant of Kara Kala. Another 500,000 were massacred in their villages... (pp 17-23).
The Pentecostal Christians who believed God, who listened to the Holy Spirit and who heeded the words of God's prophet, were spared this tragedy. They did as they were forewarned. All other Christians perished.
I hope this is useful to you. & MBH
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