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Confessions of a Former Charismatic, Part 1: Me and Benny Hinn

February 11, 2014 2 comments

The venue was the NationalExhibitionCenter in Birmingham, England, the largest exhibition center in the UK. Five of us squeezed into a small car and drove the sixty-plus miles from Hereford to what we thought at the time was the biggest spiritual event of the year. Christ for All Nations, evangelist Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry, was hosting a conference, and one of the main attractions was Benny Hinn.

This was the late 80s—1988, I believe—and for most of the British population, television consisted of four stations. And none of them was TBN. This meant the only way we would ever hear the cream of American televangelists was on video or audio cassette tapes obtained either by mail-order subscription, or at conferences. The friend who drove us to Birmingham had obtained by one of these means a video of Benny Hinn, which he had shared with our church youth group some months previously. The presentation on the tape consisted of about thirty minutes of teaching—mainly Hinn recounting how his “Holy Spirit ministry” started, and then talking about how to relate to the Holy Spirit. He’s a gentleman, Hinn taught, and won’t come unless you ask. And don’t grieve the Spirit, otherwise He’s like a child, and you’ll lose His trust. There was no trace, as I recall, of his wackier teachings that I would later be made aware of. After the talk, there followed a solid hour or more of “slaying in the Spirit,” and people getting out of wheelchairs. Although four of us in the car were students of theology (two just starting University, and my best friend and I in our last year of A-Levels), we were all charismatic in our pneumatology, and Arminian in our soteriology. Within those parameters, we found a home for Hinn. More on that later.

The auditorium was at least two-thirds full. I don’t recall who the first speaker was that morning, or what he spoke about. I do remember a refreshment break, and then hurrying back to our seats to be sure we didn’t miss any of Benny Hinn’s presentation. He came out, he taught—I don’t remember any details of his teaching, though I daresay it was largely what we’d already heard on the video—and then the show started. The organ played, he set the mood, and then started with the “words of knowledge.” A lady over there being healed of something. A man somewhere at the back has been suffering with X and the Lord wants him to know he’ll be well before he leaves. Then he began calling people up on stage. People reported healings, people were in tears, and all of them were slain in the Spirit at the touch of Hinn’s hand.

 

Read the entire article here. Read Pt 2 here

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Did Christ die for our sicknesses or our sins?

February 4, 2014 5 comments

Arthur PinkFirst it must be said that much of the teaching which has been given out on this subject is decidedly unscriptural. For example, the majority of those who emphasize “Divine healing” insist that it was “in the Atonement,” that on the Cross Christ was as truly our sickness-bearer as our sin-bearer, that He purchased healing for the body as well as salvation for the soul, and that therefore every Christian has the same right to appropriate by faith the cure of bodily disorders as he has forgiveness for his transgressions. In support of this contention appeal is made to Christ who

 

“healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:16, 17).

 

Here is where the expositor is needed if the unlettered and unstable are to be preserved from jumping to an erroneous conclusion, where the mere sound of the words is likely to convey a wrong impression unless their sense be carefully ascertained—just as, “the dead know not anything” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) is not to be understood absolutely, as though they who have departed this life are in a state of utter unconsciousness.

Had those words “Christ bare our sicknesses” occurred in some passage in the Acts or Epistles where one of the apostles was explaining the purpose and character of Christ’s death, then we should have been obliged to regard them as meaning that the Lord Jesus vicariously endured the sicknesses of His people while on the Cross, though this would present a very great difficulty, for there is no hint anywhere in the Word that the Redeemer experienced any illness at that time. But instead, Matthew 8:16, 17 has reference to what transpired during the days of His public ministry, the meaning of which we take to be as follows. Christ employed not the virtue that was in Him to cure infirmity and sickness as a matter of mere power, but in deep pity and tenderness He entered into the condition of the sufferer. The great Physician was no unfeeling stoic, but took upon His own spirit the sorrows and pains of those to whom He ministered. His miracles of healing cost Him much in the way of sympathy and endurance.

Thus He “sighed” (Mark 7:34) when He loosed the tongue of the dumb, “wept” by the grave of Lazarus, and was conscious of virtue going out of Him (Mark 5:30) as He cured another. By a compassion, such as we are strangers to, He was afflicted by their afflictions.

That the interpretation we have given above (briefly suggested by the Puritan, Thomas Goodwin) is the correct meaning of “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” appears from several considerations. If those words signified what the “Divine healing” cults say they do, then they mean that in His act of healing the sick Christ was then making atonement, which is absurd on the face of it. Again, if the healing of the body were a redemptive right which faith may humbly but boldly claim, then it necessarily follows that the believer should never die, for every time he fell ill he could plead before God the sacrifice of His Son and claim healing. In such a case, why did not Paul exhort Timothy to exercise faith in the Atonement rather than bid him “use a little wine for his stomach’s sake”

(1 Timothy 5:23), and why did he leave Trophimus at “Miletum sick” (2 Timothy 4:20)? A glorified body, as well as soul, is the fruit of Christ’s atonement, but for that the believer has to wait God’s appointed time.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Arthur Pink used the term “strange fire” before John MacArthur did

January 21, 2014 5 comments

Arthur PinkEvery once in a while we receive an inquiry or a request for help on this subject, usually from one who has come into contact with some belonging to a cult which gives prominence to “Divine healing,” to the removal of physical ills without the aid of a doctor and medicine, in response to faith and prayer. Such inquiring friends are generally more or less perplexed. They have heard nothing on the subject in their own churches and feel they are more or less in the dark on the matter. Those who press this “Divine healing” teaching upon them appear to be ill-balanced people and not at all orthodox in doctrine. If they are induced to attend their meetings they are not favorably impressed, and sense that something is wrong. The absence of reverence, the allowing of women to take part in the services before a mixed congregation, the prominence of the spectacular element, and the general spirit of excitement which prevails, makes the normal child of God feel quite out of place in such a gathering. The zeal displayed does not appear to be according to knowledge and the fervid emotionalism strikes him as being “strange fire” (Leviticus 10:1)—not kindled at the Divine altar.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

Why Is the Prosperity Gospel Attractive?

January 13, 2014 1 comment

“Being poor is a sin” (Robert Tilton).

“If we please God we will be rich” (Jerry Savelle).

“God wants his children to wear the best clothes…drive the best cars and have the best of everything; just ask for what we need” (Kenneth Hagin, Sr.).

These are some bewildering but common statements from “prosperity gospel” preachers. Their god is a sort of cosmic entrepreneur who can be used, by tithing and offering, to attain what really matters: a prosperous life in merely earthly terms.

FROM SUCH PEOPLE TURN AWAY”

Paul compels us to stay away from “men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Tim. 6:5). And in his second letter to Timothy he warns his son in the faith “that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, boasters, proud… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1-5).

Peter also advises us that, just as there were false prophets among the people of God in the old covenant, “there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (2 Pet. 2:1-3; cf. Jude 11-16).

Sadly, in spite of the Scriptures’ clear warnings, the prosperity gospel has a large and growing group of followers. This isn’t hard to understand, since the message appeals so directly to our native greed. Yet it is sad and bewildering that many people remain in the movement for a long time, even their whole life, since its preachers cannot fulfill their promises.

 

Read the entire article over at 9Marks by clicking here.

The Anointing: Benny Hinn vs. the Bible

There is so much that can (and should) be said about this kind of event/experience/teaching/debacle. It is not wrong, my friends, just because it looks silly and strange and odd. Many dismiss this just because it is so far outside of our experience. That is not the problem. The problem is it is so utterly, thoroughly opposed to everything the Bible says about the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Whether the world finds it laughable or not really doesn’t matter (they think the very Puritan, plain worship services at my church are laughable, too, just not in quite the same fashion). It is not that there is intense emotion displayed by some (how many are genuine and how many are plants there to get others “started” is impossible to determine). The real problem needs to be identified: you have a multi-millionaire standing on stage getting a huge paycheck for promulgating a shallow message wrapped up in the promise of prosperity and healing pretending to control the very Spirit of God who then “anoints” people in a fashion and by a means utterly outside of what the Spirit Himself has defined in the God-breathed Scriptures. The result is not παιδεία nor is it τάξις nor is it σωφρονισμός—three Greek terms that cluster around the vital theme of “discipline, sober-mindedness, order,” in the New Testament. And this is what the Spirit brings. He does not bring chaos and confusion (ἀκαταστασίας, which is what we see in this video, 1 Corinthians 14:33), He brings order and discipline. Of course, that kind of “anointing” does not sell books or result in large offerings, so that is problematic.

Does the Bible know anything of an anointing that can be “received” through the yelling of the word “fire” and the waving of a garment (accompanied by choreographed music, lighting, choirs, etc.)? No, it does not. Most of the appearances of the term (χρίω; χρῖσμα, τος) have to do, of course, with the Messiah, the anointed one. But it does appear in reference to believers:

“The One Who establishes us together with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. (2 Corinthians 1:21–22)

 

Read the entire article over at Alpha & Omega by clicking this link

Man claims to know the exact day that Christ will return

April 15, 2013 6 comments

wolf-angry4When will these nut cases quit making false claims? I know, I know, they will not quit making false claims until Christ actually returns; for Peter declared: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies……2 Peter 2:1”

Here is another man who claims to have worked out a secret formula that will give him the revelation knowledge of when Christ will return. This man, not only claims to know the exact year, but the very day in which Christ will return. This is contrary to what Christ told his apostles; for Christ told them “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

Nevertheless, in this age of technological breakthrough it seems that hosts of people have come out claiming all kinds of false beliefs about the scriptures. We have had Y2K, the Bible Codes, Harold Camping, and we could go on and on. Yet none of these nut cases have been right on their predictions.

So if anyone is interested in ordering a Dvd that will cause amusement and laughter, then here it is. Remember, a merry heart doeth good like a medicine………………and a false prophet always speaketh lies.

 

 “Would you like to know the specific day of the Lord’s return?

Product Description

Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries believes he knows – the exact day, if not the specific year.

It is laid out in a series of two DVD teachings produced by WND Videos called “The Feasts of the Lord.”

The spring feasts – or appointed times – were fulfilled by the first coming of Yeshua, the Hebrew name of Jesus, which means “Salvation.” The fall feasts will be fulfilled by His Second Coming – in the very near future, explains Biltz in an engaging, informative and entertaining series of teachings you will want to watch again and again and share with your friends, relatives and fellow believers.

Biltz emphasizes that these feasts, described in Leviticus, were not intended for the Jewish people alone. They are repeatedly referred to in the Bible as “the Lord’s feasts” – meaning they are for all people. They are meant to be observed as well as to serve as signs of the times in which we live – reminders of the greatest events of the past and foreshadowings of the future.

A feast is defined as “an appointment, i.e., a fixed time or season; also a signal (as appointed beforehand).” Filled with specific scriptural references, word studies and a historical explanation of the real significance of the feasts of the Old Testament.

Biltz says much of the church is asleep – unaware of the significance of the feasts on God’s holy time clock. The feasts were not intended to be abandoned by believers after the coming of Jesus. His followers observed them in the first century. It’s time to discover them again as the hour of His return approaches.”

 

 

See the claims here on this order page for a Dvd on the teaching of the Jewish feast.

False Teachers

March 28, 2013 5 comments

Colin Smith at The Gospel Coalition has made a list identifying ‘7 Traits of False Teachers:’

 

“There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” (2 Peter 2:1)

There are no “ifs, ands, or buts” in Peter’s words. It’s a clear and definite statement. There were false prophets among the people (of Israel in the Old Testament). That’s a matter of history.

False prophets were a constant problem in the Old Testament, and those who falsely claimed to be prophets of God were to be stoned. The people rarely had the will to deal with them, so they multiplied, causing disaster to the spiritual life of God’s people.

In the same way Peter says, “There will be false teachers among you.” Notice the words “among you.” Peter is writing to the church and says, “There will be false prophets among you.” So he is not talking about New Age people on television. He is talking about people in the local church, members of a local congregation.”

 

Read the entire list right here.