Remember the gifts of the Spirit:
- Do not slander Jesus
- Glorify Jesus as Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3)
- Must be full of love (1 Corinthians 13)
When I was a freshman in college, I attended a nondenominational church that believed in the spiritual gifts for today. Benny Hinn was coming to town. My old church was one of the largest churches that helped coordinate the event. My pastor at the time boasted to be good friends with Benny Hinn. He encouraged us to bring the sick so that God would heal them through Benny Hinn’s healing ministry.
I remember him saying something like, “And if your sick friends don’t want to come, pray over them anyways and say that they are healed, even if they don’t come.”
I had a Baptist friend who did not believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today. He had an issue with his stomach. I remember asking him if he wanted to come and get healed. I saw the skeptic look on his face. It was a no. So I told him, “You’re healed anyways, even if you don’t come.”
A few days later, after the event was over, he came up to me in the music school we both attended. He admitted that even though he had not come to the Benny Hinn meeting, his stomach was healed. It was not hurting as it usually does.
This greatly lifted my spirits! I had witnessed a true healing of Jesus! And I’m not being sarcastic here, I really believe to this day that I had witnessed a miraculous healing. Now, me telling you this doesn’t have as much of an effect because you weren’t there. You don’t understand how much my friend had doubted that God could heal. Praise God that my friend was proven wrong!
So, for me, it is a great personal testimony of God’s goodness shown through healing. For you, it’s just another of many healing stories that might be true.
Well, the story isn’t over.
My friend married a wonderful girl a few years later. She complained about having head-aches during their honeymoon. When they came home she got checked up by a doctor. Turns out she had a brain tumor. She died a year later.
My friend, by the grace of God has moved on from this, though it took him many years of mourning. I was not close to him during this time. I regret that. We just moved apart after he had graduated.
I’m sure he wishes he could take the healing over his stomach back and give that to his late wife. But this wasn’t God’s will.
Perhaps he should have chased after Benny Hinn! Maybe then God would have healed his wife…
No. Never. Benny Hinn doesn’t have a ministry of healing. There is no such thing. Jesus healed to reveal the coming Kingdom of God. It was a taste for things to come. It is not a day to day thing that we should always expect.
Word of faith teachings go something like this: “All can be healed by God if they just believe.” And if healing doesn’t take place? “You should have more faith.”
This doesn’t even make sense. According to Hebrews 11, faith is the act of obedience to what God is telling you to do… it is a hope for things to come. And we might, in faith, have a glimpse of that future day when all are healed and given a new body in the resurrection of the saints. I caught a “glimpse” of it when witnessing my friend’s stomach issue being healed. But why didn’t God heal his late wife?
This world is fallen, and we all hold onto it too dearly. In most cases, faith means believing in something that you will never see on this side of paradise.
My friend who had been healed of the stomach issue had zero faith and was healed. What does the word of faith movement say to that?
Even Jesus healed when unbelief was present.
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Jesus healed the man’s daughter, despite his unbelief. So word of faith pastors are preaching something that is very false. God does not always heal us in this fallen world. In fact, it might bring more glory to God for a sickness to remain.
If you are truly a believer in faith, how will you respond when God says, “No!” If you are a man of faith, then you must obey even when it means losing your own glory. Lose it for His sake and for His glory, and for the glory to come!
Can you imagine the tearful-prayers my friend had over his wife as she was dying? Was that not enough faith? It is cruel to say that someone isn’t healed because they lack faith. It is evil. It is lacking in love.
I do not have the luxury to doubt that God sometimes uses Benny Hinn to heal, but, as a whole, Mr. Hinn’s ministry has many theological holes in it. In the end, which is more important?
There are eye-witness accounts of visibly sick people being cast aside along the edges during a Benny Hinn alter call. Those who have back pains and other things that can be “healed” in a psychosomatic way are eagerly called to the front.
And, Benny Hinn always asks for money… just like Jesus did when He did his “healing ministry”… right?
Is this love or the love of money? If Mr. Hinn truly has a gift of healing, why doesn’t he exercise it on people in wheelchairs? If the Word of Faith movement says that all can be healed, how much faith does Benny Hinn have to pick and choose? How much love does he lack to do this hatful thing?
Polite Leader is a presbytyrian, discernment minister that I follow. His videos are short, loving, concise, and to the point. This video sums up many of the issues Benny Hinn’s ministry has.
A Final Story
So, many years later, depression was settling into my heart. This was during my time with the hyper-grace house group who. Hyper-grace is really just another branch off of the word of faith movement. I invited my mom to come. She has Parkenson’s disease. One person prayed over her, violently almost, really casting out that evil spirit and making all things new… just like Jesus did.
Nothing changed. My mom was very open to receiving the healing, she has the faith. But she has wisely concluded that it’s up to God. It isn’t up to her or my old house group and certainly not false teachers like Benny Hinn.
The gift of healing is given as the Spirit wills.
1 Corinthians 12:11
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
This broke me, seeing my mom so open and the prayers over her almost violent, as if wrestling with God will force Him to give us miraculous healings. I left the house group soon after that.
I ran into the leader of that group a few months later. He was as charismatic as ever. He professed that a little girl in a wheelchair was healed!
The truth is, I believe him, though, I did not have the heart to check on it. At that point I realized it doesn’t matter. Even if God works a miracle through you, you still must have good, grounded theology.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
If you can’t consistently love one another as Christ loved us… you are not a true Christian. If you can’t forgive, turn the other cheek, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, and the like… you should repent and turn away from your hypocrisy. Stop just saying “Lord, Lord,” you heathens!
Show love. Be patient. Be kind. Show no envy or boasting. Don’t be arrogant or rude. Don’t insist on your own way. Don’t get irritated or resentful. Don’t rejoice when evil is being committed. Rejoice, instead, with what is true. Bear all things. Believe all things of the Lord. Continue to hope. Endure all hardships. Your love should never end.
Who can do this without the Lord? So brothers, I encourage you to pray and have faith, meaning, obey! God’s grace is sufficient, it is enough to bend your heart towards Jesus so that you might, in the end, obey!
Exercising this love is far more important than the gift of Healing or any other spiritual gifts.
If Benny Hinn meets his Maker before a true biblical repentance is met, will he point to some of the healings that happened through him, some like the stomach issue with my friend? Will he point to them and say. “Lord, Lord! Look at the great work I have done for you?”
If this happens, God’s only response will be, “Depart from me workers of lawlessness. I never knew you.”
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’