“Shepherds feeding the flock or clowns entertaining the goats?”

        It has been said; “You can fool all of the people some of the time and all of the people for most of the time but you cannot fool all of the people for all of the time.” One of the major television prosperity preachers Benny Hinn has publically ‘confessed’ and ‘apologised’ for teaching the prosperity gospel. He made a public video presentation where he addressed the matter and also appeared in an interview with a young pastor who was obviously a long time ‘fan’ who was interviewing Benny on a television programme. While Benny said he wanted to go back to preaching the cross he said nothing about what he had been preaching doctrinally in the past. neither did he really elaborate more fully on what it meant Biblically to preach the cross. ‘Hard’ questions were avoided and Benny did not even address or was asked by his interviewer about the other matters that Benny has propagated over many years.

        There are some hard questions that Benny Hinn has not been asked? Such as will he publically confess, and apologise for all of the false prophecies he has given in the past and be willing to lay down his ministry and take time out to sort things out? How does he think God feels about what he has done? Will he now take a modest salary and live in a normal suburban house and give away his wealth to those ministries in need? What about the Jesus died spiritually heresy that he has been preaching? Of course no one has it all together spiritually and I am not Benny Hinn’s judge as all of us must stand before the LORD to give an account of what we have said and dome down here. This is not an attack on him personally but addressing what he has been teaching and doing over the years at his crusades and meetings and on television and in light of what he is now saying regarding a renunciation of preaching prosperity.

        All of us need to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus, but to lead God’s people into spiritual deception is something God does not approve of. In fact it is a very serious matter.  In the Old Testament false prophets were put to death. (Deuteronomy 18:20) We do not stone them today but the sin is no less serious. In one instance Jeremiah confronted Hananiah the false prophet who had led God’s people astray and through Jeremiah the LORD prophesied the death of Hananiah which eventuated within that year. (Jeremiah 28:1-17)

         Regarding teaching Bible prophecy there are many Godly men who do not agree on certain aspects of interpretation of it and there is always room for discussion and dialogue in these matters among brethren. This is one thing. However, to give a personal prophecy or to say to someone or to a congregation; “the LORD told me” is something that the person saying it will have to answer to the LORD for. If the LORD did not say it then that ‘prophet’ is in serious trouble with the LORD. Added to this, such a prophecy given personally or even publically may cause a young believer to fall away if what was prophesied to them did not come true. Some who are into ‘prophesying’ big time would defend themselves pointing out what Paul said in 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 that “we prophesy in part” and what they mean by this is that sometimes they get it partly right and partly wrong but this is not even what the text in its context is talking about! Even fortune tellers get things partly right and partly wrong.

Paul writes; “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away… For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10, 12)

         The context of these scriptures is the day when believers will have been raptured and resurrected and know fully as they are known by God. Some say “the phrase “when the perfect has come” applies to the completed canon of scripture and teach that spiritual gifts are no longer necessary and have passed away, but this is reading into the text what is not there! Nowhere in scripture or in Church history for that matter have the gifts of the Spirit ever died out. In that day, when we receive our glorified bodies at the rapture and resurrection of all the saints, there will be no more need for the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge and the other gifts of the Spirit for we will “know as we are known”. Things will be perfectly clear! This is the context of the phrase “we prophesy in part” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.

        However, until we are glorified we still do not see spiritual things fully and completely and clearly and so the gifts of the Spirit are necessary for exhortation, edification, rebuke, revelation from scripture, encouragement and for engaging in spiritual warfare (1 Corinthians 12:4-11;14:1-5) They must always be exercised in the power of  God’s love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5) However, according to the Bible a person who gives a prophecy in the name of the LORD does not get it “partly right or partly wrong.” If this was the case then God would have contradicted Himself in Deuteronomy chapter 18 where God Himself answers this question; “You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

        Having watched Benny Hinn’s meetings on YouTube videos in the past and listened to some of his preaching and prophesying it seems he has a lot more to confess and renounce than just preaching prosperity. Having watched the entire video interview Benny had with a colleague of his regarding his renunciation of prosperity preaching and also having watched the entire video of Benny’s public ‘confession’ on his TV programme, the ‘Hard’ questions were not even brought up, neither were they addressed. If Benny Hinn has truly repented of prosperity preaching will he give it all away, live in a modest suburban home, take as modest salary, preach the Biblical Gospel and give away his vast wealth to those genuine ministries in desperate need of finances? This is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ spiritually and Biblically in this matter. What about what he preaches doctrinally? What about the ‘displays of showmanship’ at his meetings? Will these things also change? What C.H.Spurgeon said well over a century ago is a conspicuous feature within wider Christendom today. He said; “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” Selah.