Benny Hinn In Oahu, HI - 1/02
This is a short report on my observations at the Benny Hinn crusade meetings in Oahu, HI held on 1/10/02 & 1/11/02. There were a few other discernment ministry people inside the event, which was recorded, and you can click on the following links for a report on the event from the inside.
Harvest, Glory, Jezebel, and Elijah
by Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, 1/31/02
"The first night of Benny Hinn’s Miracle Crusade in Hawaii Jan.10, 2002"
The Perfect Healing Crusade? by Mike Oppenheimer, Let Us Reason Ministries, 2/3/02
"The second night of Benny Hinn’s Miracle Crusade in Hawaii Jan.11, 2002"
I went with fliers and a sign and stood outside the event but did not go in. Those attending had to call ahead for tickets to the event and were asked to arrive early, as early as 5 p.m. The "show" lasted until around 11:30 p.m.
The first night, Thursday January 10, 2002, I came to the Blaisdel Center about 4:10 p.m. and walked around between the parking garage and the ticket booth with a sign reading "Benny Hinn Is A False Prophet". I had printed about 500 fliers. Almost no one talked to me or wanted to take a flier. Many laughed as they walked by, some gave me the most evil glares, some cursed at me with dirty language, some threatened bodily harm, and some said they felt sorry for me or simply said "Lord bless you". I told them that I had a flier which proved Benny Hinn was a false prophet and there were many Scriptural references on the flier as well. I asked them if they would be interested in knowing what the Bible has to say about false prophets. The reaction was one of almost total disregard.
One little scene played itself out that I thought you might find interesting. While I was walking up and down with my sign and handing out fliers, a homeless lady approached and started walking in front of the parking lot with me. As she passed me she murmured that Benny Hinn was truly a rip off artist and that she expected nothing from him. After a few minutes I tried to talk to her again but she told me I was just as bad as the followers of Hinn, implying that none of us had any compassion for her situation. I had already decided to give her some money, but was busy handing out fliers. I told her to hold off on her judgment of me. After the crowd thinned out for a moment, I went over to her and gave her the biggest bill in my pocket. She was stunned. I told her that there was a difference between me and Benny Hinn, and that one of the main differences was that I am a missionary who has little money and Hinn is a multi-millionaire. I told her that she would get nothing from Hinn at all. Her attitude changed towards me after that. I noticed later that three women from the crusade walked up to her. I walked over to try to eavesdrop on their conversation. I heard them asking her if she needed healing and would like to come into the meeting. She shouted at them that she didn't need healing, but needed money. I watched them for a long time and I saw no money change hands. They continued to harass her and invite her to come into the meeting. I saw no one else going into the meeting give her one dime. Now, I may have missed someone, and if she stayed after I left right before the meeting started it is possible someone else gave her money. But by in large no one helped her at all. This is in keeping with the spirit of the followers of Benny Hinn, and Hinn himself. If you don't believe me, read these stories about a few poor island pastors who gave Hinn their money!
From my observations about half of the people coming in were Filipinos, with large groups from island nations like Samoa, Tonga, the Marshalls. I saw many pastors walking in who ignored my fliers. I also saw many unfortunate people with various infirmities struggling to go in. I knew they would be struggling as they came out also, and those in wheelchairs would be wheeled back out. That in fact was the case.
After about an hour one of the representatives of the Blaisdel came up to me and told me that the Blaisdel had been rented by Benny Hinn, that it was a private facility, and I was asked to go out to King Street. After making sure of her credentials, I told her I was not there to make trouble and would comply. She was very nice to me and I to her. I went out to where the cars were driving in to the parking lot. As I stood there attempting to pass out more fliers I saw another security guard approaching. He told me that he was sorry but I needed to be completely on the sidewalk next to King Street to be legally off the Blaisdel property. I told him that was no problem. He walked with me as we went out to the sidewalk and he told me he was a Christian and did not agree with what Benny Hinn was doing, particularly his fund raising tactics. I talked with him for awhile and was glad for the company. I also was able to talk to another man, at length, who confessed that he had many doubts about Hinn. I was able to give him some literature and talk to him about the facts. He indicated he was currently attending Word of Life church and I discouraged him from attending that church. I pointed him to a good church I know of and he said he would be attending on Sunday. That night, of the 10,000 or so people who attended on Thursday, I was only able to give away about 25 fliers. This should give you a clue about the level of deception I encountered there. It was very similar to standing outside a cult like the LDS or JWs and handing out fliers about their false teachings. Folks, the followers of Benny Hinn are looking more and more like cultists and, if so, he is their cult guru!
Discouraged, I went home. I was considering not even bothering to come the next night but I knew that even if I could only talk to one person that would be worth all the abuse that was being heaped on us.
On Friday night 1/11/02 my daughter asked if she could come with me. I warned her about the verbal abuse she would be receiving, but I decided it would be a good learning experience for her. We started out on King Street handing out fliers (without the sign this time) to people coming off the bus. My intention was to hand out fliers especially to islanders, as that is where my heart and ministry are at this time. As we were handing out fliers I saw my friend, the security guard, come walking out to meet us. He came up to me and said "I made a mistake. I found out that the Blaisdel is public property, so you are allowed to stand anywhere you want to and hand out fliers. If anyone wants to challenge you on this, send them to me." I was just dumbfounded. This was something I never expected. I knew the Lord was giving us a wide open opportunity to witness for Him and His truth. My daughter and I then proceeded straight to the front of the "partners" entrance to the Blaisdel Arena and stood there handing out fliers. I simply said to people "Do you want some information about Benny Hinn?" Because I was no longer holding my sign, most people took the flier. As more and more took the flier and read the line in bold which said "What does the Bible say about false prophets" we began to notice that many of the attendees were getting angry. The coordinators of the event were standing in small groups trying to decide what course of action to take, or they were clearly praying against us. Again, hardly anyone would reason with us for more than a few seconds. When I asked them what the Bible teaches regarding following false prophets, not ONE of them gave me an answer!
One lady came out to argue with me and would hardly give me a word in edgewise. When I asked her questions she would not answer but simply kept accusing me of being unloving, unkind, of forcing my daughter to come hand out fliers, of being demonic, etc. My daughter piped up and said she was there because Benny Hinn was a false prophet and she didn't want people to be deceived. I think my daughter's words were even more effective than mine. The lady urged us to come in and listen. I told her I have probably seen more hours of Benny Hinn videos than she had. She said I needed to "experience" Hinn. I told her I did not want to experience anything coming from a false prophet. I told her that I would follow Jesus Christ, and she could continue to follow Benny Hinn. Eventually we left that argument at an impasse.
By this time a few more people had shown up and were passing out anti-Hinn fliers. This was a help to us. We moved over to where many people were coming in from the parking lot. By that time a group of teenage girls from Word Of Life Church in Honolulu started telling anyone we handed the fliers to not to read them and to throw them away. Most complied. I challenged these girls. I asked them if they had read the flier. They said no. I said there was Scripture in that flier and that they were opposing God, not us. They said we were just being negative and had just picked out negative verses from the Bible. I guess we have to throw away most of the New Testament if these girls are right! I told them plainly that I felt sorry for them and believed that they were putting themselves in danger of judgment from God by doing what they were doing. They ignored me.
Two men came up to me and we had a good discussion about what was on the fliers. They actually listened and I hope they took it to heart. While I was talking to them my heart (my physical heart) started beating erratically and missing beats. I knew that many people where praying against us at that point, but as I did throughout the two nights we were there, I simply prayed to the Lord Jesus and put our fates in His hands. The pains went away. After awhile I was becoming irritated with the girls from Word of Life church, so I turned around and prayed this prayer: "Lord, please cause them to go inside now so we can hand out the rest of our fliers in peace." I turned back around and they had decided to go inside and all left immediately! Just one more proof that God answers the prayers of those who are standing up for His name and His Word.
We were able to hand out ALL of the fliers just about the time when the last of the people were arriving to go inside. I believe we were able to hand out fliers to MOST of the family groups going in. I'm sure that many were thrown away, but it is our continued hope and prayer that the message on those fliers, as well as the vision of the sign I was carrying, will somehow bring a reminder to a few who still love the truth.
At the bottom of this report you will find a copy of the information on the flier we handed out.
I think all true believers should have to do what we did. It would be a great eye opener. You begin to realize the enormity of the deception that is out there in Christendom. The looks on the faces of the people going in was one of mindless devotion. Significantly, I counted about one in every 20 people had Bibles with them. At my church almost EVERY person has a Bible when they come to meetings! The evil looks on the faces of some who did not want us there spoke louder than words. Frankly it was demonic. We simply smiled at people and were kind to them, even when they threatened us with harm or cursed at us.
I especially felt sorry for two groups. The old people made me sad because some of them were surely true believers for most of their lives, but they are now shipwrecking their faith, placing it in the Gnostic "Jesus" of Benny Hinn and in lying signs and wonders, not in the truth. I also felt sorry for the islanders and Filipinos I saw flocking in. I saw some I knew and many I didn't. But I knew they were going in to be fleeced and deceived.
The offering handouts in the Hinn crusade state that people will get a blessing if they give. Then they suggest AT LEAST a $50. donation, going up into the multiple thousands, payable with cash, check or credit card. For a person going in to seek healing, this presents a terrible implied dilemma, and Benny Hinn is banking (literally) on that. People have heard enough Word-Faith propaganda to think that they cannot get away with giving nothing because that would demonstrate a lack of faith, a necessary element in the Word-Faith healing scheme. Therefore they are forced to at least give the lowest suggested amount. It used to be $20. but has now gone up to $50. Most of the people I saw going into the "show" would be hard pressed to give $50., let alone the thousands asked for on the flier. This constitutes one of the biggest SCAMS ever foisted on the public, in my opinion. Why does the FCC and Better Business Bureau allow this type of rip off in Hawaii? It would be one thing if people were actually getting something for their money such as a product that had a money back guarantee. You get no guarantees with Hinn, in fact you get NOTHING! I figure that Hinn walked out of Oahu, based on the attendance of between 10,000 to 15,000 at this event, with between $500,000 to $1 million dollars! And this is a low estimate. You do the math.
Folks, people like Benny Hinn have to be stopped. He is single-handedly destroying the faith of many, and emptying their pocketbooks while he is doing it. May the Lord have mercy on the souls of the unfortunate people who love Benny Hinn more than the truth!
Three false prophecies of Benny Hinn
(this list is by no means exhaustive!):
Benny Hinn, Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 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."
Benny Hinn, Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989.
"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."
Benny Hinn, TBN Praise-a-thon, April 2nd, 2000
"The hour is urgent. Many of you have known me for many years. But I am telling you right now, things I haven't said years 'n years 'n years ago. I believe - here this, hear this! I believe, that Jesus, God's Son, is about to appear physically, in meetings and to believers around the world, to wake us up! He appeared after His resurrection and He is about to appear before His second coming! You know a prophetess sent me a word through my wife, right here, and she said 'Tell your husband that Jesus is go'n to physically appear in his meetings.' I am expecting to see, I am telling you that - I feel it's going to happen. I, I, I'm, I'm careful in how I am saying it now, because I know the people in Kenya are listening. I know deep in my soul, something supernatural is going to happen in Nai - in Nairobi Kenya. I feel that. I may very well come back, and you and Jan are coming, to - Paul and Jan are coming to Nairobi with me, but Paul, we may very well come back with footage of Jesus on the platform! You know that the Lord appeared in Romania recently, and there's a video of it? Where the Lord appeared in the back of a church and you see him on video walking down the isle? Yeah! Paul do you remember when I came on TBN years ago and showed you a clip of the Lord appearing in our church in Orlando, on the balcony on the wall? Yeah. You, you remember that? [Paul Crouch] Very well, I saw it! [Benny Hinn] That was '80, 80 something, '86, what - whatever. You know I always wondered why the Lord, why did He do that? Do you know why, now I look back? That was the beginning of the greatest move of God in our church. Because '83, '84, and '85 were horrible years for me, horrible years. Eighty-six the blessings of God began, but they began with a - with this manifestation of the Lord's face on, on the balcony, that stayed for eight weeks. Eight solid weeks! The Lord has done this in the past, but He is about to do it again, now hear this, I am prophesying this! Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches, and some meetings, and to many of His people, for one reason - to tell you He is about to show up! To Wake Up! Jesus is coming saints! You have held back from the Lord in the past, don't you dare do it now. The day will come you'll stand before Him and give an answer. How dare we not give to God. How dare we hold back."
NO VIDEO. DIDN'T HAPPEN. CAN'T HAPPEN!
And here's why ...
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect— if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. "So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:23-27)
What does the Bible say
about false prophets?
Jesus warned us: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Jesus again warned us about the end times: For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. (Matthew 24:24)
Peter warned the church: But there were false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies … (2 Peter 2:1a)
What are we as Christians supposed to do? Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
What is a false prophet? I have not sent them,” declares the Lord. “They are prophesying lies in my name. (Jeremiah 27:15a)But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. 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 that Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)
If a man is found to be a heretic and false prophet, then what?A man that is a heretic after the first and second admonition reject. (Titus 3:10)
What is the end of false prophets? But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars — their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
For more information contact:
Apologetics Coordination Team (ACT)