The birth of the Pentecostal movement began at Azusa Street in the early part of this century. Since that time there has been a focus upon the Holy Spirit and his gifts. Some are genuine, healthy activities that brought new life into the body of Christ. Others are not healthy in their focus. Based on the Mark 16:17 model for the Church, the renewal movements of the last thirty years brought a stronger focus on signs and wonders, miracles and healings. This gave birth to a rising of some new leaders esteemed to be apostles and prophets. These men have easily found Christian stardom because of the neglect of the church to discern truth. Whenever the church is not functioning in a correct and healthy fashion, a void opens and there will arise those who claim to have giftings. They attract great support in time and finances for their ministry that I believe should be directed toward the church’s own community and missionary outreaches. Instead of building up the local body the famed leaders build their own ministries. Today Tele-evangelism has grown into a 3½ billion dollar industry. Much of the giving goes into the preacher’s pockets and ministries. This enables them to continue traveling throughout the world, conducting so-called miracle healing crusades much like a rock concert tour. Benny Hinn fits into this category as one of the world’s most successful TV evangelists of all time as his programs can be viewed in 50 different countries. The Benny Hinn phenomenon continues to grow as the money flows in from thousands who honestly believe that he has the gift of God to heal and to give the anointing of God to others. Mr. Hinn claims to be a channel for God and that God comes into him and upon him. God allegedly takes over his mind and tongue as he performs fantastic miracles and words of knowledge, while casting out demons with power not seen since the apostles. Benny Hinn becomes so intoxicated in what he calls the anointing that he often is totally unaware of what he said and performed later.
HINN’S HISTORY: Benny Hinn was born in Israel in 1953. He was raised as a Greek Orthodox and went to a Catholic school. He claims to have had two visions and an appearance of Jesus at age 11 before he was converted.1) This appearing he says continues to occur regularly since he became a Christian. At the age of 14 the family moved to Toronto, Canada. Hinn has given a few different stories about the when and how of his conversion. He claims it occurred in 1972. But this differs from his story on a recorded testimony from a 1987 tape describing The Angel of the Lord in a vision taking him into a room in the high school and there he was saved.2) In his book, Good Morning Holy Spirit, he said the angel dropped him off on Don Mills road outside the wall of his school. Then in the 1981 publication of the PTL Devotional, he said "I got saved in Israel in 1968".3) Yet in a 1983 message in St. Louis, he claimed that someone witnessed to him and he got saved after he came to Toronto from Israel. He also tells of his family members giving their hearts to the Lord at different times.4) However, in 1984, in his book War in the Heavenlies, he said his family all got saved at the same time.5) There were multiple claims in his stories and Hinn is found to be consistently inconsistent with his word. One can only wonder which story, if any, is accurate.
In May of 1983, Hinn and five others survived a plane crash. This was discussed on the PTL show with Paul and Jan Crouch.6) Hinn claimed the Lord spoke saying, "Nothing will happen to you." He explained, "When I walked out of that plane, Paul, I did not have a scratch on my body." Paul Crouch responded, "We remember that! Not a scratch!" Hinn claims that he walked away without a scratch or any injury and right on the spot he healed another passenger’s eye that came out of the socket. In the book, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, the documentation proves otherwise. Two newspaper reports, the F.A.A., the National Transportation Safety Board, the Sheriff’s Department and the hospital all agree on a different account than Hinn’s. The Orlando Sentinel reported that all six occupants were injured. The Avon Park Paper reported, "Hinn said he was in a state of shock" and he said, "It will be the last time I will ever fly in one of these (single engine airplanes) again." There were no miracles reported by either Benny Hinn, the newspaper or the victims. The records show that the Hinns were in the hospital.7) He was then released after two days and his wife remained in for three days.8) According to the sheriff’s report, Benny had multiple contusions, abrasions and lacerations.90 As far as the man’s eye being healed, he testified that Hinn prayed for his eye but the right eye that was injured was not healed. After various operations he is able to see today. This was attributed to surgery not to Mr. Hinn laying his hands on him.100
Benny Hinn also claims a miraculous healing of his own stuttering. Numerous people from his past were questioned regarding this. Only one, Friar Henri, the director of the College Des Freres in Jaffa recalls him stuttering as a child. Apparently, nobody else recalls that he stuttered, even those he names in his testimony.11) Even the youth pastor from the church this miracle was claimed to have transpired in did not recall that he stuttered.12)
One of the most controversial stories is Hinn’s claim that his father was the mayor in Jaffa, Israel. An exhaustive search proved this to be more contradiction to fact. The Hinn’s are Arab, not Jewish. Furthermore the language spoken in the home was Arabic. Those who hold such offices in Israel are Jewish. The Jews would never elect an Arab mayor.13)
Benny Hinn found himself in the middle of controversy a few years ago that brought him much attention from within the church. He introduced masses of people to a faulty interpretation of the Godhead and also a false view about Jesus, thinking that He took upon Himself the nature of Satan on the cross and then was born again in hell.14) He apparently recanted on this and turned away from the flawed Word of Faith Jesus. He admitted that some of his early teachings were identified with the New Age and were dead wrong. However, he has been strangely silent on speaking out about this. Credible preachers speak out in favor of what they believe is the truth. His silence enabled him to walk out the back door without any heavy repercussions. Millions of dollars were made in his books and in tape sales offering these teachings. Some are still in circulation. It doesn’t seem to matter to Hinn, who bought the corrupted materials and what these people may believe today. Of course there is a very real price to pay when exposing a falsehood that he taught himself and others are still teaching. It becomes especially sensitive as Benny Hinn’s program is on TBN. This TV network is the main promoter of the same destructive teachings. It appears that Mr. Hinn’s interests are more for himself and the preservation of his ministry than for the people he is so involved in "ministering to." What has Mr. Hinn corrected? He earlier taught that there are nine in the Godhead (not just once; several times)!15) Benny has made some progress, but he is still vague in his description of the Lord. Why is this alarming? He is someone who "under anointing" claims to know God in a special way and yet he is so wrong on the very fundamentals of His nature.
HINN’S TEACHINGS: Benny said, "Within me is a God-man…The Spirit man within me is a God-man…I’m a God-man."16) "Are you a child of God? Then you are divine!…Then you’re not human."17) "When you say I am a Christian, you are saying ‘I am a messiah’ in Hebrew. I am a little messiah walking on earth…"18) "You know what your last name is? Jehovah! So I’m Benny Jehovah!"19) Numerous statements have been spoken while under his "anointing," even, "If we quit giving you new revelations we’re dead."20) This approach became the modas operandi of the Benny Hinn ministry which makes it the enigma it is today.
On the nature of God, Benny said, "God the Father, ladies and gentleman, is a person and He is a triune being by Himself, separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost... See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person; but each one of them is a triune being by himself. If I can shock you and maybe I should, there’s nine of them! What did you say? Let me explain. God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul and his own personal spirit body. You say, I never heard that! Well, you think you are in church to hear things you heard for the last fifty years?" 21)
Afterwards on the TBN show, Paul Crouch tried to correct his error. "You have been attacked too on statements that you have made concerning the trinity and the members of the Godhead. How many are there in the Godhead?" Benny responded, "Three!" Crouch said, "Three." Benny, "Simply three?" Crouch said, "Not nine!" Benny, "No, goodness!" (Benny then laughed at the ridiculous prospect). Crouch asked, "Where did that silly charge come from?" Benny responded, "This thing has almost become comical. Paul, here is what I believe. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost - three separate individuals, one in essence, one in work, and may I add, each of them possesses his own spirit body. That’s what I believe."22) (Crouch seems to have forgotten then Hinn taught this on his own program!) What is said under the alleged anointing of God is dismissed by humor and corrections to hang on to credibility. Hinn’s explanations are still problematic and erroneous regarding God’s nature. He is still not orthodox in doctrine. The persons in the Godhead do not all possess spirit bodies. God, having three personalities, subsists in one essence as the one God. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are indivisible.
It is good that he acknowledged problems and dropped this and other teachings. Yet we must remember the position Hinn claims, speaking while "under the anointing" as the revelation from God Himself. He would say, "I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me." This is nothing less than modern gnosticism, immediate revelation from the Spirit that supersedes the scriptures. This characterizes his operation in ministry. How is this kind of phenomena different than the Mormon prophet changing his mind over polygamy or the black people receiving the priesthood? How can anyone justify criticizing Mormons who believe God the Father and the Holy Spirit have their own separate bodies and still "touch not" the various TV evangelists who promote the same spiritual errors?
What people need to ask, when someone has so many off-base, unbiblical, and distorted doctrines on the nature of God is how can he be operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit? Since Mr. Hinn changed his mind from "the Jesus in hell" doctrine and his confusion over the Godhead, there has been no difference in the way he conducts his crusades. The very same manifestations that happened when his so-called "anointed" words were not from a heavenly source still occur now. Therefore does God honor false teaching, especially having to do with His own nature? Why did the pseudo-Christian doctrine never diminish any experiences? If God approves of Hinn’s teaching by empowering him with His Spirit, how can we possibly distinguish the false from the true that arises from the cults and varied religions? Doctrine does matter; it is our straight edge ruler to truth. Scripture admonishes us all to adhere to the doctrine of Christ in the apostle’s teachings (1 Tim.4:13-16; 2 Jn. 9; Rom.16:17-18).
Benny Hinn continues to make statements about revelation and experience that are questionable at best. In the summer of 1974, he claims that he was awakened from sleep by a seven foot tall, three foot wide, black-robed figure that he describes as Death. It tried to choke him. Benny claims that he had an out-of-body experience at that moment. He sat up in bed and from the hips down he was still in his body; but from his torso up he was out-of-body. Therefore he could see everything clearly, including Michael the Archangel. He saw many angels come in to do battle with the angel of death creature. He claims that these kind of extraordinary spiritual experiences happen to him all the time. He said, "Angels would appear in my bedroom at night and just stand and look at me…I would even see little boys in my bedroom with little white robes." 23)
On the TBN network Hinn described his victory over the "demon of poverty." He claimed a vision, saying, "I woke up one night and saw a man in my bedroom...the spirit of God said, that’s the devil of poverty." Benny said, "I rebuke you in Jesus name." Then he said the Holy Ghost corrected him saying he was doing it wrong; he needed to say, "It is written." Then he said, "When I did that, that thing vanished. And from that day til’ this...I’m telling the truth I don’t have debts." That part is believable! Most celebrities and national figures can equal his claim.
Benny Hinn speaks of many other experiences given over the TBN network. For example, he said that the Lord was in front of him and when he moved his arm so did Jesus. When he moved his foot so did Jesus. This continued until they walked together and they merged becoming one. Incredible! This "Christianity" is more at home with New Age Occultic experience than with the Christ of the Bible!
Again he said emphatically, "I remember a man in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, that turned into a snake before my very eyes and 2,000 people saw him." (Impact News). Later on TBN he corrected the statement and changed the story to he slithered like a snake.
Another time on TBN he described a Roman Catholic communion he partook in. Benny started to feel numb. He said someone stepped in front of him until the sensation became so real that he reached out and touched the robe which had a silky feeling. He went on to say, "I was feeling the actual form of a body." Then his own body went numb. Benny concluded that God gave him a revelation and "when we partake of the communion, it really is Jesus and He heals your body. So how can you stay weak and sick?" 24) This is promoting the Roman Catholicism view of transubstantiation and the Bible teaches something very different. If you do not take communion in the correct manner, you actually become weak and people become sick. Some have even died being judged for not considering the body and the blood of the Lord (1 Cor.11:30). Scripture mentions no healing from taking communion! Benny’s upbringing in a Roman Catholic school appears to still hold a big influence on him today.
Prophecies were also given by Benny Hinn. On December 31 of 1989, he said, "The Lord also tells me…about ’94 or ’95 no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America…" Time certainly is the enemy of a false prophet.
HINN’S CRUSADES: While on stage, Benny Hinn uses suggestive thoughts to set the atmosphere like, "It’s special tonight!…This is an unusual anointing!…There is power here!…This is the best crusade ever!…His presence is greater here!…It’s like no others!" These became spiritual clichés of the Holy Spirits presence and work among them. People then become enamored with what God may be doing in their midst.
Why do people come in great numbers to experience Benny saying, "TOUCH!" Is it so they can fall under the power? In my opinion, most spectators do not have an exciting walk with the Lord, so they go to see and feel something. Scripturally, we do not find anyone following Peter or Paul for their miracles. Those who tried this with Jesus were rebuked. People attending crusades today testify how they knew they would be healed if they came, so they travel from several states and countries to be present. After people are introduced to the worshipful atmosphere and preparation through suggestibility, the evening rolls out at an exciting pace. They hear, "Look at this! This is wonderful! Oh, there is power here!" Hinn keeps insisting that it is Jesus who does the miracle, yet it always flows from Hinn himself. If the miracle really were from God, Mr. Hinn would not have to touch people or throw the Spirit upon them. God is very capable of touching people since He is already resident inside believers. However, this new Pentecostal movement of the anointing is transferred by touch (impartation) from one person (the anointer) to another (the anointee). The source for all of this comes from The Latter Rain teachings of the late 40’s.
Benny Hinn is so infatuated with Pentecostal power and his mentors, Aimee S. Mcpherson and Kathryn Kuhlman, that he even frequents their graves. He said, "One of the strangest experiences I had a few years ago visiting Aimees tomb in California. Friday I am going to visit Kathryn Kuhlman’s tomb. It’s close by Aimees...I felt a terrific anointing when I was there...I trembled when I visited Aimee's tomb. I was shaking all over; Gods power came all over me. I believe the anointing has lingered over Aimee's body. Someone asked me how is it you can feel the anointing around a tomb? I have no idea man, but I sure felt it. Your gonna feel the anointing...I’ve heard of people healed when they visited their tomb...What a crazy thing. Brother there’s things we’ll never understand."25) Yes, it’s crazy and I don’t understand how he can promote this nonsense. Do we get the anointing and healing from dead people? Let me ask you, who goes to cemeteries? If what he is saying is true, maybe we should all move to the cemetery and have church! The problem is, this is not an anointing from Jesus. Friend, you can’t even get the anointing from another person when they are alive, so how in the world would you receive it from them when they are dead? No wonder he has no idea how this is possible; because there is no scriptural validity for his "experience."
HINN’S HEALINGS?????We should see genuine, outward healings if Hinn really has a gift from the true God. Those on stage during Benny Hinn’s crusades claim healing from a sore back, a neck problem, cancer, lupus, and we see the crippled walk. You never see genuine healings from permanent physical deformities like an eye forming in the socket or someone’s arm that was amputated being restored as with Biblical miracles. Yet Pentecostal stories are held up as if such acts were happening all over. However, they are never filmed and there is no medically documented proof. What has been produced as "proof" is glaringly lacking. Still the outrageous stories continue as, "I was in Ghana just recently and we had half a million people show up and a man was raised from the dead on the platform. That’s a FACT people!" What is the implication? Benny suggests, I was there and I saw it. When questioned face-to-face, "Do you literally believe that someone has been resurrected on the platform?" guardedly Hinn responded, "Oh, John, I would not limit God. Ah, God can raise the dead, absolutely.I have not seen it. In that one case we did hear about it." (Impact News). Whenever anyone presents an inaccurate story about a resurrection, doesn’t this hinder the presentation of the biblical resurrection?
People testify how they have been healed from cancer because they felt something. Feelings can mostly be unreliable and misleading. Most "healings" in the Benny Hinn crusades seem to have the same descriptions such as warmth, burning and intense fire. In contrast, there is no description of anyone in the Bible having feelings like electricity, numbness, or heat. Today’s crusaders claim that say this is how they KNOW that God touched them. Investigation finds many people already predisposed to a "Word-Faith" theology, claiming their healing beforehand and believing they will receive it. Most of the testimonies come from Hinn’s own Covenant Partners and others who follow his ministry. Consequently, many are predisposed to believe they will receive. The people worship with thousands, lifting their hearts to the Lord and are wide open to any kind of an experience. With this a person can have lots of "feelings." These may be misinterpreted as being from God; when really it might be only from within oneself or from convincing affects produced by the atmosphere. This is very important! If there are real healings, it is because of the grace of God in spite of the what is being presented on stage.
The Impact News special said, "Benny Hinn says all of the healings that appear on his television program are fully documented." Consider the famed healing of Evander Holyfield. This "miracle" has often been paraded around on Mr. Hinn’s program and on TBN as a genuine healing. He announced, "The Lord is telling me right now He is repairing Holyfield’s heart completely." 26) Benny Hinn’s influence on Holyfield’s health gained the attention of leading magazines such as Time and others. Yet the medical specialists found that Holyfield’s internist really gave an inaccurate diagnosis from the tests . 27) We ask, who was "telling" Hinn that Holyfield was healed? Holyfield clarified the confusion with sports writer, Terence Moore. "He felt the faith healer had no affect upon his heart." Holyfield said, "There really was not anything to heal. That is because I do not believe that I had a problem with my heart to begin with." 28) After donations were low in covering the crusade attended by Holyfield, Hinn solicited $100,000 from him to help with the expenses. After agreeing, Hinn requesting the full $265,000 to underwrite the cost of the whole crusade. Holyfield then agreed to donate the total amount. 29)
Real healing does not come easy. Inside Edition has monitored Benny Hinn since their first program on him in 1984. In one dramatic scene, Hinn claimed to heal a mother and her two young children of AIDS. Again Hinns credibility is questionable. The so-called "healing" was presented over national TV without valid verification. Inside Edition confronted Mr. Hinn because the woman and children were not really healed. In addition, one of the children did not belong to the lady. When told this, Hinn tried to justify himself saying, "All I know is what she said. I was praying she would get a miracle and I put it on, showing me praying for someone with AIDS to give someone hope with AIDS." Are we to assume that "the word of knowledge" was turned off at the time? For the dying, true hope was absent.
On Larry King Live, Mr. King said, "You could do it on the street." Hinn said, "Well, yes, but look, it’s not as easy because you really need that atmosphere of faith." Did Jesus and the apostles need an atmosphere? The answer is obviously no! In contradiction to this statement, we are told that people are healed on the drive to the crusade or while waiting in line without being in any atmosphere of faith. I certainly agree the atmosphere is important, very important!
On March 16, 1997, Impact News gave a couple of common examples of people who attend the crusades for healing. Linda Tyson brought her 17 year old son, Shandez who was injured in football and is now incapacitated in a wheel chair. She went to his crusade in Atlanta with much hope and faith. The first and second night she could not get in. Then Hinn prayed for Shandez briefly backstage and they went home still hoping for a miracle. Laura Twilly was dying of cancer and came to be healed. She was interviewed in a screening process. As often happens, she said she could not walk, but after attending she felt better and was very excited. Not truly healed, she walked with a new strength at the crusade; she died four weeks later.
Why are some accepted on stage while others are not? Larry king inquired about the screening process. Benny said, "I have doctors. I have people that are trained who make sure that the person is healed...I don’t really pray for the sick. I pray for them, you know, after they are healed. On the program I pray for the sick when I say now stretch your hands…But in the crusade itself, they are healed just sitting there, see? And so they’re checked. They’re questioned. ‘Do you know what’s wrong with you?’ And then the doctor, or whoever, will check as much as possible, of course. And, ah, you know the pain is gone and now of course when someone is healed of cancer or leukemia, or something, we will always say, ‘Go back to your doctor and make sure you really are healed because you really can’t tell by just asking some questions.’" Within a minute Benny contradicted himself. Why have doctors in the screening process to make sure if no one really knows? Why does he pray for the sick on This is Your Day and other programs but not in the crusades? In truth, he does pray for people to be healed during crusades, making such statements as, "If God will heal one he’ll heal two, if he will heal two he’ll heal three." How logical is it to attribute the sicknesses to demons and then cast them out of people who were already healed? Are the demonized healed? When Benny pronounces that they will never be sick again or commands the sickness to go, what does that mean? Other faith healers call that "healing," so should Mr. Hinn. A few years ago after Inside Edition exposed such inconsistencies Hinn said, "We will not say they’re healed or something like this, because how do we know they are healed. They’re telling us they’re healed, so we can’t speak for the people." (TBN, March 4,1994). Then why do we hear that a left ear is being "healed," cancer is "healed," a blood condition is "healed," deafness is going and that sort of thing?
On the Larry King show, Benny shared a story about being sick with a head cold. He claimed that he turned on the TV and saw his own program. He explained, "I had a terrible cold one day. Oh, it was terrible! I couldn’t breath, it was terrible. I turned on my program (Larry: "No. You cured yourself!")…Benny Hinn on the show said, ‘Stretch your hands!’ and I thought, (Larry: "Come on, Benny!") Oh I thought to myself…so stupid you know for me to go and actually put my hands…and suddenly the Lord really spoke to my heart and said, ‘The man on television is my anointed servant.’…I went over and put my hands on the screen and yes; I got healed." Benny claimed he was healed by his own video! I would find it more believable if he had breathed on himself. Seriously, if this is possible, people no longer need him in live crusades; they could just show his videos in hospitals and touch more people’s lives with the power of God. It seem's a Benny Hinn video would be a greater miracle than the Apostle Paul’s handkerchief? Why did the Lord say the man on the TV was anointed and not the live person? Obviously, Benny’s promo was a pitch to the viewers to lend confidence in his ministry! "Come on Benny!" are my sentiments also! Characteristically, Hinn tells people what they like to hear.
One of the most peculiar testimonies came from the broadway movie star, Ben Vereen. He was in two traffic accidents which gave him a very small chance at survival. Vereen certainly gave the impression that he was a Christian since he said you must exercise faith in God to be healed. He said god is a force, I watched as Mr. Vereen said, it doesn’t matter what you call him, whether its God or Jesus Buddha, Allah. Strangely, when Vereen was to appear on the TBN show with Hinn to give a testimony, he canceled because he had a little cold. Later, on the Suzanne Somers show (Sept.29,1994), he attributed his healing to his doctors, the therapists and a pastor named J. Coleman, a former Unity school of Christianity minister, still holding those beliefs. Vereen is currently endorsing the Tony Robbins power tape series.
Why doesn’t Benny Hinn go visit hospitals and heal the patients? Does God heal mostly during a crusade? Or do people need to wait for Hinn to come to town? Hinn is confident that God is going to respond in the same way in every city he visits. Hinn did go to a hospital! He says he received a special invitation from the Reverend Mother of a Catholic hospital. Benny went and conducted a service with three Pentecostal preachers and seven Roman Catholic priests in a hospital of 150 patients. (Welcome Holy Spirit, page 231). He claims that this hospital’s chapel was filled with clinically ill, bed-ridden patients. The doctors and nurses watched as they anointed people. He said that it looked like an earthquake hit because the people were lying everywhere. His story went on into a miracle mystery tour of Benny’s imaginations.
What Benny chronicled got investigated by G. Richard Fisher of Personal Freedom Outreach. He wrote, "Something of this magnitude probably never would have been forgotten at Sault Saint Marie General Hospital. How did it ever escape the attention of the news media? As described by Hinn, this could be the most incredible happening Canada had ever experienced. Many people could verify it, yet there is neither anyone at the hospital who remembers it as Hinn tells it, nor are there records to confirm the fact. The real story is neither extraordinary nor miraculous. Here is what actually happened. Our connection with the hospital got us the response, ‘Benny who?’ Director of community relations for Sault Saint Marie General Hospital, Lois C. Krause instantly denied all that Hinn claimed. She said it could not have happened in the way that Hinn’s book described. She laughed after reading a copy of the story. No miracles occurred in the hospital as Hinn claims, she said, adding that no patients left that day due to miraculous occurrences. Some older staff members did recall Hinn’s name but did not remember anything as extraordinary as Hinn’s book describes. They did not deny the possibility that chapel meetings were held, but did not recall the meeting as recounted in Welcome Holy Spirit. Mother Superior Mary Francis, also disputed Hinn’s account. The hospital released this statement which included the following remarks: ‘No such events have ever occurred at General Hospital. His pronouncements can neither be verified through the medical records nor by testimony by past or present personnel of this hospital. Mr. Hinn’s claims are outlandish and unwarranted.’" (July-Sept. of the Quarterly Journal of Personal Freedom Outreach). In his book, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, Fisher declares that Hinn "embellishes truth and he fabricates, exaggerates and misrepresents events." He went to the hospital but the experiences did not happen anything like he claimed. What a terrible testimony for someone claiming to be God’s minister! Hinn’s greatest stories which he personally documented are fabrications! Hinn’s book exaggerates stories going to millions of people. Word Faith theology seems to affect the way he looks at things.
HINN’S INCOME$$: Impact News, on March 16, 1997, presented Mr. Hinn with this question, "May I ask what your annual salary is?" Benny explained with difficulty, "Well, John, you knew that that would be private, but ah, I knew you would ask it. I can tell you this, um, if it wasn’t for my book royalties, I’d be dead!" Yet when Larry King asked about his salary, he said, "People ask me what I do with this money from my books, for example, from my royalty. I give much of that away." In Hawaii at the February 28 service, he discussed the distribution of his books, saying, "Anything that sells, I don’t get a cent. All the books, all the tapes, I get nothing. I just get one cent. That’s it!" Notice the two stories! Which is really true? There is a consistent mystery of multiplicity when it comes to explaining either the practical or the supernatural. Impact obtained a copy of his five year employment contract. It set Hinn’s salary at $250,000 a year plus unspecified group benefits. Benny responded to another question, "So you’re asking me if it’s accurate?" (Impact: "If it’s reasonably accurate.") "It’s close." Later Hinn told Impact his yearly income including royalties was much more, between $500,000 and $1,000,000 a year. Two to four times as much is not close! Hardly a man in history ever made so much money preaching "the Gospel!" Benny said softly, "I would love the day to come where, ah, I would live only on my royalties and would not have to take a salary from the ministry at all." Mr. Hinn has been quoted saying, "I have lost complete desire for anything to do with the world. My worldly desires are gone." 30 One could never tell this was true by the way he lives!
On Larry king he said that he has needs while defending his opulent lifestyle, claiming that he gives much of his book royalties away. In truth, what comes through the ministry stays in the ministry. The week following the Impact program on Larry King Live, Larry asked, "Big salary?" Benny said, "Um. It’s OK." Larry inquired, "Are you wealthy?" Benny said, "No, I’m not wealthy." What is Mr. Hinn’s definition of wealthy or even well-to-do? He recently moved from the exclusive Heathrow Development to an even more exclusive Alaqua $685,000 home. On Impact he stated, "The home…the car, I paid for. The ministry pays nothing when it comes to home and car and all that." That sounds wealthy! His suits are tailored, his shoes are Italian leather, and his wrist and finger are endowed with gold and diamonds. He wears a diamond Rolex watch. How many people do you know who enjoy this kind of lifestyle that are not rich? Benny says, "What’s the big deal, for goodness sake? What am I supposed to do, drive a Honda?" When Larry King asked about his Mercedes, he was not aware that Benny traded it in for a Jaguar. Jesus and the apostles walked in suffering and experienced tribulation to express their faith. In contrast, Benny shows it by what he owns (See 2 Cor. 6:3-10). Mr. Hinn embraces the prosperity philosophy. He declared, "I’m sick and tired of hearing about streets of gold [in Heaven]. I don’t need gold in Heaven. I got to have it now." 31) This is certainly reflected in his lifestyle of ministry. He spent nearly $9,000 per staff person on a round trip fare to fly the supersonic Concord. This saved four hours of flying time. Hinn and his personal bodyguards stay in presidential suites of the most exclusive and expensive hotels in the world, costing as much as $2,200 a night. (Impact News). While The apostles said, "Silver and gold have I none but in the name of Jesus rise," Hinn can honestly say silver and gold I have also. Benny reasoned, "And I do not ever want to get to the place where I have to be begging for money to, ah, keep the bills paid." Then we saw, "If God would speak to you, even giving $10,000, $50,000, or maybe even a $100,000 we need, we can use it, believe me now." (Impact News). While this may not be called begging it certainly could be called manipulative.
Benny Hinn’s Hawaii crusade included showing a video of his crusade in Nicaragua. He claimed that he did not have the heart to ask the people of Nicaragua for an offering. Why? He teaches, "If you have big debt, you sow big seed…If I had to have a big financial miracle, I would not give a dollar. I would give a big sacrificial seed, believing God for the harvest." (Impact News). According to Hinn’s own faith theory, he denied the people of Nicaragua the blessing of overcoming poverty by giving. On Larry King he stated, "We don’t force the people to give. People give out of their own freewill and it pays the bills." He asked the Lord to speak to the people of Hawaii, to give generously saying, "I’m asking the Lord to speak to many of you to give a thousand dollars tonight. Some can give even more…at least a hundred dollars to help us." He cleverly lifted a greater offering, instructing the people, "If you have nothing to give but you really want to give something to the Lord’s work, would you mind standing up…Now would you look around and see those standing around near you?…Come on! Somebody get up and give them some money so they can give also. There’s people standing up who have nothing to give. Somebody give them something to give so they can be blessed!" While freewill is involved there is a lot of coaxing. Once again we hear a double message. He couldn’t ask from the poor in another country to give yet he cleverly got people to give double offerings in the wealthier Hawaii.
HINN’S MESSAGE IN HAWAII: Benny Hinn claimed to say things that were never shared before in public. The Friday evening message was very disturbing. We waited to hear a message from the Word. Finally, after 2½ hours with the mood set by music, he spoke. The problem was, it was all about his experiences of the spiritual realm and trafficking with the dead ,what god actually forbids as. Here are a few of the highlights:
"I’ve known moments when I’ve felt the presence of God, I’ve smelled the presence of God. I did this morning right here. And those around me smelled the frankincense. In Detroit, Michigan, so great was the presence of God, the whole building began to fill up with a mist and we began to breath it and smell it, frankincense…I’ve seen the presence of God…I not only have smelled it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes…Moses saw a cloud…Peter, James and John saw a cloud...As Christ walked into that cloud, and the voice of God spoke and said, ‘This is my beloved Son, hear Him"…many times, in our own meetings, many times I will see a mist over people. I can actually see like a mist over the people’s heads…Elisha said, ‘Open his eyes, Lord. Open the eyes of my servant so he might see.’" No where does the Bible allude to breathing or smelling the Holy Spirit. When God’s presence came it was visible to all, not something seen by the few who have an anointing and spiritual insights. Elisha did not see God’s presence, but saw the spiritual realm where the angels prepared for the battle that was about to occur. This was a one time occurrence. Everything Hinn presented was uncommon and even foreign for the believer today! Benny went on claiming, "Whenever I talk to Him, I see Him. I can tell you what color He has on. I’ve seen that so many times. Most times I see Him wearing a blue, beautiful, almost like a silkish-looking garment, a white garment, a white and a scarlet garment…And often when I see Him, I know whether He is pleased with me or displeased with me. There’s been times when I see Him with a smile. Other times I see Him with a very serious look. Other times…it’s almost like a mist around His face. And He speaks to me so clearly. You know I ask Him questions that most people probably don’t ask Him. I said, ‘Lord, show me my future. I want to do something with my future.’ I saw my future, had a vision and I saw myself as an old man with white hair. I said, ‘Lord, how long will I live?’ He told me. He said, ‘Sixty-nine. If you take care of yourself, seventy-three.’ So I want to buy a treadmill." Mr. Hinn seems very comfortable with such honorary appearances of God right in his room and wherever he goes. John the beloved knew a special and close friendship with Christ on earth. But when he saw the Lord in the Book of Revelation, he fell at His feet as dead. The Bible says that all of our days are numbered, so did God give Benny Hinn a choice? Does the Lord continue to appear to Benny Hinn in spite of the fact that the Bible clearly states how Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father as our mediator until he comes again? When Jesus comes we will all see him at the same time.
Benny explained the closeness of the supernatural realm. He said, "It’s closer to you than the air you breath…I’ve walked in that world. I’ve seen things you would never be able to understand." Then he appealed to his longtime friend, Paul Crouch, to validate his story. "Paul, do you believe that I am a man of God? Do you? How long have you known me? Am I crazy? Can I tell you something? I’ve never shared this. Never! I was in prayer one day and a man appeared in front of me. For two days in a row, twice, one day and the next day. I saw this man in my room. It frightened me at first. When you enter into this world of prayer it starts with the mind where you’re so accustomed to the things around you, then you enter into a spiritual thickness and wealth where nothing bothers you, nothing frightens you. Angels don’t surprise you anymore with their appearance because you’ve been already tasting and been feeling and you been living in an atmosphere. Do you understand that?…You are not shocked by anything. There appeared to me a man…He was about six feet two. Old man…white beard. His face was somewhat thin, but very bold! Eyes, crystal blue! He had on a white garment…On his head was like a shawl…He looked like a priest. But every part of Him glistened like crystal. And I spoke out and I said, ‘Lord, who is this man I see?’ I know you might think I lost my mind, but the Lord said, ‘Elijah the prophet!’ Do you know when that happened? That happened days before the anointing on my life doubled. Literally! The ministries anointing doubled after that." (Honolulu Hawaii, Feb. 28, 1997 evening service).
This is now a classic case of necromancy, the dead appearing in ones room and giving messages of spiritual import. Whether through visions or personal appearances this has become quite a disturbing trend toward deception. To compare Jesus’ experiences to ones self shows how far he has gone. Time will tell how long his followers can stay strapped for the rollercoaster ride he brings them on.
THE DOUBLE PORTION ANOINTING: Anyone is free to believe whatever they want. However when it comes to the Bible and promoting a Christianized mysticism to the millions we must speak out. When Angels and saints are said to come visiting on a regular basis, influencing a person, then he effects millions of others to attempt to live in like manner, it is time to call it a night. When Elisha asked Elijah for his mantle, Elijah said it was not his to give. He said, if you see me go up, God will give you the double portion. He had to leave first. In contrast, Hinn claims a special visitation likened to Jesus upon the Mount of Transfiguration. Nowhere in the New Testament are we to expect such experiences or double portions. Hinn believes that from this he can dispense the anointing to others. Scripturally, everyone has the same anointing; but the Holy Spirit expresses himself in different functions. Again we don’t receive the anointing from dead people or alive people, it comes from Jesus alone as in 1 John 2:27, "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in him." The anointing is in order that we may teach the truth. The Spirit leads us to understand Jesus’ words, not some new kind of meaning. The whole New Testament points to Christ in you, an inward transformation, and to reveal Christ in us (Gal.1:16; 4:19; Eph.3:17; Col.1:27; 2 Cor.3:18). Hinn continually leads others to look for visions, apparitions and outside influences to really know Christ.
Jesus did not say, "I am sending you the healing, miracle working, signs and wonders Holy Spirit." The Spirit is called the Paraclete, meaning another like Jesus or one who comes alongside us as a helper. Yes, he does miracles but not on man’s schedule nor as a common promise to all. In Acts the Spirit baptized people and gave them power to speak the Word boldly (and correctly I might add).
In the book, The Anointing, Benny talks about four different levels for Christians. He believes we must achieve the higher levels or we cannot be used of God as he would like. The third level is "the presence." The fourth level is "the anointing," which he supposedly lives in himself. The promoting of this special superiority is just the opposite from scripture. Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are "complete in him." In Ephesians 1:3, we are "blessed with every spiritual blessing." Scripture teaches us to be continually filled with the Spirit, but this is not a transference into a level of the spiritual realm.
In 1974, Benny testifies about holding up his hands to pray in church and a hundred people fell on the floor. Then he was launched into ministry overnight. I have a tremendous problem with this. All of the apostles spent time with the Lord. Paul, the most learned of all, still spent several years in Arabia learning from the Lord. God always prepares the vessel before He entrusts him with service. God never entrusted anyone with the type of power that Benny offers. It is disturbing to see so many people accept this as the gospel without testing it’s origins or current operations! Compare the biblical model to what is going on in the fanfare of the miracle crusades and you discover that the modern experiences could not go any further away from scriptural guidelines. While Hinn’s mouth may point to the Lord, his actions and his Bible interpretations say something quite different. Claiming to give the anointing to others is just plain arrogance!
When Jesus healed someone, He instructed the healed one not to tell anyone. When Paul and Peter were used of God to heal, they did not line people up and parade them around publicly. They did not interview them one after another on a stage in front of people asking questions like, "What did you feel? Was it warm? Was it electric? Describe it for us."they stayed away from making it a show and bringing attention to themselves. They did not knock them down in front of everybody with an alleged anointing while crying out, "Touch!" or "There’s power here!" "Take the anointing!" We see Mr. Hinn knocking people down, picking them up and knocking them down, even up to five to eight times. What is the purpose of this practice or experience? Is the first anointing that he places on people not enough? Or is it all for show? He sometimes has people falling together like a violent pile-up on a freeway. People are lifted off the ground resembling a martial arts movie. Nothing glorifies God with this behavior. The meetings are out of control in the sense of being outside the scriptural operations of the Spirit. In Oklahoma, in 1986, an 85 year old woman fractured her hip when someone that was slain in the Spirit fell on her. She later died from the complications. A suit for 5 million dollars was issued and settled out of court. Shortly afterwards was born the ministry of catchers. 32)
The only way to know the true from the false is to test it. Jesus had the greatest anointing. Yet, when He prayed for people they did not fall over. When He breathed on the apostles to receive the Spirit, they did not fall. Neither did Jesus fall when He was anointed at His baptism. The Spirit came upon him as a dove, gentle, and as a companion. Hinn’s phenomena is foreign to Scripture. He claims that the Holy Spirit is a person and God; but he throws him around as a force that he claims is the Holy Spirit. The spirit Benny works with goes where he directs him. John 3:8 says, "No one knows where the Spirit comes from or where the Spirit goes..." The Holy Spirit is likened to the wind. In contrast, Mr. Hinn seemingly knows where he will go next. Can someone say "touch" and have the Spirit respond? If so, who is in control? Benny even has power spots appear upon stage where this spirit is manifested, so he directs people to run to that part of the stage. Those within the power spot all fall down under this "anointing." Think, my friend! Where do we find these experiences? 1 Corinthians 4:6 tells us not to exceed what is written. There are parameters. Even the apostles did not have these kind of experiences through the Holy Spirit! What power is operating? What is the source? The Bible commands us to test it. Mature Christians test the spirits; babes, weak and carnal Christians do not test (Heb.5:13-14). Whether through naiveté or insecurity in not wanting to know the truth, the result will be the same for everyone who does not guard their souls, regardless of the reason, they fall into destructive unbiblical practices that will hurt their Christian walk and testimony.
Benny Hinn and this kind of supernatural phenomena could not exist in a biblically-centered atmosphere. His errors would be immediately exposed in discerning, Bible-believing congregations, submitted to and operating within the Word of truth. There is no room for Holy Ghost theatrics. The further removed from God’s revelation people get, the more they will succumb to spiritual leaders who claim powers from on high, while taking the church away from true worship. When people are steered by euphoric feelings, in awe of the stage and the performers charisma, the heart drifts far from God.
If one were to put together all the revelations, visions and encounters of God and angels in Hinn’s life, they would far exceed anyone from the biblical record. Martin Luther described certain people of his day as spirit fanatics. Hinn is so involved in spiritual manifestations, that it would seem that God is not doing anything if something sensational does not happen. True Christianity is worked out in people’s lives through a steady consistent walk of God. His working in lives conforms them to be His Son! It is a daily walk of yielding to the Lord. I believe in miracles, but not in what is being portrayed by Mr. Hinn. 2 Timothy 3:2 tells us that all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, but evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. How is this accomplished? The deception is in connection with avarice and gain. Power is offered that they cannot give. Money seems to always be involved. Christ’s anointed church is under His headship and He alone does the anointing for service. God’s blessing is not through any engineering of men. God works by His Spirit, in His timing and in His way, not through a manner of miracle crusades from town to town like a rock concert tour.
What if the whole church followed Hinn’s model of Christianity? Everyday we would have someone receive a new revelation from God. The new revelation would then supersede the former truth of those before them. We would return to the same Gnosticism of the 1st century, of which numerous epistles were written to counter. We must adhere to the truth delivered to the apostles of the Lord, not to newly anointed prophets and apostles held up as Protestant popes in the latter days. We need to practice the biblical priesthood of all believers and experience the deeper walk with God, not depend on prophetic mediators who claim to pass on super anointings.
Benny Hinn once said, "If I say something that is not from the Bible, believe the Bible; don’t believe me!...I told you earlier, if I say something (and) the Bible says something else, you believe the Bible. Say, ‘The Bible is always right.’" That was good advice which multitudes disregard. If the church acted upon Benny Hinn’s advice, he might not fill the stadiums anymore. I admonish you to exercise caution and discernment. See whether Mr. Hinn teaches Bible truth. Then you can watch over your soul and you can rightly divide the Word of truth in showing yourself a workman approved of God. Only then can you protect yourself and others from becoming victims and experiencing the consequences of Hinn’s Fables.
Recommended reading:The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, by G. Richard Fisher and M. Kurt Goedelman.A Different Gospel by D.R McConnell The Counterfeit Revival and Christianity in Crisis, by Hank Hanegraaff
For more documentation and full quotes write: Let Us Reason, P.O. 683, Wahiawa HI 96786
1) Mike Thomas, The Power and the Glory. Florida Magazine, Nov. 24, 91.
2) Good Morning Holy Spirit, Pg.28-30.11) Good Morning Holy Spirit, p.44-46.
3) Grace World Outreach Testimony.
4) Good Morning Holy Spirit, p.42.43,17.
5) War in the Heavenlies, p.116-117.
6) PTL TBN Network, Jan.28,93.
7) News-sun—Orlando Sentinel Florida hospital conversation with records Dept., Feb.8, 93.
8)Sheriff Dept. of Highlands County, Sebring, Florida.
9)Offense incident report case #83-05-0830 p.96. Confusing world of B. Hinn p.60.
10) Confusing World of Benny Hinn, p.61.
12) Confusing world of Benny Hinn p.46-50.
13) Confusing world of Benny Hinn, p.33-38.
14) Our Position in Christ, #1, 1991 audio TBN Dec. 1 1990, Dec. 15 1990.
15) TBN, Oct. 3 1990, Oct. 13, Audio Orlando Christian center.
16) PTL TBN, Dec.6,1990
17) PTL, Dec.1,1990. Orlando Christian Center Broadcast.
18) PTL, Dec.6, 1990.
19) Spiritual Warfare Seminar Jubilee Christian Center, San Jose Ca., May,2 1990.
20) Orlando Christian Center, TBN, Dec.9,1990.
21) Orlando Christian Center Broadcast, Oct.13,1990.
22) TBN, Oct.23,1992.
23) Personal testimony, July 1987 audio # A071987, Orlando Christian Center.
24) PTL, Dec.27 1994.
25) Double Portion Anointing, Pt.#3 O.C.C., Audio # A031791-3, Apr.7 1991.
26) TBN, Dec.6 1994: Impact.
27) Atlanta Journal Constitution. Dec. 3, p.c2, Dec.28, 1994, p.G1.
28) Atlanta Journal Constitution, Jan. 8 1995, p. F 3.
29) Confusing World of Benny Hinn, p.112
30) The Anointing, p.177-178
31) TBN Apr.1991
32) Florida Magazine, "The Power and the Glory," p. 13