Traditores (Traditores.org) is not a “discernment ministry.” However, I promised friend on Twitter that I would provide evidence that Benny Hinn is a false prophet. Since it’ll be a wee bit difficult to do that in 140 character pieces, I’m writing this post instead. 🙂
First, when I say “false prophet,” I am talking about a prophet in the context of a foreteller, not a forth teller. A prophet in the Bible can just be someone who speaks for God (minus anything supernatural), and even though I would suggest Mr. Hinn also has some pretty messed-up theology, this article only deals with when he claims to have had special revelation and it hasn’t come to pass. As such, this is what I’ll use as a test of whether a prophet is false or not:
21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).1
Having said that, just because someone has been able to foretell the future, it does not prove they are from God:
13 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).
Please especially note the “and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass.” Some believe they have seen Benny Hinn do miracles right before their eyes, and might use this to argue that proves it’s the Lord’s work:
Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Matthew 12:25-28. See also Mark 3:23-27 and Luke 11:15-20.)
If Benny Hinn is miraculously curing folks (including freeing them from demons), then how can it not be from God?
A couple of notes:
- “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
- One of the problems Aaron and Moses had convincing Pharaoh to do what God commanded was because, after doing a miracle to prove their message’s validity, “the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts” (Exodus 7:11, in part).
How many supernatural things God allows the Devil and his fallen angels to do, I cannot say. But even if all they can do is falsify miracles, they would be a lot smarter than any human. Do you really think that they wouldn’t even (at least temporarily) allow a demon to leave a person if it would help their cause? Remember that Jesus’ response to His accusers wasn’t in just the limited context of Him casting out demons…He was doing myriad other healings and miracles…and every single word He uttered was clearly from God (not a single contradiction). In making the statement about a kingdom divided, the Lord was not creating a litmus test where someone could say, “Well, if they cast out a demon, then it is by the Spirit of God.”
Okay, enough of the prolegomena…how do we know that Benny Hinn is a false prophet? I have not personally watched him much, and have, as a whole, depended on Hank Hanegraaff and the Christian Research Institute for what I know about him. For instance, from Hanegraaff’s Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century:
On January 1, 1990, Hinn attempted to delude devotees into believing that God spoke to him and revealed the fate of Castro in Cuba and homosexuals in America: “The Spirit tells me Fidel Castro will die in the ’90s.” Not only so, asserted Hinn, but “he will not stay in power.” (As of this writing Fidel is alive and his repressive regime continues unabated.) Regarding the homosexual community in America, Hinn alleged the Almighty revealed to him both the timing and the means of their demise. Said Hinn, “The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid-90s, about ’94, ’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. But He will not destroy it with what many minds have thought Him to be [sic]. He will destroy it with fire.”
In 1993, Hinn pontificated that because Jesus promised that He would return within a generation of Israel’s restoration in 1948 and because a generation was “51.4” years—six years remained before Christ would come back to rapture His saints. Seven years later, on March 29, 2000, Hinn predicted Jesus would “appear physically in one of our crusades in the next few months.” According to Hinn, the Lord had spoken audibly to the now-deceased Ruth Heflin, saying, “Tell Benny I’m going to appear physically on the platform in his meeting.”149 A month later Hinn reiterated his assertion that Jesus was going to make physical appearances prior to His second coming. Said Hinn, “I’m 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’s about to show up.’”2
As Hanegraaff notes shortly after:
In any case, another seven years have come and gone since the prophet Hinn predicted that Jesus would appear physically in churches and crusades. As 2008 fades into history, his prophecy remains unfulfilled.3
And even four years later in 2012…Jesus still hasn’t appeared…which should be no surprise since Hinn’s prophecy contradicted Scripture to begin with:
23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:23-27, emphasis mine).
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen (Revelation 1:7, emphasis mine).
By the way, did you notice “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect”? Even if Benny Hinn has done something miraculous (and I am skeptical), it proves nothing…
Now…I could do more digging and list more (just Google “Benny Hinn False Prophecies” or “Benny Hinn False Prophet” and you’ll keep busy). However, I’ll close with one more failed prophecy, this time from the Christian Research Institute’s article, “Benny Hinn’s False Prophecies”:
“But here’s first what I see for TBN. You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching this network. You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching TBN….I’m telling you, I see this in the Spirit. It’s going to be so awesome – Jesus I give you praise for this – that people around the world – maybe not so much in America – people around the world who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers ‘Not yet. I want to take my dead loved one and place him in front of that TV set for 24 hours’….I see rows of caskets lining up in front of this TV set and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set and as people are coming closer I see actual loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen and people are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen.”
He made this prophecy back in 1999. This is rows of caskets, all kinds of people being raised from the dead, and to date there is not a single credible testimony of a single person watching the Trinity Broadcasting Network being raised from the dead. They might have died watching the program, but there’s no evidence that they were raised from the dead.4
That was 1999…now it is 2012…and…
Conclusion: Benny Hinn said things would come to pass…and they didn’t. Benny Hinn is a false prophet.
1 All scriptural references from the English Standard Version.
2 Hanegraaff, H. (2009). Christianity in crisis: The 21st century. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
4 Hanegraaff, H. (2010, October 13). Benny Hinn’s False Prophecies. Christian Research Institute. Retrieved November 9, 2012, from http://www.equip.org/hank_speaks_out/benny-hinns-false-prophecies/