And They Glorified God Who Had Given Such Power to Men…

Yesterday we went to a Benny Hinn “Miracle Crusade.” It wasn’t at all what I’d expected! Pastor Benny was soft-spoken and extremely down to earth, and there was nothing “showy” about any of it. In fact, I was surprised by how little action there was. It was all very much like a typical church service until the end when Pastor Benny began to receive words of knowledge regarding healings and started to call them out. “There is someone here with arthritis, God wants to heal that right now,” and “there is someone here who has diabetes and the Lord is healing it,” etc. I looked around and from where I sat, it seemed as if nothing at all was happening. This went on for a little while until Pastor Benny asked for everyone who had received a healing to come forward and I was shocked to see how many people there were! On both sides of the auditorium, the line extended almost to the back of the conference center.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that. I came into the service, fully expecting Pastor Hinn to be all over the building, laying hands on people for healing, snatching old men out of wheelchairs, swiping crutches, crying “Hallelujah!” and “Praise JE-sus!” I expected shouting and weeping and people being “slain in the spirit” as he walked by. To be honest, I expected to be a little uncomfortable. I even expected to doubt what I was seeing. But Pastor Benny never even left the platform. Everyone who claimed a healing had been healed from their seats. He never shouted or grabbed anyone. He never even prayed for anyone’s healing! He simply stood at the podium and asked the Holy Spirit to show up. There was nothing sensational about that service and I was actually somewhat disappointed.

But the more I think of it, the more impressed I am. It’s obvious that Benny Hinn never “faked” anything. If a skeptic wanted to discredit him in that particular service, they would have to say that the hundreds of people who were healed last night experienced an incredible case of “mind over matter” and received a healing simply because they believed they were healed. I don’t have a problem with that. The Bible says: “All things whatsoever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24). But what is obvious to me is that healing doesn’t have to be sensational. It can be as simple as asking the Holy Spirit to show up, and creating an environment where He is welcomed.

It really makes me wonder… how many of us could do that, if we had the faith of little children? How many of us could have healing services of our own if we simply believed that God could and WOULD heal those around us, and created a worshipful environment where the Holy Spirit was welcomed? After having been to see both Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley, who was a part of the Lakeland revival (1), I’m convinced that this is not something that only a select few people are invited to partake of. The Bible tells us that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover (Mark 16:18).  This is just as much a part of the great commission as preaching the gospel (2). It doesn’t take a special anointing, it simply takes the faith to act on a biblical promise (3). And, as Bill Johnson points out “Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the presence of belief.”

We worship a God who heals people (Ex 15:26). We worship a God who wants to fellowship with us (1 Cor 1:9). We worship a God who answers prayers (John 16:23). And we worship a God who says that ALL things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23) (4).

I truly believe that revival can begin in our own back yards if we’ll only begin to step out in faith for it.

1.) Many of you may know the personal circumstances that caused Todd Bentley’s ministry to come to an end. However, as Bill Johnson pointed out, we cannot confuse a great anointing with bad character. If we are to disregard the ministry of those who fell into sin and deception, we would need to stay away from Gideon, Samson, Solomon’s Proverbs, and the Song of Solomon. “We must learn to eat the meat and throw out the bones.”
2.) There are many within the body of Christ who believe the gifts of the Spirit, including healing, are no longer applicable today. This is another post entirely, but for now I will quote another great healing revivalist, John G Lake:
“Who opposes the fact of healing? Not the doctors, but the churches and the preachers. Those who stand to represent the Son of God and proclaim His salvation. What kind of a salvation? A salvation without the power to deliver, a salvation without the power to save a soul from its direst distress and need, a salvation only valuable in the life to come and without the power to deliver a soul from present torment.”
(John G Lake, The complete Collection of His Life Teaching, Compiled by Roberts Liardon, Albury Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1999, pg 255)
3.) Although some people do have the gift of healing, which is one of the nine spiritual gifts given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12), every believer is to participate in healing to some extent (Mark 16).
4.) I found something interesting in the Websters Dictionary when I looked up the word “all.” The Websters dictionary, 1828 edition says: “This is radically the same word as heal; for in Sw. hel, and in Dan. hele, signify all, and these words are from the root of heal.”
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4 Responses to And They Glorified God Who Had Given Such Power to Men…

  1. Rina says:

    I recognize that many people have very strong feelings regarding Benny Hinn. Many see him as a false prophet, or worse. I have felt it best not to post the comments I have received that have sought to expose Pastor Benny as a false prophet. Instead, I have written another post on the subject that I hope will be an edifying way of expressing my feelings on a very controversial subject. You can view this post at http://rinasreflections.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/accusers-of-the-brethren/

  2. NoLonger_A_Bonehead says:

    Nice to see your affirmation of the intent of the gospel….it seems natural that a loving God would bestow grace upon the beloved….

    But at what cost? I personally can’t stomach the dog-and-pony show anymore…..

    I am utterly persuaded… it is all hypnosis….how suggestion can operate to produce positive results…..the same stuff primitive tribes have practiced for centuries…. always labeled “mystical” and “supernatural”… within our culture we mask these practices behind a veil of sophistication….

    I ought to know….I did all of this stuff in my prayer groups….i know exactly how to manipulate you once I have gained your trust … I too thought it was the Holy Spirit…..

    I wonder nowadays….who is God? I think God loves me…..and He loves you…. but I don’t think he hands out gifts of healing like lollipops…..

    • Rina says:

      Thank you for your comment. I certainly agree with you that some forms of “healing” are counterfeit to the gospel. We read in the book of Acts about Simon, a sorcerer, who had great power (Acts 5:9-11). I have friends who have been involved in Wicca who assure me that it’s “very real.” I don’t disagree. Every pagan religion has some form of counterfeit to the true gospel. Most pagan religions have some version of the trinity. Most of them have a “savior” that was born as a baby who died and then was resurrected. Almost all pagan religions have some type of flood story, and most of them have some form of supernatural experiences. But it’s important to recognize that a counterfeit cannot exist without something authentic. In our world, there is a spiritual realm and there is a physical realm and forces of both light and darkness operate in that spiritual realm. The invisible realm exists. You mention using the power of suggestion to cause the miraculous. The power of suggestion is a spiritual force that can generate faith, which then brings about a physical result. In Christianity, this is called a “word of knowledge” (1 Cor 12:8). Mark 11:24 tells us that if we believe something, we will have it. You may have had a gift that allowed you to instill faith in others which yielded results. What you believed was manipulation may have been your gift in operation.
      You mention that God doesn’t “hand out gifts of healing like lollipops,” and I would agree with you. Instead, Jesus purchased our healing for us on the cross. It’s not something He needs to give us, it’s something He’s already given (Isa 53:5) and sometimes people need to have their faith built up in order to access that healing. Every believer has been given the power to heal, and this is one of the signs that will follow those who believe (Mark 16:18). Although hypnosis, “black magic,” voodoo, etc. are very real activities, they are the counterfeit of the true ministry of the saints. How can we tell if a healing is from God? Jesus said: “one who works a miracle in my name … is on our side” (Mark 9:39-40).

  3. Mrs. C. says:

    I am glad you were blessed! My husband and I have prayed for others to be healed and have seen God’s healings! Faith is believing God will do what He says in His Word! If you don’t believe God, or have doubt, then you will not see God’s hand.
    “But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

    Also, of Abraham it is written, He believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
    (Rom. 4:3, Gal. 3:6, James 2:23)

    There are sooooo many promises that God has for us that if we obey Him, we can have!
    I’m not saying that if you just believe you can win the lottery, but that when you believe God you know without a doubt that he provides (Jehovah Jireh) all you need.
    “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content . ” I Timothy 6:8
    Jesus said “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do ; because I go unto my Father. ” John 14:12

    I could go on and on and on-God is Awesome!! Here is another preacher that lives by faith and has been witness to many, many miracles:
    http://www.tlsm.org/

    *when I say you, it’s not specifically you! 🙂

    I heard Benny Hinn a few years ago say that he saw he needed do be fulfilling the great commission and spreading the gospel and not focus so much on the healing alone. That might be why he seemed toned down.

    Have a blessed day with many miracles to witness!!

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