Often times when we learn something new, we go overboard with it! When I almost died, I went overboard telling people not to use an artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners are bad for your health and can eventually even kill you, but I went overboard with it!
We live in a dangerous world system where many people think that “the one with the most toys wins!” That is contrary to the Golden Rule. These selfish people do what is best for themselves! That is greed.
The ideal Christians should not be this way.
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We Christians are ALL learning and hopefully developing the fruit of the spirit. Admittedly, the church went overboard with the “prosperity gospel” at least here in America. We have even exported this brand of Christianity to many places.
But that is not ALL that they preached. Many of them preached the gospel, the good news that Christ came to save us.
On the other hand, because one is a “prosperity preacher”, it doesn’t necessarily make one a “false prophet”.
I pray that many Christian pastors are now getting this into perspective. It is often the middle ground: One doesn’t want to have a spirit of poverty, but the “prosperity gospel” went too far overboard!
Perhaps because so many had come out of this spirit of poverty in post-war America, they may have had a tendency to go overboard with prosperity. But we should preach “shalom” (wholeness, soundness, healing, prosperity, etc.) in the Scriptural sense as Christians, to further the gospel, especially in impoverished lands. And so many of these evangelists do!
“Disaster pursues sinners, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.” Proverbs 13:21 (Root word of “prosperity” is “peace/shalom”)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (Root word of “prosper” is “peace/shalom”)
Years ago, I had to repent. I had been critical of Benny Hinn. The LORD caused me to repent.
Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.” (1 Chronicles 16:22)
Benny Hinn has a healing ministry.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14 NKJV)
Some people are doubtful that God will heal them. This Scripture claims the PRAYER of FAITH will heal. That would be the sick people’s faith OR the healing evangelist’s faith. It may be a combination of both.
“And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16 NKJV)
Healing is a vital part of the ministry of the church!
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills…. 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be? (1 Corinthians 12:4-19)
At Benny Hinn meetings, you have thunderous praise to the LORD. “Alleluia!” is lifted up in song by the saints attending. It is heavenly! With all that praise around, no wonder there are miracles.
But more importantly to this subject, Benny Hinn DOES preach the gospel! He has also publicly repented of the so-called “prosperity gospel”. He leads people to the LORD! The LORD saves people from hell! We want many people saved from hell, don’t we?
This is the gospel: that Jesus saves through faith in Him!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith [in Jesus Christ], and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
God forgives us when we are wrong. We are all learning. None of us are perfect, but Christ alone. We will all know someday in heaven where we’ve missed it. But if you believe and confess that Jesus Christ your LORD and Savior, you are saved!
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12 NKJV)
That being said…
I am upset with all these videos that blast “prosperity preachers” and say they are “false prophets”. They do NOT show how many people come to the LORD through these preachers. They take 30-second bites from an hour long sermon and use it to “prove” these pastors are “false prophets”. They twist it to suit their needs. Someone will speak a lie, and then someone repeats it, and then another and another and so it becomes “news” but it is false! Some nasty folks are out to hurt Christianity! If you haven’t listened to this preacher at any length, you may be spewing gossip.
My purpose is this: that you don’t want to go around saying a preacher is a false prophet, just because he is a “prosperity preacher”. They also preach the gospel. Maybe you should pray for them! They are misled, in a certain area. If you know someone who attends their services regularly, give him another Scriptures such as:
12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me … 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:12,13 &19)
That is “all your need” – not all your selfish wants!
The LORD, in the Book of Revelation, spoke of the seven churches. Only two of the churches did not have a rebuke. These were the suffering church of Smyrna and the church that kept His words, Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love. We should be helping and praying for our brothers, especially in persecuted lands.
Five of these churches were rebuked because they were deceived. They had to contend with similar false doctrines. The church of Laodicea was warned against their pride in possessions. This brings to mind, “prosperity” followers. May they adhere to the LORD’s advice:
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:18-19)
REAL FALSE PROPHETS
I am always praying that the church will not be deceived. I sadly left a church because they began using information from books that didn’t line up with the word of God. But all the people were dear friends of mine and they were Christians. They were sadly misled on this issue. That doesn’t make them “false prophets”. Recently, a true prophet of God came and spoke to this church about the “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”, the exact things I had warned them against. (1Timothy 4:1). I pray that they will heed him!
“False prophets” are those that are saying that any religion will do; those that think that Jesus is not God; those that are saying there’s more than one way. There is no other way to have eternal life than through Jesus Christ.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)
God will lead us out of darkness as we read His Word, and that goes for the prosperity teachers!
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (Philippians 2:12)