Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is Benny Hinn Right About End Times Prophecy?

Before I went into the studio to do the Bible Answer Man broadcast the other day, I picked up the most recent issue of Charisma Magazine. Sometimes I wonder if these “Christian” magazines are for real. The cover story has a picture of America and the Statue of Liberty drowning in the ocean waves. It says on the front-cover, “Some Christians say the world is coming to an end. Others reject that fear. What can we know for sure about the end times?”[1]

So I opened it to the center spread and here is an article by a leading voice in dispensational thought—Dr. Benny Hinn. And he writes an article titled, “The Fig Tree is in Bloom: What God has Through the Modern Creation of Israel is Nothing Short of a Miracle of Bible Prophecy.” So through his special insight, usual unbridled speculation, and subjective flights of fancy, Hinn looks at the Bible and interprets it for us in the article. He notes that there are three specific prophecies with respect to 1948. He says, “I have been told that for centuries Jewish rabbis have been waiting for the fulfillment of three Old Testament passes they believe point to the Messiah’s coming. The first two have already occurred, and the third is taking place right before our eyes.”[2] So you have Jewish Rabbi’s looking at three passages and—in agreement with Benny Hinn—they think that the passages say what Benny Hinn thinks they say.

Benny then lays out these prophecies for us. Number one, according to Hinn

Traffic in the streets of Jerusalem. Nahum wrote of a time after Israel would be scattered and persecuted, when “the emptiers have emptied them out and ruined their vine branches.” (Nah. 2:2). He saw a day when “the chariots come with flaming torches in the day of His preparation…they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, the run like lightening” (vv. 3-4).

The prophet saw cars in Jerusalem and did not know how to properly describe them––vehicles speeding in the streets of the city he called “broad roads.” These wide roads didn’t exist in the prophet’s day, but they certainly do now![3]

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this. Now, obviously, all Nahum is taking about is broad places, and I suppose broad places existed in Old Testament times just as they today.

When you read something like this in a Christian magazine or by a Christian teacher, I think the first thing you better do is put on your bologna detector. What can you know for sure? That Benny Hinn does not know how to interpret the Word of God and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are following him into a ditch. So we have to learn discernment skills, test what these people are saying with scripture really says.

The second thing to do is look at the context, this passage in context is a prophecy concerning the destruction of Nineveh. It has nothing to do with cars in the streets of Jerusalem in the twenty-first century. Nahum didn’t see cars in Jerusalem as Hinn claims, he saw chariots in Nineveh.

We need to look through the subterfuge and deceptive reasoning of men like Benny Hinn, go back to the passage, and realize that Old Testament prophets were not using poor analogies, like saying chariots with flaming torches because they didn’t know how to say cars were fast and had headlights. This is nonsense, this is dealing with prophetic language and hyperbole with what is going to happen to Nineveh.

All one needs to do is pick up the book of Nahum and see that’s what Nahum is writing about. However, people don’t do that they read this and say, “Oh my goodness, the most significant of the prophecies that Jewish rabbi’s believe, we should believe this as well.”

After all the anointed man of God, Benny Hinn, has spoken. Of course this is the same guy who is telling is that faith is a force and words the containers of the force. He’s the same guy who is distorting the nature of God and talking about thousands and thousands of miracles in his venues, but yet cannot produce a single authentic miracle.

The point is simply this, test all things in light of Scripture, hold fast to that which is good. (1 Thess. 5:21). Don’t fall for last days fever and don’t read Charisma magazine to get your end times fix. It’s sensationalism, sophistry, sloppy journalism, and it’s seducing people. Quite frankly, it’s like a freak show and it drags Christ’s name through the mud.

For further information on how to interpret the Bible regarding the end times and the Word of Faith Movement check out my books, The Apocalypse Code and Christianity in Crisis 21st Century at our website



Bryan said...

Very compelling Mr. Hanegraaff. You shed light on Mr. Hinn and many others like him in your book Cristianity In Crisis. Thank you so much for your ministry.

I was just wondering what you thought of this guy Andrew Wommack. Have you read up on him at all?I've heard him say some pretty outlandish statements but I've never heard you really address his ministry.

I have a dear family member that is following him and his teachings to the letter, and I'm just concerned for her spiritual well being.

Have any thoughts?

God Bless you, regardless whether or not you answer this blog post.



Deak said...

And while your at it, look into Steve Gray. He's a protege of John Kilpatrick. I, as well, have family believing every empty word he says.

Anonymous said...

Different topic for you Hank. What is an asherah pole? I did a search on and could not find a single article.

I have found articles on the Internet about asherah poles but nothing from a reputable source.

Hmmmm.... maybe I should search the Henny Binn website (LOL)

Boris said...

The God of the early Northern Kingdom, El Shaddai (God Almighty; Gen 17:1; 28:3; 35:11; 48:3; Ex 6:3 and extensively in Job) or El (God) or Elohim (God of Gods or “God” in English; Gen 1:1) as he as referred to in the Hebrew text had a wife that was, for the most part, written out of the English Bible. Asherah was also believed to be the mother of Baal (Lord), the dying and resurrecting Canaanite fertility “Son of God.” King Asa even removed his mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah (2Chron 15:16; cf. 1Kings 15:13), after worship of Asherah (pronounced ash-ay-rah) became forbidden in the temple. Four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table (1Kings 18:19), were present when Elijah called down fire from the sky. Elijah then ordered only the prophets of Baal to be seized and killed. Killing the prophets of God’s wife may not have been wise. The high place erected by Jeroboam son of Nebat (2Kings 23:15) was erected for worship of Asherah and archaeologists have found much evidence that proves that the Israelites were worshipping this Goddess as the wife of El the Most High over three thousand years ago. In the English Bible Asherah (which means blessed or happy) was turned into an idol with a twist of linguistics. In the NRSV she is referred to as a sacred pole (Ex 34:13; Deut 7:5; 12:3; 16:21; Judges 3:7; 6:25,26,28, 30; 1Kings 14:15,23; 15:13; 16:33; 18:19; 2Kings 13:6; 17:10,16; 18:4; 21:3, 23:14; 2Chron 14:3; 17:6; 19:3; 24:18; 31:1; 33:3 34:3,7 Isa 17:8; 27:9; Jer 17:2; Micah 5:14) She is mentioned by name in 2Kings 21:7; 23:4,6,7; and in 2Chron 15:16 in the NRSV and some other English Bibles.
Asherah, along with being the wife of God was also thought to be the “Queen of Heaven.” In Jerusalem and throughout Judah, Asherah was given credit for the prosperity the people enjoyed before the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions. Conversely the invasions and the miseries that followed (war, famine, exile) were thought to be the result of their neglect of proper worship of Asherah. Contrary to modern belief, for many Israelites, God was a woman.

Boris said...

The Tyndale NLT or new Living Translation translates the passages referring to a sacred pole to an Asherah pole. The man this particular translation is named after, Mr. Tyndale, was imprisoned, tortured and eventually put to death for daring to translate the Bible into a foreign language. Many people believe that the King James Bible is the earliest English translation of the Bible. The KJV is the oldest mass-produced English translation but Mr. Tyndale was the first to translate the Bible into English. Before that time most people could not read anyway and the Christian Church told its congregations only what it wanted them to know about the text of the Bible. Today of course, the opposite is true: the church now tells its congregations only what they want to know. Of course the ancient church left out (and still does of course) the part about God’s wife.
Once Tyndale translated the Bible into English, things in the Bible that were hidden from the general public for fifteen centuries became exposed. Mr. Tyndale immediately became a very unpopular fellow with the Church and was eventually put to death. The crime: heresy; he translated the Bible into English! Tyndales’s translation necessitated a new translation that would write Mrs. God right out of the picture. Scribes found a manuscript, which is now unanimously accepted by scholars as one of the worst in existence to use as the basis for the King James Version of the Bible. The KJV never mentions Asherah by name and only refers to her as a grove. Some scholars are of the school of thought that the transcribers of the KJV did not know who or what Asherah was so they just substituted a sacred grove for her name in the text. And some scholars think these scribes knew exactly what they were doing. Either way, Mrs. God disappeared, and so did Mr. Tyndale who unwittingly one can suppose, let Christians know for the first time in fifteen centuries that the Jewish people were in fact, not monotheistic, and that their God had a wife, or as many Hebrews thought, their God had a husband, or at least a consort.

John Tucker said...

Anonymous - Information regarding Asherah [poles] can be found at the following link.

Fred Butler said...

Wow... Benny Hinn is a dispensationalist, so dispensationalism is refuted. Hmmm.

Here are a couple of reviews of The Apocalypse Code. HERE and HERE

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Wow Boris, you almost sound like you believe Elijah called down fire from heaven! I would just note that Yerov'am the son of Nebat set up idols to worship for political reasons, so his subjects among the ten tribes of Israel would not go worship in Jerusalem, led by his rival, Rech'avam, rejected by a taxpayer's revolt after the death of Shlomo. He called upon practices that had worked in the past, such as golden calfs and Ashera poles. Tyndale did not produce the first English translation, he produced the first English translation that, temporarily, received support from the monarchy -- most from Ann Boleyn. John Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible into English, and was lucky enough not to be condemned until after he was dead, at which time his bones were dug up for hanging, drawing and quartering.

Oh, I forget, Hank was writing about Benny Hinn. One of my dearest friends is sincerely committed to his ministry, but I believe he is only in it for the money. Here's a gentle, loving, Christian way to say that:

Boris said...

Benny Hinn is only in it for the money? And Hanky Panky Handmegraft isn't? Tell us all another lie.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Ummm... I didn't say that Hank is or isn't in it for the money. Don't talk about lies when you first raise the issue.

I don't know much about Hank's finances. Do you? Now that you mention it, I expect he does draw some kind of income, just as Paul Krugman gets paid for his column in the New York Times, and national syndication. But I don't recall Hank telling anyone "God wants you to send me your last $500, and I promise you God will restore it to you a thousand fold." I think he's more within the bounds of "if you like what I do, please donate."

Rich Rodriguez said...

Benny Hinn wasn't right in his prophecies about homosexuals being destroyed by fire by 1995, nor about Jesus Christ physically manifesting Himself (like He did in the Old Testament theopahanies as "the angel of the Lord") around the year 2000 prior to the Rapture or His second coming. So why should we listen to his musings about what Nahum saw?

I too used to believe that the prophet was seeing 21st century automobiles and highways, but only because a tract from my church said so. When I finally read the entire book of Nahum in context, that belief made no sense at all. It was and is clearly about the judgment of Babylon, not a Jerusalem freeway.

Hinn also has a history of having more ready alibis and comebacks than a politician whenever he is caught saying something outrageous, such has his revelation that there were nine persons in the Trinity or his threatening Hank and his children for exposing his Word of Faith errors. Both incidents are documented in "Christianity in Crisis".

Needless to say that Hinn's entire theology is unbiblical, aside from his endtimes speculations.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I have a simple answer for people who hand me tracts. I respond "Thank you, I prefer to read the original for myself." I will never forget the young blue-eyed man with slicked back blonde hair who looked around in genuine confusion and asked me "What's the original?"