(Continued from page 223)
For many years various leaders in the charismatic and 'positive-confession' movements have been teaching how to command angels to do one's bidding Although angels are mentioned nearly 300 times in the Bible it is never in the way they are promoted in these false teachings. Biblical examples of the work of angels make it very clear that they are exclusively under God's command and not subject to man's direction, desires or prayers. The Bible gives numerous examples of angels intervening in human affairs. However, it is always because God has sent them to accomplish a specific task or purpose. Not once in the Bible is there any example of a man or woman praying to or calling upon for help, much less commanding, an angel. Nor is there even one example of anyone praying to God to send him an angel for assistance and people have assumed that Daniel, Chapter 10, teaches this as a fact whereas careful reading shows this to be a false assumption.
The expression 'the angel of the Lord' is found nearly 70 times and has been the object of considerable speculation and disagreement. Many of the Old Testament references are taken to be Christ's pre-incarnation appearances, because at times the 'angel of the Lord' speaks as though he were God Himself (Judges 2v1;13v17-18; Zec 12v8, etc.). There is still 'an angel of the Lord' who is active after Christ is born into the world, warning Joseph to take the child Jesus into Egypt (Mt 2v13), rolling away the stone from Christ's tomb (Mt 28v2), transporting Philip (Acts 8), delivering Peter from prison (Acts 12), etc., but the attitude of the angel in these appearances is very different to that of the Old Testament 'angel.' These other angels are God's 'ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation' (Heb 1v14). But they are 'sent forth' by God, not called down to earth by man. Therefore, we are not given any guidance anywhere to concern ourselves with angels. Those in heretical movements who obsess themselves with this subject should heed Paul's advice (Colossians 2v18):
'Let no man beguile you...[into] worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.'
Of course, these 'angel adherents' deny they are 'worshipping' angels, but they are certainly guilty of beguiling men and 'intruding into ... things which [they] have not seen' and have 'vainly puffed up' these 'visions' with their 'fleshly mind.'
Eells and his disciples are merely following the likes of Benny Hinn who excels in his claims of having an extraordinary level of spirituality that he claims is 'The Anointing' and brags that he has seen 'revelations' and 'visions' unparalleled since Biblical times. His extra-biblical claims would border on fantasy but, more worryingly, sound occultic. In his 'Personal Testimony' he claims:
'I'm telling you the truth, you could literally sit there in total shock. ... If you think I'm crazy, go on. Angels would appear in my bedroom at night and just stand and look at me. I would wake up to see angels in my bedroom. All sizes. Call me crazy but I would even see little boys in my bedroom with beautiful white robes. Like, little, they almost looked like girls but they were male. You say, 'Do you mean there are little angels?' I believe that 'cause I saw them. ... There must be little angels in heaven. I think so.' ('Personal Testimony of Benny Hinn,' July 19, 1987)
Has God created 'little angel boys' who 'almost' look like girls? Sounds more like Satan and his encouragement of 'transvestite' looks!
If you wonder which influences Hinn has sucked up, consider the testimony of occultist Emanuel Swedenborg (1758) who described angels he claimed lived in the 'inmost heaven':
'Externally they appear simple, and before the eyes of the angels of the lower heavens they appear like children, that is, as very small, and not very wise, although they are the wisest of the angels of heaven.' (Emanuel Swedenborg, 'Heaven and Its Wonders and Hell', 1960, Division 280, pp. 155-156)
Like all practiced liars Hinn tries to cover himself even as he spouts nonsense that he tries to dress up as revelation from God. An example is:
'You know, I'm probably teaching now, things that maybe in ten years I won't even believe anymore.' (Praise The Lord show, Oct. 23, 1992)
Hinn's admission makes it clear that this must be really vital and 'eternal truth' then! Hinn's claims are certainly comparable to his co-heretics in the mystical Christian movement, e.g., William Branham, Paul Cain, Bob Jones and Kenneth Hagin - and now Eells - and include visitations by Jesus at an early age, dreams and visions with visitations by angels, protracted times of private worship and prayer, one-on-one dialogues with the Holy Spirit, and out-of-body experiences with accompanying 'angelic warfare.'
This is just one example of Eells' visions of such 'angels':My Vision of the Death Angel
I share this not to bring glory to myself but for the edification of the brethren for it applies to the life of all sanctified souls. I received this confirmation to the Moon Vision which I received in October 2004.
In early February 2005 I saw a vision of myself driving a small red car, with a roof, very fast towards the horizon. There was a larger man in a larger convertible corvette driving in a lane beside me. I looked over at him and he pointed up in the sky ahead of us. At first I looked but didn't see anything. Then I saw two hands and arms coming toward us over both lanes from the horizon. They appeared to be in the form of smoke. Then I said, "That's the death angel."
Interpretation: I was in a small red car, meaning I was abiding under the covering and cleansing blood on my journey to the horizon, which is where heaven meets the earth. At the horizon one appears in heaven rather than in earth in the eyes of one who has not yet reached it. This is our goal, to abide totally in the kingdom of heaven while on earth. Imagine standing next to a red car and seeing it travel towards the horizon. At first the car is seen with the earth behind it but the more it approaches the horizon the more it appears in heaven rather than in earth. Though it stands on earth it appears in heaven. Contrary to popular opinion this is our goal; to abide totally in heaven on earth. Many who bear no fruit are deceived that the heavenly life is only possible after death.
This is coming soon because some for I was traveling very fast. The larger man in the larger corvette had no covering and represented my flesh, the carnal life. The flesh is as the giants in the promised land of our life who must be put to death by the sword of the Word by the smaller spiritual man, the Israelite. The death angel put to death the first born of Egypt or the world, which is the flesh. The smoke represents the burnt offering of our flesh in the fiery trial, which is pleasing to God. The first-born of Israel, the spiritual, born again man, was redeemed. The left hand of death was coming toward the old man who represents the goat that Jesus set on the left. The corvette is also the name of a very fast warship. The old man wars against the spirit but not for long. As the old man is dying the new heavenly man is being born from above. In other words we are leaving this world and entering the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. (Mt.6:10) Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. (13:44) The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field (world); which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Lk.16:16) The law and the prophets [were] until John: from that time the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every man entereth violently into it. (17:21) neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you. After this vision, around June 1, 05, I received a prophecy from Jean Fahey that said, "In a few weeks you will go with God."
TCE: Who, knowing the Word of God, would ever desire to know such rambling, uninspired, un-Biblical, additions of this nature?!
The dangers for all fellowships
Error that is not dealt with thoroughly will only linger and fester in the fringe background and succeeding generations nurtured further un-orthodoxy and new leaders. Anyone who has spent time in any Pentecostal-inclined groups will be familiar with some of the demonstrably bizarre influences they harbour, such as the belief that 'angels' are designated to families by God - based on the verse in Hebrews 13v2: 'Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.' By 'knight jump eisegesis' they move from the Old Testament appearances of angels to the Patriarchs (e.g. Judges 6) to accepting emotional, but bizarre claims of 'angelic' experiences, or appearances in dreams or 'visions'. When Dale Evans, wife of TV and film star ('King of the Cowboys') Roy Rogers, wrote an emotionally charged book ('Angel Unaware') about the life of their tragic daughter, Robin Elizabeth (who died of complications of Down's Syndrome shortly before her second birthday), her book was taken literally to mean that they had been blessed with caring briefly for an angel sent by God. The good intentions of Dale, which may well have helped many other families (particularly in the early 50's when many people regarded Down's Syndrome and other 'disabilities' in a very different light and doctors advised parents to give up their children for institutional adoption), was thereby turned into part of an emotional movement claiming 'angelic visitations' which could not easily be criticized - especially by pastors and theologians! Try refuting a Mormon's testimony, or explaining why someone's favourite, recently deceased, celebrity or family member will not have gone to 'glory' (because of the false views they clearly held about Jesus), and you will see similar emotional forces at work.
Faulty Christology and Theology
Repeated appeals to special 'spiritual insight' consistently produces revelations and doctrine contrary to the Word of God and more at home in the traditional cults and with the rest of the mystical Christian movement. Hinn's revelations have led to his defective view of the Triune Godhead, a defective Christology, and a defective view of man. David Eells shares these distinctions and are also, for the most part, a rehash of the standard Word-Faith party line that was made popular by the writings of Essek W. Kenyon and stolen first by Kenneth Hagin.
Eells also uses the same tactic as Hinn who, initially, seems to put great confidence in his revelations, and wishes to make his 'eternal realities' compatible with Scripture:
'If I say something that is not in the Bible - believe the Bible, don't believe me. But if it's in the book, pay attention to it ... I told you earlier, if I say something [and] the Bible says something else, you believe the Bible. Say 'the Bible is always right.''(Benny Hinn, Orlando Christian Center, audiotape of sermon, 1988).
But, when we examine the results of these 'revelations' and the doctrines of these men, we find they are paying lip service to the accuracy of the Scripture for many of their doctrines are not found in the Bible, yet the unquestioning disciples accept them without question.
Eells has tried to dress up his theology, but he closely shares Hinn's unorthodox teachings on the nature of the Triune God:
'...God the Father is a person and He is a triune being by Himself separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost... God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Spirit is a person, but each of them is a triune being by Himself. If I can shock you, and maybe I should, there are nine of them... God the Father is a person with His own personal spirit, with His own personal soul and His own personal spirit body.' (Benny Hinn, Sermon broadcast on Trinity Broadcasting Network on Oct. 13, 1990)
'God the Father is a person separate from the Holy Ghost - totally separate... Do you know the Holy Spirit has a soul and a body separate from that of Jesus and the Father?... God the Father then is a triune being within Himself. He's a person, He has His own Spirit, He has a soul... A soul is my intellect... God thinks... separate from the Son and separate from the Holy Ghost... God the Father is a separate individual from the Son and the Holy Ghost, who is a triune being who walks in a spirit body and He has hair... has eyes.' (ibid.)
No orthodox Christian is going to accept this view, or the similar view of Kenneth Copeland (ref. The Agony of Deceit, Michael Horton, p277-8):), or Eells, as anything other than 'heretical.' This concept of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit each having a spiritual body was condemned at the councils of Chalcedon [A.D. 451], Constantinople [A.D. 381] and Nicea [A.D. 325] but has been revived, almost certainly, through the massive influence of Dake's Annotated Study Bible. As Horton writes:
'The final critical area of concern is the doctrine of the Trinity. It is basic to orthodox, Bible-believing Christianity. Nevertheless, the faith teachers, borrowing from Dake's Annotated Study Bible, deny it. Though he is not usually classed among the faith teachers, Jimmy Swaggart holds the unorthodox view of the Trinity espoused, for example, by Kenneth Copeland. Jimmy Swaggart says, 'I believe in this divine Godhead there are three separate and distinct persons - each having His own personal spirit body, personal soul, and personal spirit. ... Many people conclude that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one and the same. Actually, they are not. ... The word 'one' in this passage means 'one in unity.' ... You can think of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as three different persons exactly as you would think of any three other people - their oneness pertaining strictly to their being one in purpose, design, and desire.'
It is clear that Dake has been responsible for much of the the faulty theology of these heretics, such as their forms of tritheism or polytheism (three separate Gods united only by purpose), 'Process Theology'(which teaches that God is limited and cannot see the future so that, as the world changes, God's knowledge changes, and as God's knowledge changes, God himself must change), God is not omnipresent because He has a body that localizes Him, and there is no indwelling of the Holy Spirit because the Spirit has a body like the Father and Son so He is 'in' us only in the sense of unity of purpose. Dake even initiated, at least for this brand of heretic, the arrogance to challenge Christians to reject his teachings at their peril, for he warned:
'Any religion that teaches contrary to these and all other fundamental doctrines of Scripture [i.e. his interpretations!] is of the devil and is for the purpose of causing the soul to be damned in eternal Hell.' (God's Plan for Man, p96)
The Bible makes it clear, for Jesus spoke the very words declaring that 'God is Spirit' (John 4v24) and God is not a man (Number 13v19) while Dake wrote of God (New Testament, pg. 97, note r):
'He has a personal spirit body; shape; form; image and likeness of a man; He has bodily parts such as back parts; heart, hands and fingers, mouth, lips, tongue, feet, eyes, hair, head, face, arms and loins. He has a bodily presence and goes from place to place in a body like other persons.'
Dake breaks every elementary principle of interpretation uses sheer speculation to make God into our image and likeness and probably never recognised the obvious: that he called God's omnipresence into question by these statements. He even affirmed: 'He wears clothes, eats, rests, dwells in a city located on a material planet called heaven.' These are statements that would befit the early Mormon cults' leaders! When we read Eells description of God we only see a slightly cleaned up version of these errors.
Dake attempted to deal with his mangling of the clear Biblical doctrine of God's omnipresence by inventing his own 'theological word' when, on page 15, note n, he wrote:
'God as well as men and angels is limited to one place as far as the body is concerned. The doctrine of the omnipresence of God can be proved but not His 'omni body.' In His body He goes from place to place like other persons.'
What on earth does Dake mean by claiming that God is unlimited yet limited, localized yet omnipresent? Like the cults, many of whom have been encouraged by his false interpretations, Dake could only practice laughable 'damage limitation' when the realisation that he had argued himself into a corner eventually struck home.
Dake went further in his lunacy and the Latter Rain/Word-Faith Charismanics almost certainly clutch at Dake's note on page 548 of his Old Testament, where he stated:
'... and man in reality is simply a miniature of God in attributes and powers.'
'miniature of God' to 'little god' - a very short and obvious step for men of Hinn and Eells to make!
Dake's statement that Jesus 'did not claim the attributes of God' (New Testament, p218) is proven totally wrong by many Scriptures, e.g. John 5v18,25 and John 11v25
(see http://www.thechristianexpositor.org/page65.html for a full refutation of the errors associated with this false claim by the cult of Jehovah's Witnesses)
Another of Dake's teachings in harmony with the faith/prosperity teachers can be found in his list on page 43 of his Old Testament, where he listed what God provides:
'1. Salvation 2. Prosperity 3. Healing and health 4. All wants and needs.'
Further, on page 121 of his New Testament, he wrote that 'A true Christian can get what he wants as well as what he needs.'
The Word-Faith 'teachers' are equally blind to clear statements in Scripture, such as Romans 8 and Hebrews 11, which make it clear Christians can expect suffering, tribulation, distress, famine, nakedness, peril and the sword. It is an eye-opener to debate with Word-Faith adherents and ask them to explain why the apostle Paul had to make tents (Acts 18v3) and suffered so much, as so clearly explained in 2 Corinthians 11v23-30 (we will be working on our long discourse with coseismic Word-Faith adherent 'Josephine Melrose' in the distant future, God willing - her 'explanation' is a real eye-opener if you have never reasoned with these heretics before)!
Claiming 'Healing' and Rejecting Medical Treatment
The tragic death, on Easter Sunday, 2008, of 11-year-old Kara Neumann of Weston, Wisconsin, has led to further outcries against ministries that promote 'faith-healing' before reasonable medical intervention. Kara's parents are claimed to be followers of the Unleavened Bread Ministries of David Eells, and the accusation against the 'online church' is that it at least encourages the shunning of medical intervention. Charges of reckless endangerment against Kara's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann have been brought against the parents and they may stand trial in the spring of 2009. Unleavened Bread Ministries released a statement saying the couple is being unfairly punished for the 'crime of praying' - read the link near the top of Eells' home page at:
The statement read: 'Help the Neumanns and help yourself. Visit HelpTheNeumanns.com to help them during their time of persecution. All our press releases are linked there, as well ...'
And now (29 June 09 - instant) reads: 'Assistant D.A. attempts to hide their illegal acts by shutting down the site by friends of the Neumanns. Please sign the petitions at HelptheNeumanns.com. (Updated 6/09/09, 5:59 PM CST)
Read the statements emanating from this link and you will be led to question: 'Just where do these ideas regarding the shunning of medical treatment originate from?'
Again, consideration of the wide influence of Dake's 'Bible' must be made. Dake's belief that bodily healing is in the atonement and that we can receive bodily healing just as we receive forgiveness of sins, because it is by faith right now, has also doubtlessly led to many of the dangerous views on health and the necessity of medical treatment which many in these charismanic groups have followed. We do not deny that ultimate healing is provided for by Christ's death, but Dake's note on Galatians 3v13 maintains that the atonement removes all of the effects of the curse now if we'll only believe it:
'If sin, sickness, suffering, death and all the effects of sin were a part of the curse and the result of it, then they are all atoned for and removed from us in God's plan.'
A careful reading of the full Word of God, absent from Dake's influencing notes, can never cause us to misunderstand the Biblical teaching that the full extent of the curse will not be lifted until Christ returns and believers are glorified. All of our sorrows, tears and pain cannot be eliminated by faith here and now, but must wait until God brings it to an end. Until then we live in weak bodies of corruption (Revelation 21v4; 1 Corinthians 15v45-50) with the down-payment of the Spirit in our hearts assuring us of the ultimate day of healing. Dake's false ideas will certainly have contributed to many people putting off medical attention, often for something easily treatable, resulting in early preventable deaths through applying 'faith' falsely, having believed that the effects of the curse would be lifted just for them.
In many ways the arguments applied by these heretics are reminders of the apocryphal account of a man who has climbed onto the roof of his house and prayed, in faith, that God would save him from the ever-rising flood-waters threatening his very life. A boat rows up to his house and the rower calls to the trapped man to climb in - and he'll be taken to safety. 'No,' cries 'the man of faith,' 'I've prayed to my God and He will save me!' 'Suit yourself,' shouts his potential rescuer as he rows away. A helicopter swoops down and the occupants call to the man to climb their ladder and be flown to safety. Again, 'the man of faith' rejects the offer - 'for his God will save him!' The chopper flies away and, slowly, the flood-waters engulf the man's house and he is swept to his death. Eventually, in this story which is really no more than a poignant joke, 'the man of faith' appears before God and questions (as if - only 'men of little faith' question God!) why He didn't perform a miracle and save him from an early death. 'I sent a boat and a helicopter,' replies God, 'why didn't you trust My way of working through people!?'
If you think this is plain silly, consider the evidence of God supplying plants containing the pharmacology human's need (e.g. Ezekiel 47v12) and easily available wine for medicinal uses, such as for 'the stomach' (1 Timothy 5v23). It is the misapplication of Scripture that leads men to look for continuous miracles when God has shown that He uses them as it suits Him - because He is not an errand boy at the beck and call of any man on earth - even when they call themselves 'little gods.' 'Massive Morons' would be closer to the truth!
Dake really produced a Bible 'Commentary' for 'the ignorant and unstable' (cf. 2 Peter 3v16 - but Dake doesn't just 'wrest' Paul's letters) and introduced so many ludicrous and alien ideas that owe nothing to interpretation - including racism, segregation, and the laughable idea of Adam flying to planets (again, comparable to Mormon false prophet Joseph Smith who claimed that the moon was inhabited by people 'dressed like Quakers'!). Unfortunately for Benny Hinn he picked up on Adam flying while Brigham Young of Mormon infamy made Adam (a 'little') god! The link between these heresies are 'Adam' and 'little gods' - but, then 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4v1-2) are never bothered with logic and always go out of their way to mock man and God and are dangerous and deadly to body and spirit.
As with Eells, Benny Hinn's view of the Godhead is un-Scriptural and, while in one breath he will say:
' ... If I say something; the Bible says something else; you believe the Bible. Say the Bible is always right.'
In another moment he will apply the 'Emperor's New Clothes' psychological scam, but first he goads his 'audience':
' ...do you want another shocker?'
and works them into an emotional frenzy so they shout out 'Yes!' and cheer and applaud like fans at a rock concert or sports event, and he can then assert:
'So, don't question this teaching. Only the immature question it.'
The last quotation came from a sermon tape titled Our Position in Christ and was Hinn's attempt to manipulate the Word-Faith/Manifest Sons false doctrine, known as 'the spiritual death of Jesus,' which was popularized by E.W. Kenyon in his book What Happened Between the Cross and the Throne, and padded out by Hinn and others with their 'revelation knowledge':
'...before he died, I should say, on that cross, something happened to Him which began the wheels of the New Creation moving that was this: He died spiritually!... Jesus Christ understood that spiritual death is union with the satanic nature... What is spiritual death? Separation from God.' (Orlando Christian Centre, audiotape, late 1988)
Hinn was challenged (by the 'immature' who knew their Bibles!) over this false doctrine to such an extent that Thomas Nelson publishers had to make serious 'clarifications' in his book. They deceptively used this word rather than admit that massive corrections were required - and if their definition was true then the Mormons have 'only' made ~4,000 'clarifications' to the 1830 Book of Mormon! It would seem the 'immature' were right after all!
This is why, soon after, Hinn claimed to be backing off on certain aspects of this false doctrine:
'I no longer agree that Jesus was born again in Hell. That I did teach. I no longer agree that He went down to the underworld under the control of Satan, which at one time I did teach.'
'Now when he teaches the spiritual death of Christ, he only means 'Jesus was separated from the Father.' He said he's dropping this teaching altogether for at least a year to give himself time to study it further.' (Charisma and Christian Life, April 1991, p28)
Unfortunately for Hinn and his feeble apologists, he had supposedly been teaching this doctrine and believing it was derived from Scripture - but also from his wonderful 'revelation knowledge' which he claimed were 'eternal realities.'
So which is true? His 'revelation knowledge' is not opinion or philosophy but an 'eternal reality,' or Hinn never received revelation knowledge on the doctrine? Strange that, at the time he supposedly ceased preaching this 'eternal reality,' his tape series was still offered for sale?! Still, money is money!
We must ask the same questions that we apply to the false prophets of the cults - if you are wrong over this doctrine then do you admit being wrong about your other supposedly unique teachings and claims? Of course, we really don't need to ask this question for Hinn has enough totally failed prophecies and 'doctrines' under his belt to disqualify him from every kind of Christian ministry!
Eells is just another loud mouth who joined the End-Times Apostasy trying to unite all of Christianity in the outright mysticism of a One-World Church. They all pay lip service to the accuracy and authority of the Bible, but cast serious doubt on its sufficiency by introducing new doctrines through extra-Biblical 'revelation knowledge.'
Scripture makes it clear that the Word of God contains everything we need to know pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1v3-4), so extra-Babelling revelations can safely sit where they belong in the collections and minds of those already on their way to destruction. We can only continue to warn, as Jude wrote (Jude 20-25):
20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. 21 Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear - hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. 24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
After Hinn supposedly back-tracked he had these kind words for his critics:
'You know, I've looked for one verse in the Bible - I just can't seem to find it - one verse that says, 'If you don't like 'em, kill 'em.' I really wish I could find it!...Sometimes I wish God would give me a Holy Ghost machine gun. I'd blow your head off!'
The deceived TBN studio audience loudly applauded these words from the 'man of God' who is surely fulfilling the primary sign Christ gave of the nearness of His return (Mt 24v24):
'For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect'
How do people miss the clear import of Matthew 12v39 -40 and Luke 11v29-32 where Jesus says the only sign that will be given those who demand signs is the sign of the prophet Jonah, which turns out, in the context, to be a portent of His own resurrection. In other words, Jesus wants faith to be firmly based on His own death and resurrection. Signs can have a legitimate subsidiary role in establishing faith, but the uncritical quest for signs has clearly been corrupted by impure motives which too often ignore the abundant evidence that Jesus Himself points those who hunger for signs back to His resurrection. Jesus said (Matthew 7v21-23):
'Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,̓ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?̓ Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Their exorcisms, prophecies, and miracles are all performed in Jesus̓ name, but He does not bother to question their reality. It is quite possible that those who ask these questions of Jesus on the last day honestly think they ought to be admitted to the kingdom (just as the 'goats' are surprised by their fate in Matthew 25v41-45). But they are turned away, unrecognized by Jesus, because, however 'powerful' they may be in the realm of the miraculous, they do not display the marks of obedience: they do not do what Jesus says and produce good fruit (cf. 7v20).
The point is not that genuine 'signs and wonders' are inevitably bad but that they are never of first importance. We should not miss the flow of the argument in 1 Corinthians 12-14: various charismata may be distributed to members of Christ̓s Body, the church, but the 'most excellent way (not 'gift'!)' required of all believers is the way of love. If Benny Hinn, and many others of the Word Faith/Latter Rain/Manifest Sons/Man-child and general 'signs and wonders' movement, were really exhibiting true charismata would they really have resorted to 'Holy Ghost machine gun' type threats against those who do not embrace their works? The critical test for who is and who is not a genuine follower of Jesus is obedience, not displays of power. Scripture makes it clear that some displays of power, even some done in Jesus̓ name, are proof of nothing at all.
>>> Heavy Shepherding from the 'Little gods'
(Continued on page 225)