Dealt a Devastating Blow to Faith

Saw this quote today on TGC website.[1] It is a book review of Benny Hinn’s nephew’s book, which condemns the prosperity gospel.[2] You know of course, TGC love this sort of thing.[3] The sad part, but not unpredictable, is the Costi Hinn, renounced faith-healing, due to the reformed teaching of God’s “sovereignty.” Here is the quote.

“Yet while he encountered biblical truth in the classroom, his coach’s personal godliness and dugout devotionals on topics like God’s sovereignty began to undermine Hinn’s theological framework.
The Bible teaches that God does what he pleases, gives freely to his creatures, and isn’t obligated to shower material wealth on those who meet certain conditions. Because the prosperity gospel is built on the notion that believers can effectively force God’s hand by giving money and believing they’ll receive what they want, the truth about God’s sovereignty dealt a devastating blow to Hinn’s faith.”

“Faith-Forgiveness,” not Certain?

So, if this is correct, then God is not “obligated,” to forgive sins even if the person meets the “certain conditions” of faith in Jesus, because God is sovereign!

How many times must Jesus and the New Testament repeat that if you ask for anything in faith, then you get it. Jesus says you “prove” you are His disciple, if you ask for anything, and then get this anything. If you do not do this then you do not bear fruit for the Father’s glory.

John 15:7,8,15.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.
My Father is glorified by this: that you bear much fruit
 [i.e. praying and getting what you want], and prove to be my disciples.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed [i.e. Predestinationyou that you should go and bear fruit, and your fruit should remain, in order that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you..[4]

Since God promised forgiveness in Jesus’ name (and God cannot lie), when it is our will to ask for forgiveness in faith, then are we “forcing God to do our will,” when He sovereignly keeps His promise? What sort of false-humility nonsense is this? Since 1 John 1:9 says God is “just” to forgive us, then on the relative ontology level, God would be obligated to do what He promised. But on the ultimate level God gave us new birth and faith for the forgiveness of sins and healing. God forms the damned and elect from the same neutral lump. And even faith is a sovereign work directly and absolutely by God’s power. But on the relative level, which Jesus speaks on the most (“your faith has healed you”), God must fulfill every promise He sovereignly and freely made. This is good news. It is awesome news.

The truth of the matter is the God is “obligated,” to answer our prayers once God makes a sovereign promise to do so. 1 John says that God is “just,” to forgive us our sins, not “merciful.” 1 John 1:9 (LEB), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, so that he will forgive us our sins.” Because of God’s sovereign promise to honor Jesus’ atonement and honor the promise of forgiveness of sin, when one asks in faith, God therefore, is “just” and “faithful” to forgive. You could be weird and call it, “forcing God to do our will,” but that would be a strange way to say it. God cannot lie. God is faithful. When God makes a promise, then He must fulfill it, or contradict His own nature. It was in God’s own freedom and sovereignty to make the promise to begin with. And so, He will sovereignly and happily keep His sovereignly made promise.  To sovereignly break the promise, would be to deny Himself.

[You will] never say, “I know that God promised salvation to anyone who has faith in Christ, but even when there is faith, it happens only if it is God’s will. So it is possible for someone to have more faith than Jesus himself and still be damned to hell.” [You will] never say this. But the healing of the body stands on the same basis as the forgiveness of sin — the atonement (Matthew 8:17). Therefore, for someone to say that healing happens only “if it is God’s will” regardless of our faith is also a logical repudiation of salvation by faith. In principle, this person cannot be a Christian. The least we can say is that there is a gross inconsistency, and it comes from unbelief. It is the opposite of reverence for God’s will. God was the one who sovereignly sent Jesus to bare our sins and diseases.[5]

What moron will say, “even if you believe in faith for salvation in Jesus, because God is sovereign, He might not forgive you.” Lord forbid, we believe in “faith-forgiveness,” because it would mean God is not sovereign, right?

To say you can have faith, but God still might not heal you, logically means, you trash the bloodshed of Christ as nothing. It despises the compassionate nature of God. Healing is a provision of the Blood of Jesus as a High Priest, which is stated in Isaiah 53, and reaffirmed in the New Testament (Matt 8:17).  At that definite time and place of Jesus’ atonement, both forgiveness of sins and healing was accomplished. Both are based on the finished atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you negate “faith healing,” because it is produced by the bloodshed of Jesus as a high priest, then you logically negate “faith forgiveness,” because the bloodshed of Jesus is the cause of both. If you throw out one, you throw out the other. Bye, bye, forgiveness of sins: see you later.  There is only one Bible and one definition of the atonement. And this definition makes both healing and forgiveness based on the finished work of Jesus and received by faith.

Sola David Hume

Despite their rhetoric, the Bible is not their first principle for knowledge. Rather, it is their experiences, emotions, traditions and human empiricism. The kingdom of self reigns in their souls, because they start with their human speculations first, rather than God’s word. They would do us all a favor if they came out from the closet and just said, “Sola Empiricism,” and “David Hume alone.”

Charismatics are criticized for making experience and feelings their first principle over God, but it seems those who criticize them, are the best of the best, at squashing Scripture under the boot of their experiences and sensations.

Destroying Faith with a False Doctrine of Sovereignty

The article says,

““Truth about God’s sovereignty

dealt a devastating blow to Hinn’s faith.”

It is sad to see so-called Christians, without shame, flaunt that they just converted a soul to be a son of hell, like they are.

See my essay on Romans 9, Why is Pharaoh Punished,[6] to see how much I believe in God’s sovereignty. The issue is that once some reformed people leave soteriology they become like the man described in James. After walking from the mirror (soteriology), they immediately forget about the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. Gone! Unbelief destroys their minds from applying God’s sovereignty in everyday life. For all their talk about the Covenants,[7] it will be these that will be a witness against them on judgment day.

They have no idea, what they are doing.

God’s sovereignty should do the opposite. Because God sovereignly made promises for many good things (forgiveness, wisdom, healing, money), then God will sovereignly work in me to have faith for it, and then answer them according to His Word. No one will be able to stop God from working this faith and victory in me! This is how this doctrine should be used. Why else do you suppose God commanded for us to pray and never give up? Was it to test, or to acquire what we pray for? James commands us that we are not merely to pray for healing and forgiveness, but that we are to actually get the healing and forgiveness. It is not optional. The hope of this is based in the sovereignty of God, who will sovereignly work faith in us, and sovereignly uphold His promises.

They are truly dumb and dangerous with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. Like Vincent Cheung said, it is similar to allowing a 3-year-old to drive a car; they will devastate themselves and those around them.

When knowledge does not increase a person’s faith, it only increases his ability to pretend. Just because someone takes it upon himself to handle an “adult” doctrine does not mean that he is mature spiritually and intellectually. You can let an infant drive a car, but he will probably crash it. Putting him in the driver’s seat does not make him an adult. Likewise, most theologians are spiritual kids, although they handle adult doctrines. They are just pretending. They play around with divine sovereignty, the covenants, the history of redemption, and so on, but when they drive — when they formulate, teach, and implement these doctrines — they wreck faith. They are just kids doing adult things to make other kids look up to them. A mature theologian will master more than the typical obnoxious prose and jargon, but he will grasp faith, mercy, justice, and these things will pervade his doctrine and ministry.[8]

 

 

———-EndNotes——-

 

[1] How Benny Hinn’s Nephew Rejected the Prosperity Gospel. Dereck Brown. 2019

[2] Of course, there are a few things wrong about the broad “prosperity gospel”; however, they are not wrong about their basis teachings on faith and God’s promise. And those who often critize them are worse in their theology.

[3] See Vincent Cheung. Water-Walking Controversy.  Backstage. Chapter 42. Page, 75.

Peter: Lord, if it is really you, tell me to walk to you on the water.

Jesus: Come!

Thus Jesus gave his word, his promise that Peter could exercise this power and experience this miracle. Peter started walking toward Jesus. He was walking on the water as if it was solid ground. It was happening. It was indeed the word of God. It was indeed the will of God. Otherwise, he could not have taken even the first step. But as Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became fearful, and started to sink. As always, the false teachers were watching, and scheming.

Peter: Lord, save me!

Theologian #1: It must be the will of God for you to suffer!
Theologian #2: This is a gift from God! Embrace it! Learn from it!
Theologian #3: The mystery of suffering. Oh, the theology of the cross!
Theologian #4: Don’t waste your drowning!

Theologian #5: People are watching. Quick! Strike a pose as you sink. Try to look like a suffering saint. You can get a book deal out of this! “Where is God When I Sink?” “The Water-Walking Heresy.” “Christ-Centered Drowning.” “Sinking and the Sovereignty of God.” “Drowning for the Glory of God.” “The Redemptive-Historical Excuse for Sinking in Life.” There is a large market of idiots with itching ears for this kind of stuff…. …

[4] See Vincent Cheung. Predestination and Miracles.

And Oshea Davis, Jesus’ Prayer: God’s Command is God’s Will,

and Faith the Greatest Burden?

[5] Vincent Cheung. Liberation From Unbelief. From Fulcrum. 2017. Chapter 5. Page, 28.

[6] Oshea Davis. Logic and Scripture: Why Is Pharaoh Punished?

See also, Jesus’ Prayer: God’s Command is God’s Will.

[7] See Vincent Cheung, The Edge of Glory.

[8] Vincent Cheung. Faith Override. Found in, Sermonettes Vol. 9. Chapter 2. Pg 15.