Question:

Hi there,

Three days ago I was browsing around YouTube and found Benny Hinn exposed, as well as Joel Osteen. This really scared me since many people follow them. Also, from time to time, some Christians watch them on TV. Do all these people who listen to them and watch them go to hell? Although there are many that disagree with what he says. But some watch him for other points that he makes. Will they still go to hell?

I have seen videos of Benny Hinn about how he prays for people and they get filled with the Holy Spirit. There was a particular video that at first amazed me. He said that Jesus must take over, so he stepped back. Then pastors were lined up at one by one came to the center of the stage, and they immediately fell down. Was this all acting? Is it real or not?

I have also seen a video about a child under the age of ten that prayed for his grandmother and she shook and fell when the child laid his hands on her. Is this acting and false?

What do you think about T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer? Has there been evidence that they do the same thing as these other false people? I am really scared.

One thing I know is that I don't want to go to hell but I am scared that if I believe the wrong thing I will end up there. How do I know who to trust? How do I know that I should trust a particular pastor when he or she says something?


Answer:

"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" (I John 4:1).

"Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds" (II John 9-11).

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:15-20).

"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber" (II Peter 2:1-3).

The Bible is filled with warnings regarding false teachers, so their existence should not be surprising. The test is straight forward, but it requires that you become knowledgeable about God's teachings. The first test is to compare what they are teaching to what God has taught. If it doesn't match, then they are false teachers. The second test is similar, compare the results of their works to what God says. If they speak the right things, but their actions show unrighteous living, then they are still false teachers.

Not one of the teachers you listed: Benny Hinn, Joel Olsteen, T.D. Jakes, or Joyce Meyer teach the whole truth.

Instead of searching for men to follow, look to Christ and his Word written for you. Following men will lead you astray. For example, the four people you listed do not teach the same things.

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).