False teaching exposed.
What does this truth mean for those who are following Benny Hinn and Bill Johnson’s interpretation?
That when they use this verse (John 5:39) to try and prove their teaching, that God desires us not to use our minds, that we must instead seek to embrace experientialism and trust in our emotions in order to ‘experience the true God’, has no biblical warrant what so ever. In fact, his teaching dangerously goes against what Scriptures commands us to do and it’s sufficiency.(read Part C).
Isn’t the Bible alone enough for them to encounter the glory of Christ and His majesty?
In Johnson’s book ‘Face to Face with God’ he said : “ I cannot live in mediocrity content with merely knowing that there is more of God to experience and explore and then do nothing about it.” Johnson says that the Bible, though it is the Word of God, he needs more. That means the Bible for him is not enough. He then adds “Truths that are not experienced are, if effect, more like theories and truths. Whenever God reveals truths to us He is inviting us into a divine encounter.”
This again is using the subjective methodology to try identify truth. This is the theology of experientialism.
How does it work? If for example: someone came claiming that he met Christ in person and saw Him in His glory state talking to Him while he was in the bathroom shaving; by most Charismatic’s and Pentecostal’s this persons personal experience could be regarded as true. Or it can be regarded as true if everyone feels the same way about it. It feels right and it’s in the Bible so there is no wrong.
They might use text out of context to show that God appeared to Saul of Tarsus and the Apostle John to prove that this is perfectly normal. But they would not go into the objective methodology which the church has used for centuries. Because they reject that approach, they would not see that in Isaiah 6:5 and Luke 5:8 it tells us that anyone who is in the presence of the glory of God would not be still shaving in the bathroom (by the way, this is a true story). They don’t see that Christians need to study the Bible carefully in order to identify truth by having our minds switched on. The Bible speaks that those who study the Bible carefully and who are earnest to understand God’s Word are like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 who were called by the Apostle Paul noble.
Furthermore logically, if truth is only to be found in one’s personal experience or encounter, then who determines what is true? The answer: the individual’s inner personal experience or personal pleasure or taste alone and not the Bible. In other words, truth has no meaning to him until he experiences it. ‘If I see it, I don’t believe it’.
And I am afraid this is why people are led to (without realizing it) deny the Bible’s sufficiency and authority in their lives.
God’s Word however says!
But Gods Word says that His word alone is truth and sufficient for the Christian life. God Himself testifies that His Word is true! (2 Timothy 3:15-17, John 14:6). Truth is true, based on what the Bible says and it is when we respond to the truth, our experience becomes genuine. Even if I reject the Bible the Bible is still true without my approval.
Christian teaching is not based on experience after experience; but by understanding the divine truth revealed to us already in the Bible. If the Word of God means so much to us, then we better earnestly labour to understand the very Words of God so that we may not be deceived (Romans 12:2). It is in them that we may behold the glory of Christ. It helps us build our discernment to see what is light and what darkness is.
We can conclude that this rejection of the Bible’s sufficiency all boils down to a question of authority. What is the authority of your life? The Word of God? Or your experience or your emotions?
Johnson said: “The Bible is absolute Word of God. It reveals God; the obvious, the unexplainable, the mysterious, and sometimes offensive. It all reveals the greatness of our God. Yet it does not contain Him. God is bigger than His book.”
Sadly this shows that the Bible no matter how glorious it is and has proven to be throughout church history, it is not enough for us today according to Johnson.
Sadly men like Bill Johnson and Benny Hinn desire to destroy the very command God calls every Christian to do. And that is to “receive the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so”(Acts 17:11). And this practically means that we are indeed to walk in life with our minds switched on. Being vigilant, carefully and always ready to learn more about God and His character by going back again and again to the Word of God. To test all things making sure that we are not being deceived by the evil one. Many do not consider this and I believe that is why we have a lack of discernment in the church.
We all must agree that truth can only be found and validated objectively, outside us, not within us (Jeremiah 17:9). Not by our feelings and intuition, but by understanding the very meaning of the Scriptures. It is going to the Word of God and persevering until the end.