EMPTY SEATS WEAKEN THE ANOINTING
By Akin Ojumu
Benny Hinn is one of the foremost proponents of the prosperity gospel. The Supreme Commander of the “name it-and-claim it” forces had an epiphany a few years ago. In what can only be described as a Road-to-Damascus experience, Benny Hinn admitted that his past teachings were “grieving the Holy Spirit.” On a subsequent Facebook Live Event, the preacher told an audience: “I’m sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy, and I’m correcting my own theology.”
Well, Uncle Benny’s epiphany was ephemeral, and his Come-to-Jesus moment was fleeting. Shortly after his mea culpa, the dog, as it were, went straight back to its vomit. Having been threatened by his comrades in arms and reminded of all the money he stands to lose if he continued in the chosen path, Benny Hinn quickly retreated. The prosperity gospeler resumed spreading his prosperity message. I suppose grieving the Holy Spirit is more palatable than grieving mammon.
Here is the patron saint of worldly goods dishing out one of his erroneous doctrines in an interview he had with one of his yuppie disciples.
“I was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania years ago with a man named David du Plessis. And…um…he was ministering and having a very tough time in ministering. And I noticed he was in a building that seated 2000 and only about 200 people came and all you saw are these empty seats. So, I went up to the fella handling the lights, I said, “Where's the light switch?” He said, “There.” And I said, “Do you have a spotlight here?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Turn that spotlight on.” And then I went, and I shut out the lights. The meeting came alive. And David now was released to minister to them because the empty seats were killing his faith. So, empty seats can affect the anointing…can weaken the anointing.”
This is as erroneous as errors go. For all those who don’t know, in the New Testament, the anointing represents the Holy Spirit. The day you accept Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit – i.e., the anointing – into your spirit, and the Holy Spirit indwells all Believers.
The Holy Spirit cannot be blocked by empty seats, He's not weakened by the sound system, and the people seating in the front rows right in front of the preacher certainly do not affect the anointing. Nobody can block the Holy Spirit that's within you.
“And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him remains in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you remain in Him.” (1 John 2:27).
The anointing is not a mood you get into or a feeling you turn on by some abracadabra foreplay. The Holy Spirit is not your emotion that needs to be jumpstarted like some broken down Molue engine. The Anointing of God is not a genie locked up in a bottle that you must uncork to release to perform magical acts that are seen, felt, or heard – i.e., the glitzy display of sleazy pastors.
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
Yes, unbelievers do resist (Acts 7:51) and blaspheme (Matthew 24:12-32) the Holy Spirit. Likewise, Believers can quench (i.e., extinguish, stifle, retard, etc.) (1 Thessalonians 5:19) and grieve (Ephesians 4:30) the Holy Spirit. Quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit are two sides of the same coin of iniquity. The former is what you do to the Holy Spirit, and the latter is how He responds to what you do.
It’s by your own personal transgressions, iniquities, and sins that you quench the Holy Spirit in you, and not the empty seats in a church auditorium. No other person can quench the Holy Spirit in you. Your anointing cannot be blocked or weakened by another man. The responsibility for quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit is on you and you alone.
Moreover, it’s the false teachers who propagate errors by twisting the Scripture to suit their own agenda that are most guilty of quenching and grieving the Holy Spirit. By establishing false and carnal measures of spirituality, the false teachers of the modern-day Church consistently quench and grieve the Holy Spirit.
Every time they fail to rightly divide the Word of Truth, they grieve the Holy Spirit. Each time they replace accurate exegesis with manipulation, they quench the anointing. Whenever they substitute the meat of God's Word with the sour milk of entertainment, they grieve the Holy Spirit. In continuing to believe that church growth comes by the cleverness of creative entrepreneurial activity, they quench and grieve the Holy Spirit.
Stop allowing yourself to be hoodwinked by the hocus-pocus that Benny Hinn and his types are peddling. Don’t let them pull the wool over your face. These people are modern-day Gnostics. What they are doing is to create a myth about themselves, to make you think they possess some exotic power and are operating at some stratospheric spiritual level unattainable by everyone else. That’s what they do to keep you caged. And the goal is so they can keep milking you of your hard-earned money.
“Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17).