Have you ever wondered in reading Luke 11:33-36 what a dark light is? What does Jesus mean in speaking of a light being darkness?
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
In the many times I’ve read that passage, it’s puzzled me. As with so many things we see in the Bible, we often pass them by. This time when I came across this Scripture, I also happened to be reading a book by Costi Hinn, of the famous—or infamous—Hinn family of prosperity preachers called God, Greed, and the (Prosperity) Gospel.
In this autobiography, Costi Hinn relates growing up in this large family that has invested its lives in the teaching of prosperity from the Bible, and the incredible wealth they’ve gained from it. The book is an eye-opener and one which has many tentacles into related beliefs systems such as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
Prosperity teaching says that God wants everyone to be healed. The most direct way for this healing to happen is to sow a faith seed into a ministry such as Benny Hinn’s and for him to pray over this person. When someone isn’t healed, the fault lies with the one seeking. He simply doesn’t have enough faith. Because of the desperation of so many around the globe, there is no lack of those who will give much of what they own to acquire better health, plus the potential wealth that comes with such faith.
The teachers in this movement are well known. Besides Benny Hinn, they include personages such as Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, and Creflo Dollar. Additionally, there are many such pastors around the world—surprisingly, in African countries—who reap millions from their ministries.
The association with NAR is in the healing aspect, among others. God is our divine genie whom we can manipulate to do what we wish through various declarations, once our faith has risen to a certain level of anointing. NAR sends out adherents to proclaim and bring healing so that the kingdom of God will come to earth. Those who lead in this exalted realm deserve to be well-compensated because they’re doing the Lord’s work. After all, didn’t He say that His followers would live an abundant life?
This was all SOP for Costi Hinn. He grew up living and believing all that his family taught him in this sphere. As far as he was concerned, they were elite royalty, because they were blessed by God through their efforts for Him.
This began changing when he met the girl who would become his wife. Christyne came from a much more conservative strain of Christianity and never fit in with the Hinn clan. When they saw how serious Costi was with Christyne, they purposed to change her in order to make her one of them. One of these efforts included getting her to be baptized in the Spirit and speak in tongues.
Now, understand, I’m a Pentecostal believer with the Assemblies of God. I believe in the gifts of the Spirit for today. However, because of the excesses I’ve seen in NAR and elsewhere, I am very leery and critical of hyper-charismania. All this that Costi Hinn relates in his book falls very much into that description.
The passage in the book that really got me thinking dealt with one such attempt by the Hinn family to get Christyne right from their perspective. This is from pages 119-120:
On the Sunday Christyne was to be prayed for, we were both called up to the front of the church. There we stood as the music was brought to a crescendo. Then, as the soft sound of strings played in the background, my father whispered into the microphone. “Lift up your hands and receive his touch.” Lifting our hands was a sign of surrender to God. And the touch was going to be my father’s hand, but we believed God was touching through him.
“Lord, fill her with your Spirit,” he prayed as his hand pressed upon Christyne’s head.
I began to cry but wasn’t sure why. Maybe I wanted her to get whatever it was she needed to get so we could be together forever. Maybe I was finally releasing emotions I had held in for so long. Or maybe I subconsciously felt helpless as I watched the system force her into the situation. Before I could even blink, she was falling into the hands of one of the catchers and they were laying her gently on the ground. She looked stoic as I peered over at her. Within a minute or so, I was prayed for as well and fell backward, lying next to her on the floor. My father spoke a special blessing over us, and it was over.
Christyne never said a word about what she experienced that day, likely for fear of backlash. Then one day we talked about that morning at church.
“What did you feel? Weird?” I asked her.
“Weird is not the word I would use, Costi,” she fired back so quickly I knew she was serious.
“Okay, describe it in your own words then,” I said.
“It was the darkest feeling I have ever felt in my life. I was scared to death. Something pinned me down on the ground that felt like pure evil. My heart was racing and I have never felt so out of place in all my life.”
Her words cut my heart open like a surgeon’s knife.
This is dark light. It reminds me of the videos I’ve seen with a view into the gatherings of the students at NAR Apostle Bill Johnson’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA. The young people fall under the spirit and lose bodily control as they shake and squirm on the ground, babbling in different tongues, very reminiscent of the ecstatic gyrations of Eastern mystics and their followers. It’s a different manifestation from what Christyne experienced, yet the same. This is a false spirit.
The light that is propagated by prosperity teachers and those in the NAR movement is darkness, just as Jesus said. The fruit is bad because the eye has absorbed darkness.
As this world speeds toward its end, there will be more false teachers proclaiming light yet sowing into the night. Many will gravitate toward that dark light and be deceived. Let us who are aware of these things through our study and knowledge of Bible prophecy open our mouths as watchmen, turning those whom we can from the terrible consequences that come from following these Satanic spirits.
Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and serves as Missions Director at his church. He is also a prolific author. His Whirlwind Series is comprised of three books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is A Time. These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus. Gary has been given the Christian Redemptive Fiction award for two novels: The Tattooed Cat and Alien Revelation. He has recently released Looking Up – Volume 3, a non-fiction work that contains essays and devotions on end-times and prophetic events. Gary’s intent in all his writings is to bring a strong Christian witness to what people read. You can reach him at his website: www.GaryRitter.com or his Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/gritter3390. You can also see his video Bible teachings on his Gary Ritter YouTube channel – look for the fish symbol.