On November 7, 1997, Paul Crouch read a prophecy and then issued a death threat to the enemies of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. On January 8, 1998, in response to an inquirer from Northern Ireland about this prophecy, the following letter was sent by Margie Tuccillo, Assistant to Paul Crouch. This letter is a standard form letter TBN is sending out to all inquirers.
Dear Mr xxxxxx:
We have received your recent e-mail to Mr Crouch regarding the word of personal prophecy he read on the air November 7, the last night of our fall Praise-a-thon.
We are sorry you have misinterpreted the prophetic word from the Lord as well as the prayerful declaration of it on the air. Let us submit a gentle reminder of the nature and value of prophecy, as outlined in I Corinthians, chapter 14. Prophecy is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is not to be considered equal with the divine revelation of Scripture, but is given to address a specific person or situation with the three-fold purpose of “strengthening, encouragement, and comfort” (v.3,NIV).
The Prophetic word Mr. Crouch received came through a TBN employee, as the Holy Spirit impressed words and concepts on her mind, including the closing title, “Jesus, Captain of the Hosts,” which is appropriately suited to the demeanor of the message. The contents of the prophecy are in line with scripture. God’s judgment on Israel’s physical enemies is a common theme throughout the Old Testament.
Since Christ triumphed over all the spiritual enemies of humanity by His death on the cross (Colossians 2:15), the apostle Paul tells us we now struggle “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12, NIV).
Contrary to your interpretation, this prophetic word does not threaten death to people who oppose TBN but to the threats themselves: “I am commanding you to prophesy ‘death’ to the threats, challenges and bondages the enemy has placed upon TBN.” Further, the prophecy says, “It is time for the canceling of the enemy’s assignment against TBN.” As Paul Crouch led the people in prayer, he led them in spiritual battle against real spiritual enemies who perpetrated the attack against TBN in the first place.
Although we understand, according to the apostle Paul, that we “prophesy in part,” we do believe the prophecy to be a true word of encouragement and declaration of faith in God’s ultimate victory in TBN’s situation. It was spoken through a human vessel, just as other words of prophecy have been given to the people of God through the ages.
God bless you,
Assistant to the President
The Trinity Broadcasting Network has given a very unsatisfactory reply.
To begin with, they begin to downplay the prophecy by saying that,”It is not to be considered equal with the divine revelation of Scripture,” and “The Prophetic word Mr. Crouch received came through a TBN employee, as the Holy Spirit impressed words and concepts on her mind, including the closing title, ‘Jesus, Captain of the Hosts,’ which is appropriately suited to the demeanor of the message.”
Now the prophecy has become an impression, and it is apparently appropriate to assign Jesus’ Name to an impression!
Secondly, TBN states that “Contrary to your interpretation, this prophetic word does not threaten death to people who oppose TBN but to the threats themselves: ‘I am commanding you to prophesy “death” to the threats, challenges and bondages the enemy has placed upon TBN.'”
While that is what the prophecy said, it also commanded Crouch to, “Take authority over the principalities and powers that dare to threaten this ministry.” Paul Crouch went on to state, “God, we proclaim death to anything or anyone that will lift a hand against this network and this ministry that belongs to You, God. It is Your work, it is Your idea, it is Your property, it is Your airwaves, it is Your world, and we proclaim death to anything that would stand in the way of God’s great voice of proclamation to the whole world. In the Name of Jesus, and all the people said Amen!”
TBN has set up a strawman by suggesting that people are saying that the prophecy given proclaimed death for the enemies of TBN, and then shot the strawman down. Although a case could be made for the prophecy declaring death for enemies of TBN, particularly in light of the fact that Paul Crouch apparently interpreted it that way, the problem has always been the fact that Paul Crouch himself declared death for anyone who would stand in TBN’s way. TBN has not answered that charge.
Copyright 1998 by Bob Hunter (http://www.geocities.com/~contenders/www.contenders.com). You may freely distribute this and post on other web sites provided this copyright notice is included.