This is the third sermon by Mr. Huizing that we have chosen to review. The date of its delivery is not given. Again, we listened by CD. We are happy to announce that Mr. Huizing must approve of our writing this review, and of our making it public too, for in this sermon he says, “The main thing would be for you to go back to Scripture to make sure what I’m telling you is true. Right?”
Mr. Huizing, Family of Faith, Ears to Hear.
Summary: If you really pay attention to this message, it absolutely will revolutionize your life. Are you ready for this, though? Can I say some things that may be controversial? Some things might go totally against your grain. Ponder it. Or put it on the shelf to meditate on later. What you possess today has more to do with what and how you hear than what God wants you to have. Most people are just satisfied with what they have. But Jesus says to take heed what you hear and how you hear. “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever has, to him shall be given; and whosoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have” (Luke 8.18.) If you have something, it’s easier to get more. God is interested in getting you further ahead. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. That’s a spiritual principle. Go back to the Scripture to make sure that what I’m telling you is true. Social justice means everyone should have the same. But according to the kingdom of heaven, not everybody has the same. Everybody will get the opportunity to get the same. With what you hear and how you hear, it’s up to you. (He goes to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 to try and support his point.) So when they gained, they were called good and faithful people. In our day, that’s hard to talk about cuz if you gain, you’re evil. How many of you know God is the God of increase? You should not be satisfied with a status quo. God expects you to do something with what he has given you. You can do something with the word he has given you. You can be in the have cycle. (He turns to Luke 5.15.) The people came not just to be healed, but to hear. You get faith to be healed by hearing the word. Without hearing, it is virtually impossible to possess anything in life. Hearing is always a prerequisite for healing. What’s the number one command? It has to do with hearing. If you don’t hear, you won’t know how good God is. People have heard that God is waiting for an opportunity to wipe them out, and that since he is in control of the earth, that he lets bad things happen. The truth is, the Bible never said that. God will always make sure you have a seed to sow. Don’t eat it. What do you have? You have the word. Everything that happens, it starts with a seed. When you hear the word, you’ve got something. The devil’s not worried about those who don’t hear. He’s already got them. Once you hear, you are a target. The devil comes right away. It’s much easier to get a seed out of the ground than the stump of a grownup tree. If he can get the word out of you, he’s got you whipped. Whatever measure you use, it will be measured to you. You have to think big. Don’t just build for sixty-five, but for eternity because it’s going to come back to you. The devil wants you in survival mode, one day at a time. You’re a world overcomer. You’re a long distance marathon runner. Do you just want your needs met? Or do you want enough to meet someone else’s needs too. (He turns to the Old Testament miracle regarding the widow who had her oil increased.) At home is your greatest treasure of all time. Her future has more to do with what she heard than with what God wants her to have. God doesn’t show you everything. He leaves it up to how far you want to go. Amen? (He turns to the New Testament miracle concerning the coin in the mouth of the fish.) Everything has to do with how you hear.
Remarks: Again, on the face of it, some of what he says is okay; but the baggage that comes with it is not. (1) It is good to have enough means to meet the needs of others in addition to your own. But it is wrong to come up to this level of prosperity by the lust for wealth that permeates Mr. Huizing’s message. And if wealth were acquired by us through such immoderate, eye-on-the-world mentality, would the needs of others be still on our heart at the end of our quest? (2) It is good to emphasize the responsibility of man toward God. But this is continually done by Mr. Huizing at the expense of God’s overarching, sovereign will. Furthermore, the responsibility of man only comes up to a materialist obligation in this sermon, which is hardly what the Bible would lay the stress upon: our moral obligation. By resorting to the same Bible stories as before, like the widow who had her oil multiplied in the time of Elisha, the coin in the mouth of Peter’s fish, etc., Mr. Huizing builds his prosperity gospel, while cutting down the sovereignty of God and the meaning of Scripture to do so. The coercive trick that he uses to force an acceptance of his prosperity doctrine is the laying on of contrived guilt. The major transgressions in this message can be thus categorized: a materialistic interpretation of Scripture; a low view of God; and pressure tactics deviously applied. And this is all to the purpose of converting us to a gospel of prosperity instead of peace.
(1) His materialistic interpretation of Scripture. By Luke 8.18 Mr. Huizing wants us to believe that Jesus teaches that we should hear a certain way in order to obtain greater wealth. But how can this be Jesus’ lesson since it is precisely the desire for worldly riches (verse 14) that Jesus here preaches against? Those who hear a certain way have their seed (the word of God) choked by their ‘cares and riches and pleasures of this life,’ teaches Jesus. Yet Mr. Huizing teaches from the same passage that we should hear exactly in the manner Jesus there warns against! He tells us to hear with an ear for prospering materially; Jesus warns us to hear for the sake of obtaining consolation eternally. The seed is the word; our hearing must be a good use of this word, which hearing is a resolve to obtain salvation, not material riches. Strange to say that the parable of the sower is about hearing the gospel aright, and that this parable is then used by a Bible teacher to get people to hear a false one, and that a people could be so ignorant or careless as to believe the pastor instead of Jesus! And even more shocking is the fact that people are deceived into hearing the wrong way when the very text being distorted by their pastor has this warning in it!—: ‘Take heed therefore how ye hear.’ That people so careless as to ‘hear’ this pastor’s perversion of Jesus’ text could be in a saved condition must be very doubtful. How could saved people not hear what the truth is in this parable whose interpretation is explained to disciples by Jesus himself? Present salvation in people as gullible as this is highly improbable. No one gets saved by a careless hearing of the word. This is the message in the parable of the sower. Shall we not wonder about the faith of people who cannot hear this message? We hope for the best, but we honestly fear the worst. If you attend this church, what are you about? Are you a Christian who cannot see your sacred Scripture being mangled before your eyes? Do you not have eyes to see that your pastor is making it say the very opposite of Jesus’ intent? This text is not about hearing to get rich. More will be given if we hear attentively. More what? More stuff? No, more understanding, more desire to understand, more conviction for what we learn about Jesus. It’s not about material wealth. It’s not about hearing what you want to hear, but about hearing with a view to listening to, and profiting spiritually from, the revelation of God regarding the chief aspects of a Christian’s interest: like redemption, heaven, and Jesus Christ himself. Mr. Huizing’s materialist emphasis of Scripture can be easily shown to be false elsewhere as well. The purpose of Peter’s catching the fish that had the coin in its mouth was for paying the tax, not for getting rich by miraculously placed coins. Therefore the lesson that says Peter should have stayed for a second fish, then a third, etc., is inapplicable and absurd. Moreover, being content with money enough to meet the obligation of paying the tax agrees with the spirit of contentment that the Bible demonstrates is a principal characteristic to be found among saints. The apostle Paul learned to be content with little or nothing if need be (Philippians 4.11.) Shall we not learn the same? “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me” (Proverbs 30.8.) This is the spirit of a humble, regenerate soul that is being sanctified by the hearing of God’s word. Can Mr. Huizing pray this prayer? Why does he press us to aim beyond sixty-five? His answer: because it’s going to come back to you. What does he mean by this? To press for wealth that will cover you beyond that age is a lifestyle exercise that will redound unto you even more than you planned for—that’s what he’s getting at, which is just a sister principle to the give-to-get scheme. This one is a you-can-never-get-enough scheme. What does the Bible say to this? “And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, be merry. But God said unto him, fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12.18-21) There’s nothing wrong with planning for future sustenance. But the problem is that Mr. Huizing’s teachings are of the type that stir up a lust for gain and profuse abundance. The more this hunger is fed, the more one’s spirit is groomed to never rest content with necessities, and the result is a continual worrying and fretting about tomorrow. Those who have much never have enough. That is the devil’s rule. Just observe your politicians. Mr. Huizing teaches that survival mode is bad, that ‘one day at a time’ is bad, that this is what the devil wants for you. But how more wrong can a pastor be? What he presents as being so bad and of the devil, is actually Jesus’ command!--: “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?…Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6.25, 34.) Will you believe Jesus the Lord, and be content to live one day at a time? Or will you side with Mr. Huizing, and be anxious for tomorrow? That’s quite a ruse, to put Jesus’ ideal on contentment in the mouth of the devil to make listeners give in to the greedy ways that Jesus condemns! This pastor cannot be so ignorant as to Jesus’ position on such matters! This pastor is a fox, and we can hear the licking of his lips to eat forbidden eggs in this sermon, particularly near the close of his commentary on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. He craves more than what God wants him to have, and not only this, but he thinks and teaches that this craving is good! Can we, like Mr. Huizing, say some things that may be controversial? Can we say that this man must be very discontent with what the Lord wants him to have? He actually believes that to be content with necessities is the doctrine of the devil! Careful pastor, for it is Jesus who teaches that! Can a man this opposed to the teachings of our Saviour have saving grace in his soul? Is it too controversial to raise this question? It’s a perfectly proper question to raise! The Lord bless us for doing so!
(2) His low view of God. We have seen, particularly in the first sermon reviewed, that Mr. Huizing owns and peddles the sacrilegious opinion of a sinful, reborn jesus. (And it should go without saying that such a jesus could save no one.) In harmony with this sacrilege is his low view of the First Person. What you get has more to do with what and how you hear than with what God wants you to have, he teaches, and in more places than one. Do we not hear in this odd saying that what God wants for us is not good enough? It seems that this pastor understands, but does not like, that God wants us to be content with focusing primarily on our spiritual state and growth. This is the taste we get from the flavor of the sermon. It just seems that at the bottom of Mr. Huizing’s hatred for biblical sovereignty is his desire to get what God doesn’t want him to have. We may be wrong about the ground of his hatred for this grand doctrine. Who knows if it’s because of his obvious discontent? Regardless, about his hatred of it there is no doubt. He does very plainly renounce the doctrine of divine sovereignty. We believe in God’s control over all things that happen. Mr. Huizing does not believe in this all-encompassing control in the divinity. God is not in charge of the bad, he says. The Bible never said that, says he. How could a Bible teacher be so wrong on such a fundamental point? First, the sovereignty of God is logically necessary for maintaining the idea of God. If God is not in charge of the bad as well as the good, then he’s not in charge, and therefore he is just a god among others. We have, then, events happening that are beyond his control; this is chaos, not sovereignty. Can a Being who hasn’t got full control even be called God? He cannot. He’s just a player, then, one who might win or lose. No matter what this pastor’s hang-up is, does the Bible teach that God is in charge of the bad or not? Are people-destroying catastrophes bad things? The Flood, was God in charge of that? The judging of Sodom, what about that? The crucifixion of Christ, did the Father have a hand in that? Yes, even in that, say we, though God is without sin in all his ways. Jesus of Nazareth was ‘delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God’ to be crucified by wicked hands (Acts 2.23.) Now there is a bad thing that was done; in fact, crucifixion is not only the worst of all deaths, but the crucifixion of a God-Man is the worst of all evil deeds. Here we have something bad, even the worst, and yet God was in charge of it! It was God the Father who delivered Jesus up to be crucified by wicked hands! If God was in charge of the worst act of wickedness that was ever done, is it a stretch to believe, in spite of this pastor’s hang-up, that he must be in charge of everything. The hand of God determined, by his delivering Jesus into wicked hands, the most heinous deed that was ever done. Strong language! We would never say it if the Bible did not teach the troubling, comforting truth so distinctly. It is troubling that nothing bad is done except God allow it and even ordain it. But it’s comforting that this means nothing happens beyond his care and control. It ‘pleased the LORD to bruise him’ (Isaiah 53.10), which statement gives us the background of Genesis 3.15, in which verse we have the sinful bruising of Christ by Satan prophesied. The devil did the sinful act; God was pleased to determine it. The sovereign control of God over everything is all over the Bible. But it seems that sovereignty is not part of Mr. Huizing’s theology (and we use the word ‘theology’ over-generously and unchastely in his case.) And a pastor so hostile to the idea of sovereign prerogative we can hardly expect to be orthodox in matters touching on salvation, for it is Almighty God who must grant the grace thereto, after all. God is not only sovereign over the bad, but determines the salvation of bad sinners by a sovereign decree to extend and apply grace. But if, as this pastor maintains, he is not sovereign over bad things, then will bad things not trump the power of God to save? Will anyone get saved in a universe that has gotten away from the grasp of God? Unless we believe in the sovereignty of God over evil, we have no reason to believe that good will reign or that salvation will happen. The pastor might not be able to follow this logic, though it is simple enough. Slighting sovereignty over evil is a tiny step from contemning sovereign grace. The following warning from a 17th century chief in theology is therefore relevant: “Either what we read in Scripture is not the gospel, or those who are wise in their own conceit and swollen with contempt of sovereign grace are dashing unrepentant to judgment” (John Owen, Biblical Theology, p. xxxvii.) It perhaps goes without saying, moreover, that Mr. Huizing’s accent on physical healing instead of the regenerating, convicting, and sanctifying influences of the Spirit amounts to a cheap, low-down view of the Third Person. The pastor, therefore, puts all members of the trinity on the same level. Not to say that we can compliment him for doing so! for what a sunken level are they put to by this worldly minister! Is God’s attention given to the lesser infirmities of our nature? Or does he not strive with us unto holiness? Yes, mainly this. Why were all those cripples healed during the ministry of Christ? To relieve their suffering? Yes, but was that primary? No, Jesus himself was primary, or it was the Father he glorified by his works. These healing acts were for the purpose of showing who Jesus was and for men to believe who Jesus claimed to be. And this was to the purpose of men believing on him for the salvation of their souls. But saving doctrine is too high and rich for Mr. Huizing. He must operate on the lower level where moth and rust doth corrupt (Matthew 6.20.) Did Jesus care for bodies? Yes, but what more? “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire” (Mark 9.47.)
(3) His pressure tactics deviously applied. It appears to be this pastor’s habit to begin his sermon by laying on a guilt-trip. If you’re not ready for his message, you’re just not ready to ‘hear.’ That’s the feeling we get from his attitude. Instead of unholy coercion, he should prove his teachings by the word. His introduction is full of illegitimate pressure directed to make us accept a controversial spin on the Bible. And he exerts himself so because he knows that professing Christians have heard from the Bible that they should be content with necessities being met. He’s got to get them to give up this humble idea. Teaching alone will not work because his is so twisted. So he resorts to devious pressure tactics. Yet pastors like him can gain a following because one’s carnal nature is only too happy to leave the humble idea of moderation behind in favor of the ‘pleasures of sin for a season’ that Moses abandoned. The only nature that can stomach an interpretation of Scripture and a view of God that are both earthly instead of heavenly is that one which would serve its own belly (Romans 16.18) before the Lord Jesus Christ. This ‘old man’ (if we should be so charitable as to call it that) is what we are called to mortify in order for our sanctification to increase.
Conclusion: Mr. Huizing is fixated on teaching this false idea that ‘ears to hear’ is the first commandment. This monstrous invention (not his only one to this purpose) is his gateway for leading heedless, hapless people into his ‘word of faith’ system of error. Calling ‘ears to hear’ the great commandment is a gimmick that he hopes will yield the appearance of credibility to his way of thinking. By this gadget he hopes to convince his listeners to enter into the fatal pattern of thought that he would have the gospel to be. What he counts on from his listeners is ignorance, or at least inattention. If you just dimly know what the Bible contains, you might think that he is a trustworthy teacher of truth, for he does mention some Bible stories. But you have to know what the Bible means in order to test the spirit of a teacher. If you are a listener receiving instruction from this pulpit (or one like it) and you love your soul, listen here. Give that man a hearing who is trying to do you some good. That man who shows you doctrine without having to twist the Bible out of shape to do it, hear ye him for just a moment. You are burying yourself under more darkness with every sermon you hear from this ‘word of faith’ teacher; they that descend so willingly into this black pit must bring upon themselves more and more liability to judgment with each passing week; the likelihood of ever getting to see the light of a sinless Christ who alone can save must ebb away each time you pull away the shoulder, stop the ears, and refuse to hearken (Zechariah 7.11) to biblical advice such as we have given you here. Regard the word of the Lord that we have refuted Mr. Huizing with in this analysis. Become very zealous not to end up, by shaking off Scripture, with the adamant heart that will never repent (verse 12.)