Controversial Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church recently admitted in an interview with televangelist Benny Hinn that his past criticisms of Hinn were wrong.
The interview, posted to the Benny Ministries Facebook page last week, has received more than 155,000 views.
"Pastor Greg Locke at one time did not like me," Hinn said at the start of the interview. "In fact, he wrote a book against me. And today, we're friends, so only God can do that."
In 2005, Locke wrote a book titled Blinded by Benny, where he accused Hinn of being a "false prophet," "a deceiver," and "a heretic."
According to ChurchLeaders.com, Locke acknowledged that he now realizes he wrote the book "for all the wrong reasons" because of all "the out-of-context clips in those days."
Locke noted that he "literally had no affinity whatsoever for anybody in healing ministry [or] deliverance ministry."
"I was Baptist amongst Baptists. I was an absolute Cessationist," Locke continued. "I was taught that the apostles had power, and when they died, the power died with them. So when I would see you on TV, I would immediately have this bitterness that would well up in me towards anybody that was on, you know, TBN or CBN or the 700 Club."
Locke also told Hinn about his previous "aversion to anything that was supernatural" but noted that he came to realize the ministry of the Holy Spirit the more he read the Bible.
"I tell people the theology of God's Word ruined my man-made theology because I was always taught, 'Well, you know, they just believe in experience over theology," Locke said.
"But what I found out is that's not the truth," he continued. "You believe in experiential theology. You believe your theology."
Locke credits God for using his wife's unfiltered view of the Bible to show him the power God grants his followers through the Holy Spirit.
In addition to reading the Bible, Locke shared that his wife also encouraged him to look at how people carried out miracles through the Holy Spirit.
"My wife and I] would lay in bed at night, and she would read the Bible, and she would be like, 'Honey, do you realize we have power to cast out devils? We have power to lay hands on the sick. We have power to speak in unknown tongues,'" Locke said.
However, he added he was cautious in his responses because he didn't want to "take her fire away from her because she was just so passionate. "She was so innocent in what she was learning from the Holy Spirit," he said.
In 2017, Locke started to preach on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and began to see how God was moving in his church. Around this time, Locke's wife was suffering from back issues due to a crooked spine, and Locke says the Holy Spirit prompted him to pray for her while laying hands on her back.
"I just said, 'Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus, I command straightness of spine into my wife right now," Locke recalled saying before going to sleep.
Two days later, they went to the doctor after Locke's wife told him she was "pain-free" for the first time in a long time.
"So we went to the doctor, and we had an X-ray at the chiropractor – straight as a stick," Locke said.
At that moment, the pastor had a change of mind on the gifts of the Spirit.
"I had more rules than the Book of Leviticus," Locke said. "I had more standards than God. Everything to me was a standard. It was about rules, rules, rules. Well, rules without relationship creates rebellion, and that was a bitter preacher."
"It's not that I've never experienced God's power, it's that I just preached the Word with no demonstration of the power, and that night, God radically changed me because of that incident," Locke said.
Nowadays, the Global Vision Bible Church emphasizes charismatic gifts, including the launch of its deliverance ministry.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Danielle Del Valle/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.