Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 24, 2009

Jesus’s Instructions for our Prayers

How Did Jesus Teach Us To Pray?

images thinkThis topic came up for me while I was visiting another blog.  Once I compiled my response I thought it would be good to put something up here.

I believe the topic of prayer is a biggie, especially in the charismatic (manic) camps.  Many have gotten away from teaching and practicing prayer as Jesus did, swapping it out for decreeing, declaring, speaking things into existence, claiming our words have the power to create and cause things to happen.

These methods sound good to us, but I believe they are wrong, even dangerous, not found in the  bible, nor taught or practiced by Jesus! They appeal to our flesh, that part of us that says, “I want, I get”.  That, stamped with an elevated sense of authority and power, and the result  is nothing short of a Christian practising witchcraft.

Most of the time, this prayer simply does not work.  It catches a lot of attention, it brings in lots of cash, creating fame and fortune for it’s claimers.  I’ve been in more than a few conversations with other believers on this. Usually, once this is practiced and found be be worthless, we can often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with them, “the blessed”, thinking that God does not love us as much as they as they seem to be, or at least claim to be receiving blessing upon blessing and prosperity.  From then on, there is a loss of faith.

More often than not, the blessing, the prosperity claimed to be “from God” is really from man; many faithful and deceived followers of man, giving of their own time, money and resources.  Ungodly means, ungodly gains.  There is a difference.

So, how did Jesus pray?  When asked by His disciples He taught them what we refer to as the Lord’s prayer.  We are to ask the Father for the things we need.

Luke 11:2 So He said to then, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come. You will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

3 “Give us this day our daily bread.

4 “And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

At verse 5, Jesus begins explaining the concept of “ask, seek, knock”; what will be given is done so out of persistence.

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened.

10 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

In Matthew 6:9-13 the prayer is repeated, adding these words in the latter part of verse 13 for Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

So there we have it – prayer by Jesus, God in human flesh acknowledging Our Father God who is in heaven, His kingdom, His will, asking for the things most important – food, forgiveness, deliverance of evil things, again acknowledging His kingdom and His power and glory.  No proud, rude, loud, declaring, decreeing going on there!

Who are we to command God?

The following point is made in the article Word Curses, but it is important and fits this discussion.

Oftentimes we hear this scripture quoted to support the idea that our words have power.  It’s only a fragment of a scripture, twisted and completely taken out of its meaning.  You will recognize – “call things that are not as though they were”.  This claim is a twist on Romans 4:16-17,  with the emphasis solely on the latter part of verse 17-

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

Power belongs to God and to Him alone and that is what this verse is getting at. It is God who calls these things, not people.  It was God who spoke the planets into existence, not Adam.

So, for whatever you need, ask, seek, knock and it will be given. It is the promise of the Father. And if what you are asking for doesn’t come, continue to wait and to ask, be disciplined!  Don’t give up and don’t sell out for this method of prayer that is sinful, wicked Christian witchcraft!

Mark 11:23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 24, 2009

Are all healed? Is there Absolute Healing in the Atonement?

Absolute Healing in the Atonement

jesus 22I believe there is no truth to be found in teaching that healing is for everyone. Much of this is based on false teaching as we find the word of God once again has been taken out of context. Many are not healed and we do not have a reason why that happens.  Instead of accepting that some of us will be sick because we live in a fallen world, we tell others healing is part of the salvation process.  It is not.  Our salvation is free upon asking.  If healing was meant to be in the atonement, it would happen the same way.  And, yes, the Greek word used in the New Testament for saved and healed is sozo. However, the word never says all will be healed, just as all will not be saved.

Please note, that many of the disciples were sick and a quick read through the New Testament will prove that.  Paul was not healed and here are his thoughts:

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

So many times I have heard people say that Paul was not sick.  Why, when the scripture above clearly states he was and remained so?

Jesus came to earth as a man.  He was weak, ordinary and vulnerable.  He suffered as a man so that he could identify with us in every area of our humanness.

Philippians 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

When we tell others salvation is in the atonement and they have a “right” to their healing, and tell them that there is a reason they are not being healed, we send them on an internal rampage to find out why that is – did they not pray right, with the right words, did they not rebuke the devil enough, often enough, in the right manner, did the person praying for them not speak the right words or have enough faith, was their own attitude or heart not in the right place, is there unforgiveness, bitterness, anger or jealousy, is there a lack of faith…on and on it goes. It is all based on what they do, or in this case, what they speak. We are teaching people to work for their healing, to pray specifically, to “receive their healing” or to pray to “keep their healing”.  We are not taught any of this in the word. How closely this resembles another false teaching involving a false prophet that make people work for salvation!

When Jesus brought healing He did so simply; He did not go through a long list of reasons for repentance, He did not run through their generational line to find the curse. To teach otherwise is unscriptural  How many people can you think of that are in a healing ministry of some sort, or who believe healing is in the atonement have died of an illness or disease? How many likewise have been hospitalized for injuries or are sick and have been for many years?

This entire Word of Faith/Prosperity teaching causes people to believe in a god that does not exist.  When the promise of the “blessing” or “healing” or “prosperity” does not come as promised they become mad at God or wonder why God does not do for them what has been claimed. We are not promised a good life here.  We are told of much tribulation and if there is any doubt, we can read about the experiences of the disciples.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you that in Me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Remember, Job was a Godly man who suffered tremendously.  All of the counsel of his friends proved to be wrong by God’s own words!

Job 38:1-21 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: 2 “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”

God is to be given the glory in all situations, not just in healthy ones.  And yes, God still heals people today! He alone knows the beginning to the end, and the “why’s” of all things. I don’t know why people continue to teach such things.  Maybe its money, maybe fame.  Whatever the reason it is false, false, false – words without knowledge.

Posted by: John Edwards | June 24, 2009

Is Jesus Christ Wimpy or Gay?

Gay Jesus?

jesus rulesYesterday our associate pastor Brad preached a sermon about how real men should live and used events and descriptions of Jesus from the Bible. Brad painted a different picture of Jesus than the one most liberals and Hollywood depict.

The entertainment industry has given us a gay Jesus. A weakling. A big sissy. I never watch any of those Jesus movies that come out around Easter because I cant stand the casting. They always use a weak pathetic actor to be Jesus, and Jesus always acts like a mama’s boy in the movies. A girly guy.

Not so in the Bible. The real Jesus was a tough guy that stood in the face of certain death everyday to preach His message. Every time He preached, He was in real danger of being stoned by the Pharisees or arrested by the Romans. He on purpose healed and did miracles in such a way that would anger and infuriate the religious establishment. He called Herod a “fox” which is the same today as calling someone a queer. On one occasion Jesus fashioned a whip and ran through the Temple whipping the moneychangers and tumping the money tables upside down. That took guts. There were Temple Police everywhere when He did it. On another occasion, Jesus stands between an angry mob and a woman taking in adultery. Jesus stood between the woman and the ones that held the rocks to stone her.

Jesus stood up on the edge of a boat in the middle of a storm at night and rebuked the winds and the waves. Jesus stood toe to toe with Pilate with no fear. When the Pharisees came to arrest Him, they took 500 men armed with clubs and spears. Jesus was no sissy. Soldiers and Rulers were afraid of Him. A wild man filled with a thousand devils collapsed at the feet of Jesus for mercy.

Jesus was such a tough guy that he survived an all night beating, a crown of thorns and a Roman scourging without dying. Most prisoners died from the scourging alone. Jesus endured a Crucifixion from which we get our word excruciating.

Jesus loved to stir up the religious rulers. He called them names and insulted them. He called a spade a spade. Jesus was not politically correct. He angered people every day. He walked like a man. He acted like a man. He was and still is, The Man.

And when He comes back, He is coming for blood with a two edged sword in His mouth, white garments dipped in blood, and a tattoo down His leg. He is coming back to tread out the wine presses of God’s wrath and fury. Jesus is coming back as Judge and Executioner on the ones that have rejected Him as Lord. Every knee will bow in Hollywood, Wall Street, Washington and Hell and proclaim that Jesus is Lord. Every dictator, every King, every President, every celebrity.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 23, 2009

Doctrine Does Matter


Many will ask  today why does doctrine and theology matter, isn’t it enough just to believe in Jesus. The answer to that question is a resounding no. Doctrine does matter and so does theology. The problem within the Charismatic and Word of Faith circles and even some churches is that any and all doctrine and theology is acceptable. I have heard many times how its unity in the Spirit which matters most. What matters is that this false unity  becomes the vehicle where most of the error is promulgated and distributed through false teachers of today such as Hagin, Copeland, Dollar etc. The Apostle Paul speaks plainly about this issue in his letter to Timothy. II Timothy 4 vs 3  & 4″ For the time will come when they will not endure sound Doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the Truth and shall be turned unto fables”.

Take for instance Word of Faith doctrine of Divine Health and healing of the believer. Health and healing according Hagin/ Copeland depend on the faith of the believer  and is always guaranteed 100% as long as the believer has the right amount of faith. It sounds good but does it work, absolutely not. And the reason it does not work 100% of the time is because the God of all creation is Sovereign. God still does and will heal, but not because we are some great faith supermen but because He is God and can do whatever He wants.

What Hagin/ Copeland are talking about is having faith in faith and not faith in the Lord Jesus  to accept His will for our lives. The true blessing in life comes going through difficulties with God as our Pilot, not by confessing that I have Divine health and no sickness will attack me. They elevate and deify man and demote God to some kind of an errand boy doing their bidding. This doctrine is truly blasphemous and heretical and leading many  into  deception.

I remember one time my friend had gall bladder problem, who is a Word of Faith believer, who would not see a doctor or even mention it at all that he was sick because he didn’t want to speak an illness into being. This another area where the Word of Faith doctrine is so far off from true Bible Christianity. For they quote one  verse from the Book of Proverbs 18 vs 21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they who love it shall eat the fruit thereof”;. Then they take the verse out of context twisting the scripture to create a doctrine. Suffice it to say a few months later he had his gall bladder removed because he couldn’t stand the pain. So much for positive confession, thats why doctrine and theology do matter because lives are in the balance.

Posted by: John Edwards | June 19, 2009

The Word of Faith and Sign Gifts

The Sign Gifts???

word of faithI grew up in the Baptist Church until I was 21 years old. Then I backslid for ten years and never went to church while I was in the Marines or when I was a Police Officer. Then in 1994 I started attending Word of Faith churches. I attended RHEMA Bible Training Center from 1996 to 1998 and sat under the teaching ministry of Kenneth Hagin. Then I pastored a Word of Faith church for ten years. I left the Word of Faith Movement and the pastorate in October of 2008. I am now hooked up with Seven Springs Church.

After almost two years of extensive study, I no longer believe that the Sign Gifts, that are listed in 1st Corinthians 12:7-10 are real in the Church today. I do not see any evidence of these gifts in the Church today. I believe they were intended for the Apostolic Age to confirm the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Apostles and Early church folks. To the Jews of the day, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was so radically different than the Law of Moses, that God had to confirm it through mighty and indisputable signs and wonders. That is the same way God always spoke to Israel. In the Exodus, in the days of the Prophets, and in the dawning of the Church, God displayed and confirmed His message with powerful signs. These are the only three times in History that God has done this. The rest of the time man has had to rest on the Word of God.

Lets look at these sign gifts for a few minutes and see if they do indeed operate in the Church today:

1) Word of Wisdom. In the Word of Faith, this means that someone gives you a precise bit of supernatural advanced knowledge about something in your life. Other denominations have different definitions of these gifts, but I am coming from a Word of Faith perspective. I cannot say that I have seen this operate in all honesty. Everyone that had a “word” for me missed it. And they always knew enough about my life to say things that rang true. I cannot ever remember a time where someone spoke a word to me that came to pass that had absolutely no knowledge of my life. Not once.

2. Word of Knowledge. This is when someone speaks about your past or current situation. Again, I cannot name one time where someone did this ,without having some knowledge of me. Every time someone has spoken a word to me they either knew me, or we knew someone in common. Many, many preachers pass information about church folks to each other.

3) Gift of Miracles. I have never seen a true Biblical miracle. I dont know of any person in the world that can do miracles. Im talking about raising someone from the dead, changing rocks into bread, parting the oceans, etc. Be real, no one is doing this stuff, although television is full of preachers lying about these things.

4) Gift of healings. I don’t know of a single person that has the Gift to heal anyone. That crap in Lake Land with Todd Bentley was a complete fraud. There is no evidence of anyone getting cured without medicine of serious diseases without doctors. Show me one single amputee that has been healed. Show me one single retarded person that has been healed. Show me one single deformed person that has been healed.

5) Gift of Faith. Has anyone been moving any mountains lately? I have never seen anyone move a mountain.

7) Tongues and interpretation of tongues. In the Bible, this is when people proclaimed the Gospel in known languages that were unknown to them. For instance, it would be like me speaking the Gospel in French having never known the language. I have never seen anyone do this to my knowledge. In fact, I have been to thousands of Word of Faith services, and I have never seen these gifts operate in a genuine way that cannot be explained away.
8) Gift of Prophesy. In the Word of Faith, this means to tell the future. I have heard tons of prophesies that were bogus and fell to the ground.

9) Gift of discernment. Ummmm, maybe this one is still active, but Word of Faith people don’t operate in it!

I do believe in the supernatural power of God. I believe that God can heal and that He answers prayers. I also believe that Familiar Spirits operate in the Church and deceive millions through bogus gifts. I can give a lot of testimonies and evidences that these “gifts” have been used to manipulate millions of sincere Christians.

Posted by: John Edwards | June 19, 2009

My Old Word Of Faith God

My Word Of Faith God

My Word of Faith God is quite different than the God that I serve now. No where close.

Our associate pastor, Brad, has been teaching on the attributes of God at his house on Wednesday nights. Everything that I am learning is different from what I was taught by Kenneth Hagin and other instructors at RHEMA Bible Training Center.

In one of my first classes at RHEMA, the instructor asked: “What does God look like?”. He then went on to read several passages from the Bible about the finger of God, the eyes of the Lord, the right arm of God and so on. The conclusion was that God looks like a man. That is exactly what the Mormons believe. “As were are, God once was, as God is, we shall be” is a favorite doctrinal saying of the Mormon Church. That is very similar to the Word of Faith God that has a human shaped body. Kenneth Hagin claimed that he saw the outline of God’s throne while he was on one of his trips to Heaven, but the Bible states that God is a spirit and that he is invisible. The Bible uses symbolism to communicate the mind of God to simple humans. Martin Luther said the Word of God is God’s baby talk to us.

In my Word of Faith experience, God was always limited to my ability to have faith. All of my answered prayers and blessings were all up to me to have faith and to make the right confessions. The reality was that my faith was no bigger than the next person’s faith. I still had fears and doubts. In other words, if everything was riding on me being able to “believe” God, then I was in trouble. Kenneth Hagin often quoted one of the Wesley’s as saying: “it seems as though God can do nothing less we ask Him”. We were taught everyday at RHEMA about faith. Faith was the key that unlocked the doors of God’s blessings.

We could have absolute protection by having faith in the 91st Psalm. WE could walk in Divine Health by believing the Word. We could live in prosperity by sowing seeds. Everything God could do for me rested in my ability to preform. My God was limited to my faith and to my confession. My God was powerless. My God was not Sovereign, He was always being hindered by my weak faith. My God was limited to my ability to have faith.

On Wednesday nights we focus on all of the Scriptures that express the attributes of God. One of my favorites is First Kings 8:27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee”. WOW! God is way bigger than some faith being limited to a human-like body. The entire universe cannot limit Him. In Psalms 103:19 says “The LOrd hath prepared His throne in the heavens, and His Kingdom ruleth over all”. God is not limited. God is not frustrated. God can not be diminished. God is Sovereign, which means that He CAN and DOES all things that He desires. He is not dependent on man for anything whatsoever.

The Word of Faith belittles God. The Word of Faith reduces Jesus and elevates man to a god. It is nothing but Humanism.

The God in the Bible is all powerful and Sovereign. God is in control, all of the time. By the way, Word of Faith teacher Kenneth Copeland has stated that God is six feet three inches tall and weighs two hundred pounds. Crazy teaching. That means that I weigh more than God does. So do many women. (:

Posted by: John Edwards | June 19, 2009

The Unbiblical Practices of the Word of Faith

Unbiblical Practices of the Word of Faith

WOFtshirtI was involved in the Word of Faith Movement for fourteen years and as a pastor for ten years. There are some things in the Word of Faith that are practiced virtually every Sunday which are not found in the Bible. Here are a couple of them:
1) Getting slain in the Spirit. In Word of Faith churches, this occurs when the pastor lays hands on the congregant and then the congregant falls backwards onto the floor as if they have been knocked out. This practice was never found in scripture or in church circles until a French hypnotist began to make his rounds in the 1800’s. There is no scriptural basis for falling out when getting touched by a preacher. It’s simply learned behavior and peer pressure. Besides, I have seen people get knocked out or shot and their whole body goes limp and falls into a heap. In Word of Faith churches, they fall slowly back to be caught by trained ushers. Preachers are famous for pushing to help the congregant fall under the power.
2) Women preachers. The New Testament forbids it no matter how you look at it. I used to try and spin this one away, but I always had trouble with those two scriptures that forbid women to speak in church or to have authority over men.
3) Holy Laughter. Again a practice that is nowhere to be found in the Bible. It is easy to produce in a crowd. Rodney Howard Browne has been using manipulation and peer pressure to cause crowds to laugh in the Spirit. I saw Hagin manipulate crowds to fall out in the Spirit and to start laughing. It’s really just a culture thing in the Word of Faith. Just like showman Benny Hinn throwing his suit coat at people to make them fall out.
The Word of Faith world is full of unbiblical practices. It has evolved it’s own culture. Peer pressure and manipulation abound. I was prophesied over by a “Prophet” one year ago for almost ten minutes. Nothing he said came to pass. In fact, everything opposite of what he said came to pass. Then to top it off, I found out last night that he had been in jail prior to the night he laid hands on me. The craziness in Word of Faith circles never stops!

Posted by: John Edwards | June 19, 2009

My New Church: Seven Springs Church Calera Alabama

Seven Springs Church Calera Alabama
I joined a Baptist church a few weeks ago. I’m still pinching myself. I would have never thought that I would end up being Baptist again, but after a fourteen year prison sentence with the Word of Faith Movement, it is the best place to get deprogrammed. I have been going since the first of the year. I have been there six months now.

I had been a victim of a system of spiritual abuse and bondage. Now I am free. It’s a lot like the feeling I had when I finished my four years with the Marine Corps. Relief. Joyful. Excitement. A fresh start. Here is how I found my new church:

I was at the Shelby County courthouse taking care of some personal business. Actually I was there to apply for the Sheriff’s job. I just happened to see the Shelby County Baptist Association across the street. So, I went inside of that place and asked them two simple questions. 1) Do you know of any pastors that actually give a rip about their people? (in case you haven’t noticed, many pastors don’t give a darn about their people)2)If so, is he Reformed? (That means that he believes in the Doctrines of Grace, or Calvinism) Well the fellow there gave me two numbers. One was for the pastor of Calera First Baptist, and the other was for the pastor at Seven Springs. I called both and left messages. The pastor from Seven Springs just happened to call back first. I have been with Seven Springs every since.
The Senior Pastor is Leonard Smith. The associate is Brad St. George. Both of them are outstanding pastors that care about people. Both are “REAL”, and both of them are excellent teachers of the Word.

They teach the Bible by the book, verse by verse. I have never been under this type of teaching. The sermons are not based on subjects, but on texts. I really enjoy the teachings, and they have really help me recover from the wrong teachings that I had been in for so long. No one judged me for having been in a cultic and false church for so many years.

My favorite time is called Community Group on Wednesday nites. We just sit around Brad’s house and he teaches on the attributes of God. It has totally renewed my mind of who God really is. You have to remember that the Word of Faith is very similar to New Age, Mormanism and Christian Science. It has taken me six months to get all of that crap out of my head. The staff has allowed me to ask all kinds of questions. They have been very good to me.

When my youngest son Brian was in ICU last month, just about the whole church came by to visit with us. It was a great encouragement. The whole staff came. That is rare in church these days. I appreciated it.

Our services are at the Calera Middle School on Sunday mornings at 10:30. The dress is very casual. I wear shorts and flip flops. The pastor wears jeans. It is a great atmosphere to be in every week. The praise and worship is contemporary. Sometimes they do the old hymns with a new beat. They even raise their hands and dance a little. That’s pretty good for Baptist!

Posted by: AK | June 19, 2009

Check out

theoscribes I and other bloggers have been grouped here. Check it out, there are some wonderful bloggers here you should read. And vote for the good ones!

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 19, 2009

Was Kenneth Hagin a Heretic?

Was Brother Hagin a Heretic?

kennth haginHeretic: one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine – Webster’s Dictionary

Kenneth E. Hagin, a.k.a. Brother Hagin clearly taught heretical messages. To any clear thinking individual, there is no question about that. His version of faith is very different than that found in Scripture and accepted and established by the church for thousands of years. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for questioning authority, but when authority gives an answer that makes sense, I back down. There is something we can take from tradition. Hagin’s faith teaching is full of error and New Age mysticism wrapped up in Scriptures twisted to fit his interpretation. Much of his theology is quite obviously unscriptural. Therefore, by definition, he was a heretic. But the question of his motives is a different one entirely. No one but God can see into Brother Hagin’s heart or mind and determine his motive for revising the established and accepted definition of faith. (Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.) I, for one, believe he had good intentions. I do not believe he had malicious intent when he started preaching his “faith”. But we all know what paves the road to hell…

It seems apparent to me, having seen and heard Brother Hagin hundreds of times and having sat through his classes at Rhema Bible Training Center, that he sincerely believed that what he was teaching was divine inspiration from God. His faith in his faith message appeared stalwart. But let’s be honest. Brother Hagin was a simple minded, inarticulate man, having no formal education or seminary training. He developed his teachings through his own personal experiences, supposed visitations from Jesus, and from reading (and, by the way, plagiarizing) E.W. Kenyon’s writings. Examining his teachings, “revelations” and “visitations” from Jesus in the light of Scripture finds them severely lacking in Biblical truth, sometimes even explicitly contrary to Scripture! Therefore, we do not have the option of believing he was receiving divine revelation from God. The unforeseen consequences of Brother Hagin’s dissemination of his extra-Biblical “revelations” via radio, TV and print are clearly on display today. Just turn on TBN. Hagin unknowingly created a monster. I believe he realized it late in his life. He wrote a book titled The Midas Touch, where he addressed the excesses and errors in the prosperity message being taught by major Word of Faith ministries. But he was too late. The ministers targeted, Leroy Thompson, Kenneth Copeland and others, refused to listen to their “father of faith”. If the Faith Movement had died with Brother Hagin, maybe there would be little reason to ask these questions. But unfortunately, it is alive and growing rapidly, reaching its tentacles into the furthest corners of the globe. Clearly, the mantle of the Word of Faith Movement has fallen squarely on the shoulders of Kenneth Copeland. Interestingly enough, on a side note, Brother Hagin’s son, Kenneth W. Hagin, Pastor of Rhema Bible Church, does not have the influence, resources, or the audience that Copeland has. Copeland was a self proclaimed disciple of Brother Hagin. Copeland has said that he used to listen to Brother Hagin’s messages over and over so many times with the intention of memorizing them, then he would literally preach them word for word to his own congregation. Copeland now goes even further in misinterpreting and twisting Scriptures and advancing absurd and ridiculous teachings, all under the banner of Jesus is Lord. The question I have is this: Why did Brother Hagin redefine faith, claim to be visited by Jesus, and establish a new sect of Pentecostalism? In essence, why did he do what he did all those years in his”ministry”? In light of the fact that we cannot believe that what he taught was divine revelation from God, we are faced with 3 alternatives.
1) Brother Hagin intentionally made up his “visitations” and “revelations”, and purposely mislead his flock by teaching ear tickling prosperity/health/wealth/name it claim it messages in order to garner a following who would give him loads of money,
2) Brother Hagin was deceived by Satan, listening to a spirit/spirits other than the Holy Spirit, or
3) Brother Hagin had some sort of mental disorder and was delusional, imagining encounters with Jesus, angels and Satan.

I haven’t a clue. God only knows. I have to learn to live with the fact that I may never know.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 18, 2009

Signs and Wonders or Deception and Apostasy


There  is no doubt we are living in the last  days which include perilous times where deception and apostasy rule the day.

Have you ever known someone that is more concerned with the next move of God or wave of the Spirit rather than reading , understanding, and applying the principles of God into their daily living. I do, there are numerous charismatic signs and wonders chasers being deceived in the Body  of Christ and in the Church today. I can compare it to a surfer trying to catch the ultimate wave, going from beach to beach in search of the ultimate wave but never finding it. The search for the next wave in Charismatic circles  has led believers down a path away from  Jesus instead of towards Him.

About a year ago a good friend mine and a supposed strong Christian came to our home Bible study and started telling everyone in attendance about this next move of God. He mentioned about how the Apostle/ Prophet movement will replace the Church and the Fivefold ministry will be restored and run the Church. That Miracles, Signs and Wonders will increase with major healing revivals all over the world. He was always big on personal prophecy, revivals, healing ministries, Word of Faith theology, and Angelic visitation.  Knowing that he was not grounded doctrinally, I passed it off as phase and didn’t think about it much. He also mentioned the Elijah List, Kim Clement, Bill Hamon , gold dust, teeth being filled with gold, angelic orbs and Todd Bentley.

Lets take a  look at all of the above mentioned; first of all the Elijah list and all of its false prophets including Kim Clement are so far off and New Age it is not funny. None of Kim Clement’s prophecies have ever come to pass and the people who are following him are being deceived and led into a state of apostasy. It’s not amazing to me that the false prophets of today have the audacity to speak lies in the name of the Lord because it happened before in the Old Testament in Isaiah and Jeremiah’s time. It’s amazing to me that people who should know the Bible even listen. The Elijah list promotes all of the big names in the Apostles/ Prophets movement such as Rick Joyner, Paul Cain, C. Peter Wagner,  Chuck Pierce, Bob Jones, Patrica King  and Stacey Campbell  all and I mean all are involved with this deception This Apostles/Prophets movement is so dangerous and harmful to the Body of Christ because they preach another gospel and another Jesus. It encompasses a mixture of New Age, Word of Faith, Hinduism, chanting, sorcery, divination, and throw in some Christian jargon for good measure.

Getting back to my friend, I began to explain to him that there will be no revival  in the last days but deception and  apostasy. I then pointed him to I Timothy 4 vs 1 & 2 which states ” Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the Faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of Devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron”.  This lead to a discussion about angelic visitations and  commanding angels, all of which he learned about years ago being involved with Word of Faith  false teaching. Once again he was deceived,we can’t as believers command any of Gods Angels around to do our bidding. God sends Angels when and where He sees it necessary to accomplish His work. For they are God’s messengers and listen to God alone (Hebrews 1 vs 14).He unfortunately he didn’t want to receive the Word the Lord wanted me to share with him. The last time I talked with him, he was on the Todd Bentley false revival train on his way to chasing more signs and wonders.

My Daughter’s Death

Jesus%20laughs%206My daughter Jennifer died nine years ago today from a brain tumor that we did not know that she had. At that time, our family was Word of Faith and we had just started a Word of Faith church a few weeks before. As a matter of fact, I had been right in the middle of a sermon series on healing when she died.

Jennifer had collapsed into a coma the day before. On the way to the hospital I was speaking the Word and trying to stay out of fear. In ICU, I tried everything on her that I had learned at RHEMA. I prayed, confessed, spoke the Word, believed I received, pleaded the Blood, made faith confessions, read the Word out loud over her, rebuked the devil, bound the devil, brought in faith healers, confessed my sins, got into agreement, had communion, prayed some more. Nothing worked. She passed during the night with me at her side. Then I tried to raise her from the dead.

I went home and got out my Bible and read every faith scripture in it that I could find. Yep, I had done everything that I had learned in the Word of Faith Movement and it all failed me. The message did not work. The formulas did not word. Confessing the Word did not work. Making faith confessions did not work.

My wife Coni quit being Word of Faith that day. She never agreed with my teaching from that point on, even though she supported me as a pastor. I’m not as smart as she is. It took me another eight years of beating my head against the wall to realize that I was totally screwed up in my theology and my relationship with God.

I now know that God is Sovereign in all that He does and all that He allows. I have learned that I cannot control my life and my future by speaking words. I now know that the power is in living the Word and not speaking it as a magical spell. I now know that God brought my Jennifer Home that day and that He had no further plans for her down here. I no longer beat myself up for not having enough faith. I now know that those faith scriptures that I had been speaking were primarily for the Apostles in establishing the Church. It is freeing. I am free.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 17, 2009

A NEW BIBLE STUDY (an Ex-Word of Faith Article)

Last night I attended a new Bible study at the First Baptist Church which I attend here in Naples FL. Most of the my previous studies have been in small groups. This one was different, this is huge about 350 people which broke up into small groups about 6 to a table.

The topic for study was knowing and doing the will of God. It was my first study with the new Church. The people were friendly,the fellowship great and the time of discussion at the table was thought provoking.

I found out that most of the people in my discussion group had similar experiences in life and all had wanted to control the circumstances of life. When you make Jesus Lord of your life, you make Him Lord over every aspect of your life, which includes goals,hopes, direction, career, even down to the minutest detail.

For most of my life I have learned lessons in life the hard way, now I want to learn about life through the Lord’s way. The study began with finding out the differences between Self Centered decision making and God Centered decision making. I know about making the wrong decisions in life for the results followed me around for many years.

The main point in the Bible study in short was in order to find out God’s Will for your life, you must know His Word. In other words study the Scripture as II Timothy 2 vs 15 says :”Study to show yourself approved before God, a workmen who needs not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of Truth”.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 17, 2009

Living with Stage IV Prostate Cancer

An update for this post is here

Living with Stage IV Prostate Cancer

The year is 2006 and it is a hot humid day in July. I was scheduled to get right shoulder surgery , the surgeon suggested that I go for blood tests first. An appointment was made with my primary care physician who said he would check my PSA level through a blood test. It was a few days after visit to the Doctor, and the news was not good about my latest PSA test  which was 80.5. A normal PSA level is between 0-4, an appointment was made immediately with a Urologist. He took another PSA test within a week and it came back at 90.5, which is a 10 point jump. A biopsy was scheduled and the results came back positive 11 at of the 12 specimens showed I had advanced stage metastatic prostate cancer. I remember when I heard the devastating news saying to my wife they must be wrong, they must be wrong, I don’t feel sick.

I remember crying out to the Lord and just plain crying why did this happen to me. I was an exercise fanatic, I ran in the NYC marathon and I am a strong Christian. In the beginning I was mad at God for allowing this disease to come into my life, but as treatment started the Lord showed me in the Bible where His Grace is sufficient for me. This one event became a life changer . First, knowing you have cancer humbles a person and I was humbled believe me. Secondly, my whole world was turned around and my view of life is now from a totally different perspective.

I would have taken the news about cancer a lot differently if I was still involved with Word of Faith. The first thing you are taught in the faith movement is to reject any sickness and create your own reality through denial. I remember one time that I kept repeating I will not receive any sickness thinking I could believe my way to health . Which is the essence of the faith movement believe and receive. Its all about my faith and me and not about God and His will for your life. Forget about going to a doctor, or you will be viewed as some kind of weakling. Looking back now I understand the flaws of the faith movement which founded on a mixture of New Age, Christian Science, and Christianity.

The treatment started immediately in July of 2006 which consisted of an injection of Lupron which lasted 3 months and Casodex pills. The drug lupron is an anti-androgen which stops the production of testosterone and arrests the spread of cancer and stops the growth of the tumors in the prostate gland. The side effects of lupron are numerous one of which is very intense hot flashes and impotency. Within the first 9 months of treatment and a lot of prayer my PSA level dropped from 90.5 to 0.4. I was so elated that the Lord looked down from Heaven and had mercy on me. It is now approaching 3 years and my PSA level is still low 0.35 and the bone scans show that no new metastases and I know that God has me here for a purpose and that is to share the Gospel of Jesus with a lost and dying world.

In 2 weeks I will have another PSA test to see if the cancer is on the move, or if I need to add Casodex back into the treatment. Dealing with prostate cancer in 3 month intervals is like riding a roller coaster. Every 3 months I get tested and receive a lupron shot, there is always that possibility that things can go wrong which makes for a time of raw emotion. Whatever the situation, I know that the Lord Jesus is my Strength, He is my Rock, He is my High Tower and that I will continue to Worship and serve the Lord Jesus all the rest of the days of my life.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 17, 2009

Salvation through Jesus

Salvation through Jesus

The Lord Jesus spared my life from self destruction at the young age of 19, like so many of wiseguys that grew up in the Bronx. I was on a one way path to hell until the Lord reached down and rescued me. I wanted to be that cool guy with all the girls hanging out at the corner candy store. Little did I know that Jesus had a different plan for my life and I am glad He did.

Back to my walk with the Lord. Salvation came to me in 1969 at the house of a Full Gospel Businessmen named Mike in Coos Bay Oregon. Yes, that is right from the Bronx NY to  Coos Bay Oregon. The journey began with a stay in my Aunt’s house in Salt Lake City Utah, then on to San Francisco,  and then to Oregon. Mike worked for a logging company and opened his house to troubled teens of whom I was one. My good friend Tommy from the Bronx was there as well other people from the Northeast, about 10 in number.

This one event changed my life forever and led me on a pathway of reading the Bible, learning about God and walking with Him every day. The Lord Jesus has been merciful to me all of my life and I give Him the Praise and Glory. My stay in Oregon was a short one,maybe a few months in which I learned about  about prayer and the Savior’s love for me through the four Gospels.

Upon my return home to the Bronx being a new Christian was really a challenging adventure. I was on fire for the Lord with zeal for lost and unsaved spreading the Word of God to all my friends and family, telling all who listen about Jesus. At that time there were not a lot of Bible believing Churches in the area and fellowship with believers was non existent. I hungered to gain knowledge of the Bible and fellowship with good Christian people. With that purpose in mind I set out to find a Bible believing  Church.

Then a friend told me of a Church group, the Way International and Victor Paul Weirwille who was the leader of the organization. Little did I know of  what I was about to get into. What a way to start out, I became involved in a cult, all the while thinking that it was a Christian Church, wow was I deceived.

I went to some meetings because of the hunger to gain knowledge in the Word of God. At each meeting more and more pressure was placed by the twig leader on those who attended to take the class. The indoctrination of the cult became very apparent and didn’t sit well with me.
Talk about shepherding, you could not make a move without approval of your twig leader. Then there was the insistence of taking their mind control course disguised as a Bible study class; in which those in attendance would become the next twig leader to get more converts to join the cult.

So that’s how it worked more converts to the cult equaled more money for headquarters to keep this false cult rolling. Through all of this the Lord protected my mind and gave me the strength to leave this cult and truly follow Him. Praise the Lord forever!!!!!!!!!

So what is happening in the Charismatic World? The year is 1984 my daughter was born and at that time I felt the Lord tugging at my heart. It was time to get serious in studying the Bible and re-commit my life back to Jesus. A 10 year period had elapsed since backsliding and running from the Lord Jesus had begun, but He knew where I was and how to get my attention. Which He did very easily, a broken foot in a cast, some time off from work, and a Bible was all the Lord Jesus needed to get my undivided attention.

As the broken foot healed my wife would always put a Bible by the chair that I would sit in, one day I opened it up and started to read. The Lord’s mercy is so gracious. His love  and forgiveness jumped out from the pages of the Bible and I knew the Holy Spirit was calling me back.

I found out many of my wife’s family were born-again Christians and so my entrance into the Charismatic World began. First there were my two terrific brother-in-laws in the Lord Gary and Rich who loved the Lord Jesus and started a home Bible study that developed into a large prayer group, and eventually into a public access TV show called Decisions. They were both very instrumental in pointing the way back to walking with the Lord .

Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship was thriving at that time in Connecticut and I was invited to a dinner. For the first time I was able to see men sharing their testimony about how Jesus changed their life and prospered their business. There were many outstanding Christians that I met through Full Gospel and love very dearly, people that love Jesus and have a servants heart. I will never forget all the people that helped during my family’s time of financial struggles. When a poor business decision on my part almost wiped us out financially.

The problem within Full Gospel became evident all too soon, that sound Biblical doctrine was not the cornerstone of the ministry, but spiritual experience was. When given the chance to share a popcorn testimony at a dinner. I was told not to sound too preachy at the podium because we wouldn’t want to give the first time attendees the wrong impression.

Wrong impression wait a minute, what the heck is going on here, the object of the dinner was to win the lost to Christ. How do you tell someone who is lost in sin that Jesus saved your life from destruction and hell without sounding too preachy. Give me a break please!!!!!!!!. After that episode let it be said that my assignment as speaker on the FGBFMI circuit was hastily curtailed. That was alright because I would rather obey God rather than man.

Once again questions began to surface in my mind about where did Jesus fit into all of this. The dinners were set up to win the lost to Christ but what it turned into was a platform for the next hot shot speaker to sell his tapes, books, or outlandish testimony of out of body experiences, of someone going either to hell or heaven.

Full Gospel in Connecticut had some of the wildest false prophets that came through town, on the other hand there were numerous authentic brothers in Christ who gave up their time to speak at the dinners and share their testimony of how Jesus changed their life.

I remember one dinner where I was sitting next to Paul Cain and not very impressed at all with this so called prophet. Little did I know that in the near future he would wreck havoc on the Body of Christ through the Kansas City Vineyards movement.

There were many more false prophets such as Cash Money, and John L who had the anointing of John the Baptist and Elijah. Another speaker on the circuit was Tommy Hawk who after finished his testimony of how Jesus saved his life went to the back of the dinner hall and began selling his latest product a protein drink.

Then at a table set up for all his tapes books and whatever else he could peddle, the question that kept coming to my mind was, where was Jesus in all this self promotion? Talk about making merchandise of God’s people this guy was a pro, it was like a feeding frenzy at a shark tank.

The FGBFMI organization had many flaw’s, one of which was when once a person got saved at a dinner. The new convert was not encouraged to attend a specific Bible believing local Church or join a Bible study . In other words if you were a Catholic and received Christ as your Savior, it was alright to go back into the Catholic Church to attend services. Now how could that be good for the spiritual growth for the new convert ? It was not conducive for spiritual growth at all.

The reason for this is that the FGBFMI was more concerned with the big tent idea of unity, where all denominations would fit in, thus leaving most doctrinal differences outside the door and never discussed. I didn’t realize it at the time but, the foundation was being laid for the Ecumenical and Charismatic Catholic movement to go through Full Gospel Businessmen’s Organization with the false vision of unity as its vehicle.

Posted by: rickyd09 | June 16, 2009

What is happening in the Charismatic World? Part1

What is happening in the Charismatic World? Part1

After much soul searching, researching, and prayer I have left the Charismatic movement, after being part of it for 24 years. I am now a member of First Baptist Church, in Naples Florida and love it. My search for answers on what was happening in the Charismatic world started last year as the Lakeland Revival began and Todd Bentley came on the scene.

I couldn’t believe how many Christians were being deceived by this false prophet and his false miracles. The more I read about Todd Bentley and the people surrounding him like C. Peter Wagner, Paul Cain, Rick Joyner, Bob Jones and the rest of the Vineyards fellowship. The more I understood this was another false revival like Brownsville and the Toronto Blessing.

So I started with Todd Bentley and worked backwards it became project of connect the dots in reverse.  My research  lead to an article by Let us Reason Ministries about Todd Bentley called ” Meet the new thing same as the old thing”. In it I found out about a conversation Bentley  had with Bob Jones who said he had the same visitation  of an angel that the latter rain false  healer William Branham of the 1940’s. Another piece of the puzzle came together when I came across a website In which a video clip by Justin Peters was presented about the Word of Faith  “A Call for Discernment”. This video clip spurred me on to continue with my research because I was just beginning to scratch the surface of the problem of what is happening in the Charismatic World.

The connection deepened as Rodney Howard Brown, laughing revival, Kenneth Hagins Word of Faith, Kenneth Copeland, Joels Army, Later rain, Manifest Sons of God, Apostles/ Prophets movement, the Charismatic and Emergent Church started to intersect and  had much in common. The light bulb  finally went off in my mind and the Holy Spirit confirmed what I was thinking all along. That what these groups had in common was not Biblicial Christianity, but Apostasy which the Apostle Paul writes about in II Timothy 3 vs 1-7.

About a year and half ago a good friend and brother in the Lord was telling me about the next move of God and there were going to be great signs and wonders  coming from this new anointing. He told me about the Elijah list and about the how God is going to use the Apostle’s and Prophets in these last days. For many years most of the teaching in Charismatic circles has been that there will be an end time revival before the Lord Jesus returns. So I looked in my Bible and read what it said which was the opposite there would be a great falling away not revival.

The year was 1987 and my introduction into the Charismatic Church world began. A Non Denominational Church called Bright Clouds Ministries was the place. This Church just so happened to be pastored by a new minister who just graduated from Rhema. My brother-in-law led the Praise and Worship music, and my indoctrination into the Word of Faith began. The strange thing about this Church was that the services were held in a old movie theater which used to show porno movies. The Pastor used to proclaim this fact as proof of victory that the church was reclaiming the territory back for God.

This was before adultery and divorce swept through the church eventually causing the Pastor to step down after being caught in an adulterous web.

In the beginning the Word of Faith teachings were exciting, learning how to tap into the so-called secrets of faith, prosperity, and healing. I bought every book and booklet that the word of faith bookstore was selling by the most popular faith teachers such as  Kenneth Hagin, EW Kenyon, Kenneth Copeland and TL Osborn. I felt with this knowledge I was on my way to a new life and experience with God .I bought into this false teaching hook, line, and sinker. Yes I was on my way to being deceived and didn’t know that trouble was right around the corner.

Posted by: | June 16, 2009

Unsound Atonement Theories

(A continuation of the series, A Pastoral Soteriology.)

Understanding that sin carries the penalty of death, separation and God’s extended wrath toward the sinner brings one to the natural yearning to understand the nature of the provision God has made for the restoration of man from this condition.  Obviously, this series is concerned with such illumination; God has made atonement available.  The details concerning God’s provision of atonement is both something so simple that a child can grasp it, yet so complicated than a man can spend his entire life attempting to systematize it fully.  The child can understand that “Jesus died for my sins,” yet the theologian may spend years trying to fully understand how exactly the provision of Christ was applied to the account of the sinner.

From this pursuit have been born numerous “theories” of atonement which attempt to answer these looming questions:  “What exactly what happened when Christ died on the cross for the sins of man?”  “What was the nature of his death?”  “How was his work applied to the account of the sinner?”  While the lack of answers to such questions do not hinder even the young child from receiving his gift of salvation by grace through faith, they are indeed questions which yearn for understanding from the mind of the redeemed and for which scripture devotes substantial insights toward their clarification.

This section will focus on a number of theories which have been postulated and put to theological testing through the millennia since the atoning work of Christ has been applied.

The Recapitulation Theory

One of the earliest theories was the Recapitulation Theory, proposed by Irenaeus (125-202 AD).  The primary scriptural basis for Irenaeus’ theory is exemplified in Romans 5.

Romans 5:18-21 (NIV)
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The essence of the Recapitulation Theory is that Jesus reclaimed (recapitulated) the perfect original human condition through his incarnation and successful living out of the human life without sin.  Properly recognizing that Adam’s sin brought death to all men, that sin was infused into all men after him and that all are separated from God because of it, he goes quite off course shortly thereafter.

Arguably, Irenaeus places the true “work” of the atonement in Jesus’ incarnation rather than in his crucifixion and resurrection, which is inescapably contrary to the message of the gospel found throughout the New Testament.  He notes that Jesus, being God incarnate, had brought his divine attributes to man by the mere action of having become human, as if God had infused righteousness back into humanity through the advent of the incarnation.  Jesus lived as a man through every state of life; yet without sin- therefore achieving a full and righteous life which the first Adam had failed to do.  In this view, Jesus, as the second Adam, “lived humanity” properly where Adam had failed, and thus restored man to God’s good graces.

This, however, is not at all what Romans 5 indicates.  Romans 5 indeed refers to Christ as the one man who made right that which the original man had corrupted, but in no way relegates the nature of that work to his mere incarnation or his righteous life; though both were certainly pertinent and necessary.

The problems with this theory are numerous.  Most noteworthy, this theory misses the true purpose of the incarnation; Christ’s death.

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

It was this substitutionary death which paid the demanded price for sin.  Yet, to Irenaeus, Jesus was more of a “do-over” for humanity, which does not meet the requirements God himself placed upon sin; that the guilty should perish, or have an acceptable blood sacrifice vicariously applied to his account.

There is a measure of merit to some observations of his theory, however.  It is true that Jesus brought life to man out of his own work.  It is true that he defeated the curse of original sin, that he lived a perfectly sinless life which is applied to the account of man and that his incarnation was of chief consequence.  However the application of his redemptive work is misappropriated.

Lastly, it should also be noted that the Recapitulation Theory seems to place man as man’s own enemy, rather than God.  It is as if man had messed himself up, but could be properly “adjusted” and then be right with God.  This theory understands that Jesus “corrected” mankind, yet makes no provision for God’s wrath for the sins which man had committed beforehand.  Even if Jesus had “infused” himself into man in the manner which Iranaeus notes, man’s former sin would have been left unpunished by the God who articulately proclaimed that sin would yield death – and his wrath- to all who partake in it.

As a model for understanding the nature of the atonement, the Recapitulation Theory is severely misguided and is deficient even in the few observations which are correctly articulated.

The Ransom Theory

The Ransom Theory was proposed by Origen (185-254 AD) and was the first widely held atonement theory.  While it is quite contrary to the Recapitulation Theory, it, too holds an exceptionally skewed view of the atonement, bordering on dualism in the opinion of the author.

The bases for the Ransom Theory are several passages which refer to Jesus’ sacrifice as a ransom, while certainly not fleshing out the specifics of such in the ways which Origen understood them.  Primarily, Mark 10 and 1 Corinthians 6 reveal the essence of the scriptural platform from which this theory has its foundation.

Mark 10:45 (NIV)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

A ransom, by definition, is the price paid for the release of a captive.  In a ransom scenario there are three necessary participants:  one who makes the demand, one who is held captive, and one who pays the demands for release.  According to Origen, these three are represented by Satan, man and God respectively.

This theory essentially claims that Adam and Eve had sold themselves to Satan by their sin at the fall of man.  As such, the crowning glory of God’s creation had now changed hands, and Satan subdued man.  Ostensibly, he “owned” man and God would have to bargain with Satan to reclaim man for himself.  Satan then presumably set the price for man’s release as that of the shed blood of Christ incarnate.  Jesus’ death, then, paid the fee to Satan, who promptly released man back into God’s hands.  Yet, Jesus’ resurrection made Satan a double loser, as death was unable to hold Christ under Satan’s control.

There are simply not enough words to proclaim how erroneous this theory was and is.

The primary issue is that of the purported Satanic “ownership” of man.  While it is true that mankind is noted in scripture to be under Satanic dominion in his sins, this does not equate to an ownership of man which must somehow be bartered for by God himself.  Rather, this dominion has to do with the lack of God’s protection of man from Satan’s power.  Satan, as an angelic being, is superior in power to any man for whom God does not protect. To that end, men are noted to “belong” to Satan in scripture and to be in his service; due to their lack of ability to resist him.  The book of Acts notes,

Acts 26:17-18 (NIV)
17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

The “power of Satan” which man is under does indeed relegate him to Satan’s service, but this is more akin to a weakling that succumbs to a bully than to a product which is owned by a legal right of sale.  Indeed,

Psalms 24:1 (NIV)
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;

Yet, the scripture does equate Christ’s atoning work as that of a ransom which has been paid.  The question must still be answered, “who, then, is he that makes demand of the price to be paid?”  The answer is, “God himself.”  God demanded the atonement, and God provided the atonement.  He had formerly pronounced his judgment upon sin,

Genesis 2:17 (NIV)
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Romans 2:8(NIV)
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

It is God himself who had determined the valid price for man’s sin.  That fee is death.  It is God’s own wrath which has separated man from himself.  The payment which Christ afforded – was death- and was paid to God as the One who demanded the ransom noted in Mark and 1 Corinthians.

Furthermore, the captivity from which man was ransomed was not Satanic control, but God’s penalty for sin.  It was sin which held man away from fellowship with God- not some wily scheme of Satan.  As Hebrews notes the very same ransom,

Hebrews 9:15 (NIV)
15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

The true nature of the ransom portrayed in scripture is that God paid his own price vicariously through Christ that man may be free from sin, which God’s righteousness and justice demanded the penalty of death for.

Romans 8:3 (NIV)
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering….

Origen’s ransom theory completely changed the nature of the atonement from something which satisfied the righteous requirements of God to something which paid off Satan – a fellow recipient of God’s wrath- for the restoration of mankind to God.  This attributes power and ownership to Satan which he simply does not have.  Indeed, Satan will himself endure God’s eternal judgment and be subjected to the very penalty of those who follow his example, as Jesus noted.

Matthew 25:41 (NIV)
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Sin is universal, as is its punishment.  All who have sinned – including Satan himself- are condemned to an eternal destructive death as God has sentenced.

It was God who was the recipient of the ransom Jesus paid.  It was God incarnate, in Christ, who paid the ransom.  The prison from which man was sprung was that of the condition and consequence of sin.  God is payer and payee, while man is the recipient of God’s grace.  Satan has absolutely no part of the transaction.

Sadly, there are many today who continue to develop and teach the false premise of the Ransom Theory.

It is a remake of the Ransom Theory which is the basis of the Word of Faith movement’s counterfeit gospel, claiming that Jesus was born a mere man, that he was born again spiritually, and that he served man’s sentence in Hell.  It is this theory which has led to a somewhat dualistic understanding of Satan; that he is somehow an equal and opposite god, who is to be appeased in his own right.  Proponents of this theory today continue to malign the true gospel of scripture by completely disregarding the application of God’s wrath upon Christ for sin.

There is no merit to the Ransom Theory of atonement as a valid representation of the truths of the gospel.  Many have argued that Origen never intended its understanding to lead to a dualistic view of Satan.  Yet, such conclusions are drawn from simply following Origen’s position to its logical conclusion.  The theory is simply unsound.

Back in January I made a radio show about the Word of Faith movement with ex-word of faith Pastor John Edwards of It was titled Special Topic: Are Word of faith believers Witches unaware? The “Prosperity Gospel” Economic Crisis? I was wanting to do a show showing that Word of Faith teachers are teaching witchcraft veiled in Christian terms. I ran across this video (Witches Unaware: Black Magic In The Church)  from Monica Dennington.

I used a 20 minute audio portion of the the video for the show. I contacted Monica and Gary Dennington to get their permission to use their radio clip since blogtalkradio is strict about everything being podsafe (legal).  After the radio show was over,, John did a post about the show from which we eventually started getting quite a few hits from. So many that I had to post this warning on the post.

An addendum to this post: We get quit a few hits to our site by people searching for the name Monica Dennington. IT SHOULD BE STATED that since this post was made Tic Toc Ministries, and Monica and Gary Dennington has become to be known by this blogs administrator to be a very dangerous group. Please beware of these people. They are very cult like. I have personal experience dealing with them and I have determined they should be avoided. So much so that as soon as I get time,, I will be doing some exposure work on Tic Toc and Monica and Gary. Damon Whitsell”

After we did the radio show. John visited the Denningtons sites and talked to them on the phone. And kept telling me that they wanted to talk to me also,,, but I was so swamped and not feeling well that I did not call them for two weeks. I had what I thought was a great talk with Gary. So I watched some more of their videos but was concerned about what I saw. Then John contacted me and said that the Dennintgons was asking us to move to Dallas,,,, to help them with their TV network and do some TV shows. I was really appalled that someone would ask two families to move to help them out. Two people who they really did not know. BUT still they asked two families to move. I immediately thought about how that was a very cult like thing to do. I would never ask anyone to move to help me with my ministry. BUT THEN AGAIN,,, it is clear to me that Monica feels she has a divine call to “clean up the body of Christ” to facilitate His return. How sad it is to believe that Jesus cannot return unless WE first clean his church (body) up. Like he cannot clean his own body. Did He not say there would be tares among the wheat and goats among the sheep?

I watched more videos of the Denningtons and became convinced that Monica is a false teacher that is  charismatic and regularly plays on all the charismatic stereotypes about non charismatics. I wanted to do a video refuting some of her teaching. especially the one called  The Key To God’s Secrets: A Message To Students And Teachers. In which she shows just how Anti-Intellectual and Anti-denominational she is. These are both two aspects that all cults share.

Before My concern turned to alarm,, I contacted Gary again because while I was not going to move anywhere, I thought maybe we could still do word of faith exposure TV together over the web. BUT I have had many bad experiences with charismatics and expressed my concerns to Gary that if I was to develop a working relationship with them, in some form or fashion, that I needed assurance that I would not receive the same kind of treatment from them or anyone in their group. Gary promised to contact me after the launch of their network (I had already told him I would not move but could maybe work together somehow),,, but he did not do so. In the video below,,, I read portions of my letter to the Denningtons expressing my concerns.

Most things in this article and video can be verified by John Edwards at

This video and article was made as a warning about Monica and Gary Dennington,,,, because I believe that they are aspiring to make Monica a cult of personality based around her alarmism and disdain for DENOMINATIONALISM. Please bookmark this blog and come back,,,,, as after I get through setting up a few self hosted wordpress blogs for this ministry,,, I pray I will be able to examine and refute some of the TICTOC cults false teachings.

Monica has embarked on a series of videos against Calvinism. AND WHILE I HAVE NEVER REFERRED TO MYSELF AS A CALVINIST,, I am very Calvinistic,,, but not a Calvinist. Simply because I do not believe in all the tenets of Calvinism,, especially hyper or 7 point Calvinism. BUT I am almost a Calvinist. So I thought I would include the video that I think is the best refute against her anti-Calvinist stance,, in which she calls for all non Calvinist to disown and disregard Calvinist as NOT REAL CHRISTIANS,, and therefore should be dis-fellowshiped from and considered “not a part of the real body of Christ”.

There is 4 things I would like to stick in your head after you read this.

1. Do not contact the Denningtons,,, they might ask you and your family to move.

2. Gary said twice,,,, that he would contact me back about my email,, and never did,,, nor did they respond to my subsequent responses.

3. Monica teaches salvation only comes to the obedient,, and yet does the scripture not say that lying is a sin? Then why did they twice lie to me? And can they be saved?

4. TIC TOC ministries is a dangerous group,,, that should be avoided because it is a cult in the making. Not only a sociological cult,, but also a false doctrinal based pseudo Christian Cult.

Damon Whitsell,

Manager, How2BecomeAChristian Apologetics Network

Part 2 Exposing the Tic Toc/FINAL WORD Cult: Others Experiences with the Denningtons


Here we have a non-Calvinist radio station who found Monica Dennington’s recent diatribe against Calvinism so ridiculous that they decided to review it and hold it to Scripture even though they don’t agree with Calvinism. I think Chris Rosebrough did a wonderful job even though we disagree on Calvinism. If you want a good refutation of Tic Toc Ministry’s video, I’m not sure if you’ll find much better. While you listen to this, be sure to keep in mind that this is a *non-Calvinist* reviewing Dennington’s video.

As I’ve pointed out earlier, here Ms. Dennington argues that arguing is wrong, presents her theological view with the intention that you agree with it that if we agree with another’s theological view, we’re committing idolatry, and says that division is wrong while encouraging her viewers to divide themselves from “this error of Calvinism.” etc.

(This video falls under section 107 of the Fair Use Law. You can find more about it here:…
If anyone has any notion that they’d like to have this removed based primarily on the claim of copyright infringement, be forewarned that I’m ready to fight it. This is clearly an example of material used for the purpose of critique which falls under section 107.)

Mrs. Dennington’s original video would be linked here if Fighting for the Faith did not review the entire video from start to finish.

Here’s the link to Pirate Christian Radio:

Fighting for the Faith:

Link to the show:…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 8, 2009

A Word of Faith LIE: Sickness is from Sin!

DANGER_3On my Main Blog I posted an article about Benny Hinn titled healing or mesmerism. I had to respond to a commentors claims that sickness is from sin. I gathered these scriptures as a responce to the claim that sin is from sickness. 


The bible says sickness can be TO and FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.

Joh 9:3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Joh 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.


1Ti 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

2Ti 4:20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

Php 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. Php 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. Php 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Gal 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

Gal 4:14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Gal 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

It is also clear from the first two Chapters of Job that God will allow infirmities to come to the believer as a test. He may even employ Satan to do so.

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?


1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Posted by: redeemedinchrist777 | June 8, 2009

Thornbushes in the Word of Faith


In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus said”Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Twice in six verses He says by their fruit you will recognize them.
Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22-23 :”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

But the verse above is not the only one on false-teachers. We are warned all over the New Testament to watch out for false teachers. Bad fruits are poisonous. They taste sweet and may even refresh you, but they eventually harm you. After two years as a Christian, I see clearly what is the result of false teachings. As I give you my thoughts and compare some teachings to the Holy Scriptures’ teachings, I would like to tell you that I do not wish to disparage or maliciously defame some teachers. The Bible does not tell us to be hostile toward false-teachers, but to watch out for them. In 1Peter 5:8, it is written ” Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour.” Now I don’t know about you but if I’m around a roaring lion seeking to devour me, I won’t go fight him but will tell my brothers where he is and what he is seeking to do.

When I was in Mexico as an unbeliever living with Christian missionaries, I bought this Mexican wrestling mask. One day, the father of the family, Peter, told me he didn’t like masks. In my secular frame of mind, I thought, oh loosen up a bit, there’s worst things than a mask. When I gave my life to Christ I realized what he meant: Satan is the king of masquerades. So false-teachers, deceived by the beast, do not come to you announcing their deceitful ways. They’ll infiltrate wherever there is flesh to devour to get what they want (which is usually money or any other source of power like fame, applause, and false-glory).

In 2Timothy4:3, Paul tells us: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” We are in this time. And the Word Of Faith movement is catching many people into its traps.

Last night I watched a documentary by Texe Marrs called The Blind And The Dead. Sometimes I’m weary of Texe Marrs, but I guess that will be material for another entry. In this video, however, Texe stands out of the way and just provides us with Bible verses and then long streams of footage from Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard-Browne, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, and a few others. He then leaves us to make our own conclusions.

I would like to go over some footage with you and tell you my thoughts. This exchange between Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne struck me as odd, to say the least:

This is why many people do not believe. This is not the Holy Spirit. I have no idea whether this is theatrics for money or demon-possession, but I suspect both. Jesus spoke the most beautiful words I have ever heard. The apostles were loving and tender, and they fervently defended the faith with words. Paul says in 1Timothy 4:1:”The Spirit clearly says in later times some will abandon the faith and follow things taught by demons.” Remember the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Do these men in this most unusual exchange show self-control and soundness of doctrine?

How can a Christian show such lunacy if he has the fear of God in him? My conscience rebukes me if I even think about uttering a bad word. Yet these “pastors”, whom the Bible says will be judged more severely because of the amount of people they reach, seem to have no qualms about acting the way they do in order to deceive many into giving them donations with prayer requests. I wish it wouldn’t be so, but I’m now convinced the deception is intentional. I pray that they repent from their ways because they seem to have been deceived by demons, as Paul says.

But what saddens me the most is that I know from experience these false-teachings can lead someone who is in need of Christ to almost-terminal (for nothing is impossible with God!) disbelief in Him. As a Christian teacher you must represent Jesus. Feed and care for His sheep. What these two characters do in this video and many other instances is unlike Christ or the apostles.

When I burnt-out in 1999, I began searching and I remember seeing televangelists of this kind speak on tv. While I needed Christ so badly, I did not believe a word these guys said because I could see right through them. Sadly, some of the words they uttered were Scripture.

I thank God for His Salvation. And I pray that some realize that the “Word Of Faith” movement blasphemes the name of Jesus. I hope false-teachers repent and read this verse from Titus 1:8-9: “Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

Posted by: John Edwards | June 8, 2009

” I Get Criticized By Experts” Kenneth Hagin

” I Get Criticized By Experts” Kenneth Hagin

I was in Kenneth Hagin’s classrooms at RHEMA for two years. I was ordained by him. He laid his hands on top of my head and said “Yep Yep” when he prayed for me. That is why my email address is The 1124 comes from Mark 11:24.
In addition to having been taught in person by Kenneth Hagin, I have also listened to hundreds of his sermons on tape and in person. I am an authority on the theology and culture of the Word of Faith Movement. I am an expert in the field.
Looking back on my days at RHEMA, one of Kenneth Hagin’s favorite expressions was ” I get criticized by experts”. Well there is good reason why.
1) It is common knowledge that he plagiarized massive amounts of EW Kenyon’s writings which were a mixture of New Age, Christian Science and the Bible. Kenneth Hagin denied having plagiarized Kenyon. He even told one investigator that he got those same words from the Spirit of God. That is called lying. If he lied about his plagiarism, he may have been lying about his eight visitations from Jesus.
2) It is also common knowledge that Kenneth Hagin had heart disease all of his life, yet he testified on hundreds of occasions that he walked in Divine health. Kenneth Hagin’s erroneous teachings on faith and healing, which never worked for him or his family, has brought millions of sick folks under condemnation.
In light of these two points, I cannot believe in any vision or spiritual experiences that he claimed to have had.
Kenneth Hagin taught extensively from his visions which have tremendous theological and scriptural holes in them. I have heard Kenneth Hagin make some of the most outlandish false statements that I have ever heard from a pulpit. His theology was rotten to the core. That is why he was constantly being criticized by experts. He needed to be criticized for his teachings. They are wrong and dangerous.
Posted by: redeemedinchrist777 | June 6, 2009

VIDEO: The Blind & The Dead (a Word of Faith Video)

Exposed!—Benny Hinn, Paul and Jan Crouch, Steve Brock, Steve Hill, John Avanzini, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Rodney Howard-Browne, and a host of other famous-name “Christian” televangelists and charismatic leaders. You’ll be shocked, stupefied, appalled, disgusted, and saddened all in one as you watch the outrageous antics of well-known Christian celebrities and their untold thousands of gullible followers.

You’ll shake your head in dismay as you see men barking like dogs and being led around on leashes; women howling like wolves and braying like donkeys; and profanity shouted from the pulpit. You’ll recoil in astonishment to discover supposed Christian leaders scoffing at Bible doctrine; a televangelist and his associates sharing an opium smoking pipe; possessed people slithering like serpents at crusades; and thousands of worshippers blasphemously speaking in false tongues and breaking out in roaring, hysterical laughter


Posted by: TWotWoF VIDEO ROW | June 4, 2009

Why I Give My Life to Preaching The REAL Gospel

While I am not a Presbyterian. I definantly call them my Brothers in Christ. I could be a presbetarian or reformed brother if I was not a dispensational pre-millennial -pre-tribber.

Qualities of the Word of Faith Movement

Here is an outline analysis of qualities exhibited by the Word of Faith Movement as a whole, which began with Kenneth E. Hagin and his Rhema Bible Training Center and are now being carried on by his son, Kenneth W. Hagin (Kenneth Hagin Jr.), Kenneth Copeland, Gloria Copeland, Joel Osteen, Jesse Duplantis, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar, Jerry Seville, Leroy Thompson, Mike Murdock, Todd Bently, etc. and many more lesser known preachers on a smaller scale. Of course, not all ministries and churches exhibit every one of the following qualities, but the movement as a whole has and continues to demonstrate many of these qualities. If you attend a Word of Faith or a Rhema affiliated church, carefully compare the following outline with your church, and see how many of these your church demonstrates.
  1. Generally, a Word of Faith church or ministry is unorthodox, esoteric, and has a devotion to a person or a set of new ideas.
    1. New Teaching – has a new theology and doctrine.
    2. Only True Teaching – often considers traditional religious systems to be apostate and it alone possesses the complete truth.
    3. Strong Leadership – often an individual or small but powerful leadership group holds control of the group’s teachings and practices.
    4. Asset Acquirement – often requires tithing.
    5. Isolationist – to facilitate control over the members physically, intellectually, financially, and emotionally. This is rare.
    6. Controlling – exercises control over the members. Sometimes through indoctrination.
    7. Indoctrination – possesses methods to reinforce the group’s beliefs and standards where opposing views are ridiculed and often misrepresented.
    8. Apocalyptic – to give the members a future focus and philosophical purpose in avoiding the apocalypse or being delivered through it.
    9. Experience – various practices including meditation, repetition of words and/or phrases, speaking in tongues for extended periods of time, and ‘spiritual’ enlightenment with God are used as confirmation of their truth.
      1. Depravation – sleep and food deprivation which weakens the will of the person. This is uncommon, though practiced by a few.
    10. Persecution – predictions of being persecuted, often combined with claiming any opposing views demonstrated against them as a form of persecution.
  2. Many have non-verifiable belief systems;
    1. For example, they would teach something that cannot be verified.
      1. That God, or angel appeared to the leader and gave him a revelation.
      2. The members are seeded angels from another world, etc.
    2. Often, the philosophy makes sense only if you adopt the full set of values and definitions that it teaches.
      1. With this kind of belief, truth becomes unverifiable, internalized, and easily manipulated through the philosophical systems of its inventor.
  3. The Leader of a Word of Faith Church or Minsitry
    1. Often charismatic and is considered very special for varying reasons:
      1. The leader has received special revelation from God.
      2. The leader claims to be a special messenger.
      3. The leader claims to be appointed by God for a mission.
      4. The leader claims to have special abilities or anointing from God.
    2. The leader is often above reproach and is not to be denied, questioned or contradicted.
  4. Group ethos
    1. Usually seeks to do good works.
    2. They are usually moral and possess a good standard of ethical teaching.
    3. The Bible is used.
      1. The Bible, when used, is many times distorted with private interpretations.
    1. Many Word of Faith ministries believe in Jesus as one of their own and redefine him accordingly.

These qualities are not only displayed by many Word of Faith churches and ministries, they are the very qualities that define a cult. Yes, a cult. Unfortunately, according to this outline, I can easily put the Word of Faith Movement, Rhema Bible Church, Rhema Bible Training Center and a good majority of the churches and ministries it has spawned under the heading “CULT”. This anaylitical outline of a cult is found HERE. Over the next few weeks, I hope to expound on these qualities one by one to demonstrate exactly how Word of Faith and Rhema in particular correlate with this list.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 4, 2009

The Positive Side of Spiritual Abuse: Building Strong Character

The Positive Side

The words in Romans 8:28 ring true to me today…..

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.”

God looks out for us, even when we have gone places He did not lead us. He helps us learn from our mistakes and turns bad situations around for our good. That’s what He has done for many people who have left controlling, abusive situations. Even though we haved walked through some very difficult moments, we can now look at the positive side.

Here are some strengths I have noticed that develop in people when they leave controlling churches:

*Greater compassion and empathy towards others

*Analytical thinking (You think deeply about core concerns. From this point forward you will exercise keen judgment and discernment so you will never find yourself in the same situation again.)

*Greater level of honesty and trustworthiness (You are so disgusted at the lies, fraud, dishonesty, and even criminality that went on, it makes you resolve yourself to live in a higher degree of honor and trustworthiness. You don’t want to be anything like your former leaders.)

*Social/community activism (You are so tired of looking inward and catering to the needs of selfish leaders, you become extremely enthusiastic about reaching out and serving others.)

*Fearlessness (You have given into a bully for so long, it’s time to stand up for yourself and take a new direction. You decide no one is going to control you or stand in your way! You also decide to step out and go after your dreams.)

*Gratitude (You are so glad to be free from the control, manipulation, and harsh judgment you were under, you become more thankful even for the little things in life.)

*Inquisitiveness and curiosity (You realize it’s okay to question anything!)

*Sense of direction and purpose



*Ability to show emotion

*Ability to be yourself

*Ability to find meaning in adversity

*Ability to cope with difficulties (After all that you experienced and dealt with in a controlling church, handling the normal strains of everyday life seem like nothing. If you have survived a controlling, abusive situation, you can survive just about anything!)

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 4, 2009

Does Word of Faith Recovery Ever End?

Does It Ever End

In the past seventeen months, since I have realized the truth about what had gone on, was going on, and is going on in my former church, my life has changed enormously. Once all the control, lies, deception, sin, greed, corruption, and crime began to surface and continued to surface, a very rude awakening began for me. Not only did I realize a pastor and his family that I had served faithfully and sacrificially, were nothing of who they portrayed themselves to be, I discovered that they would stop at nothing to perpetuate their family ministry no matter what level of degradation and sin they had fallen to and been involved in. Along with this stark realization came the earth shattering revelation of the vast number of loved ones in my life that had been used, abused, violated and scarred for life as a result of this ministry.

Since this realization of the atrocities that have gone on over the years has come to light, there is not one day that goes by that I do not think about all the loved ones that have been affected and the horror that they live with on a daily basis. I keep thinking that one day I will wake up and this will not fill my thoughts. I will admit that it has gotten better, however, that day has not arrived. Even now that the ones who committed the crimes have been arrested and it looks like justice will be served, for the victims, it will never end.

Since making the choice to stand up on the side of righteousness and refused to be controlled and ultimately leaving my former church, God has shown Himself stronger to me than He ever has in my entire walk with Him. He has brought me through day after day and blessed me so abundantly above and beyond anything I could have ever hoped or imagined in so many ways. Even in the midst of all the twisted and deranged things I have been told and all the questions I still have I have about how people like this can be allowed to commit such atrocities and continue to do so even after being exposed, I have made a conscious decision to move on with my life and focus on the wonderful blessings that God has put in my life and trust Him to somehow help me to one day live free of the constant thoughts of the nightmare I have seen my loved ones live through.

On that note, I want to say that there are wonderful churches out there that are truly consumed with a desire to actually minister the love of God in action to a lost and hurting world. There are churches where the pastor is interested in all people, not just the tithers. There are churches whose members don’t sever lifelong friendships because someone left the church. There are churches that address and handle correctly rampant sin in the church and church leadership instead of trying to cover it up, excuse it and lie about it.

I am currently attending a church that the main goal is to love people and minister the love of God to them regardless of where they go to church or if they tithe or not. The desire of this church is to minister to the community as a whole, and to love people with the true love of God. I thank Him for this opportunity to do something for the kingdom of God after so many wasted years in a church that did more harm to people than anything else.

No, I don’t know that it will ever end but I do know that there is hope, purpose, joy and happiness after the nightmare of a controlling, manipulative and abusive church. Thanks to the love, grace and mercy of an ever loving and faithful God!

Here is two comments from two more ex-word of faithers

JunkerJorge said…

Im am glad that you are out of that cultic situation and being deprogrammed.

GW said…

It’s only right that these events should loom so large in our thinking. We went to our former church because we were all spiritually hungry. For our sincere hunger and zeal to be used by someone as a means to turn a buck and exploit people is just plain evil. Our pastor said that he spoke for God and yet he acted like the devil. So really, it would be weird if we just suddenly got over it because of the gravity of it all. I wonder at what point a man truly becomes a “false prophet.”

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 4, 2009

Todd Bentley and Marjoe Gortner Compared

Just a couple of comparisons.

NOTE: Each of these short clips are excerpts from much longer ones. No clip is longer than 60 seconds, whereas the original broadcasts are in lengths of 30+ minutes. Nothing I have used was more than 20-25% of the original. Hence, this is perfectly legal under the Fair Use Act.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | June 4, 2009

The Falling Away

we are living in the days prophesied about in the days of old, the falling away is happening now.


Posted by: Damon Whitsell | May 26, 2009

How to Fake a Healing

How to Fake a Healing

“There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do–go through his clothes and look for loose change.” ~Miracle Max in The Princess Bride

Pentecostals often remain in Pentecostalism despite many misgivings for one simple reason: the healings. They may admit that many of the practices and teachings are unbiblical. They may confess that there is rampant abuse and manipulation. But they shake off the doubts because they have seen so many supernatural events–people stand up out of wheelchairs, back pain healed, etc. And so they wonder, “If this is really so bad, why are so many people being healed? Isn’t it all worth it if sick people are being restored to health?”

However, Pentecostal church services are all about showmanship and appearance. It is surprisingly easy to fake healings, even to hold entire healing services in which people appear to be ‘healed’ all over the church and yet no one is really cured. How is this accomplished? The trick is usually, as Miracle Max said in the quote above, to focus on problems which can be resolved some way other than strictly supernaturally, to learn to ‘heal’ those who are only partly ill or can be made to seem well when they are not.

Let’s examine some of the most common ‘healing’ tricks in the Pentecostal experience:

(a) Bigfoot Sightings. Perhaps the largest category of fake healings is what I call “Bigfoot Sightings”, because, like the mythical Bigfoot, all that is known about these healings is that somebody else swears that they saw them and that they are real.

Most often, it is the pastor or a visiting evangelist who relates stories of healings that occurred somewhere else. When these ‘healings’ are described in great detail to excited crowds, people tend to forget that they never actually witnessed the event and have no reason to believe that it actually occurred. In the retelling of the story, people often relate the healing as though they witnessed it themselves. It is only upon careful questioning that the truth emerges: nobody actually saw this one; it was just a story told to the group by some convincing-sounding guy with a microphone.

EXAMPLE: Evangelist/ missionary David Hogan often uses this technique. Every time he speaks to groups, he claims to have raised 400+ people from the dead and performed many amazing miracles. Although he relates many incredible stories, he never actually performs miracles at his meetings . . . he just talks about all the miracles that he supposedly performed somewhere else.

Hogan’s fans often describe him as a great man of God who heals the sick and raises the dead. When directly asked, however, they admit that they have never actually seen Hogan do any miracles. The only reason they have to believe that Hogan has ever performed any miracles is that Hogan himself claims that he has.

(b) “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Occasionally, ‘healings’ are fakes, plain and simple. Many evangelists believe that seeing people apparently get healed raises the level of faith of the parishioners and so opens the door for real healings. They use this as an excuse to orchestrate healing shows that are planned in advance simply to shock and amaze the crowd.

EXAMPLE: It is difficult to say how often this technique is used, because evangelists who employ it are usually quite careful to cover their tracks. However, occasionally, scandals open up that allow a glimpse inside such misdealings. One of the best known examples of the intentional and calculated use of fake healings involved cult leader Jim Jones. Jones began his ill-fated career as a Pentecostal revivalist and healer. One of his favorite techniques involved healing people of ‘cancer’ by apparently removing chunks of foul-smelling material from their bodies that he claimed were the cancerous tissues. People’s Temple insiders later confessed that the ‘cancers’ were actually rotten chicken livers, produced at the appropriate time during the church service with a little slight-of-hand.

(c) MOSTLY disabled or ALL disabled? One of the most obvious and most popular techniques used by faith healers is based upon a popular misunderstanding of disabilities. When someone is in a wheelchair, people tend to assume that the person cannot walk AT ALL. This is rarely the case. Most people in wheelchairs can stand and even walk a little, just not far and not well. Likewise, when a person is said to be blind or deaf, people tend to assume that the person cannot see or hear AT ALL. Again, this is rarely the case. Most blind people can see a little, just not very well, and most people who are ‘deaf’ are really only partially deaf.

This explains why many ‘miracles’ that occur in faith-healing services appear to be only partial healings. A healer may tell someone in a wheelchair to stand and walk. The person shakily stands and limps painfully across the stage. The crowd cheers, because they think that this is amazing progress and that the person is on his or her way to a full recovery. But, in fact, it may be no improvement at all. Likewise, many healers will test a healing of a blind person by holding up a handkerchief and asking the person to grab it. When the blind person is able to take hold of the handkerchief, the crowd is amazed, not realizing that there is nothing remarkable about a partly blind person being able to see a large white object held only inches from his or her face.

EXAMPLE: This is one of the most common healing techniques and is used by many, many faith healers. One of the best known examples is Peter Popoff, who used a few trusted collegues to scout for healing candidates among the crowds that came to his healing services. Popoff’s scouts always asked people in wheelchairs if they could walk a little or not at all. Any that could walk a little were called up to the front for ‘healing’ during the subsequent service. The technique was exposed by skeptic James Randi who placed actors in the audience to claim that they had disabilities. Randi’s actors were interviewed by Popoff’s scouts, and the information transmitted to Popoff via a radio transmitter. Randi intercepted and recorded the transmissions, which fed Popoff information on various audience members, including which of them would make good ‘healing’ candidates.

(d) The Placebo Effect. Many so-called ‘healings’ are extremely subjective. People are most often ‘healed’ of rather vague conditions that are not visible, such as chronic back pain. A person who suffers from this condition may get caught up in the excitement of the healing service and may even experience a lesser degree of pain for a while, due to his or her earnest desire to be healed which can, for a while, lead them to believe that a healing has taken place. However, often the pain returns shortly after the healing service ends.

EXAMPLE: The HBO documentary “Question of a Miracle” follows several people who were supposedly healed by Benny Hinn. (As it turned out, none of them actually were healed). One of these cases involved a man who suffered from severe pain in his hip joints and needed surgical intervention. The man claimed that during the healing service he was totally healed and freed from pain. He even demonstrated this by doing exercises on-stage at Hinn’s direction–squatting, bending, etc, all while claiming to feel no pain at all. However, the pain returned shortly after the healing service ended, and the man still suffers the exact same condition and still needs surgery.

(e) The Rain Dance. A surprising number of ‘healings’ are actually simply a matter of people taking credit for natural events, as though they were supernatural phenomena. I cannot even count the number of times I have heard people claim to be healed of the common cold. And yet, recovering from a cold is something that everyone does dozens of times in their lifetime–there is nothing supernatural about a recovery (even a speedy recovery) from such a condition. Similarly, many cancer ‘healings’ are actually the result of extensive medical treatment that has resulted in remission.

Sometimes health situations are somewhat more complex and yet just as likely to result in spontaneous improvement or medically-assisted recovery. Some heart conditions that occur in childhood usually do spontaneously improve, some neurological or muscular conditions can make sudden and remarkable improvement, especially with medical treatment and/or physical therapy. But this is often overlooked by Pentecostal crowds eager for a good healing story.

In all my years as a Pentecostal, as many healing stories as I heard, I never heard of one case of someone being healed of Down Syndrome. In fact, in my experience, Pentecostals never even pray for healing for someone with Down Syndrome, and so, by avoiding these cases, they tacitly acknowledge that they did not really think it likely that someone with a truly PERMANENT condition would be “healed”.

EXAMPLE: I used this technique many times myself. Specifically, I recall giving testimony (at various times in my Pentecostal life) that I had been healed of a sprained wrist, a headache, a backache, and several other mundane conditions. In retrospect, I have to admit that these were faked. Although I did not intend to fake, I wanted to see healings to badly that I started claiming that every recovery was a ‘healing’. For example, when I suffered a very slight wrist sprain while roller skating, I prayed that God would heal my wrist. When, the next morning, the wrist stopped hurting, I claimed that it had been healed.

We do well to look at ALL Pentecostal and Charismatic healing claims through highly skeptical eyes. Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders have a compelling reason to lie and exaggerate their ‘healing’ claims: miracle stories gather followers and increase financial support. Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are full of desperate people who want to see miracles and who are eager to believe every wild tale and to interpret every event supernaturally.

Ask difficult questions. Demand difficult healings. If Benny Hinn, David Hogan, or any other ‘faith healer’ can really call down the power of God to heal a backache . . . well, they should be able to heal Down Syndrome, regrow amputated limbs, etc. And let’s not take their word for it . . . let’s have it on videotape so that everyone can see and marvel. If the faith healers can’t do this . . . well, it’s time we ask ourselves why.

(Article by Caroline Weerstra)

Posted by: John Edwards | May 26, 2009

All About Wofers (Word Of Faith Folks)

All About Wofers (Word Of Faith Folks)

I will use the term “Wofers” to describe Word of Faith teachers and members.
Wofers are some of the most superstitious folks that you will ever meet. They are full of fear and very legalistic. That is because they have been brainwashed to believe that every word that they speak will come to pass just as they have spoken it. Wofers believe that they can create with their words. We all know that words can influence, but only God can create something out of nothing. Wofers are paranoid about their confession. If they would just calm down and open their eyes, they would notice that even people with a negative confession get blessed, and that Wofers experience everything that other people experience. Most every famous Word of Faith preacher died of cancer or heart disease. They had faith and died sick.
Wofers believe that physical healing is in the Atonement and confess 1st Peter 2:24 for healing when they are sick. Of course they are taking this scripture out of its context just like they do the rest of the Bible. If healing were in the Atonement, then everyone would be instantly healed at the moment of salvation. Wofers are just as sick as Baptist, but they are too blind with faith and spiritual pride to notice. I used to get an RHEMA alumni magazine every so often and I was always shocked at how many RHEMA grads had died since the last issue. We were supposed to be faith giants.
Wofers are fixated on material blessings. You cannot listen to a Wofer very long before they start talking about money, wealth and prosperity. The Wofer teachers on television, such as Michael Murdock rarely teach about anything else. Its all about the money. When I was a Wofer, one of my favorite Wofer teachers was Mark Hankins. He only preaches on three subjects: Prosperity, confession, and In Christ scriptures. He has hundreds of sermon titles, but only three sermons. His teaching on Who we are in Christ is so extreme that it hints at Humanism. It glorifies man and elvates him to the level of God. That is another problem with Wofers. Everything in the Word of Faith Movement revolves around mankind and his blessings. This is because EW Kenyon, the founder of the Movement, was a New Age enthusiast. His writings are full of Christian Science and New Age catch phrases. Kenneth Hagin plagiarized much of Kenyon’s work, therefore the entire Word of Faith Movement is New Age.
Wofers love to attend prosperity seminars. There they are told that if they sow money into the good ground of a successful ministry, that God will make them rich. I once saw a woman at Camp Meeting in Tulsa running Glory laps while holding a sign with money taped all over it. When I was at RHEMA, we would do the “Money Cometh” cheer at offering time. It was sickening to me even then.
Wofers also pray to angels. They were taught to by Kenneth Hagin. He taught that we should tell our angles to go forth and cause our money to come in. Sounds New Age to me!
Wofers are very gullible people. They fall for almost anything that a faith teacher says or does. Just think of the thousands of Wofers that were duped by Todd Bentley in his false revival in Lake Land last year. Bentley was doing so many things that cannot be found in the Bible, but did the Wofers care? Heck no, anything goes. Holy Laughter is not in the Bible, laying on hands to fall out in the Spirit is not in the Bible, sowing money seeds for healing is not in the Bible, but Wofers will fight you over these false doctrines.
Wofers will believe and receive anything said or claimed by the popular faith teachers. Kenneth Hagin taught extensively from his visions. So does Jesse Duplantis and others. Even though the Bible clearly warns about this, Wofers buy into the teaching hook, line and sinker.
Wofers are also very selective in their Bible reading. They only high light the healing and prosperity scriptures. They don’t read other parts of the Bible, cause the Whole of the Bible doesn’t support the Word of Faith teaching. If you really want to get a good long laugh, ask a Wofer to explain the Book of Job to ya. Get ready to roll your pants legs up on this one, cause the crap is going to get deep! More later, much, much more!
Posted by: John Edwards | May 26, 2009

The Flawed Foundation Of Word Of Faith Theology Part 2

The Flawed Foundation Of Word Of Faith Theology Part 2

Word of Faith teachers do not believe that God is Sovereign. Word of Faith theology is is comprised of elements from Christian Science, New Age, Eastern Mysticism, Witchcraft, and the Bible. The Word of Faith definition of the Sovereignty of God is quiet the opposite of the definition used by traditional and orthodox Christianity. Word of Faith teaches that God is able to do anything, but that He is bound by fixed spiritual laws that He created. He is also hampered and hindered in His plans by mankind’s disobedience. In the Word of Faith theology, man is in complete dominion of the earth and God is limited by man’s faith and obedience. One of Kenneth Hagin’s favorite quotes was from John Wesley who said that “It seems that God is unable to do anything lest we ask Him”. Kenneth Hagin often commented that if God was in control, then He sure had made a mess of things. In Word of Faith theology, man rules the world and his life by his faith and his words. Word of Faith teaches that man’s words can create. They believe that man rules through his words, and that your circumstances are like they are because of the words that you have spoken.
In Word of Faith theology, God can do nothing unless man does something. They do not believe that God is in control. Everything negative in life is because of Satan or because of words that were spoken in fear and unbelief. The truth is that our words can influence, but they cannot create. Only God can create. Man cannot create something from nothing. Only God can do that.
In the Word of Faith theology God is depending on man and reacting to man’s decisions. God is hindered and hampered and frustrated.
All of this is bad theology and Humanism. It puts man in charge and attempts to reduce God into a humanistic world view.
The Bible teaches clearly from Genesis to Revelations that God is unlimited in power and that God is always in complete control of every atom and action in the universe. God is not frustrated and He is not limited. The true definition of Sovereignty is that God CAN and DOES as He wants. He is never ever dependent on man for anything period. He is God. He is not hindered and His purposes always come to pass precisely as He wills.
The Word of Faith is Humanism. Plain and simple. Much More Later.
Posted by: TWotWoF VIDEO ROW | May 26, 2009

Marjoe Gortner: Proof that some Christians will fall for anything

Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner, generally known as Marjoe Gortner (born January 14, 1944 (1944-01-14) (age 65) in Long Beach, California), is a former revivalist who first gained a certain fame in the late 1940s and early to mid 1950s when he became the youngest ordained preacher at the age of four, and then outright notoriety in the 1970s when he starred in an Oscar-winning, behind-the-scenes documentary about the lucrative business of Pentecostal preaching. The name “Marjoe” is a portmanteau of the names “Mary” and “Joseph“.

When Marjoe was three, his father, a third generation minister, noticed his son’s talent for mimicry and overall fearlessness of strangers and public settings. His parents claimed Marjoe had received a vision from God during a bath and began training him to deliver sermons, complete with dramatic gestures and emphatic lunges. By the time Marjoe was four, his parents arranged for him to perform a marriage ceremony for a film crew from Paramount studios, referring to him as “the youngest ordained minister in history.” Like much in Marjoe’s early life it is hard to say for sure who exactly ordained him, if his father ordained him, or if he was even ordained at all.

Until the time he was a teenager, Marjoe and his parents traveled the United States, holding revival meetings. As well as teaching him scriptural passages, Marjoe’s parents also taught him several money-making tactics, involving the sale of supposedly “holy” articles at revivals which promised to heal the sick and dying. By the time Marjoe was sixteen, he later estimated, his family had amassed maybe three million dollars; shortly after his sixteenth birthday, Marjoe’s father absconded with the money, and a disillusioned Marjoe left his mother for San Francisco, where he was taken in by and became the lover of an older woman. Marjoe spent the remainder of his teenage years as an itinerant hippie until his early twenties, when, hard pressed for money, he decided to put his old skills to work and re-emerged on the circuit with a charismatic stage-show modeled after those of contemporary rockers, most notably Mick Jagger. Marjoe made enough to take six months off every year, during which he returned to California, surviving on the previous six months’ earnings.

In the late 1960s, Marjoe suffered a crisis of conscience — in particular about the threats of damnation he felt compelled to weave into his sermons — and resolved to make one final tour, this time on film. Under the pretense of making a documentary detailing a viable ministry, Marjoe assembled a documentary film crew to follow him around revival meetings in California, Texas, and Michigan during 1971. Unbeknownst to everyone else involved — including, at one point, his father — Marjoe gave “backstage” interviews to the filmmakers in between sermons and revivals, explaining intimate details of how he and other ministers operated. After sermons, the filmmakers were invited back to Marjoe’s hotel room to tape him counting the money he collected during the day. The resulting film, Marjoe, won the 1972 Academy Award for best documentary.

After leaving the revival circuit, Gortner then attempted to break into both Hollywood and the recording industry. He cut an LP with Columbia Records, entitled “Bad, but not Evil” (Gortner’s description of himself in the documentary), which met with poor sales and reviews. Gortner began his acting career with a featured role in The Marcus-Nelson Murders, the 1973 pilot for the Kojak tv-series. The following year saw him featured in the disaster film Earthquake as a psychotic National Guardsman, and in the television movie Pray for the Wildcats. Oui magazine hired Gortner to cover Millennium ’73, a November 1973 festival headlined by Guru Maharaj Ji who was sometimes called a “boy guru”.[1]

During the late 1970s, Marjoe attempted to self-finance another film, this time a pseudo-fictional drama about an evangelist con-man and based in part on his real-life experiences. The film began shooting in New Orleans, Louisiana, but went bankrupt less than six weeks into production. The film was never completed.

Gortner was married briefly to Candy Clark, from 1978 to December 14, 1979.[2]

Gortner’s most memorable film performance was as the psychopathic, hostage-taking drug dealer in Milton Katselas‘s 1979 screen adaptation of Mark Medoff‘s play When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder?, also starring Peter Firth, Lee Grant, and Hal Linden. He also starred in several B-movies such as the television film The Gun and The Pulpit (1974) {also released onto home video as The Gun and the Cross}, The Food Of The Gods (1976), and Starcrash (1978). He appeared frequently on the 1980s Circus of the Stars specials. He hosted an early-1980s reality TV series called Speak Up, America and appeared on Falcon Crest as corrupt psychic-medium “Vince Karlotti” (1986-87) before ending his movie career in 1995 with an appearance in the western Wild Bill in which he played a preacher.

Today he sponsors charity golf tournaments and other events, as well as working as a public speaker.


word of faith


From Faith in Faith to Faith in Christ

By: Peter Glover

Mark Haville’s is an extraordinary story. Converted into the Pentecostal/Charismatic church he quickly came under the spell of the Word-Faith teaching of men like Kenneth Copeland. But things did not stay that way for Mark… Still in his mid-20’s, Mark became an itinerant minister travelling the country earning large sums of money through his ability to perform ‘signs and wonders’. Remarkably, he has renounced his former life, his beliefs, and his practices as a Word-Faith minister and is now speaking out boldly against the beliefs and practices of the current Signs and Wonders movement. (Note: In the text ‘EN’ refers to Evangelicals Now, and ‘MH’ refers to Mark Haville. ‘PG’ is Peter Glover)

EN: “How did you first get involved with Word Faith teaching?”

MH: I was given lots of tapes and books by Kenneth Copeland which everyone was into at my church in North London. I believed that my Christian experience could validate my faith. It convinced me that what I was in was real. I was impressed by the numbers involved, their interest in the media, publications, the money and the general trappings of success – it bred the belief in me that biggest must be best.

EN: “What was the most appealing aspect of Word Faith teaching for you?”

MH: The Word Faith movement offered me power, what I believed to be a convincing testimony to the reality of God. It gave me support because I could show ‘things’ by preaching and performing. I was given numerous videos, audios and literature. All that I was given appeared glossy and successful.

EN: “How did you use what you saw in this material?”

MH: Basically, I copied it. I learned gradually to do what all these speakers like Copeland, Cerullo, Benny Hinn and others do. They manipulate audiences and individuals simply by the power of suggestion. They call the result ‘signs and wonders’. They are deluded. Gradually, I too had learned the process of controlling meetings and inducing hypnotic techniques through suggestion in churches. I did many of the so-called signs and wonders.

(PG: I was shown a video of a meeting held at a Pentecostal fellowship in Leeds being run by Mark. He explained the staged process of audience manipulation as things progressed. After a long period of singing what Mark described as ‘relaxing’ Spirit-focused songs, he appeared to be able to blow individuals over at will. They then remained on the ground for long periods – what is commonly termed ‘slaying in the spirit’).


EN: “You maintain then that you were able to induce an atmosphere that was conducive to hypnotic suggestion?”

MH: Absolutely. The techniques are no different to those used by any practising hypnotist. First, the people in these meetings are already coming with high expectancy – they want it to be God. Second, you need to create the right atmosphere – hence the long periods of singing certain types of songs to make people feel relaxed and warm.

EN: “What kind of praise and worship?”

MH: It is very important to use songs and words that are focused on the Holy Spirit. This creates a far more mystical atmosphere. Songs full of Christian or Biblical doctrine work against people suspending their critical faculties. The effect is to create a mindlessness that will open your audience up to suggestion. Most people have no idea just how powerful suggestion can be. Let me add that all this is not necessarily done wilfully by leaders. This is something many of them have stumbled upon. It works, so they do it and call it “the Holy Spirit”.

EN: “Will it affect everyone at the meeting?”

MH: No, not at all. If you do not believe that it is God that is doing these things in the meeting, there is no way you will fall down. But remember, I am the one running the show. Just like any good hypnotist, I will be ‘working’ the audience. I can tell which ones are the more suggestive by asking certain questions. I can then bring people forward, having gotten them into a very relaxed and accepting state. You have to remember, people who come really want to believe that God is at work. By telling them to stand in a particular place I am strongly influencing their belief that by standing where I have told them – on that exact spot – something is going to happen. By telling them someone will stand behind them, because we wouldn’t want them to get hurt if they fall, it is all heightening the sense of anticipation and suggestiveness. The rest is easy.

EN: “You seemed to find it difficult to watch yourself on screen.”

MH: Yes, I find it very hard knowing how I unconsciously deceived good people into believing that the Holy Spirit was at work when it was common or garden hypnosis. But at the time I suppose I did believe, however incorrectly, that these things were the activity of God. But the reality is, I learned these techniques by watching others, and anybody can do them given enough training. They are psychological techniques – nothing else.

EN: “What caused you to look again at what you were doing and believed?”

MH: In a nutshell – the Scriptures themselves. I decided that I wanted to learn the Scriptures in the original Greek and I began to realise that what I believed didn’t match up with what the Scriptures actually taught.


EN: “For instance?”

MH: In 1 Corinthians it didn’t say we would be given spiritual gifts on demand, but as God wills. I had always been taught that, with enough faith, if you were ‘anointed’ and prayed enough, you would manifest the relevant gifts. I could see that God really didn’t work that way. I could see that my fellow Bible students didn’t change for all their ‘anointing’. I witnessed the lack of basic integrity in fellow students and in my church. The church was in great debt and yet money was spent on unnecessary things like an electronic song board. We owed £200,000! And there were factions in the church. None of it added up. It didn’t fit at all with the health and wealth gospel we had been taught and which we preached. So I left.

EN: “And then?”

MH: Somebody gave me some videos teaching the Jewish exegetical method of learning. These methods would have been employed by the apostles. It really started to give me a much more critical mind. It caused me to ask more questions highlighting more and more areas that were very wrong. My faith started to re-focus again on Jesus and not the ‘outworkings’ such as praying in tongues or signs and wonders.

EN: “At this stage did you think of looking for an appropriate church?”

MH: Just before leaving I had already started the National Prayer Network evangelistic enterprise, producing teaching tapes and evangelistic videos. My energies went into that. Out of that came a group of people who started meeting together as a small church.


EN: “What is your view about what is happening on the British church scene today?”

MH: We’re seeing an increase of Word Faith/health and wealth preaching and teaching. It is weakening the witness of the body of Christ by compromising to a world view. It gauges spirituality by success. The most dangerous thing is they are undermining true Christian faith which is based on God’s word alone. As Luther said, “My heart is captive to the word of God.”

EN: “What do you see as the hallmarks of this kind of ‘Christian’ belief?”

MH: Revelry, riotous behaviour, sensual Christianity.

EN: “And the more practical effects?”

MH: It re-directs funds away from legitimate gospel evangelism and real social needs, the orphans and widows and such. Its leaders earn exorbitant amounts of money – where the Bible teaches leaders shouldn’t reap dividends. If you can perform signs and wonders you can earn vast amounts of money. It was not unknown for me to be ‘gifted’ £400 – £500 on occasions. This is nothing to the five-figure sums charged by some modern prophets. Basic Christian truth is being superseded by pseudo-Christianity. We need to return to a Christ-centred gospel which produces a selfless and non-materialistic lifestyle.

EN: “What about the numbers the Faith and signs and wonders movement claim are saved?”

MH: This is self-deluding exaggeration based on faulty theology of conversion. They teach commitment to a message rather than conviction by the gospel. They need figures to validate their ministry for the continued solicitation of funds.


EN: “What would you say then to those caught in the current signs and wonders movement?”

MH: Jesus did more signs and wonders than anybody else and at the end of His ministry He only had about 500 followers. Anyone caught up in the current trend towards belief in a great end-time restoration of the Church must first realise that this kind of revival is the opposite of what scripture promises. What Jesus did promise is the falling away of professing Christians, and an influx of false ‘anointed’ ones. If we are truly living at the imminent return of Christ, where are those things that God promised must take place? I would say to my brothers and sisters in these movements that you may well not be conscious that what you believe is other people’s opinion on Scripture, as I did. You would do well to heed the words of Martin Luther – ‘Sola Scriptura’.

Notes: 1. Word-Faith preaches a gospel of personal wealth which can be obtained through the ‘force of faith’. Spiritual power is thus generated through ‘faith’. God’s sovereign will is effectively overridden by this ‘force of faith’, effecting eternal spiritual laws to which God Himself is subject. PG.

2. Research carried out in 1994 amongst a number of Christians from many different backgrounds revealed that almost 100% believed the ‘Word-Faith’ message is merely the gospel plus healing and prosperity on demand. None of those surveyed had any idea of the depth of heresy and extent of error in this movement. (Extract from ‘The Faith Movement May Be Prospering But Is It Healthy?’, by Stuart St. John: 95 pence booklet available from Reachout Trust, 24 Ormond Road, Richmond, England). The above article was first published by Evangelicals Now, March 1996, and is reprinted by kind permission.


Mark Haville is also the host and a producer of this must see video!!! Signs And Wonders Movement Exposed: THE VIDEO SERIES THAT EVERY CHRISTIAN MUST SEE!!!!!!!


Posted by: John Edwards | May 25, 2009

The Flawed Foundation Of Word Of Faith Theology Part 1

The Flawed Foundation Of Word Of Faith Theology Part 1

Word of Faith theology and culture has been built upon a crooked and false foundation. Word of Faith theology is full of error, out of context scripture, improper hermeneutics, fantastical claimed visions and reeks of New Age influences.
I would like to take some time today to point out a few of the more dangerous cracks in the foundation which affect the whole Word of Faith culture and experience. I myself was a false teacher and a false prophet for many years and I have seen first hand the pain, disappointment and disillusionment this message brings to the lives of sincere Christians. Lets examine a few of these dangerous flaws.
Paul said that he would build on no other foundation than Jesus Christ. Paul also warned that we were not to receive any other revelation, even if it was from an angel from Heaven. Jude said that we have received the faith completed. Yet Kenneth Hagin taught extensively from his visions. In two of his teaching series, “The Authority of the Believer” (which he plagiarized much of the content)and his teaching series “How to write your own ticket with God” Hagin spends several hours teaching about what Jesus taught him about faith and spiritual warfare. This is in direct violation of Galatians 1:6-9! Kenneth Hagin is adding to the Gospel! He claims extra revelation and truth from Jesus Christ! This is no less dangerous than Joseph Smith claiming revelation from Jesus. Both are false prophets according to Scripture. Kenneth Hagin had numerous false predictions and failed prophesies. One of his biggest flops was when he claimed that there would be a special move of God in a unprecedented way that would usher in the Second Coming of Christ in his meetings in St. Louis back in the 1990’s. The meetings were a bust.
The problem is that many Word of Faith people base much of their theology on Kenneth Hagin’s visions and Bible interpretation. I know that I did for fourteen years.
Kenneth Hagin also claimed to have walked in Divine Health but was suffering from heart disease for much of his life and was under a doctors care. Kenneth Hagin said that when he was in Heaven that he saw the throne of God, and the outline of God’s body, but the Bible says that God is a spirit and that no man has seen God at any time.
Kenneth Hagin is not the only Word of Faith preacher with flawed theology and bogus claims. Jesse Duplantis has made a fortune off of his ridiculous “Close Encounters of the God Kind” teaching series. Jesse’s trip to Heaven is much more fantastic than Hagin’s! In Heaven Jesse gets to see God’s finger twitch! Yet millions of Charismatics swallow these heretical claims hook, line and sinker. Theologians have found more scriptural holes in theses visions than a fish net has.
Many Charismatics are sincerely seeking the power of God and too easily drink the kool aid of heretical poison.
More later. MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Benny Hinn’s Ministry Style Compared To The Way Jesus Healed

Benny Hinn is a showman. He has been investigated many times by reporters, scholars and media because of his extravagant lifestyle, his outrageous claims of miracles, and his rotten to the core theology. He is currently under investigation by a Senator.
It fascinates me that there are so many Christians out there that follow Benny Hinn with absolute blind faith. Faith so blind that they cannot see the glaring obvious!
HBO recently did a follow up investigation of thirteen people that Benny Hinn claimed to have been healed in his meetings. None of the people had been healed.
The Jesus of the Bible had a completely different style of ministry. His healings were real and undeniable. He cured everything instantly and permanently. The people that Jesus healed did not have to follow up with chemo therapy or radiation. Jesus opened eyes that had been blind since birth. Jesus raised the dead and made the maimed whole.
Benny Hinn heals no one, but he makes bold claims.
Benny travels in luxury, wears flashy clothing, preforms theatrics such as waving his hands across the congregation to make people fall out. I dont see in the Bible where Jesus blew on people to make them fall out, or throw his robe at folks to make them fall out, but Benny does all the time. None of this is Biblical. The Bible has no examples of Jesus and the Apostles laying hands on people and making them fall out. Jesus always reflected honor and glory to the Father. Jesus traveled on foot and lived among the poor. Benny flies in jets and has paid hotel tabs of over three thousand dollars for one night. Jesus had no where to lay his head but Benny has an expensive mansion.
Jesus taught the very words of the Father, in Spirit and truth. Benny’s teaching is so scattered and bizarre that his sermons cause roars of laughter from theologians.
I have heard Benny preach some of the silliest doctrines that I have ever heard.
Hopefully one day TBN will quit selling the Gospel and start sharing it.
Posted by: John Edwards | May 25, 2009

The Great Healing Revival????

The Great Healing Revival????

I started listening to Kenneth Hagin in 1994 and I graduated from RHEMA in 1998. I heard an awful lot about the Great Healing Revival that took place underneath the big Gospel tents all across the country from 1947 until 1953. At RHEMA we studied the key players in this healing revival and we even watched old black and white films of the services and the healings. Brother Hagin and some of the other instructors gave us many testimonies of incredible healings and miracles from this era in Pentecostal history.
True to my Obsessive Compulsive nature, I dove into the history of the Healing Revival with all of my being. I read every book that I could find on it. I studied AA Allan, William Branham, Jack Coe and the others night and day. I had a night security job with Oral Roberts and I often sneaked into the archives room to watch those black and white films and to listen to the sermons on tape. One night I took Oral Robert’s microphones that he used in the tent meetings and held it against my heart and cried out to God for the same healing anointing. From 1994 to 2008 I read and studied faith and healing.
I went to see all of the main faith healers in action, and even assisted some of them back stage. I have been to see Benny Hinn, Joyce Myers, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Hagin Jr, Kenneth Copeland, TL Osborne, Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts and many others.
I never ever saw one single miracle, ever. My definition of a miracle is when someone is instantly cured through prayer of an incurable disease or injury without the help of a doctor or medicine. Now I have witnessed many people testify of being healed, but I never saw a blind man see, or a retarded child healed or some double amputee get his limbs back. I have never seen any one get raised from the dead.
It took me fourteen long years to realize that I had been swept away in a world of deception and corruption. In 2008 I began to intensely research the “OTHER SIDE” of the Healing Revival. It never happened. Plain and simple. Millions of people were caught up into the emotion of hope and hype that they swallowed everything that they heard the faith healers say. Many, many sincere Christians were scammed out of their money.
There is a complete psychology on how to fake healing meetings and how to manipulate people into coming forward to claim healings. On the right hand side of my blog, there is a link named “How to fake a healing” that you can clink onto to study how this is done. You can also read the wonderful book called “Counterfeit Revival” to see how easy it is to hypnotize a church crowd into a emotional frenzy that even has temporary psychosomatic results.
Faith Healing is a very lucrative and profitable business venture. There are many ministers out there raking in billions of dollars while enjoying a cult like following from sincere people that want to experience the power of God. There have been many movies made about the subject including “The Miracle Woman”, “Leap of Faith” and “Elmer Gentry”. Those movies used to make me mad when I was in the Word of Faith, but now they make me realize how foolish I had been!
Please do not email me some miracle testimony unless you can prove it with documentation, medical records and sworn affidavits. By miracle I mean the kind Jesus and the Apostles did on a daily basis for free with no offerings or jets.
Posted by: WoF Unveiled | May 25, 2009

Are We Little Gods?

Are we little gods?

The blab it and grab it word of faith preachers keep telling us that we are little gods.  Let us look at the scriptures they use to justifiy their position.

John 10:34-36:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

Pslams 82:6

I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.

Yes men are called as gods.  Even Satan is called as the god of this age.  Even the God said that He executed judgement against the gods of Egyptians.

For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments — I am the Lord. (Exodus 12:12)

The Lord had also executed judgments on their gods. (Numbers 33:4)

Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people (Jethro’s testimony). (Exodus 18:11)

According to the above mentioned verses we can also call heathen idols as gods?  What is wrong in calling pagan deities as gods as the scriptures cannot be broken here as well?


Even if we assume that we could call ourselves as gods why can’t we call Satan as god (2 Cor 4:4).  That is also stated in the Bible and the scripture cannot be broken.  We can also call pagan deities as gods as they are also mentioned as gods in the Bible and again scriptures cannot be broken.

We are also called as sons of God but there is a world of a difference between the ONLY begotten Son of God and us.

What is the motive behind the word of faith preachers telling us that we human beings are gods?   Their point is, we human beings are little gods and therefore we have the same kind of creative power like the Almighty God.  Our tongue is a creative force and we can speak things into existence by uttering positive confessions.  That is where they are taking this little god teaching to.

Well, these word of faith preachers are little gods with BIG mouths, probably bigger than Almighty God’s mouth – LOL

Also Almighty God rested on the seventh day after unleashing His creating power for 6 days, however our blab it and grab it preachers confess with their mouth unceasingly without rest.  As we all know many things they blab with their mouths do not come to pass.  Kenneth Hagin blabbed with his mouth that he would live for 135 years but he could not grab it.

So the word of faith movement needs to answer the following questions:

1.  What is the use of calling ourselves as little gods?

2.  Are we going to miss some of God’s blessings if we don’t consider as little gods.

3.  Can Christian women call themselves as little godesses or is the little god title applies only to Christian men?  Both Psalms 82 and John 10:34-36 are addressed to men!!!

4.  Scriptures cannot be broken if we can be called as gods.  So scriptures cannot be broken if we call Satan as god – right?

5.  If is not wrong to call ourselves as gods because the scripures cannot be broken then why can’t we call pagan deities as gods?

6.  Is it a command for New Testament Christians to call or consider ourselves as gods?

7.  Why did Apostle Paul never exhort Christians to call themselves as gods?

The word of faith preachers also quote Athanasius, Early Church Fathers and Charles Spurgeon for endorsing calling Christians as gods.  Well, all of these claims are true but none of them exhorted Christians to utter positive confessions with their mouth to exercise their creative power as the word of faith preachers do.


Athanasius and Church Fathers on the little god subject:

Charles Spurgeon on the little god subject:

Posted by: papagiorgio200 | May 20, 2009

Prayer Mom Falls Ill at Trial

I don’t think anyone got the irony of this situation. (Source) — see also: Religio-Political Talk

A woman who refused to seek medical attention for her dying daughter needed medical help herself after falling ill Saturday about 20 minutes into her trial on a second-degree reckless homicide charge….

…. Howard ordered paramedics to be called to evaluate her condition. Members of the Wausau Fire Department checked Neumann’s blood pressure and monitored her heart and she was cleared to return to the courtroom without additional medical help, Linehan said.

Leilani, 41, was brought back to the courtroom in a wheelchair. She moved to a regular chair and told Howard she was ready to continue.

…. But soon after prosecutor Lamont Jacobson began his opening statement, the Neumann, 41, fainted at the defense table.

Paramedics checked her out, and placed her in a wheelchair after finding that her vital signs were normal.

The statements then resumed, but Circuit Judge Vincent Howard waited until this morning to have the state present its first witnesses….

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,327 other followers