This clip answers the question: Is lack of healing an indication of lack of faith? From The John Ankerberg Show series entitled, “God’s Comfort When You are Discouraged, Depressed, and Fear the Future”. Joni Erickson Tada responds wonderfully to this question.
SOURCE: There are scads of beliefs I hear among Christians that just make me itch. I hear “verses” “quoted” with authority, but they are either taken wholly out of context, or simply not found in the bible at all! I have sat and percolated long enough, and can no longer just let them fly by. As Christians, we believe in an absolute truth, and as such we should have a higher standard. If not, we are worse than crazy people forwarding urban legends to everyone in our contact list.
I figured tonight I’d start with one that has bothered me for years, but I’ve heard it in passing a few times this past weekend. It is THE POWER OF THE TONGUE. Oooooooooooh. (Cue dramatic music.) This concept is most commonly found in the horribly disturbing (and heretical, btw) Word of Faith movement. It is also referred to as “positive confession”, “speaking life (or death)”, and other odd phrases. Besides being churchy jargon that sounds impressive in a testimony, it is also wholly baseless and unbiblical. There are no verses that state that we can bring literal life into existence. We are never instructed to “speak life into” a situation. There are also no examples of the disciples doing so. And perhaps most importantly, Jesus never told us to do so!
This doctrine is a very loose patchwork of verses that does not hold water. The phrase that I’m sure you have heard repeated on more than one occasion is that we should “call things that are not as though they were”. This sounds like faith, right? Actually – no. This appears one place in the bible. It is in Romans 4:17 when Paul is identifying God to a Roman audience. He wants to differentiate God from the other gods. Not Zeus. Not Apollo. Not any of the other gods Paul encountered on Mars Hill. The God of creation as recounted in the Jews’ books of Genesis. The God who spoke “let there be”, and there was. This is Paul being very clear with his listeners who knew LOTS of gods. He was making a point. “I’m talking about the God of Abraham. Heard of him? I am referring to the God who calls things which are not as though they were. Know the guy? Yeah – him.” Paul made his point. But the Word of Faith movement has cut the tail end of this verse and has pasted it into lots of other verses that mention the tongue. The trouble is – God didn’t do that. Jesus never made such a connection either. The only biblical references to speaking things into existence make it clear that this is God’s domain – not ours.
One of the cut-and-paste verses popularly associated with the Romans phrase is Psalms 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This is not God instructing us how to get what we want. This is God instructing us how to want what we get. If we truly delight in the Lord, will we really desire anything selfish? No – if truly find our delight in the Lord, that means we are becoming more like him. And if we become like him, what grieves him grieves us. What brings him joy brings us joy. His desires become our desires. Then we will see the desires of our heart because we have a new heart. Jesus expanded on this same principle in Luke 12. In short – don’t worry about food, clothes, or even your very life, because God knows what you need. Seek God’s kingdom, and these things will be given to you. For wherever your treasure is, your heart will follow. Doesn’t that sound kind of like “delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”? No speaking. No claiming. No positive confessions. Just good old Micah 6:8: “…act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
So does the bible say anything about the tongue having power? Absolutely! Not that kind of power though. Solomon was a wise man, so he wrote with a lot of metaphors. He described things with flowery language to make an impact. So rather than saying “what you say can make people feel good or bad”, he said “your tongue has the power of life and death!”. Sounds cooler, doesn’t it? And it gets the message across quite plainly. Too many people trying to build a doctrine around Romans 4:17 use tons of Proverbs (and other scriptures) in their cut-and-paste theology.
In case you still have doubts, look at another commonly used verse – Proverbs 18:21 … “The tongue has the power of life and death” Wow! Sounds powerful! Wait – read the rest of it too: “…and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Do you have fruit growing out of your tongue? If you have bananas and limes springing from your mouth, call me! Because to claim that this verse is to be taken literally, you had better be making fruit salad right out of your mouth.
The true meaning is better expressed in Prov 15:1-4:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly… The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Makes sense, doesn’t it? How good do you feel after someone encourages you? Doesn’t that bring you life, in a sense? It is invigorating! It affirms us and motivates us to press on! Similarly, how deeply is our heart cut when we are criticized or shamed? Don’t you just feel like dying? It kills our hopes and dreams, and demoralizes us completely.
Yes, the tongue is incredibly powerful. Yes, it brings life or death, but to our souls and to our relationships. We are to make disciples of all nations. We are to encourage one another and care for one another. Doesn’t this require that we speak to one another? How important then is it that we think before we speak? Our prayer should be like David’s “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Ps 141:3)
The power of the tongue lies in its ability to affirm and love in order to initiate and build relationships. The negative potential does not bring physical death to a person, but the end of relationship and the wounding of a heart. This reinforces the entire NT message of the importance of community.
If you think I’m just picking verses that reinforce my interpretation of the tongue’s power, try the following – or search for yourself. The bible is quite clear on the topic. I just didn’t want to take any more space than I already have! Pr. 10:31, Pr. 12:18, Ps. 34:13, Is. 50:4, Col. 4:6, Pr. 10:11, Pr. 18:4, Pr. 12:25, Pr. 13:3, Pr. 21:23.
This concept and teaching is yet another example of what Paul warned us to watch out for in 2 Timothy 4:3-4
“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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
*** Addition ***
It occurred to me this morning that I missed another popular aspect of this teaching. Since I was a kid, I have encountered people who seemingly live in terror over getting sick. Oddly, they express this as faith. Here’s what I mean:
They take those same scriptures about the tongue having power of life and death, but read it as health and sickness. They use the phrases I mentioned before. They will say “I will not confess with my tongue that I am sick – that is agreeing with the enemy.” Or, “I do not have the flu. I merely have all the symptoms of the flu. I will not claim that.” Actually, you do have the flu. Also, you are silly. Sickness exists in a fallen world. It is not the evidence of having “let something into your life” or the result of a “negative confession”. It is the result of being in a place where viruses, bacteria, fungi and other nasties hang out – namely, earth.
SOURCE: I got an ear infection a few months ago and it never really went away. Whenever I tell certain Christians how I’m feeling, their first response is, “Don’t speak that” or “Stop speaking death. You’re healed in the name of Jesus.”
I used to go along with it, thinking that if I simply spoke of and prayed for healing that it would come. Almost a year later, I’m still suffering from the same symptoms, finally understanding where the “name it and claim it” doctrine comes from and why it’s so problematic.
The Word of Faith teaches that God wants his people to be “healthy, wealthy, and happy all the time, and that speaking the right words, in faith, compels God to deliver on his part of the covenant.” (About.com) I, too, grew up believing that God was an omnipresent, all-powerful Santa Claus. I viewed hard times, sickness, and singleness as a curse and assumed that whenever my life wasn’t going according to plan, I had done something wrong.
It wasn’t until I started studying the Bible that I realized God never intended for us to live the “good life” in the American sense of the word. Not only does God guarantee suffering for Believers, He expects us to rejoice in the midst of it. (James 1) But it’s impossible to rejoice in something that you refuse to acknowledge.
The Word of Faith movement not only opposes the Gospel by encouraging denial and stressing prosperity, but also suggests that we as mere humans are just as powerful as God. By believing that we can speak things into existence, we’re essentially saying that we could create another earth if we wanted to. (It all started with a word, right?) The idea that our words have supernatural power may seem Biblically sound given scriptures like Proverbs 18:21 (Death and life is in the power of the tongue…) and Matthew 11:23 (“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”) But while Jesus invites us to submit our requests to God in prayer and in faith, the Bible makes it clear that our requests are granted only in accordance with God’s will, not our own.
James reinforces this point in James 4:2-3.
VIDEO DESCRIPTION: “….. a light-hearted but sincere approach to a very serious topic: Can We “Speak Things Into Existence?” Please take this video in the spirit of grace and love that it was intended for. Ultimately, it’s not about trying to outsmart or “out-Bible” you. It’s about pleading with you to carefully consider what you are being taught and turn to the Scriptures of God (in proper context) as your ultimate truth. Some people believe this doctrine of “speaking things into existence”, “decreeing and declaring” etc to different degrees; some more than others. Either way, it does find its roots in the unorthodox theology of Word of Faith, which is relatively new and not in agreement with historical Christianity.
SOURCE: The premise is something that I’m sure we have all heard before, God tells us not to judge. I know personally, I thought this was biblical truth for about the first 19 years of my life. Even when I wasn’t living as a Christian, I would have told you that the bible says not judge each other. But, does it really?
Judge not, that you be not judged. – Matthew 7:1
Well that was easy, see you later! Actually, not so fast. While it would appear that the bible clearly states not to judge, if you do then you will be judged as well. Well for starters, we know that everyone will face judgement in the end (Revelation 20:11), so is Matthew saying “Don’t judge or you will you be judged as well! But you’re going to be judged anyways, but still don’t!”. I don’t think so. If you continue on to read Matthew 7, we see that he then goes on to talk about the hypocrisy in condemning a brother for something that we also struggle with. In other words, if we are struggling with Lust then we probably shouldn’t be berating others for the same sin.
However, the bible DOES tell us (in John 7:24) not to judge by our own opinions, but instead judge by the word of God, that is what it means to judge righteously. God always encouraged his people to judge. He told the prophets to judge the false prophets, and Israel reacted the same way people react today, “Your being negative oh you never have anything good to say”. In 2 Thess. 3:14-15, Paul says things that many people would say is very “judgmental” and wrong by today’s unbiblical standards. He tells us to admonish those as brothers who do not obey Paul’s epistle.
SOURCE: A few months ago, the American Scholar published a cover story on the collapse of Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral. The article, by Jim Hinch, used the Cathedral as a parable for evangelicalism itself.
I found myself just now shouting “Amen” to the comments of a letter-writer from Charlottesville, Virginia, responding to the piece in the latest issue of the journal. The writer, Tony Tian-Ren-Lin, takes the journal to task for not understanding the difference between Schuller’s “gospel” and, well, the Gospel.
The Crystal Cathedral wasn’t, he points, out, evangelical at all. Institutionally, it was part of the mainline Reformed Church in America (that’s how you say “Presbyterian Church (USA)” in Dutch), and Schuller’s mission was not to call people to repentance of sin but to higher self-esteem. “If anything, the fall of the Crystal Cathedral represents the decline of that branch of mainline Protestantism,” he writes.
So, the question remains, where are all the people who once thronged the Crystal Cathedral. The Charlottesville correspondent explains to the American scholars: “They are at home, having their self-esteem puffed up by a new breed of prosperity-Gospel preacher, including Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and T.D. Jakes.”
This is exactly right. The prosperity gospel isn’t just another brand of evangelicalism. It isn’t “evangelical” at all because it’s rooted in a different gospel from the one preached and embodied by Jesus Christ. The prosperity gospel is far more akin to the ancient Canaanite fertility religions than it is to anything announced by Jesus, the prophets before him, or the apostles after him.
We shouldn’t be that hard on the secular world for failing to see the difference between the prosperity gospel and the Gospel, but we should certainly expect the church to know the difference, and to say so.
SOURCE: These are tough economic times and it is quite understandable for people to want a way out of their present difficulties. But “everything that glitters is not gold” and many of us are chasing bogus remedies and looking for that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow only to find ourselves bitterly disappointed. Alas, this peddling of bogus remedies is not confined to the secular world but has become an existential reality in some churches.
One thing that should stand out to all believers is the salient truth that the Church has been properly and soundly established on a foundation of settled doctrine, and there can be nothing added or taken away from it. All believers need to understand that all Christian sects and all deviant Christian groups all have one thing in common; they are guilty of distorting Christian theology and deliberately misinterpreting the Holy Scriptures as given to us in the Bible.
True believers know that the focus of their life is things spiritual and not material. True happiness is about being saved and having this special relationship where the complete body, soul and spirit is in harmony with the Creator and there is no condemnation or issues affecting our settled and profound joy.
It is necessary that believers understand that from the beginning of Christianity they were those who had no interest in the spiritual and divine aspects of the faith but wanted to exploit it for financial gain. When Simon Magus saw the Apostles Peter and John imparting the power of the Holy Spirit by laying their hands on believers he offered them money to buy that gift and was soundly rebuked, “But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” (Acts 8:20) Simon wanted the power of the Holy Spirit so he could fascinate people and make a lot of money.
So what are we to make of this Prosperity theology that goes under a variety of names, such as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, the gospel of success, the name it and claim it gospel etc.
What we can say with absolute assurance is that the Bible doesn’t teach this prosperity gospel, at least not as understood and taught by the proponents of this theology and as preached in the American mega-churches and elsewhere.
Take note of this game-changing, and for the prosperity gospel proponents, embarrassing but undeniable fact that every believer should think about more carefully. Jesus Christ’s life and his ministry were the exact opposite to that taught by the prosperity gospel movement. Jesus was born poor and he died poor and if a person’s faith could merit material blessings, then he would have been the richest man in the universe.This above all else should sound the alarm bells for every believer.
Prosperity gospel teaches that God wants you to be wealthy and have lots of money and by faith and speaking positively you will make it happen. Perhaps they forgot to mention this to Jesus since the Bible declared, “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
If wealth and money were commendable pursuits for people of faith, then Jesus would have demonstrated it, for he was the greatest example ever for believers to emulate. But he did not pursue materialism, neither did his disciples, and his pronouncements on wealth and riches are frightening:
“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)
It goes against the grain for me to criticise fellow workers, but the Prosperity gospel preachers are leading souls to perdition in that they are advocating a panacea by focusing the minds of the gullible away from the spiritual and the divine and towards material abundance through dubious measures.
Many people join their assemblies merely to get money and a bundle of luxuries, believing that by following the advice of the leadership they would be successful. Just like gambling, this creates the mindset that wealth and prosperity is just around the corner if you do this, or that, or as Gloria Copeland reportedly puts it, “Give $10 and receive $1,000; give $1,000 and receive $100,000;… in short, Mark 10:30 is a very good deal.” The Bible on the contrary teaches a very different expectation in giving, in that you give and lend not looking for earthly returns (Luke 6: 35).
Prosperity gospel teaches that if you are blessed and if you have faith then you have a covenant with God just like Abraham and you will be prosperous with riches; but such is not taught in the Bible. The Bible is very particular about riches and says, “…if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” (Psalm 62:10)
And herein lies the crux of the whole matter, since it is the way Prosperity gospel proponents appeal to people by taking the Scriptures and deliberately distorting them to suit their theology.
The Bible teaches the opposite to the Prosperity gospel movement and no matter how they twist and misquote the scriptures, the truth is there nevertheless for all to see. The Bible tells us this: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Beware of pulpit racketeers since they are not interested in your spiritual well being but in your pocketbook. Peter warned, “These false teachers only want your money. So they will use you by telling you things that are not true. But the judgment against these false teachers has been ready for a long time. And they will not escape God who will destroy them.” (2 Peter 2:3 Easy-to-Read Version)
SOURCE : Joel Osteen has acquired a bad reputation in some circles. He is known for teaching a prosperity gospel, for avoiding the wrath of God, and for being squishy on key subjects, like homosexuality. Nevertheless, there is one aspect of Joel Osteen’s ministry that I want to emulate: his constant emphasis on encouragement.
Life is really, really hard. Parents grow old, kids get sick, friends get cancer, sons get addicted to drugs, and daughters get pregnant out of wedlock. Our bodies get older and weaker and fatter. We struggle to raise our kids in an increasingly post-modern world. We are constantly aware of our shortcomings as Christians. We need to pray more, read our Bibles more, and evangelize more. We need to do better, try harder, be more productive, get more done. Every day we are reminded that we fall short on pretty much every account.
Because life is so hard and exhausting, every day is a battle. Every day I must fight to believe in the goodness and kindess of God. Everyday I must fight to believe that God is working all things for my good and his glory. Every day I must fight to believe that I serve a God who turns mourning into dancing. What I, and everyone else, desperately need every day, is encouragement. I need fresh hope, fresh faith, fresh strength.
There are enough critics, watch bloggers, angry prophets, protesters, and trolls in the church and in the world. We need more encouragers. We need more people like Barnabas. Acts 4:36 gives us a description of Barnabas:
Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)…
His real name was Joseph, but the apostles called him “Barnabas”. Why? Because he was a constant encourager! Encouragement was so woven into his DNA that the apostles gave him a nickname which meant encouragement. Barnabas was constantly encouraging and building up and strengthening those around him. Encouragement oozed out of his pores.
Encouragement is a wonderful, healthy, biblical thing. Romans 15:4 says:
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
The scriptures are written for our encouragement, that we might have hope for the daily grind of life. In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, Paul told the Thessalonians to, “…encourage one another with these words.” The Thessalonians were to encourage one another with the truths about the second coming of Christ and the final resurrection of our bodies.
Paul concluded his first letter to the Thessalonians by saying, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
We need encouragement every day. There are so many times when life is hard and awful and depressing and sad. Every day I need to be reminded of the rock-solid, unshakable truths about God’s ways and works. And every day, I need to encourage others with the wonderful truths found in God’s word.
Let’s not let Joel Osteen hijack the biblical practice of encouragement. Let’s be biblical versions of Joel Osteen. Let’s be sons of encouragement, like Barnabas. Is there a place for criticism and correction? Sure. But there are enough critics out there.
Chapter 4: The Origins of Word of Faith
Word of Faith has its roots in a pagan cult that rivaled Christianity during the first three centuries of the Christian era, known as Gnosticism. The early Church fathers, such as Iranaeus eventually refuted and destroyed it.
Various Gnostic cults existed, but all held to a form of Dualism. This meant matter is bad and spirit is good. The Bible, however, teaches God created both realms and called all creation, spiritual and material, ‘good’.
Some Gnostics even taught two gods: An evil one which governed the material realm and a good one, the spiritual. All, however, held that a series of spiritual laws exist between the two dimensions by which both realms could be controlled. Certain spiritually elite people were endowed with a special “gnosis” or “revelation knowledge” by which they could learn to manipulate these laws to their advantage … even to controlling their own spiritual destinies.
A Gnostic goal was to attain to divinity and become a kind of creative “god.” This was through the “releasing” of his spirit from the material realm through his special “knowledge” of the mystical forces governing the universe.
Iranaeus, one of the third century fathers who combated Gnosticism in his book Against Heresies, comments on the spiritual pride characteristic of Gnostics:
They consider themselves ‘mature’, so that no one can be compared with them in the greatness of their Knowledge, not even if you mention Peter or Paul or any of the other apostles…” (I, XIII, 6)
.”..such a person becomes so puffed up that he … walks with a strutting gait and a supercilious countenance, possessing all the pompous air of a cock! (III, XV, 2)
The parallels between ancient Gnosticism and Word of Faith are too striking to ignore. But how did Gnosticism get transported into the 20th Century?
For this information, we are deeply indebted to Judith Matta, author of The Christian Response to Gnostic Charismatic Heresies.Judith is probably the foremost expert in the U.S. today on the Gnostic origins of Word of Faith. She is a graduate of Talbot Theological seminary and a first-class scholar.
In 1875, Mary Baker Eddy published Science and Health, thus launching the Christian Science sect. The First Church of Christ Scientist was founded in Boston in 1879. Eddy had adapted many of the early Gnostic concepts in her writings, which included the denial of the reality of illness and matter.
One of the early converts to Christian Science, and a member of the Mother Church from 1903 until his death in 1908, was Dr. C.W. Emerson. He founded a college in Boston around the turn of the century called Emerson School of Oratory. This was a prep school for boys, not a Bible school.
One of the early students of Emerson’s school was a young man by the name of E.W. Kenyon. Kenyon picked up some of the Gnostic concepts and incorporated them into his own writings later on.
SOURCE: A verse commonly misinterpreted by cultists is 2 Corinthians 5:21, where the apostle Paul tells us that God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (NASB, emphasis added). Based on this verse, for example, the Christadelphians argue that Jesus had to engage in self-redemption before seeking to redeem the rest of humanity: “He himself required a sin offering”; He “saved himself in order to save us.”
Word-Faith leaders take a different—though even more heretical—spin on the verse. Kenneth Copeland, for example, asserts that Jesus “had to give up His righteousness” and “accepted the sin nature of Satan.” Benny Hinn likewise declares that Jesus “did not take my sin; He became my sin….He became one with the nature of Satan.”
In what follows, I will demonstrate in brief fashion that there are five key hermeneutic principles that disallow such distorted understandings of Christ and His salvific mission. These principles, which guide our understanding of the apostle Paul’s intended meaning (the only correct meaning), are: (1) interpret Bible verses in context; (2) correctly understand, assess, and draw insights from Old Testament typology; (3) interpret verses in accordance with lexical insights gained from the original languages of the Bible; (4) interpret Scripture by Scripture, recognizing that Scripture is its own best interpreter; and (5) interpret difficult verses in light of the clear verses.
1. Interpret Bible Verses in Context. The immediate context of 2 Corinthians 5:21 centers on reconciliation to God (see vv. 18–20). The Greek word for reconciliation in these verses, katallages, refers to “the exchange of hostility for a friendly relationship.”6 The state of hostility exists because of human sin against a holy God, which, according to the apostle Paul, was dealt with at the cross of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14–15). In view of this, the friendly relationship that Adam and Eve lost can now be restored through faith in Christ. The basis of Paul’s reconciliatory message is then stated in verse 21: God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2. Correctly Understand, Assess, and Draw Insights from Old Testament Typology. A type is an Old Testament institution, event, person, object, or ceremony that has reality and purpose in biblical history, but that also—by divine design—foreshadows something yet to be revealed. The Passover lamb in the Old Testament (Exod. 12:21) was a “type” of Christ, who is Himself the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36).
An understanding of the Passover Lamb in the Old Testament provides significant insight on the concept of substitution. For example, the sacrificial lamb had to be “unblemished” (Exod. 12:5; Lev. 4:3, 23, 32). At the time of the sacrifice, a hand would be laid on the unblemished sacrificial animal to symbolize a transfer of guilt (Lev. 4:4, 24, 33). Notice that the sacrificial lamb did not thereby actually become sinful by nature; rather, sin was imputed to the animal and the animal acted as a sacrificial substitute. In like manner, Christ the Lamb of God was utterly unblemished (1 Pet. 1:19), but our sin was imputed to Him and He was our sacrificial substitute on the cross of Calvary. Simply because our sin was imputed to Him does not mean He changed in nature or actually became sinful.
3. Interpret Verses in Accordance with Lexical Insights Gained from the Original Languages of the Bible. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, the phrase “on our behalf” (“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf ”) derives from the Greek term huper. This word can bear a number of nuances, not all of them substitutionary in nature. As professor Daniel Wallace has noted in his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, however, there are a number of factors that argue in favor of a substitutionary use of the word in New Testament times. For example, the substitutionary sense of huper is found in extra-New Testament Greek literature (see, e.g., Plato, Republic 590a; Xenophon, Anabasis 7.4.9–10), the Septuagint (e.g., Deut. 24:16; Isa. 43:3–4), and in the papyri (e.g., Oxyrhyn chus Papyrus 1281.11–12; Tebtunis Papyrus 380.43–44).7 One papyri example relates to a scribe who wrote a document on behalf of a person who did not know how to write. In all, Wallace counts 87 examples from the papyri in which huper is used in a substitutionary sense, and this by no means exhausts the extant papyri data. Wallace thus concludes that “this evidence is over whelming in favor of treating huper as bearing a substitutionary force in the NT era.”8 The Friberg Greek Lexicon likewise affirms that the word is used “with a component of representation or substitution in the place of, for, in the name of, instead of.”9
Christ’s death, as the Lamb of God, was “for” (huper) us in the sense that it was on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). The word is used in this same on-behalf-of sense elsewhere in Scripture. Jesus at the Last Supper said: “This is My body which is given for you” (Luke 22:19, emphasis added here and in the verses that follow). Likewise, in John 10:15 Jesus affirmed, “I lay down My life for the sheep.” Paul thus exults that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8; see also Gal. 3:13; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9). Jesus “gave Himself for us to redeem us” (Titus 2:14), “the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18; see also 2:21). The idea of substitution richly permeates these verses.
SOURCE: This piece is purely an opinion on my part about why I hate Joel Osteen’s preaching. You say “Whoa, hate is a little harsh isn’t it?” No, I do not believe it is because Joel Osteen is a false preacher and his preaching has the dangerous potential of leading people away from the God of the Bible. PLEASE don’t misunderstand what I am saying here. I do NOT hate Joel Osteen. That is not what I said. I said I hate his preaching. Now let me explain my point.
It is our responsibility to spread the gospel that Jesus Christ is the only way to true salvation, that we are all dead in sin. Salvation is about the glory of God. Joel Osteen doesn’t preach this. In my opinion, the thing that makes Joel Osteen a false preacher is the fact that he does not preach the true gospel – or I should say he does not preach the true purpose of the gospel.
According to Tim Challies, life is meant to glorify God, not to bring blessing and ease to the individual. I would agree with this statement. Osteen’s book, “Become a Better You” seems to emphasize bringing blessing and ease to the individual.
In case you haven’t read the book, it is divided into seven areas: 1) Keep pressing forward, 2) Be positive toward yourself, 3) Develop better relationships, 4) Form better habits, 5) Embrace the place where you are, 6) Develop your inner life, and 7) Stay passionate about life.
This is pretty much like all of the other “self-help” books out there, except for one glaring difference. This one is supposed to be built upon the Bible and it is publicized as such, and that is very dangerous.
Here is what Osteen is teaching in this book: “We’ve all sinned, failed, and made mistakes,” he says, “But many people don’t know they can receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.” That sounds reasonable right? Sure. But, he goes on to say, “As long as you’re doing your best and desire to do what’s right according to God’s Word, you can be assured God is pleased with you.” Now I ask, is it enough to just desire to do right? Is God really pleased with those who sin, but desire to do right? I would submit to you that He is not pleased with just that. God is so holy that He cannot even look upon a sin. I got this question from Paul Washer and it stands up to the Bible: How many times did Adam and Eve sin before they were cast out of the presence of God? The answer is once.
Wow, I kind of got off track a little bit there. Back to my original question: What makes Osteen’s preaching wrong?
SOURCE: Most people have heard such terms as being born again, converted, or saved. There are even many people who have had a personal experience of salvation through Jesus Christ. However, there are still multitudes of people who never have accepted this free gift from God. Often people do not understand the purpose of salvation or how it can be obtained. Hopefully the following will help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about salvation.
What is salvation?
Salvation is the free gift of eternal life that is made possible only through Jesus Christ. John 3:16-17 KJV states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 6:23 KJV, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Salvation is not limited to any denomination, race, gender, or age, but it is available for everyone. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 KJV).
Why do you need salvation?
Mankind needs salvation because it is the only way to get to Heaven. Jesus said in John 3:3 KJV, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Everyone will stand before God after death has occurred. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”
(Hebrews 9:27 KJV). Those who have not been saved will spend eternity separated from God. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15 KJV). The penalty of sin that is passed on to all of mankind is death. Jesus Christ became the atonement for all sin. He took our place and died on a cross. Those who accept this plan, which is made possible only by Jesus, will receive forgiveness for their sins and obtain salvation.
How do you obtain salvation?
In order to be saved you must first realise that you are a sinner and that you cannot make it to heaven on your own good merit. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10 KJV). “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 KJV). Secondly, you must recognize that salvation is made possible only by the grace of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”
(Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV). Finally, you must believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins and that he was raised from the dead. In Romans 10:9-10 KJV, Paul gives specific instructions for salvation. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” In the sixteenth chapter of Acts, the Philippian jailor asked Paul and Silas what he must do in order to be saved. Their response to him still applies today. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31 KJV).
Every Person Must Know That…
For some years now I’ve stood back and looked the other way as you preached your message of optimism and faith rewarded to tens of thousands of worshipers and to the millions of people who have bought your best-selling books, as you’ve become perhaps America’s best-known preacher or inspirational speaker. Earlier this year The Guardian actually called you “America’s Pastor,” which forced me to sit up and take notice.
My attention during that time has been focused largely on those preachers and traditions obsessing with sin and suffering, on the death of Jesus on the cross as the only salvation for a wicked race. And so I kind of lost sight of you, a couple of hours down the road from me in Houston.
You have said that you don’t like to talk about sin—who does, really?—and that you want to dwell on the positive messages of God’s love. Those are nice antidotes to the mainstream American evangelical focus I abhor, and they may have given you a free pass until now. But I’ve come to believe that your nicey-nicey message and your God of infinite promises is as antithetical to genuine Christian faith as the always-dying and ever-angry Christ of conservative evangelicals.
Mr. Osteen, here’s the thing. I’ve realized that I’ve been writing, speaking, and preaching about you as well. I’ve realized that The Other Jesus was also written in response to your Jesus of handouts and new cars—I can’t hang with that Banker Jesus any more than with the Spiteful Jesus. I’ve realized that I’m also tired of cleaning up your messes, of trying to constantly reorient Christian faith back to something real and true to scripture, tradition, and reason.
You and other Prosperity Gospel preachers advance a vision of God that is transactional: if you do this, then God will do that. He has to, in fact. Because a verse here or there in the Bible says so, however little it reflects God’s actual redemptive work in the world.
And I’m here to tell you, Sir, in the same language I use with anyone who imagines we can be in a transactional relationship with God, that this isn’t what Christian faith is. Praying the right prayer often enough to get what you want, believing really hard in Jesus to get what you want are not true to the Christian story, or to logic. To imagine that you, or your followers, or the person out in the bookstore or TV land who is exposed to your message somehow influences the God of the Universe, the Creator of All That Is, by his or her personal actions is not belief in God.
It’s belief in magic. Put your hands together, say a few faithful words, and the Universe will give you what you ask.
Your life is lifted up as a shining example of God’s blessing, and well it might be. But Sir, I suspect that the money to buy a former NBA arena for your mammoth Lakewood Church didn’t just flow into your hands because God blesses you for your teachings. I suspect that you got that money because you draw a crowd, because you sell a product that is always more enticing than the hard and lifelong work of genuine Christian spirituality and authentic belief.
Joel Osteen’s New Age Life Now? By Brannon Howse
With this favorite karma-changing promise, New Agers believe you need only use the “unlimited” power and consciousness of your mind to bring about all your dreams, desires and wishes.
Cloaked in a “Christian” package, Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now, bears an uncomfortable and dangerous similarity to this most popular of New Age claims. Sample a few of the Osteen versions:
• “You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind. If you foster an image of defeat and failure, then you’re going to live that kind of life. But if you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you.” (page 5)
• “You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it.” (page 6)
• “You must look through your ‘eyes of faith’ and start seeing yourself as happy, healthy and whole.” (page 15)
• “What you will receive is directly connected to how you believe.” (page 22)
• “We receive what we believe.” (page 72)
• “Learn how to conceive. Keep the image of what you want to become in front of you. You’re going to become what you believe.” (page 81)
Osteen now travels the country, packing out stadiums with his happy-talk. But I’d like to see Osteen pay a visit to China, preach his “your best life now” drivel, and see how Christians there respond. Let Osteen look into the eyes of Pastor Lei who has been repeatedly arrested and beaten for preaching the Word of God in his church-a church not licensed by the Chinese government. How would the American’s best life work out for Pastor Lei and his congregation? Perhaps their jail time for the Gospel would give them time to assess Rev. Osteen’s claims.
Is FAITH a “FORCE?”
By David A. DePra
SOURCE: Faith is NOT a force. Faith is a relationship word. It is dependence and reliance upon God. It is ultimately unconditional surrender to God. It is trusting Him, which includes believing Him. As you can see, faith is to govern our entire lives. We are to WALK BY FAITH in Jesus Christ.
This is important to understand because today there is a false teaching which states that faith IS a force – indeed, a force which YOU generate towards God. What this leads to is a whole array of other false teaching. First of all, it means that you can and must generate the, “force of faith,” that will act upon God and get Him moving for you. In other words, if you pray for something, and have faith, the faith you generate is a force which acts upon God, indeed, which actually creates the thing you want. From this comes the, “name it and claim it,” heresies. It also ties into the error that if you SPEAK something, it will come into existence, as is taught in the, “positive confession” heresy. Likewise, if you speak negatively, this will supposedly bring bad things to pass in your life.
False teachers have likened faith to gravity. They even say that God has faith! Of course, this is utter nonsense. Nonsense, of course, unless you have no understanding of faith. If faith were a force, then I suppose God would have faith. But once we see that faith is trust, reliance, and dependence, we see that God needs no faith. He hasn’t anyone to rely upon!
Notice the root error here: Error says that faith is a force YOU generate which acts upon God. The Bible teaches that faith is a reliance upon God and a desire for His will. Can we see the implications of each as to who is in charge? Error puts US in charge, and we use our faith to act upon God. Truth puts God in charge, and tells us to surrender to Him for His will.
There are other ramifications as well. If faith is a force, then faith is the power. YOU generate it. And it does stuff, or gets God to do stuff. But Biblical faith does nothing. It opens things up for God’s will so that HE can do it. Thus, faith is not power. God is the power.
The fact is, we have NO POWER at all. Indeed, real faith is the result of seeing that we have no power, no merit, and nothing about ourselves which obligates God to do a thing for us. Faith is the trust and assurance that all of the promises of God find their YES IN HIM. Not in us. Not in our faith. And not because we said the right words.
In every generation, it seems that Christians come up with a new gimmic as to how to get God to do what we want Him to do – although it isn’t usually put that way. Instead, we are told that God has already willed us to tell Him what to do. So we come up with ways in which MAN can do this. Does anyone see Satan behind this? He is. It is classic Satan, using religious flesh, and men of corrupt minds, to foster heresy in the church.
Let me be frank: It simply is not possible to teach such error and know Jesus Christ. It just isn’t. This teaching is the very antithesis of the gospel of grace, skews the basic essential of faith, and leads people away from a grounded relationship with Christ. If the Holy Spirit were truly living in such people, and they were yielded, how could such heresy go unchecked, and how could the Holy Spirit not convict them? Furthermore, those well-known preachers who do teach these errors have been continually approached and appealed to with regards to this teaching. That is not a guess — THEY say so on TV. Thus, they not only teach error, but defend it.
Faith is not a force. Faith is a relationship word. By faith we abide in Christ and walk with Him. By faith we see that we have nothing to help ourselves. By faith we surrender our lives to Him for His will and purpose.
SOURCE: In political parlance there is often talk of someone playing the “race card” to shut down conversation. A person is convicted of some crime and there is discussion about what the penalty should be. Then the “race card” is played: the charge is made that the person is only being prosecuted because of their race. Immediately all discussion must be stopped, or it must revolve around whether or not racial bias is in play. Whether or not the person is guilty or should be charged is moot from that point on: when the “race card” is played, it’s all about race. Discussion is effectively over when the “race card” is on the table; it is the nuclear bomb of rational discussion.
I’m noticing the same thing in regards to the discussion on Joel Osteen, but in his case it’s the “jealousy card” that is being played by his supporters. Don’t know if you read the comments in regard to my IWJO post, but someone posted the charge that I’m just sadly, sinfully jealous. Ironically, I didn’t even question Joel or his teaching in that comment or in my previous comment. Yet, some Osteenista felt it necessary to come to my humble blog and condemn me for being sinfully jealous of the man.
If you read other blogs about Osteen, and now that his new book is out and he’s been on Larry King and 60 Minutes there is discussion aplenty, you will find a lot of lot of people questioning his message. Immediately his supporters will come on and accuse the criticizer of being “jealous”. Wham, the jealousy card is played and all discussion must end or the criticizer must defend against the charge that they are jealous. The “jealousy card” is intended to shut down converation and discussion on whether or not Joel’s teaching is biblical or not.
So, if we question the theology of one of the best known preachers in America we are automatically jealous? Give me a break. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to be dissuaded from commenting on someone for fear of being called jealous, it’s a lame accusation and playing the “jealousy card” is nothing more than an attempt to shut down discussion. I’ve had it played on me before when discussing some of the questionable gimmicks of other megachurches. It’s a tactic meant to shift focus away from valid points and question the motive of the questioner. “He’s questioning mega-guy, he must just be a jealous small-church minister.”
Yes, I’m sure that there are times when preachers get jealous– if you want to call it that– of those ministers and churches that are doing well by worldly standards. But those pangs of envy are just momentary failings of the flesh which are quickly repented of in the light of reason. Any minister worth his salt is going to be less concerned about being successful in the world’s eyes and more concerned about being faithful to God.
Questioning the methods and motives of megachurches, especially those whose theology and preaching is so blatantly suspect, is not a matter of jealousy; it’s called discernment. To be honest, more of us ought to be exposing those who represent Christianity yet preach a gospel that is not biblical… which as Galatians says is no gospel at all.
So, go ahead, play the “jealousy card” all you want, but it’s not going to stop people from examining the preaching and teaching of those who claim to represent Christ… especially those in the public eye. Any tactic that is meant to stifle discussion is simply cowardly. If you can’t defend the teaching of your favorite preacher from the bible, at least refrain from playing the “jealousy card”.
“You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” – ‘The Force of Love,’ audiotape Kenneth Copeland, 1987
“‘Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you are God … They crucified Me for claiming I was God. I didn’t claim that I was God; I just claimed that I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah! That’s what you’re doing …'” – ‘Take Time to Pray,’ Believer’s Voice of Victory, February 1987, p. 9
“Now Peter said by exceeding great and precious promises you become partakers of the divine class. All right, are we gods? We are a class of gods!” – Kenneth Copeland, ‘Praise The Lord’ TV Show, Feb. 5, 1986
“You really cannot ever come to that place were you let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who thought it not robbery to be called equal with God. Let this mind be in Kenneth Copeland, Oh my goodness, Ah! that thinks its not robbery to be called equal with God.” – Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory, Monday 29th January 2001, GOD TV
“You’re all God. You don’t have a God living in you; you are one! … When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, ‘I AM,’ I say, ‘Yah, I am too!'” – ‘The Force of Love,’ Kenneth Copeland, tape BBC-56
As a result of his claimed position as a god, Kenneth Copeland claims that he is a creator, just like the God of the Bible:
“Jesus existed only as an image in the heart of God, until such time as the prophets of the Old Testament could positively confess Jesus into existence through their constant prophecies.” – (Kenneth Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, pp. 8-10)
“God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus.” “This [sic] faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in Him….” – Kenneth Copeland, ‘The Image of God in You III,’ side 2.
“Well, He created all those planets, how come you can’t create something? You don’t know as much about it as He does. He has a greater working knowledge of that faith than you do. But we’re learning. Our time is coming. And in some ways its already here.” – Kenneth Copeland, Cornerstone Church with John Hagee, San Antonio, Texas, August 18, 1999.
Kenneth Copeland is a false teacher and a heretic because:
1. He places himself in the position of God by claiming that he is a god.
2. He claims to have the same creative power as God – which he cannot demonstrate at any level.
3. He teaches the same claim that Satan made when he attempted to usurp the place of God.
4. He teaches the same message that Satan presented to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
5. He denies the deity of Jesus Christ.
6. He denies the uniqueness and power of the atonement by stating that he could have substituted for Jesus Christ and accomplished the atonement himself.
7. He gives false prophecies, demonstrating that he is a false prophet according to Deuteronomy 18:22.
Kenneth Copeland’s heretical and blasphemous claims are absolutely breathtaking in their scope, possibly going beyond any single heresy found in the church since its inception. If you claim to believe the Bible, then why do you not understand that Kenneth Copeland does not teach a biblical message? You accept Kenneth Copeland as a teacher of truth because you do not know what the Bible teaches and you do not know what Kenneth Copeland teaches.
(Article by Michael Houke)
When will Dr. Michael Brown call out Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin instead of defending and supporting them? Or will non-charismatics have to continue to do the job of discernment for him? This video has ample audio and video clips proving both Hinn’s and Hagin’s heresies. It is quite amazing if Brown is indeed ignorant of these men’s teachings. This video is posted to educate Brown and others of what these men have taught.
Thanks to Keith Thompson for letting me take this clip from his video entitled “Why I don’t support William Lane Craig or Michael Brown”
SOURCE: In the latter half of the 20th century with the blooming of the New Age Movement in its various forms, a new brand of philosophy has emerged which features P.M.A. (positive mental attitude) – positive thinking and positive confession. That philosophy has made its way into the church and affected the way certain portions of the Bible are interpreted, and has even altered our very outlook on life. Many prominent leaders in Christianity have embraced what is known as the Word of Faith movement. This article does not seek to refute the teachings of that movement, since this has been ably done elsewhere. Rather it examines the scriptures that allegedly promote positive thinking and seeks to determine whether the Bible really endorses positive thinking and positive confession.
First let it be said that the Bible has much to say about the mind and tongue. The tongue is one of the most difficult members of the body to control. The mind is critical in that it is never disengaged from our actions. We are influenced by what we see and hear and such is stored somewhere in our minds. When we entertain certain thoughts, our emotions develop an affinity toward them, and finally our volition is convinced that a relevant course of action is needed. This is the process of human decision making. So if we can renew our minds (Rom. 12:1, 2) or change our attitudes we can change our actions and the course of our lives.
Positive thinking however goes beyond this. It teaches that there is a creative aura associated with our thoughts and words. What we think and confess can even change our circumstances, bring prosperity and healing. Practices such as yoga and TM are thought to bring us into the mental state where we can realize our full power and potential. Quite frankly, New Agers can believe whatever they want. I am more interested in what the Bible says. We will analyze those scriptures that allegedly teach positive thinking and demonstrate that, properly interpreted, the Bible does no such thing.
On the surface, certain scriptures can appear to promote positive thinking if interpreted from the perspective of a 20th (or 21st) century culture which has been influenced by the New Age Movement. Questions that I will repeatedly ask are “what is the meaning originally intended by the authors of the Bible?”, and “what did the original hearers understand by these scriptures?” It is true that based on our culture, upbringing and religious background, we each have a lens through which we read the bible. It is important to be aware of what our biases are. This obviously affects how we read the bible. But because we see the Bible a certain way, that does not make us right. Peter made it clear that because Paul’s epistles were hard to understand, unstable men had twisted those scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Essentially this means that not every interpretation of the scriptures is correct. Because you think it means something, does not mean that is the correct meaning. The correct meaning is the one originally intended by the authors.
Language is a tool used to communicate ideas. It is well known that words and expressions change meaning. For example the expression “What’s up?” means one thing to a 1970s African American, another thing to a 16th century Englishman. P.M.A. proponents see positive thinking and positive confession in any passage of scripture that mentions certain trigger words like mind, think, tongue, and speak. It is almost as if they are conditioned to read the Bible this way. I’ve even heard a preacher use Ex. 14:15 to teach that we must “speak to our circumstances” simply because the verse used the word “speak”. In fact God was telling Moses to speak to the children of Israel, not the Red Sea. With that said, let us consider a few scriptures.
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Some people have overstressed the word “says” in vs. 23. It has even been taught that we are not to pray for mountains to be removed, but to simply speak to our circumstances. Vs. 24 denies such a notion. The “speaking” in vs. 23 is synonymous with the “praying” in vs. 24. Thus the emphasis is not on speaking but on trusting God. The message here is that by trusting God, we can overcome any hurdle (mountain) in our Christian life.
Shawnice blogs at http://experiencesinwordoffaith.wordpress.com/. Several of her post have been re-blogged here on this blog and she has done really good work on her site. You can also read one of her written testimonies here at our Testimony Page.
Published on Apr 2, 2013 I was part of the word of faith movement for 11 years. I am here to share my testimony.
VISIT OUR EX-WoF
In this episode of Fighting For The Faith, Chris Rosebrough examines 2 sermons from Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. Chris looks at Joel’s sermons entitled “The Power of I Am” that he talked about at Oprah Winfrey’s Life Class. Chris shows that despite Joel’s good ole boy demeanor, he and those who follow the Word of Faith doctrine of positive confession are the epitome of Narcissism and all about me, me, me. And the Joyce Meyers clips show how she answers such questions as “How do we talk to God honestly about our problems without speaking bad things into existence”. This is 42 minutes long but well worth the time to listen to or read.
Here is the transcript if you would rather read the show than listen to it.
The name of author of this testimony is unknown, but she blogs at http://abigailanddolley.blogspot.com
SOURCE: Recovering From Word of Faith - Abigail and Dolley readers as a new believer I was starving for all things of God. If you have followed this blog or are friends with me on facebook you know that I always have something I am passionate about. I am almost always researching something and I try to find out as much as I can about a subject. My Mom teased me about this trait this Summer and I realized that there are a couple major themes I usually adopt: Faith, Gardening, Health/Weight Loss/Cooking, and some times Politics. Thus, it is no surprise that when I recommitted my life to the Lord that I would dig in deep and I did! Unfortunately, in my hunger to learn everything about this wonderful life in Christ I began watching Word of Faith preachers on INSP (pre-internet world!).
I was enthralled! I could pray for healing and be healed. I could invest in God’s kingdom and reap exponential awards. I could confess and speak things into existence because God promises in His Word and He HAS to do it because that is who God is! I read books, I taped shows, I confessed the Word, I prayed, I gave, I believed, I made terrible financial decisions based on “faith”…. I was sold out and so on fire for the Lord I was tough to be around.
Then, I got sick. I prayed. I believed God for healing. I did not receive that sickness into my body. I exercised incredible faith. I did not get better. Sitting in the Emergency Room one night about 6 weeks into this mysterious illness, I looked at my husband and complained that I was doing everything I was supposed to do and I was still sick! Something was very wrong with this picture and I gave up on the Word of Faith movement in that moment.
What I did not realize was that I was now very spiritually damaged. As a new believer, I indoctrinated my soul with lies. I set up ways of thought, beliefs, and actions based on the words of greedy liars disguised as preachers. In many ways, I had black highways paved through my soul. My thoughts and prayers raced across the false roads. When I abandoned the Word of Faith movement, I abandoned the Word and Faith and the Hope that comes with being a true believer. Subconsciously, I embarked on the rest of my faith life where God’s promises were tainted. Having Hope seemed like a Mountain Top Proclamations. Expending my Faith was ruined.
It was 15 years after the fact that I realized that I still carried the damage. Reciting scriptures of God’s promises ran over those dark highways in my soul and reached my heart with unbelief and no power. I did not even realize it. As I began to dig into it, I realized that only God can heal me of these spiritual scars.
How many walking wounded are there right now? How many new believers are sucked into this false doctrine and scarred forever? How many huge houses went into foreclosure because vulnerable Christians were believing God for the money to pay for their mortgages? How many sick people are not seeking medical treatment because they are believing God for divine healing? How many people completely fall away from the faith as seeds sown in shallow ground?
I have been a vehement critic of the Name it and Claim it movement. I left a church home over a dispute about it and never looked back. I hate the doctrine and what it does and there is a special place in Hell for the wolves in sheep’s clothing that deceive God’s people and line their pockets with the proceeds. Beware.
VISIT OUR EX-WoF
Did Jesus Become a Sinner on the Cross?
SOURCE: Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary? I was asked a variation of that question just last week, which prompted today’s post.
The heart of the question centers on Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5:21: ”He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
In what sense did Jesus become “sin on our behalf”? Does that phrase mean that Jesus literally became a sinner on the cross?
There are some today who teach that Jesus became a sinner (or took on a sin nature) at the cross. Benny Hinn is one such advocate. In a TBN broadcast, Hinn exclaimed:
“He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, ‘The only way I can stop sin is by me becoming it. I can’t just stop it by letting it touch me; I and it must become one.’ Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan when he became sin!” (Benny Hinn, Trinity Broadcasting Network, December 1, 1990)
Prosperity-preacher Kenneth Copeland echoes those same teachings. In Copeland’s words:
“The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, ‘Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there; the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?’ And the Lord said, ‘Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.’ He said, ‘I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.’” (Kenneth Copeland, “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,” 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 2)
On another occasion, Copeland reiterates that same teaching:
“How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God’? Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory,” Trinity Broadcasting Network, April 21, 1991)
But do assertions like these accurately reflect Paul’s teaching that “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf”?
To come back to the original question: “Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary?” My answer to that question is a resounding no.
Here are five reasons why:
REVIEW BY BOB JOHNSON: Detroit’s freeways are framed by dozens of billboards featuring happy, young, successful people enjoying a night of games and entertainment at one of the city’s casinos. The sleek, enticing images preach an alluring message: “Greatness awaits you in the casinos.” “You were born to be lucky.” On and on it goes. A closer look reveals the 1-800 number for Gambler’s Anonymous. And if you ever went to a casino, you would find that the reality does not quite match the billboard.
For years, potential casino operators attempted to get gambling legalized in Detroit. On three different occasions, they got an initiative on the ballot, but there was one pastor in the city who stood in their way. He knew what gambling would do to this city. He organized and educated, and each time the initiative was defeated. Then this pastor had a serious heart attack, and the initiative for casinos in Detroit was back in play. This time, the organizers did not have the pesky pastor to contend with. But they did something else. On this fourth attempt, the organizers gathered a number of pastors from Detroit together and offered them stock in the casinos in exchange for their support from the pulpits. They were told to sell this idea to the people as something that will be good for the economy and will save our city. The pastors did, and on the fourth try, the initiative passed.
Today you can visit the casinos. Go to the slot machines and watch the glazed-over faces of old people whose reverse mortgages freed up some money so they could buy tokens for the slot machines. Hour after hour, they pull the one-armed bandit, awaiting the glory the billboards promise. Fear sets in. They think, “If I get up from the machine, the next person will come and win.” So they sit, hour after hour, until their clothes are soiled and their tokens are gone. Next month, after the social security check arrives, some of them will be on the first bus back to try again.
And in case you haven’t heard, Detroit is bankrupt.
The promises of the prosperity gospel are like the billboards of Detroit’s casinos. It looks so good. It seems so appealing. One of its most influential voices is Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas who recently released a new book called Break Out! If Disneyworld was a church, Joel Osteen would be the pastor. Break Out! is basically a combination of “When You Wish upon a Star” and “A Whole New World.”
The problem is, Joel is a pastor, and his sermons and books are presented as truth, not fairy tales, and thousands of people really believe what he says. Some may be in our churches.
THE MAIN MESSAGE
Break Out! is a collection of twenty-five chapters (presumably sermons) organized into five sections. I could not discern much difference between the first four sections: (1) Believe Bigger; (2) Consider God, Not Circumstances; (3) Pray God-sized Prayers; 4) Keep the Right Perspective. The chapters basically follow the formula of stating the principle, supporting it with a story, inserting a vague reference to the Bible, and closing with a few more stories and exhortations.
This video, which is a expose documentary, is very good. It uses many audio/video clips I have never seen or heard before, and I have listened to and watched many in the years I have been the admin of this blog. The videos creator also shows where the Christian Music Industry has made many popular songs that espouse dangerous Word of Faith doctrines. It’s really good and well worth two hours if you want to know for sure what the WoF teaches and why the WoF movement is so dangerous.
VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Full-length documentary exposing the dangerous doctrines of the Word of Faith movement. Highlighted teachers include Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Fred Price, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Paula White, Eddie Long, Jesse Duplantis, and Myles Munroe.
****UPDATE**** It has come to my attention that Pastor Fred Price, Jr. may no longer embrace the views expressed in this video. God knows my heart in this matter, and I do not wish to cause any to stumble, least of all one with whom the Lord is dealing. While I have not spoken with him personally to verify this claim, I sincerely pray it is true and encourage all others to do likewise.
SOURCE: I’m in a bathtub. I can’t get up. I feel like I’m about to die. Mercury poisoning.
The water in the tub has grown cold. Maybe that’s why I feel so cold. I’ve been marinating in my own soup stock for the past two hours. I’m floating in and out of consciousness. Whenever I can concentrate I begin to pray.
“Jesus, please, save me. Please, heal me. I repent, I put my whole heart into prayer right now, and I cast out any doubt or fear. I know you can heal me. Please heal me!”
My mom’s keys are rattling in the doorknob now, and I hear the door thud shut in the distance. I hear her purse sliding across the counter and her keys landing next to it. I barely recognize her figure as she tries with all of her wiry might to pull me out of the tub. I spend the next two days in the hospital. My mom wants to know why I didn’t let her know, why I didn’t want to go to the hospital, why I didn’t do something.
“Mom, Jesus is my doctor. I’m blessed, and I know that he would have healed me.” This is me trying to live out what I think is true Christianity.
I had just gotten saved two months prior. I’m fresh out of jail and I’m walking around the projects where I used to stomp like a tiny teenage giant. I’ve got a bare back, a few tattoos, and a Bible in my hand. I’m just praying for the opportunity to share the Christ with someone.
I meet a man named Roger who invites me into his home. He buys me lunch and we spend all day talking about the Bible. This guy knows way more than me. I’ve never heard anyone spout off so many Scriptures in such rapid-fire succession. “This guy is legit…” I say under my breath.
Over the course of the next six months, this man indoctrinates me with the prosperity gospel. Just a few months earlier, I’d never even opened a Bible. I have no idea that I’m being given arsenic in my kool aid. I take it all. I believe it all. I know it’s true. It has to be. It’s all right here in Scripture. Look, she touched the hem of his garment and was healed. Look, Jesus couldn’t heal them because they didn’t have enough faith. Look, all throughout the Old Testament you see curses for sins, and blessings for righteousness. Prosperity for the good, pain for the bad. It’s so plain. So obvious.
But stuff isn’t making sense. I’m still without a job. I can’t pay my rent. My mom isn’t getting saved, and I keep getting cold sores. None of these things should be happening. There must be sin hidden somewhere in my heart.
Now I have the flu, and I don’t have any money to buy groceries. I just need to claim it. I just need to rebuke Satan and his lies, and believe that what I have proclaimed in the name of Jesus will surely come to pass. Maybe I’m not tithing enough. Time to double up. I’ll get it back one hundred-fold. Maybe more. I just need to sow in faith.
But it’s still not happening. “Roger, hey man, I don’t understand. It seems like this stuff isn’t working. What am I doing wrong?”
“Dude, I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know the problem ain’t with God or his Word. It’s got to be something in your heart, or in your life. Let’s pray about it.”
Fast forward a year. I’m nineteen and married now. We’re struggling hard. I can’t pay the rent or the electricity bill, and I just lost another job. My wife wasn’t saved when we met. She gets saved during the course of our friendship, and somewhere in there, she starts listening to me and taking in all of the “truth” I’m giving her. She does wonder, though, where the disconnect is. When the ATM receipt says we’re negative forty dollars, I rebuke myself, the ATM, and the receipt. I claim my blessing even in the face of this lie from Satan. I know that Jesus is looking down on me, proud of my strength in the midst of such persecution and adversity. “In the name of Jesus!”—I keep claiming what he’s promised me.
The prosperity gospel and word of faith movement are basically the same thing, but I’ve never heard anything about any of those things before. All of the good Bible-loving Baptists around me are afraid of me because I probably robbed their sons, stole their cars, or vandalized their church. Yet because of my powerful testimony, scores of churches invite me to come and share. I preach a false gospel every time I go. Not once does anyone ever sit me down and talk with me about the danger that my soul is in. Not a word. Not a peep. Not to my face, anyway. I now know that they waited respectfully until I left, and then talked amongst themselves about how sad it is to see such passion so misdirected.
(SOURCE: http://extraordinaryintelligence.com) In what seems like a previous life, I used to believe in a principle that states that you can have anything you desire, so long as you want it bad enough. This theory, touted as a Law by practitioners and believers, suggests that humans are divine; in fact, we’re creators. Everything that ever was and ever will be was created by a cosmic desire to make it so, thus we have the power to manifest our own reality in the here and now.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I now hold a different view. I believe that everything that ever was and ever will be was brought into existence by a creator God, and any power a human being can manifest is only available through the Holy Spirit, and according to the perfect will of our God.
Which is why it is endlessly troubling as I witness the modern church embracing principles like the one I used to hold dear. Having studied it thoroughly previous to my being born again, I can recognize it with ease, and it is pretty prevalent, right under the noses of the faithful.
Before we explore precisely how this movement has made its way into Christendom, let’s have a look at exactly what this principle is, who promotes it, and why it is dangerous.
The Law of Attraction, as it is now known, is not really the breakthrough that it claims to be. Magicians and Occult practitioners have been engaging in this philosophy for ages. In an effort to make it sound cutting edge, proponents of the Law of Attraction couch it in scientific terms. Specifically, the Law of Attraction can best be understood as the principle of “like attracts like”. If you put something positive into the universe, the universe (the catch all term for those who refuse to accept a singular deity) will send something positive back to you. Likewise, if you put only negativity into the universe, negativity is what you will attract. This is explained in a pseudo-scientific sense by claiming that since all matter, including human beings, are made of energy on a quantum level, like energy attracts like energy. If your thoughts have a measurable mass, then that means that they too are made of energy, hence your thoughts can and do manipulate the energy around you.
Through this principle, you can literally focus your thoughts to a specific outcome, and the “universe”, or the energy around you, simply has no choice but to comply with the specific energy output of your positive thoughts. If your positive thoughts are focused on a certain specific outcome, say you want a new shiny red bicycle, the energy around you will work to put events in place that will ultimately result in you receiving said bicycle. Kinda sounds like magic, doesn’t it?
While this principle has been available in varying forms for ages, the promotion of the Law of Attraction as scientific principle came into vogue around the early 1900’s as part of what was known as the “New Thought Movement.” The phrase “Law of Attraction” was used in the 1906 book by William Walker Atkinson titled Thought Vibration or the Law of Attraction in the Thought World. Herein we see the term “like attracts like” presented as a provable theory. Soon thereafter, this “law” began to be applied in terms of prosperity, such as the book Prosperity Through Thought Force by Bruce MacLelland. As the term caught fire, more and more New Age practitioners began to co-opt the principle, and apply it to their own philosophies. Famous Theosophist Annie Besant, who was a follower of Madame Helena Blavatsky, adopted the term in 1919, claiming that it proved the reality of the mystical concept of karma.
This principle was widely known amongst gurus of the New Age for a long time, but began to gain a big foothold in mainstream pop culture with the release of the film and subsequent book The Secret. The Secret had an insidious rise to popularity. Touting itself as a “self help book”, the title is derived from the claim that the Law of Attraction is something so powerful and so completely successful; it has been hidden away from mainstream thought. The author and presenters claim that successful business owners and elite millionaires have known this “secret” for a long time, and have tried desperately to keep it out of the hands of average human beings, lest we all become mega-bazillionaires.
Nothing “new” about the New Age.
When watching the film, one begins to see how this purportedly scientific principle is actually an esoteric form of divination, handed down from age to age. The film opens with the title screen reading “The Secret was Buried.” We then see an emerald tablet (which is a blatant shout out to the Emerald Tablet of Egyptian/Greek Hermetic lore) being transcribed onto a parchment scroll and handed to a priest. The emerald tablet is then buried by the pyramids of Giza. Next, we are taken on a journey through time as we witness alchemists like the darling of the New Age set St. Germain, who are studying and applying the principles of the Emerald Tablet. These texts are passed down from generation to generation until ultimately we see them being handed to a group of elite businessmen in a boardroom. Unlike the original intentions of the New Thought Movement, which filmmaker Rhonda Byrne claims as the source of inspiration for her film and book, The Secret adopts a very clear focus on materialism and wealth enhancement, packaged in slick esoterica, promoted as self help.
So, with the obvious occult implications of The Secret, how did it become so popular with Average Joes and soccer moms?
Enter Oprah Winfrey. In an article on her website, Oprah says of The Secret, “It has been marketed and packaged in such a way that people of our generation, of this time, can receive it in a way that perhaps they couldn’t have received it from other philosophers.”
Oprah was so moved by the contents of The Secret, that she invited a selection of gurus and New Age practitioners featured in the film to be guests on her show. It can be remarked that this was likely the beginning of Oprah’s burgeoning spiritual movement, which continues to this day on her website and her OWN network. Due to Oprah’s incredible visibility and popularity at that time, she influenced millions of unsavvy viewers to purchase The Secret and apply it to their lives.
Once the Law of Attraction gained a foothold in pop culture, it never really let go. Using basic ideas like visualization, it is easy for the gullible and misguided to practice. One of the most popular methods described by practitioners of The Secret is that of The Vision Board. Essentially, the reader/viewer is encouraged to get a big piece of cardboard and paste things to it that they want to draw into their lives. If you want a new car, a new home, money, a new dog, a new boyfriend/girlfriend… whatever the case is, you are to find pictures of these items and glue them to your Vision Board. Once the board is full of all of the STUFF that you want, you are encouraged to study the board regularly, imagining that all of these THINGS are yours. Eventually, the universe will give them to you. Isn’t that AMAZING!? Again, it sounds an awful lot like magic, doesn’t it? Occultists and wiccans use a similar philosophy with their sigils and signs that are meant to represent things that they’d like to manifest in their lives. They use visualization while focusing on their created sigil in an effort to bring those things to themselves.
Another popular concept from The Secret is the positive affirmation, or repetitive statement of intent. In this practice, you just say the things you want over and over and eventually you’ll get them. Easy peasy! Exactly like a magical incantation! Except not, because it is SCIENCE, right??
With all of the overtly occultic, Gnostic, and Hermetic pagan influences on The Law of Attraction, how do I boldly claim that it has found its way into Christian circles?
In recent decades, a movement has been spreading throughout Christian churches. Largely knows as the Prosperity movement or Word of Faith, these preachers make bold claims about how to achieve personal prosperity through abundant faith practices. Their skillful couching of The Law of Attraction in Christianese has led many millions of people unknowingly into New Age concepts. Many of the readers of this site are aware of the dangers of this movement, but perhaps not aware of how tightly woven the prosperity gospel is with the Law of Attraction, and how insidiously it twists true Christian principles of faith with deceptive occult practices.
GREAT VIDEO: This video is a one hour summation of Justin Peters 4 1/2 hour seminar on the Word of Faith Movement, formally entitled A Call To Discernment. It would be perfect to give to some who are becoming skeptical of the WoF movement claims but yet are not willing to devote hours and hours to learn more about it.
SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT FALSE TEACHERS
1. Jesus warned about false teachers (Matt. 7:15-17).
2. Paul warned about false teachers (Acts 20:29-30; 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Tim. 4:3-4).
3. Peter warned about false teachers and said that many will follow them (2 Pet. 2:1-2).
4. John warned about false teachers (1 John 2:18-20).
5. Jude warned about false teachers (Jude 3-4).
SOME BIBLE FACTS ABOUT DOCTRINE
1. The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
2. We are to continue in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42).
3. Preachers are to give themselves to doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13).
4. No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Tim. 1:3).
5. Our doctrine is to be uncorrupt (Titus 2:10).
6. We are to separate from false doctrine (Rom. 16:17).
(SOURCE: Penny of a Thought) The Prosperity Gospel gets a lot of hype – both positive and negative – in evangelical circles. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to believe that Jesus wants us to have our best life now or that by trusting him all of our problems will disappear? Who doesn’t want to pay their bills, have a nice house, be healthy, or live in peace? Many Christians have experienced the physical blessings of God in Christ, and that is something to rejoice over and sing about.
Yet is this prosperity truly the focus of the Gospel message? Is this what Jesus came for; is it why he died? The theology of the prosperity gospel has always bothered me intellectually, but recently is has also angered me experientially, sounding like a clanging cymbal in the midst of difficult circumstances. It has been the joining together of theological reflection and experience that has caused me to take seriously the danger which the Prosperity Gospel presents. There are five key areas where I see this gospel being theologically and experientially untenable, undermining the true beauty of hope in Christ.
It Creates God in our Own Image
The cornerstone of the Prosperity Gospel is that God gives physical blessings in this life to those who trust in Jesus. Claim God’s promises and watch Him bless your socks off. While it’s true that God often blesses Christians with health and monetary gain, the underlying assumption is that God is obligated to bless our faith in these ways.
This makes our relationship with God one based on a contract or a “what’s in it for me?” mentality. The blessings God bestow become about him owing us for our good behavior and not about his goodness and grace. This is to create God in our own image, lowering His holiness to our imperfections. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). He is not obligated to bless us and does not owe us anything. When we use the gospel to bargain with God we have lost sight of the character and holiness of the King of kings we claim to serve.
It Distorts the True Gospel
The Prosperity Gospel also distorts the Gospel’s true beauty. The Gospel is good news because it shows that humanity’s greatest problem and need is not physical, but spiritual. Our greatest need is not health, physical safety, and prosperity. Our greatest need is forgiveness and the restoration of a right relationship with God, which Jesus has accomplished for us.
Yes, Jesus came that we might have life abundantly (John 10:10). But the abundance he was talking about was not limited to the temporal abundance this world labels as ‘blessings.’ The abundance Jesus offers in his death and resurrection is abundance of safety and security in our relationship with him. The true Gospel is that through faith in Jesus Christ there is no condemnation for our sin, we are in a right relationship with God, and we have the promise that someday we will be with him forever (Romans 8; Ephesians 2; Revelation 21-22).
It Misrepresents Jesus Christ
Because the Prosperity Gospel distorts the true Gospel, it also misrepresents Jesus Christ. Jesus himself promised that in this world we will have tribulation (John 16:33). As Christians we are not guaranteed that when we live correctly evil and injustice will never win in our life. But we are promised ultimate victory because Jesus has overcome the world.
This testimony is lengthy but thorough, filled with Scripture and quotes, and it is very expressive of Pauls feelings about his short time involved in the Word of Faith Movement.
(SOURCE: Life Now and After Death) I am of the belief that witchcraft, sorcery, Black Magic, greed, deception, covetousness, selfishness, materialism, pride, temptation, idolatry, and blasphemy should have no place in a church or ministry that claims to represent Jesus Christ.
I was a victim of a cult. This writing is meant as a warning to unsuspecting people who may be involved in or considering any church or teaching that is from the Word of Faith Movement or Prosperity Gospel. I attended a church that employed both. I had seen the pastor of this church guest-minister at a church I used to go to in another State and I didn’t notice any obvious warning signs. Also, a couple family members who were also remotely familiar with this ministry and who are involved in their local churches encouraged me to ‘get involved’ as much as possible. I just concluded a very desctructive relationship so I figuratively ran into this church beat-up and unguarded seeking much needed refuge but little did I know I had just left a dark wooded place only to enter the home of known serial (spirit) killers.
I was not even aware that there were such things as “Word of Faith” or “Prosperity Gospel” movements and I was sitting right in it. Once I was spiritually flattened by this consuming machine I began to look back into what had happened. The Word of Faith Movement is where great emphasis is placed on the words that leave your mouth, all your words must line-up with success, and many other manner of behaivoral safeguards. The Prosperity Movement is where the belief is that all should be rich according to God’s great glory which is achieved by “sowing” money into the ministry; you pay the pastor then God pays you back with interest (Acts 8:20 “But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” ). It was all the Pharisees and Sadducees and self appointed Scribes creating their rules to control people while pointing to scripture and collecting cash. These people keep you mired down in the bondage of law and ‘works’, not elevated by freely receiving the liberty of Grace through humility. They are the gatekeepers of such law and ‘works’.
Matthew 23:1-4 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”; Matthew 23:13-14 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”.
‘If you’re not rich it’s because you’re not doing it as good as us'; the wizards would imply. ‘If you’re sick you lack faith and you don’t talk the right way, it’s your fault, you idiot’. ‘We’re trying to help you evolve from being an ignorant sheep to flying your own jets, like us…keep trying (sending us your money and allowing us to control your minds), just a couple more decades and you just might make it…we love you’. Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”
These cults were birthed under the guise of a more revelatory form of Christianity, on the cutting edge. They are heretical and preach a doctrine that takes away power from God and gives it to man. ‘God has given you the power, now it’s up to you to perform the correct way and use this power to shape your life according to the way you want it’. God becomes your own genie in a bottle, as long as you say the right magic words, He will come out of the bottle and do whatever you wish. It also promises new found riches if you follow the program closely but it’s nothing more than an ongoing ‘get rich quick scheme’ infomercial. A ponzi scheme motivated by the greed of the proponents and adherers; you pay money in so you can get more money out. ‘Because it’s God will that we be self-centered materialistic brats, you know, so we can be good witnesses for Jesus in this self-centered materialistic world. And once we have this money we can minister the love of money by giving some of our extra money to the lost and hurting people of this world who are also fixated on money, all in the name of our precious Father, Amen. It’s all clearly stated in the Bible, if you don’t believe me bring your check book or Visa card to church sometime and the pastor will show you, that’s just how much he loves you. Then you can spread to all of your friends, unless they are to stupid to see it, this refreshing gospel of Jesus Christ as interpreted by Benjamin Franklin’. Matthew 6:25; “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”.
First, these pastors have to get the audience to believe there’s something special, unique, and more Godly about them, a Pope or Medicine Man like quality; far from equals with the audience. Note, this has nothing to do with lowering ones spirit to being a humble servant, as Apostle Paul who wrote most of the New Testament did, it has everything to do with elevating oneself to grand wizard status as the Pharisees and Sadducees did. They convince the audience that they are more spiritually advanced than them and they have supernatural knowledge; like the kid in class who has a secret and all the other kids want to know. This is done through charisma, speaking with authority, bragging, and ridiculing people and points of views that don’t come from them or line up with their agenda. Once they’ve established their unique credibility and got their hooks in you, everything else is easy. They then create an atmosphere of ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s from the audience, these pastors call it “Revelatory Knowledge”, to keep the audience bamboozled and mystified; in a sense casting a spell over the audience through deception. They package the messages in an uplifting and exciting presentation buttressed by out of context scripture to support their points. They offer gifts of empowerment to the audience. This is the exact same cunning as the serpent in the garden of Eden. Similarly, what it does is actually minister oppression to the audience; spirits of pride, greed, selfishness, and covetousness. What follows is self doubt, confusion, and disappointment when the desired results are not achieved. Some people follow this movement for decades. I was there for a little more than a year and I have been very regretful to God for my poor choices. Ephesians 4: 14; “. . .henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.”.
Oppositely from the grand wizards, Jesus actually said this; Matthew 23:8-12 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”.
It’s rooted in the same teachings as Christian Science, New Thought, and other forms of the occult and it has swept into the Christian world like a cancer. It began with the writings of E.W. Kenyon, which were stolen and plagiarized by Kenneth E. Hagin, AKA “Dad” Hagin (“Originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of His hands. In other words, Adam was the god of this world.” ), who then merchandised the cult in a huge way; Kenneth Copeland (“Several people that I know have criticized, some of them are dead right today in an early grave because of it, and there’s more than one of them that’s got cancer.” ), Benny Hinn (“You have attacked me, your children will pay for it” ), Joel Osteen (who claims your future will be contingent on “the words you say today” which is from the occult), Joyce Meyer (“men are called god’s by the law, men to whom God’s message came, and the scripture cannot be set aside or canceled or broken or annulled” ), Fred Price (“God the father cannot do anything in this earth realm without permission.” ), Jesse Duplantis (said of Jesus “Why was He born in a stable? Because that short, deaf lady lost their reservation. He couldn’t get into the inn.” ), Creflo Dollar (“You begin to study the righteousness of God is also defined as having equality with God” ), and the gang over at Trinity Broadcasting Network (founder Paul Crouch said this regarding anyone who would get in the way of TBN which he claimed was “God’s plan”; “I attended the funeral of these two people who tried.” ) are fruit of E.W. Kenyon’s cultic teachings brought to us by Kenneth E. Hagin. Regarding the above cursing of people; James 3-9-10 “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.”; and, regarding the antichrist; Daniel 8:25: “…he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many…” (“craft” is witchcraft).
E.W. Kenyon went to an oratory school in Boston that was filled with the teachings and followers of Transcendentalism, New Thought, and other metaphysical cults…’you are what you think’, ‘you can have what you speak’, ‘we are all little gods’. It was Emerson School of Oratory where he was under Charles Emerson, a Christian Scientist, and R.W. Trine, a Gnostic who advanced New Thought. It is clear that his writings reflect this. Kenneth E. Hagin took these cultic writings and was able to charasmatically parlay them into great power, influence, and riches with his unique carnival barker presentation. Now they are mainstream and polluting the clean water of sound doctrine. Revelation 13:5; “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies…”.
The leaders of this movement are already the masters, how else could they coach us if they haven’t mastered the movement? So we looked up to them as wizards and grand wizards. They were already living the life of the rich and powerful, how could we argue with them? The problem is they are spending money lavishly on themselves raised using the name of the Lord, the same Lord who lowered Himself to flesh, then lowered himself further to wash the flesh of men. Matthew 23:16-19 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?”.
Jesse Duplantis makes the case that since “death and life” are in the power of the tongue he then concludes that we, not God, decide when to live or die.
It’s really outrageous, and sometimes deadly, when you see some of the Word of Faith teachings carried out to their logical conclusions.
I’m reading this tonight. And thought some of you might like this. It’s a 95 page book critiquing Joel Osteen’s first book. I’m 2 chapters in and it has been really good so far. Much better than the unsavory cover might suggest it would be. It’s a free PDF book too. Just register an account with LuLu publishing and download free or you can buy a paperback copy for 6.40$
BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Joel Osteen is, without a doubt, one of the most prominent pastors in the United States. Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, the nation’s largest and fastest growing congregation, Osteen has achieved a great deal of recognition both from Christian circles and the world at large. The problem with Joel’s popularity is that it stems from his watered down Savior-less message that sounds much more like Tony Robbins than Jesus Christ. Every week, he lulls his listeners into a false sense of eternal security, deceiving them into believing that what he’s teaching will save them. He preaches to their materialistic lusts, all the while lining his pockets with their hard earned savings. Up until this point, no book has challenged the false teachings of so-called “Pastor” Osteen, due largely to his popularity and connections to major publishers. Today, this book takes a stand against the sugar coated sewage flowing from the pulpit of Lakewood Church.”
PAPERBACK COPY LINK (6.40$)
- Benny Hinn
- Book Review
- Damon Whitsell
- Did Jesus go to Hell
- Did Jesus go to Hell?
- Ex-Word of Faith Testimony
- Fred Price
- Guest Writers
- Is Faith a Force?
- Jesse Duplantis
- Joel Osteen
- John Edwards
- Joseph Prince
- Joyce Meyer
- June Hunt
- Kenneth Copeland
- Kenneth Hagin
- Little gods
- Mark 11:22-23
- Mark Chironna
- Must See Post
- Papa Giorgio
- Paul Crouch
- Postive Thinking
- Power of Words
- Proverbs 18:21
- T.D. Jakes
- The Prosperity Gospel
- Trinity Broadcast Network
- Walter Martin
- Why Expose Error?
- Word of Faith
- Word of Faith Documentary
- Word of Faith In The News
- Word of Faith is Witchcraft
- Word of Faith Testimony
- Word of Faith VIDEO