Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 5, 2013

The Case against the Gospel of Prosperity by Learnmore Zuze

This article from Nehanda Radio (Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio Station) is kinda llengthy but a really really great read. Very Insightful and said with much passion. You can tell this guy has had much first hand experience with the Word of Faith Movements Prosperity Gospel.

Learnmore ZuzeSOURCE: The Case against the Gospel of Prosperity by Learnmore Zuze

A story is told of a dog that died. The owner loved his dog so dearly that he went to his pastor and said, “Pastor, my dog has died this morning. I have one request which, if you grant, I would be grateful forever. Please, could there be a service for the poor creature?”

The Pastor replied, “No, we can’t have service for animals in the church. The church is for human beings and not for pets. However, there is one of the new churches mushrooming down the road, try them, maybe they will accept such a request.”

The dejected man rose from the chair and shook his head as he headed for the door on his way out. Just as he was about to leave he enquired, “Pastor, but do you think at that church they will accept a donation of  three thousand dollars for personal use by their pastor in return for the burial service?”

The Pastor shouted, “Blood of Jesus! Come back! Why didn’t you tell me all along that the dog was a Christian? Let’s have the service right way. Where is the dog?” The story may sound funny but contained therein is a deadly and Satan-induced cancer that is eating the unsuspecting church of today.

Whereas the shepherd and follower of Christ of the past focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and repentance, today’s follower has been schooled to believe that the focus of the Christian is the acquisition of worldly wealth.

The prosperity Gospel teaches that God wants Christians to be prosperous financially, physically and spiritually. This Gospel has taken centre stage influencing millions of people and has had startling success because of what it promises the believer.

Marketers of this gospel have touched the hearts of millions of eager listeners seeking to escape from the jaws of poverty. This gospel is premised on the idea that God wants you to be rich and to have excess in your life and that your physical possessions indicate your spiritual worthy.

Below I quoted live recorded statements by prosperity preachers.

·          “Today’s service is on Seven steps to prosperity …”

·          “If you are still a lodger then you need to understand that poverty is not from God.”

·          “Receive your house, receive your miracle…”

·          “The very moment you stepped in this church, poverty and sickness have departed from your family.” 

It’s undeniable that the Bible has many scriptures which tell of God’s blessings. However, the tragedy of those who peddle the gospel of prosperity is their myopic focus on these scriptures and reluctance to understand the core objective of the Gospel.

Did Jesus impliedly or explicitly teach that His Gospel would also be a tool for earthly prosperity? Is the prosperity gospel the urgent message that the world needs in these last days? Suppose there is a father who has a family to feed and one day brings a bar of chocolate to the excitement of his family.

The next day the man brings two more bars of chocolate and again the family is happy. The father increases the chocolate bars he takes home in the next few days much to the delight of his family.

Meanwhile, his home has run out of the basic food like mealie-meal and oil yet surprisingly, the man of the house continues to bring more chocolate. Consequently the family reaches a point where all that is left for food is chocolate.

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 5, 2013

The ABUSE of the Prosperity Gospel by ShowJesusLight

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SOURCE: I am not against anyone prospering and so isn’t God. In fact there are undoubtedly many clear cut scriptures showing the will of God regarding the prosperity of his people. The problem is with the position prosperity is given in the gospel by us humans. That is where all the issues with prosperity are arising from. What it has promoted is greed and the pursuit of wealth much more than the pursuit of God. God is the source of wealth but wealth will not bring anyone close to God. Even the definition of prosperity has been limited to wealth or largely wealth. While they defend themselves saying they know prosperity is beyond just money their sermons say something else. Let them preach what they claim to believe. True prosperity must be taught closely with the obedience of God. Not just the obedience involving finances but living a holy life through out.

Jesus gave the blue print and showed how all this should work.

Mat 6:19-34 RV  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth consume, and where thieves break through and steal:  (20)  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  (21)  for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.  (22)  The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.  (23)  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is the darkness!  (24)  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  (25)  Therefore I say unto you, Be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?  (26)  Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye of much more value than they?  (27)  And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit unto his stature?  (28)  And why are ye anxious concerning raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  (29)  yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  But if God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (31)  Be not therefore anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (32)  For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  (33)  But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (34)  Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Emphasis mine).

Compare that with the situation we have on our hands today. What we have is prosperity taking up the largest part of sermons even when the sermon is on a different subject. We have prosperity taking up the largest number of sermons preached year in year out. It’s so easy to hear prosperity being mentioned in any sermon but not the sinful state of church and society that certainly needs attention. God calls different people for different specific missions and calls and gives them the anointing to accomplish that particular call. There are people God has called to help the church deal with finances and prosper just like there are those called into deliverance etc. There are people gifted in medicine, engineering, teaching, IT etc. it’s okay when those called to finances major in finances but they should not shy away from preaching a holistic gospel even while doing what they do best. There however is a problem somewhere when money sweeps over the church and everyone is preaching it for the most time and the more important doctrines are swept aside.

There are plenty of ways to invest in heaven, like using your finances specifically for godly purposes. Jesus was clear on the order. The kingdom and righteousness first, then “all these things” shall be added to us.  Jesus said the gentiles (unbelievers) are the ones who seek such things. It’s certain these are the major concerns of gentiles. It shouldn’t be the same for us. Jesus said we should be different. How? Go after God, he will give you the rest. We have changed the order. There is denial about this but what’s being done proves it. “Things” are sought in the place of God. Like when people get to know every verse about prospering yet few or none are known on the subject of holiness etc. All day what do you think of most? Is it Prosperity or God? That’s a result of too much prosperity sermons that are not holistic. God knows well for man to focus on anything that’s not Him will cause trouble, where your treasure is is where your heart will be. Jesus commands us to store treasure in heaven, to invest in heaven not earth.  That doesn’t mean not having any investment or anything on earth. That interpretation contradicts a lot of scriptures. He says to not lay up treasures on earth for “YOURSELVES”. That is a selfish me me mentality. If you seek God first storing treasure in heaven will be automatic because He will always be your first love and not earthly treasures. If you invest in heaven your heart will continue to be there. If you lay up for yourselves treasure on earth you will be earth minded thus carnally minded.

READ MORE HERE

hell200SOURCE: “Did Jesus go to hell between His death and resurrection?”

Answer: There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles’ Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead” or the “place of departed souls/spirits.” The New Testament Greek word that is used for hell is “hades,” which also refers to “the place of the dead.” Other Scriptures in the New Testament indicate that sheol/hades is a temporary place, where souls are kept as they await the final resurrection and judgment. Revelation 20:11-15 gives a clear distinction between the two. Hell (the lake of fire) is the permanent and final place of judgment for the lost. Hades is a temporary place. So, no, Jesus did not go to hell because hell is a future realm, only put into effect after the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Sheol/hades is a realm with two divisions (Matthew 11:23, 16:18; Luke 10:15, 16:23; Acts 2:27-31), the abodes of the saved and the lost. The abode of the saved was called “paradise” and “Abraham’s bosom.” The abodes of the saved and the lost are separated by a “great chasm” (Luke 16:26). When Jesus ascended to heaven, He took the occupants of paradise (believers) with Him (Ephesians 4:8-10). The lost side of sheol/hades has remained unchanged. All unbelieving dead go there awaiting their final judgment in the future. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes, according to Ephesians 4:8-10 and 1 Peter 3:18-20.

Some of the confusion has arisen from such passages as Psalm 16:10-11 as translated in the King James Version, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption….Thou wilt show me the path of life.” “Hell” is not a correct translation of this verse. A correct reading would be “the grave” or “sheol.” Jesus said to the thief beside Him, “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus’ body was in the tomb; His soul/spirit went to the “paradise” side of sheol/hades. He then removed all the righteous dead from paradise and took them with Him to heaven. Unfortunately, in many translations of the Bible, translators are not consistent, or correct, in how they translate the Hebrew and Greek words for “sheol,” “hades,” and “hell.”

Some have the viewpoint that Jesus went to “hell” or the suffering side of sheol/hades in order to further be punished for our sins. This idea is completely unbiblical. It was the death of Jesus on the cross and His suffering in our place that sufficiently provided for our redemption. It was His shed blood that effected our own cleansing from sin (1 John 1:7-9). As He hung there on the cross, He took the sin burden of the whole human race upon Himself. He became sin for us: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). This imputation of sin helps us understand Christ’s struggle in the garden of Gethsemane with the cup of sin which would be poured out upon Him on the cross.

When Jesus cried upon the cross, “Oh, Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), it was then that He was separated from the Father because of the sin poured out upon Him. As He gave up His spirit, He said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). His suffering in our place was completed. His soul/spirit went to the paradise side of hades. Jesus did not go to hell. Jesus’ suffering ended the moment He died. The payment for sin was paid. He then awaited the resurrection of His body and His return to glory in His ascension. Did Jesus go to hell? No. Did Jesus go to sheol/hades? Yes.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 1, 2013

VIDEO: How to “channel” Joel Osteen

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Joel Osteen wannabe’s are popping up all over the place. What I want to know is why are people getting up on a Sunday morning to go and sit and listen to this stuff???

1%2520%25284%2529acfSOURCE: When, at age 22, I began having inexplicable chronic ankle pain that kept me from the walking, dancing and biking I loved, I honestly felt like my life had come to an end.

Fresh out of college, I was ready to take on life’s unexpected adventures, but just not this one. Persistent pain was an anti-adventure, an unwelcome companion that kept me sidelined at home while the rest of my friends hiked mountains and salsa danced. My faith, which had sustained me up until now through a rocky family life and a bout of depression in college, now wore thin. God’s promises of life abundant and a hope-filled future seemed distant and stale, as if a stranger other than me used to believe them. Life stretched before me in a tunnel of unrelenting pain.

At the root of my angst were several questions that wedged into the once-stable core of my existence, leaving me un-moored. I questioned my body, by which I felt betrayed. Why wasn’t it able to heal properly? How could these limbs on which I had prided myself for being so strong, trim, and supple suddenly turn fragile and diseased?

I questioned society and the health care system along with the mentality of efficiency and scientific mastery of the body which pervades both. Why did doctors seem not to care about my pain? How could the medical industry go on blithely selling pharmaceuticals that often do more harm than good?

I questioned God and his wisdom in allowing the world to be the way it was. The problem of evil, which was abstract before, became glaringly personal. Children dying of hunger, mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers coming down with cancer, and all manner of disease, disability and pain cascaded into my own pain to form one gigantic glowing question mark that blinded me every time I tried to look to God.

Finally, I questioned the messages of the church and of my fellow Christians. I had digested many implicit forms of the health and wealth gospel. The more explicit ones I rejected outright as false gospels, but others were more subtle and plausible. Sometimes, I honestly didn’t know whether the truth lay. If it was true that God intended his children to be healthy and whole, where did my chronic pain, of which I prayed constantly to be healed, fit in? Why was it that sometimes miraculous healings occurred, and sometimes they didn’t? Could I, as one prayer minister suggested to me, be “harboring unforgiveness” or some other sin, such that it was blocking God’s healing power?

In the end, I just couldn’t fully reconcile the fact that some faithful followers of Jesus could suffer horrible, interminable diseases, pain and silence from God with the images of glowing physical and spiritual health that I had associated with being a Christian. As a young adult just beginning to realize the depth of despair and darkness that is part and parcel of living in a broken world, it was too much. Disease, dying, decay…how did these realities make sense together with the healing, restoration and rebirth that Christians speak of as signs of God’s presence among us?

Read More…

daughter house in heavan

SOURCE HERE: “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

On “Word of Faith” or “Believing Prayer” Movements

I’ve picked on the occult, media, Messianic Judaism, Harry Potter, and Beth Moore. I’ve picked on “spiritual disciplines”, tithing, and missionaries, “Purpose-Driven”/Emerging churches, pragmatism, Biblical authority, ecumenism, and a variety of Christian-living topics.

But until now I haven’t picked on the one topic that can make me mad as a hornet, quicker than anything (which surprises me, actually). I am usually passionate, though diplomatic about topics, even more so when speaking to non-Christians.

I enjoy the mutual exchanging of questions and learning about other people (but I do not like accusations). This subject however, brings a lot of personal emotions to the surface because I lived this worldview for a brief and very painful time.

Putting my faith in sincere and well-intentioned spiritual elders, my spouse and I bought into this worldview hook, line, and sinker at the start of our young marriage, and especially when our first-born was diagnosed with a fatal heart anomaly in utero.

We were promised that “if we had faith” (if we believed hard enough) God would have to heal her. We read in proponents’ books, about certain “spiritual laws” that God was bound by (ha!). We were told that only certain people must be told about the baby’s condition; those discerning few who really knew how to pray “correctly” for her; to “pray believing”.

Here is an example (from CBN’s website) on how to pray believing for “your personal” miracle (though they give themselves an out by not guaranteeing your desired outcome). http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/CBNTeachingSheets/Can_I_Be_Healed.aspx

To my eternal regret, we hurt and deceived a lot of people by essentially lying about the baby’s condition, because if you admitted there was a problem, even allowed yourself the tiniest thought there might be a problem, you wouldn’t get your miracle (in New Age circles this idea is called “positive thinking” to an extreme, and obviously unhealthy end).

In my naiveté and desperate hope, I clung to the belief my baby would live even after she lay dead in my husband’s arms. I firmly believed God would bring her back from the dead (and I know now how crazy this all sounds) and awe all the nay-saying doctors.

It wasn’t until her graveside funeral a week later, when we pulled up to the outdoor awning and I saw her casket, that reality finally hit me. It hit me so hard I refused to get out of the car. I didn’t want that reality; that was not what I had worked and prayed and vainly hoped and “believed in faith” so hard for.

But the death of my Elizabeth Ann nearly nine years ago, has spurred me to look before I leap, and research and study my Bible harder than ever. I can now say unequivocally that the Word of Faith movement doesn’t work based on my experience, and it is very un-Biblical.

The most hurtful thing after Elizabeth’s death was the lack of apology on the part of those who had pushed their beliefs so hard. Rather than admitting the obvious (this system failed), they pulled away from my husband and I and grew distant and remained quiet. Worst of all, they continue to believe in and promote this garbage.

That is when I become very angry. The same people who convinced me of their beliefs and themselves held my dead baby or attended or spoke at the funeral, refuse to admit their mistake and seem intent on dragging other people through the hell that I went through.

It may just be my perception, but it appears this movement is growing. Take note however: this movement is merely witchcraft* in disguise. The idea of having to say prayer in a particular (i.e. ritualistic, formulaic, or prescribed) manner is a key occult practice; they call it incantation or spell-casting.
Read More…

Roma-Downet-OM-Magazine-The-Bible-Miniseries-A-Christian-Review-e1363330756325This post exposes the New Age affiliations of Roma Downey, critiques the first two episodes in light of the Bible and list the projects “board of advisers” being Joel Otseen, TD Jakes, Rick Warran and many other questionable “advisers”. I said about a week ago I needed to write an article that showed these New Age connections that I had read about in the comment section of an article critiquing the Bible Miniseries but THIS POST from BeginningAndEnd.com does a great job. I’ll post some of the article and you can read the rest at BeginningAndEnd.com.

To the article I’d like to add this one that shows Mark Burnett and Roma Downey telling of the importance they thought it was to have New Age Prayer Circles during the Miniseries production. This article does a great job of detail critiquing the first episode. That one and this one both say that some of the artistic license that was taken in the MiniSeries was talk about “changing the world”.

And here is Todd Friel of WretchedRadio doing a great job of summing up the issue.

The Bible Miniseries: Hollywood Heresy


SNIPPET:
With much critical acclaim and fanfare, History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries debuted as the highest rated program in the network’s history. A 10-hour mini-series that covers popular Bible stories from Genesis to Revelation, has been a commercial success. The Christian Post online news site proclaimed: “This Time, Hollywood Got It Right.” Christiancinema.com wrote in its review: “This 10 part mini-series is a must-see epic of Biblical proportion. It is a wonderful testament to the enduring power of the Holy Bible, and the importance it plays in the history and eternal destiny of mankind.”

Yet watching the mini-series with a Bible-based perspective, it becomes obvious that this mini-series is full of unbiblical heresies, changes a great deal of the Bible’s details and ignores the message of salvation and forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ that is the main purpose of the entire Bible itself. And what is even more dangerous is that many churches have adopted this series for teaching and sharing the Word of God in their services, continuing the fall of many Christian churches into spiritual apostasy.

READ MORE HERE

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: NEW Joel Osteen parody, Joel Osteen Exposed for 2012! Includes educational parody and spoof material about Joel Osteen! Includes interviews with Byron Pitts of 60 Minutes and Oprah Winfrey; along with criticism and parody by John MacArthur and Paul Washer!

The latest interview, in 2012, with Oprah Winfrey exposes the true nature of Joel’s counterfeit “gospel”. Joel’s “smiling preacher” demeanor and flattering words entice many to follow him instead of the true gospel of Christ! Joel Osteen’s disarming charm makes it difficult to expose the error of his teachings; because people are so enamored with his personality and comely appearance.

Joel Osteen studied under his father (John Osteen) for seventeen years after graduating college. Joel Osteen holds NO ministerial degree or training that anyone knows of; he majored in TV production in college. Joel served under his father as a communications specialist and fine tuned the TV production and in the process he developed his “smiling” methods. Pay special attention to how much he closes his eyes while speaking (and smiling)! This is Joel’s Pharisaical tactic to appear more “Holy” and good!

Also pay special attention to the MAKEUP he wears for the camera! If this video hurts Joel’s feelings, oh well, surely he will cry all the way to the bank and/or back to his $10 MILLION home in Houston. It is a small thing to offend men; but a great thing to offend God, which Joel Osteen does habitually by preaching JOEL’S “gospel” instead of Christ’s gospel!

The reason behind making this video was two-fold:
1. To educate and edify the true Christians.
2. and hopefully to wake-up and draw away sincere (albeit immature) Christians currently caught up in the deception of Joel Osteen, Lakewood “Church” and Joel’s pantheist/universalist false prosperity gospel!

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 31, 2013

VIDEO: TBN’s Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer & Co. Exposed

VIDEO DESRIPTION: Let’s put pastors like Joyce Meyer, Frederick Price, Benny Hinn, and Paul Crouch’s words to the test against the Word Of God and see how it stacks up. As truth or error?

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 17, 2013

VIDEO: Joel Osteen – The Smile of Deception by LetUsReason.org

DESCRIPTION: What are Joel Osteen’s beliefs based on, what has made him one of the most watched and popular TV preachers? Because of peoples lack of discernment they are unable to recognize what is obviously wrong. The teachings of Joel Osteen are biblically light and often out of context. Joel Osteen’s open ended spiritual inclusiveness is misleading many. Osteen’s teaching combines positive thinking and Kenneth Hagin’s positive confession with The Secret. He has it based on word faith teaching that he learned from his father. His positive thinking and confession visualization techniques that are aligned with “the Secret” that Oprah promotes. He is promoting decreeing, creating by words; word faith declarations with Visualization. All this amounts to a dangerous mix that departs from Biblical teaching into new age/mysticism. Numerous video clips with powerpoint presentations, makes it clear what has made Lakewood the largest church in America.

MY COMMENTS: Regular readers and subscribers to this blog have probably noticed that I have been posting allot about Joel Osteen lately. Over the years I have tried to focus more on WoF teachings rather than WoF teachers because I figured that would be a better strategy to possibly reach those who have personal affinities for certain WoF teachers. But that changed when Osteen appeared on Oprah Winfreys TV show and I saw that as an opportunity for people who like Joel a whole lot, and other WoF teachers, to more easily see that the WoF Power of Words/Positive Confession teaching as what it really is – Occultism, New Age Teaching and Witchcraft veiled in Christian terms. So I thought I would make a few more post on Joel and the subject and be done with it but then I heard Joel and TD Jakes were “advisers” on the History Channels mini-series “The Bible” and that it was getting rave reviews – so you can expect more post here on this blog on the subject of the Occultic Roots of the WoF.

You’ll probably be surprised to learn that while the producers of The Bible mini-series claim to be Christian, they are also inundated with New Age Teaching and Roma Downey was even featured on the cover of a very popular New Age Magazine and she graduated with a Masters Degree from a New Age School in California. I will be writing a post on that mini-series soon and it will help you understand why in the first episode God supposedly told Abraham that He was going to use him to “change the World” and why in the shows promo video Christ Jesus tells the Apostle Peter that He “needs him to help change the World”.

This video is over an hour long but very well worth your time. Please notice that around the 10 minute mark it shows video footage of Joel admitting that “it is not his gifting” to write books about the details of Bible Theology, but that has not stopped him from being an “adviser” to a TV show on the Bible and publishing his own Study Bible which contain what he calls “hope notes”.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 17, 2013

The Secret to the success of Joel Osteen and The Prosperity Gospel

"If we say it long enough eventually we're going to reap a harvest. We're going to get exactly what we're saying" - Joel Osteen (From BrainyQuotes)

“If we say it long enough eventually we’re going to reap a harvest. We’re going to get exactly what we’re saying” – Joel Osteen (From BrainyQuotes)

This is yet another post showing the Occult New Age Roots of what Joel Osteen and other Word of Faith Teachers teach. Before you diss the idea hear what Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Paul Crouch have said on the issue.

Benny Hinn claims the Holy Spirit told him, “…that if witches and occultists can speak death by the supernatural power of words, then Christian can speak life and prosperity by the same power.” The Facts on the Faith Movement, J. Ankerberg & J. Weldon, Harvest House, 1993, p.23 Copyright ©2008

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Benny Hinn: “Witches even..I mean..I’m not here to talk about witches but, but I’ll tell you this.

Paul Crouch: “They..they under they know the secret.

Benny Hinn: “,,,because see I had a witch tell me this. And I said what!? She said, listen to me, she said do you know that we are taught in witchcraft how to kill birds with words, and how to kill people with our mouth. I said what do you mean kill people? She said we are taught with words to bring disease on men. I said how? She said by speaking certain words (unintelligible) she said we can actually cause sickness that could very well kill.Christianity in Crisis (audiobook), tape II, side 3.

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Kenneth Copeland: Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and that’s when the action takes place because that is when the spiritual force is brought up out of the mouth – whether it be fear or whether it be faith – and when that spiritual force comes out, it is going to give substance to that image that is inside of you. People say, ‘that is that New Age visualization stuff’. The New Age is trying to do this. And they get somewhat results out of it because it is a spiritual law. (Believer’s Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 28 March 1991.)

JOEL OSTEEN AND THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL

The following by Dr. Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel, is republished at Apprising Ministries with permission:

The New Age book and video by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret, which gained popularity recently due to Oprah Winfrey’s strong promotion, teaches that we can “create [our] own happiness through the law of attraction.”  Whether it is cash, health, prosperity or happiness, all can be ours if we will just learn to use “the secret.”  Byrne tells us, “Disease cannot live in a body that is in a healthy emotional state.” But be warned: “If you have a disease and you are focusing on it and talking to people about it, you are going to create more disease cells.”[1]

Such rhetoric should sound familiar to anyone even faintly aware of the Word of Faith Movement, often termed “the prosperity gospel.”  This group has been infiltrating evangelicalism for decades and is now the fastest growing segment of Christianity in the world.  Some have estimated that up to 90 percent of those claiming to be Christians in Africa are of the prosperity gospel variety.

Well-known personalities within the movement include Kenneth Hagin (deceased), Kenneth Copeland, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Benny Hinn, Marilyn Hickey, Frederick Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Joyce Meyer and Paul and Jan Crouch.

As implied by the title “Word of Faith,” the supporters of this movement believe that faith works like a mighty power or force.  Through faith we can obtain anything we want — health, wealth, success, or whatever we please.  However, this force is released only through the spoken word.  As we speak words of faith, power is discharged to accomplish our desires.

In Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff summarizes the theology of Kenneth Hagin (considered by many to be the father of this movement) as found in his booklet How to Write Your Own Ticket with God:

In the opening chapter, titled “Jesus Appears to Me,” Hagin claims that while he was “in the Spirit,” Jesus told him to get a pencil and a piece of paper.  He then instructed him to “write down: 1, 2, 3, 4.”  Jesus then allegedly told Hagin that “if anybody, anywhere, will take these four steps or put these four principles into operation, he will always receive whatever he wants from Me or from God the Father.”  That includes whatever you want financially.  The formula is simply: “Say it, Do it, Receive it, and Tell it.”

  1. Step number one is “Say it.” “Positive or negative, it is up to the individual.  According to what the individual says, that shall he receive.”
  2. Step number two is “Do it.”  “Your action defeats you or puts you over.  According to your action, you receive or you are kept from receiving.”
  3. Step number three is “Receive it.”  We are to plug into the “powerhouse of heaven.”  “Faith is the plug, praise God!  Just plug in.”
  4. Step number four is, “Tell it so others may believe.”  This final step might be considered the Faith movement’s outreach program.[2]

Kenneth Copeland states the faith formula this way: “All it takes is 1) seeing or visualizing whatever you need, whether physical or financial;  2)  staking your claim on Scripture; and 3)  speaking it into existence.” [3]

Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the world’s largest church in South Korea , borrowing from the occult, has developed what he calls the “Law of Incubation.”  Here is how it works:  “First make a clear-cut goal, then draw a mental picture, vivid and graphic, to visualize success.  Then incubate it into reality, and finally speak it into existence through the creative power of the spoken word.”[4]

If a positive confession of faith releases good things, a negative confession can actually backfire.  Capps says the tongue “can kill you, or it can release the life of God within you.”  This is so because, “Faith is a seed . . . you plant it by speaking it.”  There is power in “the evil fourth dimension” says Cho.

Hagin informs us that if you confess sickness you get sickness, if you confess health you get health; whatever you say you get. The spoken word releases power — power for good or power for evil is the commonly held view of the movement.  It is easy to see why the title “positive confession” is often applied to this group.

As you might guess, the teachings of the “Word of Faith” movement are very attractive to some.  If we can produce whatever our hearts desire by simply demanding what we want by faith, if we can manipulate the universe and perhaps even God, then we have our own personal genie just waiting to fulfill our wishes.  The similarities between Word of Faith teachings and The Secret are unmistakable.

The New Look:  Joel Osteen

Many Christians can discern the obvious error of New Age teachings behind The Secret and similar books such as Eckhart Tolle’s The New Earth (another Oprah favorite), as well as the over-the-top proclamations of many within the prosperity gospel movement.  However when similar teachings are repackaged, reworded and presented in a winsome fashion, a larger number will fall prey.  Enter Joel Osteen and his brand of the prosperity gospel-lite.  As we will see, Osteen teaches essentially the same theology as his Word of Faith mentors, but he gives it an updated twist.

Joel Osteen has become a household name due to his incredible success.  He “pastors” the largest church in America , Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, which in 2008 boasted average weekend atten dance of 43,500, almost double that of its nearest competitor.[5]  Osteen took the helm of Lakewood Church in 1999 upon the death of his father, John.  John Osteen was openly a prosperity gospel preacher who founded Lakewood in 1959 and had built it into a 6000 member church before his son replaced him.  Joel, who until that point had given leadership to the television ministry of Lakewood and had preached only once before, was thrust into the pulpit and immediately the church began to explode.  Today Lakewood services are broadcast in over 100 countries, Joel has written two multi-million seller books, and he, along with his wife, mother, and numerous musicians from Lakewood, travel throughout the world offering an event they call “A Night of Hope.”  While most churches struggle to find and keep members, people are willing to purchase $15 tickets to attend “A Night of Hope” and the auditoriums are usually packed.

Osteen has no theological training and it is obvious from his books, sermons and interviews on television that he has little knowledge of the Scripture.  Nevertheless, he has caught an unprecedented wave of popularity and could clearly claim the title as the most admired pastor in America .  This popularity of course is due largely to his message.  Eschewing anything controversial or negative (such as hell or judgment or even sin), Osteen proclaims a message of pure positivism.   The title of his first book, Your Best Life Now, summarizes what Osteen has to offer his many audiences.   If we will follow certain principles or steps (seven to be exact), so the storyline goes, our existence will be happy, healthy, and blessed with everything that would make this life wonderful.  This is a message that appeals to the flesh of unbelievers and worldly- minded Christians and would account for the superstar status that Osteen now has.  Of course this is a harsh accusation.  I am charging Joel Osteen with being a false teacher: a man who has twisted the gospel to entice the fallen nature of people, who has turned God into a genie, and who has distorted Scripture to present a warm and fuzzy yet warped form of Christianity.  In order to see if I am correct or just being mean-spirited, we need to turn to Osteen’s actual words as found in Your Best Life Now.

What the reader will find in this best selling book is a mixture of common sense, helpful practical advice, and a multitude of success stories interlaced with a heavy dose of deceitful teaching.  Let’s begin with the gospel.  It is not so much that Osteen presents a false gospel (which he seems to do in Your Best Life Now) but rather, no gospel at all.  In a 300 page book which will be read by millions of unbelievers, the closest Osteen ever comes to the gospel is, “Work out your own salvation.  Salvation is more than a onetime prayer.  It is constantly working with God, dealing with the issues He brings up and keeping a good attitude, fighting through until you win the victory.”[6] What Osteen believes concerning the gospel is uncertain, but what is undeniable is that the emphasis of his ministry is maintaining a positive outlook on life rather than a right relationship with God.   Except for this one sentence, the entirety of the book is taken up with “seven steps to living at your full potential” as stated in the subtitle.   This theme resonates with the thinking of those whose lives and minds are in conformity with this world system rather than being “transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rom 12:2).

It really should not surprise us that men like Osteen have caught the public’s eye since they are merely telling it what it wants to hear (2 Tim 4:3) which is: we need to make the best of this life, enjoy every minute we can, because this is the best it is ever going to be.  This philosophy is the world’s, not God’s who consistently calls us to live for higher values than this world and self (1 John 2:15-17).  As Paul wrote to the church at Colossae, “Set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on the earth” ( Col 3:2).  Paul did not mean by this, as conservative Christians are often accused, that we are to ignore life on this planet and go hide somewhere until the Lord returns.  It means that we live for a higher purpose than personal pleasure and success “for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” ( Col 3:3).  Osteen makes no attempt to draw his readers to this higher purpose, to a life lived for God.  Instead God is to be manipulated for our own pleasure.  I think Osteen would appreciate Eliphaz’s advice to Job (later condemned by God), “Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you” (Job 22:21).

Let’s take some looks at specifics:

The Offer

Osteen’s attraction is found in what he is offering which is nothing less than a life of good health, abundance, wealth, prosperity and success, “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” (p. 5).[7]  Since these are the things most people treasure and, since Jesus informed us that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21), it is predictable that the seductive promise of a map leading to these treasures would find many adherents.   And it certainly does.  But what specifically is being offered?

**READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE**

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The Power of the Spoken Word – Biblical or Occult Law? PART 1

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2010/04/18/the-power-of-the-spoken-word-%e2%80%93-biblical-or-occult-law-part-1/

The Power of the Spoken Word – Biblical or Occult Law? PART 2

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2010/04/18/the-power-of-the-spoken-word-%e2%80%93-biblical-or-occult-law-part-2/

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 15, 2013

Joel Osteen teaching Divination

Joel Osteen tells how his Dad laid down a Bible and the pages started flipping by themselves,,,”as if someone was intentionally turning them” and it flipped open to a specific passage that his dad interpreted as a sign of God’s favor. This form of divination is known as Bibliomancy and Joel’s recounting of this story should give you the creeps. Any form of divination is forbidden by God and is an abomination to Him, but that does not stop Joel from teaching his followers to seek after signs from God about all sorts of things using various means of divination.

Deu 18:10-12  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

RELATED POST:

Why People say Joel Osteen teaches Witchcraft

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/02/08/why-people-say-joel-osteen-teaches-witchcraft/

Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey team up to decieve Christians and Non-Christians into practicing Witchcraft Unaware

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/03/05/joel-osteen-and-oprah-winfrey-team-up-to-decieve-christians-and-non-christians-into-practicing-witchcraft-unaware/

Hat/Tip to FREEDOMFROMWOLVES — This Lutheran Pastor reviews Joel Osteen’s latest book which one Amazon review says is almost an exact duplicate of an earlier sermon series by Joel but put to words in this book. CLICK LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

http://issuesetc.org/2012/10/19/2-a-review-of-joel-osteens-new-book-i-declare-pr-jeremy-rhode-101912

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 5, 2013

“The Language of Faith” by Son of Cary Blog

The author of this post, from The Son of Cary Blog, is a missionary in Africa. As I commented there on his Blog “It must be excruciating to watch the effect of the WoF there upon so many that are already so impoverished and chasing after occultic pipe dreams. That damn devil sure is slick”. I also commented that “I wish you would have thought to say this to the man. If Abraham started acting like a Father, he sure had a funny way of showing it. After all he and Sarah did indeed lack faith to a point. Didn’t Abraham at Sarah’s insistence go onto impregnate Hagar and God said because of that lack of faith that Ishmael and his descendants hands would always be against others. I like how you can see that this Positive Confession teaching actually has the opposite desired effect and is indeed trapping people into poverty. After all if you just “speak to your wallet” as Marylin Hickey has advised, it won’t get very full unless your actually work to fill it.”

launguage of faith (dead)“The Language of Faith”

Posted on 5 March 2013 by

Recently, after my wife commented that our little church really didn’t have money yet to build our church building she was puzzled when the man responded to her that the church actually did have the money. He argued very simply that any potential we have is also a reality that we possess.

When I piped up that this use of language turns subjects into predicates, I was told, “That is the language of faith.”

Really? Having faith, firmly believing, Sola Fide—these terms refer to positively speaking about what we hope might happen?

As the conversation progressed (or digressed depending on your point of view), I asked for some substantiation that allows us to blur the line between reality and mere possibility. This brother replied, “Abraham. He believed God, and started acting like a father before he was a father.”

“Wait a minute,” I shot back, “Abraham believed God’s revelation. He was clearly told that he would have a son. That was the object of his faith.”

The conversation ended amiably, but not logically, because these fellow Christians were wrapped up in at least one of the tentacles of the Word Faith, prosperity gospel foolishness. That brief interaction had all the marks of positive confession—make sure that whatever you say is always upbeat and positive because your words create reality.

Hank Hanegraaff has documented the links between Christianized positive confession and its New Age sire, and the connection is not hard to find. New Age teaching emphasizes invisible, extra-logical life forces that can be accessed by words—positive statements bring goodness, health, and joy whereas negative statements bring ugliness, pain, and sorrow.

Of course, as with most false teachings, this one tries to limp along with a superficial appeal to a verse or two. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Pro. 18:21) Solomon is simply teaching that words can help aid spiritual beings to glorify God or they can tempt spiritual beings to sin. He is not saying that verbal units by themselves somehow release their bottled-up creative life force whenever they are spoken. In short, Solomon was not saying that words are magical. He was (and still is) saying that words have the potential of really affecting fellow Christians or sinners by putting ideas into their minds on which they can act.

Positive confession is an entirely false doctrine. The Bible never ascribes creative power to man or anything in man. Rather, God is the only being with creative power. His words have power because of His being, not because of some inherent power in the words outside of the Speaker. (Heb. 1:3; 11:3; 1 Pet. 1:23; 2 Pet. 3:5)

More than that, the Bible repeatedly tells us to trust God and His Word, but never to trust our own words or ways. Men who trust themselves (or their own words) are called fools. (Pro. 3:5-7; 28:26; Isa. 26:3) The power of words is wholly derived from the ideas they communicate. Ideas are powerful, but even they only have power as they move men to act and think in certain ways.

If Christians are going to obey the Bible, follow Jesus’ example, or think clearly then there will be times when they need to say negative things. At times when truth is at stake, to refuse to speak negatively is cowardice and sin. See Jesus’ “negative confession” in Matt. 23.

Positive confession effectively destroys church discipline because discipline requires critical discernment, negative rebuke, and sorrow over the consequences of sin. It weakens Sola Scriptura because the actual verses of Scripture are not as important as the spoken positive confessions. And it discourages critical, scientific, evidence-based thinking which is not only necessary to interpret the Bible but is essential to defeat the poverty that so many who believe the prosperity gospel live with everyday.

“The language of faith” is one more term to add to the list of cues that the prosperity gospel is in your midst.

http://sonofcarey.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/the-language-of-faith/

WATCH YOUR WORDS joel osteenThe following article is one of the top best three I have ever read on the subject of the Word of Faith Movement teaching being witchcraft veiled in Christian terms. I have linked to the other two at the bottom of this post. I have mined quotes from Occult, New Age and Witchcraft sources before to write a couple of articles on the subject but they are not as good as this one and the two linked at the end of this post.

Ohh, how I wish I could tell and convince everyone that redefining Christian terms is a necessary hallmark and defining feature of all Christian Cults. In fact modern Christian Cult Aplogetics pioneer Walter Martin has a chapter in his legendary book Kingdom of the Cults (link to the book in free PDF form) entitled “Scaling the Language Barrier” in which he says he was often asked “Why is it that when I am talking with a cultist he seems to be in full agreement with what I am saying, but when we have finished talking, I am aware  of a definite lack of communication, almost as though we were not talking the same language?” He goes on to say “The answer to this question is, of course, that we have not been communicating, because the vocabulary of the cults is not, by definition, the vocabulary of the Bible”. Of course you might not think the Word of Faith is a Cult (resource link) and he is speaking about Cults like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness’s and Christian Science so his awesome book does not contain anything specifically on the Word of Faith Movement and teaching, but before he died he did some excellent work on the WoF focusing on the subject of this post under the more commonly known synonymous term Positive Confession. He also did other WoF works that are on this blog entitled The Health and Wealth Cult, Does God Always HealA Warning on The Word of Faith Movement and a related work called Evil and Human Suffering.

In fact Martin did so much Work on the WoF before his death that after his last appearance on TBN Benny Hinn put a curse on him and he, Paul Crouch and Kenneth Copeland very strongly inferred that Martin died because of that curse and for “coming against TBN”, “its anointing”,  “Dad Hagin” and other WoF teachers. Of course they did not outright say that and you have to follow what was said by them chronologically to connect the dots and inferences. I have yet to write an article showing the dates along with the quotes to connect those dots but I hope to do so soon. It is possible I might not ever get around to it but I hope to one day. In the mean time I hope you enjoy and are edified by the following article and all the links I have provided.

So your probably wondering just how does the Word of Faith Movement redefine Christian terms to merely appear Christian and to fool Christians into practicing occult teaching? Well the more you study the movement the more you will see they redefine Christian terms just as much as any other Christian Cult – if not more. I will soon write an article showing all the ways the WoF redefines Christian terms, but for now we have a Resource Post showing how they REDEFINE FAITH that list most of the articles and videos here about that dastardly devious yet so sinisterly smooth and dangerous deception that distinguishes Joel Osteen and other WoF teachers from Biblical Christianity.

Thanks for reading or subscribing to this blog and helping share and spread THE WORD on the Word of Faith so people may be delivered.

Joel-Osteen-and-Oprah-Apostasy-Heresy-New-Age-Life-ClassApostasy Alert: Joel Osteen And Oprah Preach New Age Magic BegginingAndEnd.com SOURCE LINK

Following in the footsteps of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Prosperity Gospel preacher Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church, the biggest congregation in America, has now joined Oprah Winfrey’s life classes to teach New Age heresy to the masses. Once again, a Christian pastor has come on Winfrey’s series and preached a message that had no mention of the Biblical gospel, forgiveness of sins or Jesus Christ.

As we noted in our Apostasy Alert article on T.D. Jakes, Oprah Winfrey has been one of the biggest promoters of the New Age movement in the world. Through her talk show, television network and multi media empire Winfrey, who claims to be a Christian, has launched books such as The Secret into all-time best sellers. The Secret, a book that teaches the ancient witchcraft technique, The Law of Attraction is not in line remotely with Biblical Christianity. Rather than looking to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God, The Secret teaches that a person has the power to attract success, wealth, romance and all sorts of earthly benefits through their own words and rituals.

Here is Oprah promoting the book on her show:

SEE VIDEO ON SITE

The book popularized “The Law of Attraction”, an occult technique that involves visualizing a certain goal, constantly focusing and doing certain practices as if it has already happened and then “attracting” it by your constant thoughts and focus. Its author, Rhonda Byrne writes: “All good things are your birthright! You are the creator of you, and the law of attraction is your magnificent tool to create whatever you want in you life. Welcome to the magic of life, and the magnificence of You!” (p. 41)

Of course the Bible says of Jesus Christ:  “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3). Jesus Christ is the Creator. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. A person is blessed through faith in Christ who is the heir of the Universe. And Jesus teaches that constant focus on material gain should not be a Christian’s life:

 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:31-33.

The Secret Byrne | Joel Osteen Apostasy New Age wolves in sheep clothing.

Joel Osteen is taking much of his material from this book.

“When you focus your thoughts on something you want, and you hold that focus, you are in that moment summoning what you want with the mightiest power in the Universe. The law of attraction doesn’t compute “don’t” or “not” or “no,” or any other words of negation, this is what the law of attraction is receiving.” – The Secret, p. 9.

By the book’s premise, all power comes through the individual. A person can have whatever they want just calling upon “the mightiest power of the Universe.” Anything can be obtained. The Bible does not teach this. In fact it teaches that we cannot obtain anything of true meaning and significance without God:

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. – James 4:8-10.

Notice the difference: the Bible acknowledges that God is the means to eternal satisfaction and true peace. And it also teaches that it is sin that is our main obstacle to God. It takes a desire for forgiveness and faith in God to forgive sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that is the message of Christianity.

The Secret reveals its true message later on in the book:

“You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as you.” (The Secret, p. 164)

This underscores the message of The Secret and the New Age: that a person can become God. This is of course complete contradictory to the Bible and is following the deception of Satan.

In our first article on Joel Osteen’s witchcraft, we detailed that the Law of Attraction is precisely what Joel Osteen preaches to his congregation and television audience on a regular basis. This is nothing more than witchcraft being given a “Christian”veneer. The Bible of course prophesied that as the end times approached there would be an apostasy – a falling away in the church, where pastors and their congregations would abandon Biblical Christianity in favor of their own man-centered, mystical doctrines. 2 Timothy Chapter 4 issues a directive to pastors to stand for the Biblical, Gospel-centered preaching in this age of Apostasy:

READ MUCH MORE HERE

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The Power of the Spoken Word – Biblical or Occult Law? PART 2

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mountain moving faithFaith That Moves Mountains: A Prosperity Gospel Blunder SOURCE

At CrossPointe, we’re in the midst of our series Servant/Savior on the Gospel of Mark (if you’re in Orlando, join us!). This past Sunday we made it to the 12th chapter, and are going to finish up the book around Easter. Thanks to Fortress Press sending along a review copy, I’ve been able to read N. T. Wright’s Jesus and The Victory of God alongside our sermon series, which is proving exceptionally useful in illuminating the background to some harder to understand passages. This is particularly true for the passages from Mark 11 onward.

One such passage is Mark 11:12-33. This section includes Jesus cursing a fig tree (12-14), cleansing the temple (15-19), returning to the fig tree (20-25) and silencing the Pharisees when they questioned his authority (27-33). In the midst of these passages we find this quotation from Jesus:

Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him (22-23).

Now, consider Joel Osteen’s thoughts in a message on specifically the latter verse:

There is incredible power released by God when we speak to our mountains. A mountain is a situation in your life that seems permanent and impossible. It may be a mountain in your marriage; you don’t see how you’ll stay together. A mountain in your finances; it doesn’t look like you’ll ever get out of debt or ever accomplish your dreams. Maybe it’s a mountain in your health. The experts have said that you’re never going to get well. It’s good to pray. It’s good to believe. It’s good to quote scriptures. But the mountains move when we speak to them in Jesus’ powerful name. Learn to say each day, “I speak favor over my finances. I speak health to my body. I speak peace into my family. I speak blessings into my future.”

Ignoring for a moment the voodoo element in this (“I can control reality with the right kind of incantation”), it seems mountain for Osteen is defined but what makes sense to our modern perspective of “mountains” in general (they’re obstacles). If you’re so inclined, you can watch the sermon for yourself, but you can get the gist of his angle though from the above quote. Osteen is not alone in using this verse like this to support some version of the idea that if you just have faith, you can move mountains (e. g. here, here, and here). The question however, is whether that does justice to what Jesus was saying, or is it yet another example of well-meaning Bible interpreters (being generous here) pulling a quote out of context to support a type of “prosperity gospel” or some kind of “name it, claim it” theology?

The short answer is, yes, that is exactly what this is, and if you’re biblically literate, you probably intuitively knew that. So, if that’s not what Jesus is talking about, what is he talking about?

To understand, as you might have guessed, we went to look more closely at the context. I’m going to have to abbreviate arguments in some of this and just punt to Wright’s book and more extensive commentaries that can read if you disagree. Particularly relevant are his passages from p. 405-428 and 490-495, which you ought to consult. In any case, let’s unpack the text.

Starting in v. 12, Jesus does what many prophets to Israel before him had done, and performed an enacted parable. He came to the fig tree (Israel) expecting to find fruit (righteousness) and did not, and so pronounced judgment upon it. If Israel would heed his call to repent and follow him, then they would not fall under the coming judgment. Instead, the Pharisees and many others clung to their own way of doing things, which revolved around the temple system.

This leads then to Jesus coming into the temple and cleansing it, which rather than having a purifying effect, would have halted the sacrificial system temporarily. In other words, Jesus put an end to the temple operation temporarily as a sign that if Israel did not repent and follow him, then the temple would be destroyed permanently. This of course explains why the chief priests and scribes began looking for a way to kill him. He a) took it upon himself to pronounce judgment on the temple system and put a temporary halt to it, which b) was implicitly claiming authority only Yahweh was supposed to have.

Then, the scene shifts back to the fig tree the next morning, which by this point has withered. Peter notices it, and draws Jesus’ attention to it, at which point Jesus says the quotation we have above from vv. 22-23. He then follows that proclamation with a promise about praying for forgiveness of sins against other people and their connection to forgiveness of sins against God.

Now, within this framework, it should already seem unnatural for Jesus to insert a bit of prosperity theology and promise that “having faith” would allow you to move mountains. Jesus is implying by his actions that the whole Jewish system of worship is about to be destroyed if they do not repent and follow him. In that light, his quotation is actually clarifying that idea further. Consider it again, this time with my parenthetical clarifiers:

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain [on which the temple is currently standing], “Be taken up and thrown into the sea [which symbolizes destruction and ensuing chaos]” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

In other words, if you have faith in God, even the temple system cannot stand in your way of truly following him in what he is doing through Jesus. The mountain, though formidable, would not stand in the way of Messiah building his true temple (this refers back to Zech 1-8, where a “mountain” stands in opposition to the work of Messiah). In that sense, this was a specific promise, given to specific people (the disciples) about what cannot stand in opposition to the coming kingdom of God. In history the promise was fulfilled, and sure enough the temple did not stand in opposition to the spread of the kingdom through the disciples’ divinely appointed mission.

Here’s how Wright summarizes it:

Whatever the “mountain” may have signified in Zechariah’s prophecy, it was clearly something that stood in the way of the building of the Temple. Thus, in Jesus’ riddle, (a) the present Temple is seen as in opposition to the true one, (b) the present Temple will be destroyed, to make way for the true one, and (c) Jesus is the true anointed one, who will bring out the top stone of the building and thus complete it. Once again, the Temple-action lays claim to royalty (p. 495).

Because of that, there is no direct application of that promise regarding mountains for believers today. At best, we could say this promise applies to religious systems interfering with the spread of the gospel, but it certainly has nothing to do with personal difficulties. It could, though obliquely, have to do with our own idols. Taken like that, here’s what Osteen should have said:

There is incredible power released by God when we speak to our idols. An idol is a situation in your life that seems permanent and impossible. It may be an idol in your marriage; you don’t see how you’ll stay together. An idol in your finances; it doesn’t look like you’ll ever get out of debt or ever accomplish your dreams. Maybe it’s an idol in your health. The experts have said that you’re never going to get well. It’s good to pray. It’s good to believe. It’s good to quote scriptures. But the idols move when we speak to them in Jesus’ powerful name. Learn to say each day, “I repent of making an idol of my money or lack thereof. I repent of my body and its health an idol. I repent of making an idol of my family. I repent of having a control idol about my own future and instead trust in Jesus and through the Spirit will follow him.”

Now, as we might say, that’ll preach!

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

RELATED POST: PappaGiorgio has this post on our blog that list many commentaries on Mark 11:22-23 along some good comments of his own. Faith In Faith (Updated 7-30-2010)

hopeless peddlers bookI am gladly recommending this book to the readers of this blog, without having read it, because Shawnice Powell of the Experience in the Word of Faith Blog  said of it’s author Nicholas Carl Moore “Bro Nick is cool guy and a strong defender of the faith” – and that she said she plans to pick up a copy of it this weekend. Plus the books “WoF has corrupted” the influence, integrity and witness on the Institute of the Church angle seemed rather unique and very interesting to me.  I’ve never seen a WoF exposure book that takes that line of approach before – so I too hope to be picking up a copy within a few weeks.  Several of Shawnice’s writings are posted on this blog with copious amounts of links back to her site because her writings and postings are good and I am friends with her on Facebook, so I know she is now doctrinally sound and passionate about sharing her experience in the WoF and also has a heart for defending biblical truth – even if it means Standing Alone, which it often does. She has not been out of the WoF for all that long but if you read her testimony that is posted here on this sites Testimony Page you will see she has taken the time to detox and reprogram her self and her theology, after being in the WoF for 11 years (as indicated on the first link above).

I was even more happy when I discovered that Nicholas is in full time ministry from his Facebook page here. And when I visited the third link above I became excited to get this book and recommend it because “Bro Nic” has written several other books that deal with such topics as “Why Most Black Churches Fail Most Black Men“, which it’s description text says “This book is a serious indictment on the Church, the Body of Christ, Pastors, church leaders and families to stop the charade, lying, manipulation, emasculation and witchcraft which has become a well orchestrated “circus” better known as Sunday Morning Service! God is not pleased and it is evident! The title of this book, along with the cover was not conceived by the publishers or some slick marketing firm. I am sick and tired of watching these arrogant Pastors manipulate the Word of God to benefit their own lustful desires“. Wow man, I might have to force my tightwad and limited funds self to get that one too. Don’t that sound like it will be a great great book? It does to me because in my time of keeping up with the WoF Movement I have come to believe that it’s influence on my black brothers and sisters in Christ is probably far greater than in most predominantly “white” churches, on a per capita basis.

Of this book I am recommeding the description text says “This book is a profound indictment on how the prosperity gospel has corrupted the influence, integrity and witness of the institutional church“. I like that description allot too. So I hope you can see why I am recommending the book without having read it yet, and in part because of Shawnice’s words about it’s author.

I asked Shawnice to write a review of it when she gets done reading it – but she has not yet had time to respond to my request. If she does I’ll post that review or a link to it here on this blog. I would also like to write a review of the book after I read it but I am the kinda guy who has allot of ups and downs and often puts too much on his plate to ever get around to it all – and sometimes I drop my whole darn plate. But if the Lord is willing I’ll get around to it. I also asked Nicolas if he would do a radio show with me about the book (see what I mean about that too full plate? lol). If he says yes, you can listen to that show here within a few weeks to find out more about the book. So if it sounds great to you like it does me – pick up a copy and let me know what you think. If you have any questions you can contact Nicolas through his Facebook page listed above. Thanks for reading and/or subscribing to this blog.

words
Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers and other Word of Faith teachers proclaim there is creative power and literal power of life and death in the tongue, via (Prov. 18:21 KJV) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”.  Is this the correct interpretation and application of this verse?

The site BeginningAndEnd.com posted a wonderfully well researched and written article entitled “Apostasy Alert: Joel Osteen and Oprah Preach New Age Majic”. In the comment section a very sincere sounding guy named Todd wrote a comment about the article and the subject of the Power Of Words that provoked a response from me. My response turned out to be way too long to post in the comment section so I copied Todd’s comment and made my response here for him and the readers of this blog. To Todd, and others – I am sorry this comment turned out so long that I had to turn it into a post here on this blog, but this is a subject that I am very very passionate about and as you start reading it you will discover why. Todd, your comment there was almost illegible and I had to edit it to make it more readable for everyone because I had to read it five or six times to comprehend all of what you was saying. I hope I did not misrepresent you, your words and your meaning by doing so. Please speak up if I did. To the readers of this blog, you can read Todd’s comment in it’s original form at the article link above. To everyone, if you do not have time to read my very long response, please read the two articles linked at the bottom as they are the best post on this blog about the overall subject. PLEASE NOTE – I usually do not open comments on this blog but I have done so on this post incase Todd or anyone would like to discuss this matter further. Here is Todd’s comment and my response. – Damon Whitsell

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“Todd – Anyone who makes false claims confuses and aids disorder. While people should be aware of false teachers if you present it mixed with false hood it only serves to confuse. The bible clearly says (Prov 18:21 KJV) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” God in the beginning called things into existence when He created the world. When Jesus came He has called us to do the same. If you say unto the mountain be thou removed and doubt not in your heart it shall be removed. The devil only copies God and has to work within the laws of the universe that are in existent. God with using Moses as a medium wrote the Pentateuch (the 5 books of Moses), penta as in 5 like Pentagram. Often in the occult they use a 5 pointed star. Does this make the Pentateuch evil? No. The established laws of the universe by God have it that death and life are in the power of the tongue [law of attraction]. Now you like Moses or Jesus or the Apostles can speak and cause a thing and will be righteous if you do it in His name and for His glory. Or you can use the law of attraction for greed, lust, yourself, the devil and death. Death or life is in the power of the tongue. This includes all you say every act is a magical act say those in occult. God says what you speak happens by many biblical verses like proverbs 18:21 and others. So if you speak out negativity you will get it. If you were to listen to a sermon like, Taming the tongue – by pastor Matthew Hagge, you might see a lot of similarities between it and ‘the secret’. The difference is in pastor Hagees sermon will be full of bible verses and biblical application. But the method is the same cause the laws of the universe created by God are the same. Get your facts straight cause it will further your cause. You have a lot of good info on this site, but wrong facts will turn those whom you wish to save away. And death and life are in the tongue. Jesus said ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ so be careful not to judge present facts and be clear and cross check them.

Prov 4:21 KJV) “Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.”

(Prov 6:2 KJV) “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”

(Prov 12:18 KJV) “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”

(Prov 15:4 KJV) “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”

(Prov 17:20 KJV) “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief

Authority is released through words:

(Mark 11:23 KJV) “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.”

(Mark 11:24 KJV) “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

(John 14:13 KJV) “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

(John 14:14 KJV) “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

You receive what you believe…(Prov 6:2 KJV) “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.”

The tongue… oh how powerful”

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HI Todd, I read your comment and felt lead to respond. This may shock you but I have to say that Joel Osteen and his teaching killed a very good friend of mine. I know you may think that sounds absurd but please hear me out. My friend got addicted to pain pills and when I would tell him “those pills are going to destroy you, if you do not get off of them”. He would respond “not if you will quit speaking negative things into my life”. He got that idea because he was an avid follower of Osteen. I know you might think Joel and his teachings had nothing to do with my friend’s death, it was the pills. Please let me explain further.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 1, 2013

EXPOSING ERROR: IS IT WORTHWHILE? by Dr. Harry Ironside

truth and errorObjection is often raised even by some sound in the faith-regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching.

But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry—namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch.”

My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.

It is as important in these days as in Paul’s—in fact, it is increasingly important—to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more. We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching.

The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme:

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3, 4)

Paul likewise admonishes us to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11). This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error—quite the opposite.

If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: it has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.

Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour. There is constant temptation to compromise.

“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

Error is like leaven of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation.

To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died. Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due.

To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”—how many of them God only knows—it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

Hat Tip to Apprising Ministries and The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 1, 2013

What is Discernment?

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” —C.H. Spurgeon

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 27, 2013

Greg Koukl says Word of Faith/Power of Words teaching is Occultic

If you listen to or read Joel Osteen or Joyce Meyers – Your being taught Occult, New Age and Witchcraft teaching. ARE YOU PRACTICING WITCHCRAFT UNAWARE?

Greg Koukl – The Power of Words

Check out this comment at the YouTube video page.

gmjsimmons – “Thanks Greg. Before I was a Christian, I had been involved in the occult. After conversion I participated in the Charismatic movement and noted that some of their ideas were more magic than Christian. Some Charismatics believed that properly applied faith was supposed to get you things that you wanted. That idea always seemed more like my old occult belief than the new way of thinking I found in the Bible and Christ.”

The distinctive teaching of the Word of Faith Movement is it’s doctrine of Positive Confession or The Power of Words teaching. It is this teaching that separates The Word of Faith Movement from all of Christianity including The Charismatic and Pentecostal Movements. The largest Pentecostal denomination, The Assemblies of God, has issued a position paper on Positive Confession distancing themselves from such teaching. This aberrant (departing from an accepted standard) teaching is Occultic and IS NOT Christian. Words do have power in the sense that they are influential as words can be used to build someone up or to tear someone down but words CANNOT effect material realities.

One of the keystone Word of Faith proof-text for this teaching is Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”, but if you look at the whole context of Proverbs 18 it is clearly not teaching that words literally have the Literal Power of literal Life and Death. So if you say “my back is killing me” you don’t have to worry about speaking your own death into existence. Please read the whole of Proverbs 18 here to see it is teaching the ideas expressed in the following graphic and IS NOT teaching that words have creative power.

power of word good oneSo when Joyce Meyers says “Word are Containers of Power” as she did in her book “The Name, The Word, The Blood” on page 37, she is not teaching you to practice Christianity but rather historical Occult teaching. And when Joel Osteen says “You can change your world by changing your words… Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue” he is taking Proverbs 18 verse 21 out of context and is teaching you the same thing that Witches believe (that words have creative power). Please read these very telling quotes from Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and founder of the Trinity Broadcast Network Paul Crouch. I’m sure the last two quotes can be found online in audio form, I’m not sure about the first.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 23, 2013

Benny Hinn’s son and bodyguards arrested for Brazil crusade beating

Originally posted on Group Sects:

The Daily Mail reports…

The son of American evangelist Benny Hinn was  arrested in Brazil after allegedly beating up a deaf and dumb man during one of  his father’s rallies, it was reported today.

Hestephenson Araujo, 21, reportedly needed  hospital treatment after the incident on Saturday night during a religious  crusade in Manaus, northern Brazil.

Police detained Joshua Hinn, 21, along with  two of Benny Hinn’s bodyguards, on suspicion of torture after the three men  allegedly locked Mr Araujo in a trailer and physically assaulted him.

According to police, Mr Araujo, a local  pastor, was sitting in the front row of seats at the event, in the city’s Povos  da Amazonia arena when, during Mr Hinn’s sermon, he got up and approached the  stage.

Mr Araujo, who was carrying a bottle of  water, later said he only wanted to receive a blessing from the famous  evangelist, who claims he…

View original 270 more words

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 10, 2013

Word of Faith Positive Confession is really “Occult Powers”

christian-phrases
Positive Confession

Positive Confession is the belief that if a believer speaks “spiritual” or “faith-filled” words then he can have what he says. Unfortunately, this influence has invaded the church and continues to cause much turmoil and confusion.

Many of the teachers of the word-faith movement believe that words are so powerful that they can influence the physical and spiritual worlds. For example:

In The Tongue, a Creative Force (1976), positive confessionist Charles Capps, teaches that there are powerful “spiritual” words. Such words, which are ordinary words, can under certain circumstances, become vehicles for creative or supernatural power.

When “faith-filled” spiritual words are spoken (as words of power), they can alter the physical and spiritual world. Capps says, “You see there is more to it than just saying it. The words must originate from the inner man where spiritual power is released through words.”

He goes on to state that “spirit words can control both the spirit world and the physical world. Because the words themselves have power, they will work for either God or man in the same manner.” He goes on:

“The spirit of man is not of this world, it is of the spirit world. The creative ability of man comes through his spirit. He speaks spirit words that work in the world of the spirit. They will also dominate the physical world. He breathes spirit life into God’s Word and it becomes a living substance, working for him as it worked for God in the beginning. These spirit words dominate the natural world” (p. 117-118).

What Capps is alluding to in the above statement is his teaching that since God, “by His faith” (using words) spoke this physical world into existence; the believer, using faith, can do the same. That is, the believer can speak things into existence. However, God’s word is already “quick and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), and it is referred to as the “Word of Life” (Phillipians 2:16). It is not necessary to activate it by speaking words of faith as though it were asleep or dead! Rather, it is by hearing the “living” word that one is brought to salvation through faith in Christ. (Romans 10:17)

A number of the prosperity teachers believe that the spiritual world controls and continually forms the physical world. So, if one can learn to control the spiritual world, then he can learn to control the physical world as well. This teaching then becomes the foundation for securing individual prosperity.

That is why in Releasing the Ability of God, Capps states, “You can have what you say! (because) the powerful force of the spiritual world that creates the circumstances around us is controlled by the words of the mouth. This force comes from inside us; the confession of our mouth will cause you to possess it” (pp. 98-99, parenthesis mine). This is why he teaches, “Discipline your vocabulary,” and “today your word is god over your circumstances” (pp. 101-104).

Capps also teaches that the power within a Christian, within one’s spirit, functions according to unchangeable laws. He says “These principles of faith are based on spiritual laws. They work for whosoever will apply these laws” (The Tongue, p. 103).

D. R. McConnell, in his book, A Different Gospel, directly traces the origin the spiritual laws taught in positive confession to the metaphysics of E.W. Kenyon, a man of 50-60 years ago whose theology was that of Pentecostal Christian Science (A Different Gospel, pp. 3-56).

McConnell records Kenneth Copeland in The Laws of Prosperity (p. 98, 101) as saying, “You can have what you say! In fact, what you are saying is exactly what you are getting now. If you are living in poverty and lack and want, change what you are saying. It will change what you have. Discipline your vocabulary. God will be obligated to meet your needs because of His word. If you stand firmly on this, your needs will be met” (Ibid., p. 173).

McConnell further states, that E.W. Kenyon’s New Thought classmate, Ralph Waldo Trine, attributes the confession of prosperity to “Occult power.” He says that “Trine believed that thought is a force, and it has Occult power of unknown proportions when rightly used and wisely directed” (Ibid., p. 174).

The usage of Occult powers is, of course, a practice that the Word-Faith teachers would publicly reject. Of course, this is not to say that those offering these teachings are Occultists. They are teachers who may never have thought through the implications of the practices they advocate. They may be unaware of the similarities between certain aspects of positive confession and Occulict practices. Nevertheless, the similarities do exist, and these practices are neither Biblical nor Christian.

John Ankerberg’s issue of News and Views, June 1988, p. 1, reports that these words are used in religious rituals to influence both the spirit world and the material world. The report quotes Occult magician David Conway discussing the power of magical words to affect these worlds:

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 10, 2013

BEWARE THE BLACK HOLE OF GREED

I uploaded and posted this video about three years ago, but I am re-posting it now because while it has not gotten many many views – the comments really give praise to this video. The people that produced it did an excellent job and it so aptly applies to the WoF and Prosperity Gospel. I’ll make comments open below so you can comment on the video and how it applies to the WoF.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 10, 2013

The Word of Faith PONZI SCHEME

James 5:15 – And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

Pastors of evangelical churches today make an average of $40,000 a year.  Prosperity gospel preachers are fairing a bit better though.  Kenneth Copeland for instance: his ministry’s 1,500-acre campus sits behind an iron gate, a half-hour drive from Fort Worth…includes a church, a private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church owned lakefront mansion.

While Copeland has not released up-to-date salary statements, “the church disclosed in a property-tax exemption application that his wages were $364,577 in 1995; Copeland’s wife, Gloria, earned $292,593.  It’s not clear whether those figures include other earnings, such as special offerings for guest preaching or book royalties.”

*If you’re interested, there is a detailed listing of pastors and their salaries at the bottom of this post. (Ed Young jr., Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn…etc)

Religious Ponzi Schemes are rampant today and the only people being “blessed,” are the preachers at the top of the scheme.  Turn on just about any Evangelism/Christian Television Network on TV, and you will undoubtedly hear many prosperity preachers and charismatic faith healers giving a very shallow message filled with empty words, and immediately follow up the message with a short, 60 second breakaway spot where the Pastor, sitting at his desk, will plead the viewers to sow a “seed” of just $58, send it to his church in the mail, and God will bless you with a “harvest.”

~GOD MIGHT SAY NO~

If believers truly want their prayers answered and want to be blessed, sending a random dollar amount to a TV Preacher is as effective as placing a prayer cloth and an autographed picture of Jesus on the hood of your broken car in hopes that it will magically start.  Don’t waste your money.

Believers must pray fervently, earnestly, and be ready for God to say, “NO.”  Just because one “claims” victory over cancer, doesn’t mean God is going to take the cancer away.  God doesn’t care what Christians “claim,” He cares first and foremost about His will and His purpose and HIS glory.

“Name It and Claim,” they’ll tell you.  Take some random promise God made to a specific people (usually from the old testament,) and claim that promise for yourself.  As if we – FINITE HUMANS –  will hold God accountable to something He never promised us in the first place.  This is  man-made, man-centered theology, powered by extreme greed.  Anytime a “follower” of Christ, attempts to make outrageous demands for prosperity and personal gain, they reduce Almighty God to little more than a vending machine.

In the biblically sound churches, however, we are seeing this garbage doctrine infiltrate the minds of the spiritually weak and immature, whom are either not in the word daily – so as to be capable to spot such false doctrine –  or were never saved to begin with.  Either way, these are the victims the enemy will prey on.

If we are honest with ourselves, we may even notice our own prayers becoming more and more like shopping lists that show little care or concern for God’s glory or His will.  We’ve forgotten the model of prayer Christ gave His disciples and have traded it in for self-focused, subjective, felt-needs-oriented religion.

“I AM CLAIMING VICTORY OVER ‘THIS’ GOD!”  “ONLY BY CLAIMING VICTORY CAN I WIN!” 

When I hear people say this or I see it posted on social media I just shake my head in disappointment.  Christians routinely reduce Prayer to a superstitious, selfish, and lazy means to an end.  Always with “VICTORY,” or “FINANCIAL FREEDOM…” aka wealth.

Word-Faith preachers will even use scripture to back up their fallacies.  Verses like Psalm 37:4 and John 15:7b.

It’s easy to make the bible say what WE want it to say when we take scripture out of context or we lack full understanding of what we are reading.  Read ALL of John 15:7…

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

Therefore, if we come alongside what God is already doing – our will aligns with HIS will – we will ask according to His purpose.  In other words, if we knew what God knows, we’d want what God wants.  So when we ask for things OUSTIDE of God’s will, of course He is going to say no!

Picking up a rattle snake from the grass may look like a good time to a 6 year old, but Daddy knows it could be deadly.  Consider…

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Friday, February 8, 2013 – IT is interesting how this new twist on the Christian gospel has enjoyed a tremendous surge in popularity lately.

Inspirational guru and pastor Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria are perhaps two of the prime movers behind this movement today, and their Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas is currently considered the largest church in the United States. Closer to home, El Shaddai founder Mike Velarde preaches the same message to his thousands of faithful, inspiring them to pray for God’s material blessings in their lives. And, lately even esteemed Catholic lay preacher Bo Sanchez seems to have joined the bandwagon as well, publishing a number of books on the subject of the prosperity gospel.

At its heart, the gospel is nothing if not the belief that faith in God will result in material well-being for the believer—an extension of his “divine providence” that promises to all that their needs will be met, and that they will be taken care of.

“Believe in God and you will be prosperous” is perhaps not a bad way to summarize what this movement is all about.

Especially in today’s material world, the message has great appeal. Instead of the multiplying loaves and fishes to feed the hungry by the Sea of Galilee, today’s prosperity gospel preachers paint a picture of multiplying iPhone, iPads and cars to the faithful, giving them the hope that their material needs will not only be met, but that their wants will be satisfied too.

At face value, it is hard to argue with this. No doubt the greatest commandment, as Jesus himself taught us in Luke, is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbor as yourself.” And being prosperous goes a long way in ensuring that we are able to love our neighbors, for surely the more we have in life, then the more we can share with them.

Ok, stay with this for a second. Prosperity, in and of itself, is not bad. But it always has to be construed against the fabric of Christian love for others that Jesus taught us all to have. The problem is, there is also the disturbing trend that often accompanies this gospel, which oftentimes clouds the understanding of Christ’s message—this belief in a “personal relationship” with Him, and the corollary that blessings flow vertically from God to man, akin with the relationship.
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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 8, 2013

Why People say Joel Osteen teaches Witchcraft

word power sticks and stones

Why I Said Joel Osteen Advocates Witchcraft

 The other day Joel Osteen — or whoever runs his Twitter account — tweeted this: “The more you say what God says, the more you’ll experience His best. Remember to speak life over your situation today!”

I re-tweeted this statement, adding this comment: “This is witchcraft.”

A few people asked me what was up with that. What he said might be a little “out there” or “un-helpful” (as one guy put it), but witchcraft? Really?

Yes.

Defenders of the Word of Faith-type preachers and “prophets” often point to verses like Proverbs 18:21:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Aside from the hermeneutical shakiness involved in building an entire theology out of a proverb, Word of Faith’ers misunderstand this verse. It is not saying your tongue holds supernatural power to speak matter or circumstances into existence. It is saying that it’s possible to talk yourself into trouble. In the context of what other things the book of Proverbs says about the tongue, what this guideline means is that we ought to be careful what we say, sometimes be silent, and remember that we will be held to account for our words.

There are three biblical ways words can bring life:

1. We can generally agree that the tongue is a powerful force. Just read James 3. But you don’t have to be a charismaniac to realize that words can hurt or comfort. Encouragement edifies; nagging and criticism do not. Many of us still carry wounds from words said to us in our past.

2. Also, those of us of the Reformed persuasion are quick to affirm the supernatural power available in the written Word of God spoken. The gospel is power. When God speaks, things happen. And the Holy Spirit uses the foolishness of preaching to stir dead men’s souls and waken sleeping men’s senses.

3. Those of us of the continuationist persuasion can agree that God sometimes heals people through humbly administered gifts of healing and the laying on of hands, and nearly all Christians can agree that God sometimes heals people through the effectual prayers of the saints. In both cases things change when words are spoken, but in neither case is the speaker’s tongue the source of creative power. God is.

In all three of those senses, speaking words is powerful and life-giving. But in no biblical sense is merely speaking words God’s way of creating material or medical prosperity. In no sense is this formulaic as Osteen and other Word of Faith’ers continue to maintain. In other words, it does not follow that if someone is experiencing major setbacks it is because they aren’t “speaking words of prosperity over” their lives. Likewise, it does not follow that everyone who does speak such words will reap circumstantial goodness.

Read More…

power of word good one

QUOTES OF WORD OF FAITH TEACHERS ADMITTING WORD OF FAITH TEACHING IS OCCULTIC/NEW AGE/WITCHCRAFT

I’m sure the last two quotes can be found online in audio form, I’m not sure about the first.
————————

Benny Hinn claims the Holy Spirit told him, “…that if witches and occultists can speak death by the supernatural power of words, then Christian can speak life and prosperity by the same power.” The Facts on the Faith Movement, J. Ankerberg & J. Weldon, Harvest House, 1993, p.23 Copyright ©2008

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Benny Hinn:Witches even..I mean..I’m not here to talk about witches but, but I’ll tell you this.

Paul Crouch:They..they under they know the secret.

Benny Hinn: “,,,because see I had a witch tell me this. And I said what!? She said, listen to me, she said do you know that we are taught in witchcraft how to kill birds with words, and how to kill people with our mouth. I said what do you mean kill people? She said we are taught with words to bring disease on men. I said how? She said by speaking certain words (unintelligible) she said we can actually cause sickness that could very well kill.Christianity in Crisis (audiobook), tape II, side 3.

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COPELAND: Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and that’s when the action takes place because that is when the spiritual force is brought up out of the mouth – whether it be fear or whether it be faith – and when that spiritual force comes out, it is going to give substance to that image that is inside of you. People say, ‘that is that New Age visualization stuff’. The New Age is trying to do this. And they get somewhat results out of it because it is a spiritual law. (Believer’s Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 28 March 1991.)

LINKS ON THE SUBJECT

Ex-Word of Faith Testimony: Ex-WoFer is also a Former Witch who says The Word of Faith is Witchcraft

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/02/07/ex-word-of-faith-testimony-ex-wofer-is-also-a-former-witch-who-says-the-word-of-faith-is-witchcraft/

The Word of Faith IS NOT THE GOSPEL / The Word of Faith IS WITCHCRAFT VEILED IN CHRISTIAN TERMS

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/05/12/the-word-of-faith-is-not-the-gospel/

Abracadabra, Presto and SHAZAAM,, YOUR HEALED of your Word of Faith Delusion,,, because I SAY SO By Damon Whitsell

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2010/07/12/abracadabra-presto-and-shazaam-your-healed-of-your-word-of-faith-delusion-because-i-say-so-by-damon-whitsell-2/

The Power of the Spoken Word – Biblical or Occult Law? PART 1

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2010/04/18/the-power-of-the-spoken-word-%e2%80%93-biblical-or-occult-law-part-1/

The Power of the Spoken Word – Biblical or Occult Law? PART 2

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2010/04/18/the-power-of-the-spoken-word-%e2%80%93-biblical-or-occult-law-part-2/

DANGER SIGNS in the Word of Faith movement: WITCHES UNAWARE: Word of Faith movement is simply Witchcraft disguised in Christian terms

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/02/20/danger-signs-in-the-word-of-faith-movement-witches-unaware-word-of-faith-movement-is-simply-witchcraft-disguised-in-christian-terms/

Jesus’s Instructions for our Prayers

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/06/24/jesuss-instructions-for-our-prayers/

Witchcraft in Word Faith Teachings

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2012/09/29/5100/

Is The Word Of Faith New Age?

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/05/16/new-age-word-of-faith/

The Word of Faith Message is voodoo

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2008/10/14/voodoo/

VISIT OUR EX-WoF

I posted an article I wrote on Joyce Meyers at FreeRepublic.com and when someone responded that they liked her I claimed that The Word of Faith teaching is really Witchcraft veiled in Christians terms. In disbelief he said that he had attended one of Meyer’s meetings with his daughter and son-in-law and that he “didn’t really see anyone there who looked like a good advocate for witchcraft”.  To that comment I responded…

“I have never said that Meyers or her followers look like witches or advocate for witchcraft. Witches don’t have big crooked noses with moles and ride brooms,, doncha know. But I do claim the WoF power of words or confessionism teaching (you possess what you confess) is witchcraft veiled in Christian terms. And it is not just me that comes to this conclusion but many apologetics ministries that cover the WoF.

I have met over 100 ex-Wofers and I make a point of asking them all if they think they were practicing witchcraft when applying that WoF doctrine. Most say right off the bat that yes they believe they were. And all others, after some conversation, said yes they were practicing witchcraft. And for all of them to admit they were tricked into and were actually practicing witchcraft is a powerful thing.

I have written an article and produced a video on the topic. I quote from Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Paul Crouch where they admit WoF doctrine is witchcraft and/or new age visualization. I’ll post my articles below and then others who have come to the same conclusion. The last three come from ex-word of faithers.

Another  thing I like to ask ex-word of faithers is what was the source of them getting deceived. And they tell me is was their pride,, and that they wanted to have the power to control their lifes and circumstances.  So when they heard the WoF message that they could create their futures with the power of the words they speak, they took the bait and was hooked.

I think besides souls being lost to hell one of the worse things about the WoF is that most WoFers will not have a clue that they were really witches unaware and practicing witchcraft. But once that is exposed to them by Christ on judgement day, they will never forget and that they were so motivated by their own desires and need to control things that they were fooled into practicing witchcraft unaware will torment them for all eternity”.

Along with the links below this article I posted a link to a Google Search for the Keywords “word of faith witchcraft” so that he might see that many others besides me have come to the same conclusion. I found more than several articles on the subject that I had never seen before. And this is one of them. I will be re-posting more of them over the days to come.

I have to tell some of you that if you follow word of faith teachers and teachings, you’re following witches and you are being taught witchcraft. And with people like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers who are “WoF lite”, because they do not focus exclusively on WoF distinctive doctrines, some of you will not believe it is true even if an ex-witch, ex-Wofer tells you.

A year ago I had a practicing witch contact me on YouTube about a video I made claiming the WoF is witchcraft and she agreed and thanked me for my video saying it’s not right for Christians to be fooled into practicing witchcraft when they think they are believing and practicing Christianity. She said she would come on a radio show with me about it one day. I’ll try to contact her if I can remember her name she was using and see of she will do that soon.

If you’re practicing that words have power in that they shape your life and future, you’re practicing witchcraft. Words have power in that they are influential – but they do not have the power to create things. A positive attitude is nice but it does not change reality and neither do words. Positive and negative confession is the very foundation of witchcraft. A confession is the same thing as an incantation or spell in witchcraft and other branches of occult philosophy. The belief that words have creative power is occultic in origin and is not a historical Christian teaching. It was brought into Christianity through Kenneth Hagin, whom got it from EW Kenyon, whom got it from Phineus Quimby of New Thought fame – and he got it from the occult. Also a student of Quimby and Occultic New Thought was Mary Baker Eddie of Christian Science fame. She coined the phrase ‘YOU POSSESS WHAT YOU CONFESS”

——————————————————-

Time is Short – I Cannot Stay Quite Any longer!

First, let me say that I am not here to be calling out any names, or to try to “bring down” any ministries right now! I only hope to provide information to shed some light on teachings that are in error, and to show people the real Jesus Christ, of the Scriptures of the Holy Bible.I need to say some things, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, about some misconceptions of so MANY of the people who are caught up in the Word Faith movement and Prosperity Gospel, because that is exactly what it is – they have been “snared”!

We need to have a loving heart for those in that deception… It is, many times, like being raised by a highly dysfunctional parent! Most get caught when they were 1) raised in a dead church that did not emphasize, or teach, that they needed to read the Word of God for themselves, or 2) they are a non-believer who wandered in to a WOF church – got caught up in all the emotion (the whole experience in one of these churches is a highly charged, emotional experience) – and just never learned anything else, or 3) they are brand-new Christians floundering, by themselves, and looking for direction (which was my case), or 4) they were born and raised in it, and know nothing else, but what they have been taught their whole life. Many of these church members really do not know anything else! They really do NOT need to be made fun of. They need sound doctrine, instruction, to be shown the Truth, and MERCY!

You see, I did not have the luxury of even knowing the Scriptures, yet, back when I was snared…

I was a brand-new Christian, floundering on my own, coming out of neo-Paganism and New Age teachings. I was previously a witch, tarot card reader, into yoga, entrenched in ISA (previously known as EST), into clothing-optional gatherings, dabbled in Buddhism, dabbled in Reiki and crystal healing, read and believed much of “A Course in Miracles” (before it was made “popular” by Oprah), jewelry maker of “commitment bands” (which I sold to gay couples) and crystal jewelry (I “charged” those with spells and sold them at new-age and pagan festivals), into all the positive thinking stuff, persecuted Christians and their belief system, etc., etc., etc. This, sadly, was the first “church” I ended up in… See, if you do not know the scriptures for yourself (which is the state of MOST of the people in this movement), it is very EASY to get sucked into it…!

I remember sitting there thinking, “Cool, I did this stuff for satan’s team, before (the positive confession stuff – aka positive thinking, visualisation, etc.), but NOW I am on the RIGHT team, and I can do it for Jesus!” ***sigh***

Read More…

joycemeyer
Does Joyce Meyers teach a “feel good” Gospel and Christianity – or am I just misinformed?

I got notice of this thread on ChristianForums.com via a pingback to our groublog when this article was posted there.

I thought since this thread about dreams and idols turned into a debate about Joyce Meyers and comments were made like she is “anything but a feel good preacher” and “the last thing Joyce Meyers teaches is feel good Christianity”,, I would chime in a post some resources from our groupblog concerning Meyers and her teachings here.

I mean come on,, how can anyone say Meyers does not teach a “feel good” gospel or Christianity? She is famous because of her TV show called “Enjoying Everyday Life”. How is that not equivalent to a feel good message? And yes I have watched many hours of her program and know the title of her show sums up most of the individual show topics. She has written around 70 books and almost all of them have “feel good” titles and topic matter that does not focus on theology or the Gospel of Jesus Christ at all – but rather basically how to “enjoy everyday life”. How is that not “feel good”? And these books are not put in the theology sections even in Christian books stores, they go to the self-help section. How does self-help not equate to feel good and a feel good message? And if you will look inside Meyers books you will see they are even categorized by the Library Of Congress as “Self Help”. How does this not relate to “feel  good”?

The thread started with a pretty sincere post asking… Dreamer28 – “Is this Idolatry? Wanting to play the Piano, then Write, and Dance or Contortion? Would I be making myself into an Idol for this? Anyways, someone pls let me know, cause I like to do those things, it’s what keeps me from being bored, but sometimes I have a feeling that these things are of my own plans and not God’s, but then again, today I heard that any dream you have is a vision from God and that I should try to make it come true. It was in the Joel Osteen book. (I declare) and so does Joyce Meyers, she talks about following your dreams too. But I don’t know. I’ve probably asked this question, but I need more assurance about whether or not it’s ok. thanks.”

Then the following sentence in one comment changed the course of the discussion in the thread “Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers do seem to have a feel good gospel which is real harmful since it paints a false picture of what a Christian life should look like. We will all face struggles and trials”.

That comment resulted in the following two comments.

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 4, 2013

PROBLEMS WITH THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL by BornAgainJerry

A commenter named BornAgainJerry left this great comment on our open discussion thread here called “OPEN THREAD (Please Participate For New Article Creation) – PROBLEMS WITH THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL”. I thought I would share it with the readers and subscribers of this blog and ask you to also comment on our open discussion thread about Problems with the Prosperity Gospel. I hope to use that input and some of the material to write a lengthy and detailed article on Problems with the Prosperity Gospel next week. PLEASE, SPEAK UP AND SPEAK YOUR MIND!!!

PROBLEMBornAgainJerry – “The Prosperity gospel is pseudo-christian in nature that appeals to the appetites of the flesh, even atheists are attracted to it; in a narcissus society such as ours that selfishly cares for its own well being of obtaining wealth, health, and material trappings for its own extravaganza, the prosperity gospel is a message welcomed within todays church with open arms!

Its a “quick fix” for greed ‘sanctioned by God’ (according to the prosperity pimps) its adherents never seen to catch on to the fact that the only ones prospering are the preachers.

These pseudo-intellectuals have fooled the unthinking with their fake credentials (one in particular has only an 8th grade education now calls himself “Dr.”) with less than 40 hrs of training from one of the many diploma mills (for a fee of course).

With their self appointed titles of bishops, apostles, prophet & prophetess they have “dumbed-down” the average christian into unquestioned blind obedience not allowing people to think or study the Word for themselves under threat of a curse if called into question about what they teach, with superstitious ‘buzz’ words, “touch not my anointed” “he thats without sin” “take your mouth off the ‘Man of God’” and “only God can judge, just pray about it” (their favorite defense when a scandal breaks out).

Any bible literate believer is considered a threat and ostracized by the congregation; this so-called gospel is dangerous, cultic and the doctrine of demons. It calls “bitter sweet and sweet bitter”

The God of this movement is not sovereign, but a “failure” who needs mans permission to operate on earth and dependent on the “Force of Faith” to do anything…

The Jesus of this movement is ‘just a anointed man’ who grew into his godhood (at age 30)…who’s blood shed on the cross was not sufficient…who went to hell for 3 days and became ‘born again’…

The Spirit of this movement is constantly giving “revelation knowledge” to the select few that contradicts “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” and is unable to produce Holiness in the lives of its people…

Beware of the false shepherds! Jesus said I Am the true shepherd “my sheep know My voice, and follow me, a stranger they will not listen to!” -John chap 10″

MY RESPONSE WAS…… “Jerry, I just now got to read your comments. Dude, that was awesome. I’ll have to use that. TY so much. And your reference to atheist makes me think of this post that makes a contrasting and great point, it is a little rant about the PG and drug dealers and such……

“I walk through the ‘hood and checkout the Drug Dealer; he has CARS, PROPERTY, and MONEY. I checkout the PROSTITUTE; she has DESIGNER CLOTHING, JEWELRY, LAVISH LIVING QUARTERS, and MONEY. I checkout the PIMP; he’s STACKING WEALTH, PROPERTY, CARS, and PRESTIGE. I checkout the HUSTLERS of the UNDERWORLD (conmen, thieves, robbers, thugs, gangsters and killers) of INFAMY and SIN; they’re ALL packing, stacking and strapped with MONEY, POSSESSIONS and MATERIALISM.

All of these KNOWN SINNERS have all of what they have – and WITHOUT even acknowledging God in the least! So what can the PROSPERITY DOCTRINE do for them? Get them SAVED? Get them REDEEMED? Help them LIVE HOLY? What about get them CLOSER to God? What, NONE of these? If that’s the case, then we have to CONFESS that this DEMONIC PROSPERITY DOCTRINE being PREACHED by the FALSE PROPHETS and FALSE PREACHERS is SPIRITUALLY WORTHLESS! Why would God be INTERESTED in PUSHING and PROMOTING something that can be ACQUIRED WITHOUT Him? He said He won’t SHARE His Glory with another.

But we KNOW that the Gospel of Jesus Christ that leads to SALVATION is for EVERYBODY, of EVERY RACE, of EVERY BACKGROUND, and of EVERY WALK OF LIFE!!! Christians, it’s time to ERADICATE this POISONOUS doctrine out of the Body of Christ and RETURN back to our FIRST LOVE and REPEAT our FIRST WORKS over again that the Body of Christ was FOUNDATIONED upon!!!”

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2012/02/28/excellent-rant-on-the-prosperity-gospel-drug-dealers-prostitutes-pimps-and-hustlers/

AND THAT IS WHY THE PG IS SO DEADLY, in the eternal sense of the word. All an atheist has to do is start calling himself a Christian and going to church every once in awhile and NOTHING HAS TO CHANGE, and he can go on pursuing the same thing that has always interested him and enslaved his passions,,, HIMSELF and HIS DESIRES. But now he is told that seeking after self is what God wants, in a very very subtle way, and now God is on his side and will even help him to be even more selfish and self centered and motivated. “GOD IS FOR YOU, AND IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU AND NOW THAT GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE, LIVE IT UP BECAUSE YOU WANT, NEED AND DESERVE TO HAVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW: – even if it means your life here will be better than your eternal one.”

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 4, 2013

Liberal Washington Post gets it right on the Prosperity Gospel

prosperity-gospelTHE WORSE IDEAS OF THE DECADE – The Prosperity Gospel by Cathleen Falsani

In the Gospel of Saint Matthew, we are told that Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money” and, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The “prosperity gospel,” an insipid heresy whose popularity among American Christians has boomed in recent years, teaches that God blesses those God favors most with material wealth.

The ministries of three televangelists commonly viewed as founders of the prosperity gospel movement – Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and Frederick K.C. Price – took hold in the 1970s and 1980s. One of the oldest and best-known proponents of prosperity theology, Oral Roberts – the television faith-healer who in 1987 told his flock that God would call him home if he didn’t raise $8 million in a matter of weeks – died at 91 last week.

But the past decade has seen this pernicious doctrine proliferate in more mainstream circles. Joel Osteen, the 46-year-old head of Lakewood Church in Houston, has a TV ministry that reaches more than 7 million viewers, and his 2004 book “Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential,” has sold millions of copies. “God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us,” Osteen wrote in a 2005 letter to his flock.

As crass as that may sound, Osteen’s version of the prosperity gospel is more gentle (and decidedly less sweaty) than those preached by such co-religionists as Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes and the appropriately named Creflo Dollar.

Few theological ideas ring more dissonant with the harmony of orthodox Christianity than a focus on storing up treasures on Earth as a primary goal of faithful living. The gospel of prosperity turns Christianity into a vapid bless-me club, with a doctrine that amounts to little more than spiritual magical thinking: If you pray the right way, God will make you rich.

But if you’re not rich, then what? Are the poor cursed by God because of their unfaithfulness? And if God were so concerned about 401(k)s and Mercedes, why would God’s son have been born into poverty?

Nowhere has the prosperity gospel flourished more than among the poor and the working class. Told that wealth is a sign of God’s grace and favor, followers strive for trappings of luxury they can little afford in an effort to prove that they are blessed spiritually. Some critics have gone so far as to place part of the blame for the past decade’s spending binge and foreclosure crisis at the foot of the prosperity gospel’s altar.

Jesus was born poor, and he died poor. During his earthly tenure, he spoke time and again about the importance of spiritual wealth and health. When he talked about material wealth, it was usually part of a cautionary tale.

Cathleen Falsani is the religion columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the author of “The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/opinions/outlook/worst-ideas/prosperity-gospel.html

This very good article was posted here on this blog yesterday under another title. But to try and get this article into as many hands as possible I am giving it another title and re-posting it. If you follow Joel Osteen and/or Joyce Meyers, you may not even be aware that they are part of The Word of Faith Movement; that is the focus of this group-blog of mostly ex-Word of Faithers. So please read the article and if you find the articles assertions to be even a little true, please read more on this blog and especially read some of the Ex-Word of Faith testimonies on our Testimony Page.

super-bowl

Another View: The ‘prosperity gospel’ and the Super Bowl

When it comes to this weekend’s Super Bowl, 3 in 10 Americans are betting on God. A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that one-third of the country believes that God plays a role in determining which team wins.

Americans are even more certain about the players themselves. A majority believe that God rewards individual athletes who are faithful to God with good health and success.

This kind of thinking about faith and success follows a broader religious trend. Over the last 50 years, American Christians have gravitated toward spiritual explanations for why winners deserve their rewards. The default rationalizations — Good things happen to good people! Everything happens for a reason! — are no longer simply cliches. They are the theological bedrock for one of the most popular contemporary movements — the American prosperity gospel.

Millions of American Christians now agree that faith brings health, wealth and victory. This movement, which began in the Pentecostal revivals of the post-World War II years, has become a commonplace theological framework for how faith works to secure God’s blessings.

For the past eight years, I have studied the American prosperity gospel. Basically, it contends that believers must learn to speak positive words (called “positive confessions”) to unleash spiritual forces that move God to act. Faithful people can know that their prayers and actions are working by their effects: a healthy body, a rising bank account, an ability to overcome life’s obstacles. The pursuit of happiness is no longer simply an inalienable right. It’s a divine mandate.

When people say that God rewards certain teams or athletes, their opinions usually reflect a range of explanations — from “hard prosperity” to “soft prosperity” — for how people earn wins or losses.

Hard prosperity draws a straight line between the believer’s faith to his circumstances. Did a player tithe 10 percent of his income? Did an unspoken sin block his prayers?

When life does not go as planned, Christians learn to comb through their own histories to find the source of their problem. Atlanta televangelist Creflo Dollar urged his 30,000-member World Changers Church International to uncover the spiritual causes to their poverty, sickness or failures. “Stop making excuses,” he argued. “You are the only one hindering your progress.” When life’s scoreboard looks grim, they had only themselves to blame.

Soft prosperity loosely equates faithfulness and success, allowing for temporary setbacks on the steady march to victory. Joel Osteen, senior pastor of America’s largest church, has made a career of encouraging people to embrace their identity as victors. His weekly television audiences of seven million tune in to hear his message of unstoppable success: “You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.”

When the Baltimore Ravens face off against the San Francisco 49ers, more and more Americans will be looking for something beyond skill or luck. They are looking for that unseen divine guarantee that separates the masses from the faith-filled few. The prosperity gospel dubbed it “favor.”

“It’s that feeling,” said Florida televangelist Paula White, “that God is on your side.”

And as America’s most-watched sport is now punctuated by mid-field prayers, heaven-directed touchdown dances and a Tim Tebow-inspired bended knee (now officially trademarked), this won’t be the last Sunday when the country is looking for a divine way to predict a winner.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130202/OPINION01/302020040/-1/SPORTS09/Another-View-prosperity-gospel-Super-Bowl

SOME RELATED POST

Ex-Word of Faith Testimony of a Joyce Meyers Follower

Is Joyce Meyers a Word of Faith Teacher? Does She teach Word of Faith Doctrine?

Finding a Church after leaving The Word of Faith Movement

Ex-Faith Healer Mark Haville Explains The Tricks of the Fake Faith Healing Trade

PICTURES of Joel Osteen’s 10.5 Million Dollar River Oaks Mansion

SOME OF THE FALSE DOCTRINES THAT CHRISTIANS MUST CONTEND AGAINST.

AND OUR TESTIMONY PAGE

super-bowl

Another View: The ‘prosperity gospel’ and the Super Bowl

When it comes to this weekend’s Super Bowl, 3 in 10 Americans are betting on God. A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that one-third of the country believes that God plays a role in determining which team wins.

Americans are even more certain about the players themselves. A majority believe that God rewards individual athletes who are faithful to God with good health and success.

This kind of thinking about faith and success follows a broader religious trend. Over the last 50 years, American Christians have gravitated toward spiritual explanations for why winners deserve their rewards. The default rationalizations — Good things happen to good people! Everything happens for a reason! — are no longer simply cliches. They are the theological bedrock for one of the most popular contemporary movements — the American prosperity gospel.

Millions of American Christians now agree that faith brings health, wealth and victory. This movement, which began in the Pentecostal revivals of the post-World War II years, has become a commonplace theological framework for how faith works to secure God’s blessings.

For the past eight years, I have studied the American prosperity gospel. Basically, it contends that believers must learn to speak positive words (called “positive confessions”) to unleash spiritual forces that move God to act. Faithful people can know that their prayers and actions are working by their effects: a healthy body, a rising bank account, an ability to overcome life’s obstacles. The pursuit of happiness is no longer simply an inalienable right. It’s a divine mandate.

When people say that God rewards certain teams or athletes, their opinions usually reflect a range of explanations — from “hard prosperity” to “soft prosperity” — for how people earn wins or losses.

Hard prosperity draws a straight line between the believer’s faith to his circumstances. Did a player tithe 10 percent of his income? Did an unspoken sin block his prayers?

When life does not go as planned, Christians learn to comb through their own histories to find the source of their problem. Atlanta televangelist Creflo Dollar urged his 30,000-member World Changers Church International to uncover the spiritual causes to their poverty, sickness or failures. “Stop making excuses,” he argued. “You are the only one hindering your progress.” When life’s scoreboard looks grim, they had only themselves to blame.

Soft prosperity loosely equates faithfulness and success, allowing for temporary setbacks on the steady march to victory. Joel Osteen, senior pastor of America’s largest church, has made a career of encouraging people to embrace their identity as victors. His weekly television audiences of seven million tune in to hear his message of unstoppable success: “You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.”

When the Baltimore Ravens face off against the San Francisco 49ers, more and more Americans will be looking for something beyond skill or luck. They are looking for that unseen divine guarantee that separates the masses from the faith-filled few. The prosperity gospel dubbed it “favor.”

“It’s that feeling,” said Florida televangelist Paula White, “that God is on your side.”

And as America’s most-watched sport is now punctuated by mid-field prayers, heaven-directed touchdown dances and a Tim Tebow-inspired bended knee (now officially trademarked), this won’t be the last Sunday when the country is looking for a divine way to predict a winner.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130202/OPINION01/302020040/-1/SPORTS09/Another-View-prosperity-gospel-Super-Bowl

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 2, 2013

Finding a Church after leaving The Word of Faith Movement

finding-a-good-church

I stumbled upon this article and found it interesting and thought many of the readers here could relate to it even though the author is Ex-Charismatic, with no indication that his charismatic church was also Word of Faith. But the feelings he spoke of are common to all Ex-Wofers who leave WoF churches as it really does feel like “detoxing” when you leave a WoF church and the movement. And there is always a long deprogramming process involved that most Ex-Wofers say can take years and years. And after years of weekly attending a big production with big loud hypnotizing music and lights, a little old boring country church just does not sound very exciting and fulfilling at first.

Because I have been to more bad churches than good churches, and know it can be a dangerous and stressful situation, I never come down hard on Ex-WoFers for not wanting to go to church again for awhile, or maybe even never again, and I always suggest they find other Ex-Wofers to confide in – but I never tell them they have to go back to church, especially soon. But I ALWAYS do advise that we all should eventually get back to serving The Lord in a Corporal Church Body – just because it is good for us to do so. So if your reading this and struggling to find the will to get back into church, please read the following and give it some more thought, maybe it is time now, or soon, to give it a shot.

We are creatures of habit and once we get used to “regular” church, the “better” churches seem just so “way out there”. GIVE IT A CHANCE, you just might learn to really love non-Word of Faith Church.

Finding a church after leaving Charismania

One of the subtle lies of the charismatic church is that there’s a perfect way, a better understanding, a purer worship, a more insightful teaching to be found in their fellowship. They hook people this way, offering prime real estate, so to speak—the best of God.

The result is that most who buy into this lie find it difficult or impossible to return to “normal” church again.

They are addicted to the music for the most part—loud, hypnotic, and repetitive—having no understanding of how music can manipulate the human brain into believing it has had an in-depth religious experience. The sixties drug culture employed it well.

They are addicted to the entertainment they receive in church. Services are designed—complete with special lighting and, in some cases, smoke machines—to reach into the hearts and minds of men and move them—for God, of course. But with pounding music, emotionally charged videos and dramatic sermons by hip and happening front men that “still small voice” becomes unnecessary.

Yet God does not abandon His own. In the quiet moments through the week, that Voice was the one that led you out.

And now you don’t know where to go to church. All other churches seem dry, the worship lifeless. You are like a junky needing a fix but knowing the drug holds no nourishment.

Hurt from the emotional pounding you endured just to break free (your so-called church friends think you are on the wrong path and quickly forget you); you resolve not to trust any church. You can stay in this place, alone, a kind of controlled self-protection. But that verse about forsaking the fellowship nags.

I don’t have your answer, other than to say detoxify yourself. God is not a sugar ball you shoot into your veins on Sunday. Get back to basics. Read the Bible, find a place to serve after you’ve had some healing, get down and wash others’ feet and lose sight of yourself and what you want. You can always dance to loud worship music in your living room.

I was fortunate to plug back into my childhood church. The people accepted me back without judgment, even though this is the same church I spurned as “too controlled” in my search for “More!” It is still a bit more controlled than I like (there’s this rush to get the first service finished before we create a traffic jam with the incoming second service.) But we are humans frail in our ways seeking the grace of a loving God.

This frailty, this lack of knowing it all, allows me to feel safe. I am not manipulated by the music or the preacher. (I am not told to tithe or God won’t bless me!) I am advised to read the Bible through the week and look for God in the people and happenings of the everyday, to serve as Christ served. Now, I teach Junior High Sunday School and hope one sentence captures the bunny trails of their minds.

What I like about this place is its motto: We are disciples of Jesus Christ, encouraging all people to become His fully devoted followers.

Now I learn how to be and become more like Jesus. I am not being entertained. I am being transformed, fueled by a commitment, a focus, who is Christ. It’s a process, a journey of ups and downs, but my God is patient and full of grace, compassionate and loving. He takes me in and receives me as His own.

http://theagonyofvictory.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/finding-a-church-after-leaving-charismania/

prosperit gospel three steps
I was blessed to find a brand new blog via Google Alerts when the author, a Baptist Missionary in Africa, Seth Meyers posted the following list of 9 Problems with the Problems of The Prosperity Gospel.

  1. The prosperity gospel is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. The prosperity gospel urges sinners to commit idolatry.
  3. The prosperity gospel denies God’s sovereign purposes for pain as revealed in Scripture.
  4. The prosperity gospel ignores Biblical teaching on wealth.
  5. The prosperity gospel discourages logical thought about the Bible, a work ethic, sickness, economics, and politics.
  6. The prosperity gospel requires other heresies to support it such as deification and positive confession.
  7. The prosperity gospel inoculates people from hearing the truth because they think they already know Gospel.
  8. The prosperity gospel has never been accepted in the Christian church until the 1980’s.
  9. The prosperity gospel contradicts the lives of the many godly but poor believers in the Bible and history.

comment belowWhen reading the list, as I got down to point #7, I thought that was the most salient and important point listed yet. After finishing I thought the list was a great start but neglected the most important point and that is the inference drawn in point 7 that because of the Prosperity Gospel some people think they are Christian and saved but they are not because they do not even know the true gospel of Jesus Christ as listed in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

So since I felt a need to try and reach some of these people with the true gospel and I have not written an original article for this site in a long time I thought I would use Seth’s list as a starting point for such an article and ask you guys, the readers and subscribers of this blog, to help me write an article. And since I know first hand, from previously running a support group and participating other such support groups for Ex-Word of Faithers, the importance and value of ex-Word of Faithers getting to know other Ex-Word of Faithers – I thought it would be a great idea to have a open thread and discussion about the Problems of the Prosperity Gospel here so that we all might get to interacting with each other and someone who is trying to recover and deprogram from Word of faith teachings would have a chance to get to know others they can confide with. And I hope this post will do just that.

So I am opening Comments on this post asking you to please participate. You can either add a point to the list or expound upon any point already made in the list. And in about two weeks I will spend a couple of hours writing an article based on all we have discussed about the Problems with The Prosperity Gospel. And hopefully it will help others and might even help to get someone saved. I will put some thought into this and start putting my thoughts in the threaded comment section below. I hope you will do the same.

Thanks so much,
And be more blessed,
Damon Whitsell

PROSPERITY theology main issue
For about three years I spent most of my time finding great articles on the Word of Faith Movement and re-posting them here on this blog, and I enjoyed writing my own articles too. But about a year ago The Lord called me to focus most of time studying and exposing the evils and dangers of Islam and I have not posted daily here since then. But before I started to focus on Islam I started using Google Alerts as my virtual personal research assistant (please see this video to see how wonderfully useful it is using Google Alerts in this way), so I still get the Google Alerts I started on the Word of Faith and it’s related sub-topics and keywords – and that is how I found this new blog that looks like it will be a great one.

The blog had just started and it is by a Baptist Missionary in Africa. I got a Google Alert when the Missionary Seth Meyers posted this article on the Problems of the Prosperity Gospel at his brand new Son of Cary Blog. I contacted Seth and ask him if I could re-post and use his article to start an Open Thread on this blog discussing Problems with the Prosperity using his list,. And I asked him if in the future he might be writing on the Prosperity Gospel in Africa from a Baptist Missionary perspective and he said yes he would. Well the following article is just the kind of writings I hoped Seth would write,, a first hand account highlighting the damaging effect the Word of Faith movement and its deadly cousin the Prosperity Gospel are having in Africa. Please read and share the following article by Seth and also participate in our Open Discussion Thread that we started using Seth’s article on the topic of Problems of the Prosperity Gospel – in about a week I will be taking the things learned, observed and expounded upon in that thread to write as good of an article as I can on the topic, so I hope you guys will help out and participate in that discussion. And that we can interact with each other will be great too.

Observations from a Recent Prosperity Gospel Crusade in Our Village

Posted on 1 February 2013 by

Before the Preaching

  • Before the preaching: An elder in his church had told me the day before (Wed.) that they were most aligned with Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin.
  • Before the preaching I asked a lay elder what were the most important methods for building a church. He answered quickly and confidently that the music was the most important. By music he meant loud speakers and drums. When I pressed him for more methods that were essential to planting a church, he replied, “Heal people.”
  • Before the preaching, the pastor stayed in his Mercedes which was parked in a visible location.

Pulpit Manner

  • In a poor village, he made sure to preach from an iPad, and keep it visible throughout the show.
  • He was a Venda, but he preached in English and had a translator into Venda. Our village is probably 80% Tsonga.
  • He wore a lapel mic, but had to ask for a hand held because he said needed “more power.”
  • He wiped his mouth and entire face with his hankie repeatedly even though it was a chilly night, and there was no visible sweat on his face.
  • After he got going, he did not mind cutting off the translator.
  • He called repeatedly for “Amens, Heys, and Hi” from the crowd.
  • Toward the end, he ran several times around the table frantically.
  • In one illustration, he danced, turned his back to the audience, and shook his rear end as the crowd cheered.
  • Near the end of his sermon, he noticeably touched his translator—a woman—on the chest.

Message Content 

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 1, 2013

Inner Healing – Christian or Occult?

Damon Whitsell:

I know many of the subscribers and friends to this blog are also subscribers and friends to Mkayla and her awesome blog, but even though this great article is not directly related the WoF, I wanted to give those who are not subbed to sister MK and her blog a chance to read this. I been studying cults and psychology for a long time and I learned quite a bit reading it. And the writing made me so happy and thankful that while the Lord has not given me complete victory of my own emotional problems and life struggles yet,, he has blessed me with the good sense and discernment to know that when i get really down, desperate and needy I am left very vulnerable and need to be careful of what I intake into my soul. While reading this I thought, man it is real nice to get such a reminder to be careful of all the dangerous stuff out there when I am not my usual self. PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE AND BE CAREFUL OUT THERE YA’LL, the enemy is roaming seeking whom he may devour and we must be wise as serpents.

Originally posted on m'kayla's korner:

Having been trained as a SOZO minister I know the dangers it presents first hand. The following is a well written article which relates to SOZO (Christianized inner healing with no basis in scripture.) 

I know there are many of you out there with questions and concerns. I hope this helps shed some light on its origins and why we need to stay away. Christ is sufficient for all our needs. Every one of them.

Inner Healing/Healing of Memories

Christian or Occult?*

–  Healing of the memories, or inner healing, or healing of the emotions has its roots in the teachings of anti-Christian and occultist, Agnes Sanford. It was carried on after her death by those she influenced, such as lay therapists Ruth Carter Stapleton (deceased sister of Jimmy Carter), Rosalind Rinker, John and Paula Sandford (currently of Elijah House, a demon-deliverance and memory healing center in Port Falls, Idaho)…

View original 1,726 more words

This post over at Urban Truth Network is worth reblogging. T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen are teaming up with Oprah to teach Christians what the Christian life is all about. What do you think the outcome will be? READ THE POST HERE —->>> Authors of Confusion Pt. 25 – Oprah’s “Life Class”.

Tim Martin of Watchman Fellowship answers those questions this way in his video description: “Many people are suprised when they hear that Joyce Meyer is a Word of Faith teacher. She does not focus on health and wealth, so why would people say this? Actually, Joyce does agree with, and teaches most all of the distinctive Word Faith doctrines. If you are not sure, this video will convince”.

And I agree both that Meyers is Word of Faith and that many people who listen to her would think she is not Word of Faith. But the bottom line is that SHE DOES teach Word of Faith doctrines. Tim classifies Meyers as what he calls a “New School Word of Faith Teacher”. By this he means that while they might not harp on and focus on Word of Faith doctrines all the time, they definitely do teach Word of Faith teachings and their overall biblical and worldview is based on Word of Faith teachings. Other Word of Faith teachers who fall into Tims “New School Word of Faith Teacher” category would be Joel Osteen and John Hagee. I really like and think it helpful the way Tim distinguishes between the two types of Word of Faith teachers.

Tim is also the producer of the BEST VIDEO SERIES REFUTING WORD OF FAITH TEACHING WE HAVE ON THIS BLOG. It is an awesome series and I wish we could get all Christians and all Word of Faithers to watch it. So please watch and share the series with everyone you know, especially Wofers.

Here is Tims 30 minute video examining Joyce Meyers teachings.

 

And here is a testimony from an Ex Joyce Meyers follower. This is one of our over 50 ex-Word of Faith Testimonies that we have on OUR TESTIMONY PAGE

HAT/TIP to EndTimesPropheticWords

Testimony left at Pulpit Pimps here

Bill, you say that Joyce Meyer doesn’t run a cult, otherwise you wouldn’t be in it. Let me say that the people who are in cults think the same way! Nobody likes to think that they have been deceived,. They want to think they are smart enough to know better. I assure you that if Joyce Meyer teaches the prosperity gospel or that Jesus went to hell so you wouldn’t have to (and she does!), then she IS running a cult, and if you are supporting her, then YOU ARE in a cult and you don’t even know it!

What’s more, there is probably nothing anyone here can say to you that will convince you otherwise, and I for one will not attempt to do so. All anyone here can do for you is speak the truth. It’s up to God and you from there. If God can’t take some of what we say here and get it through to you, then you cannot be reached sir.

A few years ago, I supported Joyce Meyer with everything I had. I regarded her as a true, down to earth, sincere, and prosperous role model. I hung on every word that came out of her mouth as if they were the words of God straight to me. I never missed a show, and if I did, I watched her internet broadcasts. When she held her conferences in my area, I went to see her in person. I would do as she said to prove my commitment to God and take vacation days and drive 3 hours to Tulsa to see her preach at the ORU campus and drive 3 hours back home, justifying myself to God by reminding Him of these sacrifices.

Talking about sacrifice, not only did I give up a day’s pay to see her, but it was nothing for me to sacrifice $100 or more into the white buckets they’d pass around as offering plates, knowing all along that I’d have to sacrifice again when I didn’t have that money to pay a bill with! That, in addition to the hundreds of dollars I’d send her through the mail every month! In the typical Word of Faith fashion, I would then go to God in “prayer” and tell Him what He had to do (you [God] MUST keep your word; you MUST provide ‘pressed down, shaken-together’ etc; if I delight myself in you, you MUST give me the desire of my heart, ad nausea!).

Bill, that’s NOT praying! When a WoF preacher “prays” by saying “we bind you Satan, we come against all the powers of darkness, we rebuke all poverty and lack” etc, they are NOT praying to God! They are talking to the devil and speaking as if they were God Himself. It is NOT prayer. But I digress.

I absolutely LOVED Joyce Meyer! But God had other plans for me. I was DEEP into the Word of Faith . It was all I had ever known all my life. My grandmother latched onto the seed faith teachings of Oral Roberts back when it first came out. She taught my mother in the ways of the WoF, and my mother in turn taught us the same way!

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