SOURCE: IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL REALLY UNBIBLICAL?

IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL REALLY UNBIBLICAL?

In light of the recent controversy about Shai Linne’s reference to the prosperity gospel teachers in his new song, I wanted to shed a light and really define what exactly the prosperity gospel that some are teaching is. This “gospel” is taught by some preachers around the US and the world today, some of which are well-known. The aim of this article is not to call out particular pastors or teachers, but rather to inform you objectively on what the teaching is and then see what the God, in his word, has to say about it.

WHAT IS THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL?

The prosperity gospel is the teaching that God rewards the faithful with wealth, possessions, and monetary gifts. It teaches that if one gives tithes and offerings to the church, then God will bless them with abundantly more. The underlying theology emphasizes God’s desire for all to be prosperous who follow him in this life, leading to things such as a new home, a good job, good health, a good car and so on and so forth. Simply put, it equates piety with prosperity.

This message is exactly what we want to hear as self-serving creatures. It’s why so many American Christians follow these teachers; it’s music to our ears. The Lord of the universe is personally committed to giving us all of our earthly desires. Sounds great, right? Wrong. This false gospel does a disservice to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let’s see what God’s word has to say about this.

6 FALLACIES OF THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL (ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE)

Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 16, 2013

The Prosperity Gospel is a Tofu Burger by Katie McCoy

sound doctrine
WHY WORRY ABOUT DOCTRINE? Here’s what the Bible says…
by Cedric Hohnstadt

1. The Bible warns us to be careful about what doctrines we believe and teach.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8)

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim. 4:16)

What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)

You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. (Titus 2:1)

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor. 13:6)

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. (Hebrews 13:9)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

I hate and abhor falsehood
but I love your law. (Psalm 119:163)

The righteous hate what is false (Prov. 13:5)

2. The Bible teaches that church leaders (including teachers) must be held to very high standards.

[The LORD said,] “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD ?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)

Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. (Titus 1:7-9)

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48)

…Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Gal. 1:6-9)

3. God repeatedly warns His people that some who claim to speak for Him are actually false teachers:

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)

Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)

This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD… Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:16,32)

Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them” (Ezekiel 13:6)

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)

If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (1 Tim. 6:3-5)

Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God. (2 Cor. 2:17)

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned…By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Rom. 16:17-18)

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

4. The Bible teaches that false doctrines can be dangerous:

A. False Doctrine can confuse immature Christians.
Read More…

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 14, 2013

VIDEO: God is our Reward, Not Stuff – John Piper

This is a very very deep one minute video.

gordon feeI have not yet had a chance to but and read this booklet yet but have heard good things about it years. So I was very happy to find and be able to listen to these two audios from Fee on the topic. Here is a review of the booklet from Amazon.com, then some biographical info on Mr. Fee and the click-able links to the two audios below.
______________________

“This is a tremendous little book. Gordon Fee is a world-class New Testament scholar and a Pentecostal. He discusses the “theology” of the health and wealth teachers and preachers and how they take Scripture out of context. With all the imbalances and biblical distortions going on in the Pentecostal/charismatic scene today, Dr. Fee’s book is refreshing and much-needed. Don’t miss this one!”
______________________

Gordon D. Fee (b. 1934) is a New Testament scholar and Professor Emeritus at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. He received BA and MA degrees from Seattle Pacific University and was ordained in the Assemblies of God church in 1959. Fee earned his doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1966.

Publications

  • Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. ISBN 1565631706. Hendrickson, 1996.
  • How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (co-authored with Douglas K. Stuart) ISBN 0310246040. 3rd Ed. Zondervan, 2003.
  • New Testament Exegesis : A Handbook for Students and Pastors. ISBN 0664233635. 4th Ed. Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
  • How to Read the Bible Book by Book. ISBN 0310211182. Zondervan, 2002.
  • 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, New Intl. Biblical Commentary, with W. Ward Gasque ISBN 0943575109
  • New International Commentary on the New Testament (editor)
  • First Epistle to the Corinthians, New International Commentary on the New Testament ISBN 0802825117
  • Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, New International Commentary on the New Testament. ISBN 0802825117. Eerdmans, 1995.
  • Philippians, IVP New Testament Commentary ISBN 0830818111
  • The act of Bible Reading : A Multidisciplinary Approach to Biblical Interpretation (co-authored with Eugene Peterson, J. I. Packer, Craig M. Gay & James Houston) ISBN 0830816232
  • Discovering Biblical Equality : Complementarily without Hierarchy (co-editor) ISBN 0830828346
  • God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul ISBN 094357594X. Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.

Richard Hays writes, ‘Fee’s book is the most comprehensive treatment available of Paul’s understanding of the Holy Spirit, a topic that has rarely received sufficient attention in studies of Pauline theology… Fee emphasizes insistently that the Holy Spirit must be experienced as a living presence within the church. That message is both faithful to Paul and urgent for the community of faith in our time.’ – Listening to the Spirit in the Text ISBN 0802847579Getting the Word Across: Speech Communication for Pastors and Lay Leaders (co-authored with G. Robert Jacks) ISBN 080284152XStudies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism ISBN 0802824307Power, Holiness, and Evangelism Rediscovering God’s Purity, Power, and Passion for the Lost ISBN 1560433450Gospel & Spirit ISBN 0943575788To What End Exegesis – Essays ISBN 0802849253The Disease of the Health and Wealth Gospels. ISBN 1573830666. Regent College Publishing, 1985.

THE LINKS TO: AUDIO 1AUDIO 2

justin timber

Having a Google Alert for Joel Osteen I have followed the so called “JOEL OSTEEN LEFT CHRISTIANITY HOAX” since I got this first post about it from Yahoo Answers. I was very glad the creator, of what he now calls a “Media Campaign” came out and said he did it to open up a discussion and I was very happy he agreed to be interviewed by myself and to answer some questions that I think the readers of our groupblog might want to ask him.

His name is Justin Tribble and he is Freelance writer from Minnesota who said to Mr. Osteen directly in a message to Joel on Tuesday April 9th.

A message to Joel, from the so-called “hoaxer”

“I am the person who created the Joel Osteen “resigns” hoax that resulted in dozens of media stories, TV segments, a million hits in one day on the hoaxed sites alone, 500 frantic phone calls to the Lakewood Church and managed to cause Joel to smile even bigger than usual.

I did it because I wanted to get this guy’s attention and get him to wake up. “Wake up? Wake up to what?” you say? Allow me to explain…

I have to ask, What would Christ want? Bibles… or Joel Osteen’s fifteen books?

What would Christ want? A pastor who takes risks, or instead molds his message in such a way so as to justify his lavish lifestyle?

It’s time to get real, Joel. It’s time to put the “feel good”, “prosperity gospel” message and all the platitudes and cliches aside for a second and get serious about real issues.

You should be held to a higher standard — but nobody is holding you to that standard.

I am begging of you, start talking about the *real* issues in this world and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Get serious. Take some risks. Get out of the insulated Lakewood social circle full of sycophants who agree with you on everything.

I’m not seeing you do much of anything other than flash that big, fat grin on TV.

I don’t see you taking risks or talking about real, pressing issues of the day — whether it be Monsanto and their GMO poisons, Obama’s traitorous signing of the NDAA and support of drones, the toxic fluoride in our water, the materialistic, consumer based culture we live in that is so dysfunctional it’s placed the U.S. number one in the world in mental illness rates.

We’ve got the highest rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes in the world, and not a single person is asking, “Why?” Why aren’t *you* asking why, Joel?

I thought you were supposed to be a “teacher”? As far as I’m concerned, you’re the “McDonald’s” version of preachers — feels good to down a big soda, until the heartburn sets in. Telling people what they want to hear isn’t helping anyone, but it’s sure getting *you* rich.

This is a viral campaign designed to get the attention of a man who is incredibly powerful and wouldn’t otherwise likely even listen to me. I hope, hope, hope he wakes up a little and starts informing his flock about what’s really going on in the world and delves into some deeper issues. That’s his job, his duty, as a messenger of the Lord”.

http://christianitynewstexas.blogspot.com/2013/04/megachurch-pastor-joel-osten-annouces.html

Here is also a video of Justin’s interview.

With that I start the interview.

Hi Justin, Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. I guess the first question I would like to ask of you is one of a motive question.

Question #1 — Your “hoax” plan was pretty elaborate, deliberate and seems to be well thought out. I can see in your message to Joel that you seem to be a fellow follower in Christ and interested in doctrinal purity and integrity, but is there any other reason than that for your motive to do this “Media Campaign” – perhaps your just wanting to Osteen to engage, rather that intentionally disengaging and avoiding, some of the more controversial issues within Christianity and living the Christian life? Or is your issue solely about doctrinal correctness?

“Unfortunately, having not had sleep for a day and a half, with media requests coming in, I took the opportunity to get on TV and try to get people thinking about this guy but I may have muddled my own message. I’m not sure it worked. I was tired and ended up being too charitable, appearing too much a “fan” of Osteen. Selective editing by ABC didn’t help.

All I want is for people to stop and think about what this guy is up to. The entire argument for why Osteen is great is that “he makes me feel good.” Ok. Cocaine makes you feel good, so does alcohol, sometimes excessive eating and many other things that are destructive in quantities other than extreme moderation.

Let me just put this scenario before you: imagine Satan wanted a pastor or preacher to rise to prominence. What would he want that guy to do or say? Well, he’d love it if that guy wrote fifteen books with his name and face on them, and profited handsomely from the sales. He’d love it if this guy spoke less and less from scripture, but instead formulated his own brand of “self-help” Christianity that has no basis in doctrine. He’d love it if that guy sold a feel-good brand of “faith” with an emphasis on acquiring money and good material fortune if you just “believe enough.” He’d love it if that guy had a $10 million dollar mansion and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle.

I can’t help but think Satan would love what Joel Osteen is doing.”

Question #2 — This one perhaps has to do with motives also. What kind of previous experience do you bring to the table of discussion about Osteens current “feel good, prosperity gospel message”. Meaning directly have you or anyone else you know been adversely or over affected by Oteen and the agreeably swallow message he teaches? We respect your need to keep personal people in your life anonymous and appreciate any general insight here.

“I have no personal experience. I’ve just been watching his ascension to the top for many years.”

Question #3 – Most of the bloggers and regulars readers at this blog are Ex-WoFers, people who are researching the Word of Faith Movement or people who have been generally adversely effected by the movement, are you aware of the movements distinctive teachings and their historical origins.

“I have to admit my ignorance on this subject. I’m interested to learn more.”

Question #4 – The most distinctive teaching of the Word of Faith Movement is it’s teaching on the “power of words” or “confession teaching”. In pejorative terms it is known as the “Name-it and-claim-it”,,, or,,, “blab-it and grab-it” doctrines. Are you familiar with this teaching? Every ex-WoFer I have ever met agrees that this teaching is the same as witchcraft, occult and new age doctrine. Instead of “confessing” or “declaring” the occult teaches these same things also know as Conjuring’s, Incantations and Spell Castings. Not knowing how much you know about the teaching I’ll go ahead and ask you to put your neck out a little further since you have already stuck it out this far and ask you,, do you see similarities between WoF power of words teaching and witchcraft?

“That sounds consistent to me. Is word of faith a part of the charismatic movement? Is Osteen’s “believe enough and you’ll get rich, too” similar to this?”

MY RESPONSE TO JUSTINS LAST COMMENTS – No brother, Joel Osteen and The Word of Faith Movement are not part of the Charismatic movement. I’m having problems staying connected to the internet today so for now I’ll give you links to two articles to read. Perhaps some of the readers here can fill you in more in the comment section.

Word of Faith Movement profile
http://www.watchman.org/profile/wordpro.htm

Here the largest Charismatic denomination has issued a position paper on the word of faith movements teaching on positive confession. These two articles should help you understand the difference for now. If someone does not respond better in the comment section I’ll post more about it when I am getting better internet connection.

THE BELIEVER AND POSITIVE CONFESSION: The Assemblies of God response to extremes in the Word Faith Movement

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2009/02/24/the-believer-and-positive-confession-the-assemblies-of-god-response-to-extremes-in-the-word-faith-movement/

Question #5 – One of our groupblog authors asked me to ask you this… Do you think “Jesus would have been crucified in the 1st place if He had preached like Osteen. Or would have any of the Apostles have been martyred if they had preached Osteen’s message?”

“What risk does Joel Osteen take in his teachings? None that I can discern. He’s safe. So, no.”

Question #6 – If you have two minutes to speak to Osteen one on one – what would you say or ask that have not already said?

“I would ask if him the Lord spoke to him and told him to leave all of his money behind and to live as Jesus, humbly, would he?

I don’t think there is much to say to him, however. It’s his followers who embolden him. He isn’t going to change. I see a man who is doing absolutely nothing to challenge himself or his followers, a man the Lord is not and has not tested … likely because he may not be a man of the Lord in the first place.”

Question #7 — If you have one minute to speak to all of Osteen followers one on one – what would you say that have not already said.

“Why are you reading Joel’s fifteen books and not the Bible? Why are you listening to Joel every week instead of reading the Bible and praying? Why do you rely on Joel to make you “feel good” instead of Jesus? Why do you rest on every word Joel says instead of every word Jesus said?”

Thanks so much for answering these questions for us Justin. As mentioned above this post will have open comments and I’m sure we can have more discussion on this over the next days of you wish.  I sure hope you answering these questions will help us all as we have some conversation about Joel and his teaching. We sure hope you accomplish your goals in this. Thanks allot Justin.

THE COMMENT SECTION IS OPEN.

Here are more post on this blog about Joel Osteen

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 10, 2013

VIDEO: DID JESUS GO TO HELL?

This clip came from the sermon Suffering To Learn, part of Mars Hill Church’s Trial series through 1&2 Peter.

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

KOOL NEW SONG by Shai Linne – Fal$e Teacher$

Shai Linne’s NEW SONG – False Teachers

I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE AREN’T AFRAID TO NAME NAMES

This Song IS REALLY COOL and they also did a great job on the video

“Faulty Doctrine” by Timothy Brindle feat. Shai Linne

Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

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Posted by: Damon Whitsell | April 8, 2013

Sermon/Book Review: Your Worst Life Now

This sermon was preached on 2/26/2012 and is available at SermonAudio.com here. This critique starts off rough with the pastor saying right-out that Osteen is a minister of Satan, not of God – and that Joel’s book is stupid. I agree with all these things about Osteen but I wish the pastor would have made his case first and then stated his conclusions because the case he made is very compelling that what he says about Osteen and his book is true. With many scripture references the pastor shows how everyone who ever lives will have eternal life in eternity – the question is a matter of where we wll will live. The pastor shows how it is impossible for any Christian to have his best life now; or for a non-believer to have anything but his best life now – since the unbeliever lives to die the second death. When the pastor gets around to reading and reproofing the scripture that Osteen eludes to in his book, it is clear that in almost every case Joel takes promises about heaven and the next life – mixes them all up – and presents them as promises for now in this mortal life. And by doing so Osteen leaves himself and no-one else any hope at all but to have their best life’s now. This is worth an hour of your time, especially if you have read Osteens book Your Best Life Now.

Here is the video of this transcript >

If you want to listen to the full podcast just subscribe to the Fighting For The Faith Podcast in iTunes. The name of this episode is h Is the Joel Osteen’s I AM Teaching on Oprah Life Class’s Whicwas originally broadcast on 30/11/2012 – Friday November 30th 2012.

SOURCE: [First Segment – 00:10:57 – 00:12:04]

Chris Rosebrough, “We are going to be listening to Joel Osteen’s first appearance on Oprah’s Life Class. They are talking about I AM, which is really kind of a blasphemous topic. The way they are handling it, but we are not going to review the entire thing. I have pulled out some segments that I think will help make the point. Now I have had the audio for this segment of Joel Osteen appears on Oprah’s Life Class. I have had the audio of that since they recorded it, a few weeks back, actually more like a month back. But I have not decided to respond until the day it airs. But the same thing with Rick Warren’s appearance on Oprah’s Life Class, will not be responding about it formally until it airs in January. So if you are thinking well Chris we saw you tweeting about it. We saw you. You know listen you don’t want to critique something that hasn’t officially broadcast yet, even though you might have an advanced copy. That is just all I am so saying so we are going to be listening to Joel Osteen today.”

[Second Segment – 00:49:04 – 01:20:02]

Chris Rosebrough, “We have a Joel Osteen update that requires us to play this.”

[plays audio music]

 When I’m feeling lonely

Sad as I can be
All by myself on an uncharted island
In an endless sea

What makes me happy
Fills me up with glee
Those bones in my jaw!
That don’t have a flaw

My shiny teeth and me

My shiny teeth that twinkle
Just like the stars in space
My shiny teeth that sparkle
Adding beauty to my face

My shiny teeth that glisten
Just like a Christmas tree
You know they walk a mile just to see me smile
Woo!
My shiny teeth and me
(shiny teeth shiny teeth)

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah that is our Joel Osteen update music, alright so Joel Osteen has appeared on Oprah’s Life Class and the name of the Life Class that we will be referring to today, well the topic is I AM. You are thinking I AM. Yeah I AM. You see this is some dangerous stuff. Here is the reason why in Exodus 3 remember God the Lord appears to Moses in a burning bush. Okay, Moses asks the Lord, “What is your name?” Okay so that I can you know I can tell people. What is your name? And the Lord gives His name as I AM eh yeh אֶֽהְיֶ֑ה. Okay this is the name that God gives Himself from the burning bush. Now Jesus Himself picks up that same phraseology several places in the book of John.

This is the you know the disciple John, the apostle John writes about this. For instance okay Jesus has this long running battle with the Pharisees and the Jews in his day in Luke 8 and he makes some wild statements in there that have got to be listened to and heeded. Because what Jesus is saying here is super important. In fact this divine name I AM. Jesus applies it to Himself and He does so, so that you won’t mistake who He is. Okay in fact let me read to you a passage from The Gospel of John chapter eight. If you have your Bible go ahead and flip on over, we are going to be looking at John 8 starting at v21. I am going to just do a couple of highlights here.

John 8 v 21-24 (ESV – English Standard Version)

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

Okay now the Greek construct there could not be clear. It is strange construct, because normally it is a you know. It is a emphatic sense here because Jesus says, egō eimi ἐγώ εἰμι.I unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins. Jesus is not saying unless you believe that He exists that you are going to die in your sins. Here he is invoking the divine name from Exodus 3 and basically applying it to Himself. Okay but we continue. I am going to fast forward a little bit in this exchange that Jesus has.

John 8 v 48 (ESV – English Standard Version)

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Oh yeah this conversation is going really well yeah right. This is put your big boy pants on here. This is a politically incorrect confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees. This would not be tolerated by the way today. Jesus would arrested for upsetting the Pharisees and breaking politically correct rules. Okay just so you know how this would go down today. So that’s anyway.

John 8 v 48-51 (ESV – English Standard Version)

48 “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

Again He keeps His Word, He basically is equating His Word with the Word of God right.

John 8 v 52-53 (ESV – English Standard Version)

52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?”

Okay great question.

John 8 v 54-59 (ESV – English Standard Version)

54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.

Now Jesus here is giving some information regarding Abraham that ain’t recorded in The Torah. It is as if He knows Abraham right. So He says

 John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)

56 Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. So apparently Abraham knows Jesus right?

John 8 v 56 (ESV – English Standard Version)

56 He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Okay so here you know you take a passage like Exodus 3. You take this passage from John 8 and there is a couple more passages you could look to and you have got to understand what we are dealing with here. When we start talking about I am language we are talking about the very name of God. One of the revealed names of God and one of the names that Jesus applies to Himself, to demonstrate and prove that He is God. That is who Jesus is making Himself out to be. Jesus isn’t some fly by night angel. Jesus isn’t some self appointed human. Jesus is none other than God in human flesh and He is the reason why He is using this I am language is to demonstrate that point.

Okay so now we come to the Oprah Life Class that aired last night on The Oprah Network and she had Joel Osteen on to discuss the topic of I am. Now I happen to have the recording of when was this was being taped, not when it aired and I think that is going to be instructive to help you figure out what is going on here. So who is Oprah with? Well none other than America’s most favourite pastor Joel Osteen who is not a Christian pastor in any sense of the word. He is an ear tickler extraordinaire and I will explain to you a little bit about you know how to identify a false teacher in just a minute. But you have got understand what is going on here is that this is a blasphemous programme because of the topic itself as it was billed as The I am Life Class. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen from part way through the basically the opening of the programme to discuss their topic and Joel is going to talk to somebody who has called in. You are going to hear Oprah give some advice. This segment is going to run a little bit long. We have got about eight minutes that I want to cover here. But here is Oprah and Joel Osteen.

Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am. Saul from Miami Lakes Florida is in our audience. Stand up Saul. What is your question for pastor Joel Osteen?

Saul, “Well it is an honour to be here with you guys. My question was when I was eleven years old.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay I have got to back up. Already see I will assume that I can tell that this is going to be a long segment, work with me. Okay listen again to Oprah.”

Oprah Winfrey, “We are talking about the power of two simple words I am.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Biblically there is no power in these words. The power is the fact that these words reveal who Jesus is none other than God in human flesh. It is not as if the words I am have any special magical power to make anything happen in our life. In the Bible the words I am, the significance is they point us to the one true God Jesus Christ. We continue.”
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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.

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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?

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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.
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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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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.

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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:

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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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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
Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

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.
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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

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