A Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith Movement and The Prosperity Gospel By Justin Peters
Introduction by Craig Brown
It is a concern of mine that churches within the Assemblies of God movement who tend to be charismatic are very much influenced by The Word of Faith Movement. Churches in Norwich such as Proclaimers, Norwich Family Life church, Today’s Lifestyle church fall into this camp. Also Hillsong church the both the one in Australia, Sydney and in London. They continue to invite false teachers to the Hillsong Conference every year. In 2010 they invited Joel Osteen, in 2012 Joyce Meyer will be there from the Word of Faith Movement.
All of those churches mentioned are part of the Word of Faith Movement and Assemblies of God. I am very concerned and upset when I know that other Christians who I have formed friendships and relationships with are being deceived by these false teachers. But yet their church are promoting these false teachers and their false doctrine. It is my desire for Christians to separate and avoid these wicked false teachers who are preaching another gospel, a different Jesus. I do pray God would open their eyes and that they would realise that they are being deceived and that they need to find much stronger teaching and sound doctrine.
It certainly would be better for Christians to pursue teaching within other movements such as The Acts29 Network, Calvary Chapel, and Newfrontiers. Within these movements their doctrine is much more sound. I would recommend preachers such as Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Terry Virgo, Chuck Smith, John MacArthur, Justin Peters and many others within the movements I have mentioned.
You can watch the video here
A Call for Discernment
A Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith Movement
By Justin Peters
Good morning south Westerners. It is a joy to be with you this morning it truly is my words can never express how much south west has meant to me and my ministry. I treasure the years that I spent here and I thank the LORD for this institution and I also want to send a thank you to Dr. Paterson who has extended this invitation to me to come and speak before you this morning and I appreciate him so much his ministry and his support of my ministry has been a great encouragement to me and it is great to be with you this morning.
God has graciously saved me and then called me into a ministry of full time evangelism and as an evangelist my first love is expository preaching just preaching God’s Word verse by verse. But another aspect of my ministry is this seminar which I have entitled A Call for Discernment and A Call for Discernment is a biblical critique of what is properly known as the Word of Faith Movement but more commonly referred to as The Health and Wealth, Name it and Claim it or The Prosperity Gospel basically the doctrine that says, “it is always God’s will for a Christian to be wealthy and it is always God’s will for a Christian to be physically healed. We should never be sick or in the unlikely event we do get sick – physical healing is guaranteed as long as we have enough faith.”
Word of Faith theology dominates what we see today on Christian cable and satellite television networks such as TBN, The Inspirational Network, and others, it is not everything you see on Christian television but it is the vast majority of it and this Word of Faith Movement, this Prosperity Gospel is making inroads even into our Baptist churches. Let me give you just a little bit of background information as to why this movement is of such interest to me and I am so very concerned about it and how I first became exposed to it.
When I was a teenager at age 16 a neighbour of mine came up to me and well meaning I am sure but very misguided and he said, “Justin God has spoken to me and he has told me that he is going to heal you as long as you have enough faith.” And he told me about a faith healer who was coming to my hometown in Vicksburg, Mississippi by the name of Nora Lamb and at age 16 this really resonated with me because at the time I couldn’t drive, I can now but I couldn’t then and I couldn’t play football and I couldn’t do all the things that I thought were so very important at that age.
And so I really latched onto this and he spent a lot of time with me in the weeks leading up to our arrival and he showed me a lot of scripture that seemed to support his teaching that it is always God’s will to be healed – Isaiah 53:5 and others like that, “by our stripes we are healed.” Of course the primary context of that is healing not from sickness and disease but healing from sin. But at age 16 I didn’t know anything about hermeneutics, didn’t even know what the word was. So I was completely convinced that it was always indeed God’s will for us to be physically healed. And a very long story short is that I went to this meeting and I went to see Nora Lamb and I went to see a couple of other faith healers R.W. Schambach and obviously I was not healed. And the potential was there to do great harm in my faith in the LORD but thankfully through the love and support of my family, my church home, and of course God primarily himself. My faith in God was not shaken, at least not permanently. However I did begin to doubt my own faith that there was something wrong with my walk with the LORD, that I didn’t have enough faith, I had some secret unconfessed sin in my life or maybe I wasn’t even saved simply because I was not healed. But the LORD preserved me through this and over the next several years the LORD showed me that this Prosperity Gospel certainly was not biblical in that it made promises that the Bible really does not make. It took the Bible a little bit too far but I still thought that it was essentially Christian, it just made promises that the Bible really does not make.
However after the LORD called me into ministry and I enrolled at South West I began to study this movement at a more academic level. And what I came to realise is that the origins of The Prosperity Gospel are not Christian at all. The origins of the Word of Faith movement can be traced back directly to the metaphysical cults – such as Christian Science, New Age, New Thought, Gnosticism, even some Kabbalah elements are in the Word of Faith Movement. So much of what you see on Christian television today is not really Christian. It is cultic doctrine that has been wrapped in Christian terminology to make it more palatable to people like you and me.
And at this point I want us to delineate between Word of Faith and what I would call clear thinking Charismatic’s. I am not charismatic but we do need to make this distinction. When it comes to the fundamental doctrines of historical Christianity clear thinking charismatic’s would agree with all of us as Southern Baptists not so however the Word of Faith movement. The Word of Faith movement is led by people such as Benny Hinn, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, and Joyce Meyer. This movement is a different animal it does compromise and at times outright deny some of the fundamental tenets of historical Christianity. It maybe said that all Word of Faith are charismatic but in fairness not all charismatic’s are Word of Faith and so we do need to keep that distinction in mind.
A Call for Discernment is divided into three primary sessions. I have an introductory session but the three primary sessions as follows: session 1 is entitled Dangerous Doctrines and in session 1 we look at the metaphysical cultic origins of this movement and then some of the standard doctrines that the faith preachers teach that deviate from orthodox Christianity such as positive confession. “We literally speak things into existence, we can create our own realities by the words that we speak” and that is by the way that is very similar to this thing called The Secret that Operah Winfrey is so fond of this thing that Operah Winfrey has been promoting and has gained a lot of prominence The Secret. Well it is just like Word of Faith doctrine, it is Word of Faith doctrine just packaged a little bit differently.
The substance of faith, the faith preachers teach that faith is a literal tangible substance that we can manipulate with our words. Our words are containers of faith hence word of faith.
The little gods doctrine we will look at, all of the faith preachers teach that if you are saved if you are a believer you are in fact a little god. The faith preachers have a very unorthodox view of the fall and also a very faulty Christology. Many of the faith preachers hold that Jesus was just a man, he did not come as fully God, he just came as a man. Just like one of us like you and me a man who had a very close walk with God but was not actually God in human flesh. And essentially many of the faith preachers hold an erroneous view of Christ.
The origins of the faith movement just very briefly, we are going to go over these very quickly can be traced back to a man named Phineas P. Quimby (1802-1866). Quimby was the father of New Thought, a metaphysical cult and Mary Baker Eddie claimed that she was healed by Phineas Quimby and she took some of his doctrines and articulated them a little bit further and formed what is today known as Christian Science and there are a lot of Christians Science overtones too The Prosperity Gospel.
Essek W. Kenyon is one of the spiritual forbearers to this movement. All of the modern day faith preachers like Hinn and Copeland would appeal to Essek Kenyon (1867-1948) as one of their spiritual forbearers. Essek Kenyon did hold to many of the fundamental tenets of the faith. But he deviated in quite a number of them as well. But what has happened in the modern prosperity gospel is that people like Benny Hinn and Copeland and Duplantis and these others have taken Kenyon’s mistakes and made them much worse. Compared to the modern faith preachers Essek W. Kenyon actually was fairly orthodox. And the father of the modern Word of Faith movement is a man name Kenneth Hagin he passed away a few years ago. Kenneth Hagin claimed that he received direct divine revelation knowledge from Jesus Christ. According to Hagin Jesus physically appeared to him on eight different occasions throughout the course of his life. But Kenneth Hagin simply plagiarised Essek W. Kenyon among others but plagiarised them quite extensively.
- Metaphysical Cultic Origins
- Doctrines of the Word of Faith Movement
– Positive Confession
– Substance of Faith
– Little gods Doctrine
– Word of Faith View of the Fall
– Jesus Christ
> Just a man?
> Spiritual Death of Jesus (SDJ) Doctrine
I want us to look at now some of the standard doctrines of the faith movement. We will begin by looking at the doctrine of positive confession.
Benny Hinn, “Look at me say oh say there is power in me to speak life and death.”
“You call what you have. You say what you want.”
Benny Hinn, “and I am here to tell you I know that I know that as these programmes are airing I am speaking something into existence amen.”
I am speaking something into existence. If that sounds airly like God’s act of creation in Genesis 1 & 2 that is because it is. Dear friends only God can speak things into existence. That is not an ability that you and I have. But we will see as we go along that one of the fundamental problems of the faith preachers is that the faith preachers blur that line between God the creator and us his created. They demote God to make him look more human than what he is and then in turn they deify man to make us look a lot more like God than what we really are.
The following video clip is one of the more bizarre ones dealing with the doctrine of positive confession. Watch this from Gloria Copeland.”
Gloria Copeland, “You know you are supposed to control the weather. I mean Ken is the primary weatherman at our house though but when he is not there I do it. You can see what is happening out there. Shows just like they have on the news. I mean he has got the computers, got the current weather on it for flying. So sometimes I will hear something, I will hear the thunder start and maybe he will still be asleep and I will say, “Kia you need to do something about this and knowing that. But you are the one that has authority over the weather. One day Ken had Pat and Boon and we were in Hawaii at their house and they were sitting outside and there was a weather spout out over the ocean and that is like a tornado, except a hiss of water. And so they were sitting there and they just watched it, rebuked it and it never did anything. One day I was in the airplane at the back and my little brother was in the back with me and Ken was up front flying and we were not in the weather because we don’t fly in bad weather. But we could see the weather over here and I looked out of the window and went and that tornado came down just like this. Down toward the ground and Ken said, “I rebuke in the name of Jesus. You get back up there.” So this how I learned to talk to tornados. I saw this and that tornado went up even while I was watching and my little brother was not a devout Christian at that time and that was really good for him to see. So you are the weatherman. You get out there or the weatherwoman which ever it is and you talk to that thing and you tell it, “you are not coming here. I command you to dissipate and you get back up there in Jesus name.” Glory to God that I won’t charge you extra.”
[End of clip]
That really does not even deserve a comment. But I will offer one briefly. If it is true and that is a huge if – if it is true that Gloria Copeland can control the weather by the words that she speaks then I would submit to you that Gloria Copeland is one of the most calice, heartless people alive on the face of the earth today. Might we ask where she was a few years ago when a little storm named hurricane Katrina rolled into town. She had five days warning. She could see it coming on the colour radar. Might we ask why she does not right now get on her brand new $20 million private jet and fly to some of these drought stricken countries inAfricaand talk those starving people up some rain.
This is what is being portrayed as Christian and let us remember that what much of the world believes about Christianity it gets from Christian television and this is what it is seeing. South Westerners The Prosperity Gospel is the face of Christianity in much of the world today. Speaking of storms and making them go away does it remind you of someone else? Who one day was in a boat with his disciples and a storm came up and he spoke to the storm and calmed it, sound familiar? You see what the faith preachers are doing – they are blurring that line between God the Creator and us his created. Speaking of storms and making them go away, something that only God can do is a good segway into our next doctrine.
The Little gods doctrine. All of the Word of Faith teachers teach that if you are saved you are in fact a little god. Listen to this exposition of Genesis 1:26-27 from Creflo Dollar.
Creflo Dollar, pastor of World Changers church, Atlanta, Georgia.
Now in Genesis 1:26-27 God now submits himself to this principle of everything producing after its own kind and in Genesis 1:26-27 let’s read it out loud ready read.
Genesis 1:26-27 (ASV – American Standard Version)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Now that is interesting because if everything produces after its own kind we now see God producing man and if God now produces man and everything produces after its own kind. If horses get together they produce what? Horses, and if dogs get together they produce what? Dogs, if cats get together they produce what? Cats. But if the godhead gets together and say let us make man, then what are they producing? Gods, they are producing gods. Now I have got to hit this thing real hard in the very beginning because I haven’t got time to go through all this but I am going to say to you right now, you are gods, little g you are gods because you came from God and you are gods. You are not just human. The only human part about you is this physical body that you live in. The real me is just like God.”
[End of clip]
“The real me is just like God.” Friends what Creflo Dollar just taught is so heretical on so many levels it is hard to know even where to begin. But when the Bible tells us that God created man in his image that means as human beings you and I are the pinnacle of God’s creation and we have the potential and the capacity through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ to know God. None of the other creators has that privilege and abilities. But friends just because we can know God, that does not mean we are God. The Bible is very clear there is only one God and we ain’t him. That is not very good grammar but it is pretty good theology.
There is only ONE God!
- Exodus 20:3
- 2 Samuel 22:32
- Isaiah 44:8
- Psalm 50:1
- Romans 16:27
- 1 Corinthians 8:6
- Ephesians 4:6
- 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5
- James 2:19
There is only one God and if I remember my Bible correctly wasn’t the desire to become just like God kind of what led to the whole fall thing to begin with? And yet the faith preachers teach it as truth. This from Benny Hinn and Myles Munroe.
Benny Hinn and Myles Munroe, 2004
Benny Hinn, “We get the mind of God about his will we pray it. When we pray it we give him legal right to perform it.”
Myles Munroe, “Yes let me define prayer for you in this show. Prayer is man giving God permission or licence to interfere in earths affairs. In other words prayer is earthly licence for heavenly interference.”
Benny Hinn, “That is incredible.”
Myles Munroe, “God could do nothing on earth. Nothing has God ever done on earth without a human giving him access.”
Benny Hinn, “So he is always looking for that somebody.”
Myles Munroe, “Always looking for a human to give him power and permission. In other words God has the power but you have got the permission. God has got the authority and the power but you have the licence. So even though God can do anything he can only do what you permit him to do.”
[End of clip]
God can only do what we permit him to do. Dear friends I would submit to you that God can do whatever he jolly well wants to do and isn’t terribly concerned about whether or not he has our permission to do it. Now if God can only do what we permit him to do who is really in control here? We are. You see it is a very man-centred system. It is not theo-centric, it is not centred on God – it is absolutely centred on man and any gospel that is centred on man rather than the person and work of Jesus Christ is a different gospel. It is a different gospel and a different gospel does not save. God can do whatever he pleases don’t take my word for it.
3 Our God is in the heavens: He
does whatever He pleases.
This is not an isolated statement by the way. Watch this from Jesse Duplantis.
Founder of JDM Ministries; Destreham, LA
Jesse Duplantis, “I am going to say something that will knock your lights off. God has the power to take life but he can’t. He has got the power to do it, but he won’t. He is bound; He can’t. He says, “death and life is in the power of” whose tongue?” Yours. You ready for this? You want something that will knock your lights off? You choose when you live: you choose when you die.
[End of clip]
I think that King Herod would probably beg to differ with Jesse Duplantis as would Uzza, as would the 250 people God smote in Numbers 16 and as would oh yes everybody on the face of the earth. Say for 8 people in the flood. God can do whatever he pleases and does not need our permission to do it.
I want us to look at what the faith teachers preach about the doctrine of the fall. This is key to understanding The Prosperity Gospel. Just going through these things quickly.
Number one the faith teachers teach that Adam was an exact duplicate of God. He was not a little like God, he was not a lot like God, he was God. Adam was literally a carbon copy of Yahweh and we all know what happened right?
Word of Faith Teachings on the Fall
> Adam was an exact duplicate of God
> Adam sinned and transferred his Godhood to Satan and God, lost his legal right to the Earth and was banished from it.
Adam sinned which of course begs the question if Adam was Yahweh and he sinned was it Yahweh who sinned? You see you carry these doctrines out to their logical conclusion you see how very dark they are. But when Adam sinned he lost his deity transferred it to Satan. When this happened the real Yahweh God lost his legal right to planet earth and was kicked out. So even as we sit here tonight. The real Yahweh God according to Word of Faith theology is up there somewhere but he has no access to planet earth. He has been kicked out – gone.
> Satan is now the legal god of this world.
Well somebody has to fill that void right so Satan is all too eager to step up to the plate and he becomes the legal god of planet earth which is a bad misinterpretation of say 2 Corinthians 4:4.
> When a person is saved, he regains his Godhood.
And then guess what happens when a person gets saved? Guess what he gets back? He regains his godhood. He regains his deity, he becomes god again just like Adam was before he fell.
And this dear friends is why the faith preachers hold so tenaciously to health and wealth because we are gods, and a god cannot be poor and a god certainly cannot be sick. You see for years I just thought that this movement was about health and wealth. You know Rolex watches, private jets, healing. No those are just the tips of the theological iceberg. Those are just offshoots of a much more serious core theological problem with the movement.
But I will say this the promise of health and wealth is one of the things that makes this movement so appealing and yet so dangerous at the same time. Because the Prosperity Gospel essentially says this, “come to Jesus because he will make you wealthy, and he will heal your body.” They appeal to two of the most basic and universal of all human desires. Most people want to be wealthy and I don’t know of anyone who enjoys being sick. And they will say, “well if you will just come to Jesus then you can have it.” Well sign me up that is a pretty good deal. Yeah I will come to Christ. I will try Jesus. But is that the real gospel? Or is the real gospel something a little bit more like this: come to Jesus because you are a sinner and because of your sin and because you have broken the laws of God. The wrath of God abides on you and the only way to have that wrath removed is to turn from sins, repent of sins and place your trust in the risen LORD Jesus Christ and then you will be saved. You will have eternity in heaven. But on this earth you are not promised health and riches. What are we promised? Well Jesus promises us persecution, tribulation, that we have to die to ourselves and we have to be ready to take up the cross. Not quite as popular as you see as saying, “come to Jesus because he will make you rich. You don’t have to be sick anymore.” But friends if you come to Jesus for those reasons then what you have got is a false decision, a false conversion and I fear for the millions and millions of people around this world who have quote on quote come to Christ but they have responded to The Prosperity Gospel and haven’t responded to the true gospel.
I want us now to briefly look at what the faith teachers preach about the person of Jesus Christ and as I mentioned earlier the faith preachers have what could really be called as a very erroneous view of Jesus Christ that he was just a human, who had a very close walk with God but was not actually God in human flesh.
Watch this clip from Larry Huch and Paula White.
Paula White, “We really begin to understand that when Jesus Christ paid the price the first thing that happened after he said it is finished is the veil was ripped from top to bottom signifying that no man could do that but the price that was paid was there is now no separation so that we have direct access in the holy of holies. We understand according to Hebrews that Jesus is our High Priest and he is the first of many brethren which means I now come into a priestly anointing.”
Larry Huch, “Say that again because they don’t get it.”
Paula White, “I have now come into a priestly anointing.”
Larry Huch, “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God.”
Paula White, “Come on”
Larry Huch, “He is not I am a Son of God.
Paula White, “He is the first fruit.”
Larry Huch, “He is the first fruit, he is the firstborn of many. Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God.”
[End of clip]
That is shocking. Flat out denying that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, have they read John 3:16? I mean honestly friends those of us who are saved. We are children of God by adoption but there is only one who is begotten and his name is Jesus. Friends if they preach a different Jesus, they preach a different gospel.
I want us now to turn our attention to Joel Osteen. The pastor of the largest quote on quote Evangelical church in theUnited States of America, many of you are probably aware of the now infamous interview he did on Larry King Live about 5 years ago. Larry King asked him three different times about the exclusivity of the gospel – if Jesus is the only way to be saved and Joel Osteen either would not or could not answer the question and Joel Osteen took a great deal of criticism for this and he put a very sheepish retraction on his website saying that I am sorry I wasn’t as clear as I should have been and he said I really was not prepared for the question. That is not a difficult question and it should not be one that should trip us up. But there is a couple of other clips from this same interview that didn’t get quite as much attention but just as troubling. Watch this from 2005 Joel Osteen on Larry King.
Joel Osteen on Larry King Live
June 20th, 2005
Larry King, “Do you call them sinners?”
Joel Osteen, “I don’t.”
Larry King, “Is that a word you don’t use.”
Joel Osteen, “Oh I don’t use it. I never thought about it but I probably don’t but you know most people already know what they are doing wrong.
[End of clip]
Larry King says you don’t call them sinners. Is that a word you don’t use? Osteen says, “I don’t.” I don’t use it I have never thought about it but I probably don’t. Dear friends step number one in being saved is realising you are a sinner. You cannot come to the saviour until you first realise that you are a sinner and by his own admission Joel Osteen does not preach on sin. He doesn’t even use the word. So what is he doing? He is bypassing the very first step in being saved. So what is he doing? He is tickling people’s ears just like Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:4-3. “The time will come when people will not endure sound doctrine but they will heap to themselves teachers who tickle their ears.” That is exactly what he is doing and sadly for the millions of people around this world that believe that Joel Osteen is one of Gods great spokesman – he is tickling their ears all the way to hell and I know that sounds harsh. But friends until you first realise you are a sinner you cannot come to the saviour. And I can honestly tell you in all the years I have been watching Joel Osteen I have never once not once heard him clearly present the gospel of Jesus Christ – not once.
Sadly I feel compelled to address something of when people outside of the Word of Faith Movement endeavour with Word of Faith teachers in ministerial projects or in various ministerial endeavours what they are doing is they are giving their implicit endorsement to them and as a Baptist I am going to be an equal opportunity critiquer and Ed Young Junior also partners with Joel Osteen. Ed Young Junior gives him his hearty endorsement and also partners with other Word of Faith preachers like Rod Parsley, T.D. Jakes. Friends scripture is very clear about this.
2 John 10-11
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Joel Osteen does not preach the gospel. He cannot even bring himself to say that Jesus is the only way to be saved and when others partner with him they give him their implicit endorsement and it does a great deal of harm to the cause of Christ and it causes a lot of people a great deal of confusion and lest you think that now Joel Osteen is very clear on the exclusivity of Jesus Christ watch this video clip of Joel Osteen taken from January just last year 2009 as he is on the Glenn Beck programme.
Joel Osteen on the Glenn Beck Program
Fox News – January, 2009
Glenn Beck, “Joel Osteen is the senior pastor at Lakewood church and he joins me now. Hello Joel how are you sir?
Joel Osteen, “Hey Glenn.”
Glenn Beck, “I mean I got a lot of mail having you on. People said to me well he has denied Jesus Christ and the gospel and I am thinking to myself I have talked to him. I know him. I mean you are very rooted in the gospel.”
Joel Osteen, “Again I don’t know I think some people are so various people that are just very passionate about what they believe and they want to stay open to anything else. You know of course I believe in Christ as the Saviour and all but you know I think too Glenn I spent a lot of time in India. You know I have been with a lot of Hindu people, they are nice kind you know people that love God as well.”
[End of clip]
He did it again. Joel Osteen he says I have been toIndiawith my Father and I have seen those Hindus and he said they are nice kind people who love God as well. No they don’t. Hindus do not love God because they don’t know God. How can you love someone who you don’t even know? And he is doing no-one any favours by telling the world that Hindus love God. Especially not the Hindus. I don’t doubt that Joel Osteen is probably sincere but friends sincerity is not the issue. Truth is the issue. The men who flew airplanes in theWorldTradeTowerswere sincere. They were sincerely wrong. Truth is the issue.
Session 2 is entitled Mangled Manifestations and Session 2 we look at some of the more dramatic spectacular things of the faith movement. The things that you can see and touch like the abuse of the gift of tongues. The practice of being slain in the Spirit which has no biblical support, divine revelation knowledge, false prophecies – things like this just a couple of brief clips from Session 2.
- Abuse of Tongues
- Heavenly Encounters
- Slaying in the “Spirit”
- Divine Revelation Knowledge
- Occult / Demonic
- False Prophecies
Watch this from Jesse Duplantis. Jesse Duplantis claims that he was taken to heaven one day in a cable car and you can’t make this stuff up. When he got to heaven in the cable car Jesse steps out and he goes on to tell you about everything that he saw and everything that he heard while he is having this. Despite the fact that the apostle Paul was not allowed to tell us what he saw and heard in heaven. But seemingly Jesse Duplantis was allowed to do so. But watch very carefully listen to what Jesus supposedly told Jesse while he was in heaven.
“Close Encounters of the God Kind”
Jesse Duplantis, “He said, “I chose you. He said, “no-one else wanted you. But I need you boy. I need you Jesse.”
[End of Clip]
Jesus told Jesse, “I need you.” Watch this from Kenneth Copeland.
Southwest Believers Convention, Ft. Worth, TX, August 3rd, 2009
Kenneth Copeland, “People that get all upset at preachers who preach prosperity never have taken the time to pray and see if God wanted them to prosper financially for some reason or another. God needs you saved. He needs full of the Holy Ghost, he needs you well, and he needs you strong, and he needs you rich.”
[End of clip]
Friends I will say this as gently and yet as clearly as I know how to say it. God loves us but make no mistake about it God does not need us. He is the Alpha and Omega. He spoke the universe into existence. He has need of no-one and no thing. God loves us but he does not need us. We need him and any man that is preaching a gospel that says that God needs us is preaching a different gospel. Watch this from Benny Hinn.
Points to Ponder
> Visible miracles are not necessary to get people right with God.
The ability visible miracles are not necessary to get people right with God. The faith preachers say that they are though. Watch this from Hinn.
May 16th, 2007
Benny Hinn, “If the gospel doesn’t have, if the gospel lacks. If the preaching of the gospel lacks signs and wonders it is an empty shell.”
[End of the clip]
“If the preaching of the gospel lacks signs and wonders it is an empty shell.” In other words if there are not signs and wonders accompanying the preaching of the gospel then the preaching of the gospel in and of itself has no power. What does the Bible say about this? Well we could point to a number of verses but one of them Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation. For everyone who believes. For the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” What is the power of God unto salvation? The gospel is that is the power of God unto salvation. Do I believe God still physically heals people today when it is his will do so? Yes I do. Do I believe that is the power of God unto salvation? No, the gospel is. Even if God were to heal me right now my cerebral palsy he could do it, and I were to jump off this platform completely whole. As an incredible miracle that would be that miracle would pale in comparison to what God did for me when he saved me from my sins. That is the power of God. You want to see the power of God unleashed? Take the gospel out to the highways and the hedges.
Session 3 is entitled The Hurt of Healing and whereas the issues that we looked at in Sessions 1 and 2 are certainly more heretical from a doctrinal standpoint. Nothing is more harmful to people from a practical and a pastoral standpoint than what the faith teachers teach about divine physical healing. That it is always God’s will to be healed and if you are not healed it must be your fault.
The Hurt of Healing
> Always God’s Will?
> Healing in the Atonement
> Biblical Record
Requirements for Healing
> Sense of Expectation
> Right Walk with God
Why are the Healers sick?
Hindrances to Healing
> Lack of Faith
> Not Saved
This from Benny Hinn that Benny Hinn says, “He promises to heal all – everyone, any, any whatsoever, everything – all our diseases! This means not even a headache, sinus problem, not even a toothache – nothing! No sickness should come your way, God heals all your diseases.”
– Benny Hinn, Rise and Be Healed, page 32.
The faith preachers make no bones about it you should never be sick. Or in the unlikely event you do get sick physical healing is guaranteed as long as you have enough faith. In light of a statement like this that God heals all of our diseases. We should not even have a headache, not even a toothache. Do you ever wonder if Benny Hinn ever gets sick? Well I found a couple of clips and maybe he can shed some light on this for us.
Benny Hinn, “Believe me when I tell you. I never get sick.”
Benny Hinn. Do you know what I have? I was as sick as a sick dog with a cold. Yeah, yeah I get sick too.”
Well that cleared that up. As I was preparing I wrote my masters thesis here at Southwestern on Benny Hinn and the Word of Faith Movement and in one of my classes I was preparing to go to my very first Benny Hinn crusade. This was in March of 2002 and just before I went in one of my classes, it kind of some of the students knew what I was about to go and do and it kind of came up as a class discussion and they said, “Justin what do you think is going to happen when you go and see Benny Hinn?” And I said, “Well I am not real sure but if I come back walking I won’t have to change my thesis.”
But friends some of this is you can’t help but laugh at it. But this movement does a great deal of harm to people. If you begin with the premise that it is always God’s will to be physically healed you and a person prays for that healing for days, weeks, months, years, sometimes for decades but the healing does not come. Then the question must be asked whose fault is it? By definition it cannot be God’s fault because he is perfect. The only other one then whom to look is the one who is sick. It is his fault or her fault because he doesn’t have enough faith, has some secret unconfessed sin in his or her life, hasn’t given enough money to the ministry, or maybe you are not even saved. And lest you think I overstate their case this from Kenneth Copeland.
Kenneth Copeland, 2006
Kenneth Copeland, “Well I don’t understand why God healed them and he won’t heal me. Could it be by some stretch of the imagination or probably not but could it be that is not your fault God’s? Oh yeah say it oh yeah.”
[End of clip]
Lest their be any doubt as to their position. Again friends if you begin with the premise that healing is always God’s will and a person prays for that healing but the healing does not come. Then you can word smith it all day long, you can pontificate on it until the cows come home but the fault always lies squarely at the foot of the sick believer. There is no other conclusion which one can draw. I cannot tell you how many hundreds and hundreds of people I have spoken to just in the last few years of doing these seminars in churches around theUnited Statesand around the world. Hundreds of people who have told me their lives have been devastated by this movement. Their lives of one of their loved ones has been wrecked by this Prosperity Gospel. This from John Hagee.
John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone church
San Antonio, TX. March, 2010
John Hagee, “That is what that means. Let me tell you sickness comes from the devil and when you walk into a hospital room and your friend is there, a member of your family is there, you have the power to say, ‘in the name of Jesus I rebuke that disease.’ And the God of Heaven will heal that disease when you are right with God in heaven.’ ”
[End of clip]
John Hagee says that as long as you are right with God you have the power to go into a hospital room and command that sickness to leave. Think of the burden that places on someone who goes into a hospital room, whose family member is sick and they think they have the power to command that sickness to leave and they do so. But the sickness does not leave, it stays and it lingers and the family members die. An incredible burden is placed on people. It is profoundly unbiblical. They are made to think well there is something wrong with my walk with the LORD because if I was right with God that sickness would have left. Not only is your walk with God not right but in all likelihood you may not even be saved. This from Benny Hinn.
Benny Hinn, “Now ladies and gentlemen hear this very clearly and never forget. It is easy to get healed as it is to get forgiven. It is as easy to receive physical healing as it is to receive forgiveness for sin. It is just as easy to get healed. Healing is as easy as salvation. Do not complicate what is simple. Say with me it is as easy to get healed as it is to get forgiven. Healing should never be separate from salvation.”
[End of clip]
“Healing should never be separate from salvation.” Again I invite you to stop and think and put yourself in the shoes of someone who is there and they are sick, they are in a wheelchair, they have cancer, or they have a sick child and then they hear a statement like that from that False Prophet. Now not only do they have their illness with which to deal, now they also have to worry that they are not even saved simply because they are sick. Friends I have been to the Benny Hinn crusades. I have been to 12 of them. I have been to the Kenneth Copeland meetings, I have been to Joel Osteen’s church. Just last week a couple of weeks ago I was at Osteen’s church and he said, “you can command your sickness to leave.” And all around me are people in wheelchairs, quadruplets. The burden that has been placed on people is almost unbearable and it breaks my heart. I get emails from people all over the world almost on a daily basis now. Telling me how they or one of their loved ones have been devastated by this movement. They don’t have enough faith.
Friends let me share this with you. If you are saved, if you are born again you are a child of God. If you have been given enough faith to be saved don’t let anybody tell you that you don’t have enough faith to be healed. Because being saved is by far the greatest miracle by far. As I close I want us to look at this passage of scripture.
2 Peter 2:1-2a
Peter writes to us and he says, “But false prophets arose among the people, even as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the LORD who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality; by reason of whom the way of truth will be maligned and in their greed they will exploit you with false words.”
Every phrase in this passage of scripture fits to a tee what we see today in the modern Health and Wealth, Name it and Claim it, Prosperity Gospel. Every phrase. Peter said the False Prophets arose among the people. There will be False Teachers among you. And how will they introduce their destructive heresies with flags waving and guns a blazing saying, “I am a False Prophet.” No secretly. They will have some truth in what they say. There is some truth in what they say. There is some truth in what Benny Hinn says. Not everything that they preach is wrong. Some of it is right. But friends just drop in one small tablet of synod into this water and drink it and it will kill you. Truth mixed with error to fly in under our spiritual radars even denying the LORD that bought them.
Any man who would teach that Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God, denying the Jesus of the Bible – “bringing swift destruction upon themselves” – when their destruction comes it will be swift. Many will follow their sensuality. This movement is huge. It is growing and sadly it is the face of Christianity in much of the world today. “By reason of whom the way of truth will be maligned.” What way of truth is that? The gospel, the gospel will be maligned, distorted and “in their greed they will exploit you with false words.” The King James says they will make merchandise out of you. All of the faith preachers are opulently wealthy, opulently and they are making merchandise out of sick and hurting and desperate people. Every phrase fits to a tee what we see today in The Prosperity Gospel.
And as I close let me say that some have made the charge against me, “oh Justin you are doing these seminars because you are bitter. You are bitter that you were not healed as a teenager.” Friends let me tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Next to my salvation, and next now to my precious wife that God has given me. My cerebral palsy is one of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me. I have come to know the LORD in ways through my handicap that otherwise I would never have known and if I have to live the rest of my life with cerebral palsy that is fine. I have got all of eternity to live without it. Not a bitter bone in my body about not being healed. I do what I do number one because I love the LORD. I love his Word, and I love his people and I am growing weary of seeing wolves in sheep’s clothing preying upon sick and hurting people and it is my desire that this seminar will help equip you to do what Paul tells us to do in Ephesians 4:15 and that is to speak the truth, but to speak that truth in love – lovingly, gently, yet with biblical conviction. Guide people away from a false gospel that is out there to do them a great deal of harm.
The Closing Prayer
Let’s close in a Word of prayer. Father we do love you and we give you our praise and LORD we are reminded in your Word of the rise of False Christs, the rise of False Prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing. Some of these will come in from among us. Father help us to be good Bereans. Help us to search the scriptures to see if these things are so and may we be sanctified in the truth in your Word. May we be equipped to speak your truth in love. Father we thank you for this time. We thank you for this grace that you have extended to us through your Son Jesus Christ and it is in his name that we pray amen.
- Posted in: Uncategorized