From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
The Heritage of the Holiness Movement
The Pie Eyed Prosperity Pipers of the Pit
“... for there are many that spurn authority - idle, talkative and deceitful persons, who, for the most part, are adherents of the Circumcision. You must stop the mouths of such men, for they overthrow the faith of whole families, teaching what they ought not, just for the sake of making money”. Titus 1:10-11
“...Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?” Galatians 3:3
“On Wednesday the 3rd of November 1999 (Trinity Broadcasting Network Praise-A-Thon) R.W. Shambach prophesied that if people make the 2000-dollar faith pledge to TBN, not only will God give them the 2000 dollars before the year 2000 but he will also make them totally debt free AND their WHOLE family will be saved before the year 2000. He even told people if they don't have the money to take out a loan or borrow the tithe on the $2000 and give him $200 to start with.
“…to be saved just send in (via cash, personal check, money order, Visa or MasterCard) only $2000. That's right, for a low, low $2000, you and your whole family can be debt free and enjoy the benefits of salvation before the year 2000. All this without ever having to go through a messy, tearful admission that you are a sinner, and without even having to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Just put your faith in your faith and in TBN. They'll do all the work for you. They'll interpret the Bible for you, pray for you, have faith for you, speak God's Word to you directly (actually, no need to interpret Scripture at all anymore, come to think of it!) and spread the gospel for you….” (Sandy Simpson. Deceptioninthechurch.org).
This is precisely why we have entitled this series of reports... “From the Sublime to the Ridiculous” simply because it is so fitting. With this last report in our series we are going to broach the following questions...
1. Does God promise earthly health and material wealth for His children?
2. Does God require our finances as either ‘faith offerings’ for healing or to help ‘build His Kingdom’ on earth?
As a believer it truly galls me to continually reveal the sickening apostasy going on within the professing church. But I do so, not as fuel for the agnostics, but for the true saints that they may grow a spine and stand up against the escalating travesty bedecked in prosperity.
It is known by a plethora of aliases... Word Faith, Faith Healing, Positive Confession, Name it - Claim it, Profess it - Confess it - Receive it, Hyper Faith, Prosperity Teaching, and the list goes on into the abyss of sobriety lost. Like it or not, each is every bit as superstitious as the insatiably selfish imaginations of unregenerate humanity which in turn gives rise to the endless, pernicious queue of self adulating cults dotting this beleaguered little blue globe. All are based on the premise that the Creator God exists primarily to deliver on demand according to the adherent’s faith, devotion and/or ... cash (aka ‘faith’) offering. It is a case of the Deity serving the creation not visa versa - what a satanic incursion so enthusiastically embraced by those who ought to know better. John MacArthur accurately describes such as... “a form of voodoo where God can be coerced, cajoled, manipulated, controlled and exploited for the Christian’s own ends” 1. If indeed they were Christian’s to begin with.
The unpalatable truth is that in charismatic theology the Creator God is actually the servant of scripture cherry picking confessors; a kind of genie one conjures up with the right prayer incantation to thereafter do their bidding. In biblical Christianity however, the believer is the servant of the Creator God, not His liege or even His pompous, arrogant equal but one obedient to His commands which not infrequently include the reality of poverty and suffering.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. John 16:33.
The word translated tribulation (thlipsis) literally means pressure, affliction, anguish, burden, persecution and/or trouble. However Word Faith teachers and their blinkered adherents insist that affliction is NOT God’s will for the believer. So who is correct, Y’shua or they? To Word Faith adherents, the Holy Spirit becomes more of a ‘power’ or ‘force’ than the third person of the Trinity - at the beck and call of the ‘believer’ through whom blessings are demanded and expected via the act of believing and confession - oftentimes through the offering of financial tributes otherwise known as ‘faith offerings’. The believer then becomes more of a Jedi knight than a disciple of Christ realising and outworking the god within. In the Word Faith system, the Creator God is not God at all. Instead He performs more like a circus pony according to the ‘release’ believer’s permit Him through the outworking of their own faith. In other words the power of the Omnipotent Creator of all things is impotently limited by the faith of the believer. In the Word Faith system God is not omnipotent. He is hamstrung by the degree of faith his servants (who are really His masters by proclamation) have in Him to dish out the goodies according to their requests or demands. Charles Capps wrote:
“It is in your power to release the ability of God” 3
Think about that for just one moment... It is in whose power to release whose ability? Consider the absurdity of such a statement. Who is the potter and who is they clay in this scenario? If you cannot hear the serpent’s hissing echo from Eden in this lie then you need to be saved friend. Of course this heretical nonsense is nothing new. The apostle Paul warned Timothy about the predecessors of the 21st century hucksters we now endure within the Word Faith movement...
“... So teach and exhort. If any one is a teacher of any other kind of doctrine, and refuses assent to wholesome instructions - those of our Lord Y’shua the Messiah - and the teaching that harmonizes with true godliness, he is puffed up with pride and has no true knowledge, but is crazy over discussions and controversies about words which give rise to envy, quarrelling, revilings, ill-natured suspicions, and persistent wranglings on the part of people whose intellects are disordered and they themselves blinded to all knowledge of the truth; who imagine that godliness means gain. And godliness is gain, when associated with contentment;” 1 Timothy 6:3-6
Whose intellects are what? Disordered, in other words... of unstable mental function – Blinded to not some but all knowledge of the truth – who imagine that Godliness equates to gain, sound familiar? And notice what true gain is according to Paul... Godliness ... not the striving to attain money or power or influence or position... G-O-D-L-I-N-E-S-S. Do you understand that Ashley? - Obviously not.
The passage continues with Paul clarifying his point...
“... for we brought nothing into the world, nor can we carry anything out of it; and if we have food and clothing, with these we will be satisfied. But people who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many unwise and pernicious ways which sink mankind in destruction and ruin. For from love of money all sorts of evils arise; and some have so hankered after money as to be led astray from the faith and be pierced through with countless sorrows. But you, O man of God, must flee from these things; and strive for uprightness, godliness, good faith, love, fortitude, and a forgiving temper. 1 Timothy 6:7-11 - Emphasis mine.
Young pastor Timothy was being instructed in the way of the believer in Y’shua... “... if we have food and clothing, with these we will be satisfied”. (vs.8)
Note the warning for those who seek coin... “But people who are determined to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many unwise and pernicious ways which sink mankind in destruction and ruin.” (vs9) So much so that... “… some have so hankered after money as to be led astray from the faith.” (vs.10)
So, are believer’s instructed to part with their cash as a faith offering?
But you, O man of God, must flee from these things; and strive for uprightness, godliness, good faith, love, fortitude, and a forgiving temper. (vs.11) Emphasis mine.
Seems plain enough to me, how about you?
As ridiculous and effective as Catholic ‘holy water’, the methods of ‘blessing’ delivery are truly bazaar. Bars of ‘blessed’ prayer soap guaranteed to wash away bad luck, sickness, misfortunes and hex’s; home, family and marital problems, financial difficulties, automobile and appliance problems, even evil itself. Yes, for a few bucks you can forever rid and protect yourself from Satan and all his schemes. But wait, there’s more... If you’re the fifth caller through we’ll throw in a matching pair of crucifixes to add to your blasphemous stupidity...
It would appear the available ‘blessings’ are limited only by one’s imagination and the size of one’s bank account because, make no mistake, all of these so called ‘miracle cures’ come at a price – and by faith of course. Televangelists ‘seeing’ people’s distress through their television screen (even when the broadcast is time delayed) and for a generous ‘love offering’ cures for all ailments including salvation for lost family and friends can be purchased .. err... obtained, and yes they do accept Visa and American Express.
I recall clearly listening to Ashley Evans of the Paradise Community Church in Adelaide South Australia, spruik the absurdity that “no one listens to poor people. We must become people of power and influence in order to impact the world for God”... Garbage Ashley! Absolute, unadulterated garbage! And Ashley is not alone in this lunatic logic. All Word Faith / Prosperity teachers bilk out the same regurgitated tripe in one form or another for the appeasement of their itchy-eared throng. Where in Scripture is there such an affirmation? There is none folks – not a one. Word Faith teachers have embraced the old Roman Catholic heresy which insists the Saviour Y’shua has relegated and delegated His complete authority in the world to the church 2. They hold the Sovereign Creator hostage, commanding Him to be obedient to His Word. They cherry pick the scriptures weaving together a daisy chain of professions and hold Him accountable to them. They insist that if they follow the right formula, chant the right chant, say the right words and believe without doubting at all, then God is forced to respond to their demands. Call it what you will but friends that is nothing less than ecclesiastical extortion!
Listen to the words of the Word Faith exponents themselves...
Robert Tilton wrote:
”... we can tell God on the authority of his word what we would like him to do. That’s right! You can actually tell God what you would like his part in the covenant to be” 5.
As with Charles Capps, Robert Tilton and other teachers in this movement, the believer himself becomes God by exercising (supposedly) the same power(s) as the Creator and they do so (apparently) with the right ‘confession’ and their own faith. They even go so far as to suggest that believer’s can command angels into action on their behalf. Norvel Hayes, among his other delusional rantings writes...
“Since angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to and for us Christians, we can learn how to put them into action on our behalf. 4 We believer’s ought to keep those angelic creatures busy!”
“We ought to have them working for us all the time.” 6
Throughout the scriptures ‘angels’ (mal'âk in Hebrew and aggelos in the Greek) are, in both instances, messengers not ministers; the exception being those who ministered to Y’shua following His forty day sojourn in the wilderness after having been tempted by Satan. Is Hayes suggesting believers are on par with the Saviour? Quite possibly. Kenneth Copeland after all suggests that believers are ‘little gods’. He writes...
“He imparted in you when you were born again – Peter said it just as plain, he said, “We are partakers of the divine nature.” That nature is life eternal in absolute perfection. And that was imparted, injected into your spirit man, and you have that imparted into you by God just the same as you imparted into your child the nature of humanity. That child wasn’t born a whale! [It was] born a human. Isn’t that true? Well, now, you don’t have a human, do you? You are one. You don’t have a god in you. You are one.7
Copeland teaches that Adam was in the ‘God class’, a reproduction of God and not subordinate to Him. After the fall Adam apparently fell from that ‘God Class’ but according to Copeland, on the Cross of Calvary, Y’shua won the right for believers to be born again back into the ‘God class’. This so-called class (according to Copeland) affords born again believers the divine rights of healing, deliverance, financial prosperity, mental prosperity, physical prosperity and family prosperity. 8
Here’s another Copeland gem...
“He said He’d meet my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, and I’m walking around and saying, “Yes! My needs are met according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus! Glory to God! I am covenanting to the need meeter. I am covenanting to the I AM!” Hallelujah. And I say this with all respect, so that I don’t upset you too bad. But I say it anyway: When I read in the Bible where He says, “I AM,” I just smile and say, “Yes, I Am too.” 9
People failing to see the outright blasphemy in Copeland’s statement should question their own salvation – seriously!
In an on air conversation with Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting Network (where Ashley Evans sources his ‘star’ preachers), Copeland went on to validate his assertion of human divinity...
PC: [God] doesn’t even draw a distinction between Himself and us.
KC: Never, Never! You can never do that in a covenant relationship.
PC: Do you know what else has been settled, then, tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the devil to try and bring dissention within the body of Christ that we are gods. I am a little god!
KC: Yes! Yes!
PC: Absolutely! (giggling) He gave us His name.
KC: The reason we are –
PC: I have His name. I’m one with Him. I’m in covenant relations – I am a little god! Critics, be gone!
KC: You are everything He is.
PC: Yes. 10
Copeland and Crouch are joined by a stable of contemporaries who also hold to human divinity teaching. Kenneth Hagin, Charles Capps, Morris Cerullo, Robert Tilton, Benny (the) Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey, John Avanzini, Richard Roberts, Pat Robertson, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Peter Popoff, T.D. Jakes, Oral Roberts, Ashley Evans and Brian Houston are but a pitiful few. Does the Bible teach that humans are gods? Yes indeed, but in a mocking sense. John 10:33-34 is a quote of Psalm 82 which Y’shua repeated to the Jews of His day referring to the condemnation of evil rulers. The text reads...
“Has it not been written in your Law, “I said, you are gods”?” John 10:34
Walter Martin commentating on this passage writes...
“Jesus mocks the people as if to say, “You all think you are gods yourselves. What’s one more god among you?” Irony is used to provoke us, not to inform us. It is not a basis for building a theology. It is also pertinent to an understanding of John 10 that we remember that Satan is called “the ruler of this world” by no less authority than the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:30). And Paul reinforces this by calling him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We can make a ‘god’ out of anything – money, power, status, position, sex, patriotism, family, or, in this case, an angel. We can be our own ‘god’. But to call something deity or to worship it or treat it as divine is quite another thing than its being by nature and in essence deity”. 11
The Jews had no issue with being gods themselves, but when the Saviour came proclaiming Himself to be the Son of God they all got their knickers in a knot. Word Faith teachers don’t see the irony of the same mocking of their perceived deity, and millions follow after their delusions. Yahweh said to the rebellious Israelites:
“You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal as the clay?” Isaiah 29:16
According to Word Faith adherents the answer is a resounding yes. But according to the Scriptures there is only One God who shares His glory with no-one. While many folk involved in fellowships embracing Word Faith theology would reject the extremes of the movement the fact remains that participation in the part is participation in the whole. Word Faith, like other self centric cults has a distorted Christology, an exalted view of man, a theology based on human works, esoteric relativity, a belief that new revelation from within the group is unlocking ‘secrets’ that have been hidden from the church for years, extra biblical human writing that are deemed inspired and authoritative, the use and abuse of evangelical terminology, and an exclusivity that compels adherents to shun any criticism of the movement or teaching that is contrary to the system. 12
So then, the misguided and heretical belief that humans imbibe without restriction in the divine nature, and that exercising that nature by faith and positive confession in order to gain ‘healings’ of all manner (including financial prosperity) is at the core of the Word Faith movement, and very proof of its apostasy. According to Word Faith adherents faith is not a submissive trust in the Heavenly Father as it ought to be, but rather a ‘formula’ by which spiritual laws are manipulated for ones own gain. Incredibly, so-called evangelist Pat Robertson insists that applying this ‘formula’ will work for believer and unbeliever alike. You see, it’s no longer about God’s sovereignty, power or will but rather man’s stratagems, arrogance and desires which affect the demanded results. Who is God in this system? Who did Satan tell Eve would be like God if she partook of the forbidden? Nothing new under the sun is there?! “You shall be as gods, deciding for yourselves what is right and wrong” (Genesis 3:5) – man’s greatest, unfettered lust unashamedly manifest in the Word Faith movement and what an evil coup... in the Creator’s name no less!
Word Faith teachers and their followers can be safely likened to cosmic chefs, following recipes from the devil’s own cookbook gathering, as ingredients out of context scriptures, combining them with new age theology and adding both like magical incantations through positive confession into their cauldron of faith, blindly believing the end result will be somehow nutritious to the soul.
According to Word Faith theology, whatever is desired is attained simply by utilising positive confession along with an unwavering belief that the desired thing will come to pass. As aforementioned, in this system the omnipotent God becomes like a department store attendant dispensing coupons to the faithful. Need healing for your body? No problem, confess it, believe it, receive it. Need a new job? No problem, confess it, believe it, receive it. Need more money? No problem, confess it, believe it, receive it. See how easy it is? And if you don’t get what you’ve claimed you can either blame it on your lack of faith or your stingy financial offering – in other words, you didn’t throw enough peanuts to the monkey. Think about it! Under this superstitious system of thought the God of Heaven is subjugated to the positive confession of the believer as the faith of man brings the thing to pass rather than the Heavenly Father’s will. The end result is the same... the deification of man. They are altogether gone astray.
Of course because the tree is corrupt, the fruit thereof will inevitably be likewise. By degree the deceptions are piled one upon another as the delusions wax worse. Word Faith teachers such as John Avanzini et al proclaim Y’shua was “a rich man who owned his own house and wore designer clothes”. Robert Tilton calls ‘being poor’ sin. Australian Word Faith spruikers Ashley Evans, Brian Houston and their deluded compatriots insist that occupying positions of power and influence in society are critical requirements for reaching the lost. Of course being powerful and influential presupposes the attainment of wealth. Richard Roberts urged viewers of TBN to “sow a seed on your MasterCard, your Visa or your American Express, and when you do, expect God to open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing”. 13 According to Word Faith teachers, the more cash you sow into their ministries the more you will reap from God. Apparently Yahweh is an investment broker in the Word Faith system.
As John MacArthur correctly points out (according to Word Faith principals), that God’s ability to bless hangs on the adherent’s ability to believe. The more you believe for the more you’re gonna get, the bigger your vision the bigger the blessing. They insist it is becoming like Christ, realising their potential, growing in Him, becoming like Him... but in reality it’s the same old lie Satan announced in the Garden of Eden to the gullible Eve, the same the New Age movement, witches, druids, Gnostics and the like ascribe to... that we humans are God in potential, we just need to realise it – can’t you see that? It always appeals to the flesh because that is the fallen nature. It hides behind the ruse of self esteem, self affirmation self this, self that – Satan endorses the self centric gospel and charismatic’s have bought it hook, line and sinker. You could be forgiven for thinking we were describing an Amway convention. That everyday believers cannot or will not see such ruses as self justifying smokescreens designed to hide the covetousness and greed of the exponents of this heresy is simply astounding to us.
In futile defence Word Faith teachers are quick to quote John 14:14:
“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it”
Yet they seem to have completely ignored 1 John 5:14:
“This is the confidence we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” Emphasis mine.
In the Word Faith system “according to His will” is omitted because it is seen as a lack of personal faith, thus the believer’ becomes as a demanding, spoiled brat and the Heavenly Father a silver spoon dispenser pandering to every selfish whim of those who chant any given scripture demanding Him to be obedient to it. Kenneth Hagan arrogantly proclaimed that is unscriptural to pray “If it is the will of God” He maintained that “When you put an ‘if’ in your prayer you are praying in doubt”.14 Hagan was obviously ignorant of Y’shua’s plea in the garden of Gethsemane recorded in Luke 22:42. Perhaps he considered the Saviour’s ‘doubting’ prayer as contributory to His crucifixion? Romans 8:27 reveals that the Holy Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. James 4:13-16 totally undermines Word Faith fundamentals...
“Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow let's go into this city, and spend a year there, trade, and make a profit." Whereas you don't know what your life will be like tomorrow. For what is your life? For you are a vapour, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will both live, and do this or that." But now you glory in your boasting. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:13-16 - Emphasis Mine.
Does God Promise Financial Prosperity?
Far from stressing the importance of attaining wealth, power, prominence, influence or even real estate in “the culture”, the Word of God emphatically warns against pursuing such. According to 1 Timothy 3:3, believers and especially leaders are commanded to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5):
“Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, "I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you." 1 Timothy 3:3
For those in self denial, the phrase “free from the love of money” is literally translated “free from greed of material acquisition”.
Does not the love of (or pursuit of) money lead to all kinds of evil? (1 Timothy 6:10, Luke 12:15). Are not believers commanded to store up treasures in places other than here on earth? (Matthew 6:19). Is not the serving of the Creator God and His antithesis ‘material acquisition’ (mammon) absolutely incompatible? (Matthew 6:24).
So how do the prosperity wolves get around the bleeding obvious? With Dominion theologies of course... according to such it’s absolutely permissible to relentlessly pursue wealth “for the Kingdom’s sake”. They foolishly reason in imbecilic abandon that only the wealthy, popular and influential can gain a stage upon which to “shine their light” to the lost of the world. Do the Scriptures endorse such a notion? Of course not – not in any sense, but far be it for the truth to get in the way of a good story!
The concept of using words to mystically control reality is based not in the Holy Scriptures but in pagan / cultic systems such as Mary Baker Eddy’s (mind over matter) Christian Science movement. This popular heresy has a theological term and that term is “deism”. Deism is the belief that logic can interpret spiritual absolutes. Originating in England in the early 17th century it was essentially a rejection of orthodox Christianity. Deists asserted that reason could find evidence of God in nature and that God had created the world and then left it to operate under the natural laws he had devised. By ‘tapping’ into these laws one would be able to manipulate “by faith”, reality. This is the heart of the New Age, hyper faith and charismatic movements collectively.
There is an undeniable daisy chain of associated theological bastardry within the Word Faith movement. All credible historians of the movement conclude that its modern day exponent stems from none other than Kenneth Hagin. What is also true is that Hagin completely plagiarised many of the teachings of Pentecostal pioneer E.W. Kenyon, whose theological training was steeped not in Scriptural truth, nor even in Pentecostalism but in the metaphysical cults. Kenyon attended a college specialising in the training of leaders for the metaphysical science cults. From these indoctrinations he adapted, crafted and applied such occultic principals into his own system.15 Kenyon’s progeny, Hagin merely applied and propagated by stealth what he had gleaned from Kenyon’s deceived musings16 and so birthed the modern day Word Faith movement. Because the charismatic way has always been big on believing and short on discerning, the movement, desperate for signs, took off like a brush fire in hungry tinder. As John MacArthur correctly concludes, “... the Word Faith movement is of cultic derivation not Christian.17
He [John MacArthur] went on to point out that...
“The sad truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word Faith movement is not the gospel of the New Testament. Word Faith doctrine is a mongrel system, a blend of mysticism, dualism, and neo-gnosticism that borrows generously from the metaphysical cults. Its perverse teachings are causing untold harm to the church in general and charismatic’s in particular.” 18
So we come back to our original two questions...
1. Does God promise health and wealth?
2. Does God require our finances as either faith offerings for healing or to help build ‘His Kingdom’ on earth?
The answer to both is an emphatic NO. God promises redemption to those who repent of their sins and then by faith receive His eternal pardon. He has no need of that which belongs to Caesar. He shares His glory with no-one. He builds His Kingdom in the hearts of believers BY HIMSELF – He neither requires nor relies upon the assistance of mortal man. He commands His own to simply preach the Gospel, not to erect religious monuments unto themselves under the guise of His cause or His name. He commands His people to NOT seek after wealth and earthly trinkets, but rather to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness – to lay up treasures in Heaven NOT on earth. His Word is replete with examples of the righteous inflicted with poverty, affliction and sickness. His Word is crystal clear that this world is not the home of His children.
Simply stated, Word Faith teachers are liars, every last one of them, consequently the Word of God commands true believers to come out from among them and to have no fellowship with them. They are seducers and deceivers’ using the Name of the Holy God for profit, prestige and power, but they will, in the end, reap poverty, shame and absolute destruction. Their judgement has not been sleeping and is categorically assured.
John MacArthur concludes his brilliant expose’ of charismatic doctrinal error in his book “Charismatic Chaos” with these challenging facts...
“The sad truth is, the legacy of the charismatic movement has been mostly one of chaos and doctrinal confusion. The charismatic approach to spirituality is unsound and fraught with potential disillusionment. On both sides of the charismatic fence are Christian believers who are unsure, disappointed and defeated. The spiritual ‘good life’ they hear about in sermons and Sunday school lessons seem to be passing them by. Where can they find the key to living out their Christian faith on a realistic, practical day-to-day basis?
The only appropriate response is and always has been a return to the Word of God. For it is there that God has revealed to us all the truth we need to serve Him and live for His glory. Unfortunately, as we have seen so often, the charismatic movement tends to turn people inward, toward mysticism and subjectivity, and away from the Word of God. Don’t heed that siren call.” 19
Moriah Ministries Australia concurs with Dr. MacArthur’s assessment.
A few final words from inplainsight.org concerning the Word Faith movement and its pie eyed prosperity pipers of the pit...
“... They [Word Faith teachers] expect everyone to accept their authority and teachings without criticism or testing, using the Bible only if it suits their purposes but relying more on ‘Revelation Knowledge’. Making up a doctrine and then going in search of Scripture to back it up, however remotely and however out of context the verse may be, is a recipe for disaster. But what is truly catastrophic about this situation is that too many Christians do little better, showing little or no discernment when it comes to blatant heresies, forgetting that Christians are instructed to reject those who preach a false gospel because they are condemned by the Lord.. And those who follow false prophets will share in their judgment. 2John 1:10
“People are often deceived into thinking big TV evangelists are true believers because much is said ‘in the name of Jesus’, but even a cursory examination reveals that the biblical basis for what they say is very thin, if nonexistent, no matter how convincing they sound. There is very little, if any, preaching about the cross, sin, repentance and judgment. Their emphasis is not on what the Bible says, but on feelings, which are inherently subjective and relativistic. They think that it is more important to "feel" the truth instead of understand it and meditate on it.
Too many of the evangelists today place revelation knowledge above Scripture, which is one reason why WF teachers not only often blatantly contradict Scripture, but often each other. Today’s Biblically unsound generation relies on things like experiences, manifestations, feelings, emotions, numbers of followers, numbers of people who claim to be saved, the size of a church or movement, signs and wonders, purported miracles (Whether real or false), subjective testimonies, hearsay and rumours, how successful and rich a teacher is, if a person speaks with authority and/or the atmosphere of a meeting. The ancient Israelites were often led into error because they were not sufficiently grounded in the knowledge of God (Hosea 4:1, 6) and many Christians today are equally being led into error because they are not testing what they hear by the standard of God's Word. According to the Bible we are to test all teaching for sound doctrine and especially against the core doctrines of the Faith as laid down in the sixty-six books of the Bible”.20
“... Prosperity & financial advancement are two of the greatest selling points of the ‘evangelical’ ministers today. "Well, you need to hear about money, because you ain't gonna have no love and joy and peace until you get some money!" (Creflo Dollar, Praise the Lord, July 20, 1999) And while (on the surface) they seem to be living proof of the power of living by faith, what they hope people will not see is the constant begging for money, the massive fund-raisers, the barrage of direct mailing and advertising campaigns allow them to live their lavish life styles.
What is really scary is that they would have people believe that God blessed them with this prosperity for merely living in the faith, and that the average common man is guaranteed this kind of life by the Bible. Only those with ‘insufficient faith’ are living in poverty and only those who are willing to go the extra mile, by throwing their last dollar onto the already huge ‘love offering’ pile, will be blessed by God and find the prosperity they seek. The individual believer, misled by the glamour and emotional appeal of religious TV personalities, misdirects the Lord's money to areas that will be virtually non-productive for Jesus Christ”.21
As with all things evil, heresy will prevail when the righteous do nothing! Word Faith adherents would do well to remember that the Son of God came to save mankind from their sins, not their things.
In His Everlasting Embrace
Moriah Ministries Australia
1. John MacArthur “Charismatic Chaos” Zondervan Press – pg. 324.
2. In his book “Authority of the Believer” (Faith Library, 1979) Kenneth Hagin proposed this concept and dedicated large portions of writing to it. Hagin’s contemporaries have hopped on the gravy train without questioning the validity of his suggestions.
3. Charles Capps, “The Tongue: A Creative Force” (Tulsa Harrison, 1976), pg 78.
4. Norvel Hayes, “Putting Your Angels to Work” (Tulsa: Harrison, 1989), pg. 8.
5. Robert, Tilton, “God’s Miracle Plan For Man” (Dallas: Robert Tilton, 1976), pg. 36
6. Norvel Hayes, “Putting Your Angels to Work” (Tulsa: Harrison, 1989)
7. Kenneth Copeland, “The Force of Love” (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, n.d.) Cassette tape # 02-0028.
8. Kenneth Copeland, “The Believer’s Voice of Victory” broadcast July 9, 1987.
10. “Praise The Lord” Broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (July 7, 1986).
11. Walter Martin, “Ye Shall Be As Gods,” Michael A. Horton, ed. “The Agony of Deceit” (Chicago: Moody, 1990), pg. 97.
12. John MacArthur “Charismatic Chaos” Zondervan Press – pg. 327.
13. “Success in Life” Broadcast on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (December 2, 1990)
14. Kenneth E. Hagin, “Exceedingly Growing Faith” (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1983) pg. 10
15. McDonnell, “A Different Gospel”, pg. 15-56.
16. Ibid., 57-76.
17. John MacArthur, “Charismatic Chaos” Zondervan Press, pg. 352.