(07)The [god],[faith],[Jesus] and [Atonement] of Word-Faith
The Word of Faith (WF) movement emerged within
Charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity in the latter 20th century.
The Word of Faith movement as a whole has no formal
organization or authoritarian hierarchy, though the movement
does have a number of high-profile teachers who heavily
influence Word of Faith theology. It’s basic theology is a
peculiar mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism.
Kenneth Hagin is often referred to as the “father” of the Word
of Faith movement, but in reality it was Phineas Parkhurst
Quimby (1802-1866) who laid the foundations. It was
Quimby’s metaphysical teachings that influenced E.W. Kenyon,
and it was E.W. Kenyon’s teachings that in turn influenced
Kenneth Hagin. Most prominent Word of Faith teachers today
draw their inspiration from Kenneth Hagin.
The “force” of faith, an unbiblical view of faith, is the
foundation of Word of Faith theology. Proponents believe
they can use words to manipulate the faith-force, and thus
actually create what they believe Scripture promises
(health, wealth, etc.). Laws supposedly governing the
faith-force are said to operate independently of
God’s sovereign will — God Himself being subject to
the “laws” of faith.
Doctrines considered essential by historic Christianity
are not necessarily considered essentials in Word of Faith
theology. Word of Faith teachers often redefine or
reinterpret Christian essentials in order to fit them into
their own peculiar theological systems.
These reinterpretations are often derived from “revelation
knowledge” (i.e. special revelations supposedly from God,
given specifically to the Word-of-Faith teacher).
Placing “revelation knowledge” above Scripture is one reason
why Word-of-Faith teachers often blatantly contradict
Scripture (and often each other).
For example, one Word-of-Faith teacher, when speaking
of God said, there are nine of them; and yet another
Word-of-Faith teacher, when speaking of Jesus said,
I (Jesus) never claimed to be God.
Word of Faith teachers are notorious for teaching
everything from the heretical to the downright ridiculous.
For example, one WF teacher (who recently renounced WF)
once stated that Adam could fly, and women were originally
designed to give birth from their sides. Many sincere
Christians within the WF movement are unaware that
their favorite teachers are teaching doctrines that flatly
contradict the Word of God. One reason for this lack of
discernment is that followers are told that questioning
the teacher is synonymous with “touching God’s anointed,”
or “quenching the Spirit.” They are unaware that Scripture
encourages us to test all teaching by the written Word of God.
The Word of Faith movement is a serious threat to the Church —
this because WF is assaulting Christianity from within the Church.
What follows is a comparison of Word of Faith theology, as
espoused by many of these prominent teachers, with the
teachings of historic Christianity. Since this pamphlet represents
a cross-section of Word of Faith teachings, Word of Faith
adherents will believe some, but not necessarily all of these
WF: God is not sovereign. God needs permission to act.
“Satan had gained ascendancy in the earth by gaining
Adam’s authority, and God was left on the outside.
God couldn’t come here in His divine power and wipe
them out. He had to move in an area where it would be ruled
legal by the Supreme Court of the Universe” (Capps, Authority
in Three Worlds, p. 51).
BIBLE: God is sovereign over all creation. Man does
not control God. “‘I will have mercy on whom I have
mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have
compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s
desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Romans 9:15-16).
WF: You control Jesus with your mouth. “You create the
presence of Jesus with your mouth….He is bound by your lips
and by your words … Remember that Christ is depending upon
you and your spoken word to release His presence” (Cho,
The Fourth Dimension, Vol. I, p.83).
BIBLE: Christ is sovereign over all creation. Man does not
control Christ. “These are the words of the Amen, the
faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not
need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are
wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked”
(Revelation 3:14, 17).
WF: Word of Faith theology has completely rewritten and
redefined the atonement. In WF, Jesus suffered and died on
the cross, descended into hell (supposedly the seat of Satan’s
government), spent three days serving a sentence in hell
(where He was tortured by demons), was then born again
and released from hell on a technicality.
When Jesus was in the pit of hell, in that terrible torment,
no doubt the Devil and his emissaries gathered around to
see the annihilation of God’s Son. But in the corridors of hell,
there came a great voice from heaven: “Turn Him loose!
He’s there illegally!” And all of hell became paralyzed.
(Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, p. 143, emphasis in original)
Jesus was born again before his eyes! (Ibid, p. 189, emphasis in
BIBLE: Jesus was not “born again.” He could not be born
again since He did not have a sinful nature. The sacrifice had
to be perfect — Christ alone had no sin nature.
“But with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without
blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation
of the world, but was revealed in these last times for
your sake” (1 Peter 1:19-20).
Christ did not descend into hell. He descended into Hades
(Sheol) and preached to the Old Testament saints in paradise.
“The he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come
into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, ‘I tell you
the truth, today you will be with me in paradise'”
Hell (Gehenna) is not the seat of Satan’s government. Hell is
currently unoccupied. Hell is a place of punishment and torment
where Satan, demons, and the unregenerate will eventually be
cast. Christ did not serve a sentence in hell; He atoned for our sins
on the cross. “When he had received the drink, Jesus said,
‘It is finished (tetelestai).’ With that, he bowed his head
and gave up his spirit” (John 19:30).
WF: Man is a god, though a lesser god than God the creator.
“Adam was an exact duplication of God’s kind!….Adam was
subordinate to God. God created him, gave him all this authority
and power, and said to him, ‘Be god over the earth as I am God
over the heavens'” (Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, pp. 16-17).
BIBLE: Man is not, nor ever will be, a god. There is only one
true God (John 17:3); if man is a god then man has to be a false
god. “Before me no god was formed, nor will there be
one after me” (Isaiah 43:10).
WF: Faith is a force. “Faith is a power force. It is a tangible
force. It is a conductive force” (Copeland, The Force of Faith,
Words activate the force. “The force of faith is released by
words. Faith-filled words put the law of the Spirit of life into
operation” (Ibid. p. 18).
BIBLE: Faith is not a force. Faith is trusting in the promises
of God. Faith is synonymous with ‘being sure’: “Now faith is
being sure of what we hope for and certain of what
we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). We exercise faith when
we trust in the promises of God.