(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

unbiblical doctrines.

 

GOD

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).

 

JESUS CHRIST

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).

 

THE ATONEMENT

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

original)

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'”

(Luke 23:42-43).

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).

 

MAN

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).

 

FAITH

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,

p.13).

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.

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