Posts Tagged ‘hyper-charismatic’

A Berean Call Interview: Is the Bethel School of Ministry Supernatural? with Rod Page, part 1

Rodney Howard Browne – The Man Who Laid Hands on President Trump

LTRP Note: Last week, it was announced in several news sources  that Rodney Howard Browne was one of a number of “evangelical” leaders who laid hands on and prayed for Donald Trump at the White House. Browne is the “father” of the Holy Laughter movement and said on his Facebook page after last week’s presidential prayer, “we are going to see another great spiritual awakening.” We find it sad and troubling that someone like Browne (not to mention some of the others present) is in a position to represent Christianity to both the president and the world. To understand some things about Rodney Howard Browne’s teachings and beliefs, please see the article below by Warren B. Smith. You can read about some of the other leaders present by using the search engine at www.deceptioninthechurch.com.

FALSE REVIVAL COMING?—Part 1: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?

By Warren B. Smith

Editors Note: Today there is much talk in the church about revival. Some leaders, citing God as their authority, state they have been told that a great “outpouring” of God’s Spirit is about to occur. Other leaders are describing this imminent “move of God” as another “Great Awakening”—a “second Pentecost.” What is immediately troubling to us is that some of the church figures who are leading the charge for this coming “revival” are the very same ones who gave us the “holy” laughter “revival” back in the 1990s—a “move of God” that was dubiously dubbed “The Toronto Blessing.”

Back when this alleged “revival” was spreading throughout the church, author and former New Ager Warren B. Smith wrote an article that expressed his concerns about what was taking place. His 1994 piece was titled “Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?” and was featured in a discernment newsletter and later reprinted in other Christian magazines and journals. The article’s main focus was on South African evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne—the man who was responsible for bringing the “holy” laughter “revival” into the church. As countless people flocked to Toronto to get “hit” with “holy” laughter, Smith urged everyone to take a closer look at what was being called a “revival.”

With no apologies for “holy” laughter and the strange manifestations associated with his “holy” laughter “revival,” a somewhat reinvented Rodney Howard-Browne now pastors a 3,000-member church in Tampa, Florida. He is frequently found preaching on cable channels around the country. Howard-Browne also heads Revival Ministries International and presents “Global Awakening” conferences throughout the world. In the summer of 2014, he organized and headlined a much ballyhooed two-week “Celebrate America” event that was held in Washington D.C. In asking for financial support for the event on his revival.com website, Howard-Browne asked people to “invest in the Great Awakening” that he believes he has been ordained by God to lead. Some of those who spoke alongside him included Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Retired Colonel Oliver North, Lieutenant General William “Jerry” Boykin, author/columnist Dr. Ben Carson, and best-selling author Jonathan Cahn (author of The Harbinger).

Because Browne has placed himself at the forefront of the present-day push for revival in the church, we feel it important to revisit the concerns expressed by Warren B. Smith back in 1994.

Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?

I watched the video again. It was titled Signs and Wonders Camp Meeting 1994.1 Pastors of huge charismatic churches were stumbling around the church stage “drunk” with “holy” laughter. Wanting to testify to the fact that “holy” laughter had transformed their ministries and their lives, many of them were unable to speak when called on to do so. But their “drunken” condition became their testimony. Their halting speech was seen as “proof” of the “power of the spirit” that had come over them. The congregation roared in approval as pastor after pastor laughed uncontrollably then fell to the floor. Standing alongside the “drunken” pastors was evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, the self described “Holy Ghost bartender” who was serving up this “new wine” of “holy” laughter. Many Christians believed that Howard-Browne was God’s appointed channel for imparting joy and revival to the end-times church. Other Christians came to see Howard-Browne as a false prophet who has inflicted great damage to the body of Christ.

Early last spring we received a fax from someone expressing concern about a new phenomenon called “holy” laughter. He said that a San Francisco Bay Area Vineyard Church was experiencing what was being described as “revival” and that the manifestation of “holy” laughter was being cited as one of the signs of this “revival.” Church members and visitors were reportedly breaking into fits of spontaneous and uncontrollable laughter during their nightly services.

Later when I visited the San Francisco Vineyard and talked with several members of the congregation, I was told how hundreds of people were getting “hit” with “revival”—how some people were getting so “soaked in the spirit” they would lose consciousness for up to several hours after falling to the ground with “holy” laughter. The Vineyard members described “holy” laughter unqualifiedly as “awesome” and definitely “the work of the Lord.”

I learned that their Vineyard pastors had recently flown to a Vineyard church in Toronto where God had reportedly “touched down” and where “revival” had “broken out.” The San Francisco pastors participating in the Toronto “revival” had then “brought it back” to San Francisco. It seemed that one of the characteristics of “holy” laughter is that it can be easily transferred from one person to another through the laying on of hands. Thus, the Toronto “revival” had now “spread” to San Francisco. Nightly meetings were being held at the San Francisco Vineyard to accommodate the streams of people wanting to get “touched” by this “move of God.”

Within weeks of my visit to Vineyard, I happened to catch a program on “holy” laughter on a local Christian TV station. The panel of guests was enthusiastically discussing “holy” laughter and endorsing it unquestioningly as a latter days “outpouring” of God’s Holy Spirit. Comparing “holy” laughter to the “work” of the Spirit at Pentecost, they were convinced that “holy” laughter was completely authentic. They equated “holy” laughter with the biblical notion of joy. As far as they were concerned, “holy” laughter was the “joy of the Lord.” Scriptural references to joy were cited; testimonies were given; songs were sung; and by the end of the program, I felt like I had just watched a one-hour infomercial on “holy” laughter.

Then, several weeks later, there was a program about “holy” laughter on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. While preacher Rodney Howard-Browne was giving what appeared to be a serious message, people in the audience were laughing wildly for no apparent reason. But Howard-Browne seemed oblivious to the disruption and kept on preaching. Then when the laughter was at its height, he began incorporating all that was happening into his sermon. He said that the “holy” laughter they were experiencing was a last days expression of God’s “Holy Spirit.” He also compared the “Spirit” that was manifesting to the Spirit at Pentecost. He reminded his audience how those gathered in the upper room had been viewed by others as being “drunk” on alcohol when in fact they were “drunk” in the Spirit.

Howard-Browne’s audience continued to laugh hilariously as he spoke of a present-day “revival” and how “holy” laughter was ushering in this “revival.” At the end of the service, Howard-Browne shuffled around the huge assembly hall, now breaking into long fits of laughter himself. As he walked around, talking and laughing and speaking in tongues, he began to lay hands on people. After he said “be filled” and repeated the phrase “from the top of your head to the tips of your toes,” people fell to the ground in hysterical laughter. As the program ended, the evangelist continued to weave his way amongst the fallen bodies, many of them still convulsed in laughter.

Also during this time, I was sent a copy of a flyer saying that Charles and Frances Hunter, the authors of a new book titled Holy Laughter, were coming to Portland, Maine. The flyer said, “God is filling the church with holy laughter! Come and receive a baptism of joy! You will never be the same! Don’t miss this unforgettable move of the Holy Spirit!” Another book on “holy” laughter titled Fresh Anointing: Another Great Awakening, was also brought to my attention at this time. In it, author Mona Johnian describes the “holy” laughter “revival” that erupted in her Boston church after she and her husband attended a meeting led by Rodney Howard-Browne.

In the midst of this same two-month period, there was yet another program on “holy” laughter. I was watching a locally televised church service, and the guest preacher was Richard Roberts, the president of Oral Roberts University and son of Oral Roberts. His whole sermon was on “holy” laughter and how it had changed his life and ministry. He described how “revival” had come to Oral Roberts University. Roberts explained how he had canceled classes for two days so that his four thousand students could personally experience the “joy of the Lord” and receive the “gift” of “holy” laughter. I was not surprised to learn that the “revival” Roberts was describing had come through the person of Rodney Howard-Browne.

And then to round out my summer crash course on the subject of “holy” laughter, the August issue of Charisma magazine had Rodney Howard-Browne on its cover. He was clearly the man of the hour. The cover story on this by now wildly popular “Holy Ghost bartender” was titled “Praise the Lord and Pass the New Wine.” The article was yet one more endorsement of Howard-Browne and “holy” laughter. And what I was starting to realize was that all of the “holy” laughter I had recently encountered—the TV programs, the books, the various “anointings, and “revivals” could all be traced back to him: Toronto Vineyard, San Francisco Vineyard, the Hunters, Mona Johnian, Richard Roberts, and all the rest. The Charisma article described Rodney Howard-Browne as the “spiritual conduit” for “holy” laughter. But I wanted to know how Rodney Howard-Browne got his “anointing?”

The Charisma article stated that in South Africa, in the summer of 1979, Howard-Browne “spent hours praying for a deeper experience with God.” In the midst of his prayers, he is quoted as having told God, “Either you come down here and touch me, or I will come up there and touch you.” Charisma said that suddenly in the midst of that prayer Howard-Browne’s “whole body felt like it was on fire. He began to laugh uncontrollably. Then he wept and began to speak in tongues.” In Howard-Browne’s book The Touch of God, Charisma quotes him as saying, “I was plugged into heaven’s electric supply, and since then my desire has been to go and plug other people in.”

And certainly one of the most outstanding characteristics of Howard-Browne’s “anointing” and the whole “laughing revival” is that it is so immediately transferable from person to person. Those “anointed” by Howard-Browne can now “anoint” others. And that is what’s happening. The “Spirit” that visited Howard-Browne has exponentially multiplied as it has been passed on from person to person around the world. A video advertised in that same August issue of Charisma documents the spread of Howard-Browne’s “holy” laughter. It is titled The Laugh that was Heard ‘round the World (see a video example below).

The “holy” laughter “revival” started by Howard-Browne is spreading like wildfire around the world. A recent conference sponsored by Toronto Vineyard drew 2300 pastors from countries as far away as Cambodia. They had all come to observe the “laughing revival” that was now being called “The Toronto Blessing.” Even skeptical pastors were getting “hit” with the “Spirit” and then taking that “Spirit” back to their churches and towns.

Howard-Browne’s “laughing revival” has now officially moved into the Christian mainstream with a recent endorsement from Pat Robertson on his popular 700 Club. On October 27, 1994, Robertson said this about holy laughter:

[W]hat this says to me is revival is taking place in the world in a mass wave . . . and we look to the coming of the Lord. I think this is a very encouraging sign in the middle of all this trouble and all these wars and all this confusion. God is saying I’m on the throne and I’m going to touch multiplied millions. It’s wonderful. I applaud it.

But what does the Bible say about laughter?

Last summer, after watching Rodney Howard-Browne on TBN, I consulted my concordance to see if there was any biblical precedent for “holy” laughter. Surprisingly, I found only 40 references to laughter in the Bible; 34 of them were in the Old Testament, while only six were in the New Testament. Of those 40 references, 22 of them referred to scornful laughter, as in Nehemiah 2:19 when Nehemiah said, “they laughed us to scorn.” Of the 18 remaining references to laughter, seven of them referred exclusively to Abraham and Sarah’s initial disbelief and ultimate astonishment that God would give them a child in their old age. Barely into my study on laughter, I was already down to my last 11 references.

In Job 8:21, Bildad, one of Job’s false comforters, wrongly advised Job that if he were in right standing with God he would be prosperous and full of laughter. The Psalmist in Psalm 126:2 recorded that when the captivity of Zion was over, “then was our mouth filled with laughter and our tongue with singing.” Proverbs 29:9 says, “if a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, there is no rest.”

With only eight remaining references, I had seen nothing in the Bible up to this point that suggested anything even resembling “holy” laughter. In Ecclesiastes 2:2, Solomon says, “I said of laughter, it is mad.” Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Ecclesiastes 7:3-4 says, “sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” Ecclesiastes 7:6 says, “for as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool: this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 10:19 says that “a feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry.”

Interestingly the Bible’s last three references to laughter—the only three references to authentic laughter in the New Testament—warn against laughter. These three references actually seemed to underline Solomon’s contention in Ecclesiastes that “sorrow is better that laughter” and that now is a time to weep and not to laugh. In Luke 6:21, Jesus says, “blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” In Luke 6:25, Jesus says, “woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.” James 4:9 tells us not to laugh but to “be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.”

I had searched the Scriptures to find any biblical precedent for “holy” laughter, and there was none. To my amazement, I had discovered surprisingly few references in the Bible to any kind of laughter. Did this mean that God doesn’t have a sense of humor or that people in the Bible never laughed? No. It just meant that laughter apparently was not something God chose to emphasize very much. And certainly Jesus’ last words on laughter—”woe unto you who laugh now!”—were not ones that would seem to give any encouragement to a “laughing revival.”

The Lord says, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18).

14 Concerns About “Holy” Laughter and the “Laughing Revival”

(1) There is no biblical precedent for “holy” laughter.

Laughter is rarely mentioned in the Bible. Yet, when it is, the Bible seems to make more of a case for holy sorrow than for “holy” laughter. Scripture supports Solomon’s contention that “sorrow is better than laughter.” It does not support the present “laughing revival.”

(2) Substituting the word joy for laughter is a non sequitur. It is inaccurate and misleading.

There is no scriptural authority for equating biblical references to joy with the involuntary manifestations of “holy” laughter. Just because there are insufficient Bible texts to make the case for “holy” laughter, it does not follow that you can simply redefine the word laughter by substituting the word joy.

(3) “Holy” laughter advocates rarely, if ever, discuss the need to test the spirits.

The Bible warns us that not every supernatural manifestation is necessarily from God. 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Charles and Francis Hunter write in their book Holy Laughter, “Once you begin to walk in the supernatural you really have to be ready for anything and everything and never question the way God does it!”

(4) “Holy” laughter advocates rarely, if ever, talk about the Spirit’s express warning that in the latter times some people will be supernaturally seduced by deceptive evil spirits into following them and not the one true God.

1 Timothy 4:1 warns, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

(5) “Holy” laughter advocates rarely, if ever, talk about the Bible’s warnings of false prophets who come in the name of Jesus but bring with them “another spirit.”

2 Corinthians 11:4 says, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”

(6) Many laughter advocates condescendingly discourage and even openly intimidate sincere Christians who question the “laughing revival.”

According to the August 1994 Charisma article, Rodney Howard-Browne “disparages” people who “try to apply theological tests” to what he does. The Hunters’ book Holy Laughter refers to skeptics as God’s “frozen chosen.” Mona Johnian writes, “skeptics, hesitators and procrastinators do not get anointed.” She warns that “any person or church that wavered could be eliminated.”

(7) Rodney Howard-Browne’s prayer to God just prior to his “anointing” (“either You come down here and touch me or I’ll come up there and touch You”) is unscriptural.

Howard-Browne’s prayer was, in essence, “my will be done.” It was not “thy will be done” as taught by Jesus in Scripture. Why should we automatically assume it was God who answered his prayer?

(8) “Holy” laughter advocates, in talking about “signs and wonders,” rarely, if ever, mention the Bible’s many warnings about deceptive signs and wonders.

In Matthew 16:4 Jesus warns, “a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign.” In Matthew 24:24, Jesus says, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” In 2 Thessalonians 2:9, the apostle Paul warns of the coming Antichrist, “even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”

(9) “Holy” laughter advocates seem to lay hands on almost everybody. The Bible specifically warns against this.

The eighth chapter of Acts describes how the disciples would not lay hands on Simon, a baptized believer, even though he desperately wanted the gift of the Holy Ghost, because his heart was “not right in the sight of God.” 1 Timothy 5:22 warns us to “lay hands suddenly on no man.” Yet “holy” laughter is passed on from person to person without so much as a second thought.

(10) “Holy” laughter advocates blatantly disregard the biblical admonition that things be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Mona Johnian in her book Fresh Anointing says, “decently and in order! We must do things decently and in order. The Bible itself commands it, cry those who are frightened by that which is beyond traditional order.”3 She advises her readers to “break with tradition.”4

(11) The chaos and confusion that usually characterizes the “laughing revival” contradicts the Bible’s description of the Person of God.

1 Corinthians 14:33 states, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

(12) Laughter advocates rarely if ever, discuss the well-documented demonic deceptions that have manifested in past revivals.

To combat the deception that arose during the Welsh revival at the turn of this century, authors Jessie Penn-Lewis and Evan Roberts wrote War on the Saints: a disclosure of the deceptive strategies used by evil spirits against God’s people. Both were very involved with the revival and were extremely concerned about the demonic manifestations that began to dominate their meetings. The foreword to War on the Saints warns of “the grave dangers that beset the path of uninformed enthusiasm.”

(13) A number of Christians have experienced the equivalent of “holy” laughter when they were in the New Age.

Indian Guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was affectionately known by his followers as the “divine drunkard” because he was reputed to have drunk so deeply from the well of the “Divine.” As a former follower of Rajneesh, I met hundreds of Sannyasins who had flown to India “to drink” from “Bhagwan’s wine.” When followers were physically touched by Rajneesh, or even if they were merely in his presence, they would often experience feelings of great exhilaration and joy. Disciples of Swami Baba Muktananda would often manifest uncontrollable laughter after receiving Shaktipat (physical contact) from the guru.

(14) The “laughing revival” could one day merge with what the New Age calls the coming day of “Planetary Pentecost.”

Barbara Marx Hubbard (revered New Age leader and a 1984 Democratic nominee for the Vice Presidency of the United States) writes in her book, Teachings from the Inner Christ, how the human race will soon experience a day of “Planetary Pentecost.” Hubbard, claiming to be in contact with “Christ,” writes, “the Planetary Smile is another name for the Planetary Pentecost. When enough of us share a common thought of our oneness with God, Spirit will be poured out on all flesh paying attention.”5 In her book The Revelation, Hubbard says that “Christ” (in describing the Planetary Smile) said,

An uncontrollable joy will ripple through the thinking layer of the Earth. The co-creative systems, which are lying psychologically dormant in humanity will be activated. From within, all sensitive persons will feel the joy of the force, flooding their systems with love and attraction . . . as this joy flashes through the nervous systems of the most sensitive peoples on Earth, it will create a psycho magnetic field of empathy, which will align the next wave of people in synchrony, everywhere on Earth. This massive, sudden empathic alignment will cause a shift in the consciousness of Earth. 6

Writing in Happy Birth Day Planet Earth, Hubbard repeats what she heard from “Christ.” He said:

As the planetary smile ripples through the nervous systems of Earth, and the instant of co-operation begins, and empathy floods the feelings of the whole body of Earth, separation is overcome, and I appear to all of you at once.7

The controversy over “holy” laughter is splitting congregations and causing deep divisions in the body of Christ. And while many people have already taken sides, there are many more who are still trying to figure out just what is going on. Is this really a move of God, or is this the kind of deception the Bible warns about in Matthew 24, 1 Timothy 4:1, and in the second chapter of Thessalonians?

Unity is indeed the heartfelt desire of every sincere Christian (Psalm 133:1). But the Bible warns of massive deception that will come at the end and in Christ’s name. Before the Church—in the name of unity—free falls into a worldwide “laughing revival,” we had better be sure what it is we are uniting with.

In reflecting on “holy” laughter during these very troubled times, I recalled a music special I had seen on television a number of years ago. In the midst of an otherwise polite Hollywood type crowd, a male vocalist sang straight faced and sober into the teeth of their celebration. His words were electric and piercing, and they seemed to hang in the air. He sang, “You’re laughing now, but you should be praying. You’re in the midnight hour of your life.”

Some Examples of “Holy” Laughter in Other Religions

1) Kundalini Energy is typically described as a powerful energy source lying dormant in the form of a coiled serpent at the base of the human spine. When freed, it reputedly has the capacity to effect great physical healings. Christina and Stanislov Grof, New Age authors of the book The Stormy Search for the Self, describe how the awakening of Kundalini energy can be triggered by an advanced spiritual teacher or guru. And how the awakening can bring up memories of past psychological traumas. The Grofs state that:

Individuals involved in this process might find it difficult to control their behavior; during power rushes of Kundalini energy, they often emit various involuntary sounds, and their bodies move in strange and unexpected patterns. Among the most common manifestations . . . are unmotivated and unnatural laughter or crying, talking tongues . . . and imitating a variety of animal sounds and movements.8

The Grofs also state that “careful study of the manifestations of Kundalini awakening confirm that this process, although sometimes very intense and shattering, is essentially healing.

A. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the former Oregon guru, tells one of his followers in his book Dance Your Way To God:

Just be joyful . . . God is not serious . . . this world cannot fit with a theological God . . . so let this be your constant reminder—that you have to dance your way to God, to laugh your way to God.9

Often referred to as being “drunk on the divine,” Rajneesh encouraged his followers to come and “drink” from him. Bhagwan’s spiritual “wine” was often passed along with a single touch to the head. Many of his Sannyasins would fall to the floor in ecstasy after their encounters with Rajneesh.

B. Ramakrishna, an Indian saint, “daily went into ‘samahdi,’ a trance in which one involuntarily falls down unconscious and enters a rapturous state of super-conscious bliss (ananda), complete with beautiful visions and often involving astral projection. These states could last anywhere from a few minutes to several days and were often accompanied by uncontrollable laughter or weeping. He could send others into this state with a single touch to the head or chest.”10

C. Swami Baba Muktananda would transfer what was called “guru’s grace” to his followers through Shaktipat (physical touch). This “grace” triggered the gradual awakening of the Kundalini, which in turn produced various physical and emotional manifestations. Manifestations included uncontrollable laughing, roaring, barking, hissing, crying, shaking, etc. Some devotees became mute or unconscious. Many felt themselves being infused with feelings of great joy and peace and love. At other times, the “fire” of Kundalini was so overwhelming they would find themselves involuntarily hyperventilating to cool themselves down.11

2) African Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari—The Grofs, in their book The Stormy Search for the Self, also cite an interesting parallel between the Kundalini awakening and the trance dance of the African Kung bushmen. During rituals, the bushmen “enter a profound altered state of consciousness associated with the release of powerful emotions such as anger, anxiety, and fear. They are often unable to maintain an upright position and are overcome by violent shaking. Following these dramatic experiences, they typically enter a state of ecstatic rapture. According to the bushmen tradition, the dance releases from the base of the spine a cosmic healing force called ntum or ‘medicine.’ This is then passed by direct physical contact from one person to another.”12

3) Qigong (ancient Chinese practice)—Yan Xin, a Chinese Qigong master known to most of the over one billion people in China, gave a talk in San Francisco in 1991. Seventeen hundred devotees, most of them Chinese, showed up at the Masonic Auditorium to listen to Yan. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that “minutes into his talk, several began experiencing what Yan Xin calls spontaneous movements.” The Chronicle reporter said that “before long, the scene resembled a Pentecostal prayer meeting with many people waving their arms and making unintelligible sounds.” Yan told his audience, “Those who are sensitive might start having some strong physical sensations—or start laughing or crying. Don’t worry. This is quite normal.” The article said that “since 1985, when a Qigong revival started sweeping China, 50 to 60 million Chinese have gone to see Yan.”13

4) Subud—According to The Encyclopedia of American Religions, the central element of the Subud faith is the practice of “latihan.” Latihan is the way one surrenders to the power of God. It is a group process. The Encyclopedia says:

The latihan proper is a time of moving the consciousness beyond mind and desire and allowing the power to enter and do its work . . . often accompanying the spontaneous period are various body movements and vocal manifestations—cries, moans, laughter and singing. These occur in the voluntary surrender of the self to the power. During this time, people report sensations of love and freedom and often, healings. All reach a higher level of consciousness.14

To order copies of FALSE REVIVAL COMING?—Part 1: Holy Laughter or Strong Delusion?,” click here

Endnotes:

  1. You can watch this video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jduW9apCP1c.
  2. Charles and Frances Hunter, Holy Laughter, p. 65.
  3. Mona Johnian, Fresh Anointing, p. 35
  4. Ibid., p. 45.
  5. Barbara Marx Hubbard, Teachings from the Inner Christ, p. 79.
  6. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, pp. 234-235.
  7. Barbara Marx Hubbard, Happy Birth Day Planet Earth, pp. 10-11.

Coming into “Alignment”

LTRP Note: Kevin Reeves is the author of The Other Side of the River, which is an account of his years as an elder in a Latter Rain, “River” church.

By Kevin Reeves 

Back in about the early ’90s, my former church went through a series of divine healing videos put out by Charles and Francis Hunter, or “The Happy Hunters.” At the end of each video, we put the teachings to the test—not the scriptural test for truth, mind you, but the “practical application” of what we had just learned. By laying on of hands, usually administered by Jason (our pastor) but sometimes by others in the group, we often felt things—sometimes a sense like an electric current running through the body, sometimes “drunkenness” (I experienced this one time where I literally could not speak without slurring my words), and sometimes in a very strange manipulation of the limbs. This was particularly powerful. Once (and I was not the only one so affected), according to the command on the video, I stretched out my arms and brought my hands together in order to see if my back was out of alignment. Well, according to the Hunters’ criteria it was, and when I asked for God to heal me, right there in that room with about fifteen other people, my back seemed to move of its own accord, my outstretched arms and shoulders slowly rotating as if there was another person inside me doing the motions. There appeared to be a definite power at work unlike any I had ever felt before. I was thrilled. Even elder Smalley was impressed, pointing at me and exclaiming with a huge smile, “Look at Kevin!”

This manipulation went on for about ten minutes, when it gradually subsided and left altogether. We had seen many people on this video manifest in this way, so it was only natural that we should experience the same thing. Incidentally, I never did feel any lasting change in my back.

It wasn’t my spine that needed aligning—it was my heart. And that needed to be aligned using the plumb line of God’s Word. Although we could not find its precedent in Scripture, the experience was powerful,stimulating, and sometimes seemed to work. Even unbelievers who were occasionally brought to meetings testified of the power that coursed through their bodies and moved their limbs of its own accord. At least one, however, left our meeting hurting with worse pain than when he arrived.

Was it of God? What do you think? Its absence from the ministries of Jesus and the apostles should sound warning bells loud and clear. This was a formula prayer, the same thing Jesus had in fact warned against in Matthew 6:7.

“Do this, and this will happen.” How many times I heard that kind of spiritual reasoning in our congregation eludes me. But God simply doesn’t act that way. Jesus healed differently for different people, based on heart attitude, not a specific agenda, method, or ritual. One of the main points of the video, which fell right into line with our own doctrine, was that Christians should not be suffering under sickness. Well, if we believe that, then we will have a very hard time explaining away the sickness of sincere believers like Timothy (I Timothy 5:23), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), and Trophimus (II Timothy 4:20). In congregations today that follow these doctrines of men, the many who suffer sickness, sometimes chronically, are placed in the position of being healed or being condemned for their lack of faith, either by church leadership, the congregation, or their own feelings. They believe they have failed God. Or worse, that God has failed them.

Other Articles by Kevin Reeves:

Slain in the Spirit: Is it a Biblical Practice? by Kevin Reeves

C is For Catholicism—An Evangelical Primer on Catholic Terminology

D is for Deception—The Language of the “New” Christianity

 

 

Question to the Editor: What Do You Know About Ed Silvoso and the Transformation Movement?

“Ed Silvosos’ paradigm is no different than many others who have come into the church before basically “rethinking everything into a new strategy.” Using the magic word of ‘transformation’ (a word originally found in theosophy of the New Age movement), it has found itself as one of the many new platforms for ‘mission strategies’ now being employed by the New Apostolic Reformation.” – Mike Oppenheimer

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Ed Silvoso

Do you know anything about Dr. Ed Silvoso who, from this announcement below, is coming to Tulsa? Someone sent me this announcement and I did some Internet research on him re: his bio, etc. Can you tell if his “transformation” is anything like Rick Warren’s?

Thanks,

B. _______

Our Comment:

While we don’t have anything about Ed Silvoso on our site, we are familiar with the transformation movement. It’s not exactly like Rick Warren’s agenda. It is more along the lines of the NAR movement and the redeeming the cultures movement. Silvoso and other leaders in the transformation movement may have good intentions, but they are kind of like the salesman who promises miracles with his product, and people buy it because of all the hype, but in the end, the product doesn’t deliver. Since the 1980s, the transformation movement leaders have promised that entire cities were going to be changed dramatically and violence would be reduced throughout our society if Christians followed their ideas on unity and prayer. But look where we are today in this world. Cities are not being transformed, and society is growing darker and more violent, just as Scripture tells us it will because men’s hearts will grow colder and further away from Christ.

Here are a few articles that will provide information on Ed Silvoso and the transformation movement:

The Global Transformation of Redeeming Cultures by Mike Oppenheimer

BOOKLET TRACT: Can Cultures Be Redeemed? (Some Things You Should Know About the Indigenous People’s Movement) by Nanci Des Gerlaise

Transformations or Re-transformation? A Paradigm Shift for Evangelism by Mike Oppenheimer

Ed Silvoso & Transformation Africa by Herescope

 

NEW BOOKLET: Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings

NEW BOOKLET:Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings by Bill Randles is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet Tract.  The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings

By Bill Randles

BKT-BR-BJ-2What would you think of a Bible school that sends young people out to literally prostrate themselves on the graves of deceased preachers so that the students can absorb “the anointing” that lingers on the graves? What about a church in which a mist containing feathers, gold, and jewel dust descends on the worshippers in the sanctuary? How about a church conference which features prophetic “tattoo readings” as one of the workshops?

What would you expect of a church which is a combination of the Word of Faith error and the prosperity gospel of Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, the signs and wonders of Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn, the false assumptions of the “spiritual warfare” and hyper-deliverance movement, the “prophetic movement,” and the gnostic mysticism of the Toronto Blessing?

You don’t have to wonder any longer, for there is such a “ministry” which is currently the most recognizable and influential face of the prophetic movement. I refer to Bill and Beni Johnson who co-pastor Bethel Church in Redding, California and its related ministries including “Jesus Culture” youth band and Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry.

Bill Johnson, a noted conference speaker and leader, is the author of several best-selling books and considered to be an apostle and leader within the Apostles and Prophets movement. Hundreds of thousands have been affected by his ministry and have attended retreats and conferences where they have been “imparted” with “the anointing.”

In order to fully understand this prophetic movement in its current state, we must examine the teachings and ministry of Bill Johnson in the light of the Word of God. Didn’t Jesus warn us not to be naïve but that “every tree is known by its fruits”?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

The primary “fruit” of any professed prophet would be the teaching. (The same would go for any pastor or apostle or anyone who stands in the name of God).

Let’s examine some of Bill Johnson’s teachings which go errant on so many levels that it is hard to decide where to begin. For the sake of brevity, I will address four areas of concern: a) The Word of Faith Movement; b) Johnson’s teachings on the Incarnation; c) the anointing (Holy Ghost); and d) his theology of experience. I urge you to be the judge according to the test in Deuteronomy 13.

I. The Word of Faith Movement

It doesn’t take long to see by reading his books that Johnson is a proponent of the Word of Faith teaching, popularized by Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland. Therefore, it is necessary to give a brief overview of WOF teaching to be able to see where Johnson is coming from.

In a nutshell, the WOF teaching is based on a gnostic interpretation of the Fall and of redemption. The following is my paraphrase of their explanation:

When God created Adam, He gave him all dominion over the earth, to rule and reign as God’s regent. However, when Adam fell, by obeying Satan, he handed that God-given dominion over to Satan, who became the “god of this world.” God, the Father, couldn’t just come in and take the dominion back—Adam had given it away.

God had to find a way for a man to come in, as a man, and undo the folly of Adam, gaining back the authority given to Satan by Adam. Jesus is that man. (The WOF teachers do acknowledge that Jesus is God but believe that He “laid aside His own Divinity” in the Incarnation).

As a man, Jesus came into the world, resisted all of the temptation that Adam and Eve and the human race succumbed to, and died on the Cross as a sacrifice for our sins.

But there is a twist, for the WOF teachers insist that salvation wasn’t secured for man in Jesus’ death on the Cross as a substitute for our sins. Rather, Jesus first had to descend into hell and suffer the torment of Satan and his minions until God was satisfied that it was enough and could legally raise Him from the dead.

Of course, the Word of God says that Jesus’ death on the Cross was sufficient, and that when He said, “Telestai!” (It is done), it really was done. But Copeland and Hagin teach that it wasn’t finished until Jesus had literally “become sin” and endured demonic torment in hell.

The Fall, according to WOF, was as much about the loss of power and authority as it was about sin and alienation from God. Therefore, salvation is about restoration of power and authority, as well as forgiveness of sins. We get the power back and can now exercise dominion over this life and take authority over evil.

Because of this skewed view, WOF is a power religion. This is why WOF Christians frequently speak in terms of authority; they “bind and/or loose” angels and demons; they decree, rebuke, and otherwise speak in terms of “releasing” peace, grace, or mercy into this situation or that.

The essence of this theology is the restoration and practical use of the “authority to the believer.”

The ideal in WOF circles is that of the born again man of power and authority, the miracle man who has come in to the “revelation knowledge” of “who he is in Christ,” and demonstrates the power of “the anointing” to a lost world. There have developed extensive mythologies around truly historical figures such as John Alexander Dowie, John G. Lake, and William Branham. These are the men who really “took authority,” they say, and showed us all what any believer could do if he had but the faith and “anointing” to do so!

The WOF is an offshoot of an earlier expression of these very ideals, the Manifested Sons of God (MSG), once repudiated by the Assemblies of God in the 1940s but now widely embraced in this new form. MSG is based upon an erroneous interpretation of Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

Traditional Christianity has held that this verse refers to what happens at the bodily coming of the Lord. When Jesus returns, the curse on Creation will finally be removed, and the true children of God will be manifested.
But the MSG teach that this verse means that the Creation is waiting for the church to attain to the knowledge of the power and authority, in order to “manifest” our Sonship to the world, through signs and wonders. All of this must occur before Jesus can come back!

This is the context in which to understand where Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture, and the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry are coming from, as they seek to bring the church into the power and anointing of their “mystical revival.”

II. Incarnation

In his teaching on the Incarnation, Bill Johnson states, and rightly so, that Jesus Christ is God. But Johnson also emphasizes to an unbiblical extreme that Jesus completely laid aside His deity:

Jesus had no ability to heal the sick. He couldn’t cast out devils, and He had no ability to raise the dead. He said of Himself in John 5:19, “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” He had set aside His divinity. He did miracles as man in right relationship with God because He was setting forth a model for us, something for us to follow. If He did miracles as God, we would all be extremely impressed, but we would have no compulsion to emulate Him. But when we see that God has commissioned us to do what Jesus did—and more—then we realize that He put self-imposed restrictions on Himself to show us that we could do it, too. Jesus so emptied Himself that He was incapable of doing what was required of Him by the Father—without the Father’s help.1

There are several problems with this teaching of Johnson’s. For example, it is theologically inaccurate to say that “Jesus had no ability . . .” and that Jesus “set aside His Divinity.” It is dangerously close to being a denial of the deity of Christ, for divinity by definition cannot be “set aside” nor could God ever be said to lack ability in any sense.

In the Incarnation, the eternal God became a man, though He never ceased being God. He always had all power, but restrained Himself, declining the prerogatives of power and majesty, which are inherent to Him, that He might live and die for us as true man.

Another problem with this is that Johnson asserts that Jesus performed miracles to “set forth a model for us . . . to show us that we could do it (the miracles) too . . .”

This is at the very heart of the Word of Faith teaching from which Johnson has emerged. Supposedly, we as individual believers can and should be doing all of the miracles of Jesus, in the power of the Spirit. To Johnson, Jesus came in the flesh, partly to show us that we too could do what He did!

This quest for miracle power is misguided and has led many into deception. Jesus didn’t do His miracles to “show us that we can do it.” The miracles of Jesus are manifestations of the merciful God, whether they be the ones in the Gospels, or in the Book of Acts, or those done in His name throughout the world today. “These signs will follow those that believe.” We are not to seek them. It is only a “wicked and adulterous generation (which) seeks after signs.”

Johnson actually posits that any believer has the potential to experience most of what Jesus experienced in the Gospels, even the Transfiguration! He states:

Most all of the experiences of Jesus recorded in Scripture were prophetic examples of the realms in God that are made available to the believer. The Mount of Transfiguration raised the bar significantly on potential human experience . . . The overwhelming lesson in this story is that Jesus Christ, the Son of man, had the glory of God upon Him. Jesus’s face shone with God’s glory, similar to Moses’s after he came down from the mountain.2

Johnson seems to fail to appreciate that though Jesus became “as one of us” in the Incarnation, His uniqueness cannot be safely diminished. Imagine a spirituality spent seeking to attain a transfiguration! No wonder Johnson’s students go to such lengths seeking “glory” experiences.

III. The “Anointing”

The second aspect of Johnson’s teaching that is dangerous and has led to the reckless mysticism in which so many associated with Bethel are involved is what he teaches about the Holy Spirit, particularly “the anointing.” Johnson states:

Christ is not Jesus’ last name. The word Christ means “Anointed One” or “Messiah . . . [Christ] is a title that points to an experience. It was not sufficient that Jesus be sent from heaven to earth with a title. He had to receive the anointing in an experience to accomplish what the Father desired.3

First of all, here is an example of a teacher setting forth an unbiblical separation between the person “Jesus” and the word “Christ.” This is a very dangerous thing to do; it is similar to what the New Age movement claims, and it is being done towards a similar end.

New Agers want to establish the (false) idea that Jesus was merely an enlightened person, one who was anointed (Christed) at thirty years old, very similar to other remarkable human beings such as Gandhi and Zoroaster. This “anointing” is a self-realizing experience.

Johnson seems to be trying to establish that just as the man Jesus had to be anointed with the Holy Ghost in order (as a man) to do the miracles He did, we too can have the same experience to do the same thing, for Jesus is our model.

The Bible doesn’t do this with the word “Christ.” The apostles never relegated Christ as being a title, nor as being an experience. Christ is a designation of Jesus’ deity. Scripture insists that Jesus is the Christ, and it refers to Jesus as Christ, “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself . . .” Christ is an eternal person, the second person of the godhead, chosen of the Father, and thus anointed with the Holy Ghost.

When Jesus came into the world, He already was Christ; he never had to become Christ, nor can anyone become Christ unless he is a false Christ (i.e., antichrist).

On the same subject—the “anointing”—Johnson continues:

The word anointing means “to smear.” The Holy Spirit is the oil of God that was smeared all over Jesus at His water baptism. The name Jesus Christ implies that Jesus is the One smeared with the Holy Spirit.

The outpouring of the Spirit also needed to happen to Jesus for Him to be fully qualified. This was His quest. Receiving this anointing qualified Him to be called the Christ, which means “anointed one.” Without the experience [the anointing] there could be no title.4

Do you see the problems Johnson’s teachings on “the anointing” raise?

For example, did Jesus become the Christ at His baptism? If “Christ” is only valid upon an experience, what was Jesus before the Holy Ghost came upon Him in the Jordan? Was He merely an unqualified “man with a title” up until then?

Johnson’s view on the Christ is strikingly reminiscent of an error which emerged early in the history of the church and was repudiated as heresy. It is called adoptionism. It holds that Jesus was a devout man who did not become “Christed” until He was thirty years old when He was anointed of the Holy Ghost. It was by the Holy Ghost that He did His miracles, but the “anointing” left Him when He died on the Cross. If Jesus could do these things (through revelation knowledge and the anointing), so could any other believer.

There is a passage in 1 John 5 that refutes this very error about the Christ:

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. (1 John 5:6)

The heretics were teaching that Jesus was not Christ until He was baptized in water and anointed with the Spirit. He remained Christ until He shed His blood. But the apostle insists that “He came by water and blood;” that is, He was already Christ when He was baptized and remained so on the Cross, and through His resurrection. The designation, “Christ,” was and is more than an experience; it is inherent to Jesus, the Divine God/man.

IV. The Emphasis on Experience, De-Emphasis on Doctrine

Finally, Bethel (and Bill Johnson) is actually dangerous in its approach to doctrine and experience and has exposed its followers to the following practices:

False prophecy

Visualization

“Fire tunnels”

Grave soaking trips5

Visualization, contemplative prayer, and meditation practices

Chanting, soaking, and spiritual drunkenness

“Toking” the Holy Ghost to get “high on Jesus”

In addition to “normal” prophetic words, those who attended Bethel’s “Power and Love Conference” in February 2014 received readings based on their tattoos and piercings. Doug Addison can interpret the hidden messages on your body and even train you to do the same. You don’t even have to fly to where he is; for the reasonable fee of $150, he can tickle your ears over the phone for thirty minutes.6
Believe me when I say I have just scratched the surface of the irrational, unbiblical, and even anti-biblical practices of Bill Johnson’s influential ministry. How do confessing Christians become so undiscerning?

There is one aspect of Bethel that is perhaps the most dangerous. Johnson, like so many Pentecostals and evangelicals who have preceded him, has a strong anti-doctrinal emphasis. To the neo-mystics of the New Apostolic Reformation, doctrine has a deadening effect and is valid only to the extent that it induces experience. Doctrine is “the letter which kills” and leads to “head knowledge” as opposed to the personal experience of God, based upon individual revelation.

Those who insist on adherence to true doctrine are caricatured as Pharisees. There are familiar clichés in these circles such as “God is offending the mind to reach the heart,” and “a man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with a doctrine.” These kinds of preachers often delight in saying, “I am going to upend your theology now . . .” as they unveil the latest nugget of their own revelation. Bill Johnson, in illustrating this, stated:

Jesus made a frightening statement regarding those who hold to Bible study vs. experience, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). If our study of the Bible doesn’t lead us to a deeper relationship (an encounter) with God, then it is simply adding to our tendency towards spiritual pride. We increase our knowledge of the Bible to feel good about our standing with God and to better equip us to argue with those who disagree with us. Any group wanting to defend a doctrine is prone to this temptation without a God encounter . . . Jesus did not say “My sheep will know my Book;” it is His voice that we are to know.7

Johnson is deconstructing those who seek scriptural knowledge as being in danger of “spiritual pride,” increasing in knowledge in order to “feel good about their standing with God,” and to be better able to win arguments with those who disagree with them! What a pastor! It is almost as if he would discourage the desire to grow in scriptural knowledge!
But on the other hand, it is the ones seeking “deeper knowledge” (than that which Scripture reveals?) and a deeper “encounter” with God (experience) whom Johnson considers to be blessed. Imagine a young person sitting under a steady diet of this, and you will see why Bethel, Jesus Culture, and the School of Supernatural Ministry are given over to the most sensual mysticism!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)

To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

(See related booklets.)

Endnotes
1. Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, first edition, January 1, 2005), p. 50.
2. Bill Johnson, Face to Face with God (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2007), p. 200.
3. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2005), p. 87.
4. Ibid.
5. http://beyondgrace.blogspot.com/2011/07/bill-johnson-and-john-crowders-leaven.html; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrHPTs8cLls https://www.facebook.com/photo.
6. http://gospelliving.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-jesus-culture-bethel-church-and_15.html.
7. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, op. cit., p. 93.

To order copies of  Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson’s Unbiblical Teachings, click here.

Letter to the Editor: Trying to Warn Our Grown Children . . . And Letter to Our Pastor Goes Unanswered

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

We are very thankful for Lighthouse Trails Publishing and Research, and for all the dedicated watchmen who warn and educate the sheep. We pray for continued wisdom, provision, and protection for everyone who is engaged in presenting and defending the simple and powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are especially concerned because our talented, zealous adult children are, to some degree or another, caught up in following Bethel and Hillsong worship and practices. So far as I know, none are practicing ‘contemplative’ prayer, but other occult practices are subtly mixed in with their schools of worship and ‘supernatural’ ministries. We prepared a notebook for each of our children and their spouses where we downloaded and printed Warren Smith’s Reinventing Jesus Christ (now titled False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care?) back in late 2006 or early 2007 – probably just before we discovered Lighthouse Trails. I think they mostly stuck the notebooks under the bed or somewhere obscure.

Since that time, some of them have expressed disappointment in us for backing off of all things Vineyard, hyper-charismatic, and the whole signs & wonders and healing ministries movements. So, we have the privilege of standing in the gap and praying God will reveal the Truth to them and expose all the error they are so vulnerable to. My husband says we really can’t bring up these topics with them anymore, that we need to wait until they ask us what we think or believe because they already know. We find that we aren’t comfortable going to their churches anymore.

At one of their churches, one big event featured a couple from Bethel (Redding) leadership – and Heidi Baker – ‘ministering.’ We watched some of it online . . . very distressing.

We actually have left our own Calvary Chapel fellowship this past year. They’re still teaching the Word, chapter and verse, but are not willing to address apostasy issues. My husband wrote a letter to the pastor after Jesus Calling showed up in the bookstore – even some of the men in their Bible study were bringing it along and quoting it. No response, not even an acknowledgment of his letter was ever offered. The book disappeared from the bookstore, but they never addressed it from the podium, nor did they ever stock any books by discernment authors.

We have been blessed to be able to attend discernment conferences with Roger Oakland and Warren Smith speaking, as well as some local CC pastors who are good under-shepherds. We have gotten to meet and speak with them, as well as with Caryl Matriciana and Randolph and Johanna Michaelson. What is surprising to me is that these types of conferences don’t seem to attract the thousands of Bible believers I thought would be lined up to participate, up in arms about false teaching and wolves in sheep’s clothing as are we, like-minded.

May God give you good health and continue to provide for you and protect you as you continue to fight the good fight!

Yours warmly in Christ,

Mrs. S.

NEW BOOKLET: Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

Introducing the newest Lighthouse Trails author, Danny Frigulti and his Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture Lighthouse Trails Booklet The Booklet is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

 Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture

bkt-df-wf-4By Danny Frigulti

Since the 1970s, a growing and captivating faith-teaching movement has saturated the world. This movement continues to emphasize “faith Scriptures” as a foundation for encouraging Christians to have strong and unwavering faith when speaking, confessing, or declaring God’s Word for health and wealth. Most people refer to this faith movement as the “Word of Faith,” and many use Romans 10:8 and 17 to lay a foundation for their faith belief. These read:

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

In this booklet, we will look at some common Word of Faith teachings and compare these with Scripture to discern the definition of their doctrines. This will verify whether any person or ministry is preaching doctrines of truth or false doctrine. Some faith-teaching ministries do not claim to be Word of Faith ministries but still teach false faith doctrine. Therefore, our focus will also be on refuting ten common false faith teachings found worldwide.

1) Identifying the Sources of Sickness and Disease

Word of Faith teachings promote the belief that all sickness and disease is from Satan and his demons. Therefore, God has not and will not chastise His people with sickness. They also say that no Christian should be sick, and if sickness happens, it is because of 1) sin in your life; 2) weak faith; or 3) you are not walking in love. We will first look at various Scriptures to see if demons are responsible for all sickness and disease. Also, we will view Scripture to find the Lord’s role in any area of sickness. Then we will look at verses where servants of God were sick and see if sin, weak faith, or lack of love are mentioned as the cause of their ailment.

A verse Word of Faith teachers distort and use to convince themselves and their followers that all sickness comes from demons is part of Matthew 18:16 which reads “…that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Jesus is quoting from Deuteronomy 19:15. The obvious context is two witnesses who confirm testimony about sin, not testimony of sickness. Frederick K. C. Price ignores what Jesus teaches about trespass/sin in Matthew 18:16. He selects two passages where demons cause affliction (Acts 10:38; Luke 13:11-14) and says, “I am perfectly convinced, from these two scriptures, that sickness and disease is of Satan.”1 Acts 10:38 is to be understood as Jesus “doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.” This is not a verse that teaches all sickness and disease are from the devil because forthcoming Scriptures in this section will prove otherwise.

Others who teach that all sickness is from Satan are: Larry Huch, “All sickness, no matter where it comes from—birth, inheritance, injury—is from the devil;”2 Guillermo Maldonado, “According to Scripture, every sickness is directly related with demon activity;”3 and E. W. Kenyon (1867-1948), “Every disease is of the Adversary.”4 Though the Bible does cite instances where demons are shown to be the cause of different physical problems (Matthew 12:22; 17:14-21; Mark 5:1-16; Luke 4:40-41), Scripture also reveals other sources of sickness that are not from demons, as will be shown.

In Matthew 8:1-4, a leper comes to Jesus to be cleansed of the disease. Jesus does not rebuke or cast a demon out of the person. The Law teaching about leprosy in Leviticus 13-14 never states that all leprosy is caused by demons. Matthew also mentions the mother of Peter’s wife was sick with a fever, and Jesus “touched her hand, and the fever left her” (verses 14-15). This Scripture says “the fever left her.” A demon did not leave her. More scriptural proof that some diseases are not demonic are Matthew 9:27-30 and Mark 7:32-35; 8:22-25.

There are several biblical examples of God directly using disease/sickness to chastise His people, if needed, as cited in Leviticus 26:15-25; Numbers 11:33-34; 12:1-15; Deuteronomy 28:15-29; 1 Chronicles 21:1-14. Also, the New Testament confirms that God uses sickness, and even death, to punish Christians who choose to sin (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:20-32). And because of sin, our corrupt/cursed creation is another source of sickness (Romans 8:20-22). Excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer. Air pollution causes respiratory ailments. Contaminated water and food cause various physical ailments and sometimes death. From the Bible, we have proof that demons are not responsible for all sickness.

Furthermore, the teaching that sin, weak faith, or not walking in love are the reasons Christians get sick is unscriptural as verified in Philippians 2:25-30; 1 Timothy 5:23, and 2 Timothy 4:20. None of these false faith beliefs/teachings are found as causes of the ailment/sickness in these verses. Still, Creflo Dollar writes, “Have you noticed that every time God deals with sickness and disease, He deals with sin as well?”5 Jesus never taught the sin of an individual always caused every disease but actually refuted the idea in John 9:1-3.

2) Discerning True Faith

Hebrews 11:6 states that “without faith it is impossible to please [God],” with the remainder of the chapter describing biblical characters as examples. These examples show that His servants had knowledge of His will and trusted and obeyed Him of whom some were “destitute and afflicted” (vs. 37). Where false faith followers create worldwide deception is found in their improper belief of verse 1 which reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” They believe faith is a spiritual substance Christians can speak into existence and direct, and the “faith substance” of their belief will cause the Lord to give them the content of their words, such as healing and money. The Greek word for substance is hupostasis and translates: assurance, confidence, substance.6

When studying the verses in Hebrews 11, it is obvious that the people mentioned did not “speak by faith” and declare their will to be done as the substance of their belief. The substance of their belief was obedient response to God’s will as revealed personally or through His messengers of choice. They followed God’s spoken/written Word with confidence and assurance. God didn’t follow their spoken word. This is where false faith believers are deceived, because they insist if you have faith without doubt, God must honor your faith. No verse teaches the Lord is obligated to man’s faith level (Isaiah 64:8). Our faith in God should accept His will for us whether or not it means health, success, and prosperity; Paul is an example of one who knew “both how to be abased and . . . how to abound . . . to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).

I will list some faith teachings from Word of Faith teachers/authors, and you will see that their personal definitions of faith are not supported by Scripture:

Have or receive God’s faith. This is the same faith that God Almighty used to create the universe.7

Each time God spoke, He released His faith—the creative power to bring His words to pass.8

Every born-again believer has the faith of God in him NOW.9

You can’t build without substance. He took words; faith-filled words were God’s substance . . . God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying, “Light be!”10

Such ideas and beliefs are not found anywhere in Scripture. Teaching that God needs faith to create strips Him of His sovereignty to simply speak anything into existence as He wills. The word “faith” is never mentioned in Genesis 1! God speaks. It is done (Isaiah 44:24; 45:12).

However, misled Word-Faith people insist when Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22), He meant “Have the faith of God” or “the God kind of faith.” They teach this to convince people to believe they can call miraculous things into existence like God does (Romans 4:17). A look at the Greek will show the correct translation is “Have faith in God.” Renowned Greek scholar A. T. Robertson taught the Greek word structure for “Have faith in God” (echete pistin theou) is translated “Have faith in God” because of what is called an objective genitive in the Greek.11 An objective genitive means the noun (in this statement, theou) is the object of the action. God is the object of faith in Mark 11:22, not your faith, and “the God kind of faith” is the kind of faith that is focused on God. Your faith is never to be the object of your faith. Jesus didn’t teach “Develop faith in your words”12 as some have done for years. Such a belief leads to word-faith idolatry.

To follow unbiblical faith (i.e., God always responds to your words of faith for what you claim) is to embrace presumption—a disastrous false faith belief. Concerning presumption, the psalmist said:

Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (Psalm 19:13)

Notice the words “great transgression.” This sin has serious consequences. Presumptuous sins were punishable by death in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 17:12-13; 18:20-22). In 2 Peter 2:10, presumption reveals those who are self-willed, not God-willed. Presumption graphically describes the heart of false Word of Faith belief because it sets itself against the true faith of Scripture. True biblical faith always submits to God, trusts in His guidance, and never speaks presumptuously, and is rooted in Scripture.

3) Jesus and the Teaching of Positive Confession

A popular Word of Faith teaching is “positive confession,” also called “confessing God’s Word,” “name it (what you want from God) and claim it,” “confession of the Word brings possession of what your faith believes,” “faith decrees and declarations,” and “You can have what you say.”13 The last sentence gives “positive confession” its definition. Obviously, this doctrine has nothing to do with biblical prayer. It’s all about finding verses you believe God has already ordained for you or a specific need you believe you’re entitled to claim. Then you “confess” your faith claim out loud. Common “positive confessions” usually refer to physical healing and money because Word-Faith people believe the shed blood (death and resurrection of Jesus) guarantees them not only the forgiveness of sins but also health and wealth. This heretical atonement belief will be refuted later.

Though the word confess indicates a strong conviction in what one believes, there is no citation in the New Testament where Christians are encouraged to use “positive confession” for healing or money. First Timothy 6:12-13 and Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 10:21-23 refer to a Christian’s confession of Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, or holding on to the faith. None of these verses teach “positive confession” for speaking forth healings, miracles, or prosperity.

Some unbiblical “confession” teachings for health and wealth circulating the world are:

“If you want to change your life, you have to change your confession. The miracle is in your mouth” (John Osteen 1921-1999).14 Miracles are by God’s will, not man’s mouth (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).

“Confession is to your faith as thrust is to an airplane.”15 No verse proof is given.

Yet, Word of Faith believers proclaim “positive confession” for health, wealth, and miracles, because Jesus said “he shall have whatsoever he saith” in Mark 11:23:

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

In this verse, Jesus did teach you can have what you say if you do not doubt in your heart and believe what you say will come to pass. However, there are scriptural guidelines that always pertain to answered prayer or miracles. Jesus said, “he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone: for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). Jesus did only as directed by His Father (John 5:19-20) so He withered the fig tree (Mark 11:20-21). We must ask according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). Miracles happen according to God’s will, not our faith-determined will (1 Corinthians 12:10-11).

Mark 11:23 is not a step-by-step formula for daily miracles. It must be the Holy Spirit’s will for the miracle to occur. Exodus 14:14-22 is an example of “You can have what you say.” Moses first heard from God, and then he told the sea to part. It obeyed Moses because God had willed this to happen in advance.

Finally, two things are important to remember 1) the words “positive confession” are not found together in the Bible; and 2) Jesus never used “positive confession” when teaching us to pray, request, do miracles, ask, or call upon God for anything. Obedient Christians will not use “positive confession” because it is unbiblical.

4) Creative Visualization

For decades, Word of Faith people have taught “creative visualization” to enhance a Christian’s prayer life where a person is encouraged to create a picture or image (also called mental imagery) in their mind as if it has already happened as they desire and seek the help of supernatural power to make their created vision manifest/happen. This is combined with “positive confession” to activate the supernatural spiritual realm. When done, these two components of visual and verbal effort have the spiritual potential to connect users to the wrong spiritual realm, a realm where demons are found.

Normal visualization imagines pictures of events in our mind that have occurred or might happen (daydreaming). Athletes picture or imagine, with concentrated focus, the free throw going into the basket or picture the body movement needed to perform in a specific event. These everyday examples of picturing something in the mind are simply ways of thinking something through and do not engage supernatural powers for something to become a reality.

David Yonggi Cho, a Korean pastor, teaches “Through visualizing and dreaming you can incubate your future and hatch the results.”16 Charles Capps (1934-2014) taught, “The best way to get the image in you of the thing hoped for, is with your own words.”17 “Creative visualization” is actually an occultic practice (secret, hidden things) that is commonly used in magic as shown in the following references:

“What is the purpose of creative visualization? . . . creative visualization is a key component to making magick.”18

“Creative visualization is one of the Most Occult Spiritual practices in the world.”19

Creative Visualization is the name for a Magical-Occult-Operation.20

These three sources show the occult/demonic nature of “creative visualization.” “Prayer picturing” (creative visualization) is not biblical prayer; it’s occult prayer. Christians are to pray (ask) in Jesus’ name (John 14:13) and in accordance with God’s will (1 John 5:14-15), not in accordance with our pictured and positive confession will.

5) Financial Angels

Angels are a common Word of Faith topic. Many believe we can use Hebrews 1:14 to command the angels around us to get money for needs and ministry. This verse says angels are “sent forth [by God] to minster.” God sends them “to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (emphasis added). Therefore, they listen to “the voice of His Word” (Psalm 103:20-21), not man’s word. Here are some unbiblical teachings about money angels at your verbal command from Kenneth and Gloria Copeland:

In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the money I need . . . I command you to come to me…Ministering spirits, you go and cause it to come.21

The angels are in the earth to prosper you.22

Your words put the angels to work on your behalf to bring to pass whatever you say. . . . The angels are waiting on your words.23

[W]hen you use the Word in the name of Jesus, they are obligated to follow your command.24

Even the late Kenneth E. Hagin (1917-2003) was convinced angels are for gathering money. He declared that Jesus personally spoke to him25 and said the following: “Claim whatever you need or want. Say, ‘Satan, take your hands off my finances.’ Then say, ‘Go, ministering spirits, and cause the money to come.’”26 This couldn’t have been the real Jesus who spoke to Mr. Hagin because the real Jesus knows the context of Hebrews 1:14 and also knows angels are subject to Him only (1 Peter 3:22). His chosen apostles didn’t have this convenience, and Jesus didn’t tell angels to get Him money during His ministry.

6) Seed Faith for $

In the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in televangelists devoting more air time to preaching faith in financial prosperity rather than faith in the true Gospel. Financial “seed faith” planting is preached constantly. These false preachers proclaim that if you plant a “seed faith investment” in their ministry, God will bless you with a financial return if you have faith to receive it. Here’s the problem; Jesus and His disciples never taught the Gospel was a financial system where money given to the work of the Gospel guaranteed your money back and even more, if you have faith. In 2 Corinthians 9:10, Paul says the seed sown (money) is multiplied for Gospel use, and increases “the fruits of your righteousness.” Paul does not say the “seed faith donation” will be money multiplied back to the givers if they have enough faith.

Still, some insist that if you plant a seed of financial faith in their ministry, “you can receive a 30, 60, or 100 fold financial blessing.”27 They set up the unlearned listener by combining Mark 4:20 which states seed sown on good ground “brings forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” with Mark 10:29-30. These verses cite various blessings, including persecutions but do not talk about exchanging faith for money. The seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).

7) 3 John 2—Health and Wealth?

Globally, false prosperity preachers insist 3 John 2 is God’s will for all to prosper financially. John writes directly to Gaius (verse 1), not all Christians. The King James Bible is commonly used in Word of Faith congregations. They should remember that when “Thou” is used, as in 3 John 2 in reference to Gaius, it is in the Greek singular, not the plural. John wrote this verse to Gaius only. This means any who teach 3 John 2 is God’s will for all Christians to be financially prosperous and healed are wrong. Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones explains the singular/plural use in his book Which Version is the Bible?28 Dr. Jones explains in his book how the following authors mislead people by teaching that 3 John 2 assures health and/or wealth for all Christians:

Rod Parsley—Your Harvest Is Come, 1999, p. 26.
Benny Hinn—Rise & Be Healed!, 1991, p. 66.
Gloria Copeland—God’s Will is Prosperity, 1978, p. 45.
Guillermo Maldonado—Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today, 2009, p. 28.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, p. 61.
Charles Capps—The Tongue—A Creative Force, 1995, p. 66.
Joyce Meyer—Prepare to Prosper, 1997, p. 46.

8) Abraham’s Covenant

Concerning Abraham’s covenant from God, Gloria Copeland writes:

When the Church received spiritual redemption, she let go of the rest of the blessing of Abraham. Prosperity and healing became a lost reality. The Church took spiritual blessing and left the prosperity and healing portions of the promise.29

This doctrine is incorrect. A careful reading of chapters 12-17 in Genesis will reveal Abraham’s covenant was about his seed, land rights, and circumcision. Though Abraham was wealthy, nowhere in these chapters is physical healing and wealth promised to all future New Covenant believers.

Luke 1:67-79 mentions Abraham’s covenant. Health and wealth are not recorded. Romans 4:1-5:2 cites several references about Abraham’s blessing and does not teach this covenant provides health and wealth for all New Covenant believers. Galatians 3:8 explains God’s plan to justify the heathen through faith. Verse 14 reveals the blessing of Abraham for the Gentiles; they would “receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” According to the apostle Paul, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write Romans and Galatians, Abraham’s covenant guarantees forgiveness (justification), not money and healing.

9) the Curse of the Law

Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” Kenneth E. Hagin taught the curse of the Law is threefold: Christ redeemed us from sin, sickness, and poverty.30 Frederick Price also believes we “have been redeemed from the curse of the Law, which is poverty, sickness, and spiritual death.”31 Both of these authors confuse the various curses (plural) in the Old Covenant (Deuteronomy 28:15; 29:20-21) with the specific curse of the Law. Galatians 3 contains information which defines the curse of the Law. Paul never writes Jesus redeemed us from the “threefold curse of the Law,” and Paul received the Gospel by revelation from Jesus (Galatians 1:11-12). The curse of the Law was that no one could keep the entire Law (Galatians 3:10-11), therefore, all were under the Law’s curse of sin. Christ kept the entire Law and never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). His perfect blood sacrifice redeems us from the death penalty of unforgiven sin.

More proof that the curse of the Law doesn’t guarantee physical healing and prosperity for all is found in Galatians 2:10 where Paul records he was aware of their poverty. If Christ’s sacrifice removed poverty from the curse of the Law, Paul would have told them in this epistle, and Jesus would have reminded His followers in Revelation 2:9 that they should not be in poverty. It is unscriptural to teach that Christ’s shed blood guarantees health and wealth throughout our life. Clearly, redemption from the curse of the Law is redemption from the penalty of all our sins. The totality of our redemption (complete curse removal) will be finalized as recorded in Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5.

There are serious consequences to indoctrinating people into believing that the atonement guarantees health and success; people who have been taught this often lose heart and possibly even deny the faith when they are unable to attain these goals.

10) Guaranteed Physical Healing Through Christ’s Atonement

When teaching on healing, Word of Faith healing ministers repeatedly declare throughout the world, “Isaiah 53:5 says by His stripes you are healed. Jesus died to physically heal you. Your healing has already occurred at the cross. Just claim it by faith, and you will be healed!” First Peter 2:24 is often combined with Isaiah 53:5 by faith healers. A few atonement healing advocates are the following:

Joyce Meyer—Be Healed in Jesus’ Name, 2000, pp. 16-19.
Rod Parsley—At the Cross Where Healing Begins, 2003, pp. 37-39.
Joseph Prince—Healing Promises, 2012, pp. 17-19.
Kenneth Hagin—Plead Your Case, 1979, p. 28.
Kenneth Copeland—You are Healed! 1979, pp. 9-12.
Frederick K. C. Price—Is Healing for All? 2015, pp. 120-121.

The context of Isaiah 53:5 reveals whether physical or spiritual healing is emphasized. As you read, notice the words in italics:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. (emphasis added)

The words “transgressions,” “iniquities,” and “peace” all refer to the condition of our spiritual relationship with God. Christ’s purpose for being wounded, bruised, and chastised for us on the Cross was to reconcile us through His forgiveness that we would have peace with His Father in heaven. The healing that Isaiah describes in this verse is spiritual healing. The Messiah forgives so we can be reconciled to Almighty God. Isaiah is foretelling the Lamb of God will be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10). Physical sickness and financial poverty are not mentioned in Isaiah 53:5 because these problems do not separate us from God, as sin does. Isaiah 53 vividly directs our focus on the Suffering Servant who atones for the sins of the world.

An argument from Isaiah 53:5 false faith healers have used to convince people to have faith to receive healing is: “The word for healing in Isaiah 53:5 is râphâ, and it means physical healing.” Yes, râphâ can mean physical healing, but it also can mean spiritual healing, and it does not have to mean both: Psalm 41:4; 147:3; Isaiah 6:10; Jeremiah 3:22; Hosea 7:1; it can refer to the healing of water, 2 Kings 2:21-22 and the healing of the land, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Therefore, the context of Isaiah 53:5 determines what type of healing the Holy Spirit is referring to. In this case, the context is spiritual healing (forgiveness). Also, Isaiah 61:1 is a prophecy describing the Messiah’s ministry and gives clarification to 53:5. It says:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.

Jesus reads this messianic identity prophecy in Luke 4:18 and says, “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” Jesus does not say He was sent to heal all sickness and disease, though He did heal multitudes due to His great compassion for them: “Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14, emphasis added). But He also “withdrew Himself” from multitudes (did not heal them) who wanted His healing (Luke 5:15-16), and He was selective in healing only one in a multitude who continually sought healing (John 5:1-9). Concerning atonement healing, Isaiah 53:4 is a final verse needing explanation from an apostolic observation.

Matthew 8:1-16 cites miraculous healings and deliverance from demonic spirits while verse 17 comments, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Verse 17 is quoting from Isaiah 53:4 where it says “He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

Isaiah 53:4 appears to be a verse referring to Christ’s time on the Cross (“smitten of God”). But Matthew records these healings as happening during Christ’s ministry, not linking them to the atonement. If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed physical healing through the atonement, he would have followed verse 17 with “and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). But he didn’t, and a crucial Greek word he uses in verse 17 shows what he was taught by the Holy Spirit when recording Scripture to ground us in truth.

The Greek word for “bare” (our sicknesses) is bastazō and is never used to describe atonement bearing of sins or diseases in the New Testament. It directs our focus to everyday bearing of burdens and sufferings borne on behalf of others.32 If Matthew had wanted to teach guaranteed atonement healing in verse 17, he would have used the word anapherō, which “is used twice of the Lord’s propitiatory sacrifice, in His bearing sins on the Cross, Hebrews 9:28 and 1 Peter 2:24.”33 On the Cross, Jesus does bear the sins of the world and all the problems sin has created, so in the future all the consequences of sin will be removed (Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5). Until then, we seek the Lord for healing as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:9, 11), ask for the elders to pray (James 5:14-18), and read His Word to strengthen the inner man daily (2 Corinthians 4:16). Those who teach that physical healing is guaranteed for all through Christ’s atonement are teaching false doctrine.

Take the time to read every Gospel message preached in the Book of Acts, and you will see the apostles never preached “Jesus died to heal and prosper all,” and they never used “by His stripes you are healed” in any Gospel presentation. First Peter 2:24 is the only time Isaiah 53:5 is used in the New Testament, and it refers to spiritual healing. Furthermore, if healing was guaranteed through Christ’s atonement, there would be no need for the gifts of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9).

Response Needed to Glorify the Real Jesus

If you will look back at the various Word of Faith doctrines that have been exposed, you should scripturally discern the real Jesus didn’t teach any of these, nor did His apostles. These false faith doctrines are rampant worldwide. If you are involved with believing any of these unscriptural doctrines, you need to repent by renouncing them and exposing them. The leaven of false doctrine (Galatians 5:9) inflates deception which impairs abundant life in Jesus (John 10:10). False teachers and false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23) proclaim doctrines and a gospel not taught by the real Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).

Luke 24:45-48 teaches exactly which Gospel Jesus wanted preached. His true Gospel does not include guaranteed atonement healing and prosperity for all. Not preaching the true Gospel is working against God’s Holy Spirit of truth (John 15:26; 16:13) because it redefines Jesus and His atonement. Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified in truth (John 17:17). True doctrine glorifies the Lord Jesus; false doctrine does not. We are to treasure God’s Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Receiving and confessing the true Son of God as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10) establishes the assurance of eternal life in one’s heart (1 John 5:11-13). Make sure you have eternal life.

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

Endnotes:
1. Frederick K. C. Price, Is Healing for All? (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 2015), p. 7.
2. Larry Huch, The 7 Places Jesus Shed His Blood (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2004), p. 41.
3. Guillermo Maldonado, Jesus Heals Your Sickness Today! (Miami, FL: ERJ Publications, 2009), p. 23.
4. Don Gossett & E. W. Kenyon, The Power of Your Words (New Kensington: PA: Whitaker House, 1981), p. 63.
5. Creflo A. Dollar Jr., How To Obtain Healing (College Park, GA: Creflo Dollar Ministries, 1999), p. 16.
6. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc., 1996), p. 94.
7. Bill Winston, The God Kind Of Faith (Oak Park, IL: Bill Winston Ministries, 2014), p. 13.
8. Kenneth Copeland, The Power Of The Tongue (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1980), p. 5.
9. Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Faith (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1992), p. 13.
10. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession (England, AR: Capps Publishing, 1987), p. 25.
11. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, The Gospels According to Matthew and Mark, Volume I (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1930), p. 361.
12. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 255.
13. Kenneth E. Hagin, “You Can Have What You Say!” (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1979), pp. 1-6.
14. John Osteen, There is a Miracle in Your Mouth (Houston, TX: Lakewood Church, 1972), pp. 42-43.
15. Charles Capps, Faith and Confession, op., cit., p. 78.
16. David Yonggi Cho, The Fourth Dimension, Volume One (Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 1979), p. 32.
17. Charlie Capps, Faith and Confession, op. cit., p. 22.
18. http://www.wicca-spirituality.com/creative-visualization.html.
19. http://web.archive.org/web/20160327163131/http://www.iam-tunes.org/pages/Simple-Visualizations.html.
20. Ophiel, The Art and Practice of Getting Things Through Creative Visualization (San Francisco, CA: Peach Publishing Co., 1968), p. 1.
21. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1978), p. 63.
22. Ibid., p. 117.
23. Ibid., p. 121.
24. Kenneth Copeland, The Laws of Prosperity (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974), p. 102.
25. Kenneth E. Hagin, How God Taught Me About Prosperity (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1985), p. 23.
26. Ibid., p. 18.
27. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., pp. 70-71.
28. Floyd Nolen Jones, Which Version is the Bible? (Humboldt, TN: Kings Word Press, 2014), pp. 78-79.
29. Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, op. cit., p. 25.
30. Kenneth E. Hagin, Redeemed From Poverty, Sickness, and Spiritual Death (Tulsa, OK: Rhema Bible Church, 1983), pp. 1-2.
31. Frederick K. C. Price, Three Keys to Positive Confession (Los Angeles, CA: Faith One Publishing, 1994), p. 59.
32. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966), pp. 100-101.
33. Ibid., p. 101.

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.

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IF it is of God: Answering the Questions of IF:Gathering by Cedric Fisher
Slain in the Spirit: Is it a Biblical Practice? by Kevin Reeves
The Perfect Storm of Apostasy: The Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators by Mary Danielsen

To order copies of Ten Word of Faith Doctrines Weighed Against Scripture, click here.


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