“A fast-growing movement with disastrous implications”

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Wolf packBy Marsha West

“The gospel’s most dangerous earthly adversaries are not raving atheists who stand outside the door shouting threats and insults. They are church leaders who cultivate a gentle, friendly, pious demeanor but hack away at the foundations of faith under the guise of keeping in step with a changing world.” – Phil Johnson 

“Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

There is a spiritual battle of epic proportions going on in churches all over the globe that should drive serious Christians to their knees.  A whole host of aberrant to downright heretical movements have slithered into contemporary evangelicalism and more are being added to the mix virtually every day.

Unbiblical teaching is rampant in mainline Protestant denominations as well as in non-denominational churches.  Inside our churches you will find men and women teaching rank heresy.  Sunday after Sunday people flock to churches and become a captive audience to those who preach outlandish lies and half-truths.  Televangelists are the worst offenders!  Many of them are money grubbing charlatans!  As a result of false teachers and cult leaders gaining worldwide access to churches and Christian ministries over these past few decades to spread their false doctrines, evangelical Christianity is experiencing a downward spiral.

The good news is: “Upon this rock I will build my church,” said the Lord Jesus Christ, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”  (Mat. 16:18).

Matthew Henry stated that “Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other!”

Triple “woe” goes to the wolves that have infiltrated evangelicalism and show  a startling disregard for the major tenets of the faith.

Speaking of wolves, somewhere around 45,000 people attend Lakewood Church each Sunday to hear Pastor –celebrity Joel Osteen preach the word-faith prosperity gospel “lite.” The Lakewood services are broadcast in over 100 countries.   Gary Gilley reveals that:

Osteen has no theological training and it is obvious from his books, sermons and interviews on television that he has little knowledge of the Scripture. Nevertheless, he has caught an unprecedented wave of popularity and could clearly claim the title as the most admired pastor in America.

Osteen brags that he teaches a non-confrontational gospel.  He believes:

There’s a lot of negativity in the world. We need somebody to bring us hope and somebody to tell us that we can overcome our past and break free from addictions and things like that. And, you know, our whole message is that Jesus came to help us live a great life. And some people are not going to agree with that.

I for one disagree with Joel’s statement that Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.”  Tell that to the persecuted church!  Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world,” so for many the “great life” Osteen speaks of will not be experienced here on earth, but in the Kingdom of God.  The reason Jesus came to earth was to set the captives free!  Free from what?  Free from sin and death!  Why?  We are dead in our sins.  And by the way, sin is an odious thing – and the God of the Bible is infinitely holy and righteous. (Isaiah 6:3, Rev. 4:8, 2 Thess. 1:6)

Sin makes us unclean, thus the unredeemed are not permitted in the presence of holiness.  How do people get clean?  By believing in Jesus!  Believe that He came to earth to pay the penalty for the sins of the world.  When He died on the cross our debt was paid for – in full.  He died once, for all.  Only believers will spend eternity in heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  Contrary to popular belief there is no way to have a relationship with the One true God unless we believe that we are sinners in need of Savior, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23)  God says sinners must be punished, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

This is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Sadly, it is not the gospel people hear from Joel Osteen and countless other word-faith prosperity preachers.

The intent of this article is not to fully examine the Word of Faith Movement (WF), but to give readers a glimpse into their beliefs.  At the end of this piece are links to articles and videos of a few prominent word-faith teachers.  It’s important to take the time to watch these so called teachers and preachers in action.

Following is a summary of WF teaching:

God created man in “God’s class,” as “little gods,” with the potential to exercise what they refer to as the “God-kind of faith” in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. Of course, we forfeited this opportunity by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan’s nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan’s nature), went to hell, was “born again,” rose from the dead with God’s nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be what they call “little gods.” Since we’re called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in virtually every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is even taught by the faith teachers) to be left by one’s spouse, simply means that you don’t have enough faith — or you have some secret sin in your life, because if you didn’t, you would be able to handle all of these problems.

Further…

In every instance, the “Word-Faith” teaching is guilty of presenting an inflated view of man and a deflated view of God, thereby compromising God’s message as revealed in the Bible. This fast-growing movement has disastrous implications and, in fact, reduces Jesus Christ to a means to an end — when in fact he is the end. If the New Age Movement is the greatest threat to the church from without, “positive confession” may well be it’s greatest threat from within. (Source)

Joyce eyer on positive thoughtsThe WF is considered a metaphysical cult.  Pastor/teacher John MacArthur calls it Satanic.  WF holds that faith is a tangible force. This force is released through the spoken word, hence name-it-and-claim-it.  When we speak words of faith, power is discharged that will accomplish our desires. Through faith we can have health, wealth, success – anything we want!

As I previously stated, word-faith teaching ranges from aberrant to outright heretical.  As such these people must be exposed. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:13-14).

It is imperative that serious Christians recognize word-faith teaching.  Therefore I’m including Beyond Grace’s Word Faith Top Ten which is an abbreviated version of an article Tricia Tillin wrote: Top Ten Reasons for rejecting Word-of-Faith doctrine.

REASON ONE:
It requires ‘revelation knowledge’.

REASON TWO:
It makes the Almighty God and Creator a weak ‘faith-being’ who is at the mercy of His own universal laws.

REASON THREE:
It makes the Divine Son of God into a born-again man who had to die in Hell to pay the price for our treason.

REASON FOUR:
It elevates man to equality with Jesus.

REASON FIVE:
It makes man a god.

REASON SIX:
It makes the redemption into a restoration of dominion for mankind.

REASON EIGHT:
It replaces prayer with confession, and God’s will with the manipulation of ‘forces’.

REASON NINE:
It denies the reality of sin and sickness.

REASON TEN:
It focuses on self and the world instead of God and Heaven.Counterfeit 2To avoid being taken in by false teachers and cult leaders Christians must have some knowledge of heretical movements such as the word-faith/prosperity gospel/name-it-and-claim-it.  Another movement that is steeped in word-faith theology that’s taking the Church by storm is the New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism aka Latter Rain/Kingdom Theology/Kingdom Now/Charismatic Renewal/Third Wave/Joel’s Army/Manifest(ed) Sons of God.  Read about this dangerous movement here.

Most false teachers and cultists do not take the opposition’s rebuke or criticism lying down.  In part 4 of a piece I wrote titled Doublespeak: The Language of Deception I explained how words are often used as a club against anyone who reports on the aberrant teaching of those who have “Christian rock star” status:

…Conservative Christian apologists and those involved in the counter cult and discernment ministries who dare to expose apostates are accused of being divisive.  For example, if a conservative attempts to combat the spread of the social justice gospel that emphasizes good deeds without the power of the gospel, their liberal critics cry “Pharisee!”  Implying that these critics are Pharisees is another way of saying that they are narrow-minded, mean-spirited and unloving — and yes, even intolerant and bigoted.  

Word Faith (false) teachers use “heresy hunter” to define the opposition. But in reality discernment ministries are “truth-seekers.” 

What is heresy and what is a heresy hunter? According to Let Us Reason Ministries: 

“Heresy can be defined as any departure from Christian orthodoxy which is a teaching, doctrine or practice that goes beyond the apostles teachings — the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). Biblical heresy is often a denial of the core beliefs held in the Church that are founded on the Bible. In this sense it applies to groups which reject basic Christian doctrines and separate themselves from the historic church.” 

Most mature Christians recognize heresy when it rears its ugly head. But when they speak out against prominent false teachers who are leading the Body of Christ astray, their bamboozled followers invariably play the Matthew 7:1 card: 

“Judge not, lest you be judged.”  

This is doublespeak for:  Shut the heck up! 

First of all, discernment demands that we make judgments.  As my pastor, Stan Way, said in a recent sermon, faithful Christians live their lives in a new center of gravity – the biblical worldview.  Serious Christians must stand up and speak the truth with conviction and courage.  We must be willing to lose our life for Christ and the gospel.  In other words, for truth!  Further, we must be willing to be treated with contempt by the world.  Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). 

So – I am going to name names.  The list of popular word-faith/prosperity teachers numbers in the hundreds.  Following are the names of a few of these who have risen to a more prominent status:

Kenneth Hagin, E. W. Kenyon, Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller, T.D. Jakes, Bill Johnson, Paula White, Paul and Jan Crouch, Robert Tilton, Paul Yonggi Cho, Jentezen Franklin, Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Christine Caine, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Charles Capps, Jerry Savelle, Morris Cerullo, Juanita Bynum, Rod Parsley, Ed Young, Eddie Long, Rodney Howard Brown, Joseph Prince, Kim Clement, Cindy Trimm, Brian and Bobbi Houston (Hillsong), Phil Pringle, Kong Hee, John Hagee, Steven Furtick and a host of others.

As I have indicated in this piece there are things going on in the Church that are deeply disturbing.  And for this reason it is imperative that Christians have no fear of exposing those who “hack away at the foundations of faith.”  We really have no choice, the reason being that the Bible commands the Body of Christ to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

Recommended videos and articles:

Articles on Word of Faith/Televangelists – On Solid Rock Resources

Articles on the New Apostolic Reformation – On Solid Rock Resources

Joel Osteen

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfZ2CaOiZfY

Read: “We Can Work It Out:” Is James MacDonald Qualified to Have this Conversation?

Bill Johnson

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iXrX9eSHWA

Read: Bill Johnson: God Does Not Cause Illness and Never Chooses Not to Heal and Bethel’s Bill Johnson: “Jesus was so empty of divine capacity.”

Paula White

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epnVsL8Xe7Q

Read:  Word Faith Pastrix Paula White Fleeces Flock Using Pentecost

Joyce Meyer

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACRbcBKVJF0

Read: Joyce Meyer’s Prosperity Gospel and Joyce Meyer

Benny Hinn

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVG1x-rh6FE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8twkBdDvI0&feature=related

Read: Benny Hinn

Kenneth Hagin

Watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2V7KbbfRHA&feature=related

Read: The Counterfeit Dreams and Visions of “Prophet” Kenneth Hagin

Copyright by Marsha West, 2012.  All rights reserved.

Minor revisions in 2105

 

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8 Responses to “A fast-growing movement with disastrous implications”

  1. edwitness November 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    I agree completely with your assessment of these WF preachers. Their most agregious doctrine is that which states that they are Gods. But how do they get there? By taking the doctrine of the sinful nature to it’s logical conclusion.
    Please let me explain?
    The WF preacher sees man’s basic problem as having a nature that can not keep from sinning. That it is what he is made to be by the sin of Adam.
    What then is the answer for this problem? Why, a new nature. That’s what. Man needs a nature that is capable of not sinning. Where does the WF preacher get the Biblical support for this? From 2ndPeter1:4 & 2ndCor.5:17 of course.
    A new creature with a divine nature. Problem solved. Because if the nature is no longer sinful and instead is divine, then the sin they could not avoid doing before has no more place in their nature.
    And having the divine nature gives them the nature of God. Now with God’s nature what are they? Their Gods, of course. What else could they be? Logical? Yes! Correct? Emphatically no!!
    You see, the problem is not with their logical process. It is with their premise. The premise that says man’s basic problem is that he inherited a sin nature from Adam. Nowhere in the Bible is this doctrine taught. It comes from Augustine’s synthesizing of Greek philosophy with Christian doctrine, Manecheism and neo platonism. So this heresy was birthed at the council at Nicea. And sadly, in the reformation it was kept as doctrine by the reformers.

    So, you want to be fair with those WF preachers who say “we are Gods”? We must begin by admitting that the doctrine of the sin nature is not Biblical. Otherwise, you should agree with them. Because the logical conclusion to that doctrine demands it.

    And if God can not have sin in His presence, then why was satan alowed in heaven to discuss God’s righteous servant Job? The epitome of sin was right there talking with God. You are going to have to rethink that one.

    And while you’re at it, the doctrine of original sin as taught in seminaries, is not to be believed either. We did not inherit sin from Adam. Nowhere does the Bible say that. We were placed under death’s power as a result of Adam’s sin. Rom.5:12-14. When Paul says all men became sinners, he is saying it as a result of death. Not as a cause of it.
    We are born dead, which is separation from God. In this separation we worship that which is not God. Which is THE sin Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reprove the world of. “No faith in Me”.John16:9.
    Jesus did not die to make bad people good.
    He died to make dead people alive.John3:16 & 5:24
    MARANATHA!
    Blessings::-{

  2. DG November 28, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    I’d like to add that those who share the pulpit with any of these is also guilty of the false teacher’s wickedness:

    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
    2Jn 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,
    2Jn 1:11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

    This is probably the most ignored passage in all of Scripture in dealing with those who support, approve, or share the pulpit with false teachers. It is precisely by such people that the wolves can so easily sneak in among us. The apostasy among to many is directly due to elders not doing their jobs–indeed not loving God, His Word, and the souls of those under their cares.

    The false teachers hate detection, especially early detection, as does their father, the Devil, which is why we face such hostility in telling the Truth. But they also, along with their supporters, love vagueness. As long as nobody names names, then there’s no real offense. But then there’s also no specific protection either.

    It’s so easy to point fingers at those in the WOF camp (and deservedly so!), however they are easy targets. It’s much less safe to start naming names among our “own” circle, as it were, because now we’re talking about persons who “we” have respected ourselves and so many refuse to believe could possibly be deceive or deceive others. The shoe is on the other foot.

    People like Beth Moore and John Piper have for years given aid and comfort to false teachers which has allowed the mass infiltration of false teachers and their mass acceptance. Scripture says they too, are as guilty before God as the wolves they protect. This calls for separation from them as well. If we’re loyal to Christ, then HE demands it and we are glad to reject anything that is treacherous to HIM.

  3. DG November 28, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    One other thing, if I may. Let’s remember that Ed Stetzer, Matt Chandler, and Beth Moore have been on TBN numerous times. Again, they promote the false teachers and teachings of not only TBN but those of the program on which they appear. None of them have ever rebuked any WOF or Charismatic or the teachings of such. So much for the often touted, but never true claim of “well maybe he’ll share the gospel with them”.

    By the way, John Piper, graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary (one of the biggest and most infamous Charismatic, church growth, seeker-friend, feminist, liberal seminaries in our nation), has never moved away from his Charismatic (anti-biblical) views. Through the years he’s consistently been a proponent of Charismatic gifts, even claiming not only hearing God’s voice, but also that God literally gave him and his friend new words to a worship song in order to combat a demon possessed woman because Scripture wasn’t powerful enough. He also promoted John Wimber to to his congregation back in the day. Wimber was a foundational WOFer as some might recall.

  4. Walter Thompson November 28, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    By God’s grace 3abn.org has remained faithful to the Holy Bible. Check it our if you are not familiar with it.

  5. Darrel November 30, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Interesting that this post starts off with a quote from Phil Johnson, #2 behind John MacArthur. Both of these men would fall into the category described by PJ as “The gospel’s most dangerous adversaries.” JM teaches the false doctrines and PJ brings up the rear in total agreement and defense of everything JM says. “What”, you say, “MacArthur teaches false doctrine? Impossible.” A short list of JM’s false doctrines (doctrines of demons) is here offered with references being JM’s own words, his books, commentaries, ‘study bible’ and sermons, etc.
    1) He has no saving (repentance and faith in Christ) testimony, but says that he “always believed” [GTY sermon # 80-33]
    2) “There is nothing in the fluid in His body that in any way in itself could save us.”
    “You have to stop short of saying, ‘We are saved by the blood of Jesus,’ in the sense that there is some efficacy in the fluid that poured out of His body.” These quotes and others of similar nature JM spoke about the blood of the Lord Jesus being inefficient to save a person. Such heresy is in direct contradiction to no less than 36 verses that speak the precise opposite of JM’s false teaching. Most notable of these are to be found in Heb. 8, 9, 10.
    3) JM has maintained that a person can receive the mark of the beast and later receive Christ as Savior. This is completely refuted by all the verses in Rev. that deal with mark of the beast (Rev. 14:9-11; Rev. 13:8; Rev. 19:20 & 21; Rev. 20:4).
    4) In 2010 we were treated to his book slaves for Christ (I can’t remember the title) where JM quoted nothing but world renowned heretics to make his case (which ‘case’ he did not make) that Christians are nothing but a slave to God and that for all eternity. He did this by ignoring Scripture that teaches that we are adopted sons and daughters. He loves to ignore those pesky verses that easily blow him and his demon doctrines out of the water.

    There’s more, but the point is made that JM teaches false doctrine on multiple fronts and has done so from the beginning. So if you want to believe his lies, go right ahead. For too many, JM long ago achieved infallible status and everything he says is accepted as “gospel” just like the WoF nut cases believe that there is still new revelation. His followers are no different, just deceived.

    • edwitness November 30, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Darrel,
      I think what John McArthur is saying is that the blood has the life of the flesh in it. So when the blood flows out of the body, the body dies. This means Jesus’ blood is representative of the death He died for all of mankind. Just like the blood of the animals that Israel sacrificed. In this the blood has power. In the fact that it signifies His death once for all.
      I’m pretty sure the Bible prescribes no significance intrinsically to the blood itself.
      But, on the rest of the quotes I agree with you. Especially the one about the mark.
      Wow!
      Blessings:-}

      • Darrel November 30, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

        You obviously have never the Word of God or you could not make so glib a statement. Nor have you read the verses referenced in my reply of you would not allow your total ignorance of the Word to be exposed for all the world to see.

        edwitness=false prophet

        • edwitness December 1, 2015 at 8:28 pm #

          Darrel,
          Are you saying that the scripture does not say that “The life of the flesh is in the blood”?
          LEV.17:11-14.
          Heb.9:7 says that the priest went in with blood for the people’s errors and his own.
          Heb.9:13 says that the blood of bulls and goats “sanctified to the purifying of the flesh”.
          Animal’s blood brought purification of the flesh.
          Vs.14 says Jesus’ blood “purges the conscience from dead works”.
          But vs.15 gives the definition of what His blood meant.
          “And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, THAT BY MEANS OF HIS DEATH(vs.7,13,14-blood) for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance”.
          See, His death redeemed the sins.
          His shedding of His blood represents His death. There is nothing intrinsically magical about His blood. It’s just that without it His body died. Shed blood=death. His death is significant for salvation. Not His blood.
          In Heb.10:4,5 blood and death are made synonymous. Vs.10 says the same thing. We are sanctified by His offering of the body. DEATH.
          Are you Catholic?

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