Do You Judge Word of Faith?


John R. Houk

© December 27, 2017

 

Jyrki Soini has been a great Internet friend for some time. Jyrki knows that my Christian persuasion derives from Pentecostal-Charismatic-Word of Faith. Which tends to be non-denominationally Protestant yet not always. Indeed, there are some denominational Protestants and Roman Catholics that have incorporated Charismatic faith into their belief system understanding the issue is merely recognizing Holy Spirit Baptism (The Holy Spirit and His Gifts – Chapter 5 The Holy Spirit Upon: His Infilling Power; By Kenneth E. Hagin) and the operation of the Holy Spirit gifts are as significant today as they were when first manifested after Pentecost in the Upper Room.

 

There is a large swath of Christians so offended by the operation of the Holy Spirit that those Christians have called it “of the devil” or “demonic” or “Satanic”. In a bit of irony there are Pentecostals that call Charismatics excessive hence heretical. There Word of Faith people that say the same as Pentecostals about Charismatics yet are displeased with the Pentecostal tendency toward exclusivity. On a personal level, I tend to identify with Word of Faith which is no more heretical than the Bible is. I guess Jews that don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah and Muslims that acknowledge Jews and Christians as deluded folk, would consider dependence on the Bible as heretical.

 

To be honest there is an extremely valid reason for the existence of Word of Faith criticism from those that have taken on the role of defender of the faith.

 

Those that awakened to the efficacy of the Word of God (the Bible) believe the Bible is as present TODAY as it ever has been. Word of Faith simply means acting on the Word as a lifestyle belief system. The difficulty of taking a stand to live the Bible is it requires discipline and a steadfastness.

 

Way too many people that have taken on the Word of Faith mantle have become lazy Believers. The lazy person is too willing to rely on the actions of others which may not be centered on the Bible but are motivated by the old fashioned unredeemed Old Man flesh. The lazy Believer thus believes the person that warps the Word for self-benefit. You can believe this: You don’t have to be a big-name preacher to manipulate a lazy Believer with a warped sense of the Word of God.

 

The original founders of the Word of Faith preach Faith in the Word which did include a prosperity message. For lazy Believers prosperity in the Word began to line up Biblical warping. Thus second-tier leaders of faith found a way to make a buck off the backs of the lazy who would believe anything to acquire a quick fix for a dire financial situation. PERHAPS even incurring their dire financial circumstances purposely out of the idiocy that they believed God would fix their mess-up.

 

The self-appointed defenders of the faith thus fell from being centered on the Bible by lumping the faithful with 2nd tier faith preachers who shared the Bible more as business rather than as a gift to spread the Good News that Jesus the Christ came in the guise of sinless flesh to be Crucified as the sacrificial Lamb of God to Redeem all humanity that choose to believe Christ died for them and three days later, arose bodily as fully human and fully God by faith enabling Believers to rejoin the Presence of God lost by the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

 

The Apostle Paul writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit about a similar situation of preachers sharing Jesus for gain, contrasting good preachers sharing the gift of Redemption in Christ:

 

[Blog Editor: Disciplined Life]

 

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

 

Christ Is Preached

 

12 But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

 

15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former[a] preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. (Philippians 1: 9-18 NKJV)

 

Now there are some Bible-believing preachers that chose a Christ-lifestyle of faith in God’s Word that came from some fairly poverty-stricken circumstances. These people did not “blab and grab” or “name and claim” as their critics point out with the planks in their eyes. Rather they learned a disciplined life of trust in God through Christ and professed a life that fit the circumstances they faced. The true meaning of confession brings possession is not greed, but the bringing about the purposes that bring people to Salvation in the Risen Savior Jesus Christ.

 

As the demand increased for a faith preacher to share the Good News of Jesus, plenty answered the and began to emerge for those hungered to receive ministry as provision came into existence to build the redeemed. Some of these early faith preachers who did awesome work for Christ are some of the most criticized by the self-appointed defenders of the faith.

 

Let’s look at the person called the father of the Word of Faith movement by critics and admirers alike – Kenneth E. Hagin. I was Born Again under the teaching books that came from Kenneth Hagin, Charles Capps and Kenneth Copeland. Hagin and Capps have since passed on to glory (regardless of their judgmental critics). Ken Copeland is still going strong. In the mid-1970s when I read their books and comparing their teaching with the Bible, I departed a life devoted to sin (although I had no conviction of sin until I realized I was living in darkness) and decided to be a pilgrim progressing in the knowledge of a Salvation provided by the Redeemer lighting the way to the Presence of God.

 

Here is a Ken Hagin biography devoid of his critics who have judged him a preacher of Satan rather than Christ:

 

Biography Of Kenneth E. Hagin

By Bp-Relate

September 16, 2016

Believers Portal

 

Kenneth Erwin Hagin was an influential American Charismatic preacher born on August 20, 1917 in McKinney, Texas to the family of Lillie Viola Drake Hagin and Jess Hagin. He was so small and lifeless that the doctor thought that he was stillborn.

 

Personal Life

 

He was married to Oretha Rooker. They had two children, a son, Kenneth Wayne Hagin, who is presently the pastor of Rhema Bible Church and President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries, and a daughter, Patricia Harrison. She is the widow of the late Doyle “Buddy’ Harrison and is the owner and publisher of Harrison House, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

According to Hagin’s testimony, he was sickly as a child, suffering from a deformed heart and what was believed to be an incurable blood disease. He became bedfast at age 15 and was not expected to live. In April 1933 during a dramatic conversion experience, he reported dying three times in 10 minutes, each time seeing the horrors of hell and then returning to life. But in August 1934, he was miraculously healed, raised off a deathbed by the power of God and the revelation of faith in God’s Word. Jesus appeared to Rev. Hagin eight times over the next several years in visions that changed the course of his ministry.

 

Two years later he preached his first sermon as the pastor of a small community church in Roland, Texas, 9 miles from McKinney.

 

In 1967, he began a regular radio broadcast that continues today as Rhema for Today.

 

His favorite scripture was 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”.

 

Many of his followers often called him “Dad Hagin”, “Papa Hagin”, and more commonly “Brother Hagin”. He is also often referred to as the “father” (or “granddaddy”) of the “Word of Faith” movement. Hagin never received any formal theological training, however, he received an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University in the 1970s.

 

Ministry

 

Hagin began an itinerant ministry as a Bible teacher and evangelist in 1949. He was also a part of the Voice of Healing Revival in the U.S. in the 40s and 50s together with Oral Roberts, Gordon Lindsay and T. L. Osborn. In 1963, Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association was incorporated, and in 1966, the ministry offices moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. That same year, he taught for the first time on radio — on KSKY in Dallas. In 1967, he began a regular radio broadcast that continues today as Faith Seminar of the Air. Teaching by his son, Rev. Kenneth Wayne Hagin, is also heard on the program.

 

Since its inception in 1963, his organization grew to include numerous media outreaches and ministries. These are:

 

  • Faith Library Publications – with 65 million book copies in circulation

 

  • “RHEMA Praise” – a weekly television program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network

 

  • “Faith Seminar of the Air” – a radio program heard on many stations nationwide and on the Internet

 

  • “The Word of Faith” – a free monthly magazine with roughly 600,000 subscribers

 

  • crusades conducted throughout the nation

 

  • RHEMA Correspondence Bible School

 

  • the RHEMA Prayer and Healing Center, located on the Rhema campus in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

 

RHEMA Bible Training College

 

In 1974 Rev. Hagin founded what is now Rhema Bible Training College (RBTC). RBTC is an unaccredited Bible institute located on 110 acres (0.45 km2) in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. The curriculum is taught from a Charismatic/Pentecostal heritage. There are seven ministry concentrations specializing in Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Evangelism, Pastoral Care, Missions, Biblical Studies, and Supportive Ministry.

 

The school has campuses in many countries of the world including Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, the South Pacific, Thailand, Nigeria, Zambia, Egypt, and the Philippines.

 

RBTC also has over 40,000 graduates who reside and minister in more than 100 countries.

 

In 1979, he founded the Prayer and Healing Center there to provide a place for the sick to come to “have the opportunity to build their faith.” Its Healing School continues to be held free of charge twice daily on the RHEMA campus.

 

After Kenneth E. Hagin’s death in 2003, his son Kenneth W. Hagin continued to run the RBTC.

 

See List Of Books By Kenneth Hagin [Blog Editor: I received a warning from Google the link https://www.believersportal.com/list-books-kenneth-e-hagin/ has too many redirects to be trusted in my browser. Ergo, here is a direct link to examine Kenneth E. Hagin books: https://www.rhema.org/store/books.html?author=9]

 

Others

 

Until shortly before his death on September 19, 2003 at the age of 86, Rev. Hagin continued to travel and teach throughout the United States and into Canada conducting All Faiths’ Crusades and other special meetings.
 Known as the “father of the modern faith movement,” Rev. Hagin was a dynamic preacher, teacher, and prophet. His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God’s power and truth working in his life and the lives of others. He will be remembered not only as a great minister but as a great family man—for his family was his heart. He was there at every milestone ready to talk, to answer, to pray. He was a man whose belly laugh filled the room at the sight of one of his grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

 

In full disclosure, I am a graduate of RHEMA attending from 1982 – 1984. In those days the school’s name was RHEMA Bible Training Center. At the present many classes have been cleared as credited for further college education (much like a Junior or Community College) with the name of RHEMA Bible Training College.

 

In the days I attended school, Brother Hagin taught students personally – two days a week for first year students and three days a week for second year students.

 

I have to tell you. Kenneth Hagin always told the students to NOT take his word for anything but check it out with the Bible. And, Hagin realized that human beings are fallible. With fallibility comes opinionated conclusions that might not line up with the Word of God. Hence, one of Kenneth Hagin’s favorite sayings when listening to anyone preaching or teaching – including himself – was this: “Be as smart as an old cow. Eat the hay and spit out the sticks.”

 

In case you miss the meaning: Take in what is good for you and spit out what is bad for you using the Bible as your measuring stick. In computer programing talk one might say, “Good Programing produces good results. Garbage Programming produces garbage results.”

 

By the time I graduated in 1984, Brother Hagin and his teaching staff recognized the message of faith in the Word of God was beginning to be abused by too many who used the Word to manipulate people for selfish ends. He actually had a class which I unfortunately can’t remember its course title now, but explored past preachers that utilized faith to win souls or heal the sick. Many of these past preachers started out awesome but wrong choices or bad decisions warped their good beginnings with unfortunate endings. 1984 was a long time ago I’ll address some of those giants of faith that I can remember but certainly not all.

 

John Alexander Dowie 1847-1907

 

Dowie was born in Scotland. He became a devoted Christian in childhood. The Dowie family moved to Australia. As an adult he went back to Scotland for a theological education. After which he moved back to Australia. His ministry became focused on divine healing.

 

After a while the John Alexander Dowie family moved to the USA with a successful healing ministry.

 

Historically, Dowie is an important figure in the divine healing movement of the last two centuries. David Harrell, who chronicled the healing revivals in America, calls Dowie “the father of healing revivalism in America.”2 This title does not imply that Dowie was the sole originator of the modern healing revival, but rather that his influence was so widespread that he is deserving of the title “father.” Dayton acknowledges that Dowie was a major source of Pentecostal doctrines of healing and that these doctrines grew out of the already existent Holiness teaching yet “being restated in a more distinctly Pentecostal vein.”3 While the Holiness teachings on healing from Charles Cullis, Boardman, A. B. Simpson, Gordon, and Andrew Murray played a role in the Pentecostal ministry of healing, none had quite the same effect as Dowie. Those who were influenced by Dowie include: F. F. Bosworth, John G. Lake, Charles Parham, and Lilian B. Yeomans, as well as various missionaries who went around the world with Dowie’s theological perspective on healing. Bosworth, Lake, and others later joined the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. Walter Hollenweger estimates that Dowie “exercised a considerable influence to the early Pentecostal movement.”4

 

… Through the establishment of his International Divine Healing Association, Dowie was able to spread his teachings throughout America and around the world. In a 1892 publication titled, Talks with Ministers being Two Addresses on Divine Healing, Dowie introduces his theology of healing based on two “cardinal” doctrines.

 

First – That ‘Jesus, the Christ, is the same yesterday, to-day [sic] and forever,’ and being so, He is unchanged in power and in will. … Second – That Disease, like Sin, is God’s enemy, and the devil’s work, and can never be God’s will. Peter said in the household of the Centurion Cornelius, Acts 10:38: ‘God anointed Jesus Christ with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good and HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL, for God was with Him.’7 These two doctrines are the foundation of Dowie’s theology of divine healing.

 

 

The element of faith was important for Dowie, for he would not pray for one who did not believe in divine healing.11 However, the focus was never on faith, but on God. Dowie writes, “While faith is a very precious grace, yet it is only the medium of the communication of God’s infinite love and power, and we must never put it in the place of God, Himself.”12 Dowie was so adamant about this that he shunned the term “faith healing,” in preference of “divine healing,” because it is healing by God, and not faith. Theologically, he expresses it as, “Divine Healing, or ‘Healing through Faith in Jesus;’ not healing BY faith, but THROUGH faith; through faith in Jesus, by the power of God.”13 Faith, prayers, laying on of hands all have Christ as their focus, because in Dowie’s theological scheme, Christ is the healer.

 

 

His two cardinal doctrines are valid, but they are not without criticism. The first doctrine, that Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever is not refutable. This is the stronger of his two doctrines. … If the gift of healing is to be claimed, it is much more clear to state that this gift is often manifested by the Spirit, but it is as He wills. Dowie’s theology is better yet. It places the focus on the Lord as the one who heals. This also keeps the sick person’s attention on the Healer and not the instrument.

 

Dowie’s second doctrine, that sickness is evil, an effect of sin and a work of the Devil, is plausible, but Dowie goes far to the extreme. I concede that sickness is a result of sin, and that it is a work of the Devil. … Sin hinders relationship with God, while sickness does not. Granted, sickness is a result of sin, but the two are not the same. Thus, it is still plausible that God could allow some one to remain sick for a higher purpose. READ ENTIRETY (John Alexander Dowie – The Father of Healing Revivalism in America; By Derek Vreeland; HopeFaithPrayer.com)

 

The above excerpt paints a rosy picture of Dowie with only a bit of criticism. Unfortunately, the man who plugged into what the Bible says about a divine health lifestyle, allowed selfish pride, self-aggrandized power and a lifestyle suggesting greed to overtake him.

 

Dowie was of the opinion that government should be operated as a theocracy based on Biblical tenets. That sounds altruistically great to the Biblical Christian. However, Dowie’s theocracy, just as many past and present theocracies, when managed by man or men (how’s that for some good old-fashioned chauvinism? 😊) execute a governance that is flawed. The only theocracy that will ever be effective will be when King Jesus returns to fully complete the Redemption of all that is on Earth.

 

Dowie founded a suburb city outside of Chicago called Zion City. The formation of Zion was with good motives, but men called the shots and Dowie received all the benefits of power. What’s the old saying about “power”:

 

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

 

Power corrupted Dowie:

 

One of the most interesting Christian biographies is that of John Alexander Dowie. His biography reveals how a person can stray from God’s plan for our lives… He was obviously a servant of God who led thousands of people to receive salvation and healing; but in the latter part of his life Dowie’s activities were not so focused on serving the will of God. He strayed from the path.

 

Building an earthly kingdom. One of the most obvious mistakes made by Dowie was that he did not stick with his original calling. One example of this is the city of Zion, which he began to build in the latter part of his life. He began to build an earthly kingdom instead of concentrating on his original calling: salvation and healing. Before that, he was for a brief period of time active in politics.

 

 

Dowie’s mistake was that when he began to build an earthly kingdom, his spiritual work died down. He did not remember that we have been called to spread the Gospel, not to found the kingdom of God on the Earth too early. …

 

The wrong illusions about himself. The errors of Dowie did not end with his attempt to build an earthly kingdom. In addition to the building, he began to imagine that he was Elijah. This took place when some people talked to him about the issue. He dismissed the idea at first, just as he was supposed to do, but it stuck in his mind to develop, until he finally accepted it, received it and proclaimed it truth. Later on he also proclaimed himself as the first apostle, which is a perfect example of strayed thinking. …

 

Criticizing others. One of Dowie’s faults in the latter part of his life was that he began to criticize other servants of God. He began to attack them and his sermons became mere criticizims [sic] of his enemies. He was especially hostile towards Maria Woodworth-Etter, through whom thousands of people had been saved and healed. He preached against Etter whenever he had the opportunity, even though he had supported her before and said that her actions were from God.

 

There are probably three reasons for Dowie’s behaviour and his criticizing others, a pattern of behaviour into which many others have lapsed.

 

Jealousy is probably one reason why some begin to criticize others. …

 

 

The wrong gift of distinguishing between spirits is the second reason why some begin criticizing others. …

 

 

The lack of love. The third reason for criticizing is simply a lack of love. The atmosphere towards those who think outside the box and towards official Christianity is always critical and judgmental in places where there is a lack of love. In these cases, attention is paid to unessential issues and differences between people, but appreciation of people is forgotten.  READ ENTIRETY (Matter From Guidance: CHAPTER 7 – The biographies teach; By Jari Iivanainen; Jari Iivanainen’s Websites)

 

If you choose to join the critics of people that began with listening to God then are blinded by the self of the flesh or choose a wrong path because the self listens to flattery, then remember this:

 

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7: 1-5 NKJV)

 

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes about sex-sin not dealt with among the Congregation of Believers. If one horribly misses God, one is separated from God’s Presence. If the “miss” is bad enough, I am convinced what Paul wrote about sex-sin could happen to anyone:

 

And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.[a] (1 Corinthians 5: 2-5 NKJV)

 

William Branham 1909-1965 – was a bit in the same boat of being tune with God Biblically yet going off into the ditch later in life:

 

Note: Some consign William Branham to ‘false prophet’ status, giving him a rather ruthless historical review. This is a kinder, balanced text that does not skimp on his errors. A friend whom I know who lived during the Latter Rain movement and observed it’s fall into heresy, and who was not a disciple of Branham, have testified to me that this may be the best brief review of Branham’s life they have ever read.

 

 

William Branham was an evangelist this century who was mightily used of God for a number of years. In fact, there can be little doubt that he was endued with power to a degree that has rarely been seen since the days of the apostles. And there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding his life, death and teachings. To some of his most ardent followers (who are still around today), he seemed to assume almost semi-divine status, a damaging and tragic fallacy that has frightened many sound Christians away from studying his life. On the other hand, even in his heyday some believers were skeptical [sic] and suspicious of the tremendous power and unusual signs and miracles that accompanied his ministry. There can be little doubt that Branham went astray in his ministry in the latter part of his life. (The fact that God took him home early, and that the cause of death was a car-crash in which his body became horribly tangled in the wreck, though he lingered on for a few more days – bears this out). However, it is my belief, and the belief of many who have studied his life, that in his early years he was one of the most anointed men of God that has ever lived in modern times.

 

As Gordon Lindsay wrote in his 1952 biography of Branham’s early life and ministry:  “The story of the life of William Branham is so out of this world and beyond the ordinary that were there not available a host of infallible proofs which document and attest its authenticity, one might well be excused for considering it far-fetched and incredible.” (G. Lindsay, ‘William Branham – A man sent from God’, pg 9). Even his birth and childhood had unusual aspects to them. Born in 1909 in Kentucky, his family soon shifted to the state of Indiana, where they eventually settled not far from Jeffersonville. Branham’s family were the “poorest of the poor”. …

 

 

Afterwards when Branham was baptizing 130 converts in the Ohio River, a heavenly light, like a blazing star, appeared above him just as he was about to baptize the seventeenth person. This was witnessed by the vast 4000-strong congregation that stood on the banks of the river looking on. Some of them ran for fear, while others shouted or fainted. A report of this unusual event appeared in the local newspaper shortly afterwards. It has also been reported that a voice spoke from within the light, saying, “As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of the Lord, so you are sent to forerun His second coming…”  What is certain is that a heavenly light was seen, and it seems likely also that something along these lines was spoken over him.

 

 

The amazing thing about this series of seven visions is that they were given at a time (June 1933) when Branham had no way at all of coming to these conclusions through mere guesswork. In 1933 Germany was by no means ready for war, Russia was by no means a dominant world power, and Communism was a relatively minor force in the world. Some of the details given in the visions were just too extraordinary to pass off as mere coincidence. (See ‘The Acts of the Prophet’ by Pearry Green, pg 48-51, for a fuller description). Also, the fact is that these visions were given to an uneducated, simple man in the back-blocks of Indiana, a man who had little understanding at all of political complexities. And the fact that at least five of these visions have now been precisely fulfilled, means that we should surely take the others seriously also.

 

 

“Now, coming through the light, I saw the feet of a man coming toward me, as naturally as you would walk to me. He appeared to be a man who, in human weight, would weigh about two hundred pounds, clothed in a white robe. He had a smooth face, no beard, dark hair down to his shoulders, of rather dark-complexion, with a very pleasant countenance, and coming closer, his eyes caught with mine. Seeing how fearful I was, he began to speak. ‘Fear not. I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God to tell you that your peculiar life and your misunderstood ways have been to indicate that God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the peoples of the world. IF YOU WILL BE SINCERE, AND CAN GET THE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE YOU, NOTHING SHALL STAND BEFORE YOUR PRAYER, NOT EVEN CANCER.'” (Pg 76-77).

 

The angel told Branham that he would now have two special signs or gifts operating in his life, given to him by God. The first would enable him to detect or discern illnesses in people – a visible violent reaction in his left hand which would make it red and swollen whenever it came into contact with sickness. The second sign would be a gift that would enable him to discern the thoughts and deeds in the past life of the individual – specific sins that needed to be repented of, etc. It was often found that as Branham challenged people over such specific sins, and they confessed them to God, they would regularly be healed of whatever ailed them even before he had a chance to lay hands on them.

 

This angelic visitation marked the beginning of Branham’s incredible international miracle ministry, and also led directly to the great American Healing Revival of 1947 through 1955, in which many well-known ministries were raised up, and thousands upon thousands of people were saved and healed. …

 

Right to the end of his life, William Branham was renowned for his transparency, his simplicity and his genuine humility. No doubt this was due in part to his early life of hardship, brokenness and poverty – a great advantage when it came to his eventual ministry. I have read several of his early sermons, and they often appeared to be little more than personal testimonies accompanied by a simple (yet effective) gospel message. There was little sign of the somewhat strange, divisive and controversial teachings of his latter years. …

 

Over the following months and years, Branham travelled widely in the USA, and also to Europe and South Africa, etc. Thousands came from far and wide to hear him preach and to witness the many outstanding healings, miracles and ‘words of knowledge’ that accompanied his ministry. Often, he would call out the name, city of origin and background information of people in the audience whom he had never met, who had come to hear his preaching or to be healed. …

 

… And the mighty 1954 Argentina Revival under Tommy Hicks (with meetings of up to 400,000 people) also had strong links with this Revival. Even amongst the better-known evangelists who came into prominence at that time (such as Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, etc), William Branham was acknowledged as something special – something extraordinary. …

 

Later in the 1950’s, when a number of healing evangelists were drifting into showmanship, hype, ‘prosperity’ doctrines and begging for money, Branham would have none of it. He was unchanged in his attitude toward these kinds of excesses right to the very end. …

 

However, there were crucial weaknesses in the practices and ministry of William Branham, which tragically began to manifest themselves in the mid-1950’s. In 1955, largely through his own carelessness and lack of good management, Branham fell into financial difficulty. He had always been nonchalant, almost naive, toward all business matters. “He sometimes missed scheduled meetings and was totally unconcerned about business details. Some of his business associates came to feel that he was culpably irresponsible. … Branham’s difficulties became more complicated in 1956 when the Internal Revenue Service filed a tax evasion suit against him… The unsophisticated Branham, apparently little interested in personal wealth, had made no systematic effort to account for the thousands of dollars that flowed through his ministry.” (Ibid, pg 39-40). For the remainder of his life, Branham worked under the burden of a $40,000.00 debt to the IRS. (Which was an enormous amount of money in those days).

 

 

By 1958, William Branham (along with many of the other healing evangelists) was deeply re-assessing his ministry. It was clear that the great Healing Revival was now well and truly over, and there can be little doubt that the decline in Branham’s own ministry had contributed to this. You can never afford to lose such a leader in any move of God, as history clearly shows. It was after this that Branham began to gradually withdraw into his own little circle, where he had an adoring and loyal following. (Essentially this circle was made up of “Oneness” or ‘Jesus-Only’ Pentecostals). And instead of his previous unwillingness to speak about contentious or divisive ‘minor’ issues, he now gradually began to emphasize such things more and more in his preaching. Slowly, these teachings became ever-more alarming and extreme.

 

As early as 1957, Branham had received a dream in which he was ministering in a ‘white disk’ above a pyramid. A voice from heaven proclaimed that no other man could stand in the disk “unless he die or be killed”, and that Branham was “the only one who can and will stand there.” Branham apparently considered this dream to be of ‘spiritual significance’. (Ibid, pg 41). By the 1960’s, he had clearly become convinced that he was the end-times “Elijah” and the true “Messenger of the Covenant”. And the adoring followers in his tight little circle were certainly not going to contradict him. A number of writers believe that it was when Branham took a ‘teaching’ ministry upon himself that he fell into error. It is clear that he had been anointed and commissioned by God to have a prophetic / evangelistic ministry, but never one of teaching. And as soon as he got into this area of teaching doctrine, he began to trespass into realms to which God had never called him, thus opening himself up to ever-increasing deception. It has been reported that towards the end, some of his teachings almost bordered on the occult. However, the original sign-giftings that God had given him never left him, right up until the time of his death in 1965.

 

 

A full TWO YEARS before Branham died, Kenneth Hagin, who was renowned for his accurate prophetic ministry at that time, was given a prophecy about Branham which he took to Gordon Lindsay. The prophecy read: “‘At the end of 1965, He who now stands in the forefront of the healing ministry as a prophet will be taken out of the way. He’ll make a false step and Satan shall destroy his life, but his spirit will be saved, and his works will follow him. Ere 1966 shall come, he shall be gone.’

 

 

Two years later, when driving to Tucson, Arizona, William Branham was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. His wife was badly injured in the smash, and Branham’s body was horribly tangled in the wreck. He lingered on for a few days in hospital, though his head became terribly swollen and a tube was placed in his throat to assist his breathing. William Branham died on Christmas Eve, 1965, just before the turn of the year, exactly as the prophecy had predicted. Once more – “How have the mighty fallen”. Satan had again succeeded in ‘taking out’ one of God’s great servants. …

 

THE LESSONS WE MUST LEARN

 

…  History clearly demonstrates that the greater the power, the greater the potential for subtle pride and error to enter in. READ ENTIRETY (THE ENIGMA OF WILLIAM BRANHAM; By Andrew Strom; HarvestNet.org; This page has been loaded  07/25/1999)

 

The above excerpt mentions some names that were a part of the Healing Movement days all of which faced controversy largely by critics of healing miracles, but some actually messed up with their God-given ministry or lifestyle. One name Kenneth E. Hagin spoke of with sadness was Jack Coe.

 

Jack Coe 1918-1956(57) –

 

Jack Coe was born in Oklahoma City in 1918, but was abandoned by his parents and raised in an orphanage where he stayed until he was aged 17. He joined the army during World War II, where he experienced a miraculous healing. Thereafter he became a minister and began conducting healing revivals while still a soldier. In early 1944 he was ordained an Assemblies of God minister.

 

His public ministry

He had a dynamic personality and stage presence and soon won the allegiance of thousands. He rented his first tent in 1947 and was an established evangelist when the healing revival broke in 1947. From then on his influential ministry career enjoyed a meteoric rise to national fame, placing Coe as a serious challenge to Oral Roberts as the popular leader of the revival.

 

Coe was a powerful preacher. His messages were peppered with humour, presented boldly and dynamic in their effect. Some found him too controversial and impulsive but thousands of people, both black and white, were attracted to his lovable and tender-hearted personality.

 

But it was his healing ministry that was the main attraction. He would walk down rows of wheelchairs and crutches commanding people to be healed and to walk normally. Not all did, but there were large numbers of afflicted who got out of their wheelchairs, threw their walking aids away, got up off their beds and walked out of the meeting healed.

 

 

In a 1955 revival service in Miami, Florida Coe had told the parents of a three year old boy that he healed their son who had polio.  Coe then told the parents to remove the boy’s leg braces.  However, their son was not cured of polio and removing the braces left the boy in constant pain. As a result, Coe was arrested and charged on February 6, 1956 with practicing medicine without a license, a felony in the state of Florida.

 

He was jailed and released on $5,000 bail. Coe appealed to evangelists all over the world to come to Miami to testify in his defence. Many came to take the witness stand, most notably Gordon Lindsay, Raymond T. Richey, Gayle Jackson and Richard Vinyard. After a two-day trial the judge ruled that he could not “condemn the defendant or anyone who in good faith advocates and practices Divine Healing” and dismissed the case.

 

The trial received national publicity bringing the healing revival to the attention of America. Coe maintained that the trial was the result of a conspiracy between atheists, newsmen and the Churches of Christ, whose ministers were among his main accusers. Their opposition represented the general feeling of many evangelical leaders across the nation.  Some thought that the claim of divine healing was a threat to public health. Others had theological objections.

 

… While preaching in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Coe became critically ill. Like all the itinerant healing evangelists he ran a tortuous schedule and had been careless of his health. He had long been badly overweight. At first people concluded it was sheer exhaustion but then his disease was diagnosed as polio. …

 

Jack Coe died in early 1957 READ ENTIRETY (JACK COE; By Tony Cauchi; The Voice of Healing; 12/2011)

 

Here’s a post about Jack Coe that relates close to what Brother Hagin shared in class about him as a warning to not minister under the influence of the desires of the flesh:

 

An Early End

 

Jack Coe continued to hold healing crusades around the country, facing all sorts of persecution, including being arrested. By 1956, however, he was physically worn out. Doctors reported that he had the body of a ninety-five year old man even though he was only thirty-eight. It is believed that the Lord had told Coe about his early death a year earlier causing him to work that much more relentlessly to spread the Gospel.

 

 

Coe was diagnosed with Polio late in 1956 and was admitted to the hospital where he was unconscious most of the time. On a few occasions, he was able to speak to his wife to make his desires known, and relay that the Lord had said he was ready to take Jack home. Early in 1957, Jack went home to be with the Lord.

 

There is a story that says Coe had been warned of his impending death, due to some health habits, personal habits, and his rigorous schedule. The story says that the Lord had spoken several times to one minister in particular. This prophetic man of the time is said to have heard the warning of the Lord for Jack Coe. And it is said that he obeyed God and went to Coe.

 

RTNKC Note: Kenneth Hagin is the prophet this story speaks of.

  

As the story goes, Coe was told to judge himself in three areas: (1) his love of the brethren; (2) his weight problem; and (3) the love of money. The prophet reportedly told Coe that if he would not judge himself in these areas, he would die early. And Coe did die early. He was only thirty-eight years old when he died.

 

It is important to note that the Coe family strongly refutes that this particular prophet ever spoke to Coe. The family maintains that a member of the Coe family approached the prophet to confront him about this widespread report. According to the Coe family, this prophet said that he never spoke to Coe directly, although he was told by God to do so.

 

READ ENTIRETY (Jack Coe – The Man of Incredible Faith; Reach The Nations Kingdom College)

 

To read more on these pioneers of those that influenced or were a part of the Word of Faith Movement you should read God’s Generals by Roberts Liardon. (In full disclosure, Liardon is not without controversy himself.)

 

Some others that did great things for the Gospel of Christ that I’ll let you the reader search:

 

A.A. Allen died an alcoholic

 

Aimee Semple McPherson: Missionary, Widow, Evangelist, Divorced, Mysterious Kidnapping/Disappearance, WWII Home Heroin – Glowing & All the Pearls-Scandals

 

Kathryn Kuhlman – Tulsa World & God’s Generals & Revivals

 

There are many more.

 

I have looked at the Word of Faith heritage. The inspiration for this incomplete inquiry was Jyrki’s concern with the Prosperity teachings among Word of Faith ministers.

 

Jyrki’s concerns are well founded. It is my opinion that a true Prosperity message either out of greed or wealth derived initially from authentic Gospel transformed into matters of business relegating the Good News to second place.

 

Some of the names mentioned below can be viewed as some of the legends of faith, beginning well yet corrupted by the urges of old man flesh. Even staging non-existent miracles when their anointing was lost more than likely for listening to self rather than to God.

 

Before I send you to Jyrki’s concerns I have found a video recorded of a Kenneth E. Hagin sermon that looks circa 1986 entitled “How to be led by the Spirit 1”. Also, here is a link to a Kenneth E. Hagin book in pdf format entitled “Tongues: Beyond the Upper Room”. Watch the video and read the book without the cherry picking of critics that might be misled by the beam in their own eye. Don’t compare what you see and read with the critics, rather find the full context in the Bible. Remember: Eat the hay, spit out the sticks.

 

Below there is an extremely disappointing video of Paula White. I haven’t listened White in years, but then hear ministry delivered the Good News well. BUT NOW – it is apparent she has fallen into the ministry flesh trap of manipulating money out of donors as if the Good News is for sale rather than a gift from God Almighty via the Redeeming Blood of Christ.

 

VIDEO: 35 Kenneth Hagin – How to be led by the Spirit 1

 

Posted by JehToday

Published on Jan 31, 2013

 

December 1986 Jeh’s video bible School: http://jhlavac.mnsi.net/word/bible/vbs.htm

 

JRH 12/27/17

Please Support NCCR

*********************

Serious

 

Sent by Jyrki Soini

Sent 8/28/2017 7:23 PM

 

Dear John.

I must be honest with you. As you might have noticed I’m against prosperity gospel. I’d like to hear your opinion about that kind of action.

 

Though I’m not a Theologian I try to be a Realist. I hope you don’t get me wrong. I intend not to offend you in any way. I value you and your work pretty much.

 

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Doctrines/Charismatic%20Movement/prosperity_gospel.htm

Beware of False Prophets Who Teach A Prosperity Gospel

 

By David J. Stewart

 

1st Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

 

 I am amazed at how accurate the Bible is about everything. I read this Scripture today and it jumped out at me so clearly. We’ve all heard televangelists teach that financial gain is God’s will for everyone’s life; but 1st Timothy 6:5 says only men of corrupt minds, who are destitute of the truth, think that financial successes equates with godliness…

 

1st Timothy 6:5, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

 

There you have it, perverse minds think that financial gain is godliness!

 

God says to withdraw thyself from these type of people; namely, Pentecostals and Charismatics who teach a prosperity gospel. ALL televangelists teach that God wants everyone rich in this temporarily earthly life; but they’re the only one’s getting rich, swindling people. A prosperity gospel errantly claims that God wants everyone to be rich; but first you have to give your money to the person preaching.

 

The 700 Club survives on this type of exploitation of the public. They show testimony after testimony of people (I think rigged) who claim that they gave their last $20, and now they  have a better job, two cars, a new home… blah, blah, blah! Pat Robertson is not my hero, I’ll tell you that! The 700 Club is a notorious example of what the prosperity gospel heresy is. That’s all they teach! The entire Ecumenical Movement is saturated with prosperity heresies. The truth is that you may give everything to God and end up poorer, as most people do who send their money to Benny Hinn, The 700 Club, Mike MurdockPeter PopoffDon Stewart and other shysters. Don’t be a fool with God money.

 

Everything that you own belongs to God. We are all living on borrowed time from God. That baby you aborted was lent to you by God, but you destroyed it instead. One Scripture that you’ll never hear from a televangelist is 1st Timothy 6:8 that says, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” No, instead use appeal to your covetousness, with slick words, and before you know it they suckered you in for the long haul, taking your money. This is exactly what God said they would do to people. 2nd Peter 2:3, “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

 

Hell will be hot enough, which is where they’re all going! The world is filled with religious phonies who exploit the Gospel for their own greedy gain. God says that their damnation hasn’t been delayed, meaning they are damned this very moment! They have already been judged, found guilty, and will split Hell wide open when they breath their last breath. God’s Law condemns all humanity as guilty (Romans 3:19). This is why Hebrews 9:27 says after death, the judgment, because the second you die you’ll go to either Heaven or Hell. At The Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), God will open the Books, no doubt because there will be people who call God unfair and partial

 

The Bible teaches in 1st Timothy 6:6 that Godliness with contentment (i.e., being satisfied with just food and raiment (1st Timothy 6:8), are GREAT GAIN. Amen to that! God is the best investment!

 

Jesus told us in Matthew 6:20 to lay up treasures in Heaven! Souls is the greatest investment! What are you doing to get souls into Heaven? What are you doing to teach others how to get souls into HeavenMatthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

 

All we hear nowadays are gimmicks, advertising schemes, high-pressure sales tactics, and that gold is the best investment. They’re all carnally-minded. God is the best investment my friend!!!

 

The following Scripture warns us about false prophets who teach that God wants us all to be wealthy here on earth…

 

1st Timothy 6:4-6, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

 

I think this is IMPORTANT. It’s about Paula White and Donald Trump.

 

http://www.exposingsatanism.org/paula-white-heresy/

Paula White Heresy – Exposing Satanism and Witchcraft

 

Paula White did NOT lead Donald Trump to Christ!

 

“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.”– C.H. Spurgeon

 

Proverbs 9:13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

Jon Watkins ExposingSatanism.org July 16, 2016

 

After reading several recent articles, I was prompted to address the Jezebel Paula White. In one of the articles she claimed she led Trump to Christ. I know that is not true for two reasons. One being that Trump obviously has not been born again. The other being, you cannot give away something you do not have to give. Paula White does not even know what salvation is, or what it means to be born again, so she could not lead anyone to Christ! “If you do not get Jesus right, it does not matter what else you do get right!” – Mike Muzzerall.

Ms. White believes that Jesus died a sinner, went to the burning side of hell for 3 days, and was at the mercy of Satan until God said enough. He then became the first born again person and came out of hell victorious over Satan! That is the Word of Faith in a nutshell. It is not Scripture and is Blasphemy!

 

Paula White is a Prosperity Preaching Pimp. She is of the feather of fellow Pimps like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, (another Foolish, Silly Woman) Kenneth Copeland, Mike Murdock, and the rest of that clan that which poisons the airwaves via The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and The DayStar Network.

 

None of these people know the true gospel. They are not preachers. They are mere Motivational speakers akin to Tony Robbins. They are not teaching truth. They are ignorant proponents of new age sorcery. They have head knowledge of Jesus Christ, but have not been “Born Again” as the Gospel teaches. They are not lead by the Holy Spirit, but by the spirit of Anti-Christ.

 

These people Fleece the Flock and laugh all the way to the bank! 1st Peter 5:2 “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;”

 

Jesus addressing the Scribes and Pharisees, the “Religious Leaders” of the day. Matthew 15:13-14 “But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

 

White claims her ministry is not based on wealth. “Do I believe that God is a sugar daddy? Not at all,” she claimed. “Find your passion in life and figure out a way to make money,” Source

 

Nowhere in the Bible does scripture support that philosophy. Perhaps James Dobson was giving her tips on how to twist scripture! James Dobson says Donald Trump has recently accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, and that Christians should be praying for him. And then a few days later; James Dobson takes back assertion Trump Is Christian: ‘Do I Know That for Sure? No.’. Couple that with several other disturbing quotes from things Ms. White said in recent interviews, I believe she is just looking for a ride on the coat tails of Trump to further her false doctrine, gain fame, and stuff the coffers. In this video clip she is pimping the 144,000 of Revelation Chapter 7 who will be witnesses in the Tribulation. That scripture has nothing to do with money. She is channeling Lucifer!

 

I have addressed her “Word of Faith” and “Prosperity Pimping” a bit in earlier articles. Before hashing quotes from an article, consider the following.

 

VIDEO: Trump’s Spiritual Adviser Sells Miracles For $1,114

 

Posted by Secular Talk

Published on Jul 12, 2016

 

Paula White has divorced 2 times and her most recent marriage is to rock and roll musician Jonathan Cain. He is known for his membership in the bands Bad English and Journey. He is most recognized for penning the Journey hits “Don’t Stop Believin,’” “When You Love a Woman” and “Who’s Crying Now.” See that info here. How long will she stay married this time? Only time will tell!

Paula White-Jonathan Cain– Halloween red riding hood & bad wolf

 

Not only does she not know understand salvation, she has no idea what God says about divorce. Especially for a “practicing” Christian! Those two facts are disturbing enough, but what really disturbs me is the fact that she celebrates Halloween. Witches and Satanists consider that day to be one of the most holy days of the year. This picture, of Paula and her hubby, was taken as they celebrated Halloween 2015. She is dressed as little red riding hood and he as the big bad wolf.

 

How appropriate, as scripture says, in Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

In an interview with the Communists at Politico, White spoke some revealing words to those with discernment. The agenda of Atheists, Satanists and Witches at Politico is merely to mock and bring shame on Jesus Christ and Christians. I have no problem with them exposing fools like Paula White and others. They do their job well in that area. Of course, little effort is required when highlighting a false prophet like Paula White and others or her ilk. I constantly try to bait them by sending them my articles. I send them to all those God hating liberal news outlets. To no avail. They avoid the True Gospel of Jesus Christ that comes from this ministry. They are attuned to their overlord Satan who alerts them! Some excerpts from the interview are as follows:

 

“I can absolutely tell you that Mr. Trump has a relationship with God. He is a Christian, he accepts Jesus as his Lord and savior,” White said in a rare interview with POLITICO, reflecting on a relationship with the New York tycoon that has now spanned more than 14 years. The two first connected when Trump, who was watching Christian television, saw her onscreen and called her, saying she was “fantastic.”

 

According to her own words she has known Trump for 14 yrs. […..] relationship with the New York tycoon that has now spanned more than 14 years. So in those 14 years I can guarantee you that she shared the true Gospel with him. No, all she ever did was preach that prosperity crap in his ear, trying to ease his mind that God wants him to get richer! I don’t want to rehash what I have already written about Trump and the Quotes that have come out of HIS OWN Mouth, you can view those here: See Donald Trump an unsaved Rich Man.

 

“On her next trip to New York, the Florida-based White met with him, marking the start of a close, cross-country friendship. “Over the years, that [relationship] grew stronger and stronger,” she said of her ties to Trump. “I was in New York for many years. He has a very open-door policy. If I was in town, [he’d say], ‘Hey Paula, come by, hang out with friends, family.’ He’d allow me to sit in his office, be a part of his life, his world.”

 

White tells stories of walking up Fifth Avenue in New York with Trump and watching the real estate mogul cross the street to shake hands with construction workers. And there was the time he was showing her a new golf course in California and got out of the golf cart to thank a Latino man who was taking care of his sand traps. White, who still owns a unit at a Trump property in New York, said his employees at his buildings were loyal to him. To her, this serves as evidence that the cussing, controversial Trump is ultimately a man of God.”

 

Walking down the street being nice to people and shaking their hand does not make you a “man of God” Miss White! And on Mr. Trumps cussing:

 

Proverbs 4:24 “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.”

 

Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

 

Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

 

Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”

 

James 3:10 “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

 

Come on Paula, it is time to get beyond those prosperity and blessing scriptures you covet. Find out who is really bestowing those so called blessings you think are from God upon you. Read ALL of the scripture and find out what God really thinks and commands. You will find YOU Silly woman, that unless you repent and change your ways, you are doomed to Hell!!

 

2nd Timothy 3:6-7 “For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

 

“There’s a lot of people that have influenced Mr. Trump’s life,” she said. “One thing I can tell you, which absolutely might be new to some of the media, new to some people, but God is not new to Mr. Trump. He absolutely has a heart and a hunger and a relationship with God.”

 

Those hounds of Hell do not know what it is to have a relationship with God, so how can they say that!

 

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” 

 

What is righteousness Paula? Do you know? It is right standing with God according to HIS Word. Not the twisted words you are your money hungry cohorts profess!

 

What did Jesus tell the Woman at the Well? “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again” John Chapter 4

 

I have a saying I coined some years ago, and is as follows:
If you go to the store to buy Meat, don’t run to the Milk Section or the Junk Food Aisle looking for it. 

The Meat Section is the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Milk Section is likened to those who will not preach on sin and Hell, just a feel good message.

The Junk Food Isle is the outright false doctrine AKA the prosperity gospel, name it and claim it, the purpose driven life, the Unitarians, the Chrislams, the Noahides, the Judizers, the Hebraic Roots movement and other false teachings!! Feasting on just Milk and Junk will eventually cause you great harm!!

 

“But she has also emphasized her wealth in her preaching and public appearances, causing critics to deride her as one who pushes “prosperity gospel,” a doctrine that says God wants people to be rich — and that more traditional religious leaders frown upon.

 

“Paula White is a charlatan and recognized as a heretic by every orthodox Christian, of whatever tribe,” read a recent tweet from Russell Moore, a prominent Southern Baptist leader and vocal Trump critic, who wasn’t available for an interview.”

 

If Trump does win the election and he is taking spiritual advice from this group of fools, we will be in no better shape than we would be if Hillary Clinton gets in and practices her Witchcraft. The end result will be God executing HIS wrath upon this Country, in either case! Mr. Trump, purge these Hounds of Hell from around you. Fire them! I can point you to several Godly Men and Women who will advise you properly and Biblically!

_________________________

Do You Judge Word of Faith?

John R. Houk

© December 27, 2017

 

Of interest:

 

How Can People Have the Wrong Motive for Giving to a Ministry?

 

Have We Misjudged the Word-Faith Movement?

________________________

Serious

 

Shared by Jyrki Soini

 

Interfaith and Interdenominational Agreement and Disagreement


Risen Christ Leaves Tomb

John R. Houk

© February 22, 2016

 

Yurki1000 left some comments to a post written by Shamim Masih on my NCCR blog. The Shamim submission was a celebration of an interfaith conference that took place in Pakistan. On a personal level I am not a fan of the concept of multiple faiths trying to seek harmonious agreement to celebrate the illusion different religious faiths can unify for world peace. In Shamim’s case he had joined with some Muslim leaders which undoubtedly produced hope at advancing the civil rights of Pakistani Christians that are treated as a subclass of human dhimmis (See HERE and HERE).

 

Pakistani Christians are treated as modern dhimmis even though Pakistan – as most Muslim nations – officially have abandoned the Pact of Umar (Mo’s first successor) rule of law demands of dhimmitude. Modern dhimmis in Muslim nations instead face a cultural discrimination in which the same ill-treatment comes the Christians’ way and the Muslim State unofficially ignores travesties of persecution including forced marriage, rapes, acts of torture, extra punishment for offending Islam-Allah-Mo, and so on.

 

Yurki1000 although expresses the same dislike for interfaith hypocrisy, he looks at the issue through the lens of denominational Christians – Numerous Protestant sects, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and the various Eastern Rite Christians – that have similarities to Catholics and Eastern Orthodox faiths.

 

I believe I found something that I may disagree with Yurki1000 on a matter of faith. He sees inter-denominationational efforts as wrong as much as interfaith efforts are capable of defying their own tenets for world unity. His comments seem to me an indication of the belief Christians that disagree beyond the basics of dogma are heretical or false Christians.

 

The thing is all Christians that agree that Christ was Crucified and Resurrected that humankind can reconnect to God by the Blood of Jesus; that Jesus is the Son of God and and fully human in one nature as well as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons in ONE God are essentially in union even if aspects of dogma are at variance to a lesser or greater degree.

 

Yurki1000’s comments as such focus on the Word of Faith Christians as a false religion. On a personal level I gravitate toward believing the Word of God in the Bible are a lifestyle planned by God. Although there are many Word of Faith preachers and teachers that do disagree with each other on many minor issues, the legitimate ones practice the concept of “eat the hay and spit out the sticks” or “not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

 

Unfortunately due to the nature of trust involved with Word of Faith people there are charlatans that take advantage of those that trust and believe naively. Those poor Christians forget the Biblical axiom to compare the Word of God with the inward witness of the Holy Spirit that will lead a person to a verification or refutation of what is taught as Biblical. In particular Yurki’s comments on one of the Word of Faith leaders Kenneth Copeland as well as Pope Francis and an Episcopalian Bishop from South Africa.

 

The thing is there are truly good reasons to be critical of the Word of Faith movement at this present time. Too many Word of Faith leaders have strayed from its early message of faith to the excesses of materialism. I still believe God wants the Blood bought Body of Christ to prosper but the question is what is godly prosperity?

 

I believe there is a place in God’s plan for a person to have the blessings of ostentatious wealth; however I don’t believe every person in the family of God are a part of a plan to possess ostentatious wealth as a sign of God’s blessings of prosperity. The Word God makes that clear:

 

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

 

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

 

Unity and Diversity in One Body

 

12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[a] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

 

15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

 

20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

 

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-7, 11-27 NKJV)

 

I omitted the enumerated gifts of the Spirit that most Word of faith people like to examine to point out the analogy that not all point are anointed with Ministry gifts in the Body of Christ BUT all persons are gifted with a gift. And every person has a part in Christ’s Body whether rich or poor, slave or free, Greek (as in Gentile) or Jew. And that is the doctrinal problem of excess that many prosperity preachers have slid into. Yet it is my opinion this slide into error doesn’t make one a heretic unless they deny the nature and Redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Denying Christ and calling oneself a Christian is heresy. And this error by Prosperity Preachers does not make one a unsaved heretic but rather an error that needs prayer and forgiveness rather than condemnation. Ergo I won’t condemn the Copeland family or the Hagin family but rather spit out the sticks and keep the hay. For me that goes for the Protestant Denominations, the Papacy, the Eastern Orthodox the Eastern Rite Christians that do not deny Christ.

 

Nevertheless, Yurki does point out some sticks that need to be spit out and so read his comments with that in mind.

 

Links of Interest:

 

Pope Francis and the Prosperity Gospel; By Jason Steidl; Faith Street – On Faith; 2/26/14

 

KENNETH COPELAND: A Preacher of Uncompromised Word; By JEREMY BURNS; Charismag.com; 8/5/2015

 

About Page; By Rich and Donna Vermillion; KennethCopelandBlog.com

 

 JRH 2/22/16

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Interesting Comments on ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week – Feb 06, 2016

yurki1000

February 10, 2016 at 10:05 PM

Thanks oneway2day 🙂

I picked the video from the link you gave us.

VIDEO: TRUE FACE OF ISLAM and THE VIDEO LABOUR DID NOT WANT LEAKED

Posted by midnightworrior

Published on Dec 11, 2012

Get them filth out before they get us out…This is war wake up.

The link:

http://www.siotw.org/

[Blog Editor: Here is an excerpt from SIOTW “About Islam” page:

Islam is NOT a religion of peace. By its nature Islam is radical, it has no shades.

 

Most people are simply unaware that Islam is NOT just another religion but a totalitarian political cult-like ideology, which compels its followers into blind obedience, teaches intolerance, brutality and locks all Muslims and non-Muslims in a struggle deriving directly from the 7th century nomadic, predatory, Bedouin culture.

 

Islam means “submission” to the will of Allah and the teachings as depicted in the Qur’an which include jihad – the genocidal slaughter of infidels by the sword, killing by beheading, intolerance of other religions, as well as forcing submission to Islam. The ultimate goal of jihad is the domination of Islam over the entire world.

 

In Islam, one is considered “moderate” if one supports the goals of jihad, if not the tactics. Those who totally reject the violent teachings of Islam are considered apostates of Islam and as such, are condemned to death. Moderate Muslims are peaceful “in spite of Islam,” not because of it. The “religion of peace” is a concept the West is eager to embrace – all in the name of political correctness – refusing to believe that a major world religion poses such a devastating threat to humanity.

 

This site is designed to show you the dark side of Islam, the REAL Islam that the West does not want you to see. The Islam that Western media refuse to show you. The Islam that is slowly but surely changing the West. You may feel uncomfortable looking at this site. You should. You will feel anger and disgust that our leaders do not understand Islam when it comes to the motives that drive our enemies to commit suicide for their ideology.

 

Look at the photos, watch the videos, most of which come right out of the Muslim world, a world that glorifies death and destruction of all that is not Islamic. Understand that elements of Sharia law are creeping into our daily lives under shelter of religious freedom. Listen and learn about the real Islam, then tell your family and friends.

 

Do not fear being labeled an ‘Islamophobe.’ Winston Churchill was once accused of being a ‘Naziphobe.’

+++

yurki1000

February 12, 2016 at 11:12 PM

 

Romans 16_17

VIDEO: The Rise Of The One World Religion- Major Amir Tsarfati

Posted by New Life Media

Published on Aug 13, 2015

TONY PALMER

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Palmer_(bishop)

– Anthony Joseph “Tony” Palmer (February 4, 1966 – July 20, 2014) was a British-born South African bishop with the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a communion of dioceses and ministries that are inspired by the “middle way” of classical Anglicanism and count themselves as part of the Convergence Movement. They were originally inspired by Bishop Lesslie Newbigin, a British theologian, missiologist, missionary and author. –

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/heresy-preacher-priest-tony-palmer-dead-urging-christians-unite-rome/

“HERESY PREACHER PRIEST TONY PALMER DEAD AFTER URGING CHRISTIANS TO UNITE WITH ROME”

– GOD APPEARS TO HAVE RELIEVED TONY PALMER OF HIS COMMAND

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4 (KJV)

Just months after Anglican priest and personal friend to Pope Francis, Tony Palmer gave a rousing performance urging Christians to place themselves under the authority of the Roman Catholic system, he appears to have died suddenly in a motorcycle accident.

Tony Palmer had said that he was a “prophet in the spirit of Elijah”, and that his mission was to unite the Christian evangelical church with the Roman Catholic system. He declared “Martin Luther’s protest to be over”, and said that it was time for “Christians to come home to Rome”. Tony’s deluded vision of seeing Christians “coming home to Rome” will also die with him. –

http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/palmer-not-convert-buried.htm

– “Pope” Francis advised Tony Palmer NOT to Convert, ordered him buried as a Catholic Bishop!

The absurd circus that is the Jorge Bergoglio “Papacy” continues unabated. A very interesting article published by Austen Ivereigh in the Boston Globe on August 7, 2014, gives a lot of background information on the friendship between “Pope” Francis and the Anglican-Evangelical “Bishop” Tony Palmer, and casts the latter’s deadly motorcycle accident in an even more significant light: –

http://thewildvoice.org/pope-francis-tony-palmer-change-eucharist/

– On February 28 2014 (one year to the day of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation) Bishop Tony Palmer released on the Ark Community website a video called ‘The Miracle of Unity Has Begun – Bishop Tony Palmer & Pope Francis’. We have decided to post the last seven minutes of the original thirty-two minute long monologue. Underneath the video we typed the actual transcript, followed by our reflections and Jesus Christ’s prophetic Words given to Maria Divine Mercy. –

https://www.facebook.com/dougbatchelor/photos/a.433566580060656.1073741830.431672620250052/683238928426752/?type=3&theater

Tony Palmer, seated beside Pope Francis

– THE TRUTH ABOUT TONY PALMER! (Tony Palmer, seated beside Pope Francis, Joined together in efforts to bring Protestant[s] together with Catholics,)

LONDON – The English surgeons who fought to save the life of a badly mangled motorcyclist on the morning of July 20 might have guessed he was someone unusual, since the hospital was receiving calls from Rome, from the pope himself, asking for updates.

[BE SURE AND NOTE THIS SECTION BELOW FROM THE ARTICLE! – On June 24, Palmer took a group of evangelical leaders who jointly reach more than 700 million people to meet and lunch with Francis, which he reported to me a few days later, as he left for two weeks in South Africa. The delegates included Copeland, the televangelist James Robison, as well as Geoff Tunnicliffe, head of the Worldwide Evangelical Alliance. They told Francis they wanted to accept his invitation to seek visible unity with the Bishop of Rome.

Palmer handed the pope a proposed Declaration of Faith in Unity for Mission the evangelicals had drawn up, which they proposed would be signed by both the Vatican and leaders of the major Protestant churches in Rome in 2017, on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.] –

https://www.facebook.com/dougbatchelor/?target_post=673185216098790&ref=story_permalink

– KENNETH COPELAND – TONY PALMER IS IN HEAVEN

In the statement recently posted at his ministry’s website Kenneth Copeland honors Tony Palmer saying he became a bridge between Catholics and Protestants in the Body of Christ. Copeland says Palmer had “a major impact on the worldwide Catholic Renewal” and was responsible for facilitating a face-to-face meeting between the number of Protestant leaders and the Pope last month at the Vatican. A bridge based upon “The unity of the faith—not doctrines.” Copeland went on to say the devil was responsible for his death but they know he is in the presence of Jesus right now and the work of bridge building between Catholics and Protestants begun by Tony Palmer will go on. –

 

Ken Copeland, Pope Francis & Tony Palmer front rowKenneth Copeland, Pope Francis & TONY PALMER  front row

Source: http://tinyurl.com/gvsn2c5

https://www.facebook.com/thediscerningsheep/videos/676178302482429/

KENNETH COPELAND

– ECUMENISM: KENNETH COPELAND making a short video message with the late Tony Palmer to pope Francis in response to the pope’s message of (FALSE) unity. He’s handing over his unsuspecting and undiscerning congregation over to the high priest, and sending them back to BABYLON. –

Facebook VIDEO: ECUMENISM: KENNETH COPELAND Excerpt

 

[Blog Editor: Watch the full video of Tony Palmer and Pope Francis’ message to Kenneth Copeland at https://youtu.be/uA4EPOfic5A]

http://callmejorgebergoglio.blogspot.fi/2014/07/unity-through-diversity-in-novus-ordo.html

GIOVANNI TRAETTINO

 

– Instead of writing a long commentary on the interfaith relationships of Francis we thought we would post a bunch photos and a few videos. Peruse through them and draw your own conclusions. Remember on Monday Francis is to visit his fallen away catholic friend who is now a Baptist minister, Giovanni Traettino. He is reportedly going there to apologize to Evangelicals for the mistreatment they have received from the Church. This idea originated at the recent lunch Francis had with evangelicals. As the pictures show this ‘friendship’ started a long time ago. An important name to remember is Matteo Calisi. –

Blessings

Jyrki

++++++++++++++

yurki1000

February 13, 2016 at 12:37 PM

Indeed we are in the End Times.

http://interfaithcenter.org/

[Blog Editor:

Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD)

About Page:

Uniting for a Sustainable Future


… READ In Different  Languages &  Donations]Humanity faces unprecedented challenges to sustainable life on the planet. The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) is the largest interfaith environmental organization in the Middle East. ICSD works to catalyze a transition to a sustainable human society through the active leadership of faith communities. Based in Jerusalem, ICSD unites faith communities, teachers and leaders to promote co-existence, peace, and sustainability through advocacy, education and action-oriented projects. Read more about the Channels of Action
here or see our Theory of Change diagram by clicking here. Working with numerous foundations, private donors, and clients, ICSD has successfully implemented a range of projects from hosting interfaith environmental conferences to facilitating ecotourism in the Holy Land to conducting faith and ecology workshops for students of religion.

http://interfaithspirit.org/

[Blog Editor:

The Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth

We believe spiritual growth — our deepening understanding of the presence of God in all beings — is the most important thing we do for the healing of the world. We bring peace to the world, one consciousness at a time.

We’re a dynamic community that affirms the universal truths underlying all spiritual paths. Together we explore and practice tools for cultivating lives of love, joy, and freedom. Whether your background is Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Native American Spirituality, another faith tradition, or no faith tradition, you will find a welcome home at Interfaith.

In a non-denominational setting, we offer weekly study groups and classes in A Course in Miracles, Interspiritual Meditation, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, and Science of Mind. We also host an Alcoholics Anonymous support group and other activities.  Enjoy monthly Drum and Dance circles, Cafe 704 coffeehouse concerts, and more.

Come as you are, find strength and wisdom, and discover the value of cultivating your Spirit in a positive, participatory community that is open and affirming of all lifestyles.]

 

http://www.interfaithsustain.com/

[Blog Editor:

Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD)

About Page:

Uniting for a Sustainable Future

Humanity faces unprecedented challenges to sustainable life on the planet. The Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development (ICSD) is the largest interfaith environmental organization in the Middle East. ICSD works to catalyze a transition to a sustainable human society through the active leadership of faith communities. Based in Jerusalem, ICSD unites faith communities, teachers and leaders to promote co-existence, peace, and sustainability through advocacy, education and action-oriented projects. Read more about the Channels of Action here or see our Theory of Change diagram by clicking here. Working with numerous foundations, private donors, and clients, ICSD has successfully implemented a range of projects from hosting interfaith environmental conferences to facilitating ecotourism in the Holy Land to conducting faith and ecology workshops for students of religion.

… READ In Different  Languages &  Donations]

 

http://www.iccr.org/
[Blog Editor:

 

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)

 

About ICCR

 

Our Mission: Through the lens of faith, ICCR builds a more just and sustainable world by integrating social values into corporate and investor actions. Learn more about our current work in our 2014 Annual Report.

 

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility is a coalition of faith and values-driven organizations who view the management of their investments as a powerful catalyst for social change.  Our membership comprises nearly 300 organizations including faith-based institutions, socially responsible asset management companies, unions, pension funds and colleges and universities that collectively represent over $100 billion in invested capital.

 

ICCR members and staff engage hundreds of multinational corporations annually to promote more sustainable and just practices because we believe in doing so they will secure a better future for their employees, their customers and their shareholders.

 

A pioneer of the shareholder advocacy movement, ICCR members were the first religious investors to file proxy resolutions with social and environmental themes. ICCR’s 40+ year legacy is living proof that positive corporate transformation is possible, and we have pledged to mentor others in this important work.

We invite you to learn more about the power of shareholder advocacy and ICCR’s current initiatives in the following pages.  We hope you will feel inspired to participate in our work.

 

Our Approach

 

What We Do and How We Do It

 

Where Faith and Finance Intersect]

 

_______________________

Interfaith and Interdenominational Agreement and Disagreement

John R. Houk

© February 22, 2016

___________________

Interesting Comments on World Interfaith Harmony Week – Feb 06, 2016

 

Edited by John R. Houk

In most cases text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Yurki1000

 

What’s Right About the Faith Movement


Believe - Christ & Thorn Crown

I last posted that there are Christian Basics that all real Christians agree on and as such the Word of Faith (WF) Movement is in line with the Christian Basics thus WF is not heretical.

 

This post goes into the nuts and bolts of the WF.  Theologian Jon Ruthven writes about what right and what is wrong about the WF. Frankly it is the best essay that offers constructive criticism while asserting WF is not a Christian heresy,

 

JRH 9/5/12

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What’s Right About the Faith Movement

 

By Jon Ruthven

December 4th, 2008

HopeFaithPrayer.com

 

Faith teachers have taken a multitude of hits in the last decade, but they’ve also blessed the church in some important ways. Let’s not discard the message just because of some excesses.

 

When Kenneth and Gloria Copeland visited our campus chapel at Regent University, I sat in the third row near the center aisle. When Kenneth was finished preaching, I was pumped up and motivated to confront my passive Christian life and begin aggressively seeking God’s face and moving out into the ministry I knew God had for me. I felt the contagious, joyful power of God infusing into me. I was ready to whip the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

“Isn’t this what it’s all about?” I mused to one of my colleagues as we were leaving. He agreed.

I don’t know what it is about theologians. Ask any one of them about faith teaching or the Word-Faith movement, and they immediately recite a laundry list of everything that’s wrong with it. They can’t see much, if anything, that’s positive.

 

Well, I’m a theologian–at least Regent University pays me to theologize–and I happen to believe there’s a lot of truth in faith teaching. If we can get past the imprecise and even reckless statements of some faith teachers and examine their words for what is intended rather than for what is said, then I believe there’s a lot we can learn from these people.

 

What Is Faith Teaching?

 

Modern faith teaching, sometimes called “positive confession” or, more crudely, the “name-it-and-claim-it” movement, has several key figures. On a scale moving from fairly mild to fairly strong, some representatives of the faith teaching movement are: Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin Sr., Fred Price and Creflo Dollar.

The key features of this movement could be outlined as follows:

 

* The importance of faith and its crucial role in the Christian life. “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb. 11:6, NKJV). Faith is a way of participating in God’s very nature. Believers are in some sense “little gods,” having been “made in His image and likeness,” and therefore expressing God’s presence and purposes on earth. We are “clothed” in the Spirit and have, by faith, become the very “righteousness of God in Christ” (see Gen. 1:26; 2 Cor. 5:21).

 

**The scope or purpose of faith. This not only includes salvation, but also applies to all of one’s needs, as well as to one’s God-directed ministries. God wants us to not only be faithful, obedient and heaven-bound, but also healthy and financially prosperous.

 

**The establishment of faith. Faith develops in relation to God’s Word and in two stages: (1) the “logos” word (certain promises of Scripture), when properly “confessed” and affirmed with one’s mouth, is then (2) confirmed by God’s “rhema” word (inner witness of the Holy Spirit).

 

Faith involves “revelation knowledge” that is God-given and moves beyond “sense knowledge” of what we know from experience. So then, faith can be the confirmation and assurance that a specific biblical promise is to be actualized or fulfilled in a specific case, such as a healing or miracle.

 

**The strong act of willpower involved in faith. It is not a passive acceptance or hoping for something. Rather, faith involves taking the initiative toward aggressive, zealous, personal action. That is, stepping out in faith and in confidence that whatever is prayed for is going to happen. One early faith teacher said, “Don’t ever pray, ‘Thy will be done,’ since it destroys faith. It’s always God’s will to heal.”

 

Obviously this last statement is impossible to agree with. But what is behind that statement? What is this man’s experience with some people praying, “Thy will be done”? We need to examine what certain words and phrases mean to the speaker, but at the same time we need to understand how they impact us.

 

What Do We Make Of All This?

 

If we find ourselves outside the faith teaching movement, we may need to first understand our own upbringing and why we react the way we do. If we were raised Protestant or Catholic, we were probably immersed in certain tenets that should be re-examined in light of the New Testament.

 

Second, we may be uncomfortable with the bold claims of faith teachers when we subconsciously hold on to some traditional, and somewhat biblically unbalanced, religious ideas. We may need to closely examine our feelings toward traditional formulations, such as:

 

**God and Jesus are exalted far above us. We must be extremely reverent, even somewhat fearful, before God when we pray or come into His presence. Because we are sinful, it is blasphemy to compare ourselves with God in any way. Accordingly, we are uncomfortable with entering “boldly” into God’s presence or accepting the radical implications of God’s grace.

 

**Salvation from sin is the only real focus of the Christian gospel. Miracles of healing are only “signs” that merely point to the truth of God’s Word. We must never base our faith on miracles, but on Scripture. Even if we believe the gifts of the Spirit continue today, they are still a marginal and dispensable part of the Christian experience.

 

**Faith is understanding and accepting as true the essential points of the gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, clarifies the gospel message, and makes it real to us, but any further revelation than this is out of bounds for Christians, since this would involve adding to Scripture.

 

We must keep these half-hidden anxieties in mind when we ask the next question.

 

What’s Right About Faith Teaching?

 

1. Faith teaching more fully grasps the radical biblical insights concerning our position as believers. Through Christ, we can enter boldly into the holy of holies (see Heb. 10:19)–an idea that was absolutely blasphemous to most religious people when this was first written.

 

 Jesus called God “Abba” or “Daddy,” something that chokes in our throat at the irreverent over familiarity. Yet the “Daddy” response is the primal witness of the Spirit in our Christian experience (see Rom. 8:15; Gal 4:6).

 

An oft-quoted verse demonstrates the radical nature of our salvation: “You are the righteousness of God in Christ” (see 2 Cor. 5:21). The idea of standing before God claiming to be as good as Christ makes us squeamish. But if we are not as totally righteous as Jesus Christ in God’s sight, then we cannot stand before God at all. It’s all or nothing. The death, atonement, and resurrection of Jesus gave us the “all.”

 

When faith teachers talk about believers being “little gods,” it makes theologians shudder. This phrase may be explosive, and can even go over the line. But these preachers are pounding home a valid insight. It’s based on the creation story that emphasizes mankind being made in the image of God, who breathed His very own breath into Adam.

 

Moreover, Jesus creates a new race of people when He replicates God’s act by breathing on them the life-giving Spirit (see John 20:22).

 

2. Faith teaching challenges us to believe God to “supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). For years, it has been easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” rather than “Rise up and walk.”

 

Accordingly, the church’s theology shifted focus from what the disciples were commanded to do–”‘Heal the sick there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you”‘” (Luke 10:9)–to a dispensing forgiveness by a hierarchy of clerics. This is a historical case of the church’s basing theology on experience–or lack of it–rather than on the Word of God.

 

In the last 50 years the biblical theology movement, and increasingly evangelical scholars, have begun to understand that the gospel Jesus presented came “not in word but in power” (1 Cor. 4:20). Miracles and spiritual gifts do not simply “prove” the gospel, they express it.

 

What did Jesus actually spend time doing in His public ministry? Here’s the percentage of space devoted in the Gospels to His miracles: 44 percent in Matthew; 65 percent in Mark; 29 percent in Luke; and more than 30 percent in John. The disciples continued this emphasis: 27 percent of the book of Acts–not just their public ministry–is miracle accounts. That’s more space than the sermons in Acts! In today’s traditional scholarship, it seems we have a religion about Jesus, but not from Jesus.

 

Traditional theology downplays the “power encounter” message of the Gospels and Acts in favor of Protestant themes in the epistles, which in turn have been largely sanitized of their charismatic expressions.

 

For example, in his “Preface to the New Testament” of 1522, Martin Luther distinguishes the “true and noblest books”–that is, the epistles of Paul and 1 Peter–from others in the New Testament. Luther’s sole criterion for selecting “the heart and core of all the books” is that “these do not describe many works and miracles of Christ, but rather masterfully show how faith in Christ overcomes sin, death and hell, and gives life, righteousness, and blessedness.”

 

The discerning Christian prefers the Gospel of John over the synoptics simply because, according to Luther, it contains the fewest miracles. Calvin never developed such a “canon-within-a-canon,” but his bias against miracles and spiritual gifts is clear.

 

Scholarship is moving away from classic Protestantism’s narrow focus. For example, Gordon Fee’s massive new book, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, shows that the emphasis in the Gospels and in Acts on God’s charismatic power continues in the epistles.

 

What is the bottom line? By simply reading God’s Word and being faithful to the experiences of divine power through which God has led them, faith teachers have come to the same essential conclusion as mainstream biblical scholarship: The God of the New Testament is a God of charismatic power, who will in fact “supply all our needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

 

But these blessings in our lives are realized through faith–a personal act that requires cultivation and diligence.

 

3. Faith teaching establishes or builds faith. Here we need to sort out what is right and what is wrong with faith teaching. Faith teaching is right in that it has discerned what is perhaps the most important emphasis in the Bible: Faith is absolutely central to our relationship with God. Beyond that, faith teaching’s emphasis on developing and having faith is commendable.

 

The problem is how faith develops one’s faith. Some early faith teachers stressed that faith amounted to applying a promise of Scripture to a problem and by sheer force of will, believing it until the promise was visibly realized. Any evidence to the contrary was denied as “lying symptoms” of the devil.

 

A later development of this theme was a similar move: applying a biblical promise to a need, then “confessing” that promise until the confession reached the “spirit man” at which time the inner confirmation or assurance came. At this point the “manifestation” or fulfillment of the promise would be visible.

 

Later, Francis MacNutt and John Wimber emphasized the need for “listening” prayer for healing–to try to tune in to what God is revealing while praying and then responding appropriately to God’s leading.

 

I believe this latter approach is the core of how to develop faith. Believers perceive what God wants to do and then “pray through” to the assurance that He will do it. To pray properly, then, “Thy will be done” certainly does not destroy faith. Instead, it’s absolutely crucial to developing faith, discerning God’s plan, and following up in prayer and action. Unless we find out what God wants, we certainly won’t get His assurance (faith) that it will come to pass.

 

What’s Wrong And Right With The ‘Faith Formula’?

 

There’s a good reason why we can’t apply a promise of Scripture to anything we believe is appropriate: God may not think it’s appropriate, despite general promises about healing and deliverance in the Bible.

 

To develop a comprehensive understanding of faith in the New Testament we need some grasp of the complexity of the issue. The most common word for “faith/believe” is the pistis family of words–some 436 references. But understanding faith cannot be limited to a single word family. There are dozens of others in the larger so-called “semantic field” with varying relationships to the Greek pistis–that is, trust, confidence, hope, knowledge, seeing, courage, boldness.

 

Beyond this, many narratives describing faith appear in the Gospels and Acts and have much to teach us about the nature and acquisition of faith. Moreover, some broader New Testament concepts, such as, “Holy Spirit,” “kingdom of God,” and “righteousness” have much in common with “faith,” and indeed may even be alternate ways of talking about it.

 

Having said all this, however, it appears that the most crucial accounts for understanding faith are the two temptation stories: one for Adam and one for the second Adam (see Gen. 3, Matt. 4; and Luke 4). The temptation narratives bear a complex and extensive relationship with each other, but one common idea is that they appear at the point of “maturity” in the lives of Adam and Christ. The issue in the two temptations is identical: Do I gain power by “a hearing of faith” or by following my own (and satanic) “principle”? Satan’s temptation to Jesus was powerfully seductive–an attempt to turn the “word” of Scripture against the immediate “Word” of God (logos vs. rhema).

 

Essentially Satan was asking Jesus to pre-apply or misapply scriptural promises to His life and ministry. Satan first tempts Jesus to follow the tradition of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years (days). “If you are the Son of God,” he taunts, “why don’t You have miraculous bread like that provided in the past?” Jesus’ answer is true for the other temptations as well: A person lives “by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” That is to say, I don’t simply apply a promise to my situation–I wait to hear from the Father directly.

 

Next, Satan is more direct: “Jesus, step out in faith upon the holy, authoritative Word of God. Doesn’t the Word promise: ‘He will command His angels about You, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone’? Can’t You say, ‘God said it! I believe it! That settles it!’?” Jesus interpreted this as trying to arrogantly bully God into action by misapplying the promises of His Word.

 

Finally, Satan took Jesus to a “very high mountain” with the perfectly scriptural proposal that all nations should be His, as was scripturally due Him as Messiah. But this was to pre-apply a Scripture–Jesus must first be obedient and endure rejection and the cross. Misapplying or pre-applying Scripture, then, is the equivalent of falling down and worshipping Satan, as was Adam’s act of seeking knowledge apart from God.

 

This great test for Jesus was also intended as a test for every Christian. By independently “claiming the promises” do we sometimes ignore God? Do we manipulate God? Or even abandon God to follow the tempter?

 

Faith teaching is right in that it strongly encourages Christians to stretch their faith, but wrong if it succumbs to the temptation to misapply Scripture. True faith happens only when we have the assurance of where God wants the promises to apply.

 

This is the bottom line: If you want to build your faith, seek God in prayer to find out what God wants in that situation. When you receive the assurance of faith, and you have received it accurately, God will fulfill His Word.

 

What’s Right With Faith Teaching?

 

So what’s right with the faith message? I believe faith teaching:

 

* understands the centrality of aggressive, joyous faith for the Christian life.

 

* has a profoundly biblical grasp of how majestically the believer stands before God, clothed in His righteousness, and how powerfully he or she can confront the world.

 

* communicates that our faith, like God’s anointing, doesn’t just “happen.” It must be emphatically encouraged and built up if God is going to work in power.

 

Faith teachers know they cannot get away with merely theologizing about faith; they must powerfully model it to people, even transfuse their own faith into the lives of their hearers. This takes spiritual guts and exhausting effort, but they rightly understand that “the kingdom of heaven experiences violence and the violent take it by force!” *

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Jon Ruthven teaches courses on spiritual formation and charismatic theology at Regent University’s School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

 

Copyright © 2012 HopeFaithPrayer – Copyright Statement – Spread It, but Don’t Edit, and Give Us Credit

Word of Faith is no More Heretical than Mainstream Christianity


Christ Crucified

John R. Houk

© September 5, 2012

 

I gladly admit I became a Born Again Christian through the Word of Faith (WF) Movement. When I became a Christian quickly began to understand the WF was controversial because of the view of Faith, Charismata (Holy Spirit Gifts) and the Prosperity Message.

 

Because of these controversies faith witch hunters have become numerous labeling WF as a heresy in Christianity. In fact if you Google “Word of Faith Movement” you will be guided to site after site that calls WF a heresy.

 

Labeling WF a heresy is somewhat like a Roman Catholic labeling the Eastern Orthodox Church and various Protestant Churches as heretical. The fact is all three versions of Christianity believe in the death of Christ on the Cross, Jesus’ dead body was laid in a tomb for three days and that on the third day Jesus Christ resurrected to a fully human life and is just as much God as He is human. The three major strains of Christianity believe Christ told the Apostles and Disciples to go throughout the world and share the Good News (Gospel) that Jesus arose from the offering His Blood as a once and for all sacrifice to redeem humanity from the Fallen Age of Satan that occurred when the first man (Adam) fell from fellowship with God transforming from immortal to mortal. And that the curse on Adam also became a curse on all the Earth. The three strains of Christianity believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Second Person in the Holy Trinity. They believe the Trinity is Three Persons that are One God.  AND that the Resurrected Christ will return again to reign on Earth from the Throne of David centered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. THEN whether it is after a millennial rule or simply at the end of the age, God will create the New Earth and the New Jerusalem. AND the New Heaven will come upon the New Earth and God will reign in Eternity and humanity will KNOW God. God and humanity will be as one with humanity knowing the Will of God instinctively.

 

As much as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants accuse each other of being heretics, the basics of Salvation are agreed upon. Guess what: The Word of Faith Movement also believes the simplicity of Salvation in Christ Jesus.

 

Among Protestants the basics are agreed upon, it is in dogma variations within Protestantism that various Denominations will call another Denomination in error. In the modern era this called agreeing to disagree; however not too long ago various Denominations would call differences of dogma heresy.

 

Now the next logical argument might lead one to say if WF is not a heresy in the basics why shouldn’t we basic Christians consider Mormonism (Latter Day Saints), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unitarian and other derived sects from Christianity that do NOT follow the basics as non-heretical?

 

Briefly let’s look at some of these Christian offshoots that ignore the basics.

 

Mormonism (From Contender Ministries):

 

Mormon                                                                      Mainstream Christianity

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The Church has 4 Standard Works that are authoritative:  The Bible (in so far as it is translated correctly), the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Speeches and writings of the current president of the church are also authoritative.  The Bible is far below the other standard Works because it is full of errors (wherever it disagrees with Mormon doctrine).

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The only authoritative scriptures given by God are the 39 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible.  God promised to preserve his word and to suggest that the Bible was mistranslated and corrupted would be to call God a liar.  If God were to give additional revelations they would be consistent with any prior revelations thus eliminating Mormon writings, since they stand in direct opposition to the divine revelation that has already been given in the Bible.

One God

There are many Gods. Brigham Young-Journal of Discourses 7:333 “How many Gods there are, I do not know.  But there never was a time when there were not Gods.

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There is only one God.  (Dt 6:4; 33:26-27; Isa 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Ti 2:5)

The Nature of God

God the Father is an exalted man (a man who has progressed to godhood) with a body of flesh and bones.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1973 ed., p. 346 – “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in a form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man.”

D & C 130:22  “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also.”

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The Bible is most explicit in stating that God is not a man (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Hos 11:9).  God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; 57:15; Pss 90:2; 113:5-6; 123:1; Jn 4:24: 8:23)  Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Lk 24:39)

 

God the Father became a God after learning truth, aggressively pursuing godhood, and being obedient to the laws of the gospel.

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God the Father has always existed as such (Dt 33:27; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 21; 46:9; Mal 3:6; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).

 

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As Psalms 90:2 and 93:2 state, God has been God “from eternity to eternity.”

 

God the Father has a wife, through whom he procreates spirit children.

“Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother.  An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother” (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p. 516)

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The Godhead determined to make man in their image, not to procreate spirit children (Ge 1:26).  Nowhere does Scripture even hint at the existence of an Eternal Mother.

 

God is not a uniquely eternal being.  All spirit is self-existent matter and is eternal (without beginning or end).  Such “matter (called intelligences) sometimes becomes organized into a spirit being through birth to celestial parents.  Then that spirit is born through human parents on earth.  Like all people, God took this course and eventually reached Godhood.

God would stop being God if intelligences stopped supporting him as God.

(D&C 93:29, 33; Abraham 3:18-23; Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed. p. 751)

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God is not God unless He is all-powerful, all knowing, absolutely in charge.  If God exists only as God because of support given from other intelligent forms, He is not God at all (Isa 44:6; Ro 3:4; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)

 

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God is unchangingly omnipotent, and no purpose of His can be thwarted.  He is not overruled by anyone (Ge 17:1; Job 36:22-23; 42:2; Isa 14:26-27; 40:13-14; Jer 32:27; Mt 19:26; Lk 1:37; Ac 17:24-25; Rev 19:6)

Man and Sin

Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be”  (D&C 93:29)

Life, intelligence, mind, the ‘light of truth’ , or whatever name one gives to the center of the personality of man, is an uncreated, eternally existent, indestructible entity…In the first stage, man was an eternally existent being termed an intelligence…The next realm where man dwelt was the spirit world….eternally-existing intelligences were clothed with spirit bodies…numerous sons and daughters were begotten and born of heavenly parents into that eternal family in the spirit world” (The Gospel Through the ages, pp.126-127)

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Man is a finite being, not an eternal one.  The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).  Man did not exist in the beginning when God was creating the universe, for if he had, God’s question to Job would have made no sense (Job 38:4).  Man was created lower than the angels, so that David wondered why God is even mindful of him (Ps 8:3-5; 144:3).  Not a single verse in the Bible suggests that God has a wife, but Isaiah 44:24 explicitly says that the Lord made all things by Himself.  Moreover, several passages in Isaiah indicate that there is only one God and there is none beside Him (44:8; 45:6) or like Him (46:9).

 

“…these spirit children were organized, possessing divine, eternal, and godlike attributes, inherited from their Heavenly Father and Mother.  There in the spirit world they were reared to maturity, becoming grown spirit men and women prior to coming upon this earth” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 127).

“Jesus is man’s spiritual brother.  We dwelt with Him in the spirit world as members of that large society of eternal intelligences, which included our Heavenly Parents and all the personages who have become mortal beings upon this earth or who ever shall come here to dwell…Jesus was the ‘firstborn,’ and so He is our eldest brother” (Ibid., p.21)

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Jesus was and is Almighty God from everlasting to everlasting.  He is the creator of all that exists and is “firstborn” over all creation in the sense that He is the preeminent originator of life and the universe (Mic 5:2; Ps 90:2; Jn 1:1-3; Ac 3:14-15; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2).  This meaning for the word “firstborn” can be understood by comparing Genesis 41:51-52, which states that Manasseh was Joseph’s “firstborn” son while Ephraim was the second, with Jeremiah 31:9, where God calls Ephraim the “firstborn.”  Obviously, “firstborn” does not always mean the one literally born first.

 

Death and sin came through the fall of Adam and Eve.  But their deed was not actually a “sin.”  It was really a blessing because it enabled man to continue progressing on toward eternal life.  “They (the Christian world) have been long taught that Adam and Eve were great transgressors…We, the children of Adam….should rejoice with them, that through their fall and the atonement of Jesus Christ, the way of eternal life has been opened up to us” (Articles of Faith, p. 476)

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Rejoicing is hardly the proper response to Adam’s sin.  Because of that sin, both Adam and Eve died spiritually and their physical bodies began to deteriorate.  Eve was given pain and sorrow in child-bearing, Adam was required to work and sweat in order to eat, the entire creation was cursed, they were thrown out of the Garden forever, and the entire human race was destined to be born dead in sins and children of god’s wrath by nature.  To rejoice in the fall of man is to embrace Satan’s lie.  It was Satan who deceived Eve by convincing her that sin was good and would bring her knowledge and reward.  (Ge 3:16-24; Ro 3:23; 5:12-15, 17-19; 8:19-22 Eph 2:1-5; 1Jn 3:4)

The Doctrine of Salvation

Christ’s death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam’s sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed – resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift.

“If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection.  The body would have remained forever in the grave” (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)

“Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked” (Ibid., p. 65)

“Immortality is a free gift which comes by grace alone without works on man’s part” (Ibid., p. 377)

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Not everyone is blessed through Christ’s crucifixion.  Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24).  Eternal life “in Christ,” and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23).  This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10).

 

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Jesus’ death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10).  In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man’s disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)

 

As you can there is NO WAY Mormonism follows the basics of Christianity.

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Jehovah’s Witness and Christianity (From AllExperts.com)

 

A.  God

    1.  The JW belief about God is that only the Father is God.  They do not believe the Son is God, nor do they believe that the Holy Spirit is a living personality, but rather a force.

    2.  The Christian belief states that there is 1 God, whom the Bible has revealed in 3 separate and distinct persons, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  These 3 persons are not 3 separate Gods, but 3 persons uniting as the one true God of creation.  Just as 1 family may have many different members, each a separate person, but not a separate family.  The many members would unite as 1 family, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit unite as one God.

B.  Jesus Christ

   1.  The JW belief about Jesus Christ is that He was created by the Father in the beginning, is the same being in Scripture as Michael the Archangel, and came to earth and died on an upright pole (They do not believe He died on a cross).  They believe He was not raised in a fleshly body, but rather as a spirit being.  They believe that Jesus will never return to this earth in the flesh, but instead, has been ruling the earth invisibly from heaven since the year 1914.

   2.  The Christian view about Christ, is that He is fully God, and was always in existence in the beginning with God (John 1:1-3).  He is not a creation, but rather the Creator.  We do not believe He is Michael the Archangel, or any other angel.  Instead, He is above the angels of heaven, and is to be worshipped by them (Hebrews 1:4, 6, 8).  Christians believe that He died on the cross, rose again in the flesh (Luke 24:36-39; John 2:19-21), and will return to this earth in power and judgment (Rev. 1:7, 19:11-16).  Christians also believe that putting one’s faith in the death of Jesus Christ as an atonement for sin, is the only way by which we can enter the kingdom of God.  It is not by our good works, but by His work on the cross.

C.  The Bible

   1.  The JW belief about the Bible is that it is the Word of God.  It should be mentioned, however, that they have produced their own translation of the Bible, in which many verses have been changed to support their beliefs.  It is called the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, and it is the one that they believe in.  They also believe that the Bible cannot be interpreted by the individual, but must be interpreted with the help of the publications of the Watchtower Society, which they view as the “faithful and wise servant” of Matthew 24:45-51 and Luke 12:42-48.

   2.  The Christian view of the Bible is that is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, and that it alone can “make us wise unto salvation” (1 Tim. 3:15-17).  It should be read and studied diligently, and is meant to be understood.  It is God’s will that all people be saved, and He will not hide the message of eternal life from anyone who desires to know Him (John 17:3, 2 Peter 3:9).

D.  Heaven

    1.  The JW belief concerning Heaven, is that it is reserved for only 144,000 select individuals, while the rest of saved mankind (faithful JWs) will live forever on a paradise Earth.  These with an Earthly destiny are called the “Great Crowd” (Rev. 7:9), or the “other sheep” (John 10:16), and have no hope of ever going to Heaven or seeing God.

   2.  Christians believe that anyone who puts their faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, and lives for Him, can enter the Heavenly kingdom of God.  We believe that Christians go to Heaven immediately at death, and those who live until the return of Christ, will be “caught up” (raptured) to Heaven to be with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18).  There will be a Tribulation period of 7 years on this Earth, and at the conclusion of this period, Christ will return and set up a kingdom here for the duration of 1,000 years.  At the conclusion of this time, Satan will be allowed to tempt mankind one final time, after which himself and those who follow him, will be cast into everlasting punishment.  There will then be a “new Heavens and a new Earth”, where righteousness will last for eternity.  All Christians will be able to enjoy Heaven, and a paradise Earth (Rev. 19-22). 

E.  Hell

    1.  JWs do not believe in a literal Hell, but that Hell only represents the grave.

    2.  Christians believe that there is a literal Hell, which was prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).  It is not God’s will that any human go to Hell, and by accepting Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, we will escape Hell.  Those who reject Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will have no atonement for their sins, and will be under the judgment of God (Rev. 14:9-11).  But by making Jesus Christ the Lord of one’s life, he/she can live forever in God’s kingdom.

F.  Holidays

    1.  JWs forbid their members from celebrating almost every holiday, including the individual’s own birthday.

    2.  Christians believe the principle found in Romans 14:4-6, namely, that days of celebration are an issue for each person to decide for him/herself, provided that they use that day to honor God.  Certainly days which have occultic connections, such as Halloween, would not be honored by those who are true servants of God.  But when it comes to celebrating days which remind us of Christ’s birth or resurrection, each Christian has the freedom to do this if he wishes. 

G.  Medicine

    1.  JWs, in the past, forbade their members from receiving vaccinations against diseases, or life-saving organ transplants.  It was taught that these procedures were “against God’s law”, and many loyal JWs died as a result of their obedience to these teachings.  Though these procedures are no longer forbidden by the Watchtower Society, they do forbid the practice of blood transfusions.  Today, a loyal JW will allow himself, or even his child, to die rather than accept a blood transfusion.  Just as JWs many years ago on the issue of vaccination and organ transplants, the loyal JW today is taught that blood transfusions are “against God’s law”.  A JW believes that, to accept a blood transfusion, would be jeopardizing his chances of everlasting life.

    2.  Christians recognize the Old Testament prohibition against eating blood, which was given to the Jews.  They do not, however, extend this command to the practice of blood transfusions.

 

AGAIN Jehovah’s Witnesses is definitely not part of the basics of Christianity.

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Christian Science (From OnceDelivered.net)

 

What the Bible says about God:

What Christian Science says about God:

There is one true and living God, who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 1:1-3, 6:27, 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Peter 1:2).

Christian Science teaches that “the theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Triunity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM…. Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, pp. 256, 361). Eddy also denied that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, since God is an impersonal “principle.” The Trinity is redefined as life, truth, and love.

What the Bible says about Jesus:

What Christian Science says about Jesus:

He is the virgin-born Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35).  He is eternal, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:1-13). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-14).

Christian Science denies the deity of Christ: “Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, p. 361). It also denies His virgin birth: “A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fullness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God…. Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God” (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29-30).Christian Science minimizes Christ’s work at Calvary: “One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin…. The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree’ than when it was flowing in His veins…. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin” (Science and Health, pp. 23, 253).Eddy taught, “If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me” (First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 318-19).Finally, Christian Science denies that Jesus died and rose again: “His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulcher, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense…. Jesus’ students … learned that He had not died” (Science and Health, pp. 44-46).

What the Bible says about salvation:

What Christian Science says about salvation:

Christ’s death at Calvary completely paid our sin debt so that salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus (John 3:16, 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

Since sin and death are false beliefs (illusions), salvation involves overcoming the false idea that they exist with the realization of man’s divine spirit and mind. “Man as God’s idea is already saved with an everlasting salvation” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 261).

What the Bible says about man:

What Christian Science says about man:

God created man in His image – with a human spirit, personality and will. A person’s life begins at conception and is everlasting, but not eternal; that is, our lives have no end, but they did have a beginning (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 139:13-16).

People are divine spirits, or part of God. “God is the principle of man; and the principle of man remaining perfect, its idea or reflection – man – remains perfect” (Science and Health, p. 466). Eddy further taught, “Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (Science and Health, p. 468).

What the Bible says about the Bible:

What Christian Science says about the Bible:

The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, and is His sole written authority for all people (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

Christian Science interprets the Bible in light of Eddy’s writings, particularly Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In addition, Eddy expressed some doubts about the textual reliability of the Bible: “a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages” (Science and Health, p. 139).

What the Bible says about sin:

What Christian Science says about sin:

Sin is violation of God’s holy standards. All humans are sinners (Rom. 3:10) and are under the curse of sin – spiritual and physical death (Gen. 2:17, 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Only faith in Christ and His work on our behalf frees us from sin and its consequences (John 3:16, 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9).

Sin, along with death, disease and pain, are not real; they are merely illusions. “The only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief…. They are not true, because they are not of God” (Science and Health, p. 472).

What the Bible says about death:

What Christian Science says about death:

Physical and spiritual deaths come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1). People become spiritually alive when they are “born again” (John 3:3-6; Eph. 2:1-5). At physical death, our souls and spirits separate from our bodies [which go into the grave to await resurrection and final judgment] and enter an everlasting state of blessedness [for those born again] or torment [for those who die in their sins] (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8).

Death is an illusion. People, like God, are immortal spirit or mind and therefore do not die.

What the Bible says about heaven and hell:

What Christian Science says about heaven and hell:

Hell is a place of everlasting conscious existence where the unbeliever is forever separated from God (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10).  As for Heaven, all believers have God’s promise of a home in Heaven, will go there instantly upon physical death, and will return with Christ from Heaven to earth one day (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 19:11-16).

Christian Science teaches that “the sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right” (Science and Health, p. 266). “The advanced psychist knows that this hell is mental, not material, and that the Christian has no part in it (The first Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160). “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind” (Science and Health, p. 291).

 

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Unitarian (Unitarian Universalist since 1961)

 

1. Source of Authority. The UUs deny the divine inspiration and absolute authority of the Scriptures. They claim the Bible was merely the creation of men, and therefore, the Bible contains many “inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and errors.” They substitute human reason for revelation as their source of authority, and believe there are no absolute or infallible guides, including reason. [HJB] In fact, UUs desire a world religion that “draws from and honors the teachings of all of the great religious traditions.”

2. Trinity. The UUs deny that one God exists in three Persons. Instead, they claim that Trinitarian doctrine was added by the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. [HJB]

3. God. The UUs hold a variety of liberal views about God: Some do not believe that He is a Person, but instead claim He is an impersonal spirit, a natural force, or a principle. Some even claim that He is a created being, not supernatural. Others even deny His existence completely.

4. Jesus Christ. The UUs deny the deity of Christ — that He is not God and Savior, but only a good man and teacher. They claim that the apostles and other Christian writers added to the Scriptures the teachings concerning Christ’s atonement for sin.

5. Salvation. The UUs teach that the essence of salvation is character development (“deeds not creeds”), rather than faith in Jesus Christ alone — the “social gospel” reigns supreme in UU. This belief allows every person to do whatever is right in his own eyes as long as he is sincere about it (including homosexual behavior — UU became the first denomination to call for the legal recognition of same-sex marriages [Associated Press:6/25/96]; as early as 1970, UUs called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals, and in 1980, UUs resolved that homosexuals should be ordained.).

6. Hell. The UUs hold the “universalist” belief that no one will be eternally condemned. They, therefore, deny the existence of hell, claiming it is unreasonable for a loving God to send people to a place of eternal torment. They believe that we suffer the consequences of sin in this life only. [HJB] (From RapidNet.com. See Also: Unitarian Universalist Beliefs and Practices and Unitarian Universalism Exposed.)

 

Yup, Unitarianism does not pass the Basic Christian test. There are other Christian off-shoots that are better described as a cult because they do not pass the Basic Christian principle. AND yet the Word of Faith Movement is labeled a heretical Christian off-shoot by what is known as Mainline Christians that follow the basics but have variations of dogma.

 

There are more Christian off-shoots that do not follow the basics of the faith but call them self Christian that I have not listed here. You can Google those other cults or you can take a look at a comparison chart I found HERE. However, even that chart lists some of the bigger cults and doesn’t show them all.

 

The point I am driving home is that the Word of Faith as a movement should not be labeled a heretical cult because various Protestant Denominations, Roman Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox Church consider WF principles as heretical. Trust me there are many Protestants that look upon Roman Catholicism as Popery or Papist heresy. There are many Protestants that reject the Eastern Orthodox concept of deification because of the belief it is heretical. Keep in mind the Eastern Orthodox Church is older than the Roman Catholic Church and definitely older than Protestant Denominationalism. Then there was the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mutual excommunication of each other over something as simple as where the Holy Spirit proceeds from: e.g. does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son or just the Father.

 

Okay, I’ve set the tone in support of WF. Now in future posting I am going to examine the WF beliefs that are outside the basics of Christianity.

 

JRH 9/5/12

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