The Heretical Theology of the Word of Faith Movementby Danny Lirette
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The Word of Faith Movement has multiplied millions of followers in the world today… so just what “is” the WOF Movement?
First, I’m aware that in publishing this booklet I will come under attack by those who follow such false teachers as E.W Kenyon, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland and others; I am under no delusion that publishing this article will have supporters of the Word of Faith Movement up in arms. It’s a natural reaction when one’s favorite false prophets are examined in light of the Word of God. Nonetheless, I make no apologies for the statements made herein. The individuals I will name have made public statements which require public testing.
The individuals I will name have openly and unashamedly attacked the Cross of Christ and will be shown, Biblically, to not simply be “in error” but rather to be blasphemers of the true Grace of God.
[*If you feel inclined to defend these men and their false teachings against the cross, please be sure to do your homework first; comment only after you have read the entire article; in doing so, you will show that you’re more concerned with truth than a debate. *]
The WOF has two sides; the temporal and the theological (doctrinal). Concerning the temporal side, the WOF teaches – and very plainly so – that God wants all of His Children to be financially rich, always healthy and it claims that whatever you speak from your mouth is what your reality will be. In other words, the WOF promises all of God’s blessings … as long as you have “enough faith”.
The more money you give in the offering plate, according to the WOF, the more that you’ll receive back from God. They hold to a form of Old Covenant tithing that goes far beyond what tithing was ever meant to be. That God wants you to have millions of dollars is no small statement; the WOF believes you should have mountains of money and if you don’t… you lack faith and/or are not giving eenough money.
When an individual becomes sick – terminally – it’s due to sin and/or a lack of faith. In some WOF circles, they discourage seeing physicians and taking medication. To do so shows a “lack of faith”. Yet, as we will see, the most popular WOF teachers themselves have died of sickness and disease. It would seem that they themselves had a “lack of faith”.
The doctrinal positions of the WOF Movement are what I will focus on primarily as they teach things which are blatantly antichrist to the core. The major leaders of the WOF Movement (E.W Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Joeseph Prince, etc) are heretical in what they teach concerning the Cross of Christ. Many are not aware of the deviations in doctrine concerning these teachers, yet in this article I will attempt to show these deviations plainly.
– while upheld and defended by his supporters as a man who had great revelation – was in reality a false prophet. This man was a blasphemer of the Cross of Christ to the highest degree and yet many today affirm E.W Kenyon as a “Man of God” who brought revelation to the Body of Christ. Indeed he brought revelation… revelation which has caused many to turn from the true Gospel to a false gospel that can neither save or deliver.
E.W Kenyon was a student at the Boston School of Oratory which, at the time, was a place of New Thought Metaphysics, which is a cultic belief system which teaches that true reality is spiritual and that the spiritual is the cause for all physical effects. It teaches that the human mind creates it’s own reality. This is sorcery; it’s certainly not Biblical. God is the One who creates reality and determines our purpose and destiny; not our own minds. Mr. Kenyon was a New Age follower who brought his heretical teachings into the Church of Jesus Christ, placing a robe of Christian terms on his false teachings.
Kenyon taught that the physical death of Jesus Christ on the Cross did NOT remove your sins; he claims in his book, Jesus the Healer, on page 17, that the physical death of Jesus on the cross could never deal with satan, the source of sin and sickness.
Is this Biblical and if not, is it merely a “small” error? No. This error is one of eternal consequences; if we get the Cross wrong… we're lost. And this is precisely what Kenyon did; he attacked and blasphemed the Cross of Christ- and while I'm sure he had no idea that what he was teaching was doctrines of demons, he nonetheless did just that: he introduced a false Gospel to the Body of Christ; he certainly did not uphold the Biblical doctrine of the Atonement! The physical death of Jesus Christ – His atoning Blood – did indeed save you and I from our sins. While Kenyon says that the Blood of Jesus did not save us – the physical blood being shed – the Word says otherwise:
Hebrews 9:22 says “In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.”:
In Matthew 26:28 Jesus says, “for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.”
In 1 Peter 2:24 it says very very plainly that the physical death of Jesus on Calvary was what saved us:
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.”
While Kenyon speaks of the Blood Covenant, his views “on” the Blood of Jesus are pseudo-Christian; he was very clear in his statements that the Blood of Jesus Christ alone does not save. This places E.W Kenyon outside of the Kingdom of God and places him in the position of a false teacher. Those who deny that the shed physical Blood of Jesus saves are indeed antichrist and reserved for darkness.
He also taught that Jesus Christ took on the very nature of the devil when He died on the cross, that He died spiritually and went to Hell to suffer in our place. He taught this blasphemy on page 15 of his book Identification: A Romance in Redemption.
To claim that the Sinless Son of God had the very nature of the devil imparted to him when He was on the Cross is high treason against the Almighty.
What did Jesus say about this?
In John 14:30, Jesus says that satan has no power over Him: “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me,”
In a thesis submitted by D.R. McConnell to theological faculty, Oral Roberts University, McConnell summarizes Kenyon’s reasoning to the physical death of Jesus insufficient to atone, citing:
For Christ to defeat his enemies, He had to: (1) die spiritually and become one with Satan in order to provide salvation from sin and healing for sickness, (2) die physically and fulfill the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenant, (3) be dragged to Hell by Satan where He suffered the torments for the damned for three days and nights, (4) be recreated in Hell and , thus, become the first born again man, (5) defeat Satan and the Demonic host in open combat, (6) rise from the dead as vindication of His victory in Hell, and (7) ascend to the Father where He was enthroned and now serves as the priestly mediator of the new covenant. [D.R. McConnell, [_The Kenyon Connection: A Theological and Historical Analysis of the Cultic Origins of the Faith Movement _](Thesis submitted to the theological faculty, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 1982), 32-33. Also see Kenyon, [_Identification, _]8, 15, 18.]
The fruit of Kenyon’s teachings in his own life:
Kkenyon claimed that whatever you spoke out of your mouth would be what you experienced in your life. He was against spekaing anything that could be perceived as “negative” ([Kenyon and Gosset, Confession, pp. 129-36, 152-55, 182-85, etc.] ) Yet, Mr. Kenyon divorced his wife; his “positive confession” simply did not produce the benefits he claimed it would. In addition, while Kenyon believed that Christians should never be sick, he himself died while in a coma, brought on by a malignant tumor.
Truly, Mr. Kenyon’s own teachings did nothing for him in own personal life; he was a man who’s private life was not at all in line with his public “ministry”. While he taught perfect health and that nothing negative should happen to Christians, the opposite was what he himself experienced in his own life and ministry.
What about kenneth Hagin? He’s often credited as the father of the Faith Movement but in reality he was simply a follower of false prophet EW Kenyon and happened to become popular as satan raised him up to deceive the elect of God.
Hagin – like Kenyon – taught that the Sinless Son of God took on the very nature of the devil:
“spiritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan’s nature…Jesus tasted death—spiritual death—for every man.” (Kenneth E. Hagin, The Name of Jesus (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries). “
He then takes this a step further – further into delusion – when he says, ““He [Jesus] tasted spiritual death for every man. And His spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? Physical death wouldn’t remove your sins. He’s tasted death for every man. He’s talking about tasting spiritual death.” (Kenneth E. Hagin, How Jesus Obtained His Name (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, n.d.) “
According to Kenneth Hagin, Jesus Christ’s physical death on the Cross would not remove our sins and Jesus went to Hell “in my place” – referring to being tortured under satan’s control in outer darkness. Hagin was, clearly, a servant of devils who attacked the Cross of Christ.
Did Jesus in fact go to Hell, under the control of satan? No.
In Luke 23:43, He says that when He dies, He’ll be in Paradise (Heaven): “And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Kenneth Hagin obviously took his false teachings from Kenyon – they taught – as do all major WOF leaders – the same blasphemous things concerning Jesus Christ and His Cross.
Hagin – being a man full of pride – says, ““Man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…God has made us as much like Himself as possible…He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms equal with God…The believer is called Christ…That’s who we are; we’re Christ!” (Kenneth M. Hagin, Zoe: The God-Kind of Life (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.), 35-36, 41. “
He claims you and I are “Christ”. This is the fruit of false teaching; it elevates man and demotes God!
Joyce Meyer is another popular teacher embraced by many today. What, though, is her position on being Jesus and what He did at Calvary? In her “From the Cross to the Trhone, she states, ““And you’ve got to really glean some things out of the Word of God to really get hold of what He [Jesus] did for you during those three days. Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ And He meant the Old Covenant. The job He had to do was just getting started. He really did the job the three days and nights that He was in hell. That’s where the job was done.”
Joyce Meyer (What Happened from the Cross to The Throne?)”
Joyce Meyer – like Kenyon and Hagin – teaches that Jesus had to suffer in hell. As we have seen, this is heretical; Jesus did not suffer in Hell at the hands of satan. What delusion!
Listen to this clip; it’s joyce meyer teaching that Jesus Christ was being defeated by the devil in Hell.. powerless to do anything!
This is a transcript of her words: ““The Devil thought he had it, the devil thought he had won. Oh they were having the biggest party that has ever been had. They had my Jesus on the floor and they were standing on his back jumping up and down laughing and he had become sin. Don’t you think that God was pacing wanting to put a stop to what was going on. All the hosts of hell were up on him, up on him, up on him. The angels are in agony, all the creation is groaning. All the hosts of hell was up on him, up on him, they got on him. They got him down in the floor and got on him and they were laughing and mocking, “haha you trusted God and look where you ended up. You thought he would save you and get you off that cross – he didn’t haha.””
Where is any of this in Scripture? Nowhere. She completely made this up. She turned Jesus into a weak, defeated Person at the mercy of ..satan! Mrs. Meyer is a demonic blasphemer who hates the Cross of Christ; she may be affirmed by millions of Christians who love her “other” teachings (she’s a motivational speaker, really), but she certainly isn’t affirmed by the God she claims was weak and defeated at the hands of the devil in hell.
Rather than Salvation being purchased by the Blood of Jesus on the Cross, Joyce Meyer teaches that you can’t make Heaven unless you believe that He paid for your sins on the Cross and finished His work … in Hell!:
“During that time he entered hell where you and I deserved to go because of our sin. He paid the price there. No plan was too extreme. Jesus paid on the cross and in hell.”
“There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.” “ (The most important decision you will ever make, 1991 edition).
Mrs. Meyer also states that Jesus ceased being the Son of God!:
Transcript of above audio clip:
“He could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn’t do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin, he was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.”
friend, jesus was a sin offering; He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:234). He became sin in the sense of becoming a sin offering; he certainly didn’t literally turn into sin itself and He certainly didn’t cease being God’s Son as Joyce Meyer claims.
Finally, she teaches that Jesus was Born Again… in Hell:
Transcript of above audio clip:
“Do you know something? The minute that blood sacrifice was accepted Jesus was the first human being that was ever born again. Now that was real it happened when he was in hell.”
Joyce Meyer is a false prophetess; a demonically inspired blasphemer who attacks the Cross and the Person of Jesus Christ.
Let’s now take a look at Kenneth Copeland, another popular Word of Faith teacher. Just what does Mr. Copeland teach? You guessed it! He teaches what all popular WOF teachers hold to that we’ve already looked at!
“He allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived … Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him … [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived … In a thunder of spiritual force, the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus … [in] the pit of destruction, and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life … He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles … Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell … Jesus … was raised up a born-again man … The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited … !” (“The Price of it All,” Believer’s Voice of Victory).
According to Kenneth Copeland, Jesus was no different than the “most wicked sinner who ever lives” and was tortured by satan in hell before being Born Again. Is there anything in the Word of God that teaches this? Of course not; we’ve already given the Scriptures to show that this type of teaching is not only in error… but inspired by devils.
Let’s look at two more quotes:
“It wasn’t the physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin … anybody could do that.” (What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost)
“Every prophet that walked the face of the earth under the Abrahamic covenant could have paid the price if it were a physical death only” “When He said ‘It is finished’ on that cross, He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun; there were still three days and three nights to be gone through.” “[Jesus] accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own Spirit, and at the moment that He did so, He cried ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’.” “He [Jesus] was down in that pit and there he suffered the punishment for three horrible days and nights for Adam’s treason … There is a new birth takes place in the very depths of the earth, when the command of God says ‘That’s enough, loose him and let him go’.” (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne)
Kenneth Copeland affirms the false and heretical teaching that Jesus was under the power of satan and claims he redeemed us in Hell… rather than on the Cross alone.
Copeland descends into false prophecy concerning Jesus Christ and even states that he – Copeland himself! – could have saved the world:
"The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, "Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don't let your tradition trip you up." He said, "Think this way -- a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain." And I threw my Bible down... like that. I said, "What?" He said, "A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him." He said, "You are the very image, the very copy of that one." I said, "Goodness, gracious sakes alive!" And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, "Well now you don't mean, you couldn't dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?" He said, "Oh yeah, if you'd had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, 'cause you're a reborn man too." Kenneth Copeland (Substitution and Identification, #00-0202)
Clearly, Kenneth Copeland’s “god” is certainly a fictional one.
To you who affirm these men:
While I understand that there are godly Believers who uphold these false prophets as “Men and Women of God”, it’s nonetheless true that these men and women are just that: false prophets. You may believe that these men and women have “revelation” of Jesus… yet what Jesus are they speaking of?
Paul the Apostle makes clear to the Corinthians in chapter 2 verse 14 “You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.”
Brothers and sisters, do not “happily put up with” these false teachers; examine what they are teaching and test them:
“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.” (1 John 4:1)
In testing these men – as the above Scripture calls us to do – we are following the Word of God. Contrary to what many today say, it’s proper and right to test all teachings in light of the Word of God; to fail to do so is to invite deception.
I encourage you to examine the teachings of those who you claim are “of God” and not to blindly follow that which others are following.
While I have listed just a few – yet the most well known! – WOF teachers, let it suffice that the WOF Movement itself is contrary to the Word of God. I am aware that many will say, “You’re taking these men out of context!” yet I ask these precious saints one question, “Have YO U takemn the time to see if these statements are indeed true?”
I was involved in the WOF Movement for many years; I am certainly not getting my information from third party sources alone; I myself held to these doctrines until Jesus Christ – the Christ of the Scriptures – saved me and set me free from such blasphemous teachings about our Lord.
I pray that the Lord – by His Holy Spirit – will use this article to see many set free just as I was so many years ago.
First, I'm aware that in publishing this booklet I will come under attack by those who follow such false teachers as E.W Kenyon, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland and others; I am under no delusion that publishing this article will have supporters of the Word of Faith Movement up in arms. It's a natural reaction when one's favorite false prophets are examined in light of the Word of God. Nonetheless, I make no apologies for the statements made herein. The individuals I will name have made public statements which require public testing.