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“The Word of Faith Movement”
by Art Sadlier   
April 1st, 2011

The Word of Faith Movement is also known as Positive Confession or as the Prosperity Gospel. They present a Jesus who is not the Jesus of the Bible, consequently they preach another gospel. They are false prophets.

All Word of Faith preachers believe that Christians are little gods. In connection with that they teach that faith is not to be placed in God, but rather it is a force that is to be directed at God to force Him to do what you want Him to do. Benny Hinn says, “God has the power to interfere in our affairs but you have to give Him the permission to do so.” That raises man up to a level of Godhead. This is another aspect of the penetration of the New Age movement into the evangelical church. The new age teaches that man is God.

These men teach that man was made in the image of God and that means man is a god. They project, that when man fell he lost his deity. They further say that when man yielded to Satan, Satan took man’s deity and that consequently Satan became the legal guardian of the earth and that God was excluded from the earth. Their reasoning goes on to say that when a man is born again, his deity is restored to him, though he must work to develop it.

They teach that Jesus did not come as God but rather grew into His godhead. In the same manner we grow into our godhead. Ken Copeland said, “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God.”

In a further perversion of the gospel they say that the physical death of Christ was not sufficient to atone for sin. They say that Christ had to die spiritually and go to hell and suffer the agonies of hell to pay for our sins. Contrariwise, sin is not atoned for in hell, it is God that has to be satisfied that the price of sin has been paid. It is God that pours out His wrath on sin, not Satan. We read in Isaiah 53:11, "He (God) shall see of the travail of his (Christ's) soul, and shall be satisfied.....for he (Christ) shall bear their iniquities." (Not become their iniquities)

If Christ died spiritually he would be giving up His deity and if he could give up His deity He never was God in the first place. God cannot die, and the scriptures do not teach that Christ died spiritually.

The scriptures teach from cover to cover that sin is atoned for by the shedding of blood. Not by the blood of bulls and goats and lambs which were but a type of Christ. Hebrews 13:12, “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

When Christ died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” He did not go to hell when He died, to suffer any further, the work of redemption was finished and complete. He said to the thief on the cross, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise,” not in hell. Jesus did not die spiritually, He said when He died physically, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” His spirit did not die.

Another false teaching that has been popularized by Word of Faith preachers is the idea that Jesus was made sin, is that true? Does the bible teach that?

Jesus was not made to be sin, it could not be so. If Christ was made to be sin, He could not be God. The “Word of Faith” preachers teach that because Christ was made to be sin and because sin is a spiritual issue, Christ had to go to hell and be judged and tormented in His spirit and die in His spirit to atone for sin.

 We repeat what we have previously demonstrated that Christ suffered in His body to pay the price of sin. “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me” (Hebrews 10:5).  “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree; that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

2 Corinthians 5:21 might seem to teach that Jesus was made to be sin. No other scriptures can be found to support this interpretation. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

This word “sin” is translated in other places as “sin offering.” (See Hebrews 10:6, 8, 18, Hebrews 13:11, Leviticus 5:8 - See Bullinger).  Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin....” His soul was not made to be sin; it was an offering for sin. If his soul was made to be sin He could not atone for sin. The lamb, in the type, had to be spotless and perfect, the lamb had sin placed on it but it was perfect and pure or it was disqualified as an offering for sin.

The lamb was holy before the sacrifice, it was holy during the sacrifice and it was holy after the sacrifice.

The implications of Christ going to hell and dying spiritually for sin are significant. If Christ could die spiritually for sin He could not be God. The Word of Faith preachers claim that Christ was born again after His spiritual death in hell and took up his deity once again. They claim that when a man is born again he also takes on deity and is a god, and will grow in His deity.

I repeat, evidence that Christ did not die spiritually is found in the fact that Christ on the cross said to the father, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Obviously His spirit was not dead.

The teaching that the Father turned His back on Christ when Christ took on Himself our sin is not correct. The Father held back His hand of deliverance; He allowed the sentence of death for our sin to be fully paid. Nevertheless the Father did not forsake him. Jesus had cried out in the garden, “If it be possible”? On the cross the father was saying in effect, “Son it is not possible for me to deliver you, the price has to be paid.”  God stayed the hand of Abraham from slaying his son Isaac, but He could not stay His own hand from slaying His Son. It was the hand of God that plunged the knife into His own Son. In that sense only, did Christ cry out in His humanness, “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

The fact that Christ communicated with the Father as He hung on the cross is evidence that the father had not forsaken Him.

In Psalm 22:1, we see Christ in his humanness (as we saw it in the garden) feeling deserted by the Father, as the father allows the penalty to be executed. However in verse 24 we see Him expressing the presence of the Father as He hung on the cross. Verse 24, “For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.”

Isaiah 53:11 we see the Father gazing upon the Son as He hangs on the cross. “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.....”

We have a beautiful picture in Genesis 22 of a type of the Father and the Son going to the cross together. We see this in the phrase, “And they went both of them together,” Abraham and Isaac were a type of the Father and the Son going to Calvary together. Both had a part to play in this type of the death of Christ.

The Word of Faith teachers are bringing the basic New Age teachings into the evangelical church.

In their “Doctrine of the Covenants” they teach that the promises to Abraham concerning material prosperity are to be applied to the Christian today. God wants you to be rich, just believe it and it will be yours. The promises to Abraham are also to the seed of Abraham, and they are conditioned on obedience to God. They still apply today to Israel. The promises to the church are spiritual and heavenly blessings. Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Jesus said to His disciples, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” He talked to them about suffering deprivation in this world as His disciples. "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

Another new age concept promoted by these false teachers is what they call visualization. If you visualize something in your mind you will get it. This is a further promotion of the idea of man as a god.

For your warning, I will give you the names of some of these false teachers, Joyce Meyers, John Hagee, Creflo Dollar, Ken and Gloria Copeland, J.D Jakes, Benny Hinn, Paul and Jan Crouch and Joel Osteen. These people have a very widespread hearing through their television ministries. They are reaching millions. They represent the face of Christianity to much of the world. Through these false teachers the New Age concept of “man as God” is flooding into the Evangelical Church. 

That was one of the first lies of Satan to Eve, “Ye shall be as gods.” 

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