An Examination of the Word-Faith Movement Part 1

by Mike Ratliff

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)

I used to work at a Computer Store back in the mid 1980’s. I became a Christian just six months or so before I went to work there. One of my coworkers was a fellow who claimed to be a bi-vocational preacher. He was one of the most difficult people I have ever had to work with, but that is not the reason I am using this example for this article. He was also deeply into the Word-Faith movement.

I had two small children at that time and the youngest was constantly passing his infectious microbes to me. Therefore, it seemed as if I was also constantly fighting off colds and such. One day I was sitting at my desk trying to stop sneezing and coughing when my Word-Faith co-worker showed up. He said, “Hi, what’s going on?” I told him what was going on then lightheartedly mentioned that I was fighting a cold. What he said next really surprised me. He said, “You are sick because that is what you claimed.” I must have looked perplexed because he then said, “You are sick because you made a negative confession that you are sick.” That surprised me because I was pretty sure that I had the same cold my son had.

This fellow had graduated from Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma about a year earlier. The founder of that college was Kenneth Hagin. Hagin is also considered the founder of the Word-Faith movement. Here is a quote by Mr. Hagin, “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., 1989), 35-36, 41. I’m not sure which is worse, bringing God down to be equal with Man or elevating Man to be equal with God. In any case, this is blasphemous. This is the deification of man. Here is truth.

as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.”, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18 ESV)

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it– the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:19-25 ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved– and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:1-7 ESV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

Now, was man ever on equal footing with God? God created Man and placed him on the earth. He created the woman from the man. He gave them tasks to do and told them to obey Him. When they disobeyed, they plunged the entire human race into death and sin. (Genesis 1-3) Go read that carefully. Was Adam a created God? He was created from the dust of the earth. How about after salvation? Are we on equal footing with God because of our salvation? We cannot do one thing to save ourselves. According to Ephesians 2:1-10 we were DEAD in our trespasses and sins. We were spiritually dead. God had to save us by His grace through the faith He gave us. Okay, are we now deity since we are saved?

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV)

All in Christ are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. However, that does not mean that we are little gods. We are adopted through Jesus Christ. Notice that the plan of our salvation is still all about our Lord Jesus Christ, not us.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.(Romans 8:29-30 ESV)

Are we conformed unto the image of Christ the moment we are saved? Not hardly! When we are saved we are justified by faith. We are not given godlike powers or perfection. Our glorification awaits us when we enter eternity to be with our Lord forever. These Word-Faith blasphemers not only deify man, they demote God. Here are some quotes from some prominent Word-Faith folks.

Kenneth Copeland said that God is “A being that is very uncanny the way He’s very much like you and me. A being that stands somewhere around 6’-2″, 6’-3″, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand] span of nine inches across.” (Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985), audiotape #01-0601, side 1.

Jerry Savelle, while elaborating on Copeland’s teachings, said, “He is measured out heaven with a nine-inch span…The distance between my thumb and my finger is not quite nine inches. So, I know He’s bigger than me, thank God. Amen? But He’s not some great, big, old thing that couldn’t come through the door there and, you know, when He sat down, would fill every seat in the house. I don’t serve the Glob.” (Jerry Savelle, Framing Your World with the Word of God, Part 2 (Fort Worth, TX: Jerry Savelle Evangelistic Association, Inc., n.d.), audiotape #SS-36, side 1.

Morris Cerullo says, “As I lay there on the floor in this condition, my spirit was taken out of my body and the next thing I knew, I was in the heavens…Suddenly, in front of this tremendous multitude of people, the glory of God appeared. The Form that I saw was about the height of a man six feet tall, maybe a little taller, and twice as broad as a human body with no distinguishing features such as eyes, nose, or mouth.” (Morris Cerullo, The Miracle Book (San Diego, CA: Cerullo Word Evangelism, Inc., 1984), x-xi.

Benny Hinn said, “I could almost visibly see the Lord, and I cold tell you what He was wearing.” Jan Crouch, giddy about Hinn’s statement, asks, “Was that the Holy Spirit?” Acknowledging that he may get in trouble, Hinn resolutely answers “yes.” (Benny Hinn and Jan Crouch, Praise the Lord program on TBN (October 3, 1991).

Benny Hinn also made the following statement, “Man, I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me here. Lift your hands. Something new is going to happen here today. I felt it just as I walked down here. Holy Spirit, take over in the name of Jesus…God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person; and He is a triune being by Himself separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost. Say, what did you say? Hear it, hear it, hear it. See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person. But each one of them is a triune being by Himself. If I can shock you—and maybe I should—there’s nine of them. Huh, what did you say? Let me explain: God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul, and his own personal spirit-body. You say, Huh, I never heard that. Well you think you’re in this church to hear things you’ve heard for the last 50 years?” (Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn program on TBN (October 3, 1991).

Two years after his initial “revelation,” Hinn once again voiced virtually the same statement. As he puts it, “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost—three separate individuals, one in essence, one in work—and, may I add, each one of them possess His own spirit-body. You don’t like it?” (Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord program on TBN (October 23, 1992).

Kenneth Copeland said, “I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is…The biggest one in the whole Bible is God…Now, the reason you don’t think of God as a failure is He never said He’s a failure. And you’re not a failure till you say you’re one.” (Kenneth Copeland, Praise-a-Thon program on TBN (April 1988). He also said, “Adam committed high treason; and at that point, all the dominion and authority God had given to him was handed over to Satan. Suddenly, God was on the outside looking in…After Adam’s fall, God found Himself in a peculiar position…God needed an avenue back into the earth…God laid out His proposition and Abram accepted it. It gave God access to the earth and gave man access to God. Technically, if God ever broke the Covenant, He would have to destroy Himself.” (Kenneth Copeland, Our Covenant with God (Fort Worth, TX: KCP Publications, 1987), 8-11 passim.

Enough of this! These quotes are readily available all across the Internet, but if you Love God it will tear your heart out to read this garbage. God is not a failure. He is never taken by surprise. He knows all and is all-powerful. What should be amazing to us is that God hasn’t reached out and smashed these blasphemers like insects. Oh, that is coming…

Not only do these people deify man while demoting God, they also deify Satan. Here are some quotes.

Benny Hinn said, “God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man. He faces the Father as a man. I face devils as the son of God..Quit your nonsense! What else are you? If you say, I am, you’re saying I’m a part of Him, right? Is he God? Are you His offspring? Are you His children? You can’t be human! You can’t! You can’t! God didn’t give birth to flesh…You said, “Well, that’s heresy.” No, that’s your crazy brain saying that.” (Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ #2—The Word Made Flesh (Orlando: Orlando Christian Center, 1991), videotape #255.

Kenneth Copeland is willing to give ownership of the earth to Satan: “God’s on the outside looking in. He doesn’t have any legal entree into the earth. The thing don’t belong to Him. You see how sassy the Devil was in the presence of God in the book of Job? God said, Where have you been? Wasn’t any of God’s business. He [Satan] didn’t even have to answer if he didn’t want to ..God didn’t argue with him a bit! You see, this is the position that God’s been in…Might say, ‘Well, if God’s running things He’s doing a lousy job of it.” He hadn’t been running ‘em, except when He’s just got, you know, a little bit of a chance.” (Kenneth Copeland, Image of God in You III (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), audiotape #01-1403, side 1.

Copeland goes on to say, “The Bible says that God gave this earth to the sons of men…and when [Adam] turned and gave that dominion to Satan, look where it left God. If left Him on the outside looking in…He had no legal right to do anything about it, did He?…He had injected Himself illegally into the earth—what Satan had intended for Him to do was to fall for it—pull off an illegal act and turn the light off in God, and subordinate God to himself…He intended to get God into such a trap that He couldn’t get out.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.

Satan is the god of this age not because God is on the outside looking in, but because the vast majority of people are dead in their trespasses and sins. Satan controls them as much as God allows Him to. When God saves someone, Satan is the one on the outside looking in. I would not want to be Copeland or Hinn when they stand before the Great White Throne.

These folks also demote Christ. Now, after what Christ has done for His sheep, why do you suppose these folks would do that? Here are their quotes.

Kenneth Copeland said, “[Adam] was the copy, looked just like [God]. If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike. If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and sound exactly alike.” (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987), audiotape #01-0304, side 1.
Copeland claims that Jesus Christ told him in the following prophecy: “Don’t be disturbed when people put you down and speak harshly and roughly of you. They spoke that way of Me, should they not speak that way of you? The more you get to be like Me, the more they’re going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah.”
(Kenneth Copeland, Take Time to Pray, Believer’s Voice of Victory 15, 2 (February 1987): 9.

Copeland said, “What [why] does God have to pay the price for this thing? He has to have a man that is like that first one. It’s got to be a man. He’s got to be all man. He cannot be a God and come storming in here wilth attributes and dignities that are not common to man. He can’t do that. It’s not legal.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.

Benny Hinn writes, “And let me add this: Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He would have sinned. That’s right, it was the Holy Spirit that was the power that kept Him pure. He was not only sent from heaven, but He was called the Son of Man—and as such He was capable of sinning…Without the Holy Ghost, Jesus would have never have made it…Can you imagine Christ headed for the grave, knowing He would remain there forever, if the Holy Ghost would change His mind about raising Him from the dead?” (Benny Hinn, Good Morning, Holy Spirit (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990), 135-36.

Copeland promises, “Here’s where we’re gonna depart from ordinary church: Now, you see, God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus—these faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in Him…He can’t just walk onto the earth and say, “Let it be!” because He doesn’t have the right. He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world that was blockin’ every way that he possibly could.” (Kenneth Copeland, The Image of God in You III (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), audiotape #01-1403, side 2. He continues by adding, “God was making promises to Jesus, and Jesus wasn’t even there. But, you see, God deals with things that are not yet as though they already were. That’s the way He gets them to come to pass.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.

How does that compare with Paul’s wonderful exposition of the superiority of Christ throughout all of his epistles? Do you see how these folks take a very tiny part of scripture, twist it, and then misuse it for their own? Who does that?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV)

Who’s the one actually sneaking around? It sure isn’t God. This is enough for now. We have only scratched the surface here. We haven’t yet looked at how these folks twist what our beloved Saviour did on the cross and why. What should be very disturbing to us is that these people are what the world sees and thinks is Christian. They are on Television constantly with their hands out asking for money. It should be very disturbing to any genuine believer that God is treated like this. Who else could be behind that but the father of all lies?

One last thing before we close this article. I have debated a few people in this movement. It is very strange for someone you love and care about deeply tell you that the Bible does not contain all of God’s revelation for Man. They will claim that they also receive the Word of God directly via revelation by spiritual means. If there is any conflict with the Bible then their revelation takes precedence. If we keep that in mind when reading the statements by Copeland, Hagin, and the rest of these charlatans, it should be obvious where their “revelation” is coming from.

37 thoughts on “An Examination of the Word-Faith Movement Part 1

  1. Oh, that’s how they get around the Bible. They have extra knowledge from God himself. I led my brother to discernment sites on the internet but he wouldn’t go and check them out. He claimed that people are just causing divisions. We don’t speak to each other anymore because I asked him were in the Bible does it say Jesus went to Hell for our sins! They add to the Bible! It really makes me agitated just reading it! :)

  2. Deb,

    I had that same “discussion” with some family members a few years ago. When I was told that there is revelation outside of the Bible that ended it for me. We must pray for God to open their eyes and bring them into the light.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  3. Mike,
    A good start in exposing the primary purpose of WOF teaching. As I read these quotes the words of Isaiah 14:13,14 kept coming to mind, “And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” I WILL MAKE MYSELF LIKE THE MOST HIGH. People who get these thoughts and desires are simply exposing the true spirit that rules in their heart. Nothing changes when it comes to sin and death. Death is always the result when one makes himself to be like God. May the Spirit of God direct your thoughts and words in the days ahead to expose this death trap.

    Loddie

  4. I beg you to have your site redone. Your content is too good to be relegated to a single column with a width of only 1/4 – 1/3 of the screen.

  5. Greg,

    I have been out of pocket for nearly a week, but I’m back now. I have been wanting to change the format for some time now. I am working on it brother.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

    Addendum:

    How about this template? :-)

  6. I still deal with people from Pentecostal/Charismatic churches that I would call ‘The confession police.” Make a simple remark about coming down with a cold and Immediately they write me up a ticket, scolding me for lack of faith.
    I used to be immersed in the movement myself without truly realizing it. I was a big Dake’s Annotated bible fan, using it almost exclusively to study the scriptures. He taught many of the errors these Word-Faith teachers espouse. He taught sickness, disease and poverty were due to lack of faith in the provision God has already blessed us with. He taught that each member of the Trinity has a body, soul and spirit. He also taught man can be born-again hundreds, if not thousands of times if necessary. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many of these Word-Faith guys use the Dake’s bible. I still have mine, but I keep it around to remind me how faithful God has been in delivering me from such grievous errors.

  7. becaonlght,

    I like your handle because it does speak of you being in the light and no longer in the darkness of man-made religion. I rejoice that you are free from the lies of the enemy. I have close relavtives in this darkness. They consider us to be the ones in darkness, but we are the ones who refuse to accept their extra-biblical revelations. We must pray for God to wake them up.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  8. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father.
    John 2:22-23a

    Thanks for the information Mike. I had no idea they were this far out. They seek to demean, disgrace, and dishonor the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand why they would want to call themselves ‘Christian’ after trying so hard to belittle Christ.

    “And you said in your heart… I will make myself like the Most High.”
    Well said, Loddie.

  9. Maybe you could point out these important truths to Todd Friel over at Way of the Master Radio. He used to point out the lies of these guys, but since the show is on TBN now he doesn’t “think” mentioning them by name is productive. He will name names of heretics like Robb Bell, Doug Pagitt, etc, but not if they are part of the TBN in crowd.

    Their poison is too dangerous to ever ignore, or downplay. Thanks for another great article!

  10. WOW! I have come across these programs on television now and then, but really never sank into any of them. I pray and am thankful that my God has protected me. There are millions who listen and believe in these people. (Believe In These People). They are so missing what God really has for us. None of us can be saved by another person. And there is no-one on earth that can even come close to calling themselves God. We all fall short of Glory of God and until Jesus comes back to gather us home, we will always fall short of God’s Glory. We all have to have our own personal relationship with God, Our Father, The Son, Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and The Comforter, Our Holy Spirit, (The Trinity), and might I add the only Trinity. My heart cries out for each one of these miss lead children and all of their followers. I am Thankful to the Lord for waiting for me to see the light. Our time is short and our prayers must not cease for the eyes and ears of the miss lead, and the lost to be opened that they to may see the light and hear the truth. The Truth will prevail.

  11. Really like the new format Mike. Well do you have your armor on?? :) We are sure you do. You have started this series very well. We have had to go seperate ways from many wof’ers too. They tend to go for the jugular if you disagree with them, even when you can prove with scripture where they are ‘off’. You put an ‘L’ in that wof and I guess you could see who it is running them! Have a blessed day and looking forward to the next post……….

  12. Thanks Paul! Yes, I am armored. It seems as if every sin I have ever committed has been cast up before my eyes today and last night while I was working on this post. The result has been to humble me. I know I need a lot more of that and so I know God is using this to do a work in me. If He is working in me, how can I complain? Ken Silva posted a Word Faith article last night as well. God did that. I’m sure a lot of people will think we planned it that way, but I had no idea Ken was working on a series of articles about Joel Osteen and his WOF leanings. :-) Keep praying!

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  13. In times past I used to wonder where to begin when the errors were as manifold and various as those espoused by the apostate, heretical leaders and followers of the word faith movement. More recently however I’ve come to realize the root of their error is centered squarely on their utter failure to comprehend the Word of God, which can only be understood by the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

    … in thy light shall we see light. (Psalms 36:9)

    This failure to properly exegete God’s Word and faithfully teach His precepts is a clear indication that these people are unregenerate unbelievers who are playing word games with the Bible. I shudder to imagine the condemnation and hot coals they’re literally heaping upon themselves by their abominable activity.

    I realize this post in focused on the word faith error, yet the word faith gurus aren’t alone in their perverse predilection for peddling spiritual pornography, not by a long shot. They’re almost mystically joined in their low view of scripture and lofty view of man by the emergent / seeker sensitive / purpose driven cabal who are all guilty of formulating and espousing a man-centered non-gospel message of self esteem.

    This seemingly “new” and “culturally relevant” Nerf theology is a familiar stranger to the true church of Christ. This is because it’s the same old pack of lies that the devil has been repackaging, dusting off, and trotting out for ages. Whether Gnosticism, modernism, post-modernism, or plain old fashioned easy-believism (pick your -ism) it’s a lie from the pit of hell.

    Let it be known that God does not “discover” truths about Himself, or about the world or anything else for that matter. God doesn’t “dream dreams” that He’d like to make reality with man’s help. The very notion is simultaneously so absurd and so nauseating that it’s difficult for me to even entertain without becoming righteously indignant.

    The God of the Holy Bible is the self contained and comprehensive Ultimate Ultimate. He is and He makes the truth that men come to know and He has always – fully and completely – known Himself from all eternity. God didn’t simply find out the truth earlier or in greater measure than men and then make a legal or procedural mistake which forced Him to reconsider the matter afresh and come up with a solution to the problem He created as is suggested by the raving demoniac Kenneth Copeland! God doesn’t change or correct His course because of mankind, Satan, or anything in all of Creation! God is unfolding history precisely as He has always planned and ordained and nothing can thwart His perfect and sovereign will.

    I’d also like to comment on the deeply flawed and closely held belief within the word faith movement that there is “new” or “personal” revelation available to men outside the canon of scripture. When I hear those perverse clowns regurgitate the contents of their visions, ecstatic visitations, and otherworldly messages I have no doubt that they’re truly experiencing genuine spiritual manifestations, unfortunately for them and their deceived followers those manifestations are manifestly demonic.

    The whole system of God’s truth is set forth in the Holy Bible and the witness of the Holy Spirit alone is able to convince men of its divine origins and enlighten their spirits through regeneration that men might be able to receive the truth of God’s self attesting Word. The Word attests to Christ, and Christ attests to the Word, in fact Christ was the Word made flesh! As any Christian ought to know the writers of scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit to set forth God’s unique system of truth and thus the system of truth is self-attesting, period, end of story – no more “new revelation”, no more “new light”, zip, zilch, nada.

    Therefore with the irrefutable truth that the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible and plenary Word established we can know for certain that the testimony or influence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man cannot be in the nature of new information. Otherwise the scriptures would no longer be self attesting if the Spirit gave additional information and we know that God cannot deny Himself.

    I apologize for the length of this post, Mike. I guess I needed to sound off this evening.

    In Christ,

    CD

  14. I checked out from my public library “The Agony of Deceit: What Some TV Preachers are Really Teaching” which was written in 1990 by Michael Horton and a host of contributors, one of whom was R.C. Sproul. Reads like it was written today. Nice to know they were calling Word-Faith a heresy long before Joel Osteen and the 60 Minutes story. The Body of Christ has been blessed with faithful theologians.

    R.C. Sproul “Sometimes the errors are grievous and represent immediate danger to the people we teach when the errors reach the level of compromising the very essence of Christianity; then they certainly reach the rank of heresy.”

    Michael Horton: ” It’s easier to play the game and not rock the boat. But one wonders if it isn’t better to rock the boat than to miss the boat. The issues at stake are not trivial, but basic to eternal life. What is perhaps more dicouraging to me than the televangelists themselves is the response I have heard time and time again from well-meaning brothers and sisters: “Don’t cause strife. Let the Lord take care of it.” “What if we treated unbelievers that way?” “Don’t bother telling your best friend he is God’s enemy and can be reconciled only through faith in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice. Let the Lord take care of it.” God TAKES CARE OF IT through OUR responsible, loving, but bold confrontation.”

    Tomorrow is the 490th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation:
    “I am not permitted to let my love be so merciful as to tolerate and endure false doctrine. When faith and doctrine are concerned and endangered, neither love nor patience are in order….For a defective life does not destroy Christendom, but exercises it. However, defective doctrine and false faith ruin everything. Therefore, when these are concerned, neither toleration nor mercy are in order, but only anger, dispute, and destruction—to be sure, only with the Word of God as our weapon.”
    Martin Luther

    Michael Horton: ” There is no reason to believe that Jesus Christ has reneged on His promise to build His church. If it is true that Jesus Christ is building His church, we cannot cause division or disunity where genuine unity exists. Where Jesus is believed in as He has revealed Himself in His Word, and where the Christian faith is preached and taught with care and integrity, there is the bond of unity; there is the brotherhood of Christ.”

  15. Well, I stopped reading after awhile. Too much heresy for one night! I thank God for His Word. I thank God that we can know that He is holy which makes Him completely and entirely in every sense different from humans. Even Christ’s resurrected body, although still fully man, is a glorified body. These men are extreme, but there are “lighter blasphemers” who like to put man up and pull God down just because they cannot understand the mystery of Christ being fully God while being fully man. There are those who still in this age believe that Christ is no longer fully man or that He is not fully God. They are heretics and love to boast in themselves and try to pull God down to try and step on Him!

  16. Sarah,

    Please pray for me as I wade through this mire of heresy. It is heartbreaking to read it when I am one who attempts to live for my Lord’s glory alone. Then when I read this garbage, I can sense His pain from the lies and the hurt that so many believe it! These people are compounding their crimes each day by rejecting the truth and going after the lie.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  17. I could comment on this post with so much to say that it would be longer than the post itself! Ken Copeland’s bible must be missing the theophany scriptures and even the one that reveals that God came to the garden (walked the earth, i.e., had access) AFTER Adam sinned. Got your boots on, Mike? Better grab the box of tissues, too. This is deep stuff- but I won’t say what the “stuff” is. :) I won’t blame you a bit if your posts are short. There is only so much heresy a true Christian can take! You have made a great start.

  18. Sherry C.,

    You are right about how much of this stuff we can bear. It is hard, but I believe God is using this to cleanse and prepare us. For what? We’ll see. ;-)

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  19. Perhaps it is because there are those who are truly God’s children who will be led to this site and be delivered. God is good to do that for His own as many of us ex-WOFers know. That, too, is my prayer.

  20. I thought I would share this quote from Walter Martin who was one of the opponenents of the WOF movement. This is from his 1988 sermon of warning: “If you don’t know fleece from fur, you’re dinner, dumb-dum!” Kinda cute but so true!

  21. Mike asked which is worse; bringing God to man level or elevating man to God level. My brother, it is a terrible thing to consider doing any of the two that’s what I can say.

    I’m close to tears right now. I’m most grateful to God for getting me out of this WOF mess. Probably, I would be dead by now.

    I’ve been sick countless times while an adherent of this movement. We were told not to use drugs but use faith. This means when you fall sick you don’t have faith.

    Like you said Mike, if you say ‘I have headache’, you have confessed a negative thing. That is, you are believing a lie ‘cos headache belongs to the devil so you can’t have it. I lived with this attitude, but I fall sick over and over again. Infact it gets worse every other time.

    Now, with a better understanding of scriptures, I take care of myself. I eat well, rest well and use drugs when neccessary. I enjoy good health now simply by God’s grace and mercy not because I claim it or receive it. Hallelujah!

    This article is a job well done. Am not done reading yet, but I needed to comment. God bless!

  22. Naomi,

    The cruelty of placing guilt on people for being hurt, injured or sick implying they have no faith is staggering. I suspect that these folks will experience a very hefty judgment for doing so.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  23. Naomi,
    That is really sad. I wonder if full gospel is the same because I have an elderly uncle that stopped taking his meds a couple of years ago. Even his blood pressure pills even though he had a stroke at one time. We thought it was because he was a little stubborn but have been rethinking that since Cherry C was sharing her experience with WOF.Anyone know?
    We really are so blessed to have been drawn into his light . Thank you Father!

  24. I think I just got the answer to that. I looked up a Cornerstone Church site and found they had a link to John Hagee. That’s were my uncle, niece, her husband, and children go. My brother used to but is now attending a Vineyard. I need to see if I can get them out of their. It will be hard as my niece grew up in that place. Yes, I do pray for them almost as much as I do my own children. Really it’s hard as I don’t even have a church to attend so were will I send them. My parents are Baptist so that would be a lot better wouldn’t it?

  25. I suspect the same my brother. They will face a very hefty judgement. I’m glad I’m out of their claws. The most painful thing is that this preachers spend a huge chunck of their church’s fund to pay their medical bills while manipulating their members to use faith. They eat real good food and visit the best doctors. It’s really heartbreaking.

    I will continue to pray that God opens more doors so that we may reach more people.

  26. Deb and Namomi,

    Let us pray for our loved ones to be awakened to the lies and apostasy in the Word-Faith/Prosperity Gospel lies as we also rejoice that we are in the light.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  27. I just finished reading this article and my heart nearly failed me. Thank God I’m still young at heart maybe I would have suffered heart attack. The heresy is enough to last one a life time. :-)

    I can’t imagine how their members survive such erroneous teachings. How can you be saved and still sit under such authority. If you notice the trend, it is clear that the same spirit is at work in them. They are all on the same path heading towards the same direction. Very soon, they will drop it and tell us salvation/christianity is a waste of time. At that point I won’t be surprised.

  28. The Word of Faith movement causes vexation. There are a lot of those churches in my area. They seem to blend in with Charismatic Pentacostals. I don’t know if all Charismatic churches are taking in this nonsense, but it seems to be a popular trend in so many of them.

    The Word of Faith doctrine is extremely dangerous. It is so far out in left field. I really would like to see TBN disappear from TV. They have robbed innocent people. TBN exports their lies to third world countries and continues………. robbing them. It breaks my heart.

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