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Doctrines of Modern Faith Healers

introduction | TESTS OF A PROPHET | Doctrine: (The Christian Science Connection * The Promise of Prosperity * The Bible on Prosperity * Christ's Example |The Doctrine of Positive and Negative Confessions | The Wrong God | The Wrong Jesus | Charismatics & the Ecumenical Movement | Conclusion

 The primary test of God's approval is not whether:

  • it works
  • it feels good
  • it corresponds to the majority opinion
  • it is miraculous

but, does it line up with the Word of God.


In our last study we focused on two primary topics:

  • the purpose and extent of miracles in the Bible, and;

  • the contrast between the miracles of Jesus and His apostles and that of the modern faith healers


In this study our goal is to analyze several modern faith healers with "tests" given to us in scripture.


  1. Doctrine is the ultimate test of whether a person is "of God" or not. ---De 13:1-5; Ro 16:17; 1Ti 6:3:5; 1Jn 4:1; Re 2:2
  2. Another test involves inspecting the fruit of the person' s life and ministry . Mt 7:15-20
  3. Another test involves testing the accuracy of the person's divinely inspired messages as well as their claims about themselves and their ministries.

De 18:20-22


The Christian Science Connection

A study of the Word Faith movement reveals that nearly every major person in the movement was mentored by Kenneth Hagin or one of his close disciples. It is also clear that he is responsible for very major doctrine of the Word Faith movement. (1) D. R. McConnell found that Word Faith teachings are not original with Hagin but with a faith evangelist named E. W. Kenyon. (2) McConnell showed that Hagin repeatedly plagiarized long sections of his writings word-for-word from Kenyon's material. (3)

Two problems exist with this. First; Kenyon's roots were in the metaphysical cults, not in Pentecostalism. He was a faith healer in the tradition of Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science.. (4) He attended a college that specialized in training lecturers in the metaphysical science cults. McConnell shows conclusively that Word Faith teachers owe their ancestry to cults like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, Science of Mind, and New 'Thought – not to the Bible, or even to Pentecostalism.(5)

Second, Hagin claimed that God revealed directly the very Words he was plagiarizing from E. W Kenyon, John A. Mac Millan, and Finis Jennings Dake (author of a well-known Pentecostal Study Bible). (6) Hagin lifted about three-quarters of his book The Authority of the Believer word-for-word from a magazine article by MacMillan.(7) The worst part of this is that Hagin made claims that he got much of this material directly from divine inspiration. He has written, "The Lord Himself taught me about prosperity. I never read about it in a book. I got it directly from heaven." (8) He claims to have received numerous visions as well as eight personal visitations from Jesus.

The Promise of Prosperity

Word Faith writings carry titles like How to Write Your Own Ticket with God, (9) Godliness is Profitable, (10) The Laws of Prosperity, (11) God's Formula for Success and Prosperity, (12) God's Master Key to Prosperity, (13) Living in Divine Prosperity, (14) and Releasing the Ability of God Through Prayer. (15) (16)


Word Faith preachers teach that whatever you say will come to pass if you believe it. Hagin has written "You can have what you say. You can write your own ticket with God. And the first step in writing your own ticket with God is: Say it. He says later, "If you talk about your trials, your difficulties, your lack of faith, your lack of money – your faith will shrivel and dry up."


The Bible on Prosperity

Paul's Teaching

Unfortunately for the Apostle Paul, he did not receive this revelation from God. Paul talked about his trials but then showed how God's grace was able to give him strength to endure. 2Co 1:8-11; 7:5-6

Paul used his trials to prove his apostleship. 2Co 6:3-10; 11 :23-31 esp 27

Paul actually said that when he was weak, that’s when God could use him the most. 2Co 12:7-10

The Bible makes it clear that if people teach that godliness is a means of gain, we are to withdraw ourselves from them. 1 Ti 6:3-5

Christ's Example

Some Word Faith preachers try to prove that Jesus was materially wealthy while on the earth. However, He plainly said,

And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. -LUK 9:58

Neither Jesus nor Peter had sufficient to pay the temple tax without supernatural provision. At his death, He had only His robe as a possession.

The Doctrine of Positive and Negative Confessions

This doctrine is built on a total misrepresentation of several verses such as:

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. – MAT 21:22

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. – MAT 7:7,8

However a thing cannot be believed in faith unless God has promised to give it. If it is not His will, a person can "believe" with "perfect faith", and not receive because the person's "belief" and "faith" are only "make-believe" and "false faith".

True faith is rooted like David's in the promise that God has spoken.

"And now, O LORD God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. " – 2SA 7:25

Even Jesus Himself prayed that the cup would pass, but then added, "not My will but Thine be done".

Many do not get what they pray for--though they make many "positive confessions" because "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." -JAM 4:3

John says that obedience to God's will is the assurance of answered prayer. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. -1JO 3:22

John also says that asking according to God's will gives. assurance that God will answer.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. – 1JO 5: 14,15

James says that to assert our plan without conditioning it with God's will is sin.

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life ? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will. we shall live, and do this. or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. -JAM 4:13-16

The Wrong God

Word Faith preachers teach that it is man who releases the power of God to work. Charles Capps has written:

In August 1973, the Word of the Lord come unto me saying, "If men would believe me, long prayers are not necessary. Just speaking the Word will bring you what you desire. My creative power is given to man in Word form. I have ceased for a time from my work and have given man the book of MY CREATIVE POWER. That power is STILL IN MY WORD. (17)

Norvel Hayes says that prayer does not have to be to God. It is the word that we speak that actually has power.

Stop talking to Jesus about it. Stop talking to anybody else about it. Speak to the mountain itself in Jesus name!

Don't say, "Oh, God, help me. Remove this sickness from me." Say, "Flu, I am not going to let you come into my body. Go from me in the name of Jesus!...Say, "Cancer, you can't kill me. I will never die of cancer in Jesus' name."(18)

Copeland teaches very clearly that we are "little gods" and that we are in the "God class".

Adam was "created in the god class," that is, he was a reproduction of God. "He was not subordinate to God, [Adam] was walking as a god... What he said, went. What he did, counted." (19)

He says that when Jesus died on the cross he won for believers the right to be born again back into the "god class". Because Jesus deity includes " prosperity, mental prosperity, physical prosperity, [and] family prosperity" we that are in the "god class" are guaranteed these same blessings. (20)

Copeland continues his blasphemous statements saying:

And I say this with all respect, so that it don't upset you to[o] bad. But I say it anyway: when I read in the Bible where He says, "I Am, " I just smile and say, "Yes, I Am, too. " (21)

The Wrong Jesus

Kenneth Copeland teaches that Jesus Christ had no more power than the average Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit:

Most Christians mistakenly believe that Jesus was able to work wonders, to perform miracles, and to live above sin because He had divine power that we don't have. Thus, they've never really aspired to live like He lived.

They don’t realize that when Jesus came to earth, he voluntarily gave up that advantage, living His life here not as God, but as a man. He had no innate supernatural powers. He had no ability to perform miracles until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit as recorded in Luke 3:22. (22)

He also teaches that Jesus was a "born-again man." He says that as a born again Christian he could have gone into hell and conquered Satan as Christ after the crucifixion. He says the Spirit of God told him this.

The Spirit of God spoke to me, and He said, "Son, realize this." ...He said, " A born-again man defeated Satan. The first-born of many brethren defeated him." He said, "You are the very image and the very copy of that one. "

"I said, "Good-ness gracious sake!! alive!" 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've done the same thing."

He said, "Oh yeah! If you'd know that – had the knowledge of the Word of God that he did, you could've done the same thing. Because you're a reborn man, too." (23) (24)

Copeland says that during the crucifixion Jesus actually took the nature of Satan.

Jesus was the first man to ever '-be' borned from sin to righteousness He was reborn in the pit of hell...He accepted the sin nature of Satan in his own spirit, and at the moment he did so, he cried, "My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (25)

Copeland says that Jesus died spiritually on the cross.

He said, "I accepted in my own spirit spiritual death, and the light was turned off." (26) (27)

Fred Price teaches similarly to Copeland that Jesus was dragged into hell by Satan and tormented for three days and three nights .

Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God....Satan and all the demons of hell dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence. (28)


In a nationwide interview on Trinity Broadcasting Network with Paul and Jan Crouch, Copeland was interviewed and asked about this teaching.

Paul Crounch: [God] doesn't even draw a distinction between Himself and us.

Kenneth Copeland: Never! Never! You never can do that in a covenant relationship.

Paul Crounch: Do you know what else that has settled, then, tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the devil to try and bring dissension within the body of Christ that we are gods. I am a little god!

Kenneth Copeland: Yes! Yes!... You are anything He is.

Paul Crounch: ...Critics, be gone!... Yes! (29)

Copeland teaches that Jesus made himself "obedient to Satan... [and took] on his nature. "(30) (31)

"Thus the Word Faith movement has concocted a theology that makes sinners gods and requires the sinless Son of God to be born again. Moreover it sees Satan as the righteous judge who exacts payment for sin from Christ. " (32)

Charismatics and the Ecumenical Movement

Probably one of the clearest areas of error in the Charismatic movement is the promotion of the ecumenical movement. The ecumenical movement is the movement to join all "Christians" and more broadly all "believers in God/god" into one universal church. This error is clearly the work of Satan in preparation for the coming Antichrist and his False Prophet. Revelation 13.

Charismatic cults are springing up that include a blending of Roman Catholicism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, with the teachings of the Western Charismatics.(33) "The overwhelming majority of charismatic leaders still hope for a worldwide ecumenical church under the leadership of the Pope. " (34)


edited January 7, 2001 cpl. The foot notes and bibliography should be available at a later time.

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