I would like to express my deep regret for having to put a page together that deals with false teaching in the church. But it is nessecary.

Jesus said that in the last days, there would arise false prophets and He talks about false teachers not enduring sound doctrine and our need to reprove, rebuke and defend the faith.

I do not go as far as calling every teacher mentioned as a wolves in sheeps clothing, I do not know what lies in these mens hearts. I will leave it up to God to decide if they are wolves.

This is simply a warning call to all Christians and new converts.

Read your bibles!!

And pray that God will keep you and guide you in to all truth.

Thanks to contributions from The Christian Connection

"Growing Dangers in the Positive Confession Faith Teachings"

(an article from the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 1: Number 3, 1988, page 3) by Walter Martin. The editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes. From the FROM THE DIRECTOR column: -------------

In 1980, on a cassette entitled _The Errors of Positive Confession,_ and in subsequent tapes, which have been widely distributed nationally and internationally, I warned that the teachings of Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Earl Paulk, Charles Capps, and others of the so-called "faith teachers" were a perversion of biblical theology and could only lead to deeper heretical doctrines. Since that time the doctrines of the born-again-Jesus and of Christians being "little gods" have evolved from the original positive confession teachings. Christians are now being told that Jesus Christ not only needed to die on the cross for their sins but also suffered in hell for them, and then needed to be born again in order to become their Savior! People have been misled into believing that men are little gods since they were made in the image and likeness of God and are to "take dominion" over the earth because of their godhood.

It is an unchanging law that heresy begets heresy and error begets error when men depart from the objective authority of the Scripture. This does not at all necessarily mean that individuals who fall into these errors are unbelievers. It need only mean that they are ignorant or sincerely mistaken. But those who refuse to repent of their heresies when shown the error of their ways must be classified as false teachers in the biblical sense. Certainly, we at CRI are all for faith healing in its proper biblical sense. But to teach people that their faith is sovereign over the sovereignty of God is a gross perversion of the Bible. It is God who is on the throne of the universe, not the faith of His creatures.

We are informed in 1 John 5:14 that if we ask anything _in accordance with His will_ He hears us. It is axiomatic that if it is not in accordance with His will, He will not grant our petition no matter how sincerely we ask or how great the magnitude of our faith. The faith movement has proven itself to be a divisive force splitting churches, dividing families, and leaving a trail of broken spirits and bodies belonging to those who believed that all they had to do was confess with their mouth and God was obligated to obediently perform. The God of the Bible is not some divine bellhop who jumps at the exercise of our faith. He is the sovereign Lord who works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11), and, when it pleases Him, graciously takes into account the faith of His children.

The so-called positive confession movement has done a great disservice to the body of Christ by paving the way for the errors of the born-again Jesus, the "little gods," and the dominion theology doctrines. In the end these things will come to nothing, because, as the Lord has reminded us, "Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me....I am the first and I am the last, and apart from Me there is no God" (Isa. 43:10, 44:6). The Lord Jesus Christ died once for all, offering one sacrifice for sin forever. Nowhere does the Bible teach that He ever suffered in hell or that men may become gods. This is Mormon theology, cultic theology, and Christians should beware when they hear it. This theology divides and does not unite the body of Christ, and must be avoided at all costs (Rom 16:17; Tit 3:9-11). --------------

Because the following text was right at hand when I prepared the above material -- and because it was so brief -- I felt that it should be included in the same file. Please note that the material below is from an out-of-print booklet CRI used to sell and is no longer available. --------------


(partial text) 1st Edition, Copyright March 1991, Christian Research Institute INTRODUCTION by Robert M. Bowman, Jr.

Much of the mail which Christian Research Institute receives concerns the teaching known variously as "positive confession," the "faith" (or "Word-Faith") teaching, and the "prosperity" doctrine. Some of the best-known American televangelists subscribe either partly or wholly to this teaching. Its chief representatives today seem to be Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Fred Price, Robert Tilton, and Benny Hinn, though there are many other evangelists, teachers, and writers promoting the teaching. It is our considered opinion that this teaching, at least in its complete form as expressed by the above men, is at best extremely aberrational and at worse heretical. (We use the term "aberrational" to refer to teaching which is decidedly unbiblical and damaging to authentic Christian faith, but which is not quite so heretical that its adherents must be considered non-Christians.)

CRI has attempted to meet with these men and dialogue with them concerning their teachings, but most of them have refused. We were able, however, to meet with some of them and discuss a few of our concerns. We are continuing our efforts to engage these men in dialogue. In brief, the teachings of these men may be summarized as follows: God created man in "God's class" (or, as "little gods"), with the potential to exercise the "God kind of faith" in calling things into existence and living in prosperity and success as sovereign beings. We forfeited this opportunity, however, by rebelling against God in the Garden and taking upon ourselves Satan's nature. To correct this situation, Jesus Christ became a man, died spiritually (thus taking upon Himself Satan's nature), went to Hell, was "born again," rose from the dead with God's nature again, and then sent the Holy Spirit so that the Incarnation could be duplicated in believers, thus fulfilling their calling to be little gods. Since we are called to experience this kind of life now, we should be successful in every area of our lives. To be in debt, then, or be sick, or (as is often taught) be left by one's spouse, and not to have these problems solved by "claiming" God's promises, shows a lack of faith.

While certain aspects of the above doctrine may vary from teacher to teacher, the general outline remains the same in each case. End of document, CRN0003A.TXT (original CRI file name), "Growing Dangers in the Positive Confession Faith Teachings" release A, March 9, 1993 R. Poll, CRI (A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.) -----------------------------------------------------------------


The Christian Research Institute (CRI) -- founded in 1960 by the late Dr. Walter R. Martin -- is a clearing house for current, in- depth information on new religious movements and aberrant Christian teachings. We provide well-reasoned, carefully- researched answers to concepts and ideas that challenge orthodox Christianity. Did you know that CRI has a wealth of information on various topics that is yours for the asking? We offer a wide variety of articles and fact sheets free of charge. Write us today for information on these or other topics. Our first-rate research staff will do everything possible to help you. Christian Research Institute P.O. Box 500 San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693 (714) 855-9926 ----------------------------------------------------------------- (C) Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute. CRI files are available for downloading from Christian BBS Abba II: 619-487-7746 (up to 14,400 baud). Look for the CRI File Area or search for keyword "CRI". For a list of CRI files officially released by the Christian Research Institute, download the file CRIFILES.TXT. Information about new releases can be found in the Abba II Conference on CRI Files. ------------------------------------------------------------ (C) Copyrighted Article. Used by Permission. Entered into Electronic Media by Christian BBS Abba II: 619-487-7746. May be uploaded to and downloaded from Christian Bulletin Boards, provided no changes are made in the text, and this notice is not removed. -------------------------------------------------------------


PFO [Personal Freedom Outreach] continues to investigate preacher Benny Hinn's claim that his father once was mayor of Jaffa, Israel (The Quarterly Journal, July-September 1992, pp. 1, 10-14). That investigation has revealed that for a number of political and historical reasons, Costandi Hinn, a Jaffa- born Arab, could not have been mayor of an almost totally Jewish city. Jaffa technically did not exist after 1948 because it was merged with all-Jewish Tel Aviv forming one municipality called Tel Aviv-Jaffa. There was no city of Jaffa when Benny Hinn was born. This fact appears to be foreign to Hinn. In Chapter 2 of Good Morning, Holy Spirit, Hinn refers to Tel Aviv and Jaffa as separate cities. To the reader unfamiliar with the history of the two municipalities, Hinn adds to the confusion by writing: "During my childhood, the hundred thousand people of Jaffa had become engulfed by the exploding Jewish population of Tel Aviv to the north. Today the metropolis has the official name of Tel Aviv-Jaffa" (pg. 19). Indeed, Hinn needs a history lesson. The facts demonstrate that there was no Jaffa when Hinn was born. The facts of the merger, which became formal and final in 1950 under Mayor israel Rokach, are readily available in numerous accounts of that period. Zionism is about a Jewish state, not a binational one. Reading through The Journal of Palestinian Studies and Arabic newspapers readily shows that the Arab citizens of israel are regarded as second-class and are tolerated as a despised minority, a fifth column and outsiders. They cannot, even in the wildest scenario, be part of the mainstream. They are viewed as a serious internal threat never to be trusted. For example, David K. Shipler, in his work, Arab and Jew, writes: "Today, one out of every six Israelis is an Arab, but the Arab is not Israeli in the full sense. His citizenship is shallow. It taints his self-identity with complication. He exists at the edge of a society that can never, by its nature, accept him as a complete member in disregard of the religious and ethnic identities that set him apart. He is an alien in his own land, an object of suspicion in his own home, torn between his country and his people" {pg. 428). Shipler further writes that the Arabs "were seen as inherently hostile to the state, deserving of subjugation and dangerous to educate" and that they became "automatic targets of scrutiny, distrust, and restriction in the understandable obsession with public safety" (pg. 429) .

The mayor's office in Tel Aviv-Jaffa provided PFO with official documentation of the mayors since 1936 and there is no Costandi Hinn listed. All the mayors were known Israelis and Jews with proven political track records. One worker at the Tel Aviv Foundation was insulted that the suggestion was even made. Costandi Hinn was born in Jaffa. He was Arabic an married Benny's mother, an Arab from Ramallah. Therefore, Hinn is a Palestinian. He was Greek Orthodox by religion and apparently emphasizes only that. A staff member at Hinn's Orlando Christian Center who identified himself as Steve told PFO that Hinn was neither Arab nor Jew. However, in a taped testimony, Hinn claims an Arabic heritage. Former Jerusalemite and Princeton sociologist Raphael Patai in his book The Arab Mind identifies an Arab as "those who speak Arabic, are brought up in an Arab culture" (pg. 13). He writes that the linguistic test holds for all Arabs, whatever religious and other differences they may have. Hinn readily acknowledges that Arabic was the language spoken in his home (Good Morning, Holy Spirit, pg. 19) . The official list of all the mayors from the mayor's office in Tel Aviv-Jaffa is enough evidence to reject Hinn's claim about his father. However, PFO confirmed the list with the list with the Museum of the History of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Jerusalem Post. PFO also checked numerous Palestine Post articles from 1932 and on and numerous biographies of government officials and notables in Israel to reconstruct the Jaffa-Tel Aviv merger and the people involved. Some of the helpful reference works surveyed include Politics in Palestine 1939-1948, by Issa Khalif; My Life, by Golda Meir; The Siege, by Conner Cruise 0'Brien; and Biographical Dictionary of the Middle East. There are other arguments that refute Hinn's assertion that his father was mayor of (Tel Aviv-) Jaffa. Consider the following: 1. By the time Israel's army took Jaffa in April 1948, 95% of the Arab population had fled. There were 3,600 Arabs left who were leaderless, docile, and all virtually illiterate. (The Siege, pp. 424-434; Genesis 1948, by Dan Kurzman, pp. 6, 31 -37.) The fact that the Arabs were overtly pro-Nazi during World War II stuck in the minds of the Israelis. Tel Aviv itself was founded (in 1909) and grew as a reaction to the antagonism and mounting hostility of the Jaffa Arabs against the Jews (Israel, by Neil Tilbury, pg. 228). The 1936 Year Book and Almanac of the Holy Land says that the Jaffa Arabs were "fanatical" (pg. 123). So, in 1948, when the all-Jewish council of Tel Aviv became the council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, it kept Israel Rokach as mayor until 1952. The council then elected Haim Levanon as his successor. This practice continued until the 1970s. Under this system an Arab never could have been elected mayor. The idea of Golda Meir being mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa once was floated by Israeli leader David Ben-Gurion. The opposition from the orthodox community was so great that the idea was dropped. If a Jewish woman was unacceptable as mayor at the time, certainly any Arab would have been, too. Ben-Gurion was noted for his distrust of the Arabs. In 1936, he wrote in his diary words that have been called "the curse on Jaffa": "have never felt hatred for Arabs, and their pranks have never stirred the desire for revenge in me. But I would welcome the destruction of Jaffa, port and city. Let it come; it would be for the better. This city, which grew fat from Jewish immigration and settlement, deserves to be destroyed for having waved an ax at those who built her and made her prosper. If Jaffa went to hell, I would not count myself among the mourners." And just following the capture of Jaffa, Ben-Gurion stated his official policy: Jaffa will be a Jewish city. War is war." (Ben Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs by Shabtai Teveth, pp. 174-175 and 1949 The First Israelis by Tom Segev, pg. 75). 2. The threat of assassination. Arab hostility against Arabs would have been the strongest deterrent to an Arab being mayor of an Israeli city. After the war, Arabs hated anyone of their kind they considered a collaborator. On JuIy 20, I951, King Abdullah of Jordan was murdered in Jerusalem because he was negotiating with Israel. Arabs considered the execution - carried out by Arabs - justifiable. An Arab mayor of an all Jewish city would have been dispatched quickly either by Israeli extremists or the Arabs themselves. There was an "Arab Blood Society" operating in the slums of Jaffa set up to retaliate against any Arab who had any dealings with Jews (Politics in Palestine, pp. 67, 99). Yet Hinn would have readers believe "Even though my father was not Jewish, the Israeli leaders trusted him. And they were happy to have someone in Jaffa who could relate to such an international community. We were proud of his circle of friends, which included many national leaders. He was asked to be an ambassador for Israel in foreign nations but chose to stay in Jaffa" (Good Morning, Holy Spirit, pg. 20). It happens that Israel Rokach the mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa during Hinn's childhood, was the international ambassador. The evidence presented shows all of Hinn's claims to be false. If his father had been mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa during the 1950s, there would be pictures, newspaper accounts, government documents confirming the fact. There is nothing. 3. The explosive nature of Jaffa itself. For many years the Jews of Yemen were persecuted, abused, mistreated and afflicted under Arab rule. (From Time Immemorial, by Joan Peters). Throughout 1949 and 1950 Ben-Gurion ordered airlifts of Yemenite Jews. Almost all the Jews were in Yemen were settled in Israel. Realize that they now could tell the Arab minority in Israel what to do. They could, "get them back" and "teach them a lesson." The Yemenites were known to be Arab "haters" and hostile because of the years of persecution. The Yemenites also tried to throw off their oriental stereotype and prove to the European Jews that years in an Arab land did not make them favorable to the enemy. Many of those Yemenite Jews settled in Jaffa, a city that is only about one mile square. Add to this the other oriental Jews from Iraq and other Arab states who settled in Jaffa and it becomes very obvious that the minority of Arabs still there would have kept a low profile. To suggest that these Jews would have tolerated an Arab mayor is too much to imagine. Hinn's book shows him too ignorant of all these matters. It is easy to understand why. Arabs in Israel are taught little of Israeli history. Still, PFO maintains that Hinn wanted to be so much like preacher Kathryn Kuhlman, whose father had been a mayor, that he borrowed this and other aspects of her life for his own story. (See The Quarterly Journal, July - September 1992, pp. 1, 10-14). In Arab culture there is a propensity to copy, to imitate and to take on desired superficial traits in others. Saying what they think others want to hear and blending in is an obsession in Arab culture. Stating a wish as an accomplished fact is quite common (see Sanya Hamadi, The Character and Temperament of the Arabs). PFO even considered the possibility that "mayor" could mean something else in Israel. We knew that "sheikh" means a respected man, an elder in a notable family, but has no political meaning whatsoever. But Hinn does not call his father "sheikh." He calls him "mayor" and says he was politically powerful (pg. 20). "My father had been mayor" (pp. 18, 37). PFO contacted Vivian Ajlouny of the Al Fajr Jerusalem Palestinian Weekly. Ajlouny is a Jerusalem Arab, Greek Orthodox by faith and knowledgeable about Arab culture. She said "mayor is mayor." It is a political term and nothing else. It can be understood in no other way. It is "Al-Baladiyeh" in Arabic - literally, the "head of a municipality." Israel or America, wherever, a mayor is a mayor. Hinn's early biography is not factual. He has created a fanciful and distorted story that does not square with logic or history. The Kuhlman connection is plausible for his fabrications. The Arab bent toward rhetoric and overstatement and the drive for honor and pedigree might have added to it. Only Hinn knows for sure all the reasons. His claims are refuted by the facts and an understanding of the culture he grew up in. It is interesting to note that during Hinn's upcoming "Miracle Crusade [of the] Holy Land 1993," scheduled for March, the one important Israeli city the tour will no visit is Tel Aviv-Jaffa, his home town. His tour will skip the town from where Jonah set sail, where Solomon received the timbers from Lebanon, where Peter saw the vision of the sheet and animals and launched out to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and where he raised Tabitha from the dead. In "Good Morning, Holy Spirit," Hinn lauds Tel Aviv-Java announcing, "As a boy I loved hearing the stories of history that surrounded me. Jaffa was founded back before recorded time" (pg. 18) He also mentions "the prophetic State of Israel," yet ignores its first capital. Hinn's first vision supposedly took place in Jaffa and as he leaves the city he asks himself, "Will I ever see this place again? .. There was a lump in my throat. I was fourteen and it was the only home I had ever known" (pg. 26). And yet he's missing his chance to go back. Once again, PFO calls on Thomas Nelson Publishers the distributor of Hinn's books, to examine these claims and end the confusion and fabrication in the books it publishes. What the Christian world needs is increasing integrity, honesty and truth, not fables and fiction. PFO got the facts. Thomas Nelson should do the same. G R F, Quarterly Journal, October-December 1992

------------------------------------------------------------- From: The Quarterly Journal, the newsletter publication of Personal Freedom Outreach, P.O. Box 26062, Saint Louis, MO 3136. Phone: 314-388-2648. A one-year subscription to the Quarterly Journal is available for a donation of $ 20.00 or more. In addition to the newsletter, PFO produces tracts, booklets and other materials dealing with cults and aberrant teachings. ------------------------------------------------------------- (C) Copyrighted Article. Used by Permission. Entered into Electronic Media by Christian BBS Abba II: 619-487-7746. May be uploaded to and downloaded from Christian Bulletin Boards, provided no changes are made in the text, and this notice is not removed. -------------------------------------------------------------

Benny Hinn Renounces Word-Faith Teachings

Benny Hinn has reportedly renounced the cultic teachings of the Word-Faith movement. According to a report on last Thursday's edition of "The Bible Answer Man," the nationwide call-in radio program of the Christian Research Institute, Hinn renounced the teachings after reading Hank Hanegraaff's book, "Christianity in Crisis." In 1991, after meeting with critics of his book "Good Morning, Holy Spirit", Hinn also claimed to no longer believe the Word-Faith teachings, which include the assumptions that Jesus lost his divinity before dying on the cross, was united in nature with Satan, and was born again in Hell by the power of the Holy Spirit. At that time he said, " I really no longer believe the faith message. I don't think it adds up." But shortly after making that statement, Hinn was again teaching Word-Faith doctrines, as well as quoting the movements' leading proponents favorably. "Christianity in Crisis," reviewed in a recent issue of the Christian Press Report, is now a number 1 best-seller. The book, written by Hank Hanegraaff, President of the Christian Research Institute, documents and counters the cultic teachings of the Word-Faith Movement. ========================================================== (C) Copyright 1993 - Christian Press Report. Permission granted to upload to Bulletin Boards. Reprinted from the June 19, 1993 edition of the Christian Press Report. CPR is published weekly by Christian BBS Abba II: 619-487-7746 ==========================================================

The Subtle Twisting Of Scripture -

Clete Hux, Birmingham, Alabama The following are statements on a sermon tape of a well known TV evangelist. What follows are portions of that tape. This writer's comments are marked with **.

"The death of Jesus Christ was not a physical death alone... if it had been a physical death and a physical death only, Abel would have paid the price for the sins of mankind, 'cause he was the first man that died of honoring God in his word... every prophet that walked the earth under the Abrahamic Covenant could have paid the price, if it were a physical death only." **

Such a view of any man's physical death being sufficient to atone for man's sins not only shows a misunderstanding of man's fallen sinful nature and of the fact that no fallen, sinful man could ever be an acceptable sacrifice to atone for sin. It also shows a misunderstanding of the significance of Christ's physical death for man. All throughout the scriptures it is the body and blood of Christ that is emphasized. It is the blood {physical death} of Christ that brings the forgiveness of sins. (Genesis 9:6; Lev.5:11; Acts 20:28; Romans 3:25, 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22; I Peter 11:19; Rev. 12:11)** "A spirit created all matter... and a non-beginning, non- ending creature called God created the whole thing." **To call God a creature is to misunderstand His attribute of Self Existence - that He is not a created being. It is also a contradiction in terms to say non-beginning, non- ending creature because a creature has a beginning.

** "The body was a dead thing until God breathed life into it... man had no lack of knowledge, no lack of what he needed - he walked in a likeness of God... Can you see God going hungry? Can you see God without enough to eat? You say, well no, certainly not! If He needed any more, He'd just create more. Well that's the way He made man." "Man's made in His image and own likeness and He gave him this universe to have dominion over and He gave him this world to live on and dominion over the earth and by his faith and by his creative abilities caused this world to feed and take care of him in every way. " **

This portion is particularly problematic. Notice the subtle elevation of man to God's level. If man has no lack of knowledge and no lack of what he needs, then man is omniscient {all knowing} and all sufficient. These are attributes that really only apply to God Himself in the Scriptures.

** "Now, then he {Adam} gave that authority over into the hands of an angel, a foreign angel by the name of Lucifer, who had his name changed to Satan... Now when Adam gave that creature the authority that God gave him, he {Adam} made him {Satan} the God of this world." **

It is obvious that what is being taught here is that Adam was made a god over this world, something the Bible doesn't teach. It does teach that man has dominion in a supervisory sense over the earth {Genesis 1:26} and that God holds mankind accountable as a responsible steward.**

**However, nowhere in the Scriptures will one find God giving the universe or the world to man in a sense of ownership or godhood. Nor will one find Adam given the authority to make Satan the god of this world. God has never given up title of this world. This is made very clear to the Psalmist in Psalms 24:1, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world and those who dwell in it."**

**When the Bible talks about Satan being "the god of this world," it means that Satan holds a certain sway over the world during this present age - a point of emphasis to our Lord's third temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:8f). But it is a sway that is usurped, temporary, and in no sense absolute. "The statanic world sovereignty is in fact apparent rather than real; for God alone is the King eternal (1Tim. 1:17), that is, of every age, past, present, and future" (See "The New International Commentary on the New Testament," Phillip E. Hughes, 2 Corinthians, pp.126-127).**

**By now one probably has been wondering "Who in this world has taught such things?" The quotes are taken from Kenneth Copeland's sermon, "What Happened from the Cross to the Throne?" Although he has taught these things, these teachings are not limited to him. A number of other teachers have and are teaching the same things.**

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A Profile Of The Word-Faith Movement Positive Confession and the Word Faith Movement

-Compiled by Clete Hux

Positive Confession is the belief that if a believer speaks "spiritual" or "faith-filled" words then he can have what he says. Unfortunately, this influence has invaded the church and continues to cause much turmoil and confusion. Many of the teachers of this movement believe that words are so powerful that they can influence the physical and spiritual worlds. For example: In "The Tongue, a Creative Force" (1976), positive confessionist Charles Capps, teaches that there are powerful "spiritual words." Such words, which are ordinary words, can under certain circumstances, become vehicles for creative or supernatural power. When faith-filled spiritual words are spoken (as words of power), they can alter the physical and spiritual world. Capps says, "You see there is more to it than just saying it. The words must originate from the inner man where spiritual power is released through words." He goes on to state that "spirit words can control both the spirit world and the physical world. Because the words themselves have power, they will work for either God or man in the same manner." He goes on: "The spirit of man is not of this world, it is of the spirit world. The creative ability of man comes through his spirit... He speaks spirit words that work in the world of the spirit. They will also dominate the physical world. He breathes spirit life into God's Word and it becomes a living substance, working for him as it worked for God in the beginning. These spirit words dominate the natural world." (p.117-118). What Capps is alluding to in the above statement is his teaching that since God, "by His faith" (using words) spoke this physical world into existence - the believer, using faith, can do the same. That is, the believer can speak things into existence. However, God's word is already "quick and powerful" {Hebrews 4:12}and it is referred to as the "Word of Life" {Phillipians 2:16}. It is not necessary to activate it by speaking words of faith as though it were asleep or dead! Rather, it is by hearing the "living" word that one is brought to salvation through faith in Christ.{Romans 10:17}. A number of the prosperity teachers believe that the spiritual world controls and continually forms the physical world. So, if one can learn to control the spiritual world, then he can learn to control the physical world as well. This teaching then becomes the foundation for securing individual prosperity. That's why in "Releasing the Ability of God," Capps states, "You can have what you say!... (because) the powerful force of the spiritual world that creates the circumstances around us is controlled by the words of the mouth. This force comes from inside us... the confession of our mouth will cause you to possess it. (pp.98-99, parenthesis mine). This is why he teaches, "Discipline your vocabulary," and "today your word is god over your circumstances." (pp.101-104). Capps also teaches that the power within a Christian, within one's spirit, functions according to unchangeable laws. He says "These principles of faith are based on spiritual laws. They work for whosoever will apply these laws." (The Tongue, p.103) D.R. McConnell, in his book, "A Different Gospel," directly traces the origin the spiritual laws taught in positive confession to the metaphysics of E.W. Kenyon, a man of 50-60 years ago whose theology was that of Pentecostal Christian Science.( A Different Gospel, pp. 3-56). McConnell records Kenneth Copeland in "The Laws of Prosperity," ( p.98, 101), saying, "You can have what you say! In fact, what you are saying is exactly what you are getting now. If you are living in poverty and lack and want, change what you are saying. It will change what you have... Discipline your vocabulary... God will be obligated to meet your needs because of His word... If you stand firmly on this, your needs will be met." (Ibid, p.173). McConnell further states, that E.W. Kenyon's New Thought classmate, Ralph Waldo Trine, attributes the confession of prosperity to "occult power." He says that "Trine believed that thought is a force, and it has occult power of unknown proportions when rightly used and wisely directed." (Ibid, p.174). The usage of occult powers is, of course, a practice that the Faith teachers would publicly reject. And of course, this is not to say that those offering these teachings are occultists. They are teachers who may never have thought through the implications of the practices they advocate. They may be unaware of the similarities between certain aspects of positive confession and occultic practices. Nevertheless, the similarities do exist, and these practices are neither Biblical or Christian. John Ankerberg's issue of "News and Views," June 1988, p.1, reports that these words are used in religious rituals to influence both the spirit world and the material world. The report quotes occult magician David Conway discussing the power of magical words to affect these worlds: "Unseparable from magical speculation about words is the theory of vibrations, which supposes that certain sounds have a powerful acoustic impact on both the spiritual and astral worlds... Like the spiritual world and astral plane can in some circumstances be affected by sound, so that verbal magic may be said to derive its power not only from the idea contained in certain words, but from the peculiar vibrations these words create when spoken." ("Magic: an Occult Primer", pp.74-75). Occultists, of course, have long claimed the true inner nature of man is powerful, capable of exercising divine ability. This is why New Ager Benjamin Creme says, for example, "One doesn't pray to oneself, one prays to the God within. The thing is to learn to invoke that energy which is the energy of God. Prayer and worship as we know it today will gradually die out and men will be trained to invoke the (inner) power of deity." ("The Reappearance of Christ and the Masters of Wisdom" pp. 135-136, parenthesis mine) The reason that positive confessionists, like the occultists, can place so much emphasis on the inner man and his divine power is that they think the believer is a god. Kenneth Copeland says, "You don't have a god in you, you are one" (Copeland's sermon tape "The Force of Love"). And Kenneth Hagin says, "The believer is as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ." (Hagin, "Word of Faith", p.14). To the positive confessionist, scripture passages such as Proverbs 18: 21, "Death and Life are in the power of the tongue;" and James 3: 8-10 are taken as proof of this doctrine, because they believe as "little gods" they have the same power as God. Is it any wonder that Charles Capps says "The confession of your mouth even after you have prayed correctly will determine whether or not you receive... You can release the ability of God through the words of your mouth." ("Releasing the Ability of God," 1978, pp.93, 96.) For Christians words and faith are important, but there is a limit to what words can do. It can help or hurt a close friend or a total stranger by what one says, but to treat words as if they were some "star wars" type weapon by which one alters or manipulates reality is not biblical, but occultic. If one could change reality by the power of words spoken, then that would put man on the same level with God. This is exactly what teachers of the "positive confession," or word-faith movement, claim. We are told by God Himself that He spoke the creation into existence (Genesis 1). He has not given that power to anyone else!

UNDERLYING BELIEFS: GOD To some of the Word of Faith (WOF) leaders, God is a tritheistic being. For instance, Benny Hinn said in a sermon broadcast on TBN on October 13, 1990 that "God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all have their own spirit body, soul and spirit... if I can shock you and maybe I should, there's nine of them." Teaching that God, who is pure spirit (James 4:24), has His own spirit body is to teach something definitely not found in Scripture. There is no biblical basis for such a teaching. This teaching would be more in line with Mormonism than orthodox Christianity.


Kenneth Copeland teaches that God created the Universe, and everything therein, out of a spiritual substance known as faith, by forming a mental picture of the creation in "the insides of Him," then by using words as containers for His faith, projected the image outwardly into the reality of creation. For example, in his tape, "Spirit, Soul, and Body," Copeland says, "Faith is real... is a power... is a force... It's used by God at His will... This world and everything in it was created by Him and He used His faith to do it... Now you couldn't really and truly say that He created it out of nothing because faith is something... the whole thing was born out of the force of faith that was resident inside the being of God." Copeland's misunderstanding of faith and creation has a New Age ring to it. If the universe was created out of God's faith, and if this faith is the actual life and personality of God, then the creation is merely an extension of God (pantheism or panentheism), thus making all things divine. In his tape, "Following the Faith of Abraham," Copeland asserts, "You don't think God created man in His image and created the earth in some other image, huh? There's nothing under the whole sun that's new. This is a copy of home a copy of the mother planet where God lives, He made a little one just like it and put us on it." Evidently to Copeland, God lives on a big earth just like the smaller one we live on, since everything images the things of God. There is a striking similarity here to Mormonism which teaches that "God is supposed to have lived on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob" (Bruce McConkie, "Mormon Doctrine," p.428).


Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Copeland's wife, stated in "The Believer's Voice of Victory," that, "when God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He transmitted His very self into him. God imparted the same spiritual substance of which His is made into Adam's being" ("Believers Voice of Victory," June, 1986, p.10).. In his sermon tape, "Following the Faith of Abraham," Kenneth Copeland teaches that God created Adam a god (having the same attributes as God Himself): "And Adam is as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus when He came into the earth... And I want you to know something - Adam in the garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh." We now see that Brigham Young of Mormonism isn't the only one who has taught the Adam-God theory ("Deseret News," 6/16/1873), but also Kenneth Copeland (parenthesis mine). In "The Force of Love," another sermon tape, Copeland states, "You don't have a god in you, you are one." Kenneth Hagin in "Word of Faith" says, "You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth."("Word of Faith," December 1980, p.14). Earl Paulk of the Harvester Church in Atlanta, Georgia, in his work, "Satan Unmasked" explains it like this: "Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God. Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods... we have trouble comprehending this truth... Until we comprehend that we are little gods, we cannot manifest the kingdom of God" (p.97). In his book "Agony of Deceit," Michael Horton has documented Kenneth Copeland in a July 19, 1987 crusade as saying, "I say this and repeat it so it don't upset you too bad... When I read in the Bible where He {Jesus} says, I AM, I say, Yes, I am too!" (p.268). In John 8:58, I AM is a self proclamation of Jesus' own unique Deity from Exodus 3:14,15.)

Dave Hunt, in his book "Seduction of Christianity," documents Casey Treat, pastor of Seattle's Christian Faith Center, as saying in his tape series "Believing in Yourself" that we're exact duplicates of God. "I'm an exact duplicate of God! When God looks in the mirror He sees me! When I look in the mirror, I see God! Oh, hallelujah!... You know, sometimes people say to me, when they're mad and want to put me down... You just think you're a little god. Thank you! Hallelujah! You got that right! Who'd' you think you are, Jesus? Yep!...Are you listening to me? Are you kids running around here acting like gods? Why not? God told me to!... Since I'm an exact duplicate of God, I'm going to act like God!" One of WOF's proof texts for them being "little gods" is Psalms 82:6. If one looks carefully, it is apparent that God is mocking the judges (gods) who had perverted justice. He {God} says, "I say ye are gods, nevertheless, you will die as mere men" (vss.6 & 7). This is the same proof text the Mormons use to say one can become a god. It is also a contradiction that if one is a god that one should die as a man. God is mocking and in a real sense condemning those that would arrogantly try to lift themselves to such status. As is seen with Casey Treat, another problem with WOF teachers is their misunderstanding of the meaning of man being made in the image of God. To use Treat's own illustration of looking in the mirror, when one does look, what one sees is one's own reflection. The image is not reality. The image is only a reflection of one's reality. One reflects God's image (some of His qualities) but one is not God. Granted that man is in the apex of God's creation and as such is completely different from the rest of creation, but being God's image does not mean that one is a little god. Humans are not divine by nature. God is divine. "Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods". (Galatians 4:8, also see Isaiah 1:6- 11, 43:10, 44:6; Gen.1:26, 28, 3:4-5; Ezekiel 28:2; Psalm 8:6-8.)


Michael Horton points out in "Agony of Deceit" that "any teaching that denies that Christ as 'the only begotten Son, the One and Only incarnation of God' is heresy" (John 3:16, 1:14,18; I John 4:1). It is important to point this out. Kenneth Copeland, in "Believer's Voice of Victory" in relating to what Christ told him says, "Don't be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you're God... 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. (August, 1988, p.8). The early Gnostic heretic, Cerinthus, taught that Jesus was just a man, becoming divine only at Baptism. At the cross, the Holy Spirit left Him, leaving Jesus devoid of His divine nature - once again He was just a man. ("Baker's Dictionary of Theology," Cerinthians, p.113) Copeland seems to advocate the same thing in the same Believer's Voice of Victory, Aug. 1988 issue when he says, "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." This is needed to understand the WOF's teaching on Jesus' spiritual death. In "God's Will for You," Gloria Copeland states, "Jesus experienced the same spiritual death that entered man in the garden of Eden" (p.3). This can not be so because Adam's death in the garden was due to disobedience where Jesus' death on the cross was due to obedience.(Phil.2: 8b) In "The Name of Jesus," Kenneth Hagin defines spiritual death as "something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan's nature... Jesus tasted death - spiritual death - for every man" (p.31). To many in the WOF movement, the emphasis is not on the physical death of Jesus (which is what the Bible emphasizes, i.e., "without shedding of blood is no remission," see Hebrews 9:12, 14, 15, 22) but on the "spiritual death" of Christ. On his tape, "What Happened From the Cross to the Throne," Copeland says, "When {Jesus} said, 'It is finished' He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun. There was still three days and three nights to be gone through before He went to the throne" (parenthesis mine). This is in direct opposition to what Christ said on the cross, "It is finished." (John 19:30). The word is "tetelistai" meaning "paid for in full." There was nothing more to pay for beyond the cross. If there was, Jesus would not have said to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23: 43), but instead would have said, "Today you will be with Me in hell."

Neo-Gnosticism In The Faith Movement

- by Clete Hux

Many times in the history of the church there have been winds and waves of heretical teachings passing through and Christians have been alert enough to spot the errors. Other times, the Church has not been quite so discerning and the result has been reaping a whirlwind of counterfeit beliefs and practices. Such is the case of gnostic elements in the "word-faith," "word of faith" (WOF), or "positive confession" movement. All too often Christians have spoken out against the blatant and excessive abuses of the so-called "name it and claim it" or "health and wealth" gospels of the WOF movement without realizing there are far more serious teachings of the movement which need to be addressed. Why do many Christians fail to spot the real doctrines of the WOF? Perhaps one reason is the camouflaging of Gnostic beliefs with Christian terminology. The term Gnosticism derives from the Greek word gnosis, meaning "knowledge." A person designates as "gnostic" is one who exalts knowledge above any spiritual, moral, or intellectual value. Knowledge becomes the tool for controlling life. As a first century heresy, Gnosticism taught that there is "secret knowledge" or "gnosis" and that these esoteric secrets are obtainable only to an elite group of Gnostic priests. The elite group in the WOF movement claims to receive "revelation knowledge" (apart from the scriptures). They say they are the "Lord's Anointed" (Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Charles Capps, Frederick Price, Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, etc.) and impart these revelations to others who sit under their teachings. Cerinthus, an early Gnostic heretic, tried to merge Christian doctrine regarding Christ with more mystical concepts. He taught a distinction between the man and the "Christ spirit" which descended upon Him at His baptism and later departed at His crucifixion. This information is well documented in Ireneaus' monumental work, "Against Heresies." This doctrine is repeated within the WOF teachings as the leaders of the movement claims that Christ died spiritually and thus gave up His divinity and was born again in His resurrection. Judith Matta documents in her book, 'The Born Again Jesus of the Word of Faith Teaching," that many doctrines of the WOF movement were lifted directly from the writings of 19th century Mind Science cults such as Christian Science and New Thought. How could this early Gnostic teaching get into the modern day WOF movement? D.R. McConnell in his penetrating book, "A Different Gospel" has documented that the real father of the WOF movement is E.W. Kenyon, who died in 1948. McConnell shows that Kenyon was heavily influenced by the Mind Science cults. In the second chapter of his book, McConnell records this statement from John Kennington, once a follower of E.W. Kenyon, "At one time, I was a blind follower of Kenyon... Now with the passing of a little time and with a little more understanding, I have come to realize that E.W. Kenyon has simply 'baptized' many concepts from Christian Science. In so doing, he became a source for a form of 'Pentecostal Christian Science,' even though Kenyon himself was not a Pentecostal" (McConnell, "A Different Gospel," p.15). Today, Kenneth Hagin is viewed as being the father and founder of WOF. However, McConnell documents that Hagin actually plagiarized Kenyon, getting most of his teaching from Kenyon's published works.(Ibid., p.6) Greg Durand of Logos Outreach, another counter-cult ministry, in their publication, Outreach Expositor, ties Gnosticism and WOF together. He says, "Like all forms of Gnostic philosophy, the Faith movement downplays the significance of the physical realm... To those in the WOF man is a spirit, has a soul and lives in a body" (Vol.5, No.2, p.16). Durand goes on to say, "To those entrenched in the WOF, the real man is supposedly a spirit creature that exists in God's Class...the body is seen as merely the tabernacle in which the spirit man temporarily resides" (Ibid., p.16)." The Faith teach


August 1993 ORLANDO, Fla. (EP) --

Evangelist Benny Hinn became a focal point of controversy this year when a cult specialist [Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute. ed] raised questions about his teaching and reporters questioned his lifestyle. In an interview with Charisma magazine editor Stephen Strang, Hinn, pastor of the 7,000- member Orlando Christian Center, discussed his beliefs and detailed major changes in his views on some controversial issues. "God is shaking me," said Hinn. "He is making dramatic changes inside of me. ...The Lord is showing me some things I have been wrong about. At one point I taught certain things, such as the 'little gods' teaching, and Jesus dying spiritually. Now I have quit teaching such things, and I have made it clear that I no longer believe them." Hinn said that after a decade of pursuing Word-Faith doctrines, he has found some extremes in that teaching, and is changing his views on some issues. "For example, I used to teach that Jesus died spiritually and suffered in Hell," he said. "Through my own study, I discovered that this didn't line up with the Word. When the Lord said 'It is finished' on the cross, He didn't add 'to be continued.'" Hinn told Charisma that he had modified his views on other issues, including what is sometimes called "name it and claim it" theology. He said, "I don't believe confessing the Word works the way I taught it in the past. Of course, we should believe and confess God's Word. But I don't believe we can just confess any Scripture and make it happen." Hinn also emphasized that he believes "the Bible is the only authoritative source of divine revelation," and reaffirmed his belief in "one God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One God, three persons, absolutely one in essence." Though he once taught that Christians are "little gods," Hinn now refutes that doctrine. "I did teach the little gods doctrine," he said. "Today I don't believe it one iota. In fact, it's been erased off all my tapes. ...When I taught the little gods doctrine, I was using Scriptures that didn't fit." Hinn acknowledged that he receives a salary of $116,000 plus a housing allowance from his church, and "much more" in book royalties. But he said his giving to his church last year exceeded his salary. Hinn said he paid about $650,000 for his present home, which is in an exclusive neighborhood with a security gate. Hinn said he no longer wears his Rolex watch and expensive jewelry, and is replacing his Mercedes Benz with an American-made Lincoln "because I don't want my lifestyle to cause anyone to stumble." Though closely associated with the so-called "prosperity gospel," Hinn told Charisma that a recent trip to the Philippines had changed his outlook. "Some of the most precious Christians live there amid such poverty, such need. Yet you see such satisfaction, such fulfillment with them. They are happier than many Christians I know in America who have everything." Hinn said, "The teaching on prosperity has gone too far. It has become a business. It is no longer 'give so you will bless somebody.' It has become 'give to get.' It has become selfish, worldly. ...I feel terrible that I once put too much emphasis on material prosperity. And now I am saying, 'Lord, please forgive me.'" Divine healing is another area where Hinn's beliefs have changed. Though he once taught that anyone with enough faith could be healed, he now describes such a teaching as "cruel" and acknowledges, "I have come to realize that God is sovereign, and there are things I just don't understand." He added, "In the future, rather than focus on healing, I plan to focus on Jesus Himself, and let Him heal whomever He wills to heal." Hinn told Charisma his future ministry will have a new emphasis. "I am looking forward to even greater healings and miracles in my ministry," he concluded. "But I'm going to focus on salvation as well as physical healing. Because when God heals a body, that is temporal; but when God saves a soul, that has eternal importance." ---------------------------------------------------------- CHRISTIAN BBS ABBA II 619-487-7746 - Specializing in Apologetics - Information about Cults - Bible Studies & Discussions - Daily News from Israel - Home of Christian Press Report - Active Message Areas - High-Quality Christian Files - Informative Discussions + Files and Programs from the Christian Research Institute ----------------------------------------------------------

This file has been put up onto The Christian BBS by the kind permission of Albert Dager and Media Spotlight. If you would like a subscription to the Media Spotlight Newsletter then inquiries for a subscription should be sentto: Media Spotlight P.O. Box 290 Redmond, Wa USA 98073-0290 To reproducethis article in print, please seek their permission as this article is copyright protected, and I am sure that they will give it.


by Albert James Dager

The following is a reprinting of a letter I sent to Oral Roberts in October, 1989, pointing out to him certain statements he had made overthe years regarding the building of the City of Faith hospital and the Oral Roberts University Medical School. The statements in question were uttered as prophetic messages given to him by God. As such, they carried the impact of Holy Writ upon those who believe that there are prophets today to whom they can look for direction in their spiritual lives and, in this case, direction on where to sow their monetary gifts to the Lord. I sent copies of this letter to fifteen men whom I consider Oral Roberts' peers in the field of pubic ministry (whether false or not, you judge). As of the date of this printing I have heard from only three of those men, and I've reproduced their answers at the end of this special report. ------------------------------------------------------------------------October 19, 1989 Oral Roberts Oral Roberts Ministries P.O. Box 2187 Tulsa, OK 74171

Dear Oral, Recognizing that a man of your importance is extremely busy, in all humility I ask that you take the time to read this lengthy letter. It is written out of concern for you, with the hope that I amy be able to help you in an area of great importance. One fo the reasons many people have supported you over the years is that they believe you hear from God directly - supernaturally - in a manner most Christians only wish they could. When you told your supporters that they must help you build the City of Faith hospital and medical complex it was because you had received a vision from God. It has been characteristic of your pronouncements to add the qualifier, "God said," or some other phrase to suggest that what you are telling us is a direct message from God. You regard yourself, as do many others regard you, a prophet of God. Yet many of your "prophetic" statements have not come to pass. Please consider what I say for your own benefit, Oral. It is a serious thing to announce that God has spoken when, in fact, a man has spoken presumptuously. In order to help you see the seriousness of these things, I have condensed certain events into specific instances, and present them in chronological order. My research has been careful, knowing the great responsibility that is upon my own head to adhere to truth: * 1960: You claimed that God told you to make His healing power known throughout the earth: In 1960 Roberts believed God spoke to his heart and said: "Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice and My healing power is not known. To go even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours. And in this, I am well pleased." (Stephen Strang "Not Perfect, Just Forgiven," Charisma, May 1987, p.6.) To date, none of your students' work has exceeded your work, at least as far as your publicity has revealed. * 1977: You said you received a vision from God telling you to build the City of Faith. Later, you claimed that you saw a 900-foot-tall Jesus who told you the vision will soon be realized, and that the hospital will be a success. (The City of Faith was indeed built, but it was never really a success. Now that it will be closed it will never be a success.) * 1981: City of Faith opens. *1983: You announced that Jesus appeared to you in person and commissioned you to find a cure for cancer. (Richard N. Ostling, "A Family That Prays Together," Time, July 4, 1983, p.38.) There has been no cure for cancer found at ORU or anywhere else. Did Jesus make a mistake in commissioning you? * 1986: You told us that God gave you a mandate to turn ORU medical school into a total missionary outreach to the nations within one year, and to put students under full scholarships with room and board. Jesus promised that, if you and your prayer partners come into agreement and stayed in agreement, several of the missionaries would be in the nations by the end of the summer of 1987. (These were not to be part-time visits, but regular service: one year service for each year of full scholarship.) As I have shared with you since last March, God gave me a mandate at that time to turn the ORU medical school into a total missionary outreach to the nations. He gave me one year to do it. And He said if I didn't do it, my work would be done and He would call me home. Partner, time is running out. God told me I was to put our young physicians-in-training under full scholarship with their room and board so that when they finish their residencies, they will NOT go into medical practice here in America (where there's a surplus of doctors). Instead they would enter into agreement with this ministry to serve on Missionary Healing Teams in those nations closed to the gospel...(sic) but that need doctors so desperately they'll take our Healing Team evangelists and other workers IF WE SEND THEM DOCTORS. God said, I want you to use the ORU medical school to put My medical presence in the earth. I want you to get this going in one year or I will call you home!... God said, It will cost $8,000,000 and I want you to believe you can raise it. At the time this issue of Abundant Life is going to press, we have only $4,500,000 of the $8,000,000 needed above and beyond the regular expenses of the ministry.... Jesus promises if we agree and stay in agreement, He will come into our midst so that several of our young medical missionaries can already be in the nations by the end of the summer. (Oral Roberts, "It's Time We Came Into AGREEMENT," Abundant Life, January/February, 1987, p.3.) Agreement was to be evidenced by your reaching the goal: The only reason my life could be over on earth in March is because we've not come into AGREEMENT to bind Satan's power and loose the money that God says belongs to us for our needs to be met...and so that we can get the gospel out. (Ibid., p.5.) Yet the medical missionaries were not sent out as you said Jesus promised. Note, too, that the amount you said was needed was $3.5 million ["...we have only $4,500,000 of the $8,000,000"]. * 1987 (January): God told you that you had failed to send the medical missionary teams out; in order to do so you had to raise $8 million by March 1 or God would take you home: According to Roberts, the money will be used to provide full scholarships for medical missionaries who will later be sent to Third World nations. ..On his program "Expect a Miracle" of January 4, Roberts claimed that unless he received $4.5 million for scholarships at Oral Roberts University Medical School, God would take him home by March.... The televangelist said that $3.5 million has already been raised, but urged his supporters to extend his life by providing the remaining $4.5 million before March. (Christian Research Journal, Winter/Spring 1987, p.5.) Originally, in your own publication, you stated that you already had $4.5 million and needed the balance ($3.5 million) to reach the $8 million goal (see above). The media picked the wrong number and, it seems, it suited you to use the $4.5 million figure throughout your appeal. * 1987 (March 22): Jerry Collins, dog track owner, gave you $1.3 million. (Seattle Post Intelligencer, March 23, 1987, p.1.) * 1987 (April 1): You announced that you had raised almost $1 million above the $8 million goal, and that the need will be ever present: I've been through hell and back trying to convince people that $8 million won't do it. It's got to be above our regular needs, and we need it in April and May and June and July and 1988 and 1989, 1990, 1991, until God returns to earth," he said. On April 1 on his son's daily television show, Roberts announced that $9.1 million had been raised, enough for the medical scholarship program, $700,000 to make up operating deficits and a $400,000 "overflow." (Seattle Post Intelligencer, April 6, 1987. * 1987 (November): You announced that the City of Faith medical clinic will close in three months: "...I believe we made a mistake...in organizing a clinic to go along with our hospital," Richard Roberts said. The City of Faith's non-profit hospital and research center will remain open. (USA Today, November 4, 1987) * 1988 (January): You canceled the free medical tuition program: The Oral Roberts University School of Medicine will no longer provide tuition-free scholarships to all students, a program that received national attention last year when the evangelist claimed God would "call me home" if it could not be funded. (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, january 29, 1988) * 1988 (March): The scholarship fund went bankrupt, and you required students to repay scholarship funds at 18% per year interest if they transfer to another school rather than stay on at ORU medical school and start paying the high tuition: One year after TV evangelist Oral Roberts raised $8.7 million by saying God would "call me home" unless he found money for full medical scholarships at his university, the money is gone and the scholarship students might have to foot bills up to $71,000 each. Officials at Oral Roberts University School of Medicine in Tulsa, Okla., also have told the 50 freshman students that if they transfer to avoid paying such high tuition and expenses, they have to repay the scholarship money they have already have received this year plus 18 percent interest, a total repayment of $26,550 each, according to documents and interviews with students and university personnel. Several students said they had been told the scholarships were for four years of medical school and now feel betrayed and embittered that Roberts would lure them to enroll under what they called fraudulent pretenses. Robert's son, Richard, yesterday called the charges of misrepresentation "baloney" and "absolutely false." He said his father had made clear during his appeal last year that the money would be used "to operate the medical school for one year. (Seattle Times, March 25, 1988.) Dr. Larry Edwards, dean of the medical school, said the $8 million given last year by Oral Roberts's prayer partners to finance the scholarships will be used for that purpose, but the school will not try any more massive drives to give medical students a free ride.... Edwards said he knew some people would question the new plan in view of Roberts's past appeals for scholarships. "The answer to that is simple," he said. "Oral Roberts never claimed he was wedded to a particular methodology. He said he was wedded to the purpose of God. I believe our new plan is an expanded vision of that purpose." (Christianity Today, March 7, 1988, p.46.) The phrase, "a free ride," makes it appear as if ORU had been doing the students a favor out of the graciousness of your heart. Yet you, yourself, stated originally that God told you to provide full scholarships (Abundant Life, Winter/Spring, 1987, quoted above). Now, your son, Richard, says that the students' claims that they had been promised full scholarships is "baloney." Are we to assume that God's original command was "baloney," as well as your consistent promises of full scholarships? And can Edwards call a cut-back an "expanded vision"? This, Oral, is what George Orwell referred to as "doublespeak," using misleading terms to give false impressions. You should speak to him about this. * 1989 (September): You decided to close the medical school and the City of Faith hospital to pay off debts: "It was a tremendous undertaking," Roberts conceded. "Medical education is far different from any other form of education I've ever been associated with." But Roberts does not see it as failure. "I don't think it's as bad a day as it seems. I think we'll look back on this and think it's the right thing," he said. (Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer, September 17, 1989, p.A10.) Oral, in view of your claims that you acted at the behest of God, certain questions arise: * Were you lying when you said you saw a 900-foot-tall Jesus that told you to build the City of Faith Hospital? * If what you saw was really Jesus, did Jesus fail by not fulfilling His promises? * If the promises failed (which they did), then was what you saw really Jesus? * If what you saw was not Jesus, then what was it - a lying spirit? * If this was a lying spirit, how many other "visions" you've received over the years have been from lying spirits? How many enterprises have been financed with millions of trusting people's dollars that went to keep Oral Roberts and his family in the media limelight and living a lavish lifestyle? * Since the medical school is being closed and you will not be able to make good on your commitment to send medical missionaries to third-world countries, can we expect God to take you home? * If, after having you raise $8 million in 1987, God failed to provide for the medical school, why did God bother to threaten you in the first place? Why didn't He just let it fail then? * Will you refund the millions of dollars to the trusting people who believed you when you said, "God said"? * Will you publicly repent of having spoken presumptuously to the Body of Christ in stating that God told you to do all these things that have failed? Oral, if this letter seems to hit you hard, please believe that it was written in a spirit of love and concern for your spiritual welfare. Many people, among them leaders in the Church, consider you a prophet of God. If they close their eyes to the reality that you have mislead them, they will have to answer to the Lord for following you. For your sake and theirs, please repent publicly and return the money that was given for these enterprises. I realize that may mean selling everything else your ministry holds as investments and such. And, in fact, you may never be able to repay fully what has been raised under false pretenses. But to do all you can to make things right would be the only thing that would place you in right standing before God and before the brethren. Please let me hear from you quickly, as I feel obligated to bring these facts to light for the benefit of the brethren. I would like to do whatever I can to help you do the right thing. I am sending a copy of this letter to certain of your peers in the hope that they will understand and offer their help to you.In the spirit of God's love and concern, Al DagerEditor & Publishercc: Jamie Buckingham Kenneth Copeland Paul Crouch Billy Joe Daugherty Billy Graham Kenneth Hagin Jack Hayford Rex Humbard Larry Lea Fred Price Pat Robertson James Robinson Demos Shakarian Stephen Strang Robert Tilton The following cover letter was sent on October 19, 1989, to the fifteen men named above, along with copies of the letter to Oral Roberts. The envelopes were marked and highlighted, "PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL."Dear (name), Please find enclosed a copy of a letter I wrote to Oral Roberts expressing some concerns of mine regarding certain alleged prophetic utterances and expressions of God's having told him things which have failed to come to pass. I have sent this to you and to several others of Oral's peers in the hope that you and they will take to heart what I have stated and will help Oral do the proper thing to set things straight before God and before the Body of Christ. My motive is love, first of all for God, and secondly for the Body of Christ, but also for Oral Roberts. Please let me hear from you regarding your input on the matter. In Jesus' love, Al Dager Editor & Publisher Within one week I heard from Paul Crouch: I've received your letter and the epistle you have directed to Oral Roberts. It is a sad litany that you have written to Oral Roberts. It would take a second or third reading to let the full implication of this letter to sink in. At this point, of course one does not know what the reaction of Brother Roberts will be to your letter, but our prayers are with him that the Lord will indeed strengthen him to do what he needs to do. Thank you for sharing this letter with us. The second week of November, 1989 I received my letter back from James Robinson with a hand-written note at the bottom: I cannot predict Oral's response to what you shared but it does voice the concerns of many. I do not know how he will respond. I shared some of these concerns with Oral in the past. You did right sharing your heart with him directly. Please do be in prayer and DO NOT become critical. We must pray and never judge. Fred Price sent a lengthy letter defending Oral as a man of God, comparing his circumstances to that of Moses, and placing the blame for his failures on those who did not support him. I received two form-letter responses from Copeland thanking me for writing and offering me opportunities to support him. I wrote to Paul Crouch, James Robinson and Fred Price, thanking them once again for at least taking the time to respond, and encouraging them once again to urge Oral Roberts to do the right thing. My answer to Fred Price is reproduced below because it contains essentially all that I said to Paul Crouch and James Robinson, but addressed his statements as well: ------------------------------------------------------------------------Dear Fred, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter regarding my concerns about Oral Roberts' false prophecies. It grieves me that only you, Paul Crouch, and James Robinson made any effort to acknowledge my concerns. Ken Copeland Ministries sent me a form letter thanking me for writing and offering me an opportunity to support them. No doubt the others are very busy men. But the magnitude of the problem, both in terms of the multi-millions of dollars and the misdirection of trust generated by Oral's statements, should command at least some attention by anyone to whom the letter was sent. As busy as you are, you recognized the gravity of the situation. How sad that so few others did. To date I've not heard from Oral Roberts either. Recognizing that even letters marked "personal and confidential" might be pre-screened and never reach his eyes, I sent it to fifteen men in the hope that at least one of them would bring it to his attention. I wonder at the futility of trying to reach people who have placed themselves so far out of touch with us "little people." I'm afraid the only recourse I have is to publish my letter to Oral as an open letter in the hope that some of our brethren will no longer be duped into believing him to be a prophet of God. Perhaps, too, he will become aware of his problem through that means. In any case, my love for the Body of Christ compels me to do what I must to warn as many as will receive my small voice. Knowing your kind spirit and the extraordinary effort you make to warn the brethren not to judge one another, I'm certain that my course of action will grieve you. But I believe that if we cannot judge error in the Church we leave ourselves and our brethren open to deception. Thus, to refrain from speaking for fear of being judged as judgmental, in my opinion, is not an expression of love, but of cowardice. We're speaking about Oral's eternal destiny here. And I will risk the wrath of those who judge me judgmental - indeed I will risk God's judgment to bring Oral to repentance and a desire for restitution of what he has taken from the brethren under false pretenses. We cannot judge another's heart, but we must exercise judgment in regards to their words. Otherwise, how can we recognize error? And how can we keep the faith untainted? The apostle Paul tells us that we are not to judge those outside the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:12) and those who call themselves our brethren (vs. 11). But in our judgment of their error, I believe we must also concern ourselves with their spiritual welfare and pray that they will humble themselves before God and the brethren in order that their sins not be held against them. True love judges, but grieves in the judgment process. Those who refuse to judge and refuse to warn others of error (both those committing the error and those deceived by that error) are partakers of the deceiver's sin. So, too, those who continue to allow Oral's credibility to go unchallenged who appear with him on the same platform and allow him to teach as a prophet of God, have proven themselves false prophets as well. Your defense of Oral doesn't address the proper issue. Please reread my letter to him. It isn't that others failed to follow what God told him to do. The issue is that, according to Oral, God PROMISED that all these things would come to pass. We cannot liken Oral's circumstance to that of Moses, because God PROMISED that all thes


By Jerry Johnson, of MorningStar Magazine (Reprinted from the May 1992 issue) =========================================

A number of years ago my wife and I attended a Deception and Discernment seminar in Berkeley, California put on by the Spiritual Counterfeits Project. It was an excellent seminar with classes on numerous topics. The seminar was punctuated by Christians coming together out of common concern and a desire to emphasize the truth. But then there was THE class ....the one that ended with people upset at each other and some people crying and a great deal of dissension. No, it wasn't a church board meeting. It was the class that dealt with visualization. Now, for those who may not be sure what visualization is: It isn't a new type of 3-D movie. It isn't those sunglasses that let you see behind you. And it isn't an eye exam done by computer. If you talk to either New Agers or Christians who have bought into it, visualization is an aid to faith, a way to help God to make that which you desire to become reality. It is done by repeatedly and consistently creating a very clear mental image of an object or goal desired. It is taught that if you create the image with enough fervor and mental clarity, it will help the thing to occur in reality. Christians may also create a mental image of Christ and converse with this Jesus and get advice. They love the method and are often adamant in its defense. You probably have already had some exposure to the teaching of visualization. If you've seen athletes mentally go through their race or dive or course while leaning and jumping and swaying with their eyes closed, you've seen a form of visualization in action. Many sales or business seminars now teach people to visualize the sale or completed project in order to help it to happen. If you are into the evolution of language you may have noticed that somewhere in the last seven years or so people are now telling you to visualize something rather than to imagine it. "So what's wrong with visualization?" Two things: 1) It has been, is, and always will be an occultic method. For a reference please (do not) see the first published account of how to visualize. You will find it in an article in a book published in the 1920's by Alice A. Bailey, a prominent member of the occult group, the Theosophical Society. The article was entitled "Treatise on White Magic". 2) It works. "Wait a minute here! First you're setting up to trash visualization ...and then you say it works?!" That's one of the main reasons that I'm trashing it. Remember, a lot of things that are not appropriate work. Drugs make you feel good for a while, despite what objective reality is; same thing with alcohol, illicit sexual activity, and a lot of the pleasures of the world that work for a season. They are effective, seductive and destructive. Now, I don't mean that if you imagine a Porsche in your front yard it will show up, but visualization has been used to "help" physical illness and it has improved performances by those using it. "Then what's wrong with it?" It's a lot like asking what's wrong with killing people in order to get served more quickly at a restaurant. The goal in itself is O.K., but the method leaves something to be desired. You can find visualization taught throughout the history of published occult, arcane and esoteric literature, including the book "Real Magic" by Phillip Bonewits, the only person to graduate from Cal State Berkeley with a degree in Magic and I don't mean pulling rabbits out of a hat. At the end of the book he explains how to "launch" a magic spell. A primary part of that process is visualization. By contrast, a group of Christians was given the challenge of finding anything in the Bible that even smacked of visualization. One man came up with the story of Babel and Genesis 11:6, "And the Lord said, 'Behold, the people is one and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.' " That's as close as scripture EVER gets to even inferring this method and the word "imagine" in the Hebrew is "zamam" which means to plan or plot for evil intent. Not exactly a glowing recommendation. Years ago I was taught how to visualize by a well intentioned, but underinformed, Christian psychologist in a Christian college. I became good at it ... very good. I was able to stop a friend's asthma attack quicker than her medication. I was able to control my stress level. I was able to stop my colds within two days. I, I, I, I. Notice a trend? If you suddenly, evidently possess the power to get what you want ..who needs God, or more accurately, who will stop to seek God's will if you can get your own will? After all, if God wants something into your life and you yield to His leading, does He really need your help to create the reality? And if He doesn't want you to have it, isn't rebellion to go after it anyway? Visualization isn't just an occult method and it isn't just a distraction to a life of faith IN GOD (not yourself or your ability to imagine). It creates pride and begins to warp your doctrine and view of God. "Now, you're really blowing wind!" I wish that were true. In a recent book a VERY prominent and repeatedly published Christian author had a chapter that extolled the virtues of using your imagination to develop intimacy with God. What he taught was visualization. In this chapter the author made the following statement which, by the way, is wholly in the context and intent of the chapter: "We cannot commune with a Savior whose form and shape elude us". That is really interesting when lined up to John 4:24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth". The author loses. And so do those who follow his lead. Exodus 20:4 instructs us to not worship any created images. I believe that probably includes mentally created images. After all, if I commune with a God whose form and shape have not eluded me I have two problems. 1) I am communing with a god that I have defined by my imagination. MY imagination, formed by MY mind, which is neither perfect nor capable of recreating a complete and accurate picture of God. My desires and prejudices will color both the image I create and the advice that image gives. 2) If I can figure God out well enough to imagine a Biblically accurate and complete image with my brain, that God's pretty small and probably doesn't warrant my worship. After all, my brain can't even imagine or understand how a TV set I plug into a wall can produce accurate replications of actors that did their thing weeks or years ago. If I can't figure how a TV works, how in the world am I supposedly capable of accurately imagining God? It just don't make sense. Let me be blunt: I HATE visualization. At one point it seduced me and I hate to see others get sucked in. It is an occult method that has NO place in the life of a believer. It is not a neutral tool. It's a satanic one. No, I won't win any diplomacy awards for this article. Now on to a briefer look at the second occultic method. And, yes, you can breath a sigh of relief. "Lizard tongue and wing of bat, Tooth of hen and leg of gnat, Grant the wish I wish to hold, Give me lots and lots of gold" Most of us would recognize that poem as a farcical version of a magic spell ... it's also not all that different from a teaching that has made MAJOR inroads into the lives of many believers. I quote a book that is extremely popular with the people that hold to this second type of error: "Those that say they can and those that say they can't are both right. Words are the most powerful thing in the universe." "God never did do anything that He didn't say first. He said it then He did it. The power to do it was in the Word." "You must watch what you say. You have to believe that those things that you say - everything you say - will come to pass." I could go on ... ad infinitum, ad nauseam. This error is known as positive confession. Historically it's known as casting a spell. It is the idea that whatever you say, because you said it, creates reality. Therefore, you can only verbalize things that you want to happen. I had a friend that believed in positive confession. She had a book of verses, taken out of context, of course, that were to be said in order to create a positive reality. Included in this book was a verse that talked about God holding back the flood waters. It was to be stated to overcome a woman's water retention. I am NOT making that up. I still chuckle about that. That friend died while positively confessing she had been healed of cancer. To me, this particular belief (spelled h-e-r-e-s-y) has two ridiculously obvious doctrinal problems: 1) It holds that the spoken word is "the most powerful thing in the universe". That concept is easily trashed in Exodus 20 where it is declared that we are to have no other gods ...most powerful things, if you will ...before him. Also, if what they say is true, when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and said how he would gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers its' chicks, he should have spouted feathers. Just joking! 2) Man's spoken will then becomes sovereign. Not God's will ... man's. Besides, since this teaching has no basis in reality, as my dead friend can now attest, it just sets people up to deny reality and live, and die, in a world of fantasy, wishful thinking and self-delusion. Both visualization and positive confession are gaining converts in the church today. Both deceive and delude those who end up following their own desires rather than seeking God's will. Both are simply witchcraft ... supposedly done in Jesus' name. 같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같 같 같 같 This file passed through Abba II - Where Christians find Information, 같 같 Resources and Fellowship, and where non-christians find honest answers 같 같 to their questions about what (and why) Christians believe. 같 같 같 같 Call us today: (619) 487-7746. And remember: 같 같 Jesus Still Loves You! 같 같 같 같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같같 _

---------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute. ---------------------------------------------------------------- COPYRIGHT/REPRODUCTION LIMITATIONS: This data file is the sole property of the Christian Research Institute. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute"). This data file may not be used without the permission of the Christian Research Institute for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations not to exceed more than 500 words. If you desire to reproduce less than 500 words of this data file for resale or the enhancement of any other product for resale, please give the following source credit: Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 500, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693. -----------------------------------------------------------------


In today's evangelical community there is a movement underway that I will call the "Gospel of Many Blessings and Material benefits" or the "Hundred-fold heresy". In listening to a recent radio program, one of the major proponents of this teaching said to this effect: . "God is a giver! God loves us and wants us to experience the abundant life as shown in John 10:10. Our prosperity glorifies God and shows the world His blessings in our lives - we all know that poverty is a curse, don't we?! Second John tells us in chapter two that God desires, 'above all things that you may prosper.' We are the King's Kids, and if we are not prospering financially, then Satan is robbing us of our inheritance in Christ. The real secret to prosperity is this: 'Give and it shall be given unto you' as promised in Luke 6:38. If you give to he Lord, HE promises you a hundred-fold return in this life - we look to Mark 10:30 for this promise. Invest in God, and be prosperous for God's glory!" . Now the first verse I want to look at is First Timothy 6:5. What does it say there? Now look at Luke 14:33. What are we told here? We are STEWARDS of HIS POSSESSIONS! God desires that we have "Life and life more abundantly..." but what does God mean by the term "Abundant" and how does it compare to the Hundred fold Heresy? READ LUKE 12:15 . The Greek term in 3 John 2 is the same word Paul used in Romans 10:10. Prosper in the same context as "prosperous" journey. Was Paul hoping to make a lot of money on his journey? No - Paul and John were expressing a desire for success in what God sends us to do. . Now look at Mark 10:30. Take a special note of these FACTS: (1) Jesus has just told the rich young ruler to sell everything that he had and give to he poor to have "treasures in heaven" and (2) this promise is given to encourage those who had ALREADY given up their houses, brothers, sisters, land, etc. It was not given to those who wanted to use God's promises for personal gain. Look at 2 Corinthians 6:10 to find out the meaning of Jesus' word as to the nature of this "return." . Now take a special note. The word MONEY and the word GIVING are not even mentioned in the promise of Jesus! Jesus was telling us that God would provide for our needs from "His abundant storehouse" and not that what we give up or give away will be returned to us IN KIND a hundred times over. READ Matthew 13:22; Matthew 6:21 . Picture sitting at the throne of God and hearing these preachers and Christians going around "investing" in God and expecting, no - even DEMANDING a 100 fold return on the "investment!" I picture God crying. He who GIVES EVERYTHING and GAVE HIS SON seeing those few who behave as though they did something great because they tithed from their paycheck. They give their 10% (If God is Lucky and if.......). The Spirit of God will not strive with a man forever, and in cases of this nature, I am certain that the grief caused to the Spirit makes HIM want to depart. The HERESY that God is the great LOAN OFFICER ON HIGH or the GREAT SANTA CLAUS OF HEAVENLY HOUSE FINANCE is an abomination, and should be dealt with on such a basis. . God does love each of us, and HE demonstrates His love in many ways to us. Scripture tells us that "all things were created for His Glory." (Rev 4:11). All examples of Christ and His Apostles were ones of sacrifice THROUGH love without expectation of return. . God provides our NEEDS. If GOD chooses that we should have Material Wealth, then HE provides it to us, NOT for our LUXURY, but for our needs and, most clearly, to provide support to those who do not have such wealth. Guilt about the blessings of God are NOT OF GOD. God wishes, in HIS SOVEREIGN will to provide for us what He want us to have. . Many times He wants to allow us responsibility for a little to prepare us to handle a lot. We CANNOT and MUST NOT make a demand upon God, and we are the CREATED and HE is THE CREATOR. This allows us, ONLY THROUGH JESUS, OUR LORD, to present our petitions to God. God chooses if we are to receive or not. Computers for Christ

Prosperity teachers {Balaam} ******************* * WAY OF BALAAM * *********************************************************************** P R O S P E R I T Y T E A C H E R S Wake up Denver!!!! You are being taken in by the Spirit of Balaam!!!!! There are some who teach that if you are godly, that God will honor you by causing you to prosper. That if we only knew God's laws of prosperity, he would fill our vats to overflowing. One of the well known national teachers tell us that... "Paul plainly said, 'Godliness is profitable' If anything is profitable, it pays off. Companies making financial reports to their stockholders list profits and losses. Thank God there is profit from serving God." -pamphlet entitled 'Godliness is Profitable' These are false prophets that teach you that if you are godly you will prosper. "If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been ROBBED of the truth and who think that GODLINESS IS A MEANS TO FINANCIAL GAIN." -1 Timothy 6:3-5 "Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion... They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted - twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever." -Jude :11-13 Mark it well that "BLACKEST DARKNESS" is "forever" "reserved" for them! Do as Jesus said and leave them!! Today!! For... "Better the little the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked..." -Psalm 37:16 ************************************************************************ *********************************************** * * * SOUND DOCTRINE BBS * * 8/N/1 24HRS * * (303) 680-7209 * * PC PURSUIT THROUGH DENVER, COLORADO * * * * "For the time will come when men will not * * put up with sound doctrine." * * -2 Timothy 4:3 * * * * P.O. BOX 460206 * * AURORA, COLORADO 80015 * * VOICE PHONE: (303) 690-0920 * * * ***********************************************

"Are Christians Supposed to Take Dominion?"

(an article from the Christian Research Journal, Fall, 1988, page 31) by Robert M. Bowman, Jr. The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal is Elliot Miller. -------------

Are Christians supposed to "take dominion" in the world before Christ returns? Two growing movements within American Christianity are saying Yes. The first is the Christian Reconstruction movement, led by such men as Gary North and R.J. Rushdoony. Based on the postmillennial view of prophecy (according to which the church Christianizes the world as a whole before Christ's return), Reconstructionists call upon Christians to prepare themselves to take over the world's institutions, including its governments, following the conversion of the world's people to Christ. The second group is popularly known as Kingdom Now, led by such men as Earl Paulk and Thomas Reid. "Kingdom theology" urges the church to become unified and mature under the rule of charismatic apostles and prophets (such as Paulk), and penetrate worldly institutions enough to "serve notice" that the church represents the authority of Christ the King. The emphasis on the church's taking "dominion" in both of these movements has led to their being associated together under the label "dominion theology." And there are significant points of contact and common notions held by the two groups. But there are some even more important differences. The Reconstructionists are orthodox Calvinists and are thus solidly evangelical, even if many evangelicals will strongly disagree with postmillennialism and other distinctive Reconstructionist doctrines. Kingdom Now, on the other hand, brings together in one package most of the unbiblical elements of the earlier heretical perversions of Pentecostalism issuing from the "Latter Rain" movement of the late 1940s. Thus, these two movements understand "taking dominion" rather differently. The Reconstructionists envision a gradual, pervasive transformation of human institutions in the wake of worldwide conversion to orthodox Christianity. The Kingdom Now prophets look for a brief display of the church's power as the basis for Christ condemning the unbelieving world for not listening to the church's gospel. One practical implication of these differences is that those Reconstructionists and Kingdom Now followers who are seeking to band together in a common effort to "take dominion" are misled. The two movements are working for different goals. Nevertheless, convinced that "taking dominion" means wresting control of our government away from the godless, and that this is in fact Christ's mandate to the church, both groups are pursuing political power. They hope that Christians can take sufficient control of things to set the agenda and course for America into the next century. But are Christians supposed to be taking dominion at all? Granted that there is some confusion among American Christians as to what taking dominion would mean, is there a sense in which this really is the mission of the church? A careful reading of the Bible indicates otherwise. Simply put, _the Bible never commands Christians to take dominion._ A search for such a mandate proves fruitless. The Bible never even hints that this is to be a responsibility of the church between Christ's first and second comings. It is often claimed that the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is a directive to fulfill the "Dominion Mandate" of Genesis 1:28, in which God commanded man to subdue the earth and have dominion. This claim does not bear close scrutiny of the texts. In Genesis 1:28 God gives dominion over the animal kingdom to man. In Matthew 28:18-20 Christ, after stating that _He_ (not the church) has all authority in heaven and on earth (v. 18), commands the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them (vv. 19-20). There is certainly no explicit connection made in Matthew 28 between the Great Commission and the Dominion Mandate of Genesis 1:28. Nor are the commands to disciple, baptize, and teach somehow equivalent to "take dominion." Through the fulfillment of the Great Commission by the church, Christ is exercising _His dominion_ over the earth in calling men and women into the kingdom. And Christ is working through the church to defeat sin and death through the preaching of the gospel. In this sense the church plays a role in Christ's rule between His first and second comings (1 Cor. 15:24-28), but it is indirect. It is Christ who rules, Christ who takes dominion -- not the church. The promise of an earthly dominion in which the redeemed rule is biblical (Rev. 5:10; 20:6; 22:5). However, whether one interprets the earthly reign of the redeemed in a premillennial, amillennial, or postmillennial fashion, this reign is not the result of Christians struggling to take dominion over political and economic institutions. Even in classic postmillennial thought the Christianization of worldly institutions during the Millennium will be a by-product of the success of the church's mission to make disciples of all peoples, not a result of a direct attempt by the church to take over these institutions. I do not mean to imply that Christians should be politically inactive, or that they should not seek political office. It is certainly better for the righteous to rule than the wicked (Prov. 29:2). Thus, while I disagree with the claim that the church's _mandate_ is to take dominion, I also disagree with those who criticize any attempt to establish "the rule of the righteous" (as television commentator Bill Moyers has put it). My point is that the church's main responsibility is evangelism and discipleship, not political activism. Christians should exercise righteous "dominion" when the opportunity presents itself, and doing so does not require compromise with Christian principles. But the church has no general mandate from Christ to seek or achieve worldwide or even nationwide political dominion before His return. ------------- End of document, CRJ0024A.TXT (original CRI file name), "Are Christians Supposed to Take Dominion?" release A, February 7, 1994 R. Poll, CRI (A special note of thanks to Bob and Pat Hunter for their help in the preparation of this ASCII file for BBS circulation.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Christian Research Journal is published quarterly by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) -- founded in 1960 by the late Dr. Walter R. Martin.

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----------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute. ----------------------------------------------------------------- COPYRIGHT/REPRODUCTION LIMITATIONS: This data file is the sole property of the Christian Research Institute. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute"). This data file may not be used without the permission of the Christian Research Institute for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations not to exceed more than 500 words. If you desire to reproduce less than 500 words of this data file for resale or the enhancement of any other product for resale, please give the following source credit: Copyright 1993 by the Christian Research Institute, P.O. Box 500-TC, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92693. ----------------------------------------------------------------- "Research Notes" (articles from the Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 2: Number 5, 1989) The editor of the Christian Research Newsletter is Ron Rhodes. From the RESEARCH NOTES column: ------------- *Bernie Siegel,

Healing, and Miracles*

Bernie Siegel, author of the 1986 best seller, _Love, Medicine & Miracles,_ has just published a new book entitled _Peace, Love & Healing_ (Harper & Row) in which he continues his exploration into the links between body and mind, feelings and healing. Siegel argues in both books that the course of an illness may be altered by a change in one's state of mind. He thus suggests that conventional treatments of disease be supplemented with mind-altering techniques like visualization, meditation, and hypnosis. The May/June 1989 issue of _New Age Journal_ contains a feature interview with Siegel. In the interview, it becomes quite clear why Siegel's writings are so popular in New Age circles. Siegel said: "The nicest compliment I get is people coming up and saying, 'Just what religion are you?' I was brought up in the Jewish religion. Last night [when I spoke to a group] the minister thought I was Catholic, and I said, 'Thank you, that's a wonderful compliment.' Because, if they can't tell [my religion, it supports] the point I am making: Spirituality is universal. Religions are a problem, but spirituality and love are not." In the course of the interview, Siegel shows a definite openness to Eastern religious concepts: "If you say to me, do I believe we live on in some other kind of energy after the body dies, yes. I mean, there are just too many interesting things I see happening in terms of communication to me from people who have died. So I am intrigued. But whether it goes to heaven or just goes back to the original source of energy that created the universe, if you want to call it God -- I mean, you are just playing games with words -- what's the difference? And can that energy pick out a new body? I don't know. I mean, what difference does it make?" It makes a great deal of difference. The fact that Siegel even asks this question is perhaps the best reason orthodox Christians should avoid reading his books, best sellers though they are. -- _Ron Rhodes_ ------------- *Three Lawsuits Against Seattle Area Community Chapel Settled Out Of Court* The controversial Community Chapel group near Seattle, already badly stung by a church split, is continuing to unravel in the wake of four lawsuits filed against the church and/or its leaders, including pastor Donald Lee Barnett. Since 1986 the Chapel has attracted national attention due to the drowning death of a 5-year-old girl and several suicides of members. All the deaths were partially blamed on Barnett's teachings by critics. In the drowning of Brittany Cole in a motel bathtub, the mother, Janet Cole, did it for fear her daughter was possessed by a "demon of hyperactivity." By killing her daughter, the mother thought she could release the demon and the child would automatically go to heaven. She was later convicted of murder. Critics say the suicides and subsequent divorces of about 80 church couples were related to a practice Barnett called "spiritual connections." It started in 1983 when Barnett, now 60, claimed he caught a new move of the Lord and began teaching the congregation to dance solo in the aisles of the church sanctuary. In 1985 he went further and said the dancing could involve couples. Eventually members were encouraged to dance with the spouses of others and develop intimate relationships -- "spiritual connections" -- with them. The dancing developed into some couples spending hours dancing, staring into each other's eyes, hugging and kissing. The suicides occurred after some developed romantic relationships with their "spiritual connections" who were not their spouses. In one case a woman shot herself after her husband's "spiritual connection" -- another woman -- grew so close to him that she stayed at their home to care for him during his illness. When the woman became depressed over this she was told she had a "demon of jealousy." She killed herself when she couldn't rid herself of the "demon." In March 1987 church elders disfellowshipped Barnett after they heard testimony of adulterous affairs he was having with women in the church. In March 1988, however, Barnett won the right to return to the pulpit when a King County Superior Court judge granted a request from the preacher to prevent the elders from removing him. Responding to the judge's ruling, attorney James Leach, representing the Chapel elders, argued that Barnett had breached his responsibility as a board member at the church and exposed the Chapel to liability through litigation. Barnett eventually lost the case when a King County court ordered him to turn in his keys and leave. The first suit filed against the Chapel -- in July 1986 by three women [Kathy L. Butler, Sandi L. Brown, and Christine Hall] -- alleged that Barnett and other church leaders sexually assaulted them under the guise of ministerial counseling. That suit was joined by a similar one filed by several families [Sandy Ehrlich et al v. Ralph Alskog et al] that added that Barnett's "spiritual connections" had resulted in sexual advances of adults against children. The third case filed by Maureen Jorgensen, a paraplegic, was a cash recovery case. She lent the church money from an insurance settlement for the 1970 car accident that crippled her. From March 30 to May 15, these three suits were not-so-quietly settled out of court. Details of the agreements were to be kept secret but the attorneys for the plaintiffs said their clients were pleased with the settlements. The fourth case [Carl Petersen v. Wayne Snoey] involves the former head of security of the church. That case is still pending. -- _William M. Alnor_ -------------