This obviously is off my usual subject on sexual immorality in the church, yet, this is a worthy subject that need to be shared.
Over the last few years, I’ve come across some positive and negative discussions regarding WOF, commonly called “Word Of Faith.”
Very few understand where this came from as far as the Word of God is concerned.
Romans 10:8 says, “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” (that is the Word Of Faith which we preach):” Isolated, it gives the basis for faith in God and His Word. When certain doctrines come along, we must pay attention to its origins. Anyone could make the Bible say anything it wants, until it is brought under contextual scrutiny.
Now within the context that Paul preached, verse 9 and 10 is brought into the picture. “…that if you confess with your mouth The Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
So contextually speaking, word of faith is speaking about faith in Christ for salvation. However, we do see a solid, indisputable principle that is consistent from the Garden to this very day.
Who said what and who will believe it?
Before I begin, there was a very compelling video on YouTube entitled WAR Word of Faith And Reformed Theology with Pastor Saiko Woods and Pastor Fred Price, Jr.
You can view it here http://youtu.be/KXGng28f4MQ
It was not the fireworks, rockets red glare kind of back and forth, although there was plenty of back and forth, but it was a cordial discussion on points of the Bible regarding faith in God and the sovereignty of God. At the onset, it was agreed upon that the originator of the Word Of Faith movement was determined to be E. W. Kenyon (1867-1948).
For those of you that do not know who E. W. Kenyon is, he started the “Positive Confession” Theology that transformed the way people think and believe about God and His Word. He’s written many books on this subject. Such as “Two Kinds Of Knowledge,” The Two Kinds Of Faith,” “New Creation Realities,” and so forth.
Yes, over thirty years ago, I’ve read these books.
I am not ashamed to say that these books helped me to see things in the Word of God that I’ve never seen before. However, as time progressed, many preachers caught wind of this radical way of understanding faith and abused it to death. So much so that many false teachers and preachers began to say things that we all know that is a violation of Biblical Hermeneutics, and basic sense.
Now proper Biblical faith never makes sense. When we got saved, it didn’t make sense.
How could God save a sinner?
It’s called “foolishness of preaching.”
We believed what someone preached. Faith to believe came as the Word is preached (“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”), we repented of sin, God forgave us, and the Holy Spirit made us new creatures in Christ by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the HolySpirit, and made us the righteousness of God by Christ Jesus.
In another instance of faith in God that doesn’t make any sense, when God told Abram that he would have a son, God told Abram this when Abram was at the tender age of 75. Abram and Sarai never had children to this point. It would be almost 25 years later that the Word that The Lord told Abram would come to pass.
Does it make sense that an old man would have normal sexual relations with a hot looking old lady and have a child?
If you say it makes sense, you are absolutely wrong in the natural but right in faith.
We all know the story of the children of Israel when they were given a land flowing with milk and honey. The Lord instructed Moses to send 12 men to spy the land. What took 40 days should have been done in 11 days. Ten came back with a bad report, two came back with a good report. It would be because of unbelief that they would not enter the promised land for 40 years. That’s why they were judged for forty years. It took forty days to talk themselves out of what the Lord told them.
Does it make sense for a nation that never seen war for over 400 years, yet, go in and take land from several nations that fight all the time?
In the natural, it doesn’t make sense, but in faith, the way God sees it, it does.
Adam was given a Word from God to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for in the day that he ate, he would surely die.
Eve didn’t believe that she would die and took a chance that cost us all to this day. In all three instances, it comes down to what was said and who would believe. Now here is the issue. The extremes of the Word of Faith. We begin to hear doctrines of the “god” doctrine. That Jesus used a Scripture and called men “gods.”
This is from Psalm 82:6. “I said, You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.”
The Hebrew word, “lohiym” is a derivative of Elohim. In the verse above, it is mentioned in the plural, meaning more than one. In error, it is taught that you are in the same class as God. Here is where this is clearly error.
No man that God created is in the same class as God except that man’s spirit is made of the same substance of God’s Spirit. Remember. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “I pray God that your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of The Lord.”
Man was created a tri-part being. God, in the book of Genesis, created man in His image, after His likeness. However, man cannot be in the same class as God. Man in the Garden never possessed three attributes that sets God apart from man.
Omnipotent. Omniscient. Omnipresent.
In character, we can be like God through the new birth. We are restored but not to the place of Adam because we still must die and we still have the choice to sin. So with even being in Christ, three things will always be missing.
Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient.
So when you connect positive thinking theology to this “god”manology (made up word), you get error.
The definition of “lohiym” is “magistrate or judge.” Now when you look at verses 3 through 5, the definition of “gods” or magistrates or judges now makes sense.
“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are unstable.”
These verse has everything to do with ensuring that justice is done in the land. Sadly, people will sell the Brooklyn Bridge and we will buy it (see Proverbs 14:15).
That is the error but as far as believing God for what He promised, this is what we are permitted to have.
What God promised in His Word. Mark 11:22-25 is the basis for believing God in His Word, however, 1 John 5:14-15 is the qualifier. Now with Hebrews 11:6, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
Verse 5 is usually left out because many teachers leave out the fact that Enoch lived a life that pleased God.
The book of Jude underscores the kind of life Enoch lived that pleased God to the point that Enoch was taken up into heaven. Body and all. The hyper-grace teaching that is in the air today, that you could live any way you want to live but grace will cover you is error of the highest order.
Psalm 66:18 is the qualifier.
Grace never gives us permission to sin.
Grace is God doing something for us that we do not deserve to be done.
When it comes to the confession of the Word, could we say something and it comes to pass? I believe that what The Lord promised in His Word, when we say what He promised, God will bring it to pass. We are powerless to bring something to pass with the Words of our mouths. However, when we agree in faith with what God said, God is well able to bring what He said in His Word to pass
But doesn’t Proverbs18:22 tell us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof?”
Only when we speak God’s Word in faith or the devil’s word. The discussion ranged from proving points of Scripture about whether God sovereignly heals or that we speak by faith what God said in His Word to receive healing. In one point of the segment, they’ve discussed the Holy Spirit whether He gave gifts and then we are able to turn on the gifts when we want to.
When it comes to the gifts of the Spirit, we do not have control over the execution of the gifts of the Spirit. We do have the Biblical right to act when the gifts of the Spirit are not in operation.
For instance, the Bible says “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”
Or in another place, “Is any among you sick, let him call for the elders of the church, let them anoint them with oil in the name of The Lord and the prayer of faith shall save the sick and Lord shall raise him up.”
In my ministry, I’ve seen The Lord work in both ways to heal a person, whether it is the gift or gifts of healing/healings, or by the laying on of hands in faith.
However, I’ve seen where people didn’t receive when I would lay hands on people in faith. There are many that believe that because the gifts of the Spirit were not in operation that it was God’s sovereign destiny to die.
That’s far from the truth.
Does it mean that The Lord doesn’t heal?
The reasons are varied as to why a person doesn’t receive healing. But because someone doesn’t receive healing, we dare not accuse the Father or suggest to the Father that He is incapable, or that His sovereign will picks and choose who gets healed, saved, delivered, and who doesn’t.
Anyone, in faith, can receive. But many will say, but what if God doesn’t heal? See that’s doubt. As Brother Hagin once said, you could have faith in your heart and doubt in your head. What matters to The Lord the most?
Faith in your heart.
Here’s another thing that I wanted to share.
There is a difference between doubt and unbelief.
Doubt means there is a possibility that it could happen. They believe that it could happen for others but they doubt that it could happen for them.
Unbelief is when you flat out refuse to believe that God can do it for you and for everyone else. A person could recover from doubt. All they have to do is change their minds.
With unbelief, their minds are already made up. We must always remember that we do not have the complete picture. A failure of healing is never to be assumed as a failure of God. We must remember that on the heaven side, we will not see what really went on.
The woman with the issue of blood is a classic example of faith in the Word of God. If you remember the story, she heard about Jesus. She heard about how people would touch His garment and would be healed. We must always remember that healing and health is an act of God’s grace, appropriated by faith in God’s Word. Healing postpones death.
That’s why I understand as a pastor to see which way a person is going. Do they want to believe God for healing, or allow the process of death to run it’s course. Sometimes a person’s will is involved to the degree that they allow the course of death to take place.
God never overrides the will of man because He made the will of man to be free to choose. You choose to get in the car. You choose from a menu to eat certain things. You choose to sin. You choose to believe. You choose to disbelieve. You choose to walk in righteousness.
As a pastor, The Lord instructed me to be ready to go either way. That is when a person desires to be healed, to minister the laying on of hands and believe God with them. When a person desires to go home to be with The Lord, be ready to prepare their hearts to enter the kingdom.
Is it unbelief?
Is it doubt?
It’s called preparation.
You see, The Lord is about ministering to people where they are and never impose upon them our will. The Lord is about being believed for what He is willing and able to do. The Lord is about His Word and what we do in response to His Word.
As far as the blatant extreme teachings and teachers, we need to learn what the late Brother Hagin, Sr. had said for years. “Learn to eat the chicken and leave the bones.”
Few extreme agitators that speak against the valid points of Scripture regarding believing God in faith wouldn’t dare refer to Hagin’s last book before He went home to be with The Lord called “The Midas Touch.”
I dare you to read it.
Some of you won’t because you’re too afraid to see that correction was at least attempted.
It would sink your boat.
He brought stunning correction to the extreme teachings of the Word of Faith movement and teachers and really, very few paid any mind to it. In the latter end of his ministry, he held “Ministerial Ethics Seminars” for pastors and ministers because he saw the trend of false teachers and prophets engage in heretical teaching, sexual immorality, and money.
Yeah, you never heard of this either, did you?
Dr. Fred Price, several years ago, over twenty years ago talked about Marriage and Sex. He shared about “oral sex” that would put hair on a place on your head where it should remain bald.
Bet you missed that, too.
And Dr. Betty Price shared a book on “”A Warning To Ministers, Their Wives, and Their Mistresses.”
A must read for all pastors and pastor’s wives, and mistresses.
My pastor friend, Pastor Darren Butler of International Good News Fellowship in Hicksville, NY, said something that I will paraphrase.
We should never judge someone by one message but in the totality of their messages.
And I agree.
Now if they continually show a decline in the Word, that’s when you reveal and expose the error.
Like Carlton Pearson, John Swilley, or Dennis A. Meredeth, and others.
Everyone of us preachers have, at one time or another, said something that was deliberately crosswise of the Word of God until revelation comes, or correction comes.
We all want to be correct in our teachings because according to James 3:1, we are held to a stricter judgment.
There is no doubt that controversial things were said by proponents of Word of Faith, but it doesn’t mean that the whole bunch of preachers associated with the correct and balanced teaching of the Bible is also in deliberate error.
Granted, there are many that intentionally overstep boundaries to “push” a “heavy revy” to be famous in the pulpit.
There is no question that we have false prophets and teachers throughout the entire body of Christ, teaching damnable heresies. They should never be given a free pass. Neither should any of us that preach correctly, the Word of His grace, be given a free pass. We know in part and we prophesy in part. We see through a glass darkly, as Paul said. There is no excuse for preaching false doctrine. There is equally no excuse to label everyone a heretic if they didn’t intend to deliberately deceive people.
Therefore, let’s heed the advice.
Eat the chicken, and throw away the bones.