Sunday, December 3, 2017

Analysis of the Prosperity Doctrine - Part 2



 In this study, we examine the doctrines taught by the Prosperity Doctrine and the Word of Faith movement to see if they are biblical.


Scriptures:

  • 2 Peter 2:1-3
  • James 2:5
  • Genesis 3:17-19
  • Job 1:6-12
  • Genesis 1:26
  • John 3:16
  • Psalms 22:1-5
  • Luke 23:46
  • Ephesians 4:14

Doctrines to be Analyzed:

  • God Has No Authority on Earth
  • Satan is the God of This Earth
  • The ‘little gods’ Doctrine
  • Spiritual Death of Jesus

When and how did Jesus pay for our sins...?

  • Dying on the cross
  • When He rose from the dead
  • When He ascended back to Heaven
  • When He sent the Holy Spirit back to earth
  • Going to hell after His death

2 Peter 2:1-3

1But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

  • False teachers
  • Secretly introducing heresies
  • Denying Jesus

False Teachers

  • False teachers /prophets aren’t going to just teach something that is clearly against the bible
  • It will sound true
  • They will mix truth with lies.
  • They may expose a lie and then teach you another lie in its place.  
  • Or they may reveal a truth to you and add lies to it.

“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

—C.H. Spurgeon

Heresy - belief or opinion contrary to orthodox Christian (religious) doctrine

Disclaimer


Don't throw the baby out with the bath water

  • This study may cause some to doubt Christianity
  • The proper response is to learn what defines true Christianity
  • You don’t stop using money because you get a fake $20 bill
    • You learn how to identify a fake bill
    • Learn the characteristics that distinguish real money from fake money

You don’t fully know the truth until you understand the lies

  • and understand why they’re lies

--ML

There is a broad spectrum of teachings within the prosperity preachers.  Some focus on prosperity more than others.  Some have teachings that are further from the bible than others.

I'm not judging whether someone is intentionally teaching in error versus unintentionally

Review of Analyzing the Prosperity Doctrine


  • Prosperity theology is a religious belief among some Christians, who hold that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God
  • The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes (seed) will increase one's material wealth.
  • The doctrine was formed from the intersection of three different ideologies: Pentecostalism, New Thought, and the American ideals of pragmatism, individualism, and upward mobility.
  • New Thought is a philosophy that teaches if you wish for something hard enough you would get it.
  • New Thought taught: metaphysics, positive thinking, the law of attraction, healing, life force, creative visualization, and personal power.
  • E. W. Kenyon is accredited to having introduced it into Pentecostalism by teaching that positive, faith filled speech could be used to obtain divine healing.
  • In the 1970’s a new prosperity doctrine called “ Word of Faith” evolved that taught that a Christian with faith can speak into existence anything consistent with the will of God.
  • Some prominent Word of Faith pastors include: Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Myles Munroe, Joyce Meyer, Paula White, Benny Hinn, Fred Price
  • We examined some of the doctrines of this movement to see how it aligns with the bible.
  • We looked at the doctrine of seed and sowing which claims that God will multiply whatever you give to the church, and that God only blesses those who give money to the church.
  • We saw that the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 was often used as proof of this, but that the parable is actually talking about winning souls for Christ not multiplying money.
  • We looked at the doctrine of Positive Confession which claims that a believer can claim health and wealth from God just by speaking it.
  • The Bible verse used to support this is Proverbs 18 that states: “The Power of Life and Death is in our tongue”, but the verse actually refers to gossiping and not speaking badly against your neighbor.
  • We looked at the doctrine that teaches that Jesus died for our health and our wealth and all we need to do is receive it by faith.
  • A scripture used to support this is 3 John 1:2 which states: “I wish that you prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers”. When reading the verse, we saw that this  is not a promise from God, but a common greeting used in the beginning of John’s letter
  • We looked at the doctrine that claims that faith is a spiritual force like electricity and gravity are natural sources.
  • We saw that in the scripture used in Hebrew 11:1 which states that: “faith is the substance of things hoped for” the word ‘substance’ is better translated ‘confidence’ or ‘assurance’.  
  • We then examined why the doctrine is appealing, and discovered that:
    • It aligns with many Christian’s belief that God wants to punish you for doing bad and reward you for doing good
    • It gives you control over your problems because you don’t have to wait on God
    • It frees rich members and those pursuing riches from the guilt that often comes with being rich
  • We saw that these churches:
    • Attract focused, driven,  successful upward mobile people
    • Have pastors that wear flashy attire because it supports the teaching that God blesses the righteous with material wealth
  • We saw that the prosperity doctrine can be harmful because it leaves people thinking that there’s something wrong with them or something wrong with God if they don't get rich or healed.
  • In the end, we concluded that the doctrine is partially correct in that Jesus did indeed promise unconditional health and prosperity.
  • But this promise is to be attained when we reach Heaven not here on earth

James 2:5

5Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

More WoF Doctrines


In addition to health, wealth, and the “force of faith” there are other doctrines taught by many of the Prosperity Doctrine and Word of Faith teachers that are much more harmful.

The Word of Faith movement teaches that:

“God created human beings in His literal, physical image as little gods. Before the fall, humans had the potential to call things into existence by using the faith-force. After the fall, humans took on Satan's nature and lost the ability to call things into existence. In order to correct this situation, Jesus Christ gave up His divinity and became a man, died spiritually, took Satan's nature upon Himself, went to hell, was born again, and rose from the dead with God's nature. After this, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to replicate the Incarnation in believers so they could become little gods as God had originally intended.”

--gotQuestions.org

God Has No Authority on Earth


Teachings


Abraham is the man God used to get back into the earth realm. God had given Adam dominion over all the resources He had created, but Adam gave that dominion over to the devil.

--Fred Price


Prayer is man giving God authority, or God license, to interfere in the affairs of man. In fact, God—I’m going to take a deep breath because some of you religious people aren’t going to understand me—Are you ready? God cannot do anything in the earth without a human’s permission!”

 --Myles Munroe

Prayer is man giving God legal right and permission to interfere in earth’s affairs

 --Creflo Dollar

The Problem


This challenges the sovereignty of God

It implies that satan has more authority than God on earth.

  • Satan doesn’t need permission from man
  • But God does

It implies that man has more sovereignty than God on earth

  • Nothing can happen outside of man’s will

You only need one single instance of God acting without the approval of a man to prove this theory wrong

Genesis 3:17-19

17To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;

through painful toil you will eat food from it

all the days of your life.

18It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.

19By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.”

  • This doesn't sound like an interaction between a powerless God and a man in authority

Truth


People often go to one extreme and claim that everything that happens is God’s will.

This takes the opposite extreme and claims everything that happens on earth is based on the will of a human.

The truth is that God is sovereign.

  • But He will not go against His word
  • He allows humans to exercise dominion over some parts of their life

Impact

  • Lowers God
  • Raises satan
  • Raises man

Satan is the God of this World


Teachings


“Through listening to Satan rather than God, Adam surrendered to him the authority to rule the earth that God had originally given to man….The devil said, ‘All dominion and authority over the earth has been turned over to me, and it is mine.’ Adam had been given a lease to the earth by God, and he turned it over to Satan. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we read that Satan is the god of this world, or we might say, the god of this world system”

--Joyce Meyer

Now satan is in charge

God was out of the picture legally because He gave it over to Adam

--Fred Price

Opposing Scripture



Job 1:6-12

6One day the angelsa came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satanb also came with them. 7The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

8Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

9“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. 10“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

12The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

  • Satan doesn’t have domain over what belongs to God

WoF Response:


You may say, "But God permitted the devil to do all that to Job." That is right. What you may fail to realize is that God had to permit it. He gave Job, and each of us, a free will. Permitting all those things to happen was Job's decision. If Job allowed it, God had to permit it.
...
In fact, Job brought what happened to him on himself. He says in Job 3:25, "For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me." Proverbs 18:21 tells us, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. That is a spiritual law. Because Job kept running off at the mouth about how scared he was, what he was afraid of came to pass.

--Fred Price (in his book: Beware! The Lies of Satan)


Errors in this:

  • The bible doesn’t indicate Job brought it upon himself
  • The bible never says Job verbally expressed his fear
  • Proverbs 18:21 does not teach that whatever you speak will happen
  • Price slanders Job, but God calls Job  "blameless" (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3).

Truth


God has allowed Satan to operate in this world within the boundaries God has set for him.

When Jesus speaks of “this world”, He says that we are in this world, but not of it

  • We belong to Jesus’ kingdom
  • Satan is the God of those who don't choose Jesus as Lord
    • He’s god to those who choose to live in his kingdom
  • Satan subject to the authority of God

Impact of this doctrine

  • Lowers God
  • Raises satan

The “little gods” Doctrine


Teachings


Creflo Dollar: "If horses get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Horses!"

Dollar: "If dogs get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Dogs!"

Dollar: "If cats get together, they produce what?"

Congregation: "Cats!"

Dollar: "So if the Godhead says 'Let us make man in our image', and everything produces after its own kind, then they produce what?"

Congregation: "gods!"

Dollar: "gods. Little "g" gods. You're not human. Only human part of you is this flesh you're wearing."

--Creflo Dollar

“If you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If cattle have another cattle they call it cattle-kind. I mean, what’s God supposed to call us? Doesn’t the Bible say we’re created in His image? Now you understand, I’m not saying you are God with a capital ‘g’ ”

 --Joyce Meyer

God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man. He faces the Father as a man. I face devils as the son of God. Do you see what I’m talking about? You say, ‘Benny, am I a little God?’ You’re a son of God, aren’t you? You’re a child of God, aren’t you? You’re a daughter of God, aren’t you? What else are you? Quit your nonsense! What else are you?  

--Benny Hinn

Jesus is not the only begotten son of God

  • He’s the first fruit
  • He’s the first of many
  • We are sons of God too

--Paula White

“If you are a Christian, you are as much Jesus Christ as Jesus Christ is Jesus Christ, because you are a member of the Church, otherwise known as the Body of Christ.”

 --Fred Price 

Jesus didn’t claim to be God

--Kenneth Copeland

Proof Text


Genesis 1:26

26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 

The Problem

They blur the line between God the creator and us the created.

They want to make us equal to Jesus.  Jesus is no longer God.

We are equal to God.

The Truth

We will never attain the level of God / Jesus 

John 3:16

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  • Jesus’ sonship is not the same as ours
  • Our relationship is through Jesus

Impact of this doctrine

  • Lowers God
  • Lowers Jesus
  • Raises man

Spiritual Death of Jesus


"Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, "let him go." Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead--the first born again man."

--Joyce Meyer (The Most Important Decision You'll Ever Make)

  • Jesus was tortured by demons in hell
  • Jesus needed to be born again

"Jesus went into hell to free mankind from the penalty of Adam's treason . . . when his blood poured out it did not atone . . . Jesus spent three days and nights in the bowels of this earth getting back to you and me are right with God."

--Kenneth Copeland 

  • Jesus’ blood was not enough to atone for our sins

The flesh cannot make sacrifice for spiritual things

--Kenneth Copeland

"He tasted spiritual death for every man. He died on the Cross and took our place in spiritual death. His spirit, His inner man, went to hell in our place."

--Kenneth Hagin

Problems:


  • This denies that Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient to atone for our sins.  
  • Some even say that Jesus also lost his divine nature and adopted the nature of Satan while in hell.  
    • This denies that Jesus is God.  
  • Claims that Jesus was separated from God
  • Teaches that Jesus had to be born again.  
    • This is a denial of the holiness of Christ's nature.  

The spiritual death of Jesus would mean that He ceased to be God

  • If Jesus ceased to be God even for an instance then He never was God

Truth


The truth is that Jesus:

  • Finished the atoning work on the cross
  • Never stopped being divine
  • Did not suffer in hell
  • Did not need to be born again
  • In HIs humanity He felt separation, but in His deity He was never separated from God

The Proof Text is Matthew 27:46 which says: “My God My God why have you forsaken me”

  • This is one of Jesus’ 7 last words
  • This verse quotes Psalms 22
  • The whole context is here...

Psalms 22:1-5

1My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?

           Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

     2O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;

           And by night, but I have no rest.

     3Yet You are holy,

           O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

     4In You our fathers trusted;

           They trusted and You delivered them.

     5To You they cried out and were delivered;

           In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

  • David was never actually stating to have lost his relationship with God

But Jesus’ final words on the cross were...

Luke 23:46

46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

  • Jesus went straight to the Father when He died

Impact of this doctrine:

  • Lowers Jesus

Statement of Faith


Every church has a “Statement of Faith” or “What We Believe” section on its website.  You need to check that before attending a church.

From our church website...

We affirm that the doctrines of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and salvation by grace through faith make up the essential, distinctive nature of Christianity. In regards to these essential doctrines there can be no conflicting opinions of those who call themselves true followers of Christ.

Conclusion


Ephesians 4:14

14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming

In summary we see that the teachings of Prosperity Doctrine and The Word of Faith movement:

  • Reduces God to man-status
  • Reduces Jesus to man-status
  • Exalts man to god-status
  • Exalts Satan to god-status

It leads to a deification of man

  • We can do what Jesus did
  • We can do what God did
  • Man is in control.

They imply that Jesus’ death alone wasn’t enough to atone from our sins.

Ultimately the teachings claim that our faith is the ultimate source of power, and even God has to obey our faith and our spoken words.

“The Word of Faith movement is deceiving countless people, causing them to grasp after a way of life and faith that is not biblical. At its core is the same lie Satan has been telling since the Garden: “You shall be as God”...Our hope is in the Lord, not in our own words, not even in our own faith (Psalm 33:20-22). Our faith comes from God in the first place (Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 12:2) and is not something we create for ourselves. So, be wary of the Word of Faith movement and any church that aligns itself with Word of Faith teachings.”

--GotQuestions.org (Is the Word of Faith movement biblical?)

<Flame Interlude>


Presenter: Michael Leadon





References


The Prosperity Gospel Message by Dr Paul Choo


A Call for Discernment Session 1 - Dangerous Doctrine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ks3EdMMT48

When Jesus Died on the Cross, Did He Also Die Spiritually?


Beware! The Lies of Satan by Fred Price


Is the Word of Faith movement biblical?


How is Satan god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)?


The Most Important Decision You'll Ever Make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, May 1993


Hagin, Kenneth E (2010-05-14). The Name of Jesus--Legacy Edition (Kindle Locations 382-383). Faith Library Publications. Kindle Edition.

2/3 - The $10,000 'PASTOR CREFLO DOLLAR' Bible Challenge ('God Not In Control of Earth' Heresy)




Extra


The biggest failure in the bible is God

  • He lost His top ranking most anointed angel
  • The first man and woman
  • A third of the angels

--Kenny Copeland

God Has No Authority on Earth


  • Adam was just like God when He was created
  • When he sinned He lost his deity
  • When Adam sinned God lost His access to the earth
  • Only spirits with bodies can interfere on the earth
  • God needs us to do things on earth
    • God couldn’t interfere with Eve
  • When we pray we give God permission to interfere in earthly affairs
  • God can do nothing on earth without a human giving him permission
  • God can do anything, but only if a human permits Him to do it

 --Myles Munroe in Benny Hinn interview

Proverbs 20:24

24A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 16:9

9In their hearts humans plan their course,

but the Lord establishes their steps.

Psalms 115:2-3

2Why do the nations say,

“Where is their God?”

3Our God is in heaven;

he does whatever pleases him.

Satan is the God of This World


God gave Adam dominion over the creatures of earth in (Genesis 1:26, 28)

  • The bible never says satan has dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth
  • That is why Noah was responsible to save them

Exegesis vs Eisegesis

  • Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.”
  • The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.

  • Fred practices Eisegesis here

Little Gods Doctrine


John 10:30-39

30“I and the Father are one.”  31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” 33The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” 34Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I SAID, YOU ARE GODS’? 35“If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” 39Therefore they were seeking again to seize Him, and He eluded their grasp.

Colossians 1:15-17

15The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Spiritual Death of Jesus


Definition:

Jesus died spiritually (sometimes abbreviated JDS) is a view in which Jesus is considered to have suffered both physical death (on the cross) and spiritual death (in Hell) as the complete penalty for sin. In this view, spiritual death (defined as separation from God) is considered the ultimate penalty for original sin, and proponents assert that Jesus must have suffered the complete penalty for sin in order for his substitutionary sacrifice to be effective. Accordingly, those who support the JDS view also teach that Jesus was spiritually born again at his resurrection.

While our closeness, intimacy, and fellowship with God will suffer at times, our relationship with him can never change. When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we become God’s children (1 John 3:1) and he becomes our father. We cannot change our relationship with God any more than we can change our relationship to our earthly father. Our earthly father will be our father no matter what may come between us. Our heavenly father will always be our father (relationship) no matter what may come between us (fellowship).

    Sin is a matter of fellowship, not relationship.

In addition, the theory of imputed “sin” is nonsensical. Sin is an act committed by personal choice (1 Jn. 3:4). It is “behavior or activity” that does not conform to the divine standard (Danker, 2000, 51). A person cannot be “sinful” by the act of another (Ezek. 18:20).

Conclusion


False religions teach that Jesus' death on the cross wasn’t enough to atone for our sins:

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • Mormons
  • Work salvation
  • Word of Faith