The deification of man. In Faith theology man was created as an exact duplicate of God, including size and shape.
· Kenneth Hagin asserts, "Man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…God has made us as much like Himself as possible…He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms equal with God…The believer is called Christ…That’s who we are; we’re Christ!" (Kenneth M. Hagin, Zoe: The God-Kind of Life (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc., 1989), 35-36, 41.
· Kenneth Copeland declares that "God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself…He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even." (Kenneth Copeland, Following the Faith of Abraham I (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), tape #01-3001, side 1.
· Televangelist John Avanzini claims that the Spirit of God "declared in the earth today what the eternal purpose of God has been through the ages…that He is duplicating Himself on earth." (John Avanzini with Morris Cerullo, The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, (San Diego: Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, n.d.), audiotape 1, side 2.
· Morris Cerullo bellows, "Did you know that from the beginning of time the whole purpose of God was to reproduce Himself?…Who are you? Come on, who are you? Come on, say it: ‘Sons of God!’ Come on, say it! And what does work inside us, brother, is that manifestation of the expression of all that God is and all that God has. And when we stand up here, brother, you’re not looking at Morris Cerullo; you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus." (Morris Cerullo, The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, (San Diego: Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, n.d.), audiotape 1, sides1 & 2.
The Faith teachings have now become so blasphemous and bizarre that even cultists are denying them. For example, Mormon scholar and author Stephen E. Robinson, referring to the Faith teachers, says: "Now, in fact, the Latter-day Saints would not agree with the doctrine of deification as understood by most of these evangelists, for in the LDS view we receive the full divine inheritance only through the atonement of Christ and only after a glorious resurrection." (Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1991), 63.
· When Kenneth Copeland proclaims, "You don’t have a god in you, you are one," and Benny Hinn pronounces, "I am a ‘little messiah’ walking on earth," we can only conclude that they are teaching rank heresy. (Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Love (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987), audiotape #02-0028, side 1.) and (Benny Hinn, Praise-a-Thon program on TBN (November 6, 1990).
Faith teachers are polytheists.
· TBN president Paul Crouch put it, "I am a little god! Critics, be gone!" (Paul Crouch, Praise the Lord program on TBN (July 7, 1986).
· According to Benny Hinn, "Adam was a super being when God created him. I don’t know whether people know this, but he was the first Superman that really ever lived. First of all, the Scriptures declare clearly that he had dominion over the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea—which menas he used to fly. Of course, how can he have dominion over the birds and not be able to do what they do? The word "dominion" in the Hebrew clearly declares that if you have dominion over a subject, that you do everything that subject does. In other words, that subject, if it does someting you cannot do, you don’t have dominion over it. I’ll prove it further. Adam not only flew, he flew to space. He was—with one thought he would be on the moon." (Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord program on TBN (December 26, 1991).
The demotion of God. The Faith movement not only deifies man but also demotes God to the beck and call of His creation.
· Kenneth Copeland claims that God is "A being that is very uncanny the way He’s very much like you and me. A being that stands somewhere around 6’-2", 6’-3", that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand] span of nine inches across." (Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985), audiotape #01-0601, side 1.
· Jerry Savelle elaborates on Copeland’s teachings when he says: "He is measured out heaven with a nine-inch span…The distance between my thumb and my finger is not quite nine inches. So, I know He’s bigger than me, thank God. Amen? But He’s not some great, big, old thing that couldn’t come through the door there and, you know, when He sat down, would fill every seat in the house. I don’t serve the Glob." (Jerry Savelle, Framing Your World with the Word of God, Part 2 (Fort Worth, TX: Jerry Savelle Evangelistic Association, Inc., n.d.), audiotape #SS-36, side 1.
· Morris Cerullo says, "As I lay there on the floor in this condition, my spirit was taken out of my body and the next thing I knew, I was in the heavens…Suddenly, in front of this tremendous multitude of people, the glory of God appeared. The Form that I saw was about the height of a man six feet tall, maybe a little taller, and twice as broad as a human body with no distinguishing features such as eyes, nose, or mouth." (Morris Cerullo, The Miracle Book (San Diego, CA: Cerullo Word Evangelism, Inc., 1984), x-xi.
· Says Benny Hinn, "I could almost visibly see the Lord, and I cold tell you what He was wearing." Jan Crouch, giddy about Hinn’s statement, asks, "Was that the Holy Spirit?" Acknowledging that he may get in trouble, Hinn resolutely answers "yes." (Benny Hinn and Jan Crouch, Praise the Lord program on TBN (October 3, 1991).
· Hinn made the following statement, "Man, I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me here. Life your hands. Something new is going to happen here today. I felt it just as I waled down here. Holy Spirit, take over in the name of Jesus…God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person; and He is a triune being by Himself separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost. Say, what did you say? Hear it, hear it, hear it. See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is aperson, God the Holy Ghost is a person. But each one of them is a triune being by Himself. If I can shock you—and maybe I should—there’s nine of them. Huh, what did you say? Let me explain: God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul, and his own personal spirit-body. You say, Huh, I never heard that. Well you think you’re in this church to hear things you’ve heard for the last 50 years?" (Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn program on TBN (October 3, 1991).
· Two years after his initial "revelation," Hinn once again voiced virtually the same statement. As he puts it, "God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost—three separate individuals, one in essence, one in work—and, may I add, each one of them possess His own spirit-body. You don’t like it?" (Benny Hinn, Praise the Lord program on TBN (October 23, 1992).
· Kenneth Copeland said, "I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is…The biggest one in the whole Bible is God…Now, the reason you don’t think of God as a failure is He never said He’s a failure. And you’re not a failure till you say you’re one." (Kenneth Copeland, Praise-a-Thon program on TBN (April 1988). He also said, "Adam committed high treason; and at that point, all the dominion and authority God had given to him was handed over to Satan. Suddenly, God was on the outside looking in…After Adam’s fall, God found Himself in a peculiar position…God needed an avenue back into the earth…God laid out His proposition and Abram accepted it. It gave God access to the earth and gave man access to God..Technically, if God ever broke the Covenant, He would have to destroy Himself." (Kenneth Copeland, Our Covenant with God (Fort Worth, TX: KCP Publications, 1987), 8-11 passim.
The deification of Satan. Satan is deified as the God this world and is positioned with so much power that he could manage to "turn the light off in God."
· Benny Hinn said, "God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man. He faces the Father as a man. I face devils as the son of God..Quit your nonsense! What else are you? If you say, I am, you’re saying I’m a part of Him, right? Is he God? Are you His offspring? Are you His children? You can’t be human! You can’t! You can’t! God didn’t give birth to flesh…You said, "Well, that’s heresy." No, that’s your crazy brain saying that." (Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ #2—The Word Made Flesh (Orlando: Orlando Christian Center, 1991), videotape #255.
· Kenneth Copeland is willing to give ownership of the earth to Satan: "God’s on the outside looking in. He doesn’t have any legal entree into the earth. The thing don’t belong to Him. You see how sassy the Devil was in the presence of God in the book of Job? God said, Where have you been? Wasn’t any of God’s business. He [Satan] didn’t even have to answer if he didn’t want to ..God didn’t argue with him a bit! You see, this is the position that God’s been in…Might say, ‘Well, if God’s running things He’s doing a lousy job of it." He hadn’t been running ‘em, except when He’s just got, you know, a little bit of a chance." (Kenneth Copeland, Image of God in You III (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), audiotape #01-1403, side 1.
· Copeland goes on to say, "The Bible says that God gave this earth to the sons of men…and when [Adam] turned and gave that dominion to Satan, look where it left God. If left Him on the outside looking in…He had no legal right to do anything about it, did He?…He had injected Himself illegally into the earth—what Satan had intended for Him to do was to fall for it—pull off an illegal act and turn the light off in God, and subordinate God to himself…He intended to get God into such a trap that He couldn’t get out." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.
The demotion of Christ. The Faith movement compromises the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
· Consider this statement by Kenneth Copeland: "[Adam] was the copy, looked just like [God]. If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike. If yo stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and sound exactly alike." (Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987), audiotape #01-0304, side 1.
· Jesus Christ supposedly told Copeland in the following prophecy: "Don’t be disturbed when people put you down and speak harshly and roughly of you. They spoke that way of Me, should they not speak that way of you? The more you get to be like Me, the more they’re going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah." (Kenneth Copeland, Take Time to Pray, Believer’s Voice of Victory 15, 2 (February 1987): 9.
· Copeland asserts, "What [why] does God have to pay the price for this thing? He has to have a man that is like that first one. It’s got to be a man. He’s got to be all man. He cannot be a God and come storming in here will attributes and dignities that are not common to man. He can’t do that. It’s not legal." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.
· Benny Hinn writes, "And let me add this: Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He would have sinned. That’s right, it was the Holy Spirit that was the power that kept Him pure. He was not only sent from heaven, but He was called the Son of Man—and as such He was capable of sinning…Without the Holy Ghost, Jesus would have never have made it…Can you imagine Christ headed for the grave, knowing He would remain there forever, if the Holy Ghost would change His mind about raising Him from the dead?" (Benny Hinn, Good Morning, Holy Spirit (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990), 135-36.
· Copeland promises, "Here’s where we’re gonna depart from ordinary church: Now, you see, God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus—these faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in Him…He can’t just walk onto the earth and say, "Let it be!" because He doesn’t have the right. He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world that was blockin’ every way that he possibly could." (Kenneth Copeland, The Image of God in You III (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), audiotape #01-1403, side 2. He continues by adding, "God was making promises to Jesus, and Jesus wasn’t even there. But, you see, God deals with things that are not yet as though they already were. That’s the way He gets them to come to pass." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017.
Recreation on the cross. On the cross, Jesus was recreated from divine to demonic, taking on the very nature of Satan.
· Benny Hinn claimed that the Holy Ghost personally told him: "Ladies and gentlemen, the serpent is a symbol of Satan. Jesus Christ knew the only way He would stop Satan is by becoming one in nature with him. You say, ‘What did you say? What blasphemy is this?’ No, you hear this! He did not take my sin; He became my sin. Sin is the nature of hell. Sin is what made Satan…It was sin that made Satan. Jesus said, "I’ll be sin! I’ll go to the lowest place! I’ll go to the origin of it! I won’t just take part in it, I’ll be the totality of it!" When Jesus became sin, sir, He took it from A to Z and said, "No more!" Think about this: He became flesh, that flesh might become like Him. He became death, so dying man can live. He became sin, so sinners can be righteous in Him. He became one with the nature of Satan, so all those who had the nature of Satan can partake of the nature of God." (Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn program on TBN (December 15, 1990).
· Kenneth Hagin also claims that Jesus Christ took on the nature of Satan, "[s]piritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan’s nature…Jesus tasted death—spiritual death—for every man." (Kenneth E. Hagin, The Name of Jesus (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1981), 31.
· Fredrick Price alleges that Jesus Christ was re-created spiritually—not on the cross, but rather in the Garden of Gethsemane: "Somewhere between the time He [Jesus] was nailed to the cross and when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane—somewhere in there—He died spiritually. Personally, I believe it was while He was in the garden." Price, who was reared in a Jehovah’s Witness environment mimics the Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage, who taught precisely the same thing in his book Jesus the Christ. (Frederick K. C. Price, Identification #3 (Inglewood, CA: Ever Increasing Faith Ministries, 1980), tape #FP545, side 1.
· Copeland says that Jesus became a sign of Satan when He was hanging on the cross: "The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" You don’t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, "Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there—the sign of Satan? Why didn’t you put a lamb on that pole?" And the Lord said, "Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross." He said, "I accepted, in My own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017, side 2.
Redemption in hell. In the words of one Faith teacher, "Satan conquered Jesus upon the Cross." Proponents of Faith theology say that Jesus endured three days and nights of unimaginable abuse at the hands of Satan and his hordes of demons in hell. This was God’s payment to Satan so that He could get back into a universe from which He had been banished.
· According to Frederick Price: "Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God…Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence." (Frederick K.C. Price, Ever Increasing Faith Messanger (June 1980), 7.
· Kenneth Hagin’s version: "He [Jesus] tasted spiritual death for every man. And His spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? Physical death wouldn’t remove your sins. He’s tasted death for every man. He’s talking about tasting spiritual death." (Kenneth E. Hagin, How Jesus Obtained His Name (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, n.d.), tape #44H01, side 1.
· Kenneth Copeland’s version: "When Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. There were still three days and nights to go through before He went to the throne…Jesus’ death on the cross was only the beginning of the complete work of redemption." (Kenneth Copeland, Jesus—Our Lord of Glory, Believer’s Voice of Victory 10, 4 (April 1982):3.
· Jan Crouch, the wife of TBN president Paul Crouch, approvingly recited the following words from Paul Billheimer’s book during a live communion service aired on TBN: "Because He was "made sin," impregnated with sin, and became the very essence of sin, on the cross He was banished from God’s presence as a loathsome thing. He and sin were made synonymous…[I]t was not sufficient for Christ to offer up only His physical life on the cross. His pure human spirit had not "descend" into hell…His spirit must not only descend into hell, but into the lowest hell…The Father turned Him over, not only to the agony and death of Calvary, but to the satanic torturers of His pure spirit as part of the just dessert of the sin of all the race. As long as Christ was "the essence of sin" he was at Satan’s mercy in that place of torment…While Christ identified with sin, Satan and the hosts of hell ruled over Him as over any lost sinner. During that seemingly endless age in the nether abyss of death, Satan did with Him as he would, and all hell was "in carnival." (Paul Billheimer, Destined for the Throne, special edition for TBN (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1988 [orig. 1975]), 83-84. Quoted by Jan Crouch during the "Praise the Lord" program TBN (August 20, 1987).
Let take a moment to retrace our steps. We began this section with Jesus hanging on a cross, where, according to Faith theology, He was recreated from a divine to a demonic being. At this point the Trinity was destroyed and the deity of Christ utterly demolished. According to the Faith teachers, the Lord Jesus’ passion on the cross proved insufficient to redeem humankind, an so He had to be trapped and hauled down to the very pit of hell by Satan. It is there, while Jesus is tortured and tormented by a smiling Satan and a host of cackling demons, that we pick up the story.
Jesus’ Rebirth in hell.
· Copeland explains that, "[I]n hell He [Jesus] suffered for you and for me. The Bible says hell was made for Satan and his angles. It was not made for men. Satan was holding the Son of God there illegally…The trap was set for Satan and Jesus was the bait." (Kenneth Copeland, Walking in the Realm of the Miraculous (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1979), 77. Satan blew it on a technicality, according to Faith theology, because Satan had dragged Jesus into hell illegally. As Copeland puts it, "The Devil forgot to take into consideration that Jesus hadn’t sinned Himself but, rather, had merely become sin as a result of the sin of others." (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017, side 2. Satan and every demon in hell tortured Christ’s allegedly "emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit" without legal right. (Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory program (April 21, 1991). And this was exactly the opening God had been looking for. Seizing the moment, He spoke His faith-filled words into the bowels of the earth, and suddenly—"[t]hat Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before. He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles…Jesus was born again—the first-born from the dead." (Kenneth Copeland, The Price of it All, Believer’s Voice of Victory 19, 9 (September 1991):4-6. Kenneth Copeland called upon revelation knowledge when he said: "The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, ‘Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.’ He said, ‘Think this way—a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.’ And I threw my Bible down…like that. I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.’ He said, ‘You are the very image, the very copy of that one.’ I said, ‘Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?’ He said, ‘Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could’ve done the same thing, ‘cause you’re a reborn man too." (Kenneth Copeland, Substitution and Identification (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989), tape #00-0202, side 2.
· Benny Hinn, too, received some "revelation knowledge" on the "rebirth" of Christ in hell: "My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth—it’s, it’s just heavy right now on me…He’s [referring to Jesus] in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was begotten. Do you know what the word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. You say, ‘What are you talking about?’…He was reborn. He had to be reborn…If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, "Jesus, You went through everything I’ve gone through, except the new birth?" (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1 (Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Center, 1991), videotape #TV-254.
· Jan Crouch read Paul Billheimer’s commentary on TBN stating, "[I]n order to be made alive unto God and restored to fellowship with His Father, He [Jesus] had to be reborn—for He had become the very essence of sin. Since sin had totally alienated Him from the Father, the only way He could be restored to fellowship with the Father was through a new birth to new life." (Paul Billheimer, Destined for the Throne, special edition for TBN (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1988 [orig. 1975]), 83-84. Quoted by Jan Crouch during the "Praise the Lord" program TBN (August 20, 1987).
Reincarnation. Jesus was reincarnated from demonic to divine and then emerged from hell as an incarnation of God. When you are born again, you too are reincarnated from demonic to divine, becoming "as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth."
According to Faith Teachers, Jesus regained His divinity the moment He was reborn in hell. Commenting on Hinn’s remarks about Jesus defeating Satan in the underworld,
· Paul Crouch adds, "That’s when His [Jesus’] divinity returned." (Paul Crouch, Praise-a-Thon program on TBN (November 6, 1990).
· Hagin states it, "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." (Kenneth E. Hagin, The Incarnation, The Word of Faith 13, 12 (December 1980):14.
The concept of incarnation makes sense only if a person existed prior to having a physical body. And while the Bible clearly declares Christ to be preexistent, nowhere in Scripture do we find the concept of human preexistence. In fact, human preexistence remains a concept belonging to such pseudo-Christian systems such as Mormonism.
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