Word of Faith: The Elevation of Man

This entry is part 4 of 23 in the series Wolves in Wool

Wolves in Wool: Creeps in The Church, is the title of this series on false teachers and false doctrines. This study will be updated weekly, so be sure to subscribe for updates.

Wolves in Wool 4 - The Elevation of Man from Jeff Kluttz on Vimeo.

(Notes below are scrollable)


The Elevation of Man to Godhood

Man was created as a god

According to WOF doctrine, in the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth, and he placed another “god,” a reproduction of himself on the earth to guard it, named Adam.

“I’m going to have to reproduce Myself. Like I’m God up here in heaven. I’m going to make Me a god and put Myself in the physical body so that he can guard the earth and keep out all intruders in the earth … Now that gives us a little insight on why God wanted a god on the earth like He was God in heaven … When God made Adam all He did was make an exact imprint of Himself. He duplicated Himself … If you eat of this fruit, you will be like God. What’s the problem? He’s already like God. He was already like God.”
Creflo Dollar (Our equality with God Through Righteousness January 21,2001)

“God came to earth and touched a piece of dust and turned it into a God.”
Benny Hinn (TBN, Dec 1, 1990)

And man was God’s equal in every way.

“[Man] was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…God 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 Hagin, Sr. (Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, 1989. pp. 35-36, 41)

This man-god, Adam, had the fullness of the godhead within him.  He had super-human powers and could do amazing things (which the Bible failed to mention).

“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 means 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 something you cannot do, you don’t have dominion over it. 1’11 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, TBN December 26, 1991)

The root stock of this mythology stems from a gross misrepresentation of the creation of humanity in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

The first error of this doctrine is that the statement “Let us make man in our image” does not relegate man to God’s status.  In fact, the statement itself relegates man to something essentially lower that God, not equal.  Man is a creation¸ while God is pre-existent and eternal.  He has no beginning- no creation. 

1 Chronicles 16:36 (NIV)
36 Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

Revelation 22:13 (NIV)
13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Can that which is created be equal to that which created it?

This fallacy of equality with God comes directly from Satan’s repertoire, as it was Satan who began the propagation of that particular false theology:

Genesis 3:5 (NIV)
5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

And it was Satan who first saw the fruition of the desire to be elevated to Godhood:

Ezekiel 28:17 (NIV)
17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.

WOF teachers proclaim that the fall of man hindered Adam’s god-status, but that Christ returned man to being a “little god” in his act of redemption.

“You don’t have a god in you, you are one”
Kenneth Copeland (The Force of Love, 1987, audiotape #02-0028, side 1)
“I say this with all respect so that it don’t upset you too bad, but I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, ‘I Am,’ I just smile and say, ‘Yes, I Am, too!’”
Kenneth Copeland (Believer’s Voice of Victory, TBN July 9, 1987)
“Jesus is no longer the only begotten Son of God.”
Kenneth Copeland (Now We Are In Christ Jesus, 1980, p. 24)
“When you were born again the Word was made flesh in you. You are everything He was and everything He is and ever He shall be. Don’t say,’ I have.’ Say, ‘ I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.”
Benny Hinn (“Our Position in Christ #2 — The Word Made Flesh” 1991, audiotape #A031190-2, side 2)
“He [God] doesn’t even draw a distinction between Himself and us. . . . You know what else that’s settled, then, tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the Devil to try and bring dissension within the body of Christ that we are gods. I am a little god! . . . I have His name. I’m one with Him. I’m in covenant relation. I am a little god! Critics, be gone!”
Paul Crouch (Praise the Lord, TBN? July 7, 1986)
“You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was…the believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth”.
Kenneth Hagin, Sr. (Word Of Faith December 1980, p. 14)
 

The little gods doctrine is nothing more than a repackaging of Satan’s original sin:

Isaiah 14:12-14 (NIV)
12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

 

The teachings of man’s elevation to god-status is an essential element of WOF systematic theology.  It is from this premise that the supporters of these wicked teachers then can be shaped into an understanding of the rest of the theological story.  From a god-status, man is in control and can do as God did, using the force of faith to create one’s own reality and shape one’s own future.  The end result is, according to these teachers, man is utterly in control of his own circumstances, being an incarnation of Christ, with authority to rule one’s own life.

“You have the same creative faith and ability on the inside of you that God used when he created the heavens and the earth.”
Kenneth Copeland (Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2)

 

What scripture teaches about man

o   Man is subordinate to God, and is not deified in any fashion.

Isaiah 43:10 (NIV)
10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

·         Clearly, God does not consider man a “little god” – for he states adamantly through Isaiah that there was no god formed before him or after him.

o   Man belongs to God

Psalm 100:3 (NIV)
3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

·         Not only is God creator, and man subservient, but man belongs to God: “we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”

o   God rules man

Psalm 139:15-16 (NIV)
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

·         Man is in no position to bargain with God, or to share God’s stature.  Man’s life was written by God before one day of it began.

o   God does not share his glory – with man, beast, spirit or anything else

Isaiah 42:8 (NIV)
8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

 

Scripture clearly teaches that man is utterly subordinate to God in creation.  In fact, man is even subordinate to the angels, who themselves are subordinate to God.

Psalm 8:5 (NIV)
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

 

In the end, the “little god” teachings of WOF leaders does find strong biblical support in several places, such as these:

2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV)
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

1 Timothy 4:1 (NIV)
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

Their motives are well understood in scripture:

Titus 1:11 (NIV)
11 They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach–and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

Series Navigation<< Word of Faith: Erroneous Faith TheologyWord of Faith: The Demotion of God >>

2 Comment(s)

  1. Fantastic site! I am a former WOF pastor and teacher that left the faith movement earlier this year. Keep up the great work!
    John

    John Edwards | Nov 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks, John. I’m so very glad to know you’re out there. What tremendous integrity it must have taken you to correct your teachings in such a public position. I know that God is honored by your commitment to truth at all costs.

    kluttz | Nov 29, 2008 | Reply

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