Word of Faith: The Demotion of God

This entry is part 5 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.

Part Five: The Demotion of God

Wolves in Wool 5 - The Demotion of God from Jeff Kluttz on Vimeo.

(Notes below are scrollable)


 

The Demotion of God

Along with the elevation of man to godhood, it makes perfect sense (in this skewed use of it) that God would somehow also be demoted to man.  That is precisely what happens in the twisted systematic theology of the WOF.

God’s lost place in creation

The essence of God’s demotion is taught by the WOF teachers to be the results of Adam’s sin.  The postulate is that God, making Adam in his likeness (another God) also gave Adam the ability to give away the earth.  God gave it to Adam, then Adam gave it to Satan, in effect, through his sin.  In this strange theology, God, then, “lost” the earth literally.  He has no power in the earth because he gave it away to man.  God became an outsider to his own creation.

“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, 1990, audiotape #02-0017)

First of all, the Bible never says that God gave the earth to the sons of men.  The phrase “sons of men” does not appear in the creation account at all, but rather in the account of the evil which prevailed upon the earth prior to the flood.  Once again, we have an example of a WOF teacher simply “making up” scripture on the fly.  Can we have a chapter and verse, Ken?

The Bible is rather clear that God has not given away the earth. 

1 Corinthians 10:26 (NIV)
26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

Deuteronomy 10:14 (NIV)
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.

While this teaching indicates that God “lost” his creation in the sense of being ousted from it, scripture teaches that after Adam’s sin it was God – not Satan or Adam – who redefined the condition of earth as a result of man’s sin.

Genesis 3:17 (NIV)
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

According to Copeland, “[God was] left on the outside looking in.”  How, then, did God curse the Earth?  If God “had no legal right to do anything about it” then who exactly fulfilled God’s curse?  Did Satan curse the earth at God’s request?  This postulate not only lacks scriptural confirmation, but also common sense.

Furthermore, the idea that there is some legal system which relegates God to a subordinate is utterly non-scriptural and denigrates God to a pawn in someone else’s game.  Perhaps it is the “force of faith” that is this superpower which makes rules over God’s head?  Perhaps it is Copeland himself.

Scripture teaches utterly contrarily to this concept.  Job says of God,

Job 23:13 (NIV)
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases.

The author of Psalm 33 notes,

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Solomon notes,

Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
21 Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Where is the biblical text which indicates that God is at the mercy of some unwritten legal system?  And, unwritten it remains, for at no point does the Bible even hint that God is subject to Copeland’s “spiritual laws.”

In fact, every single statement of Copeland’s previous quote is utterly lacking in any biblical evidence.  The entire notion is another made up doctrine.

Jeremiah 14:14 (NIV)
14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.

Fredrick Price mirrors the same doctrines, stating,

“Adam, as I said, gave it [the earth] away to the serpent, to the Devil. As a result of it, he got his behind kicked out of the garden. He went out of Eden, out of the garden. He began to wander around, and he has troubles from day one. Now God was out of the business. God was out of the earth realm. God had no more stock in this earth realm. No more. None at all. Nothing He could do. Not a thing in the world He could do. . . .The only way God could get back into this earth realm, He had to have an invitation.
Fredrick K.C. Price (Ever Increasing Faith, TBN May 1, 1992, audiotape #PR11)

Indeed, it does appear that God is “out of the business” as far as these men are concerned.  He is certainly not in theirs.

Interestingly, Adam “got his behind kicked out of the garden.”  By whom, one wonders?  If God has lost control, should one suppose Price is indicating that Satan kicked Adam out of the Garden of Eden?  Why then does scripture say,

Genesis 3:23-24 (NIV)
23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Clearly, God is still in control.  It is He who banished man from Eden.  It is He who placed a cherubim to guard it.  It is HE who is still in control, as He has always been and always will be.

 

God’s dependence on man

In accordance with God’s loss of control on earth comes his utter dependence on man to give him his authority again.  According to these teachers, God cannot act in the earth realm outside of man’s invitation and enabling.

The only way God could get back into this earth realm, He had to have an invitation. Ha-hah! He had to have an invitation. And so, God looked around–saw different men, saw Noah, saw different ones. He gave them a few instructions. They did what He said. So and so and so and so. But, finally, He got to a point where He had His plan ready for operation. And He saw a man named Abraham.”
Fredrick K.C. Price (Ever Increasing Faith, TBN May 1, 1992, audiotape #PR11)

While this teaching vacillates back and forth between Satan being in control

“The Bible says that God gave this earth to the sons of men … and when [Adam] turned and gave that dominion to Satan
Kenneth Copeland (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, 1990, audiotape #02-0017)

and man being in control,

” . . . the anointing is dependent upon my words. God will not move unless I say it. Why? because He has made us coworkers with Him. He set things up that way.”?
Benny Hinn (The Anointing. 1992. p.82)

one thing is clear; God is not in control, and must be granted the privilege of influencing his creation by none other than man who is merely a part of that creation.

“God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody. He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn’t come. God is on the outside looking in. In order to have any say so in the earth, He’s going to have to be in agreement with a man here.”
Kenneth Copeland (God’s Covenants With Man II, 1985, audiotape #01-4404, side 1)

Ultimately, the pendulum lands to man being in control in this convoluted doctrine.  It is man’s control, of course, which best fits the purposes of these teachers.

Thus, through God’s covenant with Abraham he was given an agreement by which he could once again have a say in the earth realm.

Skipping to modernity, Abraham’s blessings are now passed on to every believer in Christ, so that God now is only able to move when Christians enable him.  

” . . . the anointing is dependent upon my words. God will not move unless I say it. Why? because He has made us coworkers with Him. He set things up that way.”
Benny Hinn (The Anointing. 1992. p.82)
“You create the presence of Jesus with your mouth … He is bound by your lips and by your words … Remember that Christ is depending upon you and your spoken word to release His presence.”
Paul Yonggi (David) Cho (The Fourth Dimension, Vol.1 1979, p. 83)

The end result of this ridiculous doctrine is not only that man is a little god, but that God is a little man, being literally forced into action by the utterances of man.  According to Cho, God “is bound by your lips and your words.” 

This false revelation itself creates a contradiction in the WOF theology.  Is it the force of faith which responds to man’s utterance, or is it God himself?

Copeland seems to believe it whichever way is most productive for his cause.  He states that

“Words are spiritual containers,”
Kenneth Copeland (Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, 15; cf. 14)

 and that

The “force of faith is released by words.”
Kenneth Copeland (Authority of the Believer II, 1987, audiotape #01-0302, side 1)

So, it is the “force of faith” which acts, rather than God. 

“Words create pictures, and pictures in your mind create words. And then the words come back out your mouth….And when that spiritual force comes out it is going to give substance to the image that’s on the inside of you. Aw, that’s that visualization stuff! Aw, that’s that New Age! No, New Age is trying to do this; and they’d get somewhat results out of it because this is spiritual law, brother.”
Kenneth Copeland (Believer’s Voice of Victory, TBN, March 28, 1991)

However, if the idea that some force other than God is in control makes you uncomfortable, Copeland also teaches that God will respond personally to your commands, rather than the force of faith, which he used (as observed earlier) when he created the earth.

“As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word.”
Kenneth Copeland (Our Covenant with God, 1987, p. 32)

Thus, you have the power to “command God” or the “word containers” of the force of faith.  As such, you can have whatever you wish.

The God of the Bible is neither at a loss for his own power, nor is he commanded of man.  It is he, alone, who rules, and he, alone, who is the source of all power.

Deuteronomy 32:39 (NIV)
39 “See now that I myself am He! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.

1 Chronicles 29:11 (NIV)
11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

Job 9:12 (NIV)
12 If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

Job 25:2 (NIV)
2 “Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.

Job 41:11 (NIV)
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.

Psalm 83:18 (NIV)
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord– that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.

In conclusion, the concepts of God “losing” his creation to man (or to Satan, depending on which theory the WOF teachers are using at the moment) and being dependent upon man, are both utterly unsound theologically and rationally:  Theologically, because scripture never teaches nor even hints at God having lost his foothold on earth nor in all of creation, and rationally because one who loses his control over his creation cannot be rightfully called God, as he will have been usurped by one more powerful than himself.  To follow this flat-out postulate to its logical conclusion, God is no longer God at all, but is in fact at the mercy of others.  And, this logical conclusion is precisely the conclusion of the Word of Faith movement’s theology:  God is not in control on earth.

“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…..”
Kenneth Copeland (Image of God in You III, 1989, audiotape #01-1403, side 1)

And, God no longer being in control leaves control given instead to another; the man whom God created.

“Yes! You are in control! So, if man has control, who no longer has it? God.”
Fredrick K.C. Price (“Prayer: Do You Know What Prayer Is … and How to Pray?” The Word Study Bible, 1990 p. 1178)

Indeed, the “little god” doctrine comes full circle in the WOF world view.  Man has not only become “like” God, but has trumped God’s power entirely, making man fully in control of his own destiny and even the very actions of God.

Truly Satan’s original sin has come to fruition within the supposed walls of the church. 

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 WOF teaching has found its niche in the hearts of a corrupt world, as through this illogical set of doctrines, sinful man has received what he has always wanted.  He is indeed in control, even over the very God which owns him.

Series Navigation<< Word of Faith: The Elevation of ManWord of Faith Atonement Flaws: Kenoticism >>

2 Comment(s)

  1. Hi Jeff,

    I love your thorough refutation of the WOF movement. I was looking for your work on the spoken word has creative power doctrine. Is it found under one of those headings? The doctrine, as you probably know, has it’s roots in the ancient mysticism of the far East and is a distortion of God’s ability to speak creation into existence. It’s ancillary to the “man is a little god” concept.

    thanks.

    ps: Interesting that you don’t overuse the title “Pastor.” Your authority is coming from the Word itself which I appreciate.

    Brian Chronister | Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Brian. I deal with this issue in the third installment, here: http://www.returningking.com/?p=56

    Also, probably to a greater extent in the book, “Apoastsy!” – which you can read about here: http://www.returningking.com/?page_id=177.

    The book is built on this series, but a bit more detailed on each subject.

    Best wishes-

    Jeff Kluttz | Jun 30, 2012 | Reply

4 Trackback(s)

  1. Oct 8, 2008: from GospelScoop
  2. Nov 2, 2008: from November issue of “Pop Goes the Gospel” Blog Carnival « A View from the Nest
  3. Mar 26, 2009: from WOLVES IN WOOL: The Great Falling Away « THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog)
  4. Mar 26, 2009: from gg « THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog)

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