'Replies from Word-Faith'

Josephine Melrose - 8

2nd August, 2004

(Continued from previous page)


Word-Faith disciples display the same ignorance as all the cults who often quote 'Christian heretics' in attempted defence of their own heresies!


You asked us to
'Check out' ten websites (see your mail above), despite our homepage guidelines which you also failed to read despite their prominence!

TCE:  In your efforts to tar as many others with the same brush do you hope to deflect criticism from those who you have placed on a pedestal?  If you had even bothered to use the search engine on our site you would know that we do not hold a high opinion of Billy Graham, for instance.  And further research would have revealed that Texe Marrs (who writes an exposé on Graham) is a heretic himself!  Yet, whilst using his site to attack Graham, you also allowed Marrs to tell the truth (rare for Texe!) about your own man, 'Dad' Hagin, for he wrote:

I begin this month with an expose' of Billy Graham who, except for the Pope of Rome, is the chief deceiver in the world today. I intend next month to examine the most recent skullduggery of Pope John Paul II, Fidel Castro's hero and the other Mary's little messenger to the world. Then, I'll go on to take a look at some Papal underlings, like Jack Van Impe, Chuck Colson, and Hank Hanegraaf.
Also, I'll be examining the latest teachings of Kenneth Hagin, the big-wig of the charismatic "Word of Faith" heresy.

In being so ready to attack the mistakes of others you continue to miss the point: false doctrine leads to false practices and all of your references merely point to this fact - which is why it is so important to have correct understanding of every major doctrine.

It is one thing to quote Scripture, but quite another to keep it consistent when your theology and doctrine is a shambles. 
Sadly, you just do not notice that your quotations repeatedly contradict statements you have made - or the doctrines which we know are the real beliefs of the 'Word-Faith' cult.  An example of this is your (mainly) ostensibly orthodox references to 'the cross'.  You have made a total of 35 references to the cross in your last five e-mails, e.g.:

As a result of the cross
... The empty Cross now also stands as a reminder and says to the world and to all the demons of Hell ""You did your worst, but God gave His best ... Hence the Cross is also a real testimony of what God''s power can do no matter what the Hell or injustice that the world or the devil will throw at us ... The empty Cross now says ... Our strength and victory comes from God Himself and all the victories He had won for us on the Cross of Calvary. Although in the annuals of time and history, our Creator God died on the Cross-on Calvary, but He didn't stay there. He arose triumphant and victorious over everything, over the worst that the devil or others could throw at or do to Him and to us ... On the cross of Calvary when Jesus said, "It is finished!" ... see and understand the truth of magnitude of the victories of the cross and the great exchange Jesus did there ...

and

Healing for Sickness

who Himself bore our sins in His own body
on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

Scripture tells us clearly how our salvation was paid for:

"And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, 'Father, into thy hands [
not Satan's hands!!!] I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46, brackets added).
"Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour" (
Ephesians 5:2).
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (
1 Peter 1:18-19).
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (
1 Peter 3:18).
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God " (
Hebrews 9:14).
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (
Hebrews 13:8).

However, the way in which you add to Scripture reveals the false 'Word-Faith' view of what happened to the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross - and afterwards.  This view claims that, in order to redeem humanity, Jesus had to die spiritually as well as physically.  When He died spiritually, he died in the same way that Adam died. In other words, He lost His divine nature and was given the nature of Satan ("He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit" - Kenneth Copeland).  Jesus' death on the cross and His shed blood did not atone for our sins.  This false message has clearly been promulgated by Kenneth Copeland ("Jesus Our Lord of Glory," Believer's Voice of Victory, April 1982, p3).

Word-Faith teachers believe that Jesus' experience of spiritual death required him to be susceptible to the real possibility of failure to do God's will and Kenneth Copeland makes this blasphemous claim clear:

The spirit of Jesus accepting that sin, and making it to be sin, he separated from his God, and in that moment, he's a mortal man - capable of failure, capable of death. Not only that, he's fixing to be ushered into the jaws of hell. And if Satan is capable of overpowering him there, he'll win the universe, and mankind is doomed. Don't get the idea that Jesus was incapable of failure, because if he had been, it would have been illegal. (K.  Copeland,
'What Happened from the Cross to the Throne,' Tape #02-0017)

And Copeland learnt this heresy from Hagin:

"Spiritual 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: Faith Library, 1981, p31).

The argument used by the Word-Faith teachers that Jesus had to undergo spiritual death Himself to save us from spiritual death has no Scriptural support and fails to answer the next logical question.  If Jesus had to undergo precisely what we would have suffered without Him as Saviour then, for Jesus to save us, he would have needed to suffer all of our punishment under God's wrath - eternal punishment in the lake of fire! 
The Bible simply does not teach the idea that Jesus' suffering had to correspond exactly to what we deserve for our sins.  Rather, it teaches that God accepted Jesus' death as a satisfactory substitutionary sacrifice for our sins.  The Bible is emphatic that it was Jesus' physical death that constituted his suffering for us.  Two texts make this especially clear.  Paul reminds the Corinthians that the gospel says (1 Corinthians 15:3-6):

Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
He
was buried,
He
was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
He
appeared....

The text lists four events in chronological order: death, burial, resurrection, and appearances. This obviously means the death that Jesus suffered for our sins took place before the burial. 
On the other hand, for the Word-Faith teachers the critical spiritual death of Christ was suffered both before and after the burial.  Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 15:3 the burial is the historical proof of the death, just as the appearances are the historical proof of the resurrection. Clearly, the burial is proof of the physical, bodily death of Christ.

Making this even more definite we read (
1 Peter 3:18-19):

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison.

Peter makes it clear that the death that Jesus suffered was "in the flesh,"  repeating this statement a few lines later: "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh..." (
4:1).  Again, Scripture makes it clear that it was the fleshly, physical death of Christ that He suffered, "for sins" and to "bring us to God," and no other death is even hinted at, or needed.

Peter actually states the opposite of the Word-Faith doctrine!  Whereas the Word-Faith teachers assert that Christ died spiritually, Peter says that Christ was "made
alive in the spirit" - the very opposite of 'Word-Faith' teaching.  Christ was made alive spiritually.  This does not mean that Christ was spiritually dead before but that when Christ died physically, in the physical realm ("in the flesh"), at that moment of physical death he began living spiritually, that is, in the spiritual realm ("in the spirit"). Peter makes this totally clear in the very next line by saying that in this spiritual state or realm Christ "went and preached to the spirits in prison."  In other words, when Christ died he went immediately as a spirit into the spirit realm and proclaimed his victory over sin and Satan to the spirits in the spirit "prison" (Greek: tartaros)  Not only did Christ not die spiritually, but between his death and resurrection he was spiritually alive and triumphantly announcing his accomplished victory on the cross.  It is very clear from both 1 Peter 3:18 and 4:1 - Christ's suffering and death for our sins was "in the flesh." 

'Word-Faith' cult claims that the atonement took place in hell through the devil's torturing of Jesus' spirit for three days and three nights - hence your screed of false statements:

'
The empty Cross now also stands as a reminder and says to the world and to all the demons of Hell 'You did your worst, but God gave His best ... Hence the Cross is also a real testimony of what God''s power can do no matter what the Hell or injustice that the world or the devil will throw at us ... He arose triumphant and victorious over everything, over the worst that the devil or others could throw at or do to Him and to us ...'

How is this un-Scriptural nonsense presented to the gullible?:

"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. …
While Christ was identified with sin, Satan and the hosts of hell ruled over Him as over any lost sinner."  (Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne, Special TBN Edition, Fort Washington, Pa.: Christian Literature Crusade, 1975 [1988 ed.], p83).

The 'Word-Faith' teachers claim that, unfortunately for Satan, Jesus was taken to hell "illegally" because He had never sinned:

"
In Hell, he [Jesus] suffered death for you and me. … Satan was holding the Son of God illegally. God could not go into hell as it was not His domain."  (Kenneth Copeland, Walking in the Realm of the Miraculous, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1979, p77).

But nowhere does the Bible state that 'God could not go into hell as it was not His domain' - rather we learn that there is nowhere we can go to escape God:

"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there" (Psalm 139:7-8).

This invented "technicality" enabled God to use His "force of faith" (another Word-Faith invention)  to revive Jesus' spirit, restore Jesus' divine nature, and resurrect Jesus' body - and through the resurrection process Jesus was supposedly "born again":


"He [Jesus] suffered in His own body, and more important, in His spirit. Jesus experienced the same spiritual death that entered Man in the Garden of Eden. … After Jesus was made sin, He had to be born-again. … Jesus is a born-again man. (This is the same new birth that the good news of the Gospel still offers to any man who will accept). … Jesus was changed from being made sin into a new creature."  (Gloria Copeland, God's Will for You, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1972, p5).

"[That] 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 was literally being re-born before the devil's very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles. … Jesus was born again."  (Copeland, quoted in Hanegraaff, Crisis, 170).

So Jesus supposedly did not stop suffering when he died physically, but continued suffering during the period between his death and resurrection, when he was in "hell."  According to Acts 2:27-31, Jesus did go down into the underworld - the Old Testament sheol and the New Testament hades.  Since this word is translated 'hell' in the King James Version the popular assumption developed that Jesus went down into hell, the place of suffering or punishment, between his death and resurrection.  The spiritual place of suffering and punishment is also known as the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15), but the word 'hell' can also refer to the intermediate abode of the dead, including the righteous dead who are waiting without suffering for the resurrection (Psalm 16:10; 139:8; Revelation 20:13-14).

In the future, at the end of the Tribulation, an angel will descend from heaven with the key of the abyss and with a great chain in his hand (
Revelation 20:1).  The fact he has the key and the chain shows he has been given authority and power from heaven to carry out this assignment.  The word 'abyss' (Greek: abussos), means 'boundless or bottomless.'  This is the bondage place of fallen angels (demons or unclean spirits) and the same place called tartaros in 2 Peter 2:4.  Literally, 2 Peter 2:4 reads, 'and to pits of darkness (gloom), he committed them by casting them into tartaros' (the verb here is tartaraw, 'to cast into tartaros').  This and other verses tell us: (1) that tartaros is an abyss of gloom or darkness, (2) that it is a prison of fallen angels, and (3) that the fallen angels who were bound there were those who sinned in the days of Noah in Genesis 6 (2 Peter 2:5; Jude 6-7; Luke 8:31).  So Jesus did go down into 'hell' in the sense of going down into this intermediate abode of the dead where He declared to them the fact of His sacrifice at Calvary - but He did not go to a place of eternal punishment, nor did He suffer between His death and resurrection.

The 'Word-Faith' teachers have another problem with
Luke 23:43, in which Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross next to him: 'Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."  The clear teaching is that, immediately after dying physically, Jesus went to a spiritual place or realm in which he was freed from suffering and enjoyed the presence and love of his Father. This is obviously contradictory to the doctrine that between his death and resurrection Jesus suffered spiritual death and continued separation from the Father.  Luke 23:43 is so clearly contrary to the idea of Jesus' spiritual death and suffering in hell that Kenyon was forced to adopt a re-interpretation of the text which is used by the Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses cults:

'You understand there is no punctuation in the Greek. Punctuation is determined by the emphasis.... It should read like this: 'I say unto you Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise.'  (Kenyon,
What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, p60).

Kenyon then claims that Jesus met the repentant thief in a spiritual Paradise during the forty days between his resurrection and ascension (
ibid.  p74-75) - but there is no Scriptural support for this idea.  Kenyon is correct in one point - in saying that there is no punctuation in the Greek manuscripts. However, the traditional punctuation is easily shown to be correct because the expression - 'Truly I say to you' - is a stylized expression used throughout the Gospels by Jesus alone, and it always stands apart from the rest of the sentence following. It functions, that is, as an opening expression similar to 'Thus says the Lord'.  Therefore, the word 'today' should be understood as part of the statement that follows and indicates when the thief would be in Paradise with Jesus.
Again, what does Scripture tell us about the atonement?:

"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself" (
John 5:26).
"I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (
John 10:17-18).
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (
John 19:30).
"In whom [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (
Ephesians 1:7).
"For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (
Colossians 1:19-20).
"And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses [sins]; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew [
public spectacle, not private defeat in hell] of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colossians 2:13-15, brackets added).
"Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross [
not torture in hell], despising the shame" (Hebrews 12:2, brackets added).
"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood" (
Revelation 1:5).

So our atonement was clearly through the blood of Christ shed on the cross of Calvary, as the orthodox historical view has always maintained.  How does this compare with the blasphemous 'Word-Faith' view:

"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."  (Frederick K. C. Price, "If Christ Did Not Rise … What Then?" Ever Increasing Faith Messenger, June 1980, p7).

"Jesus went into hell to free mankind. …
When His blood poured out it did not atone."  (Kenneth Copeland, quoted in McConnell, Different Gospel, p120).

Word-Faith leaders go further in their blasphemous statements about the Lord Jesus Christ by claiming that Jesus merely declared that he walked with God and that God was in Him - but never actually claimed to be God.  (Kenneth Copeland, "Take Time to Pray," Believer's Voice of Victory, February 1987, p9).  They also claim that, during his three years of public ministry:

"Jesus did not stand in a class by himself. …
He was ministering on earth as a human being - a prophet anointed with the Holy Spirit" (Kenneth Hagin, quoted in Crenshaw, Man As God, p320).

Scripture makes it clear that Jesus claimed equality with God during His earthly ministry (John 5:17-23; 8:24, 58; 10:30ff.; 20:28) and was therefore fully man, and fully God.

The whole Word-Faith claim that Jesus remained sinless so He could redeem men from their satanic natures is linked up with another horrendous doctrinal error that leads to further blasphemy: the greatest thing God conceived of and created was an exact duplicate of himself, and this duplicate 'god' - named Adam - was God manifested in the flesh (Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, Tulsa: Harrison House, 1987, p28-29).  Orthodox Christians immediately recognise this as blatant heresy - and the more informed identify, further, that it would be at home in a Brigham Young led anti-Christ Mormon Church!  Further, Word-Faith teachers claim, God eventually went to Adam, who was anatomically male and female, and separated the female part from the male part to make a "womb-man" (woman). Adam then gave this "man with a womb" the name Eve.  She, like Adam, was 'a god' - the Satanic lie of Genesis 3:5!  (K.  Copeland, Sensitivity of Heart, p23).  Then the Word-Faith leaders claim that 'The Fall' caused Adam and Eve's divine natures to be replaced with Satan's nature and they also lost their rights of rulership to planet earth.  Even God was supposedly barred from having full access to earth because Adam and Eve were under His lordship when they "fell."  Through their disobedience Satan became the 'god' of this world.  They claim that, when a person is born again, they experience exactly what happened to Jesus and their satanic nature is replaced by God's divine nature. The transformation is supposedly so identical to Jesus' transformation that Christians become little 'gods' and are as much an incarnation of God as was Jesus.  Again, Mormon-type heresy!  Because Christians are "little gods," they now have access to the "God-kind of faith," which can be used to get virtually anything they want Christians, rather than God, have authority in the earth over Satan and sickness and disease. Consequently, believers should never pray God's will be done.  As we have already shown, this is un-Scriptural nonsense.

The whole Word-Faith treatment of the nature of Jesus is such a twisted mockery of the truth that they claim that, for centuries God visualized Jesus then, when it was finally time for the Messiah to come forth, God spoke him into existence through faith in the same way that He had visualized and spoken into existence everything else.  They forget that Scripture makes it clear that everything that was created was created by Jesus (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-19)!  Bringing forth Jesus, however, was also supposedly dependent upon whether or not Mary would lend her faith to help form the body of the Lord out of the literal "Word" (confession) God spoke to her:

"Mary received the Word of God.
She actually conceived God's Word sent by an angel. Zacharias didn't. … Mary received it. She spoke it when she conceived it in her spirit. Then it manifested itself in her physical body. … This is the key to understanding the Virgin Birth. … God spoke it. God transmitted that image to Mary. She received the image inside her. … The embryo that was in Mary's womb was nothing more than the Word of God. … Mary conceived the Word in her spirit. It manifested itself in her physical body."  (Charles Capps, Dynamics, p84-87)

"Mary conceived the Word of God in her heart. … Mary conceived the Word sent to her by the angel (God's Word) and conceived it in the womb of her spirit. Once it was conceived in her spirit, it manifested itself in her physical body.
She received and conceived the Word of God in her spirit. … The embryo in Mary's womb was nothing but the pure Word of God - and it took flesh upon itself."  (Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, Tulsa: Harrison House, 1980, p81-83).

"The angels spoke the words of the covenant to her [Mary]. She pondered them in her heart, and those words became the seed. And the Spirit of God hovered over her and generated that seed, which was the Word that the angel spoke to her. And there was conceived in her, the Bible says, a holy thing. The Word literally became flesh."  (Kenneth Copeland, quoted in Hanegraaff,
Crisis, p381).

The core of Christianity is the Lord Jesus Christ. What we think about Jesus Christ determines whether our Christianity is genuine or not.  If we radically misunderstand who He was or why He came or what He accomplished for us, we have fallen for 'a different Jesus' and a 'counterfeit gospel' (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-9).  In particular, it is the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection from the dead that constitute the central story of the Christian faith.  The Word-Faith cult adheres to un-Biblical views of both God and man and the main leaders of the Word-Faith teachers also present un-Biblical ideas about the person of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

'Word-Faith' heretics deny Scripture which informs us that Jesus had nowhere to lay His head!


Finally, since you mentioned another false Word-Faith belief in your supposed synopsis of the things Word-Faith believers inherit in Christ, we note your statement:

The King of Kings and Lord of Lords with His unlimited and unimaginable power and riches
was never poor or debased ...

which you then contradict with Scripture:

Abundance For Lack

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Which is it?  Was He poor while on earth, or not?


We have already touched on this matter in our first e-mail to you, but return to it briefly to emphasise that you can never support your beliefs from Scripture - which is why you dare not even try! 
According to Word-Faith belief financial prosperity is more than just a blessing - it is an absolute right.  Therefore, for a Christian to be in poverty is to be outside God's intended will and to be living a Satan-defeated life.  Hence the claims that God's children should always go first-class and have the biggest and best,  because this alone brings glory to God.  Kenneth Copeland stated:

"Jesus bore the curse of the law on our behalf. He beat Satan and took away his power.
Consequently, there is no reason for you to live under the curse of the law, no reason for you to live in poverty of any kind."(K. Copeland, Laws, p51)

We have already named those who were righteous before God, and were poor:  Paul the apostle (
Philippians 4:11-12); his companions (1 Corinthians 4:9-13); the Old Testament faithful (Hebrews 11:37). Even the Lord Jesus lived in poverty (Matthew 8:20).  You have supplied no answers to these clear facts because your beliefs are unsupportable.

John Avanzini, claims that "Jesus was handling big money" (
Praise the Lord, TBN videotape, Sept.  15, 1988) and had " a nice house, a big house - big enough to have company stay the night with Him at the house" (Believer's Voice of Victory, TBN videotape, January 20, 1991) and wore the finest clothes. 

Frederick K. C. Price agrees:

The whole point is I'm trying to get you to see - to get you out of this malaise of thinking that Jesus and His disciples were poor and then relating that to you. …
The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That's the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. (Ever Increasing Faith, TBN videotape, Dec 9, 1990)

Scripture clearly portrays Jesus as being poor - and you have even quoted one of the obvious Scriptures that tells us this was so:

"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (
2 Corinthians 8:9).

The omnipotent God laid aside His divine primacy (riches) and submitted to human evil on the cross (poverty), affirming that neither poverty nor riches have any spiritual stigma attached to them.  Word-Faith leaders might 'flip-flop' on verses such as this to try and conclude that Jesus became poor materially so that we may become rich materially, but that is not the point being made at all. Spiritual wealth or life comes to us sinners through the death of Christ. Christians are to be rich in spiritual things (James 2:5), including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Revelation 2:9 speaks of believers who, although poor by worldly standards, are still "rich" because of the spiritual wealth they possess.

We have not concentrated on the human failings of the Word-Faith leaders because that is not the
main guide to the nature of their errors.  Their wrong doctrine speaks of the errors they will inevitably fall into - just as it speaks for Billy Graham or anyone else.

How can the 'Word-Faith' adherents miss these clear admonitions against every 'unique' doctrine they teach?!


Again and again Scripture declares that temporal riches are of much less value than spiritual riches, as Paul was inspired to write:

"But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Surely you cannot have missed the clear words of Jesus:
"
Lay up not for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).

TCE conclusion:  Why do you continue to kid yourself that you, or any 'Word-Faith' adherent, can refute the points we have made?  The fact that you merrily continue to bowl along trying to deflect us from the doctrine you cannot defend, by introducing other subjects whilst ignoring the points we have made, is totally comparable to the reactions of those trapped in other cults.

In your final e-mail you mention 'Once Saved Always Saved' - a doctrine we have warned against on our pages because of the obvious dangers of abuse by the kind of 'carnal Christians' you describe.  We have also written in reply to Roman Catholic criticism of the doctrine.


We would answer the questions which follow in this last mail, but you have already accused us of being 'supposed Christian ... rude and deceiving' - so why would you seek our opinion?  And why should we waste more time on details unrelated to the subject we began to discuss?

Since you have shown repeatedly that you are not interested in examining the truth we leave you with one option:  answer the point you tried to make regarding 'praying in God's will' (from your first e-mail) when you wrote:

'
None of the persistent people of faith in the Bible including Jacob who wrestled with God and the Roman Centurion whose servant was sick brought into their persistent prayers the idea if it is God's will'.

We thoroughly refuted your claim that we did not need to pray
'if it is God's will' without recourse to anything other than straightforward understanding of the passages and, since your reply has been absolutely 'zilch', you have no excuses!

If your next e-mail does not begin with an explanation of this specific error, or an apology for the false accusations you have made after your mistakes were refuted, we will simply transfer your unread future material, to a folder marked:

NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL JESUS RETURNS!


Yours sincerely for His gospel of Truth and Love

TCE

===================================================

Josephine 'replies': 23rd November 2004 10:39PM

You are the one who is off the deep end not me. Jesus Christ heals people today and blesses them financially and blind ones like yourselves says it's the work of the devil. Thereby attributing to the devil the work of the Holy Spirit. I bet you never have attended a TACF meeting? check out Revivalist Todd Bentley at:
http://www.tacf.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=24&mode=play&videoid=161 (TCE:   Catch the Fire site)

and http://www.freshfire.ca/downloads/video/ethiopia1.wmv [
TCE:  link does not work - 2018]

===================================================

TCE retrospective comment:  Having failed to answer even one of our logical Scriptural refutations of her Word-Faith nonsense and continuing to ignore our clear advice that we do not have the time to follow links, we find Josephine exposing herself further with a pointless challenge to attend 'a TACF meeting' where we could have discovered close up the obvious deceptions that many genuine Christian apologists had already exposed and refuted.  Where are we informed in Scripture that we must go to the source of every deception in order to recognise it and expose it?  Just as we kept to our promise not to respond to any more of her side-stepping nonsense, we also waited for some years before we wrote an exposé of the transparent deceiver ('Revivalist Todd Bentley') who fooled her and many other 'ignorant and unstable' Word-Faith/Charismaniacs before becoming so obvious that only the most moronically blind tools of Satan would remain acolytes!

Also see our article on the link between Bentley and another cult leader, Torben Søndergaard on this page


===================================================

Josephine 'replies' (some minutes later!): 23rd November 2004 11:01PM

It's obvious that you only see what you want to see and believe lies of demons. David was forgiven by God to a degree and yet he paid for the consequences of His sin just like Paul did. Read about in your Bible how the sword would never leave the house of David.

David ignorantly in judging the story which Prophet Nathan relayed to him had pronounced his own judgment on himself.  For men are so quick to judge others harshly for the crimes that they themselves are guiltier of.   Mind you there are things which God does not forgive just like he did not forgive King David for his secret devious sin which dishonored His great name.  God's word records:

Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 'I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!  'Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon.

'Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'  "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.  'For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.' " 2 Samuel 12:7-12

At least David had the wisdom when he was exposed not to deny his sin but to face up to it, confess it and accept his consequences. 

Speaking of forgivness [
sic] Moses interceded on behalf to the people in Numbers 14 and see how God forgave and they also paid for the foolishness of their consequences
The children of Israel didn't go into the Promised Land because of fear and unbelief while Joshua and Caleb did. The latter followed the Lord fully and told God's people:

"The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'  "Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."  And all the congregation said to stone them with stones.

Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.   Then the LORD said to Moses: "How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? "I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they." Numbers 14:8-12

The real actions of the Children of Israel to stone Joshua and Caleb with stones based on their fears caused the glory of the Lord to come down! Fear is "False Evidence that Appears Real!" But it's not always a good thing when the Glory of the Lord appears because God judged the children for their deeds and gave them their stated desire to die in the wilderness rather than going into the Promised Land. Fear is the opposite of faith, and it will paralyze the operation of the blessing of God in our life!

God's true ones who had the spirit of Joshua and Caleb and had followed the Lord fully will first go into the Lord's provided place of rest. This will be an arena of refuge, protection, and provision. It will also be a place of intimate fellowship and communion with Him as Friend.  However, for those with hardness of heart that refuse the spirit of burning and close their ears to the voice of the Spirit, these will understand that the Lord is an avenger of evil deeds. For God's word is true:

Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word;  "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD-  "because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice,  "they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.  "But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. Numbers 14:20-24

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TCE replies: 12th December 2004:

Word-Faith heretic Walter Kambulow (1946-2016) leaves a legacy of FREE E-books for those who want to learn more about Melrose's influences!


'Josephine Melroses reply' above can be found in various Walter Kambulow works e.g. The Effective, Fervent Prayer, Chapter 17, p70 - and other places on the internet!


TCE:   David, as an adulterer, was condemned to death by the law of God and he had, according to that law, passed sentence of death upon himself (he had actually violated four of the ten commandments in one rash sin: thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, and thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife - but, although it was about a year later, David sincerely repented of his sin; ref. Psalm 32:3-4; 51:1-19).  God alone could revoke that sentence, or dispense with its execution, therefore Nathan (who had been charged with driving the recognition of his guilt home upon David's conscience) was authorized to give him the assurance that he should not die a temporal death for it: 'The Lord hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die'. That is all that was contained in the assurance given by Nathan (2 Samuel 12:13):  'Thou shalt not die that temporal death; thou shalt be preserved alive, that thou mayest have time to repent, turn to God, and find mercy'!  It is generally supposed that the fifty-first Psalm was written on this occasion (after this interview) and, evidently, David had not received pardon for his sin from God at the time he composed it, for in it he confesses the crime in order to find mercy.  But there is more to the  remarkable words of Nathan: The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die ... Jehovah hath caused thy sin to pass over (or transferred thy sin); thou shalt not die'.  God transferred the legal punishment of this sin to the child:  he shall die, thou shalt not die!  On this very point the prophet gives him the most direct information:  The child that is born unto thee shall SURELY die;  dying he shall die - he shall be in a dying state seven days, and then he shall die. So God immediately struck the child, and it was very sick.

While David's repentance brought about forgiveness from God, it did not prevent him from suffering the consequences of his sin. God revealed that, because of David's sin, the son born from his adulterous relationship would die (
2 Sam. 12:14, 18), the sword would never depart from his house (v10), evil would come from his own family (v11; cf.  Ch15-18), and his wives would be publicly shamed (v11; cf. 2 Sam. 16:22). The important lesson to learn from these events is that even the best of men can sin and that true repentance does bring forgiveness from God, but does not eliminate the consequences of sin.

The phrase (
12:23:  "...I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me") that David spoke after the child died should be understood to mean that David had recognised that the will of God had been told to him previous to the death of the child and he recognised its inevitability!  Therefore he no longer wept for the life of the child and, in addition to this, David also realized that there would be a time in the future when he too would die, and there he would be joined to his son who had died.  While the child was alive, David's prayer was for life; after the death of the child, he no longer saw the need to mourn for him, but rather he continued living with the expectancy of someday being with his child again and, rather than join the many who profess to believe in the God of the Bible yet rail against Him for not fulfilling their sinful, Word-Faith type, requests, he accepted the will of God!  That this verse has been used as a source of great comfort for those who have lost infants or small children to early deaths contrasts widely with the Word-Faith/Charismaniac teachers who have been a source of great anguish to many who have spent heartbreaking hours in mournful attempts to force their will on God and demand that He resurrect their dead loved ones!

The principle governing Israelite courts was that human governments must not impute to children or grandchildren the guilt that their fathers or forebears accumulated for Scripture clearly declares that each person stands before God as accountable for his or her own sin.  Yet, while this principle is clearly acknowledged in
Deuteronomy 24:16 ('Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin'), there seem to be cases where it was not put in practice, as in this example where the child born to David and Bathsheba died because of their sin (2 Sam. 12:14-18).  Similarly, Saul's seven grandchildren were put to death because of Saul's sin (2 Sam 21:5-9) and others may query the teaching that the sins of the fathers have an ill effect on the children to the third and fourth generations (Ex. 20:5; Deut. 5:9).  Is this a direct contradiction of the principle in Deuteronomy 24:16 or are we actually dealing with normal criminal law which explicitly forbids blaming the children for the sin and guilt earned by the parent, i.e., if the son deserves the death penalty, the father must not be put to death in his place, or vice versa (cf.  2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:30; Ezekiel 18:20).  So the legal principle of dealing with each individual according to individual guilt is one side of the equation - but the other side is that God has reserved for himself the right to render all final decisions.  Not all situations can, or are, resolved in human courts and some must await the verdict that God will give, even if we have to wait until the afterlife to see that fact (and may never be aware of His reasons for a judgement; Rev. 7:17: 'for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes' - perhaps He will spare us the pain of knowing some things!).  There is a third element that must be accounted for as well:  corporate responsibility.  None of us functions in complete isolation from the society, nation, or even the world in which we live.  There are three factors involved in communal responsibility in the Old Testament:  First, unity where the whole group is treated as a single unit (e.g. 1 Samuel 5:10-11); second, sometimes a single figure represents the whole group, most famously and importantly the suffering Servant of the Lord, standing in for many, many others; third, oscillation between the individual and the group, and vice versa e.g. Joshua 7:11, where the Lord affirms, "Israel has sinned," even though Achan confessed, 'I have sinned' (Joshua 7:20).  Each situation must be evaluated to see whether it is a principle of a human court that is involved, a divine prerogative of final judgment or a case of corporate solidarity and we do not always understand how individual actions carry over into the divine arena or have widespread implications.  God's Word reveals that He works with all three simultaneously and, in the case of David and Bathsheba, it is clear that the loss of the baby was linked to the fact that David committed adultery with Uriah's wife, though Uriah was determinedly faithful to David in battle and the outcome did not involve a human court but was a matter of divine prerogative.

We should also not confuse the commandment that has the sins of the fathers visiting the children to the third and fourth generations,
for we can clearly observe that the text teaches that this happens when the children repeat the motivating cause of their parents' sin - that is, they too hate God.  But when the children love God, the effect is loving-kindness for thousands of generations - if they all love and seek to obey God!  Both individual responsibility and group or communal responsibility are taught in Scripture and we need to carefully define and distinguish these types of responsibility. But in no case should the principle of courts be to blame children for the wrongful deeds of their forebears, for no one will ever be denied eternal life because of what their forebears did or did not do. Each will live eternally or suffer everlasting judgment for their own actions (Ezekiel 18). Our standard of what constitutes fairness and justice, after all, is rooted in the character of God himself and His graciousness and swiftness to forgive and to forget every sin that we call upon him to cleanse is seen in Exodus 34:6-7 (cf. Numbers 14:18, 2 Chronicles 30:9, Nehemiah 9:17, Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 111:4, 116:5, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2, Nahum 1:3).  While God's grace is balanced by the warning at the end of Exodus 34:7: '[God] does not leave the guilty unpunished' the reverse side of the same coin declares that God's mercy and love speaks of His justice and righteousness.  While for the wicked who, by their actions, repeat their father's previous actions and continue to sin boldly against God just as their fathers did - and without repentance - this text again warns that the chastisement of God will be felt down to the "third and fourth generation."  But to ignore the full formula which includes the important qualifier "of those who hate me" is to deliberately ignore the examples you are attempting to apply it to: David in his circumstances, and Paul in very different circumstances.  It is important to note that 2 Samuel 12:14 declares of David's sin with Bathsheba:

"But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."

While it true that David was thoroughly forgiven of his sin of adultery and complicity in murder (ref.
Psalms 32 and 51), there were consequences to his sin that could not be halted, for they followed as inexorably as day follows night.  To put it in another way, while God knew that Paul would accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour quite soon after he had been a major party to the murder of the martyr Stephen (Acts 7:58; 22:20), God did not prevent the stones that caused Stephen's death (Acts 7:59) from striking him - even though He knew that Paul, who was standing nearby ('... I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him' - KJV), would soon become an apostle for Him! 

Paul's repentance was full, as was David's, and while the consequences of their sin was very different, one resulting in the creation of a new life out of a sexual affair and the other in the death of a martyr (and others - ref.
Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-4) for Christ which actually strengthens His disciples (see earlier quotes), one gave occasion for the enemies of God to vaunt themselves and demonstrate even further contempt for God, his people, and their alleged different style of life, while the other led to astonishment and wonder that a man would go to his death proclaiming His Saviour (Acts 7:59-60):

'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep..'.

While on one hand we can see the reason that God brought immediate judgment on David: "the son born to [him would] die" (cf.
Joshua 7:1, 10-11; 2 Samuel 21:1-9; Ezekiel 21:4; Romans 5:12) we find no reason to see any resultant punishment being inflicted on Paul as a result of his earlier sin but rather, as clearly enunciated earlier, we read repeated warnings in Scripture that believers should expect persecution for His Name's sake.  Previously Paul had undoubtedly been earnest and motivated by a desire to do God's will as he understood it, but his Damascus Road conversion was the beginning of the realization that he had been opposing God "ignorantly in unbelief" (1 Timothy 1:13):

'Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but
I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief'.

Paul's early religious experience can be interpreted as the normal Jewish response in rejoicing in the law of God and almost a self-congratulation on his place in the divine favour (
Romans 2:17-20) but, after discovering the truth he continually measured his old life under 'the law' with the surpassing splendour and intimate communion found in Jesus Christ and only on account of Christ was he prepared to call it, together with all human excellencies, something of the nature of rubbish (Philippians 3:3-11):

'For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung (Greek: σκυβαλον -
skubalon - 'what is thrown to the dogs, i.e. refuse, dung'), that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

It was not dissatisfaction with the law which prepared the way for Christ, but Christ who revealed to Paul the inadequacy of the law and the ultimate futility of all human attainment but, if salvation in Christ does not lead to full forgiveness, just what advantage does the new birth have for Word-Faith adherents other than bragging of their great 'prophecies [and] signs and wonders' which Christ has declared to be no guarantee of salvation (
Matthew 7:22-23):

Many will say to me in that day,
Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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To all trapped in the Word-Faith cult: Walter Kambulow has already departed from earth to face the Judgement of God - and many of his contemporaries will soon follow him.   If you share their beliefs in 'another Jesus' (2 Corinthians 11v4) and 'another gospel' (Galatians 1v6-9) make sure you study His Word so that you don't get caught dead without the Biblical Jesus and His Gospel!


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