What is the Truth About Word of Faith?
by Pastor Chas Stevenson
Table of Contents
What exactly is “the word of faith”?
First, what it’s not. The word of faith Bible truth is not about money. Its fundamental elements have nothing to do with money whatsoever. Word of faith is also not a denomination that adheres to a set convention or doctrine, and it doesn’t have “founders” who tried to create something outside of God’s Word.
The word of faith is really just a Bible term that Paul the Apostle, by the Holy Spirit, used to describe “the gospel”. Sometimes Paul said he “preached the gospel”, but one time he said it is the “word of faith that we preach.”
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”, that is, the word of faith which we preach: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:8-10, NKJV).
Paul the Apostle preached the word of faith (also translated “the message of faith”), and so should we.
The word of faith is this: we learn a truth from God’s Word. We believe it as the will of God. And because we believe it, we say it, pray it, and live it. And as led by the Holy Spirit, mixed with His guidance and empowered by His unction, we can verbalize the Word of God out of our mouths, and miracles can happen.
According to that passage above, there is clearly something supernatural about the Word of God being believed in our heart and then that belief being expressed out of our mouth that causes something to happen. Our prayers and our connection to the Lord depend on it.
Even for initial salvation of the soul, how did it occur for all of us? We believed in Jesus in our heart. And then we said some words (some prayer) out of our mouths. And bam! We were saved, born again, turned into a new creation in Christ, just like the Bible says (Romans 10:9, 2 Cor 5:17, John 3:3).
The greatest miracle of all is for the spirit of man to be born again, and it happens this way. Our very salvation happens with a right belief and then some words out of our mouths.
We never tell someone to only believe in Jesus, do we? We also tell them to pray out loud and confess Him as Lord, don’t we? Why do we do that? Because faith must come alive and be expressed, or it remains dormant.
Wouldn’t it make sense that that’s how all the other miracles and covenant blessings would take place in a believer’s life? We must hear of them, believe them deeply, and say them, pray them, and expect them. They don’t just happen automatically.
That’s the simple word of faith. And it is the truth that applies to every Bible promise, including salvation, joy, peace, righteousness, the Holy Spirit baptism, tongues, health, healing, resisting the devil and temptation, forgiveness, miracles, success and prosperity, sharing our faith, the love walk, serving at church, fulfilling the will of God for our lives, and all other Bible promises and instructions.
We hear or read God’s Word, believe it, say it, expect it, and live it, making it a part of our lives. That’s called “living by faith” or “living by what we believe”. And it’s the foundation for all of Christianity.
Is the word of faith Bible heresy?
No it is not. On the contrary, it is the fundamental anchor for all Christian doctrine and lifestyle.
Personally, I’m a stickler for the Word of God. Anything preached must be confirmed in the Bible. It is my duty and life’s work to explain the Word of God accurately and effectively for the sake of preparing Christians to succeed in their earth life and then stand approved before Christ on Judgment day.
What is heresy is the message from the ones attacking faith preachers. If one doesn’t believe that the belief of God’s Word and the verbalization of God’s Word out of our mouth does anything, then they are the false teachers.
When a person doesn’t believe that the Christian’s confident belief has any real part to play in answered prayer, miracles, or receiving the promises of God, they are left with the false belief that it’s only up to some “divine providence”. And that’s not Biblical.
The word of faith reputation has been tarnished by some who didn’t really understand faith yet ran off to try and teach it, by others who seemed quite selfish and immature, by some legitimate money abuses and scandals, by some who became distracted from the gospel commission and purpose, and by others who didn’t stay quite grounded enough by the Word of God.
But that could be said about every Christian denomination and group, as there’s always a few that get off track. It doesn’t mean the entire word of faith premise is wrong. So, my explanation here is to help disconnect the right teaching of the Word of God from the out of context absurdities that try and throw the entire faith teaching out.
The fundamental difference – our definition of ‘Sovereignty’
There is a fundamental difference between those who realize this entire Christian life is based on the word of faith principle and those who don’t. This difference is rooted in people’s conception, both taught and imagined, about the nature of an omnipotent, omniscient, sovereign God. The word of faith perspective is Biblical, and the other is not.
When some people say that “God is sovereign”, in their minds they are implying that God is the total ruler of every single life event. God as total world ruler implies that He has a controlling hand in everything and that He always gets His way, regardless of us. But that’s not what the word sovereign means.
I agree that God is sovereign**. I believe that. But I’m basing it off of the dictionary definition of the word sovereign which denotes supreme, highest ruler and not total ruler or “puppet master”. God’s sovereignty over His kingdom is just like any king’s authority in any kingdom. The king has the highest authority, but he is not responsible for every action, every event, nor every thought of every person.
“The sovereignty of God” as a reason for all earth events sounds noble. But it’s wrong. Boldly stating, “If God wants to do a miracle, He will. And if He doesn’t want to, He won’t” sounds like we’re really giving God all the glory. But we’re not, because that’s going against how God designed it.
If it’s all up to God’s sovereignty, then why pray? If God’s going to do whatever He wants anyway, why does it matter? The truth is that praying matters, and how we pray matters. And how confident we are matters, which means what we believe matters too!
There is no Bible pattern of God explaining a miracle with “because of My sovereignty”. Rather, the Bible pattern for miracles always included a human element, “because you believed”, “because you didn’t believe”, “if you have faith and do not doubt”, “because of your unbelief”, “according to your faith, be it done unto you”, “o ye of little faith, why did you doubt”, “if you can believe; all things are possible to him who believes”, “because you obeyed”, “because you didn’t”, etc.
It is a dishonor to God’s Word and Kingdom to say that what we believe, say, or pray doesn’t matter, because God designed everything to include us. “Sovereignty” is not the answer for everything.
What the Bible teaches is that not only is God’s will important for what I experience in life, but that my understanding and belief of His will play an equal role. This is the foundation of word of faith teaching.
The Bible teaches God partnering with His people in the execution of divine purpose rather than the total control of human life and decisions. The Bible teaches that through delegated responsibility and authority, God relies upon man, looks for man’s desire and man’s faith so that He may bring His will to pass. That means that many times, what God wants and what actually happens are two different things. God’s will does not always come to pass.
Just think of Adam and Eve sinning in the garden of Eden. God did not want that to happen, but it happened anyway. How do we know? Because He expressed His will to them. But His will did not come to pass because of two humans’ lack of faith and obedience.
With even a cursory glance at scriptures related to answered prayer or receiving blessings from God, it’s obvious that there are conditions of Bible faith that must be fulfilled, and that those conditions are found on the human side and not on God’s side: 1 – We have heard and believed God’s truth (Rom 10:14-17), 2 – we have a witness of the Holy Spirit that our request is acceptable (Romans 8:14-17, 1 John 5:14), 3 – our faith is not dead and dormant, but alive and demonstrated (James 2:26), 4 – we don’t doubt, waver, or become double-minded about God answering (James 1:6-8, Mat 21:21-22).
This is the word of faith, which we should be preaching. And it directly contradicts the weak and wrong traditions of those who refuse to base truth off of Scripture rather than failed experiences.
Key “word of faith” beliefs
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the only way to God the Father, and the only means of salvation of one’s soul. Jesus is Lord. He is the Savior. He is everything to us.
- The New Testament is the active covenant between God and man. Only because of the cross, only because of Jesus blood sacrifice, and only because of His resurrection and ascension can we come close to God.
- We are saved by faith alone, and not by works.
- The Bible is God’s Word. It is the final authority. It is the uncompromising truth. It will never fail. If a person truly anchors their soul to any Bible truth, God will answer with a ‘yes’.
And it works for any person who follows God’s faith principles. If a person doesn’t seem to experience what the Bible promised, it wasn’t the Word that fell short. It was something on the human side. How do we know? Because God’s Word is settled in heaven. It just requires us (our faith) to cause it to be settled in the earth.
- Knowing the Will of God—How can anyone know the will of God? His Word is His will. It is not something fuzzy and blind to us. Learning God’s Word means that we are learning God’s will. That’s how our faith grows stronger, “Faith comes by hearing…the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Once we agree with God’s will, believe His will, pray His will, speak His will, and live His will, it will begin to take place in our lives.
- Not only is God’s will important for what I experience in life, but that my understanding and belief of and response to His will play an equal role.
- Christians are to take the Scriptures and the promises of God literally, connecting with the Holy Spirit in the will of God, and standing so confident about it that prayers get answered, and God gets pleased with our trust in Him (Heb 11:6).
- “Covenant” is the means by which God guarantees promises to His children. Once the tenants of the covenant have been set, He will not break them. God has ratified the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus. In it are all the blessings and promises, including salvation, righteousness, joy, peace, health, healing, God never leaving us or forsaking us, God answering prayers prayed without doubting, our Father supplying every need, and all the others. The blessings are provided by covenant and not by random chance or by God’s “fluctuating mood of the day”. Once the covenant is set, God doesn’t change it. That’s how we can be certain of God’s will for all things related to our well being.
- The words out of our mouth are an important ingredient for affecting change in our lives. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). The tongue can “set on fire the course of nature” (James 3:6). Jesus said, “If you say to the sycamine tree, be plucked up…” (Luke 17:6), and “whoever says to this mountain, Be removed…” (Mark 11:23). Obviously, plucking trees and moving mountains was not Jesus’ point, but using our faith to influence change in the earth was exactly His point. Confessing scripture is not a robotic, “magic” formula for miracles. Confessing scripture does nothing to convince God that we have faith. It is not for God. It is for us. It is to convince ourselves. Confessing scripture is designed so that what we believe in our head can finally be heard in our heart (“faith comes by hearing”). When our heart “hears” it, our faith comes alive, and miracles happen.
- The Holy Spirit baptism with fire and power and tongues is absolutely Biblical and greatly beneficial to every believer in Christ, with one of the premier benefits being the ability to pray in tongues with utterance from the Spirit, praying the will of God for our lives and sensitizing us to the Holy Spirit’s voice and spiritual leading (Mat 3:12, Acts 1:8, Mark 16:17, Rom 8:26, 1 Cor 14:4,14,15, Jude 20).
- The supernatural gifts of the Spirit are alive and active today in those who are filled with the Spirit and who follow the Spirit by faith (1 Cor 12, 1 Cor 14).
- Love is the greatest, and nothing else really matters without it. That means walking in love with our fellow Christians first (and then all people) is the premier command.
- The cross of Christ gives us access not only to salvation of the soul, but also of the body and mind. The Greek word for salvation is “soteria”, which is translated also as ‘healing’ and ‘made whole’ in other places. We can be saved in spirit, healed in body, and delivered and set free in our minds because of His stripes on the cross. It requires faith, but it’s all possible and part of the Covenant according to Isaiah 53:1-5, Matthew 8:16,17 and 1 Peter 2:24, and James 5:15 and Acts 10:38 and Mark 16:16-17 and Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 10:1,8 and John 14:12-14 and many other scriptures.
- The New Covenant also provides us freedom from the curse of the law (Romans 8:1-2, Gal 3:13), which is freedom from every evil thing that can destroy people. And it provides us son-ship with the Father because of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15-16). To experience the reality of these truths, it requires heart belief as well as active and verbal response to them.
- God’s covenant blessing and promise to His people is that they never have to worry about basic necessities of life, including money…that He will always provide according to Matthew 6:25-33 and Phil 4:19. So, Christians never have to be poor nor miss a meal or a bill payment, as long as we live by Bible principles (We work diligently and aren’t lazy. We are honest. We don’t try to get rich quick. We give cheerfully. We don’t love money nor yearn for it. We trust God and don’t worry, etc.) Success and prosperity are found as Bible promises all throughout both Testaments. Prosperity doesn’t mean “automatic millionaire”, but rather “full supply”.
- Christians should be generous in giving money to God and people, as it is a sign of love and freedom to bless others and to build God’s kingdom, according to 2 Cor 9:5-8. And as a result, “he that sows bountifully will reap bountifully”, and that God will provide an abundant supply to anyone who is free enough in faith to give cheerfully.
- Part of the Christian’s faith life is to give generously and consistently to their church and to the gospel work of the kingdom of God. And that by principle (not by law), the “one tenth” principle (tithe) is the amount patterned in Scripture that becomes significant to a person and reveals a heart that is committed to God. God’s people have always given for His work, and it is no different today. Healthy Christians give substantial money to God (substantial not by amount, but by percentage—that which is significant to themselves). Where our treasure is, there is our heart also (Mat 6:21). When our money flows into the Church, so does our heart. Those who get mad at that are likely being covetous and stingy.
- No one should have a goal of becoming rich, “those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare”. We can expect to be rich (financially “full”) because we trust God as our source, because we are free to sow generously, and because we are committed to living by principle. But we are not to pursue riches nor fall for the “deceitfulness of riches” (1 Tim 6:9, Mark 4:19). We must have a right perspective of money, that it is only a tool for life and productivity and nothing more. Most wealthy people who earned theirs, did it with the goal of being productive, doing something diligently with passion and excellence, and not with the goal of lusting after money. Plenty of other people have tried to mimic the riches of the rich, but not the heart motivation, so they failed. [Preachers could have done a better job of reminding people of this each time they preached on true Bible prosperity.]
- No honest preacher would be using or abusing people to get rich. They should not be “greedy of filthy lucre” (1 Peter 5:2). But no one on the outside should guess at the heart motivation of anyone else. And no one should be mad if a preacher seems richer than they think is acceptable. He or she is not their servant to judge.
- The Kingdom of God is present in us today. It is a system of spiritual life. Jesus explained how the mystery of the kingdom works in Mark 4, how words are “seeds of truth” that get planted inside our hearts. If we care for those “seeds”, they will grow and produce harvest for us. Jesus said that if you can learn this principle, you’ll understand all parables, for the entire Kingdom of God uses it (Mark 4:13). Our spiritual life depends on the Word of God (seed) that is sown in our hearts. That’s why the words we hear matter. That’s why the words we say matter. And that’s how words can create miracles in our lives. The Word of God is supernatural, and so is repeating God’s Word out loud in faith. The entire kingdom of God follows the word of faith principle. Jesus said so.
The truth behind the accusations
There are two primary attacks: First, it is the age old persecution of all things related to the power of God, miracles, healing, casting out demons, tongues, and the supernatural. Second, it is the attack related to money and wealthy preachers.
It’s very frustrating to hear false accusations from those who have no idea of the ministry nor the heart of the preachers they persecute. Certainly, some things of the past needed to be corrected. But the attackers have lumped the right Bible teachers with those in error. And they’ve ignored the millions of people genuinely saved and brought closer to Jesus by good faith preachers through the years.
The attack on the power of God
The initial attack on those who teach Bible faith is nothing new. It actually stems from the attack on all things related to the power of God that has been happening for thousands of years.
The ignorant religious leaders hated Jesus because of the power of God. They had no problem with Jesus for thirty years as a good Hebrew boy. They even let him read in the synagogue. But when the Holy Spirit came upon Him and He began the miracles and the preaching with authority, they blew up.
The religious leaders also persecuted the apostles when they began working miracles. And they get stirred up today when anyone preaches faith, authority over demons, power, tongues, miracles, divine healings, and all things related to “Spirit filled” gospel ministry. They turn every true “vision” from God that someone has into something laughable, and they scoff at preachers who “hear the voice of God” because they usually don’t believe God still speaks to people directly today.
The “other side” just doesn’t appreciate the truth of who we really are in Christ and what that means regarding power in the name of Jesus and authority to execute the will of God in the earth. It’s usually the faith people who emphasize the blood of Jesus and “covenant”, recognizing that it’s by covenant that we can expect the blessings and promises of God. And it’s faith people who seem to get more miracle results when praying.
Understanding the power of God begins with the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tongues, because in order to understand supernatural things of the Spirit, one must actually have experienced the power of the Spirit (been baptized in the Spirit and power, as Jesus commanded in Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49). And that includes tongues, which many of the scoffers deny.
Jesus said that believers would speak with tongues (Mark 16:17), and the pattern through the book of Acts is that they did. And nothing has changed since then. This is the dispensation of the Church Age, which began at the resurrection/ascension/Pentecost. Some have said that all things related to miracles, healings, and tongues passed away when the last Apostle died, but that’s a false, fabricated teaching. Tongues will one day pass away when that which is perfect has come (Jesus), at the same time that prophecy and knowledge spreading passes away—1 Cor 13:8, but that hasn’t happened yet.
It’s the denial of tongues that allows believers in Christ to continue so shallow and misguided, because the Baptism in the Holy Spirit (with tongues) is what deepens a person’s revelation and opens up the Word of God to understanding the supernatural. (And not just the initial experience of tongues, but “personal praying in tongues” where the Holy Spirit gives utterance for the Christians to speak mysteries and pray the perfect will of God for their lives—1 Cor 14:2, Rom 8:26).
It’s the denial of tongues and lack of praying in the Spirit (Jude 20-21) that keeps preachers so rough around the edges that they will toss out the love of God and injure the entire body of Christ with very biased accusations against preachers of the gospel that they know little about.
How do they attack the faith message specifically? By manipulating a few faith teachings into absurdity by ignoring or twisting the context in which they were taught. And by deceitfully pointing out the most extreme erroneous teachings of a few and tagging every other faith preacher with the same stigma.
The attack on money and wealth
1. There is a difference between teaching Biblical truth about prosperity, generosity, and all things related to money and the unbalanced version that seems to be coaxing people to fill a charlatan’s pockets. But we have to be wise and spiritual about it, because hearing scriptural benefits of giving, sowing, and reaping will increase our faith and trigger a desire to give to the Lord and build the Kingdom by funding churches and ministries. And that would only be a good thing. What we don’t like to feel is that a preacher is using us for his own greed.
2. Has any preacher gone too far emphasizing money? Yes. Does that mean success, prosperity, and wealth is not Biblical? No. In the Bible, God said more about how to handle money and how to succeed and prosper than He did about heaven and hell. It’s just that we faith preachers actually believe it’s okay to include it in our preaching. It’s part of the Covenant, so we’d better.
Has any preacher lived too lavishly? Maybe. But it’s none of our business. Or, which one would you like to judge today? Which one of God’s men or women would you like to highlight and toss out today? “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4).
There are likely a lot more poor people sinning against God by violating the “love of money” command, lusting, coveting, and yearning after what they don’t have than there are preachers who’ve spent too much money.
What needs to change? One thing that would help Christians is that when we explain Bible prosperity and “full supply” as a covenant promise, which it is, we should also keep it balanced with a reminder to not pursue riches and wealth. “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Tim 6:9).
Over-emphasizing money has the tendency to distract Christians into yearning for money. Wealth and riches is the one covenant promise that cannot be desired or sought after. It should be a by-product of a life lived in pursuit of God, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). If we don’t remind Christians to not desire the riches, they will slip into seeking them.
3. Beware of covetousness, and stop being a Judas Iscariot. Usually when the wealthy are hated because of their wealth, whether in business or in ministry, it largely stems from covetousness of those on the outside. Any time someone tries to decide income limits on others or manage someone else’s money, they are being covetous, socialist, and Judas-like (“Well, they shouldn’t have spent that much.” Or, “They don’t need that much. They should share it with the poor.” —John 12:5).
That is how stingy, selfish, greedy people feel. So, if you’re a Christian, the only attitude you can have is to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “believe the best of everybody” and “don’t be busybodies in other men’s affairs” (1 Tim 5:13, 1 Peter 4:15).
4. The gospel has value. People don’t have a problem with Bill Gates or Elon Musk or the small business owner down the street who sells HVAC systems being rich. Why not? Because they see the value in what they provide. They like computer software, Teslas, and cool air in the summer. The reason some people have a problem with preachers succeeding financially is because they don’t value the gospel, nor the Word of God, nor the spiritual ministry they provide to people. They think there must be something wrong if too many people are giving to any certain ministry or church.
What the attackers don’t realize is that people are giving money based on how much their heart values the “product”, which in this case is “God, and His gospel.” It’s actually an even more pure system than business, where products have a set price. In the gospel, everyone can set their own “value”. But those who do not appreciate spiritual things hate seeing others who do.
Pastors and preachers and Christians do not have to be poor in order to please God. There is no Bible command for preachers to be poor or to “take a vow of poverty”, and no command to never drive a nice car or never live in a larger house than others. Just because churches and ministries are called “non-profit” doesn’t mean that those who work shouldn’t be paid according to their work. It only means that no one can own equity in the church/ministry and benefit with its growth.
5. Money can be a simple evidence of productivity. There are wealthy preachers of almost every group and denomination. Every minister (just like every person) has a certain amount of grace upon their life that determines how big their “door” is and how many they are to influence in this life. Those with larger grace, those with a more unique gift, and those with a more effective message or ministry will have more people following them.
When someone values a ministry, they give to it. If it’s a larger crowd, there’s more money received. It’s that simple. Those that Jesus impacted during his three and a half year earth ministry gave enough to His ministry that he needed a treasurer (Luke 7:37, Luke 8:3, John 13:29). And it happens still today.
Certainly, there should be some rational wisdom in appropriating the money honorably for the cause of spreading the gospel, rather than self-indulgence or personal gain. But everyone who works should be paid. God would never expect a person to feed a flock and not partake of the milk, nor expect a farmer to plant a crop and not eat of the fruit of that crop (1 Cor 9:7).
So, how much money should preachers have? It’s none of our business. Why not a lot? For the most important line of work in the earth (the saving and edifying of the soul), why not be paid in scale? If they’re doing great work, I expect them to be paid well. And maybe more than the businessman downtown!
This is not to justify preachers who are deceitfully trying to get financially rich, but to help us stay out of judging things that we don’t have the full picture on.
6. Giving to the poor. Should rich Christians give money to the poor? Yes. Every Christian should at times. But no one can force another.
(Socialist governments do that, but it’s wrong. Jesus said that money is distributed based on who will be most diligent and faithful with it, “Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away” (Matthew 25:28-29). That’s why the rich get richer: they either use it more wisely, or they have more faith and vision for it, and if they’re generous, they get even more of God’s blessing.)
In fact, many of the prosperity preachers attacked are the most generous of all Christian ministries. Maybe that’s exactly why they are so wealthy. When a person is generous, God can trust them with more. Do we know how much these faith preachers have given? No, we don’t. Do we know how big their vision is and exactly why they’ve needed much money? No. Do we know how many people have met Christ or been saved and impacted by the Word of God preached by them? The attackers ought to check into it (or better yet, just leave it alone).
To infer that a rich person should have given more to the poor instead of using it sounds just like Judas Iscariot.
7. Airplanes and jets? Do you realize that most of those who have their own airplanes actually use them, and that means flying all over the nation or world sometimes several times per week instead of sitting in the comfort of their own homes watching television? It means work, not indulgence.
Why does any business executive have a personal jet? Because the demands on their expertise and their time are more valuable than the money the plane costs. It is the same with preachers who have nationwide or worldwide impact. It’s worth the money (unless you don’ t value the gospel gift they are providing).
8. Charlatans. For preachers of all persuasions who seem to be twisting things, manipulating people, or selling “miracle oil and water”, stay away from them. Persuading people to believe God’s Word is one thing, but over-emphasizing extreme riches or get-rich-quick schemes is another. Just don’t forget the love of God in your decisions and only discard the doctrine and practice that is in error.
What about Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland?
My Personal Side—Without Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland, I would still be a backslidden ignorant Christian, with no interest in Jesus, no hunger for God’s Word, and no good for God’s kingdom. I wouldn’t understand the Bible very well, nor the love of God, nor the Holy Spirit, nor anything to do with God’s power. So, by throwing them out without even knowing of their teachings, you’re throwing me out.
Though I’m certainly not vouching for every single thing Kenneth Hagin or Kenneth Copeland has preached or done, I can say this:
Kenneth Hagin is one of the most accurate and sound Bible teachers the Church has seen in the past hundred years. And his heart for God and love for Jesus was impossible to deny (if only one could have known him or sat under his ministry).
Kenneth Copeland’s faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ has outlasted all the scoffers for over fifty years, and he leads one of the most financially generous ministries in all of the world. He is pure and sincere to the core, and those who speak against him will answer for it when they meet Jesus.
What about all the rest of the faith preachers? I am not defending every single faith preacher. While I respect and love many of the preachers attacked, Houston Faith Church certainly doesn’t adhere to everything they’ve taught, nor everything they believe. And some are better than others. There have definitely been some extremes. And there have certainly been some wrong things preached in the past. But we don’t throw “faith” out because a few made errors with it.
Take heed how you hear
The most important thing for each of us is: read the Word for ourselves, compare it to good teaching and preaching, and determine what is more right than what is not. And be a champion of that truth. And finally, for the rest of our lives, we are verifying what we believe in our hearts with the Holy Spirit. We challenge ourselves with each scripture revealed to our heart, and confirming it with other truth from the Bible as we learn and grow. We never just swallow anything and everything because someone said it.
Always “eat the fish and spit out the bones.” Don’t discard a whole ministry, teaching, or sermon just because a couple wrong things were said. And also be very wary of accusations if you don’t know the heart and historical attitude of the person doing the accusing. Realize the danger of allowing the false accusation internet garbage into your heart and mind, and hopefully decide to be a champion for the “full gospel” and “faith taught rightly”, and join us in being persecuted for the sake of the gospel, including the word of faith and power.
** The word “sovereign” does not even appear in most Bible translations, so it really should not be a common phrase in our preaching or our perception of God. The word is usually and rightly translated as “kingdom”. The exceptions are in the NIV and NLT, which are not true Bible translations but rather only Bible “interpretations”, which try to apply teaching and reasoning into the Scriptures.
And I believe they make a grave mistake by changing the words “Lord God” (Hebrew: Adonai Jehovah) into “Sovereign Lord” all throughout the Old Testament. That is misleading. Not that God isn’t sovereign in the dictionary way. But that it creates a new phrase out of a mistranslation that perpetuates a false perception of God. I’m not discrediting the use of the NIV and NLT completely, but they should only be used as reference Bibles and not primary study Bibles.
Exposing the false accusations
Here is one false article from the internet. It’s actually quite old, with some of the accusations being over 20 years old, some having already been resolved, repented of, or completely refuted by the Church community and other more accurate faith teachers. The article below is one of a few found on the internet upon any search for “Kenneth Hagin”, “Word of Faith”, “prosperity preachers”, etc. Most of the article is erroneous and dangerous to the Church today because it is very deceptively wrong and because it falsely accuses many preachers. It’s deceptive because it takes out of context its main points and twists them to absurdity. And if you notice carefully, it leaves out all the basis for the teaching topic highlighted, namely all the Biblical truth that causes faith to make sense.