Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Real Problem with Kenneth Copeland (and Kenneth Hagin)

"Word of Faith: is scriptural.

The preaching which teaches "You will have what you say" is based on Scripture:

Jesus made the point not once but twice in Scripture:

18Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 20And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 21Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21: 18-22)

Matthew wrote to the circumcision. Mark wrote to Gentiles:

"20And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." (Mark 11: 20-26)

In Mark's account, Jesus first cursed the fig tree, then he cleared out the money changers and merchant who were selling in the Temple.

The first element in these two accounts -- the whither fig tree -- indicates that something has to be uprooted in our lives. The fig tree speaks of self-righteousness. After they ate the Forbidden Fruit, Adam and Eve covered their nakedness, their self-conscious shame, with fig leaves. Righteousness cannot be achieved by human effort; righteousness can only be received by God's grace, through the shedding of blood.

In order for God's faith to flow in a believer, he must rest securely in the grace of God, that all of His sins have been put away through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Bible outlines this principle many times in Scripture:

"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37: 4)

God the Father delights in mercy, in grace, and not in sacrifice, or the works which men do in order to establish a right standing with God:

"Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required." (Psalm 40: 6 -- referenced in Hebrews 10: 5) Jesus is the body offered for us, and through His flesh the enmity between us and God the Father has been removed forever (Ephesians 2: 15)


"Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy." (Micah 7: 18)

and of course:

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33)

Mark's Gospel is especially telling. Because Jesus shared those words before He died on the Cross, the told his disciples: "Forgive, or God will not forgive you." Because of Christ's death and resurrection on the Cross, we forgive  because we have been forgiven (Ephesians 4: 32). If forgiveness then is so completely manifested to a believer, then he should have no problem standing before God and asking for what he needs.

Man's greatest need, however, is righteousness, and this righteousness every believer keeps receiving as a gift (Romans 5: 17) of the Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17).

Without righteousness, the perfect standing before God that all our sins are forgiven, then any other gift granted to us will inspire fears and suspicious instead of praise and worship.

When we are then freed from any temptation of trying to perfect ourselves or justify ourselves throughout our own actions, we then advanced boldly before throne of grace in time of need (Hebrews 4: 16), all of which is predicated on our resting in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ by grace through faith (Hebrews 4: 11; Ephesians 2: 4-8)

We need to know and believethe love of God before we can trust that He will come through for every need. The greatest gift that God ever gave humanity, His Son, cannot play second place to the needs and wants of man.

From my own experience, I Can share that all of the good things in my life seemed like ashes without the warm and eternal knowledge of God's love for me, in that He died for all my sins -- past, present, future -- and that He has my future covered and my past recovered. I need not fear that my sins will be uncovered, for in Christ they are blotted out and forgiven. This life is one of discovering all that good that is God.

Jesus first, last, and everything in between. Faith works through love (Galatians 5: 6) and this love is bound up in God, who has forever pardoned our sins and given us the life of His Son.

Rejoice in this wonderful gift, and indeed you will have what you say. In fact, He will give us beyond what we ask or think (Ephesians 3: 20)

In this sense, therefore, many prosperity preachers simply have not gone far enough in expounding the eternal, unsearchable riches of Christ. The more that we see Him, the greater our prosperity in this world:

"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)

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