Those who preach the prosperity "gospel" also say that the work of redemption was not completed on the Cross! Think I’m kidding? Kenneth Copeland said,
"When Jesus cried, 'It is finished!' He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. There were still three days and nights to go through before He went to the throne...Jesus' death on the cross was only the beginning of the complete work of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun; there were still three days and three nights to be gone through." (1)
But the blasphemy doesn’t stop here. Apparently, God Himself spoke a new revelation to Brother Kenneth. Listen to this:
"It wasn't a physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin...anybody can do that." (2)
Listen to Fred Price:
"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." (3)
I don’t even know where to begin! This is so wrong on so many levels! The payment for our sins was the blood of a lamb without spot or blemish! DO NOT EVER let ANYONE tell you that ANYBODY OTHER THAN OUR LORD JESUS CHIRST COULD HAVE PAID THE PENALTY FOR OUR SINS!! And that the blood He shed on the cross wasn’t enough, that He had to go through a bunch of other stuff!
Colossians 1:19-20—For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself…having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Ephesians 2:14-16—For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having ended in His flesh…the law of commandments contained in ordinances [the rules and regulations of the law of Moses]…and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross… When Jesus said, “It is finished,” If He wasn’t talking about our redemption, what was He talking about?
You see how this prosperity "gospel" gets started. Man has “authority”, gives it to Satan, and Jesus died on the cross to get it back. And that brings us to prosperity. Now that Jesus has given us this “authority”, what do we do with it? Well, we it to speak wealth into our lives. We use it to speak words which will keep us from getting sick. It goes by many names. Word of Faith. Name-it-and-claim-it. By your “faith” you speak stuff into existence. Basically, you are a little god. Don’t believe me?
- Benny Hinn—“Are you ready for some real revelation knowledge...you are god!” (4)
- Paul Crouch—“I am a little god! Critics, be gone!” (5)
- Morris Cerullo—“You're not looking at Morris Cerullo—you're looking at God. You're looking at Jesus.” (6)
- Kenneth Copeland—"You don’t have a god in you, you are one." (7)
“As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word.” (8)
“Every time you give Him $100, He gives you $10,000. Every time you give Him $1000, He gives you $100,000. Every time you give him $100,000, $10 million.” (9)
"To reap a perpetual harvest you need to sow a perpetual seed. I got a need for seed." (10)
He went on to say,
“I just love to talk about money…I just love to talk about your money. Let me be very clear — I want your money. I deserve it. This church deserves it.” (11)
So, we take this authority, and we claim it for ourselves, and we use the word of God to twist His arm and give us whatever we ask for. And if you are a child of God, you will never be poor or sick. Fred Price—
“How can you glorify God in your body, when it doesn't function right?....What makes you think the Holy Ghost wants to live inside of a body where He can't see out through the windows, and He can't hear out the ears?” (12)
John Avanzini says,
“Jesus had a nice big house…Jesus wore designer clothes (13)…Jesus was handling big money.” (14)
And, since we are supposed to imitate Christ, we should have a life free of hardship or sickness. I'm sure that's somewhere in the Bible. Nope, it ain't in there! God never promises us a pain-free life for following Jesus. All these “prosperity” preachers go around saying how Jesus was rich. That He wore fancy clothes, and had a huge mansion. I dare anybody to find that in here. And I don’t care what Kenneth Copeland says that “God spoke to him”! I don’t give a rip about what Jesse Duplantis says that God “revealed” to him! I couldn’t care less about what Benny Hinn says that the “Spirit of God” spoke to him! These men are liars, they are deceivers, they are charlatans, they are blasphemers, and they are leading their followers down a path that will lead to their destruction!
Ever notice these people never tell you—they never quote anything about the life of the apostle Paul. Here was a man who Jesus Himself came to in a vision, Jesus Himself chose Paul to spread the gospel to Corinth and Ephesus, and Colosse, and Thessalonica. So you would think that Paul lived an extravagant life. Yeah, right. 2nd Timothy 3:10-13, Paul tells Timothy—But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me…And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution… In fact, Paul prophesied about people like Kenny, Benny, and Creflo. 2nd Timothy 4:3—…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. When is God most glorified in us? It is when we either HAVE NOTHING or we RISK EVERYTHING. God was most glorified in Abraham when Sarah was unable to conceive, but Abraham believed the promise of God. That was the faith that was counted as righteousness, Romans 4:3.
God was most glorified in Moses, not when he lived in the house of Pharaoh, but when he led the people of Israel out of slavery. God was glorified in Ruth as she spent her days hunched over picking up stubble out of the wheat field. God was most glorified in David when he was a shepherd with a sling and a stone. God was most glorified in Nehemiah as he cried out to the pagan king Artaxerxes, “Please let me go back and rebuild the city of God.” God was most glorified in Job when God allowed Satan to take away his sons and daughters and house and cattle and servants. What did Job say? “Blessed be the name of the LORD.” God was glorified in Peter as he died, being crucified upside-down. John 21:18-19—"…but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. This is something that is missing in so many churches today. The idea of embracing the cross. Not simply looking at Jesus as a way to solve our everyday problems. But looking to the cross as the only way to solve our sin problem. What does it mean to embrace the cross?
When we embrace the cross does not guarantee “Our Best Life Now!” Tell the man in Iran who embraced the cross and was lashed with a whip. Tell the woman in Bangladesh who embraced the cross and had acid thrown on her that she’s having her “Best Life Now”. Tell the young man in the country of Sudan who embraced the cross—and you talk about a country where embracing the cross is more dangerous than anywhere else. This young man was caught, had his clothes ripped off of him, and a burning log laid on his bare chest. Oh, if only Mike Murdock could have been there to show him how to claim his blessing!
Embracing the cross does not guarantee a pain-free life! Embracing the cross does not mean that we will find favor with the world! Embracing the cross means that we will be the world’s enemy! Embracing the cross means that the world will look at us like we've lost our minds! 1st Corinthians 1:18—For the preaching of the Cross is foolishness to them that are perishing, but to us who are saved it is the power of God unto salvation. Did you hear that last part? Unto salvation. Not “unto riches.” Not “unto health.” The Cross will not guarantee your “Best Life Now”, but it will guarantee you eternal life after you die.
Jesus did not die so you could name and claim a Mercedes-Benz! He didn’t die on the cross so you could avoid pain and heartache in your life. You want to talk about pain and heartache, then look at the cross. God had to allow His Son to die a death you and I could never imagine. Then, He had to place all the sins of those who would ever believe in Him on the shoulders of that dear Son as He died in—not only physical—but emotional and spiritual agony. And think of the pain and heartache you put God through until you called His name. Think of the pain and heartache God is enduring right now while those in positions of power figure out how to strike His name from our lips and our ears. Think of the pain and heartache He must feel when He tells someone who denied Him all their life—or someone who claimed to know Him, thought they knew Him, did many good works in His name—but they never knew Him, and He must tell that person “Depart!” And sends them to the lake burning with fire and brimstone. That, my friends, is a heartache we can't even begin to imagine.
Watch this video of John Piper explaining why he is so disgusted with the prosperity gopel. I'll give you a hint. It's because the prosperity "gospel" AIN'T THE GOSPEL!!
(1) Kenneth Copeland, "Jesus - Our Lord of Glory", Believer's Voice of Victory, April, 1982, p.3.
(2) What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost, audiotape #BCC-19, side 1.
(3) Frederick K.C. Price, Ever Increasing Faith Messenger, June 1990, p. 7.
(4) Benny Hinn, "Our Position In Christ", tape # AO31190-1.
(5) Paul Crouch, "Praise the Lord" program, July 7, 1986.
(6) The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God, Audio Tape 1, Sides 1&2.
(7) Copeland, The Force of Love, 1987, Tape #02-0028.
(8) Our Covenant with God, 1987, p. 32.
(9) Jesse Duplantis (TBN, September 21, 1998)
(10) Rod Parsley, TBN, Praise-A-Thon, March 31, 2004
(11) “An Empire of Souls,” op. cit., pg. 35 quoted from PFO Journal.
(12) Fred Price, "Is God Glorified Through Sickness?" tape # FP605.
(13) John Avanzini, "Believer's Voice of Victory" broadcast on TBN, recorded 1/20/91.
(14) John Avanzini, Praise the Lord (TBN), 9/15/88.