A Biblical Response to the Word of Faith Movement

Steve Viars October 13, 2001

A Comparison of World Religions 
Session 5: “A Biblical Response to the Word of Faith Movement” – REVISED 10/07/01
October 14, 2001
Pastor Viars/Dr. Bob Martin

Pastor Viars in Black ink
Dr. Martin in Blue

Pastor Viars

I. INTRODUCTION


A. Purpose/Goals of this Series:
1.  Purpose:
>  Our purpose is to instruct our church family on the teachings and beliefs of various world religions, in contrast to Biblical Christianity.
2.  Goals:
1.  To accurately present in a culturally sensitive manner the specific world life views of various world religions.
2.  To demonstrate how each world religion differs from Biblical Christianity.
3.  To equip our church to respond Biblically to the claims of these world religions
-  It is not our desire in any sense to make fun of those who believe something different than we do – I’m certain that many who hold other beliefs are very sincere in those beliefs
- However, sincerity it not the standard of truthfulness
- Proverbs even warns us about our sincerity:
• Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
B.  Ground Rules
1.  We are not speaking in a spirit of ill will (but we will not ignore obvious error)
2.  There WILL be disagreements and differences.
3.  Learn what we can about other religions while better understanding our own
C.  Scriptural Warnings
- God warns us to not be gullible and believe everything we hear:
• 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.
- The Bible warns of coming deception:
• 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons
- The Bible warns of coming dangerous times having a form of godliness:
• 2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
- The Bible warns of coming apostasy (departure from the faith):
• 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.
Point:  As believers, we have to be cautious, alert, and discerning of what we hear – especially when someone call it ‘truth.’  Sometimes we are not as discerning as we should be – discernment takes work, study, and discipline, and is a result of God working in our hearts.
Dr. Martin


II. Preliminary Consideration


A. The Word of Faith Movement is not synonymous with the Charismatic Movement.
- Many thoughtful, committed Charismatic Christians have vocally and forthrightly opposed the teaching from the WOFM
- Hank Hanegraaff (Christianity in Crisis ) of the Christian Research Institute, is one of the most outspoken current critics of the word-faith movement.
- Word Faith doctrines are disseminated through radio broadcasts, tapes, books, and tracts, and Paul and Jan Crouch’s Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Many well-intentioned Christians who support TBN do not know that their money goes to promoting ministries who deny the Trinity and claim that certain essential Christian doctrines.
Crouch is aware of the heresy TBN promotes. Once after Hank Hanegraaff met with Paul Crouch to prove that the Faith movement compromises essential Christian doctrine, Crouch looked into the lens of the television camera and angrily declared,
 Tape ( :17 ): "Don’t even call me… if you want to criticize Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith, or Dad Hagin, get out of my life! I don't even want to talk to you or hear you. I don't want to see your ugly face."
- Sadly, Crouch refers to the Faith message as a "revival of truth . . . restored by a few precious men."
B. Historical Background:
- Over a century before the Faith movement, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), the father of New Thought, popularized the notion that sickness and suffering have their origin in incorrect thinking. Man creates his own reality through the power of positive affirmation (confession). Visualization of health and wealth, and then affirming or confessing with your mouth transforms the intangible images into tangible realities. 
- Essek William Kenyon, the father of the modern-day Faith movement, was enormously impacted by Quimby’s New Thought metaphysics.  Many present-day prosperity preachers use phrases, such as "What I confess, I possess," were originally coined by Kenyon.
C.  Key Leaders in the Movement
- The Christian church was first introduced to Word Faith teachings through Kenneth E. Hagin who plagiarized much of Kenyon's work.  Hagin has impacted virtually every major Faith teacher.
- Kenneth Copeland started his ministry by memorizing Hagin's messages. His blasphemous teachings include, “God to be the greatest failure of all time,” "Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross," and describing Christ in hell as an "emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit."
- Benny Hinn admits to frequenting the graves of both Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson to get the "anointing" from their bones.
- Frederick K. C. Price asserts that Jesus took on the nature of Satan prior to the crucifixion.
- Robert Tilton through the religious infomercial Success-N-Life persuades the poor to give what they could to him -- as God's surrogate -- so they too could be blessed.
- Marilyn Hickey, manipulates followers by promising to slip into a ceremonial breastplate, "press your prayer request to my heart," and "place your requests on my shoulders" -- all for a suggested donation.
- Paul Yonggi Cho (David Cho) pastor of the world's largest church, in Seoul, South Korea -- has packaged his faith formulas under the label of "fourth dimensional power," completely aware of this link to occultism.
- Morris Cerullo once informed his audience, "You're not looking at Morris Cerullo -- you're looking at God. You're looking at Jesus."
- Oral Roberts, claimed that Jesus appeared and told him God had chosen him to find the cure for cancer. Roberts avowed "This is not Oral Roberts asking [for the money] but their Lord." The project was completed, but has since been "shut down and sold to a group of investors for commercial development." Not surprisingly, no cure for cancer was ever found.
The Word of Faith Teachers is the group that would seek to convince us that Jesus and His disciples were rich, that to be poor is a sin, to be sick is a sin, and that faith is a creative force that we can use to shape our world just like God supposedly created this world and universe that we live in through His "faith"!
Bible Response: Romans 16:17-18 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (KJV)
Pastor Viars
C. Are we judging?
- We can’t judge the heart of any person – their thoughts or their motives
• 1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man, which is in him?
- While we must be humble about our own position, God expects us discern doctrines and to distinguish truth from error:
• Hebrews 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
• Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
D. Discernment and caution may require us to be specific regarding false teachers!
- In 1 Timothy 1:19  and 2 Timothy 2:17 Paul pointed out specific individuals for rebuke
- There is no obligation to go first to a person who has a public ministry; it is appropriate to respond publicly – when Peter sinned publicly, Paul rebuked him publicly [Galatians 2:11]
E.  Are we “stretching out our hands against God’s anointed” which 1 Samuel 26:9 forbids?
- First of all, a NT pastor or teacher of the Word is not God’s anointed in the relevant sense -- Saul was anointed in a special way as king of Israel – not as a pastor/teacher
- Second, stretching out one’s hands against God’s anointed means they’re not to kill or do physical harm – it certainly did not preclude rebuke.
- While David was careful not to bring physical harm to Saul when given the opportunity, in   1 Samuel 24:6-16, David did publicly rebuke Saul!
F.  Summary of beliefs
- Many of the WOFM’s doctrines are linked directly to the mistaken concept that faith is a literal substance, “a power force … a tangible force … a conductive force.”
- According to Kenneth E. Hagin, faith in one’s own faith is the secret to getting every desire of the heart. 
- In response: the faith movement’s entire theology “rests on the word ‘substance’ in Hebrews 11:1: ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’
- WOF teachers interpret the word “substance” to mean the “basic stuff” out of which the universe is made, but faith cannot be rightly understood to mean “the building block of the universe.”
- However, the word translated “substance” in the KJV is more accurately rendered “assurance” (see NASB). Faith is a channel of living trust—and assurance—which stretches from man to God.
Dr Martin


III.  Teachings of the Word Faith Movement


A.  What does the WOFM believe?
1. God is a six feet tall being who weighs two hundred pounds with a nine inch hand span, and looks exactly like a man. “
 Tape ( : ): ”Uncanny the way He’s very much like you and me….has a span of 8 and a I mean 9 inches across.”
2. Faith is the literal substance “that God used to create the universe, and He transported that faith with His words.” 
3. All things, including God, are subject to this “force of faith” because it works according to spiritual “laws” of the universe. There are laws of the spirit world and its laws are more powerful than the physical world. The world and the physical forces governing it were created by the power of faith—a spiritual force. 
 Tape ( : ): “Faith is a spiritual force ….New age is trying to this…  This is a spiritual law brother!”
4. The greatest thing God conceived of and created was an exact duplicate of Himself. This duplicate god—named Adam—was God manifested in the flesh.
 Tape ( : ): “Just the same as Jesus… he’s God manifested in the flesh… Adam in the garden was God manifested in the flesh!”
5. Adam was anatomically male and female, and God separated the female part from the male part to make a “womb-man” (woman). Adam named this “man with a womb” Eve. She, like Adam, was a god.
 Tape ( : ): “They did everything together…she was Adam…she was the man with the womb!”
6. The Fall caused Adam and Eve’s divine natures to be replaced with Satan’s nature. They also lost their rights of rulership to planet earth. Even God was 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.
 Tape ( : ): “God the Father cannot do anything in this earth realm without permission”
7. God formulated a scheme to take back the earth, but in order to execute His plan He had to find a human who would invite Him or give Him permission to work within the earthly realm. Finally, God chose Abraham  and in return for allowing God to bring the Messiah through his lineage, Abraham received unlimited health and wealth.
 Tape ( : ): “The only way God could get into the earth realm, He had to have an invitation…. And he saw a man named Abraham”
8. For centuries God visualized Jesus. God spoke Jesus into existence through faith in the same way that He had visualized and spoken into existence everything else. Bringing forth Jesus, however, was dependent on Mary’s lending her faith to help form the body of the Lord out of the literal “Word” (confession) God spoke to her. The embryo that was in Mary’s womb was the Word of God. Mary conceived the Word in her spirit. It manifested itself in her physical body.” 
9. While on earth Jesus was wealthy. He lived in a big house, had a great deal of money, and wore the finest clothes.
 Tape ( : ): “Jesus had a nice house…Jesus was handling big money….  Jesus was wearing designer clothes… If you had 3 oranges in the bottom of the bag… Don’t tell me you wouldn’t know something was missing.”
10. Although Jesus declared he walked with God and God was in Him; Jesus never actually claimed to be God.  During his three years of public ministry He was ministering on earth as a human being—a prophet anointed with the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus remained sinless so He could redeem men from their satanic natures.
 Tape ( : ): “We’re still questioning what was said about the Son of God… He did not claim to be God… I stand corrected.”
11. To redeem humanity, Jesus died spiritually as well as physically and was given the nature of Satan. Jesus’ death on the cross and His shed blood did not atone for our sins.  The atonement took place in hell through the devil’s torturing of Jesus’ spirit for three days and three nights. However, Satan took Jesus illegally to hell, because Jesus had never sinned. This “technicality” enabled God to use His “force of faith” to revive Jesus’ spirit, restore Jesus’ divine nature, and resurrect Jesus’ body. Through the resurrection process Jesus was “born again.”
 Tape ( : ): “Had to go through the same spiritual death…He did not take my sin… He became one with the nature of Satan…His poured out, wormy, little spirit…Jesus was reborn… very pit of hell itself… and the Holy Ghost WASN’T there… hmmm, and that is when His divinity returned”
12. When a person is born again they experience exactly what happened to Jesus. Their satanic nature is replaced by God’s divine nature and Christians become little gods (small “g”) and are as much an incarnation of God as was Jesus.
 Tape ( : ): ““When you say I am a Christian… I am a little Messiah walking on earth… you are a little God on earth running around… you ARE everything He was and ever shall be”
13. As “little gods,” Christians have access to the “God-kind of faith,” which can be used to get virtually anything they want. Since, Christians, NOT God, have authority in the earth over Satan, sickness and disease, believers should never pray God’s will be done.
14. To obtain specific desires, Christians must do three things: (1) loose the power of the “force of faith” by speaking or positively confessing whatever is wanted (e.g., “I am healed,” “I am not sick,” etc.); (2) believe that whatever has been confessed will definitely be received; and (3) ignore or look beyond the visible reality (i.e., remaining sickness, low finances, etc.) and continue claiming what has been confessed.
 Tape ( : ): “Now hear this your words in the spirit realm create reality!…The Bible declares that faith is a force… If you’ll make a vow of $1000 … you can release the creative force of God into existence.”
15. God’s people should have a completely blessed life. Everything bad, including poverty and sickness, comes from Satan. A Christian not experiencing such a life is either: (1) in sin; or (2) lacking enough faith to bring about what is desired.
16. The power of audible confession is so great that sometimes a person can unknowingly bring tragedy upon themselves by making negative confessions. For example, someone who jokingly says “I feel like I’m going crazy” may actually become insane.

Pastor Viars

B.  What about Christians?
1.  First, the movement “uses so much evangelical and Pentecostal terminology and so many biblical proof texts that most believers are lulled into a false sense of security as to its orthodoxy.”
2.  Second, its message is “without question the most attractive message being preached today.” 
- Seldom, if ever, has there been a gospel that has promised so much, and demanded so little. The Faith gospel is… ideally suited to the twentieth-century American Christian… the Faith gospel gives simple, if not revelational, answers. In an economy fueled by materialism… the Faith gospel preaches wealth and prosperity.
- The Faith gospel promises health and long life to a world in which death can come a myriad of different ways. Finally, in an international environment characterized by anarchy…the Faith gospel confers an authority with which the believer can supposedly exercise complete control over his or her own environment.
• 2 Corinthians 11:3–4 “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him”
Point:  The Word Faith movement is handing out a false Jesus, another gospel, and a different spirit.
- The Word-Faith teachers ask us to put away our traditions and forget our creeds.
- Benny Hinn after teaching his audience that God consists of nine distinct substances, boasts "You think you're in this church to hear things you've heard for the last 50 years?"
- Whenever anyone challenges their teachings they are accused of promoting division instead of discussion.
Example: Immediately after the Christian Research Institute, a very reputable and trustworthy counter-cult and apologetic ministry, had devoted a week of radio programs exposing the errors of the Word-Faith movement. Paul Crouch and Benny Hinn had this to say:
 Tape ( : ): " I say "Get out of God's way! Quit blocking God's bridges! Or God's gonna shoot you if I don't" …Dear God in heaven.. I’ve been looking for one verse… if you don’t like them kill them… Holy Ghost machine gun, I’ll blow your head off.”
Dr. Martin


IV.  How Word Faith differs from Biblical Christianity


A.  WOFM denies the authority of the Bible.
- Word-of-Faith leaders see themselves as bringing new spiritual revelation to the Body. It is not sin and disobedience that causes us to fail, but ignorance of the Word.  Moreover, this revelation knowledge is limited to the few who can receive it; the rest of us are at a disadvantage. This is elitism – spiritual pride.
- Biblical view:  2 Timothy 4:3-4 - For 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. (KJV)
- The Word is God is our final authority for faith and practice
B.  WOFM deny the person of Jesus Christ.
Kenneth Copeland claims that Adam looked just like God and that Jesus and Adam were identical.  Copeland also asserts, That God did not have to pay the price for our sins, it had to be a man. 
- It elevates man to equality with Jesus. A consequence of the 'Jesus-died-spiritually' doctrine is that all born-again Christians stand in the same place of power and authority as Jesus - not by virtue of their unity with Him, but in themselves, as men filled with the Spirit. 
- Thus, the Christian walk is one of education in using the same spiritual laws as Jesus in order to dominate the circumstances and do miracles.
- In Word-of-Faith teaching, believers do not depend on God's own power, nor submit to His will, but feel they have the right to develop their own powers, and to discover the laws governing creation and dominion on the earth. 
- Biblical view:
• The Bible asserts that  Jesus was God in the flesh. He was the God man. In John 8:58 clearly identified Himself with the great “I AM” of  Exodus 3:14 when He said, "Before Abraham was, I AM." This statement claims existence before Abraham and equality with the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14. The Jews understood His meaning and picked up stones to kill him for blaspheming by claiming to be God.
• Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (KJV)
Pastor Viars
C.  WOFM denies the work of Jesus Christ.
The Atonement (Word Faith)
1.  The WOF teachers claim that when Adam fell in the garden he forfeited the nature of God and took on the nature of Satan. They also stress the loss of dominion over the earth, not sin, as the root problem.
Kenneth Copeland states that when Adam fell, all the dominion and authority God had given to Adam was handed over to Satan. God did not have access to earth and needed an avenue back into the earth. God’s access back to earth came through the  Abrahamic covenant.
2.  Salvation for the faith teachers is the removal of the nature of Satan from man and the restoring of the nature of God in man. Salvation becomes a matter of re-discovering one's place of godhood and learning to rule as kings on earth.
3.  On the cross Jesus became evil, taking upon Himself the nature of Satan. Jesus died spiritually and physically.
4.  Satan conquered Jesus upon the Cross.
Copeland says that Jesus accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?"  
When Jesus He died, His blood did not atone, but He had to take upon Himself the very sin-nature of the Devil, causing His spirit to die, and suffer three days and nights of hellish torment AS A MAN before the Father gave the command for Him to be re-created as a re-born man.
5.  Jesus descended into hell a mortal man.
- Proponents of Faith theology say that Jesus endured three days and nights of unimaginable abuse at the hands of Satan and his hordes of demons in hell. This was God’s payment to Satan so that He could get back into a universe from which He had been banished.
• Frederick 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. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God…Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence." 
Biblical View of Jesus Christ:
• 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God”.
• Ephesians 5:2 “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour”
• Luke 23:46 “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into thy hands [not Satan’s hands] I commend my spirit”.
• Romans 5:9-10 - Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (KJV)
• John 10:17–18 “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”.
Dr. Martin


V. Additional doctrinal differences between and Christianity


A.  Wealth Doctrine
- Financial prosperity to those in the Word Faith movement is more than just a blessing. It is an absolute right. The emphasis in Word-of-Faith doctrine is all on success, prosperity, advancement, gain, health and strength. Any adversity is said to be a 'lack of faith' to confess the appropriate Word.
- Ministries that emphasize prosperity have ended up in greed, manipulating believers into giving money they can little afford. Teachings about faith have become rituals and formulas for producing instant result; and many who could not or would not go down this road were derided and rejected as "having no faith".
- Doctrines about man's godhood and superhuman abilities have led to arrogance, self-will and the use of psychic powers to perform miracles instead of a simple dependency on the Holy Spirit.
• Fred Price: "Yeah, God has pleasure in the prosperity. So he must have displeasure in the poverty. " 
Biblical Response:
- 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). 
- Jesus said, “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).
- The Bible names countless individuals who, although they were righteous before God, were poor: Paul the apostle (Philippians 4:11–12); his companions (1 Corinthians 4:9–13); the Old Testament faithful (Hebrews 11:37).
• James 2:5 - Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? (NIV) Scripture nowhere indicates that Jesus was wealthy.
- This is a great misunderstanding of the wisdom of God, and His plan to bring his children to glory, for if we refuse to share in the trials, setbacks and persecutions of Jesus, we are not ready to share His glorification. [Rom 8:17] Legions of hurt people have testified to their bad experiences, both personally and corporately, with Word-of-Faith extremes and excesses.
Pastor Viars
B.  Healing
- Consequently, those suffering have only themselves to blame, says Frederick K. C. Price, “You are suffering because you’re stupid!”  The only alternative is even worse: “If God is running everything, He does have things in a mess.”
- Satan is painted into the Word Faith’s picture of suffering as simply an adversary who afflicts the ignorant. According to Copeland, like Job, we are the ones who bring about our own problems by the words we speak.
“God didn’t allow the Devil to get on Job. Job allowed the Devil to get on Job. … All God did was maintain His [God’s] confession of faith about that man. He said “that man is upright in the earth.” But Job, himself, said he was not upright in the earth. He said, “I’m miserable.”  
- Scripture, however, indicates that God did indeed allow Job to be afflicted:
• “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on this person’ ” and “the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life’ ” (Job. 1:12; 2:6).
- Furthermore, Job did not acknowledge his misery until after he had been afflicted (Job 3:1–26).
- Word Faith teachers are forced into misinterpreting Job’s story because they hold that there is “no glory in knuckling down and enduring a trial.”  In other words, no good whatsoever can come from suffering. Kenneth E. Hagin asserts, “You cannot find anywhere in the Bible where God causes these things [tragedies] to happen to teach His people something.”
- In Word Faith theology all believers should thoroughly understand that their healing was consummated in Christ. Copeland assures his followers that “God intends for every believer to live completely free from sickness and disease.”  Copeland maintains that any time a believer has a problem receiving healing, “he usually suffers from ignorance of God’s Word.”
- The intense aversion that Word Faith leaders have toward sickness is perhaps most obvious in Price’s sermons:
 Tape ( : ) :“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 a body where He can’t see out through the windows and He can’t hear with the ears? … The only eyes that He has that are in the earth realm are the eyes that are in the body. If He can’t see out of them then God’s gonna be limited.

- Such a mind-set becomes even harsher when it is coupled with the Word Faith practice of citing a person’s personal lack of faith as the primary cause of a sickness:
 Tape ( : ) : You know some people get upset, when you something, say “well I disagree with that…hey, go ahead and die then … let’s don’t fall out about it lets just stay in love in Jesus and you die and I’ll just go on living.”
Biblical View:
- God does not guarantee that Christians will always be healed as long as they have enough faith and are not in sin. Instead, His Word gives numerous examples of godly individuals who were not healed: Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7–10; Galatians 4:13–15); Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23); Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20); and Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25–27).
- Countless tragedies have resulted from such thinking.
• Larry and Lucky Parker, withheld insulin to their diabetic son Wesley, who died in a diabetic coma on August 23, 1973 because of Word Faith teachings.. 
• Thirty-eight-year-old Christine Klear (a mother of three small children) died of breast cancer after she and her husband decided, through “the influence of TBN,” to positively confess her healing and forego medical treatment.
• F. Elizabeth Scott diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-40’s trusted Hagin, Copeland, and Marilyn Hickey and declined medical therapy. Five years later the cancer-induced pain had become so unbearable that she began radiation therapy and “pleaded” with doctors to do something. She died that same year.
• Mary Turk made a vow of faith to Robert Tilton, refusing medical attention for her colon/rectal cancer. She died an agonizing death as the cancer spread throughout her entire abdominal cavity.
- Word Faith leaders have responded to these deadly fruits of their labor by blaming those who died. The deceased simply did not have enough faith to bring about their healing.
• Price, for example, admits, “I have watched people die, and my heart went out to them, but their faith was not developed, and it couldn’t bring the healing to pass, and they died. It wasn’t the will of God that they die, but their faith wasn’t sufficiently developed.” 
Dr. Martin


V.  What can you do to reach out to those in the WOFM?


- God’s people always have been, and always will be, plagued by false teachers and false prophets (2 Corinthians 11:13; Galatians 2:4; 2 Peter 2:1–3).
- Paul warned of two kinds of “wolves” in sheep’s clothing: those who attack the church from the outside; and those who poison it from the inside:
• “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:28–30).
- What should we do in response to this doctrinal heresy?
1.  Use the Word of God accurately – Hebrew 4:12
• Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2.  Do not support any of these ministries monetarily.
- We would recommend that you not watch any of the Word-Faith teachers programs, purchase their books, etc. – and encourage and warn others to do the same.
3.  Model a godly Christian life – living by faith and trusting in the grace of God.
• Titus 2:10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
• 1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
• Luke 12:15 And He said to them, "Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions."
4.  Be a student of the Word yourself
• 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Study the great foundational doctrines of our faith so that you won't be deceived by any false teacher. 
>  Theology is not always entertaining but it is always enriching. It is a lot easier to turn on that TV and turn off your mind but you'll be at a loss because of it, and you will miss out on one of the most wonderful blessings of life: communion with the Living Lord.
- Don’t be afraid to take to stand for the truth and be ready to give your answer:
• 1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

Pastor Viars

VI. Concluding Remarks and Invitation

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video