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What Does Kenneth Copeland Teach?

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I was reading a blog recently that was insulting and disparaging anyone that teaches that God wants His people wealthy.  The blog uses the phrase “bastardisation of the gospel”, “pulpit pimp”, and “degenerate” so you can tell immediately that we are not talking about people who want to have a mature, thoughtful theological discussion! Demonising your opponent is a cheap trick and not a good start to a conversation or a dialogue.  It is more for people who want to rally people to a cause and not a dialogue.

When I made a comment on this blog in response to the idea that all people who believe God wants us wealthy think about is earth, and not about heaven that Kenneth Hagin wrote a book once that has inspired me to think about eternity and heaven more than any other book I have read except the Bible, one person responded:

treeoflifeoflondon, continue to enjoy your fun in this life preaching your false gospel then, because the next life for you will be no fun whatsoever.

So we are clear that this attitude is the attitude of the people that we are talking about.  We are not talking about people who are open to the truth of God’s Word, we are not talking to people who search the Scriptures to see if these things be so, we are talking about people are almost gloating because they think I will be in hell!

Eventually someone posted a link with 26 quotes allegedly from Kenneth Copeland (copied below and in blue!).  It is impossible from the web to find out who compiled this list of quotes initially because it has been reproduced (plagarised might be a more appropriate phrase!) again and again on website after website.

I asked the poster of these quotes if they have ever read the original sources cited below to ensure that firstly, Kenneth Copeland has actually said the things that have been attributed to him and secondly, that the quotes are actually in context.  If you notice below there are a number of ellipses – I wonder what the missing words actually are.  The person replied that they don’t question their sources!  Yes, that’s right questioning and thinking are out the window here!

I know people have really badly misquoted preachers before to misrepresent them; for example, look at this example in misquoting Kenneth Hagin cited from Troy Edward’s website:

Although there are enough books that one can buy that gives plenty of examples of this particular heresy hunting tactic, one need not waste his or precious hard earned dollars. There are enough examples on the world wide web. Take notice of a Kenneth Hagin quotation on the Watchman Fellowship web site:

Word-Faith teachers say that not only is God a big man, but man is a little god. Kenneth Hagin has asserted, “man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…. He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…. He lived on terms equal with God…. The believer is called Christ, that’s who we are; we’re Christ” (Zoe: The God Kind of Life, pp. 35-36, 41). “[8]

Notice all of the “…” used in this misquotation of Hagin’s teaching. Those “…” show that the person quoted was not fully quoted. If I had never read Hagin’s books and this was the first quote I ever read by him, I would stand against his theology too. I would shout “heresy” along with the rest of these heresy hunters. However, when we look at Hagin’s teaching in it’s full context, we will see that Hagin’s statements were completely taken out of context:

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:17

What does this verse mean? It means that everyone of us who has been born again and has received the life of God has come into a kingly state. We are accepted by God to reign as kings in life. We are no longer servants in the realm of spiritual death, but we have passed out of death, Satan’s realm, into the realm of the heavenlies. Man was never made to be a slave. He was made to reign as king under God. He was made on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority. Notice Psalm 8:4,5: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” In some translations there is a number or letter by the word “angels” in this text. If you read the margin you’ll find that the Hebrew word here is Elohim – the same word or name for God. The Hebrew Bible actually says (talking about man), “Thou hast made him a little lower than God.” That means that God has made us as much like Himself as possible. He made us in His image. He made us in His likeness. He made us the same class of being that is Himself. He made Adam with an intellect of such caliber that he could name every animal, vegitable, and fruit, and give them names that would describe their characteristics. When God could do that with man, man belonged to the realm of God…..

God made man His understudy. He made him king, to rule over everything that had life. Man was master. Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms of equality with God.

(Zoe, pp. 35-36)

2 CORINTHIANS 6:15

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial?

Finally, the believer is called “Christ” and the unbeliever is called “Belial.” That’s who we are; we’re Christ!

Jesus is the head and we’re the Body of Christ. Your head doesn’t go by one name and your body by another, does it? You don’t call your body Henry Jones and your little finger Louise Simpson, do you? Your little finger has the same name as the rest of your body because it belongs to that body. (p. 41)[9]

Notice that Mr. Hux neglected to deal with the Scripture passages that Hagin used. Notice also how Mr. Hux totally misinterpreted Hagin’s message. Hagin was not demoting God and elevating man as Mr. Hux would imply. Hagin stated that man was God’s understudy. Does this sound as if Hagin was promoting man to a higher level than God? Hagin was simply teaching the level on which God created man. Take Psalm 8:4-5 for example. There are a host of Bible translations that state that man was made a little lower than God.

When Hagin and others speak of man being in God’s class, most of this teaching centers on passages in Psalms 8:4-5; Heb. 2:7; Psalm 82:1, 6, and John 10:35. The KJV took the Hebrew word “Elohim” in Psalm 8:5 and translated it to “angels” instead of God. I understand that it was also translated this way in the Septuagint, which is the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Many Bible translations have decided to translate the Hebrew word correctly. Among the older ones are Revised standard version, Young’s literal Translation, American Standard Version, Hebrew Names Version, World English Bible, and the Amplified Bible. Among the newer translations that quote it this way are God’s Word To the Nations translation, Contemporary English version, New Living Translation, and Today’s English Version. These all speak of God creating man a little lower than Himself vice creating man a little lower than the angels.

Commentaries by men who are respected in the church who also seem to agree with this interpretation is John Wesley, Adam Clark, Warren Wiersbe, Ray Stedman, and John Calvin.

Therefore, Hagin was simply stating that man was created in God’s image and has a higher place than the angels and other created beings. In this sense, Hagin is teaching that man was created in God’s class. Further more, Hagin was simply teaching the truth that we are members of Christ’s body. He was not teaching that each Christian is the Messiah Himself. He was teaching that we are a part of one body and that we have a place and position in Christ that we often do not recognize. Besides, Mr. Hux neglected to include Hagin’s proof Scripture (2 Cor. 6:15) as well as Hagin’s full statement. Hagin was by no means teaching that God was a big man and that we are on His level.

I have decided that I am going to purchase or source every source cited below and investigate firstly, whether Kenneth Copeland even said such a thing.  Secondly, whether the words were taken in context.  This is not going to be easy – some sources are from TV programmes aired over 20 years ago or from magazines published a similar time period ago.  It is more than telling in itself that this list of quotes made up for the purpose of denigrating Kenneth Copeland is not made from resources that are easily available, but rather sources that are very dated and very obscure.  If you want to know what a media preacher believes, buy what he is selling on his tape table, go and see him in conference, watch his TV show this week, don’t rely on quotes from 20 year old programmes!

Clearly this is not a work that is going to happen in a second, it is going to take time.  The main issue will be tracing some of the obscure sources.

I will update this post each time I research a different comment and find the original source.  Everyone who quotes this list without researching the original quotes is passing on unsubstantiated second (actually more like sixth or seventh-) hand information.  This is called the sin of gossip in the Bible.

If anyone has any of the original recordings cited below, it would be great to have a copy of them.  I will gladly pay for postage and send them back as soon as I have listened to them.  If you do, contact me through the Tree of Life Church website.

I will post my findings of what the original source says below the blue quotes in green, and post my comments in black.  Hopefully that is not too complicated!  I will also create a new post every time I update this list in the blog category “What Kenneth Copeland Teaches”

Glory and freedom,

Benjamin

“God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself…He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even” (Kenneth Copeland, “Following the Faith of Abraham,” tape 01-3001, n.d.).

“You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” (Kenneth Copeland, “The Force Of Love” tape # 02-0028)

“Pray to yourself, because I’m in your self and you’re in My self. We are one Spirit, saith the Lord.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory”, Feb. 1987, p.9)

“I say this with all respect so that it don’t upset you too bad, but I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, ‘I Am,’ I just smile and say, ‘Yes, I Am, too!’” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory” broadcast on TBN, recorded 7/9/87)

“God is the biggest failure in the Bible…the reason you’ve never thought that is because He never said He was one”.(Kenneth Copeland, “Praise-a-thon”, broadcast on TBN, recorded 1988)

“God is a being that stands somewhere around 6′2, 6′3″ (Kenneth Copeland, “Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001)

“Gods reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. I mean a reproduction of Himself. He [Adam] was not a little like God, he was not almost like God, He was not subordinate to God even”. (Kenneth Copeland, “Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001)

“Adam is God manifested in the flesh” (Kenneth Copeland, “Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001)

“Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you’re God. The more you get to be like Me, the more they’re going to think that way of you.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Voice of Victory” Vol. 15, No. 2, 2/87)

God is someone “very much like you and me….A being that stands somewhere around 6′2,” 6′3,” that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand]span nine inches across.” (Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I, side 1.)

“God is on the outside looking in,” says Copeland. “In order to have any say-so in the earth, He’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.” (Kenneth Copeland, God’s Covenant with Man II (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-4404), side 1.)

Abram “gave God access to the earth.” (Kenneth Copeland, Our Covenant with God, 10-11)

“It wasn’t a physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin…anybody can do that.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost (Kenneth Copeland, Fort Worth: Messages by Kenneth Copeland, n.d., audiotape #BCC-19), side 1.)

“Jesus put Himself into the hands of Satan when He went to that cross, and took that same nature that Adam did [when he sinned].” (Kenneth Copeland, The Incarnation (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0402), side 1.

Jesus is said to have remarked, “It was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross….I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, side 2.)

Jesus “had to give up His righteousness” (Kenneth Copeland, The Incarnation, side 2.)

Jesus had to “accept the sin nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, side 2.)

“Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell” (Kenneth Copeland, Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition (Kenneth Copeland, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1991), 129.)

What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost

1. The cross was a mystery to satan (1 Corinthians 2:7-8)

A. Jesus became obedient to death (Philippians 2.8)

B. Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell.

C. Jesus, whom God had made to be sin, was justified in the Spirit and raised to a new life by God.

D. Jesus was born into the New Covenant in the pit of death and then conquered Satan (Colossians 2.15)

Well, the only source that I actually have myself (the Kenneth Copeland Study Bible, which I can recommend to anyone – I was given mine by a pastor after I went to preach at his church without a Bible because I had just given my Bible to a new Christian) clearly has been quoted out of context by our mystery compiler of quotes.

Kenneth Copeland goes through 4 points showing that Jesus obeyed God’s plan and died, and that Jesus conquered satan through His redemption.  Actually the rest of p. 129 tells us all about Jesus’ victory and people being set free and the Holy Spirit entering people, and men being born again.

In a whole page on a study Bible about Jesus’ victory over sin and hell, about victory and life, the author takes the one sentence that shows that Jesus willingly became subject to satan and death so that He could bear the sin of the world and dishonestly makes it look like Kenneth Copeland was saying that satan defeated Jesus!

If every quote is as out of context about that, refuting this list and dealing with it will be easy.  Whether the people who post the list on the web without ever caring that they are misquoting someone without seeing the original context of the quotes will ever stop I doubt it, but at least anyone with an open mind and an honest approach will be able to find out the truth.

“He [Jesus] allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell….He allowed Himself to come under Satan’s control…every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him….They tortured Him beyond anything anybody had ever conceived. For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer.” (Kenneth Copeland, “The Price of It All,” 3.)

“How did Jesus then on the cross say, ‘My God.’ Because God was not His Father any more. He took upon Himself the nature of Satan. And I’m telling you Jesus is in the middle of that pit. He’s suffering all that there is to suffer, there is no suffering left . . . apart from Him. His emaciated, little wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing and the devil thinks He’s got Him destroyed. But, all of a sudden God started talking.” (Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 21 April 1991.)

“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….Jesus was born again — the firstborn from the dead the Word calls Him — and He whipped the devil in his own backyard.” (Kenneth Copeland, “The Price of It All,” 4-6.)

“You don’t have a God in you; you are one,” (Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Love (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #02-0028), side 1.)

“Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” (Kenneth Copeland, “Spirit, Soul, and a Body 1″ (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audio tape #01-0601, side 1)

“Jesus had to go through that same spiritual death in order to pay the price. Now it wasn’t the physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin, because if it had of been any prophet of God that had died for the last couple of thousand years before that could have paid that price. It wasn’t physical death anybody could do that.” (Kenneth Copeland, “What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost” (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, audio tape #020022)

“Jesus was raped by homosexual Roman soldiers everyway possible.Let me tell you something folks. Anybody in here that’s ever been sexually abused, listen to me right now. Listen to me very carefully. The Bible’s very careful about the way it says these things. But down there in that dungeon, Romans, ungodly men, ungodly men, put Him (Jesus) to every kind of abuse that you can think of. There is no sin that Jesus didn’t bare. There is no thing, there is no such thing as a sexual abuse on somebody that Jesus doesn’t know firsthand what it’s all about. He’s been where you are. I don’t care what you’ve been through, Jesus has been through it. And everything’s done to him that we couldn’t even speak of.” (The Resurrection Truth)

“Any O.T. prophet could have atoned for our sins if they knew what Jesus knew.” (Substitution and Identification)

Beware of Psalm 23 (Joe McIntyre)

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(From: HERESY HUNTERS INSTITUTE, INC.)

Dear brother,

Thank you for sending us the questionable document. We are always glad to examine any teaching materials that may adversely affect the Church. We do think that this material is dangerous and certainly want to warn the Body of Christ  concerning its subtle false doctrines. Our analysis is as follows:

The document:

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

We weren’t given the name of the author of this document, but it is quite clear that is part of the contemporary, humanistic “gospel” of self.

The first thing we would point out is that this is a “positive confession.” Our research shows that this idea was never heard of in the Church before the metaphysical cults introduced it in the late 19th century. This author has obviously been influenced by these cults.

Secondly, note the “affirmation” that he will not want. This is clearly that “gospel of greed” – the prosperity gospel. Whoever wrote this probably is a follower of these dreadful prosperity preachers. Sorry you couldn’t come up with the author so we could do a background check on him or her. Even without the author’s name, it’s still pretty clear who influenced this individual.

Then the author affirms himself to be perfectly led by the Lord. This is the dangerous delusion of elitism. Many of these groups feel they are the only true Christians. They are the only ones who really represent the name of the Lord. You can see the tremendous spiritual pride lurking behind this, I’m sure.

Our author tells us that he walks through the shadow of death. Obvious Christian Science influence here. Denying the reality of matter and evil. This is indeed a pernicious error. This is also practiced by denying the reality of sickness. Sickness, evil and death are mere illusions. Very dangerous!

Notice the references to “green pastures” and “still waters.” The cults always resort to metaphoric symbols and encourage their victims to visualize. This, of course, opens their minds up to demonic influence. Note also that a life of ease and blessing is pictured, very appealing to the flesh. Seldom do these people ever talk about taking up our cross and following Jesus.

The author now mentions restoring the soul. We see two possible references to dangerous teachings here. Firstly, the teaching of restoration. This is false teaching that suggests that the Church isn’t all God wants it to be. Of course, that is unacceptable. We have the Bible; we need nothing beyond the Scriptures. And then secondly, there could be a suggestion of the teaching of inner healing. We have a paper on this error available if you should so desire.

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL FOR YOU ARE WITH ME: Notice the big “I.” Bold, arrogant, egotistical statements like this are common
among these groups. Totally devoid of humility. I think you can see the obvious, humanistic bent.

YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME: Clearly the error of the authority of the believer is being implied here. Taking the place of God and assuming that mere sinful men can actually wield the rod of God. To say this is presumptuous is mild. This is the “little gods” error. These false teachers never have a due regard for the sovereignty of God.

YOU PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES: The archangel Michael did not dare to bring an
accusation against Satan, but these types of teachers boldly mock the Devil. This suggests an unhealthy preoccupation with “spiritual warfare.”

YOU ANOINT MY HEAD WITH OIL: The height of arrogance. So many today claim they are the anointed of the Lord and no one
should question their teachings and activities. I’m sure this author, whoever he is, considers himself to be one of God’s “special” anointed ones.

MY CUP RUNS OVER: Another allusion to prosperity. A “positive confession” of abundance. Decidedly derived from Unity or one
of the other metaphysical cults.

SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE: No suffering, no trials, no difficulties in life! This is not the Bible gospel. These teachers hold out the promise of problem-free living and then bilk those who listen to them of their finances to support their extravagant life-styles. What a mockery of the cross.

I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER: Actually this type of teaching doesn’t belong in the Church at all.
This gospel of greed, positive confession and trouble-free living certainly isn’t based on the Bible.

Thank you for sending us this example of heretical teaching. We advise you to steer clear of this teacher. Although it may have a veneer of Biblical sounding ideas, it is clearly imported from metaphysical and New Age teachings.

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