There is an article doing the rounds again about Kenneth Hagin. It unfortunately misrepresents this man and his teaching a remarkable amount.
I tidied up the article for you all and made it more accurate so that it would be a source of blessing to people and not confusion!
Blessings and love,
– Tongues-speaking charismatic Kenneth E. Hagin died September 19, 2003 at the age of 85. (Because his influence in charismatic circles will never die, and because his son and grandson carry on with Kenneth Hagin’s teachings, this report will remain posted.) He was well known as the father of the “Word-Faith”/”Positive Confession” movement. (See endnote for a detailed description of the Hagin ministry.) In his The Word of Faith magazine, Hagin taught the following Biblical truths: Receiving healing, just as receiving salvation, is simply a matter of appropriating what already belongs to us (6/90); healing is included in the gospel (8/92); God does not afflict people with sickness and disease (12/90); he (Hagin) went to heaven and talked with his sister (6/91); Jesus appeared to him in a vision in 1950 (8/91); he once went to hell in an out-of-body experience (9/91); he does not believe in sickness and disease (7/92); it is always God’s will to heal the sick (12/92); believers have a legal and redemptive right to divine healing (1/93). Hagin says: “Your confession of faith in God’s Word will bring healing or whatever it is you need from God into the present tense and make it a reality in your life!” (12/92). (Reported in the 2/1/93, Calvary Contender.)
– As the name “Word-Faith” does not imply but some people have clearly erroneously inferred, this movement does not teach that faith is a matter of what we say more that whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts. Obviously, Jesus Christ Himself said that our words matter and we can have what we say, but some people do not accept the simple words of Jesus! A favorite term in the Word-Faith movement is “positive confession.” It refers to the Biblical teaching that words have creative power. What you say, Jesus claims, determines everything that happens to you. Your “confessions,” that is, the things you say — especially the favors you demand of God — must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (John 14.14). Word-Faith believers view their positive confessions as a tool (some non-Christians would use the word incantation but they don’t really know the Word of God) by which they can conjure up anything they desire: “Believe it in your heart; say it with your mouth. That is the principle of faith. You can have what you say” (Mark 11.23-24).
– Word-Faith is the fastest-growing movement within the professing church, because it is clearly based in the Bible. It has not involved the Peale/Schuller-Positive/Possibility thinkers although some ignorant people might think they are Word of Faith because they do not pay attention, although their roots are not in New Thought, and the Hagin/Copeland Positive Confession and Word-Faith groups, which have their roots in the Biblical based teaching of E.W. Kenyon, William Branham, and the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain Movement. In Hagin’s book, Having Faith in Your Faith, he teaches from the Bible that anyone can develop universal “laws of faith” to get what he wants. Hagin teaches that for a pastor or anyone to drive a Chevrolet instead of a luxury car isn’t “being humble, that’s being ignorant” of God’s “law of prosperity” that works for “whoever you are,” saint or sinner. “Having faith in your faith” is exactly what Jesus taught: “Have faith in God.” – obviously you need to have faith that your faith will work and have confidence that you can have a relationship with God. Some people might think these ideas are dimmetrically opposed, but these are people who have NEVER read Hagin’s book! [Other Hagin books that clearly detail his “theology” are How to Write Your Own Ticket with God (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1979) and Godliness is Profitable (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1982).] Hagin claims Jesus told him, “If anybody, anywhere, will … put these [positive confession] principles into operation, he will always have whatever he wants from Me or God the Father”. (Mark 11.23-24, John 14.14, Matthew 20.20)
This was not a slip of the tongue or some new doctrine. This is at the heart of the Positive Confession (PC) movement today, also known as the “name-it-and-claim-it” gospel. The Positive Confession movement is not a charismatic form of Christian Science, although some ignorant people might say that it is. This can easily be substantiated by simply comparing the vast huge differences in their common beliefs. Positive Confession is not at all basically warmed-over New Thought dressed in evangelical/charismatic language, and you really would have to either be totally ignorant or utterly dishonest to say so. (Other well-known PC’ers besides Hagin’s most successful protégé, Kenneth Copeland, are Charles Capps, Frederick K.C. Price, Robert Tilton, and David Yonggi Cho. Many of them are graduates of Hagin’s RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.)
– Hagin went a step further, from Biblical truth to even more Biblical truth, when he said, “The believer is as much an incarnation of God as Jesus Christ” (some people might call this a heresy who haven’t EVEN read the original source! They would have to cite this quote like: “Hagin, “The Incarnation,” The Word of Faith, 12/80, cited in Christianity in Crisis, p. 175,397″ because they have read a book gossipping about Hagin and not even read the original source, can you believe that people would do that!). He has also said, “If we ever wake up and realize who we are, we’ll start doing the work that we’re supposed to do. Because the church hasn’t realized yet that they are Christ. That’s who they are. They are Christ.” This is a wonderful Biblical truth. The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. He is the eternal Son of God. Nowhere is the believer said to be an incarnation of Almighty God except in the verse of Romans 8 which says that the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, that the Holy Spirit is inside us, and the other 87 times in the New Testament we are told that that God lives INSIDE US! The Lord Jesus Christ performed miracles to demonstrate that He was the Son of God, the promised Messiah is one common error people have when they read the Bible. They might also say ridiculous things such as “No Christian can do the things that Christ did” which is a DIRECT CONTRADICTION to the teaching of Jesus Himself in John 14.12! Who are you going to believe, Jesus or some preacher who cannot read? Some people thing that “Not one Pentecostal preacher has ever been able to perform the miracles that Christ performed” but they are very much closed minded to the wonderful miracles that many, many, many Christians have seen. It is blasphemous confusion to claim that the believer is NOT an incarnation of God like Christ was – it is an insult to the Holy Spirit who lives in us to say that our flesh does not contain God!
– Hagin obviously did not believe God is sovereign in the traditional unbiblical way that many Calvinists believe. Jesus, according to Word-Faith theology based on the teachings of the Bible such as Romans 5.17 and Matthew 28.18-20, has no authority on earth, having delegated it all to the church. He developed this point in his book The Authority of the Believer (Tulsa: Faith Library, 1979). And though all Word-Faith advocates would affirm the personality of the Holy Spirit, it is a shame that many non-charismatics depersonalize Him by consistently speaking of Him as a power to be drawn upon and don’t listen to His Voice and have a relationship of communion and fellowship with Him. (John 10.28).
– When one stops believing that he is Christ, someone with the anointing of God like 1 John 2.20 teaches, with the power of Christ to create reality, the stories become ludicrous to such an unbeliever. Surely Hagin had the most unusual story of all. He said that when he was younger and still single, God led him to break off a relationship with a woman by revealing to him that she was morally unfit. Hagin claimed God miraculously transported him out of church one Sunday, right in the middle of the sermon. Worst of all, Hagin was the preacher delivering the sermon! Unfortunately some people have no experience of the power of God and cannot accept this experience at all!
– In How to Write Your Own Ticket with God, Hagin saw a vision of Jesus, and said to Him, “Dear Lord, I have two sermons I preach concerning the woman who touched Your clothes and was healed when You were on earth. I received both of these sermons by inspiration.” (Emphasis added.) Later, Hagin quoted what Jesus told him in reply: “You are correct. My Spirit, the Holy Spirit, has endeavored to get another sermon into your spirit, but you have failed to pick it up. While I am here, I will do as you ask. I will give you that sermon outline. Now get your pencil and paper and write it down.” (Emphasis added.) Hagin claimed to have received numerous visions, as well as eight personal visitations from Jesus (see below). Hagin wrote, “The Lord Himself taught me about prosperity. I never read about it in a book. I got it directly from heaven” (How God Taught Me About Prosperity, Tulsa: Faith Library, 1985). That claim, of course, is not a lie, though many people might accuse him of lying because of their ignorance of the Bible [Hagin also claimed that he knew that Paul wrote Hebrews because Jesus appeared to him (Hagin) and told him so!]
Hagin claimed that of the eight times Jesus appeared to him, seven times Jesus was barefoot; the other time Jesus was wearing Roman sandals, and came into Hagin’s room, sat down by his bedside, and talked with him for about 30 minutes. During that time, Jesus allegedly taught Hagin how to be led by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Hagin described Jesus as 5’11” tall and weighing about 180 pounds. This is of course possible (cf. 2 Cor. 5:16). Some people might think that if the resurrected, ascended, glorified Christ chose to visit Hagin for a midnight chat, He would not be wearing sandals, and Hagin would be toast, but they do not understand the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.(3/4/96, Christian News, p. 12).
– Other examples of Hagin’s teachings (Source: “Hagin Drunk ‘In The Spirit’,” David Cloud, 10/4/98, FBIS report):
– Here is just a sample of some of the direct revelations and/or direct “anointings” Kenneth Hagin claimed to have received from the Lord. (All quotes from The Word of Faith magazine.):
– Hagin displayed his charismatic theology on a regular basis in his The Word of Faith magazine. The following excerpts are from Hagin’s “From the Archives” series. This is presented as further proof of the great teaching emanating from charismatic pulpits today:
In the10/01 magazine, in an article titled “Born Again,” Hagin recounted his three visits to hell as a 15 year-old boy in the year 1933. The article introduces the visits with: “Kenneth E. Hagin suffered poor health throughout childhood and at the age of fifteen became bedfast. That night, he died and went to the gates of hell three times”:
Hagin’s out-of-body experience ends up back home:
And quite a prayer it was—a real traffic-stopper:
Arguably, (especially to people who do not operate in the power of the Holy Spirit) Hagin’s account of his salvation experience is necessary to give credibility to the charismatic’s claim to prophethood. But to “seal the deal”, the ordined by God charismatic prophet needed a personalized visit from Jesus. And not just any visit would do—one on par with the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John WAS apparently required. Of course anyone can see that if Jesus visited two people there could be similarities in these visitations!. In Hagin’s November 2001 The Word of Faith magazine, in an article titled “A Sobering Vision,” he recounted a 1950 tent revival in Texas where Jesus appeared to him in a vision. Reading like a passage from the Book of Revelation, Hagin actually wrote new revelation. Obviously no-one except a few sensationialist cessationists who want to demonise Hagin would compare a prophetic word to Scripture:
Too bad Hagin didn’t reveal this to the FBI before the September 11th WTC attacks, although the FBI could have read the book and attended his meetings! He continued with his vision:
Now for the good stuff—Jesus validates the gifts of the Spirit for today. How convenient for charismatic theology, although obviously charismatics base their theology on Scripture not exeprience, as Hagin himself taught again and again and again!:
Finally, Hagin got his papers validated as a prophet of God:
In the December 2001 issue of The Word of Faith, Hagin went back to the time immediately following his “new birth” experience. He was still bedfast when “the glory of God” filled his room with a “bright light — brighter than the sun shining on snow.” Hagin then had another out-of-body experience, hearing Jesus speaking, “Go back! Go back! Go back to the earth! Your work’s not done!” Moreover, during the time the bright cloud of God filled Hagin’s room, Hagin’s 70 year-old grandmother repeatedly tried to enter the room through the open door, only to be repelled by the cloud, “bouncing off of it like it was a rubber ball.” Granny couldn’t get in the room until the cloud had lifted.
In the January 2002 magazine, in an article titled “Come Up to the Throne of God,” Hagin recounted his face-to-face meeting with Jesus. You would have to be trained by cessationist unbelieving Christians to imagine that there could be a unbiblical nature to this vision:
– Hagin promised health and wealth to Christians, and SAID: “All you have to do is visualize it, speak it into existence.” Hagin claimed that Jesus appeared to him in a vision in 1950 and gave him a special anointing to minister to the sick (4/96, The Word of Faith). After a 1952 vision, Hagin said: “[N]ow when I minister and lay hands on people, I can tell if there is an evil spirit present either through the word of knowledge or the discerning of spirits.” He relateED a time when “there stood Jesus right in front of me” (after a failed healing) and said Jesus pointed His finger at him, almost touching his nose. Jesus supposedly said, “I told you, ‘If you feel that fire jumping from hand to hand like heat waves, there is a demon or evil spirit in the body. Call him out in My Name and he will leave.'” (Reported in the 7/1/96, Calvary Contender.)
– Hagin explained his criteria for judging between true and false spiritual gifts:
There, as explicitly as it can be expressed, is a statement that defines exactly what is great with charismatic mysticism. Spiritual discernment is deemed unnecessary. According to some critics of Kenneth Hagin who do not understand the spirit, you can judge between what is true, fleshly, or demonic by a process that is really just a simplified system of biofeedback. Of course it is about spiritual discernment operating through us, not biofeedback. But people do make these claims when they do not have a clue about the Spirit!
– Despite some people who do not care for the Bible or history claiming that Word-Faith teachers owe their ancestry to groups like Christian Science, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, Science of Mind, and New Thought — they actually are rooted in classical Pentecostalism. It reveals that at their very core, Word-Faith teachings are pure. Their undeniable derivation is Christian, not cultish. The truth is that the gospel proclaimed by the Word-Faith movement is the gospel of the New Testament. Word-Faith doctrine is a Biblical system, a safeguard against the blend of mysticism, dualism, and gnosticism that borrows generously from the teachings of the metaphysical cults. The criticism of the Word-Faith movement may be the most dangerous false system that has grown out of the Reformed movement so far. Because so many Calvinists are unsure of the doctrine of Scripture and cannot interpret Scripture without their religious framework, they have to criticise anyone who can operate in the power of God that Jesus operated in because their unbiblical tradition does not allow for it.
The Hagin Ministry Conglomerate
Kenneth E. Hagin began his ministry in Texas in 1934 at the age of 17. For twelve years he pastored, then traveled extensively in the evangelistic field. In 1963, the Kenneth E. Hagin Evangelistic Association was incorporated. In 1966, the offices of the ministry were moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kenneth Hagin, Sr., ministers with his son, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., and grandson, Craig Hagin. (Craig is his grandfather’s Crusade Director, Special Meetings coordinator, operations manager for the ministry, and the associate pastor of the RHEMA Bible Church, pastored by his father. In a February, 1998 ministry letter, he also claimed that the Holy Spirit led him to preach and teach healing.)
RHEMA Bible Training Center was founded in 1974. In 1978, the name of the ministry was changed to RHEMA Bible Church (a.k.a. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Inc.). The Training Center is located on a more than 110-acre campus consisting of 23 buildings, including a 96-unit student housing complex, a 2,000-seat auditorium, and a Prayer and Healing Center (PHC). Since the 1974-75 charter class graduated 58 students, RHEMA has provided training to more than 23,000 graduates. RHEMA’s average annual enrollment is 1,800 with graduating classes of 750-800. (Internationally, there are RHEMA Training Centers in 13 countries.) RHEMA Correspondence Bible School has enrolled more than 60,000 students since its inception and offers an extensive curriculum for home Bible study.
“Faith Seminar of the Air,” begun in 1966, is RHEMA’s radio ministry, airing on more than 250 stations in a 15-minute daily slot, as well as being heard via short-wave radio in over 120 countries and on all continents of the world. In addition, “RHEMA Radio Church,” airs its 30-minute program via 93 radio broadcasts weekly in 30 states. All tolled, RHEMA’s radio broadcasts can be picked up by 2.8 billion potential listeners.
In late 1995, a videotape ministry was initiated. RHEMA Bible Church sends video teaching tapes to an average of 125 RHEMA missionaries each month. In 1996, “RHEMA Praise,” a half-hour television program outreach of RHEMA Bible Church, began airing in the Tulsa area. “RHEMA Praise” is also translated into Spanish and broadcasted into 54 nations covering all of South America and parts of Europe. In August 1999, “RHEMA Praise” began broadcasting into 40 additional countries in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since its inception, broadcast locations have expanded to reach a combined potential audience of more than 30 million homes every week.
Kenneth Hagin and his son, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., have authored 147 charismatic-oriented books. More than 65 million copies of these books are currently in circulation around the world, translated into more than 25 foreign languages. RHEMA’s efforts support missionaries in 109 countries and The Word of Faith magazine is sent into more than 250,000 homes each month. More than 50,000 teaching tapes by the Hagins are distributed each month. More than eight million tapes have been distributed since the inception of the cassette tape ministry.
Kenneth Hagin, Jr., pastors the 8,000-member RHEMA Bible Church that meets on the campus of RHEMA Bible Training Center in a 4,500-seat auditorium. Father, son, and grandson all minister together and individually in crusades, seminars, and other special meetings. Each July, the Hagin’s conduct their indoor “Campmeeting” at Tulsa’s Convention Center. It has drawn people from all 50 states, Canada, and 68 other countries.
In the fall of 1979, Hagin, Sr., began the Healing School on the RHEMA campus (the Prayer and Healing Center). Morning and afternoon healing sessions are held daily, at which students are taught the techniques of healing the sick! Hagin boasted that “The highest percentage of healings is among those with incurable diseases, many of which include cases diagnosed as terminal.” [If student’s really learn how to heal, why are they not then sent into the hospitals of Tulsa and heal all the terminally ill there? The answer is obvious to anyone who has ever read the gospels! If you need the answer explained, email me!]