I get a lot of letters that come across my desk and some of them are letters from people who are just plain angry. Why are they angry? They don’t like what I’m saying about some of their favorite teachers. I recently got a letter from a man named William who wrote “I heard you once again distraught over the Benny Hinn’s, Kenneth Copeland’s, and now there Todd Bentley on the scene. I’ve heard your disapproval but scripturally I haven’t heard you disprove anyone or any of their practices.” Anyone who has listened to the Bible Answer Man or read my books knows this isn’t the case but William continues on, “the Scripture says no one can call Jesus Lord except by the Spirit of God. Does Benny Hinn, Ken Copeland and all the other’s you call counterfeit revivalists call Jesus Lord?”
Well I would answer William yes they do. The question is what do they mean? No one can say Jesus is Lord rightly, by biblical standards, except by the Holy Spirit. In fact that’s precisely why Jesus Christ can say “Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”(Matt 7:22-23 NIV). What’s important for William or anyone asking that question is to learn to read scripture in light of Scripture, so that they do not falsely interpret the Word of God.
Of course William goes on to say many other things. He asks, “What are these Counterfeit Revivalists motives regarding such things as healing the sick?” The question that I’ve addressed before on the Bible Answer Man, in my book Counterfeit Revival and in my pamphlet Aping the Practices of Pagan Spirituality is do they really heal the sick or do they merely pretend to heal the sick? The answer is healing is conspicuous by its absence in the ministries of men like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Todd Bentley and a host of others.
By the way, when someone like William asks about calling Jesus Christ Lord and by whose spirit do they call Jesus Lord; I would say the real question is who do they say Jesus is in the first place? The answer to that question is unfortunately they say Jesus Christ is satanic at the very point of His atonement on the cross. Now if that is true Jesus Christ could not have paid for our sins. Biblically Jesus is the unblemished lamb upon whom the sins of the world were placed. He is the sin bearer but He certainly is not a satanic being. To do what the faith teachers do, relegate Jesus to hell where He purchases our redemption in the cauldron of hell in a fight with Satan is simply unthinkable and certainly unbiblical. To then become the first born again man. Born from satanic to divine, this is contrary to scripture. It is contrary to the creeds of the historic Christian faith. It is contrary to reasoning. It is consistent with the kinds of things you hear in the Kingdom of the Cults.
When are we going to come to the place where we recognize that if we’re going to say that Mormons have a different Jesus because they say that Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer or the Jehovah Witnesses because they say Jesus was created as the archangel Michael or the New Ager’s because they say Jesus is an avatar or a messenger; when are we going to realize that if the Kingdom of the Cults have a different Jesus and Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley and a host of other pretenders have a different Jesus as well? If we don’t call it as it is, we ought to apologize to the kingdom of the Cults.
To say that Jesus didn’t claim to be God as Kenneth Copeland and Paul Crouch do is simply unthinkable. Yet that is precisely what they do over and over again. On the March 24th, 1989 broadcast of Praise the Lord on the Trinity Broadcasting Network there was the following conversation:
Ken Copeland: “We're still questioning what was said about that prophecy. That prophecy never mentioned the Son of God. Never said anything about the Son of God.”
Paul Crouch: “What did it say?”
Ken Copeland: “It said "I did not claim to be God." That's all it said.”
Paul Crouch: “In other words, in so many words, you're right. No where in the New Testament did He literally get up…”
Ken Copeland: “Preach and claim that He was God”.
Paul Crouch: “… and say "I am God" did He? Now I stand corrected.”
Here you have an inane conversation going on what is supposedly Christian television about whether Jesus Christ claimed to be God or not. You have Ken Copeland and Paul Crouch here saying that Jesus never claimed to be God but Jesus did claim to be the unique Son of God. As a result the Jewish leaders tried to kill Him because they said in calling God His own Father Jesus was making Himself equal with God. In fact in John 8 Jesus went so far as to use the very words but which God reveled Himself to Moses from the burning bush. To the Jews this was the epitome of blasphemy for they knew in doing so Jesus was clearly claiming to be God. On another occasion Jesus explicitly told the Jews”I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) and again they picked up stones to stone him but Jesus said to them “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” and the Jews replied, “We are not stoning you for any of these but for blasphemy because you a mere man claim to be God.” Of course there are many other examples that could be given through which Jesus demonstrated and claimed to be God. So to say that Jesus didn’t claim to be God is expressing an unfathomable ignorance about Jesus and about Scripture. We’re not just talking about anyone here, we’re talking about the man who, along with his wife, founded the largest Christian television broadcasting network in the history of the human race, and they can’t get it with respect to essential Christian doctrine.
Now when I speak out on this I get all these letters denouncing me for speaking out. Someone needs to sound the alarm. In fact this is proof positive that the body of Christ needs to become so familiar with the genuine article that when counterfeits loom on the horizon they will know it instantaneously. The sad thing about the letter I read and I only read portions of it, I didn’t read the parts where he gets quite strong in his denunciations and uses some pretty strong language, but this letter is indicative of the fact that people like William are simply unfamiliar with the Bible and therefore do not understand where their favorite teachers depart from orthodox Christianity. A lot of people want to be cavalier about this and say, “Live and let live!” These men are not blurring the line of demarcation between the kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of the Cults they are obliterating that line. Never forget that the essentials of the Christian faith are the very doctrines for which the martyrs spilled their blood. We may be cavalier about these things today but they were not. They were willing to defend them to the point of shedding their own blood. For more information on the deity of Christ please see Bible Answer Book Volume 1.