False Doctrine Being Preached
– by Johan Vermeulen
Peter warned the early church about false prophets and teachers past (amongst the Israelites), present (their day) and future (including our day).
In 2 Peter 2: 1-3 we read:
“1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
It is therefore not unreasonable to conclude that in the church, false teachers are constantly to be guarded against. Each generation should be alert and be able to discern who the false teachers of their generation are. We can never sit back and think that they are not a concern in our day. It is an ever present reality to be guarded against. In other words, there is always an onslaught against the truth. This should not surprise us as Christians. Our response should rather be to be good Bereans always searching the scriptures to ensure that whatever is taught in church, conforms to Biblical doctrine. In other words do not simply believe any preacher just because he is well known, or held in esteem but make sure that their preaching and teaching lines up with scripture.
What some Christians fail to see is that attacks on the truth come from within the Church. Yes it also comes from outside, but it has always and will always also come from within. We are talking about teachers who are among the people and who are regarded as Christian and in many cases are highly esteemed by the Church world.
The Bible also teaches that a time will come when the Kingdom of heaven on earth will become utterly corrupted. The first warnings are in the Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. In Matthew 13 Jesus gives three parables amongst others, the parable of the wheat and the tares; the parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leaven.
The parable of the wheat and tares illustrates that at the consummation of the age at the time of the harvest the wheat and the tares will be in co-existence as it is today. The sons of the kingdom and the sons of the enemy occupy society together. Historically, for the most part, it was not difficult to distinguish who forms part of either group. Without putting this forth as doctrine I cannot help but wonder as to the meaning of the picture of wheat and tares because it is a very noteworthy fact that tares were common in Palestine and closely resemble wheat; they are not closely distinguishable from wheat until the grain appears at harvestime. Is God providing a picture to us that illustrates that at the time of the consummation of the Kingdom it will be very difficult to distinguish between the wheat and the tares? I think most definitely yes! The parable of the mustard seed and the parable of the leaven confirms that the kingdom will eventually become corrupted.
Although the kingdom of heaven started small on earth it eventually becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches. Just a few versus prior in the same Chapter 13 of Matthew, Jesus explained the birds in the parable of the sower to be representative of the wicked one. Added to that the warning in Ecclesiastes 10: 20 that a bird of the air may carry your voice and tell a matter. There is no doubt that birds are used to refer to evil spirits throughout scripture.
Therefore we conclude that the birds that will nest in the branches of the kingdom refer to demonic forces finding a comfortable nesting place in the kingdom. The parable of the leaven proceeds to instruct that the kingdom will all become leavened. Leaven in the New Testament refers to doctrine and more specifically false doctrine.
The church will become overtaken with false doctrine that eventually leads to the entire church becoming corrupted, false doctrine everywhere, tares looking like wheat. With one mouth teachers will say Jesus is Lord and with the same mouth they will secretly bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them. Because of them the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of most probably because they are so covetous and through clever words they make merchandise out of the people. The parable of the leaven correlates to Peter as both speak of the secrecy with which corrupting doctrine and damnable heresies are introduced. The leaven is hidden in three measures with the result that eventually all is leavened.
This is a picture of the current state of the church. Let us look at some of the evidence.
Denying the Lord who bought them
Let it be stated in no uncertain terms that at the present time the church has already been infiltrated by damnable heresies to a large extent driven by covetousness and the open financial exploitation of the flock. Peddling lies is big business. The infiltration has not started, it is already far advanced.
In our day you will struggle to find a local church that has not been affected in one way or another by false doctrine. It is a world-wide phenomenon that the so called traditional churches are changing their doctrines related to issues such as the sin of homosexuality. What was previously accepted as sin is no longer regarded as sin.
Most Pentecostal/Charismatic churches follow Word of Faith Theology (WOF) that teaches that faith is a force and if your faith is strong enough you can live in divine health and prosper financially. Part of this teaching is that every believer is a little god. The WOF movement is also closely aligned with the New Apostolic Reformation led by Peter Wagner. They are adherents of Latter Rain theology. Both these movements exploit members through tithes and first fruits and the WOF movement has heretically brought in a different doctrine that denies the atonement and the finished work of the cross.
Most of the WOF theology originated with E.W. Kenyon and Kenneth E. Hagin. Kenyon in his book “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne” clearly brings in a new heretical teaching on the atonement. The finished work on the cross is denied. The blood of Jesus is regarded as a common thing. Many foreign ideas are introduced. One of the most shocking teachings is found on page 47 where the reader is informed that if Jesus death paid the price for sin then every man could die for himself.
Below is a list of some of the lies contained in the book and on the right hand column the page number is referenced where the lie is mentioned. Please note that the below list focusses on lies surrounding the atonement, and it does not contain a complete list of errors contained in the book.
|False doctrine/lie introduced by Kenyon||Quote and page number from “Cross to the Throne)|
|1.||Jesus died Spiritually the moment that God laid our Sin upon Him.||“He (Jesus) died Spiritually the moment that God laid our Sin upon Him.” p 43
“He is spiritually dead. The worm.” p 44
“The moment that sin was laid upon His spirit, died in the spirit first, then in body.” P 56
|2.||Jesus became united with Satan and took on His nature.||“He had been lifted up as a serpant. Serpant is Satan. Jesus knew He was going to be lifted up, united with the Adversary.” P 44-45
“He was to partake of Spiritual Death, the nature of the Adversary.” p 33
“He must partake of the dread nature of the Adversary. His body would become mortal. Satan would become His master.” p33
“His spirit absolutely became impregnated with the sin nature of the world.” P 63
|3.||Jesus body only became mortal once sin was laid upon Him.||The moment that “Him who knew no sin became sin” that precious body became mortal, and he could die physically. P 43|
|4.||Sin was not reckoned to Jesus He actually became sin.||“Christ did not have sin reckoned to Him. He was made to be sin.” P 63|
|5.||Satan became Jesus Master.||“Satan would become His master.” p33|
|6.||Jesus did not pay the price for sin on the cross He only fulfilled the Abrahamic covenant.||When Jesus died he “fulfilled the Abrahamic Covenant and the law of the Covenant.” p 42
When He cried, “It is finished,” it was the end of the Abrahamic Covenant.”
|7.||Jesus could not deal with Sin in his physical life and if His death paid the penalty for sin then every man could die for himself.||“Sin basically is a spiritual thing, so it must be dealt with in the spirit realm. If Jesus paid the penalty of Sin on the cross, then Sin is but a physical act. If His death paid it, then every man could die for himself. Sin is in the spirit realm. His physical death was but a means to an end. “ p 47
|8.||Sin is spiritual and therefore Jesus had to suffer spiritually in hell where the actual price for sin was paid.
|“You understand that there can be no substitution unless Christ actually paid the spiritual penalty of man’s transgression.” P 60|
|9.||Jesus was made alive twice, spiritually and physically.||“He was made alive twice.” P56
1 Pet 3:18 is given as proof that He was “made alive in the Spirit” and then “His body was raised from the dead.” p 56
|10.||Jesus is the first person ever to be born again.||“He was the first person ever Born Again.” P 57
“He is the first born out of spiritual death, the first person who was ever born again.” P 63
“This is a remarkable fact, that Jesus was born again before He was raised from the dead.” P 64
|11.||Jesus was begotten when he was born again.
|“After He had justified Him in spirit, “then he was begotten of God.” p 62|
|12.||Those who disagree with Kenyons views are labelled as those with “Sense Knowledge reasoning” with a limited understanding of Spiritual things.||“He was to partake of Spiritual Death, the nature of the Adversary. It has been said that God could not do a thing like that. That is Sense Knowledge reasoning. It is hard to understand how He could become Sin, but I know He did. Sense Knowledge is limited, it cannot understand the Spiritual things of God” p 33
“Their minds were darkened as far as spiritual things were concerned. They could not understand.” p 33
|13.||Man is in the same class with God.||“We should notice this fact, that man is in the same class with God. He is an eternal being. He is a spirit being. He was so created that he could become a partaker of God’s nature. ” p 62|
|Then on pg 57 we see the shocking statement When we are then informed “What a wonder thing it is to become a partaker of the divine Nature! To become the very Sons and Daughters of God!” Taking everything into consideration we have to conclude by asking what exactly is meant by partaking in the divine Nature and becoming sons and daughters of God. The Biblical context is changed because we are now exactly the same as Jesus as born again.|
I am not sure of the year in which Kenyon’s book was published but it was before he died in 1948. Kenneth Hagin subsequently wrote a book entitled “The Name of Jesus” and in the preface he says that his book was based on Kenyons teachings contained in “What Happened from the Cross to the Throne”. Hagin tells us in paragraph two of the Preface tat “I was amazed at how little material there is in print on this subject (the name of Jesus). The only good book devoted entirely to it that I have found is E. W. Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus. I encourage you to get a copy. It is a marvellous book. It is revelation knowledge. It is the Word of God.”
Alarm bells should be ringing. We have seen above how many lies and falsehoods were introduced by Kenyon but Hagin says that “It is the Word of God” and that it is “revelation knowledge”. Let us consider what Hagin preaches in his book that was published sometime after 1978 as he tells us that his 1978 seminar became the book.
|False doctrine/lie taught by Hagin (as borrowed from Kenyon)||
Quote from “The Name of Jesus”
(No page numbers provided in pdf book)
|1.||Jesus was begotten when He was raised from the dead.||“When was it that Jesus was begotten? When He was raised up! On that Resurrection morn! Why did he need to be begotten, or born? Because He became like we were, separated from God. Because he tasted spiritual death for every man. His spirit, His inner man, went to hell in our place.”|
|2.||Physical death would not remove our sins.||“Physical death would not remove our sins. He tasted death for every man-spiritual death. Jesus is the first person ever to be born again”|
|3.||Jesus took on Satan’s nature.||“Spiritual death means something more than separation from god. Spiritual death also means having Satan’s nature.”|
|4.||The price for sin was paid in hell and not on the Cross.||“He went down into hell in our place.”
“You will not be able to understand the authority in the Name of Jesus until you understand this fact. Down in the prison house of suffering – down in hell itself–Jesus satisfied the claims of Justice on the behalf of each one of us, because He died as our substitute.”
|5.||The authority that the believer has comes from Jesus having gone to hell in the believers place.||“It was not so much that he was afraid of (a demon Hagin claims to have seen in a vision)–Kenneth Hagin–per se, but he remembered how Jesus died and went to hell in my place……..”|
|6.||All you have to do is speak and sickness and disease will obey you.||“All you have to do is speak and sickness and disease will obey you.”|
|7.||Hagin claims to have been born again somewhere between hell and earth.||“As I was coming up (from hell) I started praying. I said, “Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. I repent of my sins. I ask You to forgive me.”|
The influence that the teachings of the late Kenneth E. Hagin has had and continues to have on the church should not be underestimated. WOF adherents find it unpalatable to even consider that the group that they have aligned themselves with or their favourite TV personality or latest best seller Christian author, is a purveyor of false doctrine.
What we have to understand is that so much of what is regarded as mainstream Christian theology and practice is in fact as a result of false prophets being allowed to seduce the flock for such a long time that the falsehood has become part of Christian popular culture.
If false prophets remain unchecked then it stands to reason that their influence will grow and remain undetected for as long as they are allowed to operate without their heresies being questioned and resisted.