“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” — Matthew 7:15 (ESV)
In my post Thus Saith the Lord (click here to read), I mentioned that I anticipated on writing a post discussing false prophets who are infecting the Church. My anticipation has come to a fulfillment. This has been a topic that has been burning in my heart for three reasons: 1) I came from the Word of Faith teachings in my childhood and beginning of my conversion, 2) there are many false prophets and heretics who pose as sound preachers, and 3) millions of people are being led astray by heresy and false teaching within the Word of Faith movement.
Jesus warned us in Matthew 24:24 (ESV) saying, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” I do indeed believe that there are people who are saved in the Word of Faith/Charismatic movement. Salvation is by grace alone and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the true Lord over one’s life. However, it doesn’t mean that saved individuals shouldn’t be rooted in God’s word and be discerning. We need to stand firm on the theology of the Bible to defend ourselves against Satan. I love how Kristen Getty puts it in the hymn O Church, Arise singing, “With shield of faith and belt of truth, we’ll stand against the devil’s lies.” True faith in the Lord and His Word will keep us safe from the ravenous wolves who deceive.
I am not hesitant to state the names of these false teachers, and I am not afraid to call them out for what they are. The Word of God says that we shall know who is true by their fruit, and we shall know the verity of their message by the Scriptures. I am deeply concerned that more people don’t call out the heresy of many of these false teachers because the false teachers in the Word of Faith movement are not interested in helping you seek Christ, to grow in the study of the Word, or to know the true work of the Holy Spirit, but to gain increase in their wallets. I boldly declare that many of these teachers are not even saved. I don’t say this because I enjoy accusations, but because the Bible calls us to exercise godly judgement upon false believers, and especially the wolves plaguing the Church.
It should be no surprise then that I have prepared a list of some of these false teachers. Just as Paul was unafraid in calling out the heretics, and just as he told us to curse anyone who preaches a false gospel, so shall I rebuke the teachers indwelled by the spirit of the antichrist. Church, now is the time for the greatest exorcism in our history. We must rid the Church of these antichrists who use religion for their own prosperity. Some of these people I have at one point been a strong admirer, but now I must rid them from my mind. Thought they might have some good things, it doesn’t mean anything. Even a bar sells water, but bars are known for their liquor. Though these preachers might’ve been able to muster a correct thing every now and then, make no mistake that it is not what they are known for.
1) Kenneth Copeland
Boasting about his billionaire status (even though he’s a “pastor”), claiming Jesus suffered in Hell (click here if you don’t believe it), and he claimed that Jesus’ suffering didn’t appease God the Father. He is also the person who preached what is quite possibly the most heretical sermon ever preached entitled “What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost”. In this sermon he said this: “It wasn’t a physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin…” Now so far, I agree because it was the wrath of the Father being poured out on the son that appeased sin, but he went on to say, “…anybody could’ve done that.” Then Copeland proceeded to say Jesus went to hell, and that’s what saved us. That is not the gospel. Nobody could’ve done what Jesus did, and He certainly didn’t go to Hell. If you ask me, Kenneth Copeland is the worst heretic of the bunch.
2) Jospeh Prince
Now before I speak on this man, I want everyone to know that I was once an avid listener. What makes him so dangerous is that he is correct on a lot of things. One moment, he will be giving a strong, biblical, and sound exegesis on a text. The next second, he is preaching prosperity gospel, antinomianism, and Anti-Lordship Salvation (I refuse to call it Free-Grace). He is the perfect definition of “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. He preaches from a biblical passage, he uses the Greek and Hebrew, and he even tries to bring up church history, but he still preaches that sin is not a concern for God and that God wills for all to be rid of poverty and sickness. He is a wolf, and he is a liar.
3) Paula White
Everything I can say about this woman, I have already said in my previous posts (click here or here), but nevertheless I will recap: she preaches Word of Faith teachings, she believes Jesus is not the only begotten son of God (click here if you don’t believe me), and she is completely disobedient to the Scriptural views on women’s leadership and teaching the church found in 1 Corinthians 14, 1 Timothy 2, and Titus 2. She preaches a false gospel, a different Jesus, and she doesn’t submit to the Scriptures.
4) Joel Osteen
I don’t even need an explanation. This man reeks of a gospel centered around the ego of individuals and refuses to preach on sin and hell, something Jesus mentioned plenty of times. His view of Anti-Lordship Salvation, prosperity, and shallow, unbiblical teaching is what makes him a false prophet. His popularity, status, and influence are what make him a danger. Don’t buy into his schemes.
5) Beth Moore
Like Paula White, I have an issue that she has no problem with teaching in mixed gathering of men and women in the church congregation, but even if that wasn’t an issue she claims that God speaks to her. We’re not talking about the “still small voice” (which even then is still a literal voice), but she has one on one commutations with God. She has led many women astray with her false view of theology, false view of the spiritual gifts, and false view of the Word of God. She doesn’t believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority, which is a big trouble to be in.
6) Mike Bickle/Bill Johnson/Todd Bentley/Todd White
I had to group these men together because they are equally heretical and for the same reason. They all come from IHOP (International House of Prayer), Jesus Culture, and Bethel. They are all self-proclaimed apostles, performing false signs and wonders, and preaching a self-centered gospel. They also condone fallible prophecy, contemplative prayer, and grave soaking (the practice of laying on the grave of a church leader to receive their anointing). Believe me, as an ex-Charismatic, when I say this is the most heretical of the rising movements and we must stay away from it.
7) Benny Hinn
Like Jospeh Prince, Benny Hinn confuses me. Benny Hinn is strictly anti-Heaven tourism and called out Joel Osteen’s heresy. He also has had an interview with Dr. Michael Brown in which they discussed doctrine and he wasn’t too bad. He also is the most gracious in interviews and press engagements. However, he still fakes miracles, lives a lifestyle that is too luxurious for a minister, and preaches that tithing to his ministry will bring healing and prosperity. I honestly pray Benny Hinn will recant his heresy because he is so close, and he would make a great servant for the true gospel.
8) Rod Parsley
Out of all the prosperity teachers, Rod Parsley is the one who has influenced me the most. He is the most entertaining of the bunch, he is the one I listened to the most as a kid, and he is the one who is the most hypocritical of all of them. Even though he suffered through cancer, he still believes that healing is for anyone who tithes to his ministry. He is not your typical Word of Faith preacher because he is not about the name-it-claim-it deal, but in the “give me money, and you’ll be blessed” deal. Like all of these other preachers, I hope that he comes to the true faith.
(and due to limitations this will be the last one…)
9) Steven Furtick
Of all the people on this list, this one is definitely the youngest. Now, on the surface you would assume that the pastor of Elevation Church is pretty sound doctrinally. However, not only is he really into the Word of Faith movement, but he has been open about the fact that he doesn’t like preaching too much from the Bible because it divides. He has also shown bad fruit in his ministry (he’s pretty much the Baptist version of Mark Driscoll), he’s acted childishly on the pulpit (click here to watch him squirt a water gun in the audience), and he’s stated that anyone who is baptized can be rest assured that they are saved. His inclusive “gospel” on his “pulpit” goes against the exclusivity that Jesus preached. To me, Furtick is nothing more than a whiney wanna-be who is unqualified for ministry and needs to be concerned with his own salvation.
I could go on and on about so many false prophets that have invaded the Church. Some of these are popular, and some of them are going down in popularity with the rise of biblical discernment and people being interested in theology. Nevertheless, this list is not final, so this means that there are plenty of false teachers out there. I don’t doubt that I will possibly tackle some other false prophets in the future, as I have in the past as well.
I call these people out, but not because I have fun doing it. I do it because I love the Church and I love Christ. There is no greater joy than to know Christ will return for His bride. I am simply passionate that when he returns for His bride that he will see a beautiful virgin dressed in white, and not an abused whore dressed in sackcloth. May the Church be concerned with how we are viewed in His eyes.
Soli Deo Gloria.