I hold absolutely no doubts about William Branham – Branham was not saved. An open minded reading of the facts will convince even the most skeptical of readers, or the most ardent of Branham-ites.
William Branham was born, according to his birth certificate, in 1908. However, a much later meeting with a fortune teller would reveal his “true birth date” of 1909. This kind of reminds me of the line in Benny Hinn’s book where he says he was talking to a witch and she told him witches can kill birds with a spoken word – which I suppose must be a very handy trick, I guess. Actually, it seems needlessly evil and cruel. The point is, why is Benny Hinn chatting with witches about spiritual things? Like here. Why did Branham accept the word of a fortune teller, and then turn around later and claim an angelic being named “Emma” told him that sometimes spiritual truths are revealed to Satan’s worshippers?
Huh? Really? Are you KIDDING me?
Branham should have rejected it. Even if later he was saved, he should have rejected it as fanciful, evil and of poor repute. In law, layers refer to anything tainted as “fruit of the poisonous tree”. Literally, this means that if Satan comes to you telling you the truth, pay no attention, and don’t listen. I think Branham’s testimony would have been enhanced all the more if he explained, “I was born in a poor family. I have absolutely no idea what year I was born.” That’s got the ring of truth, and will mean something to someone else. But instead, he has to invent angelic visitations to describe why he’s accepting the word of an unsaved servant of Satan.
Branham claims that when he was born, a halo appeared above his own head. Wow. I can’t remember my birth. I think the only sign over my head probably read “delivery room”. Branham also claims heavenly light came from himself and his mother. A suspiciously Catholic sounding claim of sainthood is in the making. Well! Guess what religion Branham was born as? You guessed it – a Roman Catholic!
At the age of nine or ten (depending on if you accept a fortune teller’s words or not – I recommend not) – Branham has an angelic visitation, advising him to refrain from alcohol and tobacco, as the Lord pans on greatly using him. This reeks of a mother’s good advice being changed into a heavenly vision, a mixture of the visitation of the Lord unto Manoah concerning the birth of Samson, the conversion of Paul, and the Biblical Account speaking of the birth of John the Baptist! It’s clear that Branham considered himself on equal footing with John the Baptist or even the Apostle Paul!
The point is, Branham has not yet had a conversion experience yet. This is not how the Lord works in this day and age. Since the sealing of the Biblical canon, the Lord in this day and age waits for a person to be born again… then places a call on their lives, often revealed to them through the words of their Pastor.
Braham goes on to claim to have been an amateur boxer during his late teen years and twenties. I believe this account, as Branham shows signs of cauliflower ear and a nose that may have been broken at least twice, as is typical of the boxing styles of the ’20’s. Modern boxing has replaced the nose as primary target with the side of the jaw.
Branham claims to be born again in 1931. As we have seen over and again, Branham is ordained the same year, in violation of the Biblical prohibition against ordaining novices. Branham, like most of the Pentecostal forerunners, has no Bible College / Seminary training. The same year (again, something we’ve seen over and over again in Pentacostalism) there is quickly a split between Branham and his pastor. Worse, Branham sets up a competing revival nearby. Needing a permanent building for a church, they share space with a Masonic lodge, something most Christians would give serious thought to avoiding. Me? not a moment’s hesitation. NO.
The same year Katherine Kuhlman opens her first church in a Montgomery Ward warehouse, we see Branham complete his first church. Branham preaches until 1945, when he publishes a tract I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, where Branham invents (I mean, recounts…) the story of the Angel “Emma” telling him to abstain from alcohol and tobacco. Branham apparently is naive enough to think Christians will accept the vision and not immediately reject it as fanciful. Apparently, he was not as naive as the myriad number that blindly accepted it!
The next year, Branham is amazingly enough visited again by Emma, who tells him that sometimes Satanists can recognize a divine call. Branham is charged by the Angel in the vision to begin having healing meetings. Good thing, because apparently Branham had already been doing them for years, and it would be terrible if he was in rebellion for healing miraculously without divine authority! (reread this sentence a few times, and see if you can spot ANYTHING wrong with this kind of logic???)
In 1948, Branham retires from healing tours, according to his manager James Gordon Lindsey, who apparently had just resigned from pastoring his own church the year before to become Branham’s manager. Read that sentence a few times and see if you can spot anything wrong with it? For starters, what does an evangelist need a manager for?
However, Branham continues to travel from city to city, hosting healing meetings! Apparently, he’s not retired from touring after all. in 1950, Branham’s organization claims he raises the dead in Finland. Attempts to find eyewitnesses, or better yet, the supposed raisee’ – turn out to be fruitless.
However, in 1955, the beginning of the end occurs for Branham, when he announces under the supposed anointing of the very Holy Spirit he’s about to deny, Branham issues his famous cry, “Trinitarianism is of the devil!” And people at the meeting shout enthusiastically, “Amen!” – not realizing they’re showing the evidence of being unSaved. If those same people in attendance haven’t repented by now, i’m sure many of them have figured it out by now. No pearly gates… but lots of flames. Hmmm…
Ten years later, Branham is killed in an auto accident on Dec. 5, 1965. His wife delays burying him until April 11, waiting for Branham to ressurect. The very fact that many of his followers believed the same shows that they didn’t see Branham as an evangelist, but rather a Messiah. Branham is identified to everyone with eyes to see now as an antichrist, a false messiah. To this day, some of Branham’s few remaining devotees still gather for sunrise vigils at Branham’s grave, waiting for him to climb out of his tomb.
A. A. Allen is the next big flash. He will compete against Oral Roberts in what seemed like a constant rivalry. Roberts wins eventually, by the way. You don’t need to scroll down for the answer. Because of the apparent rivalry, I give both bios at the same time.
Born in Sulphur Springs Arkansas in 1911, A. A. Allen is apparently born halo-less and without any radiant light. And apparently spent his childhood without visits from Angels. In 1934, Allen becomes a Christian at Onward Methodist Church in Miller, Missouri. Allen is not ordained until 1936 by the Assemblies of God, who appear to be learning some patience in waiting at least two years to ordain their novices. He begins pastoring right away. However, wasting no time, Allen… waits 16 years to begin pastoring a larger church. Well! Good job.
Oral Roberts was born in 1918. he contracts tuberculosis in 1935 and apparently almost dies. In 1936, having recovered, he enrolls in Oklahoma Baptist University. He later changes to Phillips University. He abandons the University without a degree in 1940. He decides to be a traveling faith healer, without completing a seminary degree (you saw that coming, right?)
in 1947, Roberts, tired of poverty, decides its okay to be rich. He is immediately visited by God Almighty, who agrees with Roberts. he commissions Roberts to conduct faith healings. And a good thing, too – Roberts had been doing them already for 7 years! Kind of William Branham-ish, if you think about it. Roberts begins radio broadcasting this same year.
in 1949, Allen attends an Oral Roberts meeting, and returns to his church, announcing his desire to hold healing meetings and have a radio show. His church doesn’t think it’s a good idea, and Allen resigns. He becomes a faith healing evangelist, buying a tent and traveling. 1955, Allen buys a large tent for $8500.00 (a lot of money back now). This same year, Allen is arrested for drunk driving, and skips bail, never to return to that town.
In 1958, Allen decides to raise the stakes against Oral Robert,s purchasing a bigger tent than the one Roberts owns, capable of holding 22,000 people. Allen gets his money worth, when a new convert to Christianity gives him over a thousand acres of land in Arizona. Allen dubs it “Miracle Valley” and renames his entire ministry after it.
Not to be outdone (or more likely, completely unaware of anything Allen is doing), Roberts creates the Abundant Life Prayer Group. In 1962, Oral Roberts hires a new limo driver and airplane pilot, former top 40 hit singer Kenneth Copeland. Oral Roberts creates Oral Roberts University in 1963. His new limo driver begins mulling over entering ORU as a career alternative.
Not content with his success, Allen manages to get the Chutzpah award of 1963, by suing the IRS successfully to get his taxes returned. Allen divorces his wife in 1967. Three years later, disaster strikes Miracle Valley Ministries, when A. A. Allen is found dead in a hotel room “strewn with pills and empty liquor bottles”. Allen’s ministry tries to wind its way without him unwisely. By 1979, it is bankrupt. Ministry leaders fence themselves within the compount. Nearby neighbors describe their doctrine as an “anti-white” doctrine. A riot occurs, and a 6 year old boy named Therial Davis is tragically killed.
In 1982, Miracle Valley is the scene of a shoot out with Sheriffs Deputies. One deputy and two staffers are killed. after arrests are made, the compound suffers again later that year when some of the buildings burn down. Finally, in 1985, the Assemblies of God denomination take over the valley. It is currently sold to new owners, who are trying to restart Miracle Valley Bible College.
For Oral Roberts, things are going well – sort of. His new limo driver enrolls in ORU in 1967, leaving Roberts looking for two new employees to replace Copeland. In 1977, Roberts is visited by a 900 foot tall Jesus. Somehow, I thought he was shorter than that from the Gospel accounts. Clearly, this is another Jesus. The 900 foot tall Jesus commands Roberts to build a new medical center. He assures Roberts the medical center will be a financial success. Well, when an enormous Jesus commands you to do something, in Roberts’ eyes, you do it! he begins work on it.
in 1980, Roberts is earning $88 million a year. The City Of Faith Medical and Research Center is opened with great fanfare. The 900 foot tall Jesus does not make an appearance. However, he reappears in 1983 and orders Roberts to find a cure for cancer, possibly in response to the passing of Ruth Stapleton Carter, relative of former president Jimmy Carter. Roberts still does not suspect that this apparition is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible.
Feeling the financial crunch of trying to run the medical center, and watching his finances drop to 55 million annually, Roberts tells people on a fundraiser that he will die if 8 million dollars is not raised within a year. a Year later, Roberts (still alive) renews the promise, this time claiming God will put a hit out on Roberts. Making sure it is well publicized this time, Roberts raises 9.1 million dollars, and Roberts is allowed to live.
Money begins to be the undoing of Roberts, as his University purchases vacation homes for Roberts. and a country club membership. The following year, patients of the City of Faith sue Roberts for $15 million dollars, claiming fraud and quackery. In 1989, the City of Faith closes, no cure for cancer found. Apparently the gigantic Jesus was wrong about the medical center being a success. Roberts is forced to sell his vacation homes and several of his Mercedes.
In 1996, Oral Roberts visits TBN, feeling chest pains. He asks them to pray for him. They do so, and Roberts claims his healing on TV. A few hours later, he is rushed to the emergency room and treated for a near fatal heart attack. Roberts’ son Richard resigns from directing ORU in 2007 over charges of misappropriating funds. Roberts hands over control of the university to Mark Rutland. A few weeks, Roberts passes away from heart failure.
Jack Coe was born in 1918, spending his youth in an orphanage after his father left him there as a very young boy. He left in 1935, at the age of 17. The details are shaky, but Coe joins the military during World War II and experiences an unnamed miracle resulting in his conversion to Christianity. The exact year is unknown. What is known is that he was ordained without any seminary training in 1944. Again, as is typical of the early Pentecostals, Coe was a novice, and should have not been ordained. Most Americans did not enter combat until 1944. Only a few thousand entered combat in 1943 in North Africa and Sicily, so at the very least, Coe had been born again for only a year, and most likely, had been born again only a few months. If Coe had been born again in D Day, and ordained in (we’ll assume New Years Eve to give him the benefit of the doubt), we’re talking born again for less than six months. Who ordained him and why? That information is not given.
Like A. A. Allen, Coe was a rival of Oral Roberts, getting into the “my tent is the biggest” war. He was loosely associated with William Branham, co-publishing in the magazine The Voice of Healing. Coe eventually got ambitious (!), and created his own magazine, The Herald Of Healing. He was excommunicated by the Assemblies of God for an extravagant lifestyle. In response, Coe published a picture of his house, and then pictures of four of the leading Assembly of God officials much larger homes.
In 1955, Coe told parents of a boy with polio to remove his braces, that the boy could be healed. The parents did, but the boy’s legs swelled up painfully. The parents filed charges with the police who arrested Coe for practicing medicine without a license. The charge was later dismissed. Just a few months later, Coe discovered he was having trouble breathing, and was diagnosed with Polio himself. He underwent an emergency tracheotomy to help him breathe. By December 17, Coe was dead. The irony of everything is that Coe’s tent was purchased by none other than A. A. Allen!
The third wave came out in the seventies, and rages to this day. The sensational attempting to seek ecstatic spiritual experiences as deluded millions of people into thinking they are Christian. In reality, films of these Ecstatic experiences tend to resemble demonic possession more than any experience of God.
Again, I do not understand the designation “Third wave” as people were speaking in tongues before, during and after the “Third wave”. Historically, I cannot see why they imagine these so-called waves of Charismatica. If this were a biblical event, one would imagine that the prophets would hint at three or more outbreaks of spiritual gifts. Yet the only such quotation would be the oft-repeated verse in Joel, referring to one event. I suppose such questions never occur to Charismatics?
Having talked about E. W. Kenyon, it’s time to talk about Kenneth Hagin. One of the two Kenneths, Hagin is the big time mover of the Word Faith movement. I find it interesting that Hagin’s supporters will always report that Hagin grew concerned about excesses in the Word Faith movement, and always report that that at the end of his life he denounced the excesses of it. Apparently it’s okay to earn millions, but not billions. By this, I most definitely mean that Hagin denounced too little, too late. Jim Bakker, who we’ll discuss, apparently had no problem with health and wealth – until he found himself with a lot of time on his hands when convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison. Bakker began reading the Bible all the way through, and found to his surprise that the Bible teaches the exact opposite of everything Kenneth Hagin taught. Did Bakker come out with a book denouncing greed among Pentecostalists? No, he came out with a book denouncing his own greed, and repenting of the Word Faith movement. I have not read the book, nor do I know to what extent Bakker’s doctrines have changed. I understand many Fundamentalists are still issuing warnings about his ministry, so be cautious. I hope in the future to be able to follow this up with an update detailing his doctrinal stands.
Around the time Aimee Semple McPherson Hutton began preaching and touring in her Gospel car, Kenneth Hagin is born in 1917. Hagin was born with heart trouble, and apparently was not expected to live to adulthood. By his teenage years, he was in bad shape. Hagin would later claim in 1933 he died three times in one day, each time waking in Hell. Hagin claimed to be born again from the experience, terrified by the fires of Hell. In 1934, Hagin claimed to have been raised from his deathbed by “the revelation of God.”
Hagin apparently is the first major Pentecostal figure to begin preaching after three years as a Christian. Hagin begins preaching in 1936. Hagin would pastor 5 churches over the next 12 years. Hagin also joined the Full Gospel Businessman’s Association in 1949 according to Wikipedia – however the article is poorly worded as the FGBA did not start until 1951.
Hagin began participating in Gordon Lindsey’s Voice of Healing revival along with Oral Roberts and T. L. Osborn. The Kenneth Hagin Evangelistic Association was started in 1963. It should be emphasized that at least of the similarly named associations, Billy Graham was the most evangelistic, Oral Roberts’ association was evangelistic – but oddly, evangelism did nto seem to be the main focus of Hagin’s ministry. Hagin went on to found Faith Life publishing, and Rhema Bible College. It is interesting to note that one of Hagin’s most vocal critics was indeed a graduate of Rhema Bible college!
What is not contestable is this – Hagin plagiarized great amounts of E. W. Kenyon, word for word. It is claimed Hagin had photographic memory. If this is the case, he would not have any excuse, as most people with photographic memory can actually see in their mind the printed page they are quoting from. US President Teddy Roosevelt described his ability to quote as “simply reading what I’m seeing.” There is an acknowledgement that you’re quoting. Hagin, if a photographic memory, would have seen in his mind the printed page of Kenyon’s books
It’s possible that Hagin had phonographic memory (which I have) – the ability to memorize by sound. However, this is musically cued – the phonographic memory is always alerted “there is something familiar about this sequence of musical notes”, and a connection is quickly made – “ah, I’m quoting E. W. Kenyon. The rythym of words, consonant and vowels is the same.” Lest anyone think I am joking, I can assure you I have without knowing it responded to a question with the exact words used in some movie or TV show I may have seen as a youth – and literally mimicked the musical pitch of the actor. And EVERY TIME I have recognized, as I said it, “Ah, I’m quoting from an episode of Barney Miller.” This, by the way, is also a good argument why Christians should avoid TV and movies. What you watch on TV tonight stays with you forever. And unknowingly influences you… as computer programmers used to say, Garbage in, garbage out.” If you say a sentence that is roughly similar to something I’ve heard in a movie or TV or song or comedy album, I literally hear the followup immediately in my head. If Hagin had phonographic memory, he would possibly have begun quoting Kenyon, but realized it immediately.
And since the excuse is that Hagin’s books were ghost written based upon his recorded sermons, we now have two inconsistencies, and very probable lapses of integrity. Hagin is not only plagiarizing Kenyon, but is taking credit for someone else’s work in writing his books! At least when Frederick K. C. Price (a fairly prolific author) writes his books, I’m sure he actually put his own hands on the keyboard and typed it himself!
The E. W. Kenyon organization claims Hagin did not plagiarise Kenyon – but the claim is nonsense, when someone begins to read, and notices that Hagin is literally quoting PAGES of material – not a paragraph. Any claim of innocence is nonsense, and would be immediately dismissed in a court of law, if this were a copyright infringement case (which it should have been.)
“It’s like that, page after page, after page.” Justin Peters on Hagin’s writings, A Call For Discernment Video Series
Leaving for a moment any argument whether Hagin was truly saved or not, The important thing to understand is, Hagin is passing off as his own a heretical set of teachings we’ve already demonstrated to be pagan, and not Christian. Remember, Kenyon had left Christianity to pursue the dream of being an actor, and enrolled in the Emerson School of Oratory. He shortly thereafter claims to “come back to Christianity”, but in reality, probably was truly born again. And within a few months (insufficient time to write a statement of faith, necessary to begin teaching any kind of systematic theology), Kenyon is ordained and pastoring. So, where did Kenyon’s theology come from? Kenyon’s supporters point to Higher Life Christianity as the source, but we’ve already demonstrated that while a case could be made for mainstream Pentecostalism originating from the errors of the Higher Life movement, in reality the only possible source for Kenyon is Emerson University – at that time a source of New Thought, Swedenborgianism, Theosophy, and Christian Science. Remember, the very man teaching Kenyon was a New Thought devotee and a Unitarian Minister, and had learned his New Thought material after the mix of Swedenborgianism and Theosophy came into New Thought. And he would eventually become a Christian Scientist. Remember Kenyon’s quote?
The only thing missing from Christian Science is the Blood. (E. W. Kenyon)
Literally, Kenyon is admitting that by applying the Freewill Baptist focus upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins to Christian Science/New Thought, he concocted his heretical doctrines. Hagin continued those doctrines, teaching the most outrageous blasphemies. We’ll get into this later, but in essence, these teachings deny the deity of Christ, exalt man as gods. Hagin, by emphasizing certain parts of the doctrines transformed Kenyon’s writings into the Word Faith we know today. In essence, Hagin taught the Spiritual Death of Christ, Christ as man, Christ as first born again believer, Christ suffering in Hell, Man as little gods, man has the power of God as gods ourselves, our words have creative power, we can speak a thing into existence. We’ll deal at length with these issues doctrinally later, but suffice it to say, these are not Biblical doctrines, they are a different Jesus, and not the Jesus Christ of the bible.
“If it is a different Jesus, it is a different Gospel, and a different Gospel cannot save.” Justin Peters, A Call For Discernment Video Series
Through the 1940’s Hagin’s heart gave him at least two emergencies, in 1942 and 1949. in In 1966, Hagin begins teaching on the radio. Hagins’ heart continues to bother him, as he has a cardiac emergency in 1973. After years of appearing on Kenneth Copeland’s TV show, Hagin experiences his first setback, when his son in law dies of cancer in 1998. Hagin follows him, passing in 2003 from heart failure.
“I haven’t had a day sick since 1934.” Kenneth Hagin
Frederick K. C. Price was born in 1932, right around the time Aimee Semple McPherson was getting started, and just before William Branham gets his church building and Katherine Kuhlman begins preaching in the warehouse. Price attended Los Angeles City College. He was born again at a revival while dating his girlfriend Betty (Whom he married). His bio on Wikipedia claims that he felt the call of the ministry soon after being born again. The article does not say how long after he was born again he began serving as an associate pastor. The only information I have is that Price began being an associate pastor at a Baptist Church in 1957. Shortly thereafter, Price was pastoring an African Episcopal Church in Val Verde, California. Within two years, Price would switch again, pastoring a Presbyterian church from 1959 to 1965. This is a little odd, as this would mean doctrinally, Price went from Armenianism to Calvinism, back to present day Armenianism. There is no mention of any study at a seminary for Price before pastoring or while pastoring. If Price’s organization would like to supply that information, that would be very much appreciated.
Sadly, while Price was pastoring the Presbyterian church, his son was struck and killed by an automobile in 1962. Price left the Presbyterian church to pastor a community church from 1965 to 1970.
In 1970, Price claims to have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and began speaking in tongues. Price also found the writings of Hagin (read: Kenyon) that same year. Unable to distinguish the pagan and satanic elements of Kenyon’s/Hagin’s doctrines, Price began teaching them immediately. By the end of that year, Price had founded Crenshaw Christian Center It is interesting to me, especially since my seminary spent so much time in Ekklesiology (the doctrines of the Churches) how few Word Faith churches actually use the word Church in their name! It seems many of them unconsciously adopt Parham’s dislike of the word “church”. Are they influenced by Parham? I seriously doubt any of the Word Faith teachers have ever read anything by Parham, so no – it just seems an odd coincidence.
Crenshaw moved to its present location in Inglewood, California, in 1973 – the same year Kenneth Hagin had one of his cardiac emergencies. In 1976, Price released a book called Is Healing for All, where he proudly writes,
“We don’t allow sickness in our house.” Frederick K. C. Price, Is Healing for All, 1976
The same year, Price receives an honorary degree from Rhema College. As near as I can tell, this is all the seminary training Price has received. Again, I invite his organization to correct any errors here?
Price would continue to write books, Faith, Foolishness, or Presumption? in 1981 and How to Obtain Strong Faith: Six Principles in 1982. The same year, Price received his second honorary degree, this time from Oral Roberts University. In 1990, Price began the Fellowship of International Christian Word of Faith Ministries. Betty Price contracted cancer during this year. Avoiding the error of Ruth Stapleton Carter, Betty Price was medically treated for her cancer and survived. Did Price stop and examine his beliefs, thinking, “Something must be wrong here?” It is unknown, but by 1995 Price released another Word Faith book, Faith’s Greatest Enemies. Apparently Betty getting cancer despite Price’s Word Faith and positive confessions made absolutely no impression on them doctrinally.
Price finally addressed a serious issue by releasing simultaneously his book, Race, Religion and Racism Vol. 1, along with a series of messages on his television show. By 2002, Price releases two more Word Faith books, How Faith Works Vol. 1 and The Holy Spirit: The Helper We All Need. Volume II of Race & Religion was released in 2003.
Price continues teaching Word Faith to this day.
Kenneth Copeland We’ve already introduced above. He claims to be born again in 1962, and after working for Oral Roberts for several years, enters Oral Roberts University. I’m assuming he graduated. He runs the massive Believer’s voice of Victory show, which originally started as a radio show recorded in Copeland’s garage. Copeland quickly skyrocketed into fame and wealth. Financially, Copeland is huge. The Senate report concluded that Copeland has “multiple doing business as” aliases and corporations. It would take a massive, intensive audit to find all of them, as there are 22 corporations, LLC and non-profits under Eagle Rock alone, one of Copeland’s financial organizations.
Copeland’s bio is amazingly empty. If his organization would like to submit information and dates, that would be great. Thanks.
Joyce Meyer was born in 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri as Pauline Joyce Hutchison. She claims to have born again at age 9, but this is doubtful, as her later years would show no evidence she was born again. She was married after graduating from High School to a used car salesman – no name given in her biography – around 1961 or so (exact date unknown). During this marriage, he talks Joyce into embezzling payroll checks from her employer, which they used to take a vacation in California. I don’t know how this news broke, if it was uncovered or if she publicly confessed to it without prior discovery (which would be the right thing to do). I am going to assume the latter, and assume that Mrs. Meyer used the example from her life as a means of encouraging Christians to do the right thing. She also claims to have paid all the money back – which again is the right thing to do, and something few Christians do is pay back all the money they stole during the unSaved years of their lives. I am somewhat in a quandary about Joyce Meyer, in that, if these stories are true (and I see no reason to disbelieve) – she shows all the evidence of being born again (something few Word Faith teachers exhibit) – but her doctrines are of the devil, as I will show in more detail later. I can only assume that she is born again, but deluded. As you’ll see, this is not something I will claim about most Word Faith teachers! Before the accusation is made – no, I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Joyce Meyer.
Joyce was married 5 years, then divorced her first husband on grounds of infidelity somewhere around 1966. The New Testament does permit for divorce on grounds of infidelity – I do not understand why some preachers condemn Meyer for this. I will defend her on this point and state that from what she says about her first husband, if she did not divorce him he probably would have gotten her incarcerated in jail time and time again.
Joyce married David Meyer around 1967. Depending on where you stand on the Pastor and divorce issue, many contend this means that Joyce is now disqualified for the ministry. I contend that as a woman, she is disqualified for the ministry. Yet Joyce claims that while in an intense prayer session during a period of great unhappiness (similar to Aimee Semple McPherson’s during her married phase of life), she heard God speak to he and call her by name in 1976. Joyce also admits to getting drunk in a bowling alley the same night. She mistakenly takes this for a call to the ministry, and joins the Lutheran church, and begins pastoring during an unstated year. Again, she is not permitted to preach or pastor according to the Bible.
It would help if her biography gave exact dates. I would be interested in knowing if she began preaching more than 3 years after her salvation experience. The earliest she could do this would be 1979-1980 (I’m applying the same qualifications to myself – I made sure that I was saved for more than 4 years before I could be considered eligible for ordination – at this point, my salvation experience was more than 5 years ago, and I will not complete Seminary before November).
Meyer (Joyce, not David) begins serving as associate pastor at a charismatic church in St. Louis. She resigns in 1985, starting her radio ministry, which is carried on six stations. in 1993, she releases her soon to be bestseller, Winning the Battlefield of Your Mind. IT would catapult her into stardom and one of the highest salaries in the current Word Faith group. The same year, at the suggestion of her husband, she moves her ministry onto TV. She continues writing, creating a staunchly Word Faith book called Me and My Big Mouth.
The next year, the St. Louis Dispatch does an article on Meyer’s lavish lifestyle. This prompted a Christian watchgroup Wall Watchers to contact the IRS. The IRS investigates Meyers, but eventually clears her of financial wrongdoings – provided she publish financial records and cut back her salary from $900,000 a year. They do agree she can keep all the royalties from her books and DVD’s -leading to her making vastly more money annually than before. In celebration, Meyers writes The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word, another blatantly Word Faith book.
The same year, KNLC TV drops Meyer’s program for “her excessive lifestyle and going beyond the word.” They are the only station to make such a decision.
In 2007, Joyce Meyers is investigated, along with Benny Hinn, Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long, and Creflo Dollar by the United States Senate Finance Committee. All are cleared of financial wrongdoing, as it is an obvious political move. Joyce Meyer decides to make sure she is financially above board, and is accredited in 2009 by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. She continues to teach Word Faith to this day, and remains one of the highest paid Word Faith teachers.
Toufik Benedictus “Benny” Hinn is, like Copeland, one of the superstars of the Word Faith movement. He was born in Israel in Jaffa, and would claim later his father Constandi was the mayor of Jaffa. In actuality, the mayor of Jaffa at the time was Israel Rokach.
In 1967, after Israel captured Jerusalem, Hinn’s family felt for some reason they had to flee the country, reasons not fully explained in Hinn’s best selling book, Good Morning Holy Spirit. They emigrate to Toronto. Hinn’s family, although Arabic in descent, were Greek Orthodox (Hinn’s Organization describes them as “Christian”). Hinn claims to have been born again as a teenager. He joined an evangelical singing group, and was tutored in the Bible by Winston Nunes of Broadview Faith Temple in Toronto. this was the only seminary Hinn attended. Lest anyone conclude this is wrong, I will point out that Hinn actually followed the Biblical pattern of Pastors teacing pastors. Whether Nune made sure Hinn got a full education of all 12 elementary doctrines of Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Ekklesiology, Anthropology, Hamartiology, Angelology, Soteriology, Eschatology, Bibliology, and the rest is unknown.
On Dec. 12, 1973, Hinn traveled by bus to attend a Katherine Kulhman “Miracle Service” in Pittsburgh. He claims to have recieved the fullness of the Holy Spirit baptism at that service, and to this day, says he travels to both Aimee Semple McPherson’s grave and to Kuhlman’s grave annually to be “recharged” in the Holy Spirit. This highly unBiblical practice is called “necromancy” (and “divination”, If Hinn talks to them and asks any questions, which he hints he does).
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with th e LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. Deuteronomy 18:10-14 (KJV)
Hinn relocated to Florida, where he founded the Orlando Christian Center. Again, it avoided the word “church” in the title. Hinn began doing “miracle services” in the manner of Katherine Kuhlman. Some have analyzed Hinn’s performances and claimed they are as literal a copy of Kuhlman’s as Kuhlman’s was of McPherson’s. Hinn, when speaking of the two of them, always refers to Katherine Kuhlman by her complete name, but often refers to Aimee Semple McPherson as only “Aimee”.
After the 1990 release of Good Morning Holy Spirit, Hinn began his This is your day talk show on TBN, as well as regular appearences onscreen with Paul and Jan Crouch. Hinn remains the most controversial of the Word Faith preachers, offering one prophecy after another on his New Years’ Eve services – and he has a 0 percent average of accuracy, far below the mean average, which should be 50%! Hinn prophesied the world would be destroyed in 1992, then again in 1999. Both prophecies appear to be incorrect. Fidel Castro failed to die at Hinn’s prophesied time, nor did any group of people suddenly mysteriously die from fire during their “meetings”. Nor did the Lord Jesus Christ appear physically while people prayed. Nor did anyone raise from the dead while the TBN network played. Nor did TBN become a “conduit from heaven to earth”, healing all people who watched during the 90’s. Hinn during the 90’s never prophesy about the 2000’s – because he’d prophesied we’d never see them!
Hinn’s miracle claims have been investigated by the Los Angeles Times, Dateline, Canadian Television’s The Fith Estate, and 60 Minutes. He has repeatedly been exposed as lying, making false claims, and exaggerating claims of the healings. When questioned about Hinn raising the dead in Africa on TV, Hinn denied it. Justin Peter’s A Call For Discernment splices together clips of Hinn on TBN speaking about the dead being raised, then Hinn on 60 minutes denying it.
And yet Hinn remains one of the most popular Word Faith teachers!
Next, we will begin to deal with Word Faith teachings and doctrines.