(Click on the links in the quotes to hear a WAV file of Kenneth Copeland)
Kenneth Copeland reduces God to the image of man and elevates man to the status of God. He lowers Jesus to being a product of positive confession who took on a satanic nature at the cross. And he promotes the occult practice of creative visualization.
Copeland's deflation of God is best exemplified by the his following comment:
"I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is....The biggest one in the whole bible is God....I mean, He lost His top-ranking, most anointed angel; the first man He ever created; the first woman He ever created; the whole earth and all the Fullness therein; a third of the angels, at least--that's a big loss, man. Kenneth Copeland, Praise-a-Thon program on TBN, April 1988
The God of the Bible is an all-powerful being (Dan. 4:35) whose plans cannot be thwarted (Job 42:2) and who considers nothing too difficult (Jer. 32:17; Luke 1:37).
In his Believer's Voice of Victory magazine, Copeland teaches that; Jesus didn't claim to be God when He lived on earth (8/88); the New Age/occult techniques of positive imaging and visualization are for God's people today (9/88); God intends for His people to be united, and, "That union won't be based on doctrine" (12/88); healing is for every believer (2/93); and tongues are for the entire Body of Christ (1/93). Copeland also says: "It would have been impossible for Jesus to have been poor!" (9/90, Charisma ). (Reported in the 2/15/93, Calvary Contender .)
Copeland teaches that there are many gods (or a god class), that Adam was not created subordinate to God, but as a god; "created, in the god class"; i.e., he was a reproduction of God. "On the cross," according to Copeland, "Jesus won the right for believers to be born again back into the god-class. he lost it, and in Christ we are taken back to the god-class."
"You're all God. You dont have a God in you. You are one! ... When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, 'I AM,' I say, 'Yah, I am too!'" The Force of Love," Audiotape BBC-56.
"Am I a god? Man was created in the god class, was not created in the animal class, it was the gods class. He has a uniqueness about him that even angels do not have...Now Peter said by exceeding great and precious promises, you become partakers of the divine nature. Alright, are we gods? We are a class of gods." Praise the Lord, TBN, 2/5/1986
"He was not subordinate to God ... [but] was walking as a god with the authority of a god. ... What he said went. What he did, counted. [And when he] bowed his knee to Satan and put Satan up above him, then there wasn't anything God could do about it, because a god had placed [Satan] there" The Force of Love," tape #02-0028.
When Adam committed high treason, according to Copeland, even though "created in the god class," he fell below the god class, but on the cross, Jesus won the right for believers to be born again back into the "god class" (see below). Jesus' deity, according to Copeland, encompasses "healing, deliverance, financial prosperity, mental prosperity, physical prosperity, and family prosperity." And because believers are now back in the "god class," they are guaranteed those blessings here and now Charismatic Chaos , p. 272
For any human being to call himself the "I AM," "YAHWEH" the eternal saving, sovereign God, is blasphemy. In the face of criticism for some of his statements about the deity of the believer, Copeland appeared with Paul and Jan Crouch on Trinity Broadcasting Network's program "Praise the Lord!" and he was there to defend his teaching, and this is the following conversation that ensued,
Paul Crouch said: God doesn't even draw a distinction between Himself and us.
Kenneth Copeland said: Never, never, you never can do that in a covenant relationship.
Paul Crouch: Do you know what else that has settled then tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the devil to try and bring dissension within the Body of Christ that we are gods--I am a little god!
Kenneth Copeland: Yes, yes!
Jan Crouch: Absolutely, He gave us His name.
Kenneth Copeland: The reason we are . . .
Paul Crouch: I have His name! I am one with Him! I'm in covenant relations. I am a little god! Critics be gone!
Kenneth Copeland: You are anything that He is.
Paul Crouch: Yes!
Paul Crouch, head and "On Air" host of Trinity Broadcasting Network and therefore one of the most powerful influential people in religious broadcasting today, has reaffirmed repeatedly his commitment to the "little gods" doctrine of Word-Faith, quoting him,
That new creation that comes in the new birth, is created in His image. It is joined then with Jesus Christ. Is that correct? And so in that sense (I saw this many years ago) whatever that union is that unites Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He says, "Father, I want them to be one with Me, even as You and I are one in Us," so apparently [that's] what He does: He opens up that union of the very Godhead and brings us into it.
Copeland claims that, "Faith is a power force. It is a tangible force. It is a conductive force." Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Faith, Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1989, 10. "faith is a spiritual force....It is substance. Faith has the ability to effect natural substance." Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1982, 8. As "the force of gravity...makes the law of gravity work...this force of faith...makes the laws of the spirit world function." Kenneth Copeland, The Laws of Prosperity, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1974, 18-19
"God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith," Kenneth Copeland, Freedom from Fear, Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1983, 11.] "faith is God's source of power" Ibid., 12. "everything that you're able to see or touch, anything that you can feel, anything that's perceptive to the five physical senses, was originally the faith of God, and was born in the substance of God's faith." Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0601, side 1. In other words, "faith was the raw material substance that the Spirit of God used to form the universe." Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer II, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0302), side 1.
Copeland claims God was releasing the power of faith when he created the heaven and the earth, "God used words when He created the heaven and the earth....Each time God spoke, He released His faith -- the creative power to bring His words to pass." Kenneth Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1980, 4 Copeland claims that, "words are spiritual containers," Forces of the Recreated Human Spirit, 15; cf. 14. and the "force of faith is released by words." Ibid.,_ 17.
To arrive at this definition of faith Copeland quotes Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". He interprets the word "substance" as a transcendent, primary element that makes up the universe; that was activated by Gods spoken words at the onset of creation, and is subsequently activated by spoken words, whether by God or man. But the word translated "substance" in the KJV is the Greek word _hypostasis_ which, in the context of Hebrews 11:1, means "an assured impression, a mental realizing." The Analytical Greek Lexicon, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1970, 419. It is not some tangible material or energetic force, faith is _a channel of living trust_ stretching from man to God. It is an _assurance_ that God's promises never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment during our mortal existence.
Not even the corrupt Gnostic texts that modern trnslations of the Bible use support Copeland's understanding of faith. There is no such thing as a "force of faith".
According to Copeland, God has no right to the earth at all, He has no authority, He has to have a covenant/agreement with a man on earth, He has to be invited.
"God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody. . . . He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn't come. God is on the outside looking in. In order to have any say so in the earth, He's gonna have to be in agreement with a man here." God's Covenants With Man II 1985, audiotape #01-4404, side 1
Copeland parallels God's actions with those of Satan, and makes man to be the dominant party over God, even claiming that Abraham could have told God to "clear off" when God offered him a "proposition."
"Since man was the key figure in the Fall," Copeland argues, "man had to be the key figure in the redemption, so God approached a man named Abram." Copeland, Our Covenant with God, 10 An agreement was struck between God and Abram that "gave God access to the earth." Ibid., 10-11. God, in turn, "promised to care for Abraham and his descendants in every way -- spiritually, physically, financially, socially." Ibid., 15. Commenting on the deal, Copeland writes that God "re-enacted with Abram what Satan had done with Adam, except that God did not sneak in and use deception...and Abram bought it." Ibid., 10.
Copeland views divine covenants like business contracts, which are formed by mutual agreement, and for mutual benefit, through negotiation. The traditional Christian understanding of Gods covenants are that they are initiated by God, offering non-negotiable help, not of necessity but of grace. Copeland also attributes the sacredness of divine covenants not to God, but to the fact that they are composed of words:
"Words are the most sacred things....This is a word planet...governed by words...created by words....Words cause it to function...cause life...cause death....Words go on forever....Words are holy." Copeland, The Abrahamic Covenant, side 1.
According to Copeland God "used His right that Abraham had given Him" Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990, audiotape #02-0017, side 1. to provide a way for Jesus to enter the earth. Abraham gave God what He needed: "the chance to use his [Abraham's] mouth, because what God was after was a vehicle in the earth that was a man to get His Word in there." Copeland, The Image of God in You III, side 1. "God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus," Copeland explains. "This faith-filled words that framed the image that's in Him....He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world [Satan]." Ibid., side 2. Using a combination of faith and confession, "God spoke His Word and then spoke His Word again....He kept saying, 'He is coming. He is coming.'" Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, 9-10. However, "the only avenue God had to get His words into the earth was through men... [t]hrough the mouths of His prophets....Finally, the great moment came when that Word was brought forth in human form." Ibid. During this final phase, "the angels spoke the words of the covenant to her [Mary], and the Spirit of God hovered over her and generated that seed, which was the Word that the angel spoke to her. And there was conceived in her, the Bible says, a holy thing. The Word literally became flesh." Copeland, The Abrahamic Covenant, side 2
So according to Copeland, Jesus was the end product of generations of positive confession, suggesting that the Word of John chapter one was a creation (the personalization of the previously impersonal words of God) rather than the eternally existent Creator (see vv.1-3), thus subverting the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity.
Copeland teaches, as do all the Word-Faith teachers, that "Jesus Died Spiritually", and that our redemption comes not from Christ's death upon the cross, but from His being tortured by Satan in hell for three days and nights! Copeland has, thus, embraced a heresy known as the "Ransom theory of the atonement." It is the view that Christ's death was a ransom paid to Satan to settle the legal claim the devil had on the human race because of Adam's sin. This is the view held by the bible mutilator Hort (see From Their Own Mouths - Westcott and Hort). It is a view that totally contradicts Biblical teaching that Christ's death was a sacrifice offered to God, not to Satan (Eph. 5:2).
"The Spirit of God spoke to me, and He said, 'Son, realize this... A twice born man whipped Satan in his own domain.' And I threw my Bible clear out on the floor. I said, 'What?' He said, 'A born-again man defeated Satan... You are the very image and the very copy of that one.' I said, 'Goodness gracious, sakes alive... You couldn't dare mean that I could have done the same thing?' He said, 'Oh yeah, if you'd had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could've done the same thing, 'cause you're a reborn man, too.'" Substitution and Identification
"For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don't want to believe that. They want to beleive that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they're mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin." Believer's Voice of Victory, Vol. 19, No. 9, Sept. 1991
"He allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived ... Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him ... [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived ... In a thunder of spiritual force, the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus ... That Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before ... He was literally being reborn before the devil's very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles ... Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell ... Jesus ... was raised up a born-again man ... the firstborn from the dead the Word calls Him...and He whipped the devil in his own backyard. He took everything he had away from him. He took his keys and his authority away from him...The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited ... !" The Price of it All, Believer's Voice of Victory , September, 1991.
Copeland teaches that the physical atonement did not pay for sin.
"Jesus had to go through that same spiritual death in order to pay the price. Now it wasn't the physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin, because if it had of been any prophet of God that had died for the last couple of thousand years before that could have paid that price. It wasn't physical death anybody could do that." What Satan saw on the day of Pentecost Kenneth Copeland Ministries, audio tape #020022
"The death of Jesus Christ was not a physical death alone. If it had been a physical death, Abel would have paid the price for mankind. He was the first man that died because of honoring God and His Word. If it had been a physical death only, it wouldn't have worked! And if He hadn't died spiritually, that body never would have died." What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303
Every prophet that walked the face of the earth under the Abrahamic covenant could have paid the price if it were a physical death only When he said It is finished on that cross, he was not speaking of the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun, there were still three days and three nights to be gone through. [Jesus] accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own Spirit, and at the moment that He did so, He cried My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?. He [Jesus] was down in that pit and there he suffered the punishment for three horrible days and nights for Adams treason... There is a new birth takes place in the very depths of the earth, when the command of God says Thats enough, loose him and let him go. What Happened from the Cross to the Throne
Copeland teaches that Jesus Christ took on Satan's nature (became a sinner) while on the cross.
"The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit and at the moment that He did so, He cried, 'My God, My God, why has thou forsaken Me.' You don't know what happened on the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon the inception of God, raised a serpent up on that pole instead of a lamb. I said why in the world do you have to put that snake up there, the sign of Satan, why don't you put a lamb on that pole? The Lord said, 'cause that was the sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.' He said, 'I accepted in my own spirit, spiritual death and the light was turned off.'" What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303
"The spirit of Jesus accepting that sin and making it to be sin, He separated from His God and at that moment He's a mortal man. Capable of failure, capable of death. And if Satan is capable of overpowering Him there, he'll win the universe and mankind is doomed. Don't get the idea that Jesus was incapable of failure because if He had been, it would have been illegal." What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303
"He [Jesus] is suffering all that there is to suffer. There is no suffering left apart from Him. His emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing [hell]. And the Devil thinks he's got Him destroyed." Believer's Voice of Victory" program, 21 April 1991. This message was originally delivered at the Full Gospel Motorcycle Rally Association 1990 Rally at Eagle Mountain Lake, Texas
The Bible says that it was the physical death of Jesus that atoned for our sins. (Romans 3:25; Romans 9:5; Acts 20:28; Matt. 26:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5) Jesus is, was, and always will be pure. (John 8:46; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22). To teach that our redemption comes through Satan torturing Jesus in hell would make Satan our co-redeemer. Satan isn't even the proprietor of hell. He hasn't even been there yet. Nor will Satan torture the damned but will himself be tortured with "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41) when death and hell have been "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14).
Copeland believes that when you are born again the Spirit of God hovers over you and places His word inside you. The believer is then allegedly able to speak things into existence by way of faith-filled words, or positive confession. We are told that knowing and exercising the rights set forth under the covenant guarantee success in confession. He remarks that the Bible;
"is the wisdom of God placed in covenant contract....Everything in it is mine....You just keep looking at it, and keep reading it, and that covenant will turn you into that kind of person -- whatever it is you decide to be." Copeland, The Abrahamic Covenant, side 1.
"As a born-again believer, you are equipped with the Word. You have the power of God at your disposal. By getting the Word deep into your spirit and speaking it boldly out your mouth, you release spiritual power to change things in the natural circumstances." Copeland, The Power of the Tongue, 15.
"As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word." Our Covenant with God, Fort Worth, TX: KCP Publications, 1987, 32
"The basic principle of the Christian life is to know that God put our sin, sickness, disease, sorrow, grief, and poverty on Jesus at Calvary," he asserts. "For Him to put any of this on us now would be a miscarriage of justice." Copeland, The Troublemaker, 6.
Copeland combines his "legal" precedent for health, wealth, and prosperity with his "mechanics" of confession to form a formula for speaking things into existence.
"You have the same creative faith and ability on the inside of you that God used when he created the heavens and the earth." Copeland, Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2.
Copeland states that most believers dont realise their full potential and are not able to make full use of their inner power because:
"our imagination...has been so fouled up and fathered up with wasted useless words [and] wasted useless images." Ibid.
To correct this, Copeland instructs believers to "go to the New Testament, get the words of the covenant that cover the situation that you hope to bring to pass. Build the image of that hope inside of you....Keep the word before your eyes." Ibid. As examples, he uses an inner picture of an 82-foot yacht that will transform into reality in the Holy of Holies in heaven, along with a "picture [of a Bible] that came right out of me and went into the Holy of Holies," Ibid. where it developed into an actual, physical object.
"when you get to the place where you take the Word of God and build an image on the inside of you of not having crippled legs and not having blind eyes, but when you close your eyes you just see yourself just leap out of that wheelchair, it will picture that in the Holy of Holies and you will come out of there." Ibid.
Copeland, recognizing that his technique, "sounds like that visualization they do in meditation and metaphysical practices," Ibid. tries reversing the tables;
"The devil is a counterfeiter. He never came up with anything real. That is the perverted form of the real thing. Where do you think he got it? That sucker doesn't know anything on his own. Amen." Ibid
Yet during the TBN broadcast, Believers Voice of Victory, Copeland agreed that both positive confession and creative visualization are based on the same principle:
"Words create pictures, and pictures in your mind create words. And then the words come back out your mouth....And when that spiritual force comes out it is going to give substance to the image that's on the inside of you. Aw, that's that visualization stuff! Aw, that's that New Age! No, New Age is trying to do this; and they'd get somewhat results out of it because this is spiritual law, brother." Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (television program), TBN, 28 March 1991.
Just as Satan who aspired to be like God, turned Eve in the garden of Eden away from the truth, promising that "Ye shall be like gods," this Laodicean age has sprung up deceivers who turn people away from the truth, with promises that they too will be "little gods".
"Any image that you get down on the inside of you that is so vivid when you close your eyes you see it, it'll come to pass. When God came at the Tower of Babel, He said, 'Anything they can imagine, they can do.'" Copeland, Inner Image of the Covenant, side 2
The truth is that the people who built the tower, built it out of brick and tar (Gen. 11:3), not out of their imagination, and their attempt to build a tower to reach unto heaven incurred God's judgment (vv. 6-9).
Salvation is not a magical potion or formula, it is not a mantra, and it is not something you declare into existence by some mystical force called "faith". You can not save yourselves, and dispite what Copeland tells us, Jesus did die physically for our sins, and he does save us by His blood.
Kenneth Copeland uses occult techniques, and his doctrine is firmly rooted in the occult. The "anointing" of Kenneth Copeland is evil, stay away from him and all those who have received the "anointing" through him, such as Rodney Howard-Browne and those he laid hands on such as John Arnott and anyone from the Toronto "Blessing" and Steve Hill or anyone from the Brownsville "Outpouring".
Listen to Kenneth Copeland while pretending to be speaking in tongues, says the words, "Come take the mark of the beast" as he invites Dennis Bourke to come forward for ministry. from "The Toronto Blessing Unmasked" Video Tape
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