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The Word-Faith Movement

Are We Little Gods?

Edited and expanded extracts from the book by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald,
Alpha - the Unofficial Guide: Church, (2005), Part Four, Chapter 20


Word-Faith: Index of Articles


 

Introduction

Here, we need to have a quick look at the suggestion that Word-Faith tells us that that we are 'little gods'.  What do the Word-Faith teachers say concerning this?...

"Man ... was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority ... God has made us as much like Himself as possible ... He made us the same class of being that He is Himself ... Man lived in the realm of God.  He lived on equal terms with God" [Kenneth Hagin, Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, (1989), pp.35-36,41].

"God's reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself.  I mean a reproduction of Himself, and in the Garden of Eden He did just that.  [Adam] was not a little like God.  He was not almost like God.  He was not subordinate to God even. ... Adam is as much like God as you could get ... Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh" [Kenneth Copeland, Following the Faith of Abraham I, (1989), audiotape #01-3001, side 1].

"Adam was made in the image of God.  He was as much female as he was male.  He was exactly like God" [Kenneth Copeland, Sensitivity of Heart, (1984), p.23],

"You're all God.  You don't have a god in you; you are one! ... When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, 'I AM', I say, 'Yeah, I am too!'" [Kenneth Copeland, The Force of Love, (1987), audiotape #02-0028, side1],

"Now Peter said by exceeding great and precious promises you become partakers of the divine nature.  All right, are we gods?  We are a class of gods!" [Kenneth Copeland, Praise the Lord, programme on TBN, (05 February 1986)],

"Pray to yourself, because I'm in your self and you're in My self.  We are one Spirit, saith the Lord" [Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory, (Feb 1987), p.9],

"God's greatest longing is and always has been to have a people who are like Himself, made of the same substance of which He is made. ... That was His plan when He made the first man.  When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He transmitted His very self into him ... Man was destined to walk in the dominion of God - the inherent power that God has in Himself" [Gloria Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory, (April 1994), p.27],

"Are you ready for some revelation knowledge?  You are god" [Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ #2 - The Word Made Flesh, (1991), audiotape #A031190-2, side 2],

"God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man.  He faces the Father as a man.  I face devils as the son of God.  Do you see what I'm talking about?  You say, 'Benny, am I a little God?'  You're a son of God, aren't you?  You're a child of God, aren't you?  You're a daughter of God, aren't you?  What else are you?  Quit your nonsense!  What else are you?  If you say, 'I am', you're saying I'm a part of Him, right?  Is He God?  Are you His offspring?  Are you His children?  You can't be human!  You can't!  You can't!  God didn't give birth to flesh.  He gave birth to a new creation.  And the new creation is not flesh and blood and bone, for no flesh and blood would inherit heaven.  Did you hear what I said?  Some of you didn't really hear what I said.  You said, 'Well, that's heresy.'  No, that's your crazy brain saying that" [Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ #2 - The Word Made Flesh, (1991), audiotape #A)31190 -2, side 2],

"God duplicated Himself in kind! ... Adam was an exact duplication of God's kind!" [Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, (1982), p.16, emphasis in original],

The Spirit of God "declared in the earth today what the eternal purpose of God has been throughout the ages ... that He is duplicating Himself in the earth" [John Avanzini (with Morris Cerullo), The Endtime Manifestation of the Sons of God, (No Date), audiotape1, side 2],

"So those that would put that teaching down, want us to have a beginning  and an end.  That's Satan, isn't it?" [Paul Crouch, (speaking with Benny Hinn), Praise-a-Thon, programme on TBN, (Nov 1990)],

"I am a little god!  Critics, be gone!" [Paul Crouch, Praise the Lord, programme on TBN, (07 July 1986].

 

God Duplicated and Reproduced Himself

"The terms 'duplicate' and 'duplication' constantly appear in the Faith teachers' discourses on humanity (e.g., John Avanzini), as do the terms 'reproduce' and 'reproduction' (e.g. Kenneth Copeland and Morris Cerullo)" [Hank Hanegraaf, Christianity in Crisis, (1993), p.109].

But if what these Word-Faith teachers is so, why did the Lord God describe Adam as merely dust?  Why did He give Adam commands?  And why did He judge Him?

"And the LORD God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7),

"And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.  And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:15-17),

"And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life ... In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:17-19).

 

What Does Scripture Say?

Satan's plan in the Garden of Eden was to convince Eve that she and Adam would "be as gods" (Genesis 3:5).  His 'New Age' movement similarly teaches that men can be gods.  And we can see from the quotes of the teachers given above that Word-Faith thinking is, sadly, no different.

Like Eve, we have a choice.  We can succumb to the very attractive doctrine that "we are gods".  We can focus on a minuscule set of ambiguous scripture verses - all of which fail to support the doctrine when analysed seriously - or we can decide to look before we leap, and realise that the entirety of the rest of Scripture refutes the idea utterly:

"There is only one God; and there is none other but He" (Mark 12:32).

Satan is only called a 'god' because of his power over unbelievers.  Men are only "as gods" in the sense that they may have earthly authority over others.

  • If Adam was "not subordinate to God" as Kenneth Copeland states [Following the Faith of Abraham],
  • if "Adam was an exact duplication of God's kind" as Charles Capps say [Authority in Three Worlds],
  • if Adam and Eve were both already gods,

...then why did Satan need to tempt them by saying "you shall be as gods"?  The psalmist said:

"What is man that Thou are mindful of him?" (Psalm 8:4),

"What is man that Thou takest knowledge of him! ... Man is like to vanity" (Psalm 144:3-4).

In view of these scriptures, how can we consider ourselves 'gods'?  We are as mere clay to a potter.

God "remembereth that we are dust" (Psalm 103:14),

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away" (1 Peter 1:24).

Even the greatest men of God are nothing but "weak" and "vile" sinners.  To claim anything else only leads to pride; and we all know to where that leads.  In contrast to these prideful teachings of Word-Faith, the Bible says:  

"O man, ... what doth the LORD require of thee, but to ... walk humbly with thy God?" (Micah 6:8).

 

Elizabeth McDonald
March 2016

 

 

 

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Elizabeth McDonald & Dusty Peterson     https://www.bayith.org     bayith@blueyonder.co.uk