Archive for the A New Begining Category

Resting in God’s Peace

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, Eyob B Kassa, Eyob's blog, Religion, Thought of the day on 04/05/2012 by Eyob B Kassa

Have you ever felt like the whole world is on your shoulders? Restless, unsure, fearful, hopeless, helpless, etc? You are trying to do you best to stay positive and not lose perspective. You are trying to remain calm and stay focused. But still struggling with anxiety, uncertainty, insecurity, and so on. You don’t like the feeling but you are going through it anyway. Even if you don’t want to, you still hear the sound in your head; even you smell it like it is real.

God knows our circumstances. He knows our nature. His eye’s are on every man’s business. He sees the big or small. And I think that is very comforting. But when you are going through what you are going through, it is hard sometimes to stay calm or focused. It is not easy to grip such a powerful stand and not lose perspective about your life.

When you experience anxiety, or when you are going through such a difficult time in your life, God doesn’t want you running from Him but to Him. That is why He said ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.’ The burden, which Jesus is talking about, is not just about this worldly struggle that you have. Yes, God cares and knows about that. But it is about your soul. It is about your inner peace. It is about His invitation to draw to Him and find rest. He wants us to trust Him and go forward with the heart of seeking Him and wanting to know His heart. God doesn’t want us to be anxious about anything. By being anxious, we cannot add “one cubit to our span of life”. God does not want us to worry needlessly. Our lives are in His hand. Even, the length of our lives is determined by Himself (Job 14:5). We can’t add to that. He is in control. We are not. So, what we can do is “…in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phil 4: 6-9 and when we do that “ the peace of God, (not any kind of peace, but the peace of God) which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God wants us not to worry about anything but pray about everything. When we do that we start experiencing the peace that transcends all understanding, the peace that will guard our hearts, and the peace that will guard our minds in Christ.

Eyob B Kassa

4/5/12

Seeking God

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, Eyob B Kassa, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 04/04/2012 by Eyob B Kassa

If you examine your heart today, what do you think you will find? A lot of things right? I know!  When David examined himself by the word of God you know what he found once? A hunger, a strong desire for God. Read what he says in Psalm 42: 1-2 “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God When shall I come and appear before God?” What about you my friends? What do you long for today? For many it was God! How about you? God is never found accidentally. He said in Jeremiah 29 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” If you seek God and if that is your only desire in your heart God will satisfy you by His presence as He promised in Psalm 107: “He satisfy the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.” What about those who don’t seek Him? The answer is simple, they will not find Him. Because seeking God is honoring Him, magnifying Him and satisfying in Him and He  will give honor to those by whom He is  honored, and those who have no respect for Him will be of small value in His eyes according to 1 Samuel 2: 30.

However, seeking God is not about making our possession. It is not about making Him something that needs to be added on as any kind of property. Seeking God is a diligent pursuit, a passionate hunger for Him and without Him everything is meaningless and empty.

God is looking for seekers! He is seeking those who have such intense passion or a deeper hunger for His presence, and who want to know him more, desiring Him more, glorifying Him more, and  satisfied in Him more. “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”  (Psalm 14: 2).

What do you long for today? you know God is never found accidentally, but He will be found to those who seek Him passionately, earnestly, and consistently. Those who seek him will live (1 Chronicles 16:11) and the search should be done with all your heart, mind and soul (Deuteronomy 4: 29).

We need to seek God all the time not just when we are in trouble. Seeking God is more than a joyful admiration or praise, but it is about being satisfied in Him, acknowledging Him, and glorifying Him in everything and above any other things.

Seeking God or desiring God has a cost. But the question is how much of God do you want today?

Eyob B Kassa

4/4/2012

My thoughts for today: The road to SIN starts in YOUR MIND…!

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Thought of the day on 11/29/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

The horrifying death of Christ on the cross demonstrates the righteousness of God; it reveals the horrible nature and reality of our sinfulness, and the glorious God who refuses to settle for anything less other than being glorious through His son’s terrible death.

But the question is, if God takes His glory so serious, shouldn’t we?

Sin may look desirable at first, test good at first but no matter who much we fantasize it, how pleasurable it be, it drags us down, brings us shame and finally death.

Sin must be defined according to God’s view and must be seen through God’s eyes. Sin is not doing something wrong, it is not! Sin is an attack on the infinite worth of God’s glory. And God takes sin seriously!

Sin must be seen as your enemy not a friend. You cannot take sin lightly because our sin cost God the death of his only begotten Son.

God is not a passive observer when you sinned. When we sin God grieves. Because He loves you so much He wants you to hate sin but follow righteousness.

Today, avoid those sinful cravings by live according to the Spirit. Romans 8:5, says “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit Desires.”

Avoid situations, connections, or any attractions that may lead you to making a sinful act. Remember Joseph? He did not only refuse to sin but also run away from it.

Stop playing around sin/temptation like Samson did. Some associations or relations may look harmless but they are the simple step to disobedience. In other words, stop playing with fire. Eventually, either you get burned or you get someone burned.

Avoid being vulnerable. Remember, an empty mind is the devil’s playground.

Meditate on the word of God. As Pastor John Piper beautifully defined it, “The word “meditation” in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.”

Sin is a “me-first”, and flesh-centered life style and attitude. You can only defeat sin by being governed and controlled by the Spirit. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:17). You need to deliberately put the word into your mind and set your mind on the “things of the Spirit.” But this is not a one time action. It must be diligently worked out each and every day.

Eyob B Kassa

November 29, 2011

DON’T LISTEN TO THE DEVIL

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Religion, Thought of the day on 10/07/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Don’t listen to the Devil – he is a liar!

The devil is a master of deception, and he is also known as the accuser of brethren (Rev. 12:10). He wants you to pay for something that Jesus has already paid for. He is the father of lies; his goal is to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). He loves to embarrassing you with your past sin, beat you down with guilt and shame of what you did, and he loves to show how gross your sin looks and how filthy you are. He tries to do this not to help you but destroy you. He is doing this to take your peace, to take your freedom and to dominate and rule your sound mind. But here is the good news, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! YOU ARE ACCEPTED! GOD in His mercy and grace gives you a new life, a new day, a new year, a new purpose and a new path. Don’t allow the devil to bind you up or beat you down with your past. God has a plan for their future and it is awesome.

Don’t listen to the Devil-he is a murderer!

Satan is known in the Scripture as the accuser, the slanderer, the father of lies, the murderer, the deceiver, and the adversary. There is no truth in him whatsoever. He hates truth and does all he can to create doubt upon it (read Gen 3:1). It is the devil who wants you to dwell in your failure and sins, not God. He (the devil) doesn’t want you to understand and acknowledge your God-given purpose in life. As a matter of fact he (the devil) specializes in planting doubt, fear, accusation, despair, intimidation, condemnation, shame, guilt, and regret in out hearts and minds. By doing that he to tries to keep us away from God as much as possible, to show you how much unworthy you are to receive his mercy, and to magnify your past sins and failures and says, “look, Your sin is too big for God to forgive and too much to forget.”

Don’t listen to the Devil – you are forgiven!

My friend, if you confess and repent your sins, no matter how bad they looks, no matter how great your sins, God will fully forgive all of your sins! He says, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds NO more” (Hebrews 10:17). And the scripture is also says, there is now “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1. You are now a NEW creation in Christ Jesus, and old things have passed away, and all things become NEW according to 2 Cor. 5:17. God doesn’t look at what you’ve done in the past, he already forgiven you. He doesn’t look back now on your sins or your failures with condemnation, and neither should you. God, your wise and loving Father, holds nothing more against you. God doesn’t want you to be constantly ashamed and regret of your past. God is more concerned about your future than your past. He wants to raise you up, so rise up!

Enjoy your freedom in Christ!

Today, tell the devil that you’ve already been accepted, forgiven and received a new heart and a new mind. Tell him that you are now a new person, a new creation, has a new purpose, peace and sound mind. Tell him you are not going to walk according to the flesh; you are not going to walk in anger, despair, resentment, impurity, bitterness, envy and fear NO MORE!!!

In Jesus Christ, in Him ALONE, you are justified freely Romans 3:24, you are forgiven of all your sins and washed in His Blood Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Col 1:14; I John 2:12, I John 1:9, you have passed from death into life John 5:24, you are God’s child for you are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever I Peter 1:23, Jesus Christ is in you (John 14: 20), His peace is yours wholly John 14:27, you are no longer need to be a slave to sin, because God has given you His power in Christ to became a vessel to holiness and obedience Romans 6:6, you qualify to be given wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I Cor. 1:30, you are a temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells I Cor. 3:16; Ephesians 4:30, you are holy and blameless in God’s sight.  Eph. 1:4, you have been saved from your sins by grace through faith Eph. 2:8, you have been purified from your former sins and you are now a child of God 1 John 3:2! Amen!!!

My friend, a Christian life is a life of freedom, freedom from any guilt, shame and condemnation. Don’t listen to the devil. Don’t waste your time listening to his lies, because he is the father of lies according to John 8:44. Enjoy your freedom that you have in Christ. You are free, and “If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8: 36).

Eyob B Kassa

October 6, 2011

Be Encouraged in the Lord

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Relationships, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 10/05/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

“David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” 1st Samuel 30:6

Sometimes in life, God doesn’t give you people; instead He gives you a challenge. You go through what you are going through, but you will grow. 

When things go wrong, when everything doesn’t make sense, when the unexpected hits and blows you like a tornado, when your situation gets worse and worse, when you are going through challenge after challenge, …etc what are you going to do at that moment? What do you hold on to? What keeps you sane? Positive? Determined? Peaceful? Joyful?  Etc etc.,

Life is not about surviving, but finding your path and most importantly yourself and your purpose.

A human heart is prone to trouble and the mind is easily discouraged, depressed, and stressed when confronted by a difficult and uncomfortable situation. At that moment our mindset got usually into a negative state, hope start breaking down, peace shuttered, and life start losing its balance, purpose and meaning.

Unless you redirect your focus and reframe your perception about yourself and your situation you will be discouraged and frustrated. At that moment what you are focusing on makes a huge difference. Where your focus is, so are you.

Consider the scenario!

While David and his men had been away from their camp, Amalekites, a longtime enemies of Israel, had swept in, burned everything, and taken the women, children and everything captive. When David and his men came back all that remained was heap of smoking ruins. Everything was gone! Everything was destroyed! It was a terrible loss. As we read in verse four, “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” Some of the men also spoke of stoning him out of their distress over their families. And at that point, as the scripture says “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (verse 6b).

It is always easy to blame someone when tragedy took place. As someone said, “misrey loves company.” When we are on the edge of despair, we tend to blame on someone or something, and that was what these men did. David not only had to deal with his own personal loss (I Samuel 30:5,6a), but he also had to deal with six hundred angry, grief-stricken men.

Everything he had was taken and the rest was burning down. What a loss! But, how did he respond to his situation? Think about that for a moment. As he stood before his burning house what was going on through his mind? How did he handle it? Was there a choice for him at that moment? Of course! 

Friends, life’s circumstances can either make you bitter or better, it’s your choice. Your choice determines the outcome. In the midst of discouragement, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He chose not to be bitter, discouraged, and hopeless. Rather, he took courage and strengthened himself in the Lord His God. When you start looking your situation from a different perspective, when you start encouraging yourself in the Lord, and when you say “NO” to fear, tragedy, loss, disappointment, etc., you see the same situation more precisely and clearly.

Be realistic but keep your focus beyond your situation

Nothing has changed. David’s situation was terrible. Everything he had was gone. His situation looked beyond repair, beyond hope and beyond his strength. His situation was discouraging. He was also surrounded by angry warriors. David had more than a bad that day. The Amalekites had taken everything. But, there was one thing that the Amalekites could not destroy and could not take. There was one thing that they couldn’t stole: his faith in God. The scripture says, “he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” He didn’t turn to no one but God. His focus was on the Lord.

No matter what you are going through, no one can take your faith from you unless you surrender it. You have an option not to convinced otherwise. But does this mean we deny the reality? Faith is not denial. To deny circumstantial reality in order to maintain a positive faith confession is always has a bad result. But, faith acknowledges and recognizes. True faith courageously faces the reality of any circumstances, situations, problems, giants, mountains, etc., but chooses to see them contrasted to the power and greatness of God.

You cannot deny the reality and say I have faith. Biblical faith isn’t denying the reality, it is the ability to see beyond the reality. Faith is knowledge in action. It is an active trust and confidence NOT on anything but the Lord himself. The scripture commanded us to be strong only in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). As the matter of fact, “He is the One who gives power and strength to his people.” (Psalm 68:35).

Focus on God’s Promise, Not Your Problems!

Whenever obstacles appear in your life, redirect your focus on God and His promises. When you focus on your problems you will be discouraged but when you focus on God you will be encouraged. In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are encouraged to keep our eyes on Jesus. Then we will not become weary and faint. Ephesians 6:10 urges us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”.  One of the best ways you can encourage yourself during a difficult time is remembering who your God is. If you keep on focusing on the situation you will be discouraged, intimidated, fearful, and finally defeated, but when you switch your perspective to God and His ability you will become strong, determined, powerful, and focused. When God is the only source of hope you have, you got all you need. It is not what you see matter but how you see. In a time of adversity, keep your focus on God not your problem because God will bring light out of darkness, peace out of trouble, and all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Ziklag is not your final destination but it’s a place of transition

Discouragement is inevitable. Every now and then we collide with a difficult situation that test our strength and faith. Yes, Ziklag may be a place of desperation, tears, and pain but it is also a place of restoration, transition and preparation to get your victory. It is a place where you repositioning yourself to jump into another level. All the disappointments, failures, pain, and struggles you’ve experienced right now will equip you to fulfill your destiny. Ziklag is not a place of rejection but it is a place of transition. Your situation is not your destination. Ziklag is not your final place where you give up all your hope and dream. It must be a place of preparation. It should be a place where you reorganize yourself, your energy, and your thoughts and prepare yourself to go to the next level.

Discouragement doesn’t come from Lord but from the devil. And discouragement can also be a sign that we are walking by sight not by faith. But this doesn’t mean when you walk in faith you will not experience discouraging situations and conditions. There are seasons you experience discouragement, there are times you are facing countless obstacles, and there are levels of challenges that you will experience in this life. But as long as you fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of your faith…” Hebrews 12:2a no matter how much trouble you face, no matter how much you lost, no matter how bad your situation looks, God will restore you and He surely renew your strength.

No matter what you are going through you will never be placed in a situation God cannot handle. God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I want. God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants. John Ortberg

 Eyob B Kassa

September 30, 2011

 

The Modern Apostasy in the Christian church: The word of faith-movement

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Apologetics, Christian Life, God, On Faith movment, Religion, Theology on 04/22/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

  Introduction

Starting from the early church there is a constant battle between the “theocentric theology and an anthropocentric theology” for almost 2,000 years now. In fact, in recent decades, the deception of false teachings received a huge credibility within the church and millions of innocent believers accept and proclaim it without realizing what is wrong with it. I don’t think it is really surprising that these false teachings bombarded millions of unsuspecting christians since that is the true nature of such teachings, but what is astonishing and scary in my opinion is, lack of discernment from Christians and leaders who embraced and give recognition without studying the nature of such teachings. One of these false teachings that have given recognition in the heart and mind of so many believers is the so-called “The Word of Faith-Movement.”

This article was written for two reasons. First, I personally believe that the Ethiopian Christian Churches are in danger of this false teaching. A lot of innocent Ethiopian Christians are embracing the teaching of this false doctrine in one way or another without recognizing the danger. Second, this article was written after I watched a video of a certain individual, Ato Hailu Yohannes on Rise and Shine Show, taught on some controversial issues. I believe it is a wake up call mainly for Ethiopian Christian Churches and Christians here in North America as well as all over the world.

In this article, I will also try to discuss some “key points” that the word of faith-movement teaches and what the scripture says on some particular issue. In this article, I just touched the “piece of and iceberg.” Maybe there will be a follow up post with more insight, but I am very hopeful that a lot of other true brothers and sisters will join the battle.

This article doesn’t reflect my local church’s position on the issue as well as any denominations that I have relationship with. It is a personal stand on what the scripture says.

Before I go any further, I would like to say thank you to few friends of mine who gave me their honest advice and comments concerning this particular paper. Thank you Bisrat Geletu and Eyoas Taye for your honest comments and encouragement.

First thing First

Before I begin to discuss the sheer heresy of the faith movement, I would like my readers to understand that I have no personal intention to propagate hatred towards  Ato. Hailu Yohannes, his ministry, or any one who adhere to this false teaching among Christians. However, after watching what Ato. Hailu said on the following video blog, I couldn’t be quite for two reasons. First, as I mentioned it before, I have no personal problem with the person or with his “ministry” but the truth about this dangerous teaching among Ethiopian Evangelical Churches must be exposed. Secondly, even though numerous articles and books have already been published against such teaching, many people are still follow the teaching of these heretic and plagiarist teachers without a clear knowledge of what it is all about.

I know and I believe many devoted believers share similar concerns and disagreement with the faith movement teaching as I do.Yet, many keep their views to themselves because of fear or any other reasons.
Unlike to other people I do believe that the fear and silence on this issue directly hurt many innocent believers and the true doctrine of the church.

I personally do also believe maintaining or guarding the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is each and every believer’s responsibility as Paul strongly urges the young evangelist Timothy about false doctrine, and false knowledge in (2 Timo 1: 5; 3: 15).
What is a false doctrine or false knowledge? No matter who preach or teach, a false doctrine is any teaching, doctrine, or knowledge that is contrary or against to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Every teaching that can be traced directly to the cultic teachings of New Thought metaphysics, including the theology of the Faith movement, pseudo-Christian cults as Religious Science, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity, etc., despite its appearance to be Christian, uses the same terminology, or uses evangelical methodology is a false doctrine, and false knowledge; which is heretical in nature and the doctrine of demons.

Pure doctrine – does it really matter? Absolutely! As we have seen through out history, the devil has been working tirelessly to destroy the sound doctrine of Christianity. And this sound doctrine of God’s word is still under attack not only from outside the church but inside too. The gospel according to the faith movement distorts the biblical concepts of faith and covenant; it brought so much confusion, disgrace, and blasphemy into Christianity.

Before I start discussing the metaphysical doctrine of The Word Faith Movement, which is also known as “Positive Confession” or “Name it and Claim it” theology, I would like you to watch and listen to one of the videos of Hailu Yohannes on Rise and Shine Show. Though Hailu claims his teachings and doctrinal bases are similar to the rest of evangelical churches, it is the exact replica of the deviant and unbiblical theology of The Word Faith Movement in Amharic.

THEAM, SCAM AND STYLE

What is reality?

Since most followers of this false teaching are in a state of spiritual delusion, they are absolutely in the conscious forms of denial, because delusion is the distorted perception of reality. They are in a total unrealistic view of what is real and what is not. The conscious denial is also exist in a spiritual  situation that conceive and convince a belief system that everything is right when the whole thing is wrong. But, what they don’t understand is conscious denial is crippling. Even though there are many reasons that people deny what is real,
the main reason is to escape from the truth. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is neither truth nor certitude outside of it. For them reality is experience not the word of God. According to Hailu and those “faith” teachers, pain, suffering, poverty is not real. But my question is if pain and other symptoms are not real then Paul’s chronic illness, or Timothy’s
stomach problem weren’t real? If pain is not real why Jesus wept in John 11:35? If pain is not real so is sin, because pain and suffering are the result of sin. And if sin (or all it’s effects) is not real then the coming and death of Jesus has no meaning at all, it’s not even real. According to Hailu’s teaching when Jesus underwent
great emotional stress from being abandoned by his friends, and when he gone through the thought of humiliation and a cruel death by crucifixion, that he produced bloodied beads of sweat, he should have speak “faith words” not negative words like “I am thirsty in John 19: 28” or “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? in Matthew 27:46  ” According to Ato Hailu and the so-called faith teachers Jesus should have confessed positive words from the Old Testament not Psalm 22 while he was on the cross or he must had a weak faith, ha?! Well, it is not surprising how deep this denial goes back into history to mid of 1800’ of Phineas P. Quimby, his associate and founder of Christian Science Mary Baker Eddy and Essek W. Kenyon, who is considered to be the Father of the Word-Faith Movement teachings. In one of Kenyon writings, he said, “it is wrong for us to have sickness and disease in our body when god laid those diseases on Jesus.”1

According to Faith-Word preachers believers suffer from sickness, is because they do not have enough faith, or to use Ato Hailu’s terminology, they must be “body oriented.” Let me give you few examples from the scripture that shows believers can be sick as long as they are in this body (oh I forgot, they (those who claim to be faith teachers) are “spirit beings” or “little gods”!), but look what the scripture says in James 5: 14; 2 Timo 4: 20; Phil. 2: 27; 1 Timo. 5: 23; etc.

Denying will not change facts. Sickness is not always an indication of little faith, lack of faith or sin. To hold that suffering in any of its forms is the result of lack of faith, or negative confession is contrary to the scripture and examples of many faithful believers who suffered greatly.

FACT AND REALITY according to The Word-Faith Movement teaching

To understand the meaning of fact and reality according to word-faith movement, it is good to listen to Ato Hailu’s answer to the question of “what is reality to you?” on the above video link. According to the faith movement doctrine, reality is what the person visualizes in his/her mind, which become into existence through positive confession. K. Hagin said, “if a believer wants to be successful over their circumstances they must confess, and confess positively. In doing so, faith’s confession creates a positive reality.”2 This must be some kind of magic or voodoo.

As his predecessors emphasized, matter has no life, hence it has no real existence.” The concept of what reality
is according to faith-movement is a direct replica of a second-century Gnostic idea. According to faith-movement, as well as dualistic view, the physical environment is not only inferior to the “spiritual” but has no reality by itself. The ancient Gnostics believed that man was spirit trapped in a physical body. This is what some of the modern day counterparts of Gnosticism says, “you are spirit but you live in a physical body”3 and Hagain also said, “the real man is the spirit. The spirit operates through the soul; the intellect, sensibilities, and will. And the soul operates through the body. The real you (your spirit) and your soul lives in a physical body.”4 But denying physical symptoms (including the physical realm) is very dangerous and deadly.5 And this is what leads this cult and its adherers to the other extreme and says the physical death of Christ on the cross cannot end out spiritual separation from God. Even Copland bluntly states ‘when Christ’s blood was poured out, it did not atone’. Jesus had to die spiritually and become sin. That is, He had to take on the nature of Satan. Benny Hinn says, “Jesus Christ knew the only way He would stop Satan is by becoming one in nature with him. You say, ‘what did you say? What blasphemy is this?’ No, you hear this! He did not take my sin; He became my sin. Sin is the nature of hell. Sin is what made Satan . . . Jesus said, ‘I’ll be sin! I’ll go to the lowest place! I’ll go to the origin of it!’ . . . Think about this: He became death; so dying man can live. He became sin, so sinners can be righteous in Him. He became one with the nature of Satan, so all those who had the nature of Satan can partake of the nature of God.”6

Faith teachers claim scriptural support for Christ’s spiritual death in 2 Cor. 5:21, which reads “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  Kenyon supports the physical and spiritual deaths of Christ by using Isa. 53:9 which states “He was assigned a grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death.” According to Kenyon, the Hebrew word for “death” here is plural, thus Jesus must have died more than one death. 1 Peter 3:18 is also used as support of this spiritual death doctrine.

Frederick K.C. Price writes: “Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on the cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God . . . . Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence”7 To support this doctrine Biblically, Kenneth Hagin uses Acts 13:13. The passage reads, “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm:’ You are My Son, Today I have begotten You‘” (KJV; emphasis mine). Of this passage Hagin writes, “God in Heaven said, ‘It is enough.’ Then he raised Him up. He brought His spirit and soul up out of hell-He raised His body up from the grave-and He said, ‘Thou are my son, THIS DAY have I begotten thee.’”8

So according to Hagin, Acts 13:33 proves that Jesus was not God’s son until after God raised Him from hell. Hagin also uses Acts 2:27 to support his claim about Jesus entering hell. This passage is a quote from Ps. 16:10 and reads “For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption”. This allegedly, is evidence that Jesus’ soul must have been in hell at some point and that God promised to not leave Him there. So, according to Ato Hailu and his delusive faith-teachers our salvation was not won on the cross, but in hell. It was in hell that Christ was tortured for our transgression by Satan and his horde of demons. In fact, way before the so-called faith-movement cult, the theory that Christ was a ransom paid to the Devil was taught as early as A.D. 230 by Origen and more emphatically by Gregory of Nyssa A.D. 370. This doctrine however was always met with the strongest opposition and denial by theologians such as Athanasius A.D. 370; and Gregory of Nazianzum A.D. 390. Never did it become the official and accepted view of the Church.

Now let’s look what the scripture says about this distorted teaching:

  • The apostle Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Gal. 6:14). He did not talk or preach about the mythical spiritual death of Christ, nor did he
    ever speak of a glorious redemption that has been completed in hell.
  • In response to 1 Peter 3:18 being used to prove that Christ died spiritually, the text says absolutely nothing about a spiritual death. In fact it clearly says, “Put to death in the body,” indicating that Jesus’ sacrifice was physical.
  • I think it is very important to see also Paul’s letter to the Philippians. In the second chapter he says, “…Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore also God highly exalted Him . . .” Philippians 2: 5-9. According to this text, Paul did not
    mentioned of Jesus suffering spiritual death or experiencing a change in nature.
  • Concerning 2 Corinthians 5:21, the word “sin” is used as an abstract noun. What actually happened was he become “likeness” or “taking the rap” for us and bore the sins of all mankind on the cross (Isaiah 53: 12, Romans 8:3). However, he did not become defiled with mankind’s sinfulness. If that is the case, then Jesus himself was in need of a savior from his sinfulness! His words, “it is finished” does not mean he had to stay three days and nights in hell before he went to the throne as K. Copeland and his clones thinks. As the words clearly shows, the word “it is finished” “tetelistai” in Greek means “ fulfilled”, “completed” or “paid in full” it doesn’t mean “it has just begun”. And look what Jesus said in Luke 23: 46 “Father, into your hands I commit My Spirit.” As this text clearly shows, there is no indication that Jesus submitted his spirit to Satan in hell. Paul or none of the apostles taught the “redemption work” that Christ achieved in hell. The meaning of the expression “made to be sin for us” is inconsistent, not only with the testimony which the Scriptures elsewhere bear to His immaculate holiness, but with the express statement in the adjoining clause, that “He knew no sin.”9
  • The other interesting passage for these false-teachers is Galatians 3: 13 in which Paul says “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us — for it is written, “Cursed is
    everyone who hangs on a tree . . .” I believe this verse should be looked parallel to 2 Cor 5: 21. The main point of Galatians is justification by faith – the blessing of Abraham is justification by faith (salvation). Paul did not say anything about healing or wealth for believers. In the context of what Paul was saying, the blessing that comes with the lifting of the curse is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Look at v.14) and for Abraham; the blessing is not riches or health but righteousness (Read v.6). Concerning sickness and disease and where they come from I encourage you to read the following texts and make your own judgment (Deu.28: vv.20-22, 24-25, 7-28, 5-36, 9-61, 4-65, 68; cf.v.63; Num.12: 10 and 2 Cor.12: 7). As you can clearly see on the video, Hailu was in a state of vivid denial as his predecessors whom he chose to call “my spiritual fathers” who specialize in a metaphysical healing and mesmerism. These people are clearly believed that sin, sickness, and disease exist only in the mind.10  P. P. Quimby, for example said, “If I believe I am sick, I am sick, for my feelings are my sickness, and my sickness is my belief, and my belief is in my mind. Therefore all disease is in my mind or belief.”11 Unless the person is suffering from “denial awareness” this type of denial is not only unscriptural but also very dangerous. I think it is good to remember what Hagin claims at one point. Hagin claims that if he had a headache, he would not tell anyone; and if someone should ask him how he was feeling he would reply, “I’m fine thank you.”12 To deny such kinds of symptoms is not only dangerous but it is hypocrisy. Paul, who did so many healings was open about his and his closest friends sickness, Gal. 4:13-15; 2 Cor. 12:7- 9; 1 Tim. 5:23; 2 Tim. 4:20; Phil. 3:25-27).

The faith of God concept according to the Faith-Movement theology

Though there are various views of faith held by faith-movement teachers, as Ato Hailu said they talk about faith tirelessly not because it is essential to understand the spiritual truth but for many of this cult leader and their deluded followers faith works like a mighty force. It is like a “magic maker.” With enough faith, one can get almost anything they want—health, wealth, and success, just name it and claim it in the name of “faith” and it will be yours.13 Here is what Copeland said, “Faith is a force. It is a tangible force. It is a conducive force.”14
This is what he meant when Ato Hailu said, “ I am a faith teacher” during his interview at the show. He clearly categorized himself and revealed his belief-system with endless legions of Faith clergies who are the direct descendents of the first century version of Gnosticism with a practice metaphysical philosophy and mixture of eastern religions. Copeland affirms “God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith,”15 for “faith is God’s source of power.”16 Moreover, “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.”17

First of all, the concept of faith as a creative force is metaphysical. There is no question about that. They are considering faith to be an impersonal force that can be exerted by unbelievers as well as believers and the very core idea behind is that human beings have the power to create anything out of nothing, which only God can do or which only attributed to God. I hope you can see what they are saying here too. Now the text they are based on is Hebrew 11: 1 which says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The faith teachers hold a position that revealed not only their cultic standpoint but also treat God like an impersonal “force” that can be operated by the use of laws – laws which even he himself has to obey in order to create and operate in His own universe. They say, When Jesus said in Mark 11:22 “Have faith in God,” the literal connotation of the expression is: “Have the faith of God.” or “Have the God-kind of faith; the supernatural faith that God applies. This implies that you can apply the same principles as God did throughout the scriptures and be guaranteed the same results. Listen to what K. Copeland said, “faith is God’s source of power…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.”18 Now ask yourself these questions, Why God needs faith in order to create or operate? Isn’t He God after all? If God needed faith to create the world, whom did He place this faith in? Or what did He place His faith on? Logically you place your faith on something greater, outside yourself. Faith according to the scripture defined as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Does God “hope”? Or does He declare and it comes to pass? Is there anything God does not see? That He has to envision them somehow happening in the future? Or did He in fact create all things? And knows the past, present and future? And even works all things together to bring about His will and purpose? Isn’t God by definition all knowing, all-powerful and all present? Insinuating that He has ever had the need to have faith is to
suggest that He is deficient and lacking in absolute authority to carry out any action at any time as He wishes  – that He depended on faith (in who or what is another question) to accomplish His purpose? In order to show how the claims of this cult are wrong philosophically as well as exegetically it is good how translations render Hebrew 11: 1. For example, the Amplified Bible says: NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the
title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. Neither the original Greek text nor any of the modern translations support Ato Hailu’s or his predecessors’ understanding of faith. Faith, the Greek word, Pistis means persuasion or conviction and Substance (Gr. Hupostasis) is a compound of two Greek words hupo and histemi; which means what is placed under, foundation or support), i.e. faith is what we “stand upon”
(Gr. stasis). It is a foundation for something to stand on; our foundation of faith is God himself and His Word/ his promises. Faith is always object oriented: Faith in God not faith of God. Faith is not a force that allows us to
get whatever that we want. It is not something that we generate every time we want to satisfy our desire. Yes, as the New Testament explicitly says, it is impossible to please God without faith. In fact, faith is a fundamental tool to accomplish what Jesus called us to do. But on the other hand, improper understanding of faith which is among the faith-movement teaching which says faith is a metaphysical force of the mind, i.e if we could channel my thought in a positive way or mind-frame then something magical is going to happen. This absurd. Faith is not magical. It is trusting God, it is being sure, or confident of God and His promises. The problem with most of the faith and confession taught today is that it teaches to have faith in faith and faith in confession, rather than faith in God. It is not against the teaching of the apostles but it is a blasphemous to use faith as a force in
which a person can summon up a power within to achieve wealth, health, and personal success. Faith is neither blind optimism nor believing in opposition to factual evidence or reason as Ato Hailu and his faith-movement teachers preaches. Faith is nothing but the confidence and assurance that we have in the person of God. Faith does not force us to believe something irrational; rather it allows us to hold true to what is true. Faith is
our response to God, but it is not just an intellectual response to a set of truths. Faith is not denying reality but it is discovering reality. It is affirming the truth of a situation but entrusting oneself to God. Denying reality called ignorance. For biblical Christians – reality matter. The problem with faith-movement teachers is on one hand they intellectualize faith but on the other hand they are in a total denial of reality.

As anyone can imagine, the teachings of the faith-movement looks very attractive and convincing but theologically and even logically a mess and it’s the doctrine of demons. Faith is not denying reality. Of course,
faith surpasses reason, knowledge or doubt but it is not unreasonable. Faith is not a way of manipulating God and the universe. Read what Frederick K.C. Price said once, “Now this is a shocker! But God has to be given
permission to work in this earth realm on behalf of man. Yes! You are in control! So if man has control, who no
longer has it? God…. When God gave Adam dominion that meant God no longer had dominion. So, God cannot do anything on this earth unless we let Him or give Him permission through prayer.”19

Now it is very clear that when they say faith is everything and it is a force, there is not much room that is left for God to be a sovereign God because defiantly he is bound by spiritual regulations and faith principles and it is most definitely up to us to control, manipulate and force God to act. The concept that we can manipulate God to give us the ‘good things’ of life originates in concepts, which are occultism. All the examples, which we have considered, the heroes of faith within the Old and New Testament did not use ‘positive confession’ rather; they recognized God as supremely sovereign and all-powerful and held absolutely no demanding words and
actions of human beings placing God in a position in which He is required to act to conform to any of their wishes whatsoever. Read for example 2 Corinthians 12: 7- 10. As these delusional teachers thinks and teaches God is not obligated by our words whatsoever. He is God we are his people. He is the creator, the Lord, the almighty, etc we are NOT!

Now the question is if faith is a law and God is made of faith, what does this make God?

“Now you are gods!” – the doctrine of man according to the faith movement

Man, according to the faith movement doctrine is a physical manifestation of God. As one of the leaders of this metaphysical cult mentioned at one point, “Adam was created in God’s own image and likeness, a spirit-being…[and] takes on the nature of his spiritual father or lord.”20 Copeland also said, “If you stood Adam upside God, they look just exactly alike….If you stood Jesus and Adam side-by-side, they would look and act and sound exactly alike….The image is that they look just alike, but the likeness is that they act alike and they are alike….All of God’s attributes, all of God’s authority, all of God’s faith, all of God’s ability was invested in that man.”21

Now think about that for a moment. First they will tell you that your word has a capacity to create anything that you want, contains a God kind of power to bring something into reality—Just like God himself, and next they say, the how. Because you are god yourself! Or as Copeland says, “Well, now, you don’t have a human, do
you? No, you are one. You don’t have a God in you. You are one.”
22 “I am a little God! Said Paul Crouch, Critics, be gone!”23 Now this is what Creflo Dollar said, “And if God produces man and everything produces after its own kind…if horses get together they produce what? If dogs get together they produce what? If cats get together they produce what? But if the Godhead gets together and says, ‘let us make man’ then what are they producing? They are producing gods … You are gods because you came from God and you are gods, you are not just human…”24

Let’s look at the scripture they used to support this crazy idea:

  1. Then God said, “let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” so God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1: 26-27)
  2. Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’”? (John 10: 34) The words quoted by Jesus in John 10:34 are from Psalm 82:6.  The pertinent section reads as follows: I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High. Nevertheless you will die like men And fall like any one of the princes.”
  3. …By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2Peter 1:4)

I don’t think the crazy claims of this cult surprised anyone who is a true believer of Jesus Christ. This is clearly what is going to happen to anyone who is very obsessed with power, force and fascinated with insane ideas of authority and dominion. The desire to become like God was in the devil’s mind before he thrown out of the presence of God, Lucifer said: “I will be like the Most High…”(Isaiah 14:12-14). Satan’s primary goal is not creating doubt and fear in the heart and mind of people, but to convince them his very own idea of to be like God. This is not the New Age idea. This is not the faith-movement teaching. This was the idea of the devil himself. This false teachers are not better or different from their master himself. Read what the devil said to Adam and Eve, do you see any difference? He told them (Adam and Eve) “… your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:3-5. Here is the deceiving part. The devil promised Adam and Eve that when  you eat the fruit, you will have the ability to differentiate the good and evil, his modern day followers promised you prosperity, good health and financial prosperity. This is not a new trick my friends. It has been in the garden long before everything turned into a mess. My friends, when you turned against God you are not going to be god, you totally separated from God. Read what Kenneth Hagin has said, “man…was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God’s presence without any consciousness of inferiority…. He made us the same class of being that He is Himself…. He lived on terms equal with God…. The believer is called Christ, that’s who we are; we’re Christ.”25 Morris Cerillo also said “the whole purpose of God was to reproduce Himself. …you’re not looking at Morris Cerillo, you’re looking at God, you’re looking at Jesus.”26 

Now let’s say what the scripture says about man, you and me:

1. Genesis 1: 26:  Having the “image” or “likeness” of God sets man apart from the rest of God’s creation. Man was not created in the likeness of any creature that created before him, but in the likeness of his creator, “yet still between God and man there is an infinite distance”. The Hebrew word for “likeness” (_demuth_) simply means similarity or resemblance, not identity. God is a Spirit (John 4: 24), infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth. Adam was created in the image and likeness of God shows, he was God’s absolute, unique, paramount creation that reflect the spiritual being of God but doesn’t mean an exact duplicate with the same essence and attributes. (Read Isaiah 43: 10 “Before me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after me.” And Jeremiah 10: 6-10 “No one is like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.” Unlike the faith-preachers, the true messengers of God Paul and Barnabas rejected the claims of the Lycaonians in Acts 14: 11-15 completely by saying “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these
worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.” The Latin Vulgate renders it, “We are mortal like yourselves.” God creates human beings in his image means they share in a finite and imperfect way, God’s attributes such as rationality and morality. Within this attributes humans can have the capacity to enjoy the fellowship and relationship with God, each other and carry out their assignment to take care of his creation. However, they never had and never will his infinite attributes fully, they remain solely his forever. Amen!

I think every believer understand that each man and woman created with three distinct components (Read Genesis 1: 26-27) “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” 1 Thessalonians 5:23. This shows us that we are created with both material and immaterial parts. The material is clearly visible and tangible which is your body and can exist as long as you live as a person. The immaterial part of a person, which is invisible, is your soul and spirit. When you look at the literal Greek the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 reads that “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and your whole [being]; the spirit and the soul and the body be
kept blameless in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is very, very important here to look how Paul describes our distinctive nature yet he described man as one being. The whole person is composed of three distinctive parts yet he/she is one, “the spirit and the soul and the body.” Each part is preceded by the definite article, and each part is also connected by the conjunction and (in Greek, kai). The Bible Answer Man’s
contention that the Greek word kai can in this case be translated “even” is fallacious, for this would make all the parts equal to each other.  According to 1 Thessalonians 5:23, a person is wholly sanctified by the spirit and the
soul and the body being kept. From this it can be seen that the whole person comprises these three parts nothing less nothing more. The human spirit can be said to have three main functions. These three functions are conscience (Rom. 9:1; 8:16), intuition (Mark 2:8), and communion (John 4:24). The soul is the seat of the human personality. The ingredients, which make us human beings, belong to the soul. The intellect, thought, ideals, love, emotion, understanding, decision, choice, and other like qualities are all associated with the soul. The three main functions of the soul are the will (Job 7:15), the mind (Lam. 3:20, RSV), and the emotion (2 Sam. 5:8; Deut. 6:5). From the beginning as Genesis 2:7 tells us that in Adam, his spirit, soul and body were perfectly blended together—his soul being the unifying factor. In other words, his soul was not only in communication with his body, it was also in perfect communication with his spirit. There is no indication that he was created as “god” but until he sinned against God his “spirit” was the dominant force over man’s soul and, thus, his body. He was body, soul and spirit. Taking the biblical text like Genesis 1: 26 to such an extreme is always dangerous. Yes, the human body is an incredible wonder! Man is neither a spirit being nor merely a physical being as well. Both are intricately intertwined to make us the person we are. God created with three characteristics or attributes (features) that are also found in God.

One: God gave man a mind (spirit), so that he could know God.

Two: God gave man a heart (emotions), so that he could love God.

Three: God gave man a will (freedom of choice), so that he could obey God.

Just as God is the possessor of a mind, and a heart, and a will, so God placed in the soul of man a mind, a heart, and a will. But, this doesn’t mean man has equal attributes with God in all wisdom, power and knowledge. Never! God doesn’t want man to be like the rest of his creation. But he created him in such unique way from the rest of his creation and gave him a spirit that has the possibility of enjoying a meaningful relationship and lives in harmony. God never had a plan to create other “gods” in his universe. Read what Isaiah 43: 10 says, “‘you are my witnesses,’ says the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me’”.

  1. “There is no one like Yahweh our God.” Exodus 8:10
  2. “I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man.”—Hosea 11:9.
  3. “Yahweh, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” Deuteronomy 4:39
  4. 2 Samuel 7:22: “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.”
  5. Isaiah 44:24: “This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”: “This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself.”
  6. Jude 25: “To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”

I can keep on going with the list but as the scripture clearly shows us:

  • God is immutable in His essence: There never was a time when He was not; there never will come a time when He shall cease to be. God has neither evolved, grown, nor improved. All that He is today, He has ever been, and ever will be. “I am the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3:6) is His own unqualified affirmation.
  • God is immutable in His attributes: Whatever the attributes of God were before the universe was called into existence, they are precisely the same now, and will remain so forever. Necessarily so; for they are the very perfections, the essential qualities of His being. Semper idem (always the same) is written across every one of them. His power is unabated, His wisdom undiminished, His holiness unsullied. The attributes of God can no more change than Deity can cease to be. His veracity is immutable, for His Word is “forever settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89). His love is eternal: “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3) and “Having loved His own which were in the world,
    He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). His mercy ceases not, for it is “everlasting” (Ps. 100:5).
  • God is immutable in His counsel: His will never varies. When speaking of Himself. God frequently accommodates His language to our limited capacities. He describes Himself as clothed with bodily members, as eyes, ears, hands, etc. He speaks of Himself as “waking” (Ps. 78:65), as “rising early” (Jer. 7:13); yet He neither slumbers nor sleeps. When He institutes a change in His dealings with men, He describes His course of conduct as “repenting.”

God is not man and man was not and cannot be God or god in any form or shapes. By nature we are nothing, as we came from nothing. As a matter of fact we are entirely dependent on the Creator for every breath we draw (Ps. 66:9). The realization of this ought to make us lie down under a sense of our own nothingness in the presence of Him, read Acts 17: 28 “in whom we live and move, and have our being”.  Actually, not only we are nothing without him, the truth is God doesn’t need us but we desperately need him and all spirituality should start from that point. The scripture clearly teaches us that all our desire to be like him or be in control over everything is coming from our fallen nature, our phony independence, and our obsessive need to be in control. But the fact is we aren’t in control of a single thing in this massive universe and we weren’t ever in control, not even when we thought we were.

In order to show how far this heretic teaching goes let me give you an example from Copeland’s teaching. He said, “God is not God as someone very much like you and me…. A being that stands somewhere around 6′ 2,” 6′ 3,” that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand] span nine inches across” as Copeland said.27 The Bible never intended to convey the notion that God has physical features like His human creation. Anthropomorphic descriptions were simply meant to help us understand and relate to our Maker. Jesus declared, “God is spirit” (John 4:24), not a spirit being with a body (cf. Deut. 4:12). The Creator is, after all, “God, and not man” (Hos. 11:9). Man is unique from the rest of Creation, but is not divine. He was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27; 9:6), but bearing God’s image does not make him a “little god.” Actually any worth we have to God is worth that he gives to us. Any value we think is because he values us, not because of anything in us. Anything contrary to this truth is from the devil himself.

  1. Ps. 82:6-8:  ‘I said, ‘you are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’ The biblical application of this verse was addressed to the judges of Israel they were called gods not because they were divine but because they represented the true and only God when they judged the people. The word for God that is used here is elohim, which can mean rulers, (not Yahweh elohim used only for the one God). The word for Judges is found in Ex.21:22; 22:8-9 it is ha elohim (other scriptures of how the acted Deut.1:16;16:18; 25:1; 2 Sam.11:7). The judges in Psalm 82 do not “make themselves” gods, but rather God gives the divine title to them, on the basis of their commission. Ye are gods (theoi este). Another direct quotation after eipa but without hoti. The judges of Israel abused their office and God is represented in Ps 82:6 as calling them “gods” (theoi, elohim) because they were God’s representatives. See the same use of elohim in Ex 21:6; Ex 22:9, Ex 22:28. Jesus meets the rabbis on their own ground in a thoroughly Jewish way.
  1. 2 Peter 1:4: I want you to understand here that Peter was addressing the concept of “becoming partakers of the ‘divine nature’ ” with such a Platonic language to his formerly pagan Hellenistic readers but in a new Christian way. In a Hellenistic view, human spirits were part of the divine but in the amidst of the material matrix of life these spirits have lost consciousness of their divinity and the whole purpose of their soul search through their religion and philosophy was to recover that consciousness of being one with God. Ok, having this in the back of your mind, when you see 2 Peter 1:4 Peter’s statement, it indicates that his former Hellenistic listeners neither possessed nor participated in the divinity in a mythical preexistent state of being one with God which of course was also among the New Apostolic Reformation and Latter Rain movements, and today’s New Age/New Spiritualists. Note that Peter did not say that we have the divine nature, he said we participate in the divine nature, from which we should infer that we experience some of God’s qualities but not all of them now. But Christ’s dwelling in believers is spiritual, it is not substantial. It is a union and communion accomplished by the Holy Spirit Who sovereignty incorporates God’s presence, not essence, in each of us. Regardless of the some “christian sect’s” teaching of Theosis, also called apotheosis, divinization, and deification, in the Greek the phrase which says “become sharers in the divine nature” (genesthe theias koinonoi phuseos) we can clearly see two important points. Frist, we do not take or receive, we get a “share” of the divine nature and secondly, Peter’s focus is on our “future ability to not sin”.  In other words, the trait we will receive through the “great and precious promises” is the divine quality of not having to fall to these desires but not a promise that change our nature as human beings (creation) and make us divine (creator). Taking this text out of the context and say, we are gods is typically wrong and repeating the teaching of deification in the history of Christendom like Irenaeus and Athanasius who said, “God became man in order that man might become god.” The scripture says we are partakers of the divine nature. But we are not God. We will never be. There is only one God and there is none like him.

Deception in the Church — Final thoughts

The so-called The Word-Faith movement is a combination of spirituality, superstition, eastern mysticism, philosophy and psychology. Once the devil himself was the source of this heretical frame of mind, and now the faith-movement. Their teaching and cultic practices basically appeals to man’s ego for power, authority and
divinity which was promised to Eve and Adam by the devil himself in the Garden of Eden. There are many reasons why the faith teachers reject the basic teaching of biblical Christianity, but their main reason is to spread the original lie of the devil, which was “you shall be like God.” These people use different mechanisms, like social-net works, books, TV, Radio, and various types of communication channels to spread this lie, which was with the devil before and now in the name Christianity, using Christian terminologies, and Christian evangelistic methods. Their cultic teaching and twisted doctrine is spreading like a cancer in a Christian churches through out the world. The danger of this dangerous false teaching affect not only the people who control the pulpits but “ordinary” members too. And I am very much concerned about the Ethiopian Evangelical Churches and Christians who are influenced by this heretic teaching and practices here in North America and all over the world. I tried to mention just a few of their twisted teachings that exalt man to a God status and reduce God to man’s status. I believe understanding the doctrine of faith-movement is very important because it spread in different ways into the mind and belief of many innocent Christians. Their messages are very attractive because they love to talk about health, wealth, and positive confession using psychologically proven but theologically wrong mechanisms to manipulate innocent believers. They used clear scripture passages and twisted them to establish their cultic philosophy. It is a system of thinking that is alien to the biblical or apostolic teaching. It is a new system of scheme that manipulate people and leads into an endless treadmill of spiritual blindness to the extent of glorifying man as little god. I believe, it is each and every Christian’s responsibility to expose the error of this cult by any means necessary because the terrible effect of this hearsay which can have an eternal effect.

Eyob B Kassa

April 22, 2011

ENDNOTE

1. E. W. Kenyon, “Jesus The Healer”, Page 44. D.R. McConnell, A Different Gospel, Page 149

2. K.E. Hagin, How to Turn Your Faith Loose (Tulsa: Faith Library Publications, 1979),23.

3. F. K. C. Price, High Finance, p. 55.

4. K. E. Hagin, Redeemed From Poverty, Sickness, and Death (Rhema Bible Church, AKA Kennneth Hagin Ministries Inc., 1983) p. 25

5. Robert Jackson, Prosperity theology and the faith movement, p. 20

6. Benny Hinn, “Benny Hinn” program on TBN (15 December 1990); quoted in Hanegraaff, 155-6.

7. Frederick K.C. Price, Ever Increasing Faith Messenger (June 1980); quoted in Hanegraaff, 163.

8. Kenneth E Hagin, The Name of Jesus (Tulsa: RHEMA Bible Church, 1979), 33

9. Crawford, Thomas J.  The Doctrine of Holy Scripture Respecting the Atonement.  Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Baker Book House, 1954

10. Todd Ehrenborg, Mind Sciences (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), p. 8

11. Phineas Quimby, The Quimby Manuscripts, ed. By Haratio W. Dresser (New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, 1961 [orig. 1859]), 186 as cited in Christianity in Crisis, Hank Hanegraaff (Eugene, OR: Harvest House
Publishers, 1993), p. 247

12. K.E. Hagin, “Words” (Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1979), 10.

13. Immutable Word Ministries (“…the word of our God stands forever.”) 2010. www. faith-defenders.com/…/a-primer-on-the-word-of-faithpositive-confession- movement

14. Copeland, The Force of Faith, p.113)

15. Kenneth Copeland, Freedom from Fear (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1983), 11.

16. Ibid., 12.

17. Kenneth Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0601), side 1.

18. K. Copeland, “Freedom From Fear”, Pages 11-12; “The Power of The Tongue”, P. 4

19. Prayer: Do You Know What Prayer Is. … and How to Pray? The Word Study Bible, p. 1178

20. Kenneth Copeland, Our Covenant with God (Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1987), 7-8.

21. Kenneth Copeland, Authority of the Believer IV (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1987, audiotape #01-0304), side 1.

22. The Force of Love, cassette tape

23. Paul Crouch, Praise the Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network, July 7, 1986

24. Creflo Dollar, “Made After His Kind”, September 15, 2002

25. K. Hagin, Zoe: The God Kind of Life, pp. 35-36, 41

26. Morris Cerillo, The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God, Audio Tape 1, Sides 1 &;2

27. Copeland, Spirit, Soul and Body I, side 1.

WHAT THE DEVIL WANTS FROM YOU (Part Two)

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life on 04/07/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

It is time to clean the house! No joke! The devil cannot be your friend! He is a thief and he is a killer.

The devil’s plan for your life is three-fold:  To Steal… To Kill… and To Destroy….. He has NO good plan for You and Your life!

Here I want you to understand the words of Jesus in this text. Jesus said, “the thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” John 10:10 (emphasis mine). He said; the thief will come. No doubt about that. In fact, read what Peter says in 1 Pet. 5:8 “Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil has no plan for you except to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said, “he comes ONLY… That means; surely the devil will come, but when he comes he has no other interest or purpose for you but ONLY one thing. He comes turn everything upside down in your life. By nature, the devil doesn’t know any order. Actually, he doesn’t even want order.  He is the architect and the source of all chaos. There is no goodness in him at all!

WHAT THE DEVIL WANTS FROM YOU

The devil wants to devour you, in other words, he wants to kill you. He wants to kill your joy, confidence, peace and happiness by any means necessary. That is his ultimate plan for you.

As the matter of fact, if you are a Christians, he cannot do anything to you directly but he will use any thing and every thing to disappoint you, to scare you, to take away your confidence, to shake your strong foundation and fill your soul with fear and doubt —even he can collaborate all his demons to the point of taking your life. He’s your enemy and his plan is to take you out. He’s not your friend and definitely not your buddy!

To carry out his goal he will use every opportunity as well as time. That is why the scripture says, “be watchful” 1 Peter 5: 8-11. 1 Peter 5 gives the “why” for watchfulness, because “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  If you  try to keep your head in the sand and pretend there is no such thing devil in the world who is active and focused to steal, kill and destroy, you will not survive.

Listen! Christianity, I mean true Christianity is not fun. When we are called to follow Christ, we are called into the battlefield. God called us soldiers not spectators. He never calls people into picnic, pastime, or pleasure. From start to finish, it is war, compelled to “endure hardness like a good soldier.” We are called into the spiritual military boot camp. As you know, in any boot camp training is serious. It’s not fun; it’s not comfortable; but it’s necessary. Because God’s ultimate purpose is to make an army out of you. He wants to make a warrior out of you! We have been called into this army for a purpose, God’s purpose. The purpose of an army is to insure freedom and liberty. In addition, soldiers must go into battle with the proper training and equipment. The purpose of all this discipline and training is not to wear us down but to make us ready and strong for the battle. Because only well trained soldiers stand strong and bring victory.

And one of the best characters of a strong soldier is his watchfulness. He is always on guard. The cost of carelessness in this call is so high. Why? Like the scripture says, “your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8)”.  My friends, the devil doesn’t sleep on your case. He is always watching. He is always hunting.

I don’t know if you like to watch NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DISCOVERY or something about animals and their amazing characteristics. Think about a lion for a moment. Even though, the symbol of lion characterizes strength, majesty, and leadership in the Bible. Here, in 1 Peter 5: 8-11 the symbol is for one who is ruthless, stealthy, and powerfully aggressive animal often working from ambush. Lions by nature will stalk and attack animals even larger than themselves. Lions usually look for and attack the animals that are alone, exposed and wandered away from the others.  And that is the wonderful opportunity for lions to attack from every side and put him in a slow and painful death. Lions are good predators. They have good eyesight at night, which helps them prowl around their prey. Since they don’t run as fast as cheetahs, they tend to get as close as possible to their prey and dart out.  

The enemy frequently strikes in our darkest times. In the daylight, when everything is good and powerful, and when our life is right with God according to the scripture, he can do nothing. So, He is waiting and waiting for that perfect time, for the better chance to make his surprising attack us.

Peter says Satan is prowling. He is seeking. He is devouring. Like a hungry, roaring lion. That’s is why Paul says in Ephesians 4:27, “do not give the devil an opportunity.” Don’t allow Satan to maneuver you into a vulnerable spot.

SATAN’S CONDTION/POSITION SINCE THE CROSS-

As the scripture says, Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil in 1John 3:8. Now what are “the works of the devil”? Read v.9 and you will see what the works of the devil are, sin, rebellion, temptation, accusation, fear, and etc. According to v. 9, “The Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil. Therefore no one born of God commits sin.” Sin is a the works of the devil and any one who commit sin is participating in the works of the devil. Sin is what destroying humanity. And the devil is always use sin as a weapon to persuade and control people to work contrary to the will of God. So, the bible says for this purpose, for what? To destroy the works of the devil Jesus came.  To destroy means to loosen or to make powerless. And remember what Jesus said in Luke 4:18? He said “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” So, what is the condition of the devil then?

First of all, we have to know that the devil is a defeated foe. Read Colossians 2:14,15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

The New Testament uses “principalities” of spiritual beings that exercise rule: angels (Eph. 3:10); evil angels (Rom. 8:38; here). Jude 6 refers to the authoritative power of fallen angels.

“Principalities” is a term of dignity (dignitaries) whereas “powers” is a term of executive authority.

“Powers” is authority to do anything right? This word combines the two ideas of right and might.

The words “principalities and powers” therefore refer to demons operating under Satan, fallen angels.

The words “triumphing over” mean to lead prisoners of war in a victory procession. The picture is of a military procession leading captives of war. It means to demonstrate one’s successful conquest of the opposition. A general could lead his captives through the streets of Rome. Behind him the wretched kings, princes and people of the defeated nation would follow. They were openly branded as his victims and spoil. This one of the highest honors Roman general could achieve. This was a common cultural phenomenon in the Roman period of history.

Jesus gained an immortal victory through his death. The last word “it” refers to the cross. The fight was fierce; the combatant died; but in dying he triumphed (I Cor. 15:57). His enemy did not count on his resurrection. Jesus routed the enemy by the resurrection (Rom. 8:37; Heb. 2:14,15; I Jn. 3:8).

Satan is defeated, yet alive and well…

Now, in many people’s mind there is this question; if Satan was defeated at the cross; why does he supposedly still have so much power and process people? My friend, read Ephesians 4:26-27. When Jesus died on the cross, a cataclysmic thing happened: Satan was soundly and completely defeated. He was beaten beyond hope of recovery and he knows it. Stan is still exists. He is still alive but his power is weak. But this doesn’t mean he is no longer active. It simply means that he cannot have victory over a person who is “in Christ”. But, Satan is still angry and still furious for every thing that he lost in heaven and on the cross. Because of this reason, in his rage he prowls around searching for any way he can find to get even with God. He is always looking for a weakness or vulnerability in us to take an advantage of it. He strategically uses our strengths and gifts to pervert and destroy them. He causes fear, defeat, hopelessness, anger, failure, he can plan a lie or envy in our mind, he also inflicts pain, guilt and wound etc. That is why the bible encourages us not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11, 1 Pet. 5:8-9, 2 Cor. 11:14, John 8:44).

Friends, Satan’s works are manifold. In order for a YOU to walk well before God, you must learn how to resist Satan. In order to do that, you must discern what is the work of Satan. You must discern how he operates in human thought’s life, body, mind (conscious), and environment. But no matter how strong and powerful he looks like, if you are “in Christ” fear not! 1 John 4:4. Resist him in faith and authority James 4:7;Luke 10:19.  Believe that the blood of Jesus has covered you and yours! Stand on the promises of God and declare to him in faith, “Satan, you are already defeated! You are finished. I am now in the heavenly places. I defy you and I resist you.” He is just a fugitive who is in fear and put in shame on the cross, but he is trying to deceive you that he is mighty and powerful. You should tell him who he is; then he will run away. Amen?I think the problem that people have is in understanding the nature of that defeat. It doesn’t mean that Satan ceased to exist. It doesn’t even mean that satan is no longer active. It simply means that he can not have victory over a person who is ‘in Christ. And that’s why We are told to put on the armor of God so we can stand 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (Eph. 6:16)

 Eyob B Kassa

April 7, 2011