"Wells Without Water" by Tricia Tillin
The Errors of the Word-of-Faith Movement (Part Four B of Four)
This four-part study is designed to demonstrate, using verbatim transcripts of the tapes of Kenneth Copeland, some of the errors in the "Positive Confession" movement.
You may find it hard to believe some of the things Copeland is reported as saying! But trust me, there has been NO tampering with the tapes. Not only did Copeland say these things in the 1980's when this study was first created (as a tape set called "Wells Without Water" on the Banner Ministries tape list) but he continues to reiterate them up to this very moment.
So do many, many others in the Word of Faith leadership.
These teachers are totally unrepentant of their heresies, despite having been approached by countless brethren who tried to point out their unscriptural teachings. They continue to teach doctrines that are dishonest in their scriptural content, deceptive in their outcome, and destructive to the genuine faith of a Christian.
The next except from Copeland’s teaching, beginning "You are a being of three worlds" is important because it illustrates a basic error in all the Word of Faith doctrines.
EXTRACT FOUR: UNLIKE SATAN, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE LIKE GOD
Copeland: You are a being of three worlds. This human being can function in the spiritual realm, he can function in the middle realm, he can function in the physical realm, and he is the only creature God created that can do that. Angels can not do that. They don’t have the same rights of choice that you have. They do as they are told do, they speak as they are told to speak, and they speak what they’re told to speak, and they hearken only to the word of God. And every angel that ever made a choice to do otherwise is doomed forever, and Satan is their god. And he is the chief angel that changed his mind and said 'I want to be like the most high God', and God said, 'huh-huh that’s what you think'
But did you ever notice that He created us in His image, and said 'you be like Me'. We have a right to say that, -ha, ha- really, you and I can stand up and say, 'I will be like my most high God' and to Him, it is dedication and consecration. The devil stands up and says, 'I’ll be like the highest God', and God says shut up. He’s out of his class, but a man is not out of his class when he speaks those words, 'I’ll be like the highest God', hallelujah!
No, not stand up and say 'I’ll be a god' like that, no, no but 'I want to be like my God, I want to be like my most high God, every way I can, hallelujah' and for a human being it’s a blessing.
First, Copeland says that we human beings function on three levels: the spiritual, the "middle", and the physical realm. I'd like you to consider this statement for a moment.
What precisely is this "middle" realm?
Since we have a spirit, soul and body, logically, the spirit functions in the spiritual realm (supposedly), the body in the physical, and the SOUL in the "middle" realm - which would then be the psychic realm, but of course Copeland would not use this word!
Later, what he says about "the intellectual realm" suggests this middle area is that of the mental/intellectual functions. But just how these function separately to the physical realm, I do not know, and Copeland does not explain this mystery.
Next, Copeland says we are entitled to stand up and say, 'I will be like God' - and it’s a blessing to man. God sees it as dedication, he says. Well, when Adam said so, it caused all mankind to fall into sin. I know Copeland tries to qualify his statement by saying it’s different to wanting to be a god in your own right, but is there any real practical difference?
The book of Genesis says that Satan tempted Eve with the words, 'you will be as gods'. Surely it is more than a coincidence that the very same prideful act of Satan when aspiring to godhood is the temptation he then presents to Eve? And the result is just the same: Satan was cast out of heaven, and Adam and Eve were also cast out of the presence of God. Their perfection depended on their obedience and subservience to Almighty God. Their aspirations to godhood led only to the downfall of the entire human race, and a severance of their relationship to God. That same prideful attitude also led to the sin and evil we are now experiencing all around us!
Adam was God's servant. God had given mankind a task, to fill the earth and subdue it. They were not given carte blanche to take dominion over God's creation and become a divine rulers of the world in their own right. That was Satan’s plan for man, not God's.
We have already (in the previous section, part 4(a)) gone over the scriptures pertaining to godhood and man made in the likeness of God. We have also seen how the Word-of-Faith leaders preach that re-born man is as much a god as Jesus, with the same rights, authority and powers. This teaching comes from the same source.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. ( 2 Th 2:3-4)
If God is so pleased that we could stand up and boldly say "I will be like God" then why is the one who achieves this noble aim called "the son of perdition"?
Will we be like God? Yes, in the Resurrection - but never on this earth, not by striving, by education, by spiritual knowledge, by anointing or by any other thing.
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." I Jn 3:2
EXTRACT FIVE: ANIMALS GO TO HEAVEN.
Copeland: Now you see, animals can operate and function in two worlds, I’m talking about the higher level of animals, I’m not taking about the cold blooded animals, I’m talking about warm blooded animals. [They] can operate in the physical world of course, but did you know, that they can actually function in the spiritual realm to a limited degree? The intellectual realm is where they can’t function. If you’re going to have any brains, you’re going to have it on ---- [Copeland pauses here, possibly because he realises what he's saying makes no sense!! If animals can function in the physical realm AND in the spiritual realm, there's nothing to prevent them "operating on an intellectual level" so he's just destroyed his own argument!].
They can function in the intellectual – oh, I mean, the spiritual realm. Animals can be demon-possessed, isn’t that true? The bible tells us that it can. What happened in the Garden of Eden? Huh? Somebody lied to you, and told you, that when animals die that they are just dead and don’t exist anymore, wonder what bible they got that out of? Do you ever notice that people, and we’re talking about Christian people just kind of assume there? You can’t find it the bible. I have never been able to find it in the bible and if a-a like a dog, an animal, a horse or something like that, if a horse has no spirit then it is the only thing God ever created, that’s all around God ever created, didn’t have a spirit that walks in a body and could function in the spiritual realm.
"O, brother, I never heard anything like that!", well, aren’t you glad you heard (?) something new, "well, I just don’t understand that!" - Well, look in the word of God and you’ll find that Jesus comes riding on a white horse, glory be to God, hallelujah!
I know one dog that got saved (lots of laughter) O yeah, now don’t argue with me about this, friend of mine from [somewhere in Alabama] used to live there when he was with the CPA, he’s now the pastor of a church. I don’t--- his church may not know his dog got saved, I don’t know. His son came in there, and said daddy, I want you to lay hands on this..., he called that dog by its name, I don’t remember what that dog's name was. He said, I want you to lay hands on him. He said, why? He said, I’ve got him saved, now I need to get him baptised in the Holy Ghost. (Lots of laughter) You laugh if you want to, but that means something to God.
Do you realise, if Copeland is telling the truth, if animals do have eternal spirits (and we know all creation is fallen because of Adams sin), then we are responsible for saving the souls of all creatures to prevent them going to hell?!
Can you imagine such nonsense being preached in the name of Christian truth?
At the start Copeland says that human beings were created to function spiritually, mentally (?) and physically - and that’s true. But then he says, animals function on two of these levels: physically and spiritually, but not mentally.
Come on, anyone who owns a pet knows
that they have a mind of their own! If animals had no intellect,
they would be robots, unable to think or reason, which is clearly not true.
My cat has memories that go back to kitten-hood. He can work out whether I’m upstairs or in the garden, and remember what time he gets his supper. He certainly has an intellect, a very sharp one sometimes. What else causes him to reason within himself - shall I obey this call to come in, or shall I keep on chasing this interesting leaf around the lawn? And he comes to a reasoned (but not reasonable!) decision which demonstrates he has a thought-process of his own that frequently opposes mine. Don't you know what I mean!!
But does he have a spirit? Does he have a God-consciousness? If he did, then I would have to preach him the gospel and get him saved, just like the dog in the story. Does my cat have a nature that allows him to commune with God Almighty? If he does, I’ve never seen it in action. I don't know - have you ever noticed your hamster trying to pray?
Mankind was created as a "living soul" to receive the "breath of life" from God. Thus, man has a spirit, whereas animals have only souls. For this, see Job 12:10 "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind."
Animals were created as lower beings made out the dust of the earth, animated by a mind and soul ('Nephesh' in Hebrew). That is why when they die they return to the dust, and are no more. We get sentimental about our pets, but most of us know they are not going to heaven! If they were, we would be obliged to develop animal funeral rites, animal coffins and animal cemeteries.
On the other hand, why assume all animals make it to heaven, when human spirits don't? If dogs have to be saved to go to heaven, then presumably unsaved dogs go to hell?
The idea that animals have spirits leads to all kinds of problems, beginning with the concept of animal sacrifice in the Old Testament. Would God kill his own spiritual servants in order to redeem man's sin? Would he place Adam in dominion over the animal "kinds" if there was a spiritual unity between them?
Once you accept that animal have spirits, you are treading a dangerous path leading to the New Age view of the universe. You begin to see all creation as one in God, we and the animals being joint owners of the planet. We would have to agree, then, that to end the life of an animal is a crime. We would have to endorse the recent efforts to give apes and gorillas "human rights" and all the other animal rights lunacies. We would have to become vegetarians, and environmentalists, working to save the animal species instead of having dominion over them as God commanded!
The only proof Copeland offers for his theory is to say animals can be demon possessed. Well, yes, I believe that is true, (for example the herd of pigs that fled over the cliff.) But are demons possessing the spirit or the BODY of animals?
Now we see how muddled Word of Faith teachers are about the spirit realm! If, like Yonggi Cho, you think all spiritual activity - human, divine and demonic - happens in some parallel reality called the Fourth Dimension, then it makes some sense to say that demons posses the spirit. But Copeland strays from the fold here. (Or maybe his doctrine was formed before he heard of Yonggi Cho?).
The animals of heaven that Copeland mentions, such as the horse Jesus rides at the Second Coming, are of course heavenly creations of God. They were made to exist in heaven. I believe the Heavenly Paradise will have many animals, birds, and other creatures, but these are special creations of God, not reborn earthly creatures.
What does the Bible teach about the spiritual realms? The Holy Spirit, in inspiring the word of God, used a plural (or, dual) word for the "heavens" (shamayim) suggesting there are differences between the demonic realms and God's realm.
Paul speaks of the "third heaven" (2 Corinthians 12:2) and of "paradise" (2 Cor. 12:4), and the common understanding in his day was that "The first heaven is that of the clouds, the air; the second, that of the stars, the sky; the third is above both, where God's glory continually shines".
Since satan is "the prince of the power of the AIR" and his fallen powers are often referred to as "stars" we can see that the demonic realm is that of the sky and outer space, (but on a spiritual level, ie unseen!). However, God's Throneroom and Heavenly Temple exist in a higher dimension. (The word "paradise" means "garden" and is often used to describe a perfect Eden surrounding God's Temple which is inhabited by the saved. Since the earthly Temple was copied from the Heavenly realities, this garden would be represented by the Court of the Temple.)
And on the subject of animals, the Bible is plain. Peter likens false teachers to beasts and describes them, therefore, as creatures "made to be taken and destroyed" - that is the biblical view of animals. (2 Pet 2:11-12)
Psalm 104 describes the death of animals in this way: "thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust."
EXTRACT SIX: GOD IS THE BIGGEST FAILURE
The whole tone of this message is offensive to me and I imagine it would be to any sensitive Christian who loves and worships God. It is only human reasoning that calls God a failure, because man sees everything in terms of success and ownership and prosperity. Man measures by what he gains.
Copeland: I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the bible actually is. When everybody asks whose biggest failure is, they say, 'Judas'. Somebody else will say, 'no I believe it was Adam', but how about the devil? He’s the most consistent failure (another person laughs and says OK) but he’s not the biggest in terms of material failure and so forth. The biggest one in the whole Bible is God, huh?! What, don’t you turn that set off, I told you, you sit still a minute, you know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t tell something that I couldn’t prove from the Bible. But you just stop and think about it for a minute. I mean, He lost his top ranking most anointed angel, the first man He ever created, first woman He created, the whole earth and all the fullness therein, a third of the angels at least - that’s a big loss man. I mean, you figure that out, that’s a lot of real estate, brother, gone down the drain.
Now God didn’t cause all that. You see He didn’t do something to cause it. And we have to understand all that, but He took the blame for it, didn’t He, yeah, He took the blame. Why? Well the buck stops there. In the fifty fourth chapter of Isaiah He said, 'I created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, He said, I created the waster that destroys, therefore no weapon formed against you will prosper', in other words 'I created him, I can handle him'. In other words, I take responsibility for it and I take the responsibility for the deliverance and the turn round of the whole thing.
Now, the reason that you don’t think of God as a failure, is He never said He’s a failure, and you’re not a failure till you say you’re one, (another voice says, say that again). You’re not a failure until you say you’re one. And He won’t say it, no! He just started off and said, there’s coming one, that’s gonna put His heel on your head, and just set out to get it done, no matter how many thousands of years it takes and how many generations it takes and how many He had to hunt for until He found one: Abraham. It doesn’t make any difference to God if it takes eighteen million years; He took off to do nothing else. Now I brought this because this the direction we’re going to see. Now I want you to see this, God doesn’t do anything else, He [tape unclear] one day of the week. The bible said, 'He ever liveth to make intercession for us'. We are forever twenty-four hours a day in His heart and [His] primary objective.
He could have said, 'I got a major problem here. Now what am I going to do with it? Well let’s see. The first thing I’m going to do is fast, no, I tell what, maybe that’s not right, I don’t want to do much of that. I know! Prayer, that’s number one!' Well, who's He going to pray to? He’s as high as He can get. Well since I’m God, I know how this thing works, the cardinal law is the law of giving and I so love the world, giving is the way out of this. Giving is the most powerful thing that I have at My command, and I’m going to give My way out of this problem. I have lost the earth, I have lost a third of the angels, and I have lost the Director of Praise. Then the Bible says, we give, and it causes a thanksgiving to God. He said, I lost the Director of Praise, I am going to give and get it all back.
Now lets see, what am I going to give? I got a lot of money. I had a lot more, but, that boy down there dug into my account, he cost me heavy! But I am still way out ahead of anybody else. Well, who would I buy it from though? I am not going to do business with the devil, I am going to have to give to get this thing out. It’s beyond buying. I can’t buy My way out of it. I am going to have to give my way out of it. What am I going to give, now let’s see. I think what I’d better do, I have still got two thirds of the angels left, and- and there’s a lot of them, and besides that, I can create more of them, you know. I can create them dudes, faster than they can fly out of here.
Maybe that’s what I ought to do, you know, I sure wouldn’t want to give Jesus! Now He’s the only thing I got left that’s on my level. It’s down to He and I, and if I lost Him, I’d be, O God, I-I, can’t do that, that would leave Me lonely that would leave Me without, I-I couldn’t stand to see that happen to My own, My own life, eh-eh, I mean I can spare those angels. There are all kinds of things up here. I mean, I could create things nobody ever heard of before and you know, if I did all that, I wouldn’t be giving. I’m going to have to give something that’ll cost me, to get these laws into motion. I’m going to have to give something that’ll cost me. Cause until it cost Me, I haven’t kicked my faith out anywhere’s (and He’s got a faith).
So I am not going to give my nubbin corn. I am going to eat the biggest, I mean, I am going to eat the nubbins and give the biggest, fattest corn I’ve got, that big fat corn. That’s your seed corn. You don’t want to eat that good stuff and plant those nubbins. Eventually you won’t have nothing good to eat. You’re going to keep producing the nubbins, you’re going to downgrade, you see. Your harvest is downgrading all the time. So I am going to give the best stuff which makes my harvest upgrade all the time. And as the good seed that I am planting increases in quality, I take my seed out of the best I have, and I continue to plant that. Eventually my nubbins will be better than I started out with back there originally.
So God said, I’m going to take the best I have. And out of the mouth of Jesus flowed the most important verse of the entire bible, when He said, 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son' . Now there was a moment, Paul, (Crouch), man had proven that he had a free choice. He had proved he didn’t have to accept anything that he didn’t want, right? There was a moment when Jesus was separated from God. Jesus had gone into the place of the damned, the answer for Adam's treason. There was a moment there that the only thing God had to give had been released, and there was no guarantee of ever getting Him back, except the law of giving and receiving. (Applause and a voice in the background saying, praise God, there it is).
There was a moment when as far as God was concerned there was no Jesus. Nobody had to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. There weren’t nobody had to do that. They could have said 'forgive me', I don’t know, there has been thousands that have done it. God had no guarantees except --- but then this 'except' turns into the greatest guarantee that there is. He had no guarantee that anybody would accept it, except when you plant a seed it will produce, it will produce, it will produce. You can can’t stop it. (Applause) The devil can’t stop it, Paul can’t stop it, and the Bible says He planted one Son to receive many sons. (Loud applause) And now, I mean God is sitting up there now all kicked back, got His feet on the throne, saying get 'em boy, get 'em, glory to God.
We are not at liberty to speculate on what was in God's mind when Adam sinned, but we know from scripture that He is a God of love, and love is glad to give all freely and without coercion.
Copeland portrays God as struggling with His emotions, trying to convince Himself to part with Jesus, as if Jesus were not God Himself and totally at one with the Father in any decision they made!
But instead of salvation being an act of love and mercy and grace, it is that God was forced to find something he could use to get back what He's "lost". God turns to the universal laws of the cosmos, supposedly, in order to win the world to Himself, and unfortunately those laws "obliged Him" to give up His beloved Son.
Do we see here an Omnipotent Ruler, an Almighty Lord, the One who foreknew all things, or a snivelling self-obsessed loser? Copeland says God was "the biggest failure..." so presumably he is portraying him as just that! What blasphemy!
Where is the love of God in
this reluctant sacrifice? And if God had to use His faith
to operate a law, where is His omnipotence?
God had to scrape around looking for a plan of action, since He'd been thwarted by Adam and Satan. But the word of God says, "we were chosen in Him and foreordained before the foundation of the world." (1 Peter 1 19-20).The doctrine that Jesus had to die in hell to pay for Adam's sin is covered in Part Two of this series, but it's interesting to see it preached here for a second time.
Jesus, the Bible says, went and preached to the spirits in prison by the Spirit of God. (1 Pet 3:18-19) How else could He preach the word of God except by the Spirit of God? So the Spirit was upon and within the Lord Jesus at that time, even in the realm of the dead. (Copeland calls this the place of the damned. No, there was no point visiting the damned, for they were eternally lost. It was to the righteous of the pre-redemption creation that Jesus went, to those who waited in hope for Christ's day.)
But wherever Jesus went, it was not as a dead, mortal, sin-ridden spirit as Copeland says on an earlier tape. He paid the price for our sin with His blood and by His death, 1 Peter 1: 19 says, "You were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot".
And as for there being "no guarantee" of Jesus ever coming back - what utter nonsense! The prophecies of the Old Testament as well as the very words of Christ Himself promised a return from the dead! Are we to believe that God cannot fulfil His own word? Jesus never once lost control of his destiny, for He says:
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)
There Must Be a Return
On top of the error of the " law of giving" being God's tool of salvation, Copeland says that the same law of giving was a guarantee that men would respond to the gospel. Jesus was God's best seedcorn, and having planted Him, there MUST be a return.
O yes? So, we are not creatures of freewill, but obliged by universal law to accept Jesus, not because of our faith in Him, but because nothing can withstand the law of giving and receiving!
However, there is actually no obligation upon us at all to believe the gospel. If there were some kind of compulsion in this way, it would not have been a genuine offer, a free gift of life eternal!
God foreknew that many would believe Him, though. The word says that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, and those He foreknew, He predestined to be justified and glorified in Jesus. But - that was not a result of any law!
In any case, that "before the foundation of the world" demonstrates conclusively that God wasn’t stuck for a way out after Adam sinned. Copeland represents it as a big surprise and shock to God. Not at all! We were chosen and foreordained to salvation BEFORE the Fall in Eden!!! The Plan of salvation was already laid.
EXTRACT SEVEN: TWO SIDES OF THE BRAIN - SOUL AND SPIRIT
Copeland: Suddenly I just saw it, I'm talking about in my mind's eye, you know, in my mind. What I am talking about is, I didn’t have a vision in the spirit, like a prophetic thing, it was in my mind's eye and that’s what I was dealing with. And I can see it right now. It's got stronger, that I can see it now with my eyes open. As I’m talking to you I can see it. That’s the way some of those debts and problems and everything got with you. You saw yourself as just a total disaster, and you got to where you can see it without closing your eyes.
Well, that is a God-given thing in the wrong hands. It got over into the hands of worry, it got over into the hands of fear, it got over into the hands of the devil, it got over into the hands of poverty, it got over into the hands of sickness and disease. Some people cannot see themselves anyway but sick. See.
This is really the guts of Christianity, coz man has always been this way. God made him this way. And the devil got a hold of him and perverted what God had already built. Man was a visionary. He's always been a visionary. I mean, even in recent years they found out that everybody's brains got two sides to it. One side is analytical side, and the other is the visionary side. On one side you do all your numbers and logic and figuring, and the other is where you are creative. Well, surely it’s that way! You’ve got your soul using one side your brain and your spirit uses the other side of your brain. But most people don’t know how to get hold of that visionary side and that’s where all the creativeness is, that’s where all the great things come from. But God put part of your brain for your soul to use, and part of your brain for your spirit to use. You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body. See, medical science is finally finding out that God knew what He was doing all the time, see.
This final piece of nonsense is a classic! I simply do not see how anybody can revere Copeland as a Teacher in the Church, when he not only accepts New Age hype as scientific but gives it a twist of his own like this!
You are probably aware of the New Age interest in this issue of right-brain/left-brain. It is one of the areas in which they depend on supposed scientific evidence, but the real aim is the religious one. The hidden agenda is to open us up to the mystical realm where we can develop psychic powers and meet spirit-guides.
For a start, New Agers say that man, in his fall, lost the use of his imagination and visionary abilities, his creative and god-like skills, and the knowledge of how to perform supernatural feats, like levitation for example. (Remember how Luke Skywalker in Star Wars was taught by his spirit-guide to shut his eyes and visualise himself being able to raise a spaceship out of the water? It was done with the powers of his imagination, because the belief is, whatsoever you can imagine you can DO.)
The problem, New Agers say, is that we have lost contact with the right side of our brains! We have become a left-brained society, too analytical, methodical and word-oriented to move in the realm of visualisation. We need to teach ourselves to re-integrate the right and left brains. To do this, we need to develop the neglected half of our brain - the right brain. We must meditate, imagine, visualise and drift in the subconscious dreamworlds where creative urges spring up and cause us to explore new revelations.
To achieve this, all kinds of strange devices have been tried, including hallucinogenic drugs, hypnosis, meditation music, brainwave inductors, and sensory deprivation tanks.
Unfortunately, the truth is that seeking to develop the imagination in this way is a fast track to bondage and oppression, because demons love the fertile ground of any passive, drifting, open mind. They quickly steer it towards the worship of false gods.
However, Copeland goes even further down this road by telling us we have two halves of the brain, one used by the spirit and one used by the soul! According to this version, we need to develop the "spiritual side of our brain" where the powers of creation and imagination are.
There is so much that is wrong here that it's hard to know where to begin commenting.
Firstly, the whole concept of the "two halves of your brain" and the supposed unused right side is a New Age myth. There is absolutely no scientific evidence for this belief. Brain scans show that thought processes occur all over the brain equally in both halves, and both sides of the brain are also active in imagination and dreaming. While there may be some differences in emphasis between the two halves, there is nothing like the total separation of function suggested here!
Medically speaking, the two sides of the brain are not as separate as all that. One section of the brain called the Corpus Callosum has been shown to be the link between the two halves and it channels information between them. Even when this is severed, there is still some interaction between the two halves of the brain. It may be that we use different areas of the physical brain for different functions - I don’t question that. But God did not create a brain that was half useless, that sits dormant until we consciously develop it. Both the soul and the spirit of man have equal access to the entire functions of all the body.
Despite Copeland's reminder that we are a spirit-being in a physical body (thus suggesting the spirit is more important) the Bible does not make such a distinct separation. Men are called "souls" in the Bible. (For example Lev 17:12) Also, the soul and spirit are so closely intertwined that the words for these areas in the OT are used interchangeably.
There is so much shared activity between the soul and spirit that we have difficulty dividing between them. It is perhaps one of our greatest problems as Christians, to know what is "of the spirit" as opposed to our own soulish activity. We are told that only the word of God, sharp and precise as a sword, can effectively divide between them - and as you read this familiar passage be aware that it is speaking not only of the written word but the WORD of God who is Jesus Christ.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (Heb 4:12-15 KJV)
Jesus knows and sees all things, and knows the interior workings of our hearts. He knows the difference between soulish emotions and the spiritual prompts from God, because he, too, once lived on earth in a human body and has been touched by "the feelings of our infirmities" and temptations. We, however, are often in the dark over this and confuse the workings of soul and spirit - making Copeland's claim that we use two completely different sides of our brain for soulish and spiritual activity a complete fallacy.
Also, contrary to Copeland's assertions, "imaginations" are said to arise from the heart, not the spirit. The "heart" is the emotional centre of man, the centre of thought, will and feeling. It is part of the fallen nature. Furthermore, the Bible usually shows these imaginations to be wicked and ungodly! (e.g.: Ps 140:2/Prov 12:20/Zech 8:17) In particular note:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Gen 6:5 KJV)
"...the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..." (Gen 8:21 KJV)
Man may have been born a "visionary" but since the Fall he has been busy envisioning rebellion against God and wickedness against his fellow-man. Whenever we get to work with our imaginations, we invariably end up disobeying God. Isn't that the truth? How, then, can Copeland claim that our purified, reborn, spirits are responsible for our visionary skills?
If it were true that the spirit and soul are apportioned different parts of the brain by God, then logically the entire spiritual half would have ceased to function when Adam fell! No human being would have the full function of the right side of his brain until he became saved! You know that isn’t so.
No, we need all that God provided, and we use all that God provided. We have been created with a physical brain that is designed to get us effectively through this life on earth, with powers of thought, imagination, will, reason, logic and analysis - all are needed and all are used continually.
But let’s not confuse the physical mind and soul powers of our human existence with the spiritual gifts given us by God. These are totally different. If we do confuse them, as Copeland does, we could easily begin to accept the New Age view of man as a undeveloped superman who needs to enter into a spiritual realm by the development of his brain.
Copeland here is already calling "visualisation" a God-given spiritual gift, one of the most commonly used techniques for developing higher powers in the pagan religious cults, in Satanism and esoteric philosophies, and in all areas of the occult. It is visualisation that’s being used to bring man's thoughts (however evil) and dreams (however damaging) into reality.
This whole issue of visualisation is a burning topic in the church right now because some Christians feel that we can use pictures in our imagination to bring healing or peace, or to get answers to prayer. Ministers such as Dave Hunt, who wrote the book "The Seduction of Christianity", point out that as a technique it is much more a part of pagan culture than Christian.
His comments can be read in his book in chapters 9, 10, 11 and 12, and also in his sequel, " Beyond Seduction" chapters 10 and 11.
One final thought on the errors of Ken Copeland and the Word-of-Faith doctrines: where ignorant and deceived men raise themselves up into positions of power, they frequently become idols of the masses. Just because Copeland has millions of followers around the world does not make him correct in his doctrine. I have nothing against the man personally, but his teaching is - as I have shown - often completely misleading and wrong.
If you are a part of this Movement, consider that fresh and brackish water cannot come from the same source! There is enough brackish water here to fill a lake. Consider your Christian walk, and the safety of your eternal spirit, and if you value truth and have any regard to correct biblical doctrine, you MUST forsake this teaching.
And may God bless you with open eyes and hearts
to hear his voice and to do His will!
© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.