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The False Teaching of Steven Furtick

HomeFalse TeachingsThe False Teaching of Steven Furtick

I’m often asked to assess what others teach. I do not do this lightly, but it is necessary. Before reading this page, or any of the pages about specific people, I recommend that you read What is a False Teacher?, which explains what the Bible says about false teachers, and why I would bother to research who they are and what they say. You may also want to check out a list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend.

Is Steven Furtick a false teacher?
Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick is a very popular speaker. He’s clearly a gifted communicator, and – based on the growth of his congregations – likely a gifted leader as well. As the founder and pastor of Elevation Church – home of the popular Christian music group Elevation Worship – he has a great amount of influence and a worldwide audience. Of course, those have nothing to do with whether he’s a false teacher.

Steven Furtick is a false teacher.

I’m not happy to say this. I’d rather say that he’s a fantastic teacher, that he carefully studies Scripture and clearly communicates God’s Word to his audience. Unfortunately, based on his own words, he’s not like that. I have nothing personal against him, and I don’t know whether he’s saved. You don’t either, of course. The question is whether Steven Furtick can be trusted to teach and preach what God has said… and, while most teachers say a lot of things that are true, the measure of a false teacher is that they too often say things that are untrue.

Birds of a Feather

The first indication of a false teacher, and the easiest to spot, is with whom the teacher associates. Steven Furtick associates himself and his church with other false teachers. He holds conferences with Word of Faith teachers and New Apostolic Reformation teachers. He publicly approves of false teachers like T.D. Jakes, who teaches the heresy of modalism (see below). He called Word of Faith teacher Joyce Meyer “the greatest Bible teacher alive today.”

Let’s be clear: this isn’t the same as a Christian going on a non-Christian’s show, or the same as an orthodox Christian going on TBN and challenging their false beliefs. This is an arm-in-arm kind of association, where they’re working toward the same goals in the same ways. While the statement of faith on Elevation’s website is entirely orthodox, what gets taught from the pulpit is not.

We who teach – and I include myself – are not in the same group as those who listen. Look at James 3:1: Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. This is serious business.

Little Gods

A defining feature of most Word of Faith teachers is known as the ‘little gods’ doctrine. This unbiblical idea is that humans are not only somewhat like God, but that we are duplicates or copies of Him. The implication, as taught over and over by these false teachers, is that we share God’s nature, and we can do the things He can do. This includes everything from healing diseases to creating universes.

“Remember ‘let us make man in our image?’ God needed someone to show the world what He looks like, or else He would have just been a concept. God would have been an abstract theory. So He made man, and wo-man, to reflect who He was. He needed someone to show His nature through, so He made me and you.”

While this, by itself, is not necessary heretical, it’s silly. Yes, we’re made in God’s image. However: if Furtick is right, who are we showing God’s nature to? To God? No… to angels and demons? One would think they know God better than we do. To animals? To trees? This makes no sense, of course… but it does help Furtick set up more on the little gods doctrine.

Here’s Furtick, talking about God’s encounter with Moses in the wilderness:

“When God said “I Am” to Moses, you know, “my name is I Am,” He was trying to get him to see you are as I am.”

Let’s look directly at the passage:

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:13-14

Quite obviously, God was NOT telling Moses that he was ‘as God is.’ Instead, God gave Moses a message for the Israelites: he was being sent by “I Am.” Not only does Furtick’s teaching not match this passage of Scripture, he contradicts it directly. Also: teaching that Moses is “I Am” goes far too far. Teaching that reading about Jesus is anything like reading about ourselves goes too far. The Bible is not about us.

Word of Faith teachers regularly demote God and promote man. Furtick follows in the footsteps of false teachers like Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, and Joyce Meyer by claiming that we are just like God, or just like Jesus. Scripture clearly teaches, again and again, that we are not like God:

No one is like you, Lord.

Jeremiah 10:6

There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you.

1 Chronicles 17:20

I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.

God, telling Moses what to say to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:14

I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

Isaiah 46:9

The ‘little gods’ doctrine is, quite simply, heresy. I would also consider it blasphemy.

Misquoting Scripture

In 2 Timothy, the apostle Paul wrote this to the young pastor: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” With all due respect, Steven Furtick does not correctly handle the word of truth. That’s not simply my opinion… anyone can listen to him teach and then compare what he says about a passage of Scripture with what the passage actually says. His well-known message about mirrors is a good example. Here’s the passage in question, from James 1:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Clearly, James is talking about obedience… hearing the word (what Jesus taught) and doing what He said. Contrast the obvious meaning of James’ words with what Furtick says about this passage:

I love the Bible, ’cause here’s why: it’s a mirror. That’s what James said. He said in James 1:23 – this is the New Testament equivalent of Caleb’s speech because Caleb was looking in a different mirror to see himself, and James says the word of God gives you a different mirror. It’s different than your experiences. It’s different than your genetics. It’s different than your tendencies. It’s different than your neural patterns. It’s different than all of that. It’s different than your height or your weight or your eye color. It’s different than anything you can see. The word of God is a different mirror, but here’s what we do: we forget what we saw in the word and we look into the world to reflect back to us what’s inside of us and so we stay outside of God’s promise, forfeiting our possession as the children of God, so James is like ‘if you listen to the word and don’t do what it says, you’re like a man who looks at intently at his natural face in a mirror but then, you go away and at once forgets what he was like.’ And that’s what happens when you leave church and you have to go into situations that contradict what your spirit knows.”

Furtick’s message is nothing like James’ message. The common element is a mirror… but while James uses it to teach that we should be obedient, Furtick uses it to teach that “Your self-image might be limiting our potential.” That’s the title of his video, but it’s not how responsible teachers handle Scripture. This is a consistent problem in his teaching, and an entirely irresponsible process for teaching from the Bible.

Modalism

The doctrine of the Trinity comes from the Bible. There are three main ideas in this doctrine. First, we know that there is only one God. Second, we know that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Third, we know that the Son is not the Father nor the Spirit, and that the Spirit is not the Father. Put more simply, there is one God who is eternally and distinctly three persons.

Modalism is the unbiblical idea that there is one God who is only one person… and that when we see the Father, Son, and Spirit, we are seeing three different manifestations of the same single person. This is an ancient heresy that has been condemned throughout church history. Unfortunately, a number of prominent preachers espouse this false doctrine, and Furtick is among them.

In John 16:7 Jesus said, It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. Trying to explain this passage, Furtick claims that Jesus said this:

“No, I am not leaving you. I am changing forms. See, up until now I have walked with you, but when I send my spirit, I will be in you.”

In case anyone wonders whether Furtick misspoke, there’s more. In the same sermon, speaking of Jesus’ ascension into Heaven, Furtick said this:

“… and now Jesus is taken from their sight, and hidden in a cloud, but he did not leave. He just changed forms. He did not disappear. He just was no longer visible. Instead he was internal… He said “it’s good that I’m ghosting you. It’s good that I leave in physical form because then I can give you in spiritual form, then I can direct you from a deeper place.”

Furtick is saying that God stopped being the Father and became a man (Jesus). Then, when He ascended into Heaven, stopped being a man and became the Holy Spirit. This is not a simple theological error, or a questionable interpretation of a particular Bible verse. This is an entirely unbiblical idea, condemned throughout all of church history as heretical. It completely ignores a multitude of clear Bible passages, in which we see that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not the same as each other.

Revelation, not Transformation

In a Facebook post from 2021, Furtick wrote this:

“Following Jesus doesn’t change you into something else, it reveals who you’ve been all along.”

This is in line with a common teaching in the Word of Faith movement: that our faith only manifests what is already true in the spiritual realm. Unfortunately, it’s in stark contrast to Scripture. Rather than revealing who we’ve been all along, following Jesus actually results in a change.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:18

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

God Broke the Law

Steven Furtick earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. One would assume that this kind of education might help him avoid really dumb theological ideas, but that assumption is flawed.

The laws, regulations, and guidelines we see in Scripture for both ancient Israel and for followers of Jesus are, historically speaking, universally understood to be a reflection of God’s character. When God tells us to not commit adultery, it’s not simply because He thinks we should avoid adultery… it’s because adultery is contrary to who God is. We should do certain things, and not do other things, because they are in concert with God’s character or contrary to God’s character. This isn’t a difficult concept.

Unfortunately, Furtick gets this one wrong. He teaches that God created a good Law, then broke His own Law, and did it because He loves us. “What God did when he sent his son… [he] broke the Law for love.” The idea is that love is greater than the Law. That sounds good, but it’s the opposite of what we see in the Bible. First, God is not subject to any law. That would make Him subordinate to the law, and to the one who gave the law. Instead, we see in Scripture that God is sovereign, that there are none like Him, that there are none above Him, and so on. God is the supreme authority in all things, and subject to none.

Second, Jesus did not set the Law aside, and He did not break the Law. He fulfilled the Law. The Law said that the wages of sin is death. God did not break the Law, He followed it to the letter… but, rather than punishing us, He punished Himself as a demonstration of love. There are a number of very serious problems with Furtick’s teaching on this.

  1. If God broke the Law, justice has not been done. If justice is ignored, God is not who He claims to be.
  2. The one who breaks the Law is a sinner. God cannot sin.
  3. God becomes a lawbreaker in order to save lawbreakers from His own Law, putting God in conflict with Himself.
  4. In Furtick’s example, God does not know the future. He created laws, then needed to break them because He didn’t foresee the circumstances that would require Him to break the law.
  5. If God made a Law and then broke it, the Law is not based on His unchanging character but on His circumstances. This makes the morality of God relative to each situation, rather than a universal truth.
  6. It changes the nature of Jesus’ death. We justly deserve death, but He died on our behalf. If Furtick is right, then the Law was ignored in favor of love… and so Jesus did not take our place. The very nature of the gospel is that Jesus died in our place, so Furtick’s error on this matter touches on the most important subjects in Scripture.

God is Energy

A very simple way to assess anyone’s belief system is to ask them about the nature of God. Atheists will say that God does not exist. Muslims will say that Allah is perfect. Hindus will need you to specify which god you’re asking about. Buddhists will talk about becoming one with everything by losing your self-identity. Here’s what Steven Furtick has to say about the nature of God:

“God is energy. God is spirit. God is a molecular structure that fills all in all. That’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning.”

First, that doesn’t match what we read in Scripture.

Second, it’s the kind of claim that can’t be tested, so it’s ‘safe’ from those who would question it. After all, someone might say: who’s to say that God is NOT energy? This is a common practice among those in the Word of Faith and New Apostolic Reformation movements: making claims that sound good, that have no basis in Scripture, that can’t be contradicted directly because they’re created out of thin air.

Finally, the idea that God ‘fills all in all’ isn’t simply unbiblical. It’s also a heresy known as panentheism.

Jesus’ Power is Limited by Our Faith

One of the most common problems among false teachers today is that they change the focus of the gospel from God to humanity. The biblical perspective is that, without God’s help, we are hopelessly lost. He takes the first step. He draws us to Himself. He enables us to believe. He saves us. We are powerless without Him. The most common error among Word of Faith teachers – and that includes Steven Furtick – is to give us the power. Faith, they claim, brings power.

This is certainly not true, but it’s the foundational error of their movement. Rather than having a biblical perspective, they teach what is essentially magic. If you have faith, they claim, your faith gives you the power to do amazing things. Faith is a force, and words contain that force, so speaking faith-filled words gives you power to change your life. It’s not that God enables us to do things because we trust Him and obey Him. It’s that we wield the same kind of power that God has.

Along those lines, a lack of faith is a spiritual limitation. In Matthew 13:53-58 Jesus is in His hometown, and He’s not getting the same kind of response there that He got elsewhere. He noted that “a prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” Verse 58 says this: And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Now take a look at what Furtick says about these events:

“The power of God was in Jesus, the healing power of God, the restoring power of God, the same power that made demons flee was in Nazareth, but Jesus could not release it. Because it was trapped in their unbelief. And there’s one thing that even Jesus can’t do. One thing that even the son of God can’t do. Even Jesus cannot override your unbelief. I see y’all looking at me like, ‘Is that true? I thought He could do anything.’ It said, ‘He could not.’ He wanted to. He was prepared to. He was able to. The power of God was in Nazareth, but it was trapped in their perspective.”

Do you see it? There’s a gigantic difference between Jesus not doing many miracles because of their unbelief and Jesus being unable to exercise God’s power because He was entirely powerless to do so. Furtick puts the power in the hands of the unbelievers, rather than in God’s hands. Jesus wasn’t blocked. God wasn’t powerless… yet Steven Furtick claims that He was.

Fake Baptisms

Sometimes, pastors make bad decisions. Hopefully, we all learn from our mistakes. It’s especially bad when we publish our bad decisions as a guide for others. One of the things cited for Elevation Church’s growth is the atmosphere surrounding baptisms. Now, baptizing people is good. The problem isn’t that Furtick baptizes converts to Christianity.

The problem: Elevation Church, led by Steven Furtick, suggests that an invitation to be baptized will be more effective if 15 volunteers are the first to move when the invitation is given. The screenshot below is from page 4 of Elevation Church’s helpful Spontaneous Baptism How To Guide.

There’s some really helpful information in there. The helpful information isn’t the problem, of course. The problem is having volunteers appear to be regular attendees who are eager to be baptized. We all know that it’s easier to stand up when others stand up, and harder to be the only person in a crowd to do something. The impulse to fake it is completely understandable… but deception is not a valid church growth strategy.

This situation was a gigantic source of controversy, and has been disputed by Furtick and others at Elevation. From my perspective, the only possible way that this would NOT be deceptive and manipulative is if the volunteers stayed in their seats until Furtick (or some other leader) asked the volunteers to get up and take their positions to help those who sincerely wanted to be baptized. Having volunteers isn’t deceptive, but giving the impression that they’re going to be baptized is.

In light of Furtick’s false teaching, this might simply be a big mistake, and not a lie… but it’s worth noting when asking whether Furtick is a trustworthy Christian leader.

Narcigesis

Normally, I strictly use a false teacher’s own words to explain why we should avoid them. That way we avoid arguments about one person’s opinions being more correct than another person’s opinions. In this case, I consider it helpful to provide a general warning.

There are two primary ways that people interpret Scripture. The most proper method is known as exegesis, or ‘reading out’ of Scripture. This is where you read a section of the Bible and you ask what is says. You take out of the passage what is already there… what everybody sees. For example: in the passage above, where Jesus is in His hometown, we should read what the text says and learn from what it says. The assumption is that God has already communicated what we need to know, and we just need to discover it by studying the text.

The other method is known as eisegesis, or ‘reading into’ Scripture. This is where you read a section of the Bible and you add to it. It’s not always wrong or bad, but it’s a good way to run into trouble. For example, in that same passage of Scripture, one might ‘read into’ the passage the idea that Jesus may have been angry at His old neighbors and at His family. The passage says nothing about it, but we might imagine it anyway. The trouble comes, of course, when we pretend that our insertion is the truth. We’re adding our ideas to God’s ideas.

Narcigesis is a new word. It’s a combination of narcissism and eisegesis. This is what happens when we put ourselves into the text. For example, in that same passage, a ‘narcigete’ would put themselves in Jesus’ place. This is an incredibly common practice, and it should not be. Yes, it’s good to ask what we would think and feel if we were in that situation. This is something more. Narcigesis makes Scripture about me. Furtick’s teaching is chock full of narcigesis. He’s not alone, unfortunately. I’m not providing examples here, but a warning to watch out for it. The Bible isn’t about you. You are not the hero of every Bible story. The Bible is about God, and we learn about Him and about ourselves by reading it. You aren’t David, and Goliath isn’t your fear standing in the way of your destiny. We aren’t wandering in the wilderness. You and I aren’t Job, or Moses, or Jesus.

Conclusion

Steven Furtick is an interesting person, a gifted communicator, and probably a pretty nice guy. He’s also a dangerous false teacher, whether he knows it or not. I have no insight into his heart, and couldn’t know his intentions. He appears to be a genuine person… that is, I don’t see him as a liar who poses as a follower of Jesus for personal gain. He seems to believe what he’s saying. Unfortunately for him and the many thousands (or millions) who hear him teach, sincerity is largely irrelevant.

The truth matters. While much of what Furtick teaches is true, too much of it is not… and the things he gets wrong are big things: the character of God, His ability to do things, our ability to thwart Him, and so on. As a teacher, Steven Furtick should be avoided.

Notes

See the complete but incomplete False Teachers List

Disclaimer

Don’t bother commenting or emailing me about how I’m just wrong. It’s a waste of your time and mine. If you have something to say, include Scripture. I am far from perfect, and I can be wrong… so I don’t do any of this lightly, and I’m open to correction.

Don’t bother telling me how this person or that person helped you. It’s a waste of your time and mine. Nobody teaches lies and falsehoods all the time. In researching these topics, I’ve heard a LOT that I appreciated, and have been inspired by even those who are otherwise far from the truth. The number of times someone is right is irrelevant to the question of whether they also teach false things. We should appreciate anyone who teaches us the truth, but that doesn’t mean we should uncritically follow them when we see significant problems in their lives, in their ministries, and in their teaching. Neither your opinion nor mine matter here. What matters is what the Bible teaches, and whether those who preach and teach in Jesus’ name are teaching falsely.

If you can provide evidence that one of these people has recanted their false teaching, please let me know. I would love to amend their article to show that they have changed what they teach.

Finally: we who follow Jesus should not consider false teachers our enemies. If they’re not saved, we should pray for their salvation. If they are saved, we should pray that God will lead them to teach only the truth.

See also: a list of Bible Teachers I Can Recommend


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Comments

193 responses to “The False Teaching of Steven Furtick”

  1. Tommy says:

    i now understand why you see him as a false teacher

  2. Morganne Weaver says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  3. John Roden says:

    I’m not a follower of Furtick, and in no sense do I endorse him or his ministry. But I did check the website for Elevation Church to find out what they teach about the Trinity. Apparently he holds the orthodox view of the triunity of God, at least in his doctrinal statement. Here is what I found:
    Trinity
    God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He exists as one substance in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority.

    Deuteronomy 6:4 Isaiah 61:1 Matthew 28:19 Mark 1:9-11 Luke 1:35 John 5:21-23; 14:10, 16 Romans 8:9-11 1 Corinthians 8:6 2 Corinthians 13:14 Hebrews 1:8-10 James 2:19

    • Tony says:

      John:

      I appreciate the fact that you did your homework! That’s good. Unfortunately, many false teachers have perfectly orthodox statements of faith. Furtick is one of those. If you just read the website, you might think he’s right on track… right? However: when someone claims to hold to orthodox, biblical, historical Christian doctrine but then makes clear public statements of modalism, it’s obvious that they’re not teaching what they claim to teach.

      Here’s what we see: as with so many cults of Christianity, they share our vocabulary… but they use their own dictionary. When Christians talk about Jesus, they acknowledge that He is God. When Jehovah’s Witnesses talk about Jesus, they’re using words that sound the same, but have a different meaning. In this case, it’s that Jesus isn’t God, and isn’t one with the Father, but that He’s the first being that God created. Same vocabulary, different dictionary. The same goes for non-Christian teachings from Word of Faith folks and NAR folks. Furtick is simply pouring his own meaning into the words you might hear at the church you grew up in.

      That’s part of why I’ve decided, after 24 years of having online discussions about Jesus, to go ahead and write about false teachers: so many have simply been deceived.

    • Jon says:

      Appreciate that look up. What looks like Modalism, or “ONENESS Pentecostalism”, can just be an attempt to express what classic theology calls “circumincessionism” or the indwelling of each Person in another Person in the Holy Trinity. Manybtimes statements of faith by very otherwise orthodox groups miss this teaching.

      • Tony says:

        Jon:

        While I appreciate the graciousness of wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt, there are (at least) three problems with this idea. First, it contradicts Scripture. Jesus, in no sense, changed forms at the ascension. As Paul notes, our glorified bodies will be just like His… so, as far as Scripture is concerned, Jesus still has a body at this moment. He did not change forms and become spirit. That’s enough to condemn Furtick’s statement. Were he to address the issue and clarify that he’s biblically trinitarian and not a modalist in any sense, we would all be sure of what he means. That he has not suggests that he stands by his statements, which is why I’ve shared them here.

        Second, as pointed out in the article, Furtick has a degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. If he really is biblically trinitarian, he should know better than to explain anything about the trinity that could be misconstrued as Sabellianism. Again, he seems to have passed up the opportunity to clarify that his words weren’t intended to contradict Scripture.

        Finally, suggesting that he may be engaging in circumincessionism doesn’t necessarily make things better, or more orthodox. This too goes beyond Scripture to the point of contradicting Jesus’ words. When He prayed that we all may be one as He and the Father are one, He clearly wasn’t suggesting anything like circumincessionism. Unless we can become so unified that we actually “indwell” one another, I would suggest a less mystical reading of John 17. The concept of perichoresis appeared 650 years after the close of the canon. That doesn’t make it wrong, of course… but we should be careful about embracing concepts that are far removed from their source.

        As an aside, I have doubts that Furtick even has a clue about perichoresis. I’d love for him to prove me wrong, to explain what he meant, and express clearly that his views match what we see in the Bible.

  4. Creodomus says:

    Very well explained. The disclaimer especially.

  5. Mary says:

    This has honestly been the best I’ve read about the subject. Clear and simply put. Using scripture to point out the errors. So many are just so full of an arrogant and jealous spirit that it deters away from the truth they are giving. Thank you for your gracious words and help. I currently have a dad who has pastored for 40+ years. A Baptist pastor. But some times enjoys listening to fellows like Furtick and TD Jakes knowing the doctrine and error in the ministry itself. Simply put, not obstaining from the appearance of evil and not separating from the world. The services or what they call “experiences” being like a rock concert as apposed to a respectable and honorable way to come to God and worship. But it’s the speeking that gets him every time. He likes to hear them and I think most people are that way. My spirit is bothered when I hear him, thankfully. I would like to know how to reach out to him and make him see that when he listens to these guys he’s being affected, but he should know this. Mostly I’m concerned for the next generation. My children hear them and see them and agree sometimes and don’t see the pitfalls. Church is changing too quickly because of the influence of these false teachers. Meanwhile, I see a whole generation being deceived.

    • Tony says:

      Mary:

      Thank you for your encouraging words. Like you, I’ve found that most critics online are just kind of griping about people they don’t like, or repeating someone else’s accusations. It seems really important to avoid gossip about people, and to be fair and gracious in our assessments. That’s why I work hard to use Scripture and a false teacher’s own words, rather than just post my opinions about them.

      As for helping your father, that can be tough. The only way to change anyone’s bad idea is to offer them a better idea, and for them to take it. My first suggestion is always to be gentle. Most people get defensive about things, and dig their hole even deeper. Gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15) is important. My second suggestion is that Christians should be strategic about these things. One strategy is to ask questions in a different context.

      Here’s an example: Furtick has taught modalism. You could go to your father and say, “Steven Furtick is a false teacher who teaches modalism and you should be ashamed of yourself for listening to him.” That’s not likely to get you very far. Instead, you might ask your father to help you… you could ask, “You know, I believe in the trinity, but I’d like to be able to explain it clearly. How do you explain the trinity?” Along the way, you might ask something like this: “What do you say to people who believe that God is only one person, who just shows up in different forms at different times?”

      Do you see what I mean? Here are the benefits:

      • You’re asking for advice, rather than advising.
      • You’re not attacking him or Furtick.
      • You’re double-checking what your father believes without making him defensive.
      • You’re asking him to critique an unbiblical perspective.

      If your father is a modalist, you’ll find out rather quickly. That’s a whole different situation, right? If your father is not a modalist, he will be able to explain the doctrine of the trinity… and be able to explain how the Son is not the Father, for example. You could even, at that point, ask another question: “What would you say to someone who teaches modalism?” and “What would you say to someone who listens to modalist teachers?”

      Yes, you’re setting him up. There’s nothing wrong with that. Once your father expresses that modalism is false, and tells you what you should say to a friend who believes in modalism, you can say it back to him. I would suggest that this conversation might take place over several days or weeks, rather than in one sitting. Give him time to think about what he’s telling you, to review it in his mind. Then you might, when the time is right, ask him this:

      “What would you say to someone who explained Jesus’ ascension this way?” and then quote Furtick: “… and now Jesus is taken from their sight, and hidden in a cloud, but he did not leave. He just changed forms.”

      You might then ask how to counsel someone whose children are being taught this error. Do you see how this patient and gentle approach might be more effective than a confrontational approach? In the end, you should be praying for your father and listening to the Holy Spirit. He knows better than you or I what your father needs. In truth, it could be that your father is able to listen to Furtick without a problem, sifting the good from the bad. For mature, well-educated believers, there is less danger than for others. It might be that the only real problem is that he’s watching while young and impressionable children are around… and that he just hasn’t thought about that.

      I’d love to hear how it goes, Mary! Let me know if there’s some other way I can help, beyond praying (which I’m doing right now).
      Have a great day!

      • Mary says:

        Thank you for all your help! I will try this and possibly get back with you when I get his response! Will be a week or so…

  6. Jake says:

    Hello, I am in my mid thirties and trying to rebuild my faith. I was raised Roman Catholic and went to private Catholic school. I have had an “on again, off again” relationship with my faith throughout the years. The only thing I remember I was taught about the Trinity , is that as a human being we can’t understand it. I’m trying to understand what modalism is and why as Christians it is the wrong belief system. Any insights with this is much appreciated. I have recently been struggling with breaking free from my past sins. In searching for answers I found Furtick’s podcast, and I have to say that some of his sermons spoke to me deeply. But I don’t want to follow a false teacher. I was also intrigued by the Baptist form of preaching, energetic compared to Catholic masses. ( Not knocking either, it was just different to what I was use to.) Thank you and God bless you.

    • Tony says:

      Jake:

      It’s nice to meet you. Thanks for writing!

      The reason people are taught that we can’t understand the trinity is that we can’t. We don’t really have a way to accurately compare it to anything, and comparing is one of the key ways we understand anything. There is only one God, and He never created anything like Himself… so we can’t say that He is like an egg, or an apple, or the sun, or whatever. Each of those analogies falls apart at some point, and fails to adequately explain what God is like. I’ve included a funny video below that you might like. As with Marvel movies, there’s a bit after the credits too.

      There are two major directions one can go in: tritheism or modalism.

      As the name suggests, tritheism is the belief in three different gods. That would be the Father, Son, and Spirit… who would be considered separate, not one. As the other name suggests, modalism is the belief in one god who reveals himself in three (or more) different ways… or modes.

      First: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are properly understood as God. All three have attributes that only God has. They were all involved in the creation, for example. Jesus, clearly, claimed to be God and His disciples taught that. Our bodies are the “temples of God” because the Holy Spirit dwells in believers. There’s no question that all three persons are God.

      Both tritheism and modalism are false simply because they contradict Scripture. From Scripture, we know that there is only ONE God. That means that tritheism (three gods) is false. On that, modalists agree with the Bible. From Scripture, we know that Jesus is NOT the Father, and that Jesus is NOT the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit is NOT the Father. Each has a relationship with the other… we see what’s called a subject-object relationship. If you throw the ball, you are not the ball. If the Father sends the Son, the Father is not the Son. We see this all over the place: Jesus is sent by the Father, prays to the Father, obeys the Father, goes back to the Father. The Father knows things Jesus did not know. The Father sends the Holy Spirit after Jesus goes back to Him, and so on.

      So: while we can’t understand the trinity, we CAN explain what the Bible says about God. Does that make sense?

      Here’s that video… enjoy!

  7. Josh W says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My wife and mother in law are both very attached to Steven Furtick and I’ve tried to tell them about modalism and other things he says but they always interpret it to mean something else. I also was attached to Furtick and his teachings not too long ago but thank God for a biblical counselor who called him out and really challenged me to listen to what he is saying. Now I pay attention more to the words spoken by pastors and don’t just take everything they say as being true. I hope to study and understand the Word of God more so I can confidently stand on and defend the faith.

    I really appreciate your conclusion as it shows compassion and love. The fact that you said to pray for Furtick speaks for itself. I agree with you that Furtick genuinely believes what he is teaching so my heart breaks. May God have mercy on him, his family, his church, friends, associates, and all who listen to him. May God save his soul if he doesn’t know Christ and may God give His children eyes to see and ears to hear. God bless you brother.

    – Josh W, a fellow brother in Christ

    • Tony says:

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Josh. You’ve encouraged me twice… first by your gratitude, and second by letting the world know that you’re paying attention! Too few Christians take such things seriously. Thanks!

  8. Kathleen says:

    Actually, the Word of God teaches that there is only ONE Spirit who is God. It ALSO teaches that the Spirit in us is “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory”. Jesus Himself said that HE and the Father would indwell us. If you study the scriptures long enough concerning the identity of Father/Son/Spirit, it is CLEAR that it is all ONE God, ONE Spirit, ONE Lord. There is no other God beside Him. There is no other God before Him, neither would there be one formed after Him. Jesus is the Word of God, (logos, the intelligence of God expressed in words) made flesh. God only has One intelligence, and that intelligence is HIMSELF. So no, “modalism” is not a false doctrine. The problem is that people don’t study the Word of God enough to understand. The Word of God is God , and expression (sending forth) God’s own being just as your words are the sending forth of your own being in words, only you can’t make your words take on human flesh and blood and walk around on the planet. Jesus Himself said that He (as “the Son”) spoke nothing on His own. Every word that came out of His mouth was the Father speaking. Just as you control what you say, God sent forth by His living Word what HE was saying. There is ONE Spirit, ONE Lord, ” ONE God and FATHER of all who is above all and through all and in you all” So yes, the Spirit in us IS the Father , and He IS “the Son”, ie the Word of God made flesh. The Spirit of God is the BREATH/Wind of God and the “Son” is the WORD of God. It is all ONE God, not three different personalities, or “persons”. The false teaching is the one that contradicts God’s own words when HE said that He is the only God, and when as the Son, He said that He (the Son/Word) and the Father are ONE (heis : one in ESSENCE) I don’t know enough about Furtick to know whether he is preaching/teaching the heresy re what you speak creates your reality (a synergistic new age teaching brought into the church by quite a few false teachers of the NAR crowd who are spreading that teaching and building churches all over the US and probably around the world – the Declaration statement may indicate this is in his mind if not his teaching but we can only know what he speaks out of his mouth directly) but “Modalism” is not false. It is false to teach that God is a multiple personality being. He did not make us multiple personality beings, but made us in HIS image.

    • Tony says:

      Kathleen:

      Thanks for writing. What you’ve written is typical “oneness” doctrine. This does not match what we see in Scripture. It’s the result of twisting Scripture, not of careful study. I’m not blaming you, but pointing out that what you’ve written has been condemned by Christians throughout history as being entirely unbiblical.

      >> Actually, the Word of God teaches that there is only ONE Spirit who is God.

      To be more precise, the Word of God teaches that there is only one God, and The Word of God also teaches that God is spirit. This describes his nature, just as soul – the combination of body and spirit – describes ours. The Word of God also describes Jesus in these ways:

      • as God
      • as man
      • as distinct from the Father
      • as one with the Father

      >> Jesus Himself said that HE and the Father would indwell us.

      Jesus makes many statements that show that He is not the Father. If oneness doctrine is true, why make any distinction at all? Why say that He AND the Father would indwell us, rather than simply saying “I”? The truth is that oneness doctrine can’t explain why Jesus prayed to the Father, was sent by the Father, went back to the Father, and so on. The claim that there is one God is biblically accurate. Their claim that God appears in different modes is both unbiblical and illogical. That statement is based solely on what we see in Scripture, with which anybody can – and everybody should – become familiar.

      >> it is CLEAR that it is all ONE God, ONE Spirit, ONE Lord.

      Yes. You are right. Modalists have that part right: there is only ONE God. Unfortunately, that’s where it ends. Modalists claim that there is only one PERSON that is God, but the Bible describes three different persons as the ONE God. There’s no way around this, Kathleen. Typically, oneness folks will cut and run when asked to defend their view. When pressed, however, the illogic is strong… like saying that God, “as the Son,” prayed to Himself, sort of. That’s both unbiblical and ridiculous. To say that God reveals Himself in three different modes, or offices, or roles, contradicts the plain words of Scripture, including clear statements from Jesus.

      >> God only has One intelligence, and that intelligence is HIMSELF.

      Nothing like this appears in Scripture.

      >> So no, “modalism” is not a false doctrine.

      Anything that contradicts Scripture is false. Clearly, modalism contradicts Scripture. The only legitimate claims of modalists on this topic are the ones on which everyone agrees: there is one God. Generally, the rest disprove modalism. Here are a few:

      • My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.
      • Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
      • For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.
      • For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
      • Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son
      • that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father
      • Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

      There are TONS of verses to choose from. Those are all from a single passage in John 5. The Father and Son are obviously, clearly, biblically, and logically distinct from one another.

      Matthew 24 gives us more: But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

      Matthew 26 gives us more: My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

      These are only a few of the many, many passages that show that the Father and Son are not the same person. I could list other verses that show the Holy Spirit is also distinct from the Father and Son, of course. Notice that I did not say “separate,” but “distinct.” Some oneness folks think that the doctrine of the Trinity is that there are three separate beings who are God. This is false, of course… that would be the heresy of tritheism.

      >> The problem is that people don’t study the Word of God enough to understand.

      On that, we agree completely! =)

      >> Jesus Himself said that He (as “the Son”) spoke nothing on His own. Every word that came out of His mouth was the Father speaking.

      No, that is most definitely NOT what Jesus said. Look at His actual words, in John 12:

      For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

      When Jesus spoke, it was not the Father speaking through Him. Jesus obediently passed on to us the things that the Father told Him to say. The Father wasn’t speaking. Jesus was.

      >> It is false to teach that God is a multiple personality being. He did not make us multiple personality beings, but made us in HIS image.

      Being made in God’s image does not mean that we share all of His attributes. We are not all-powerful, or all-knowing, or all-present. We can’t create worlds out of nothing. God is love, but we are not. God cannot sin, but we certainly can. God is perfect… and I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely not perfect. We are made in God’s image, but – as God said – there is no one like Him. He is unique. We are like Him in some ways, but not in others.

      God is not a “multiple personality being.” That would be closer to oneness theology than trinitarian. Oneness has God interacting with Himself, as if He were three separate people. When people do that, we put them on medication. The Bible’s descriptions of God tell us that the Son is not Father, the Spirit is not the Father, and the Spirit is not the Son… yet they are all God, and there is only one God. Yes, it’s complex. It’s also biblical. They interact with one another because they are distinct from one another, as you and I are.

      I hope that you won’t take my word for it, Kathleen. I hope that you will begin a serious study… not of oneness theology, or of trinitarian theology, but of Scripture. THAT is where people who follow Jesus should get their information, and THAT is where all theology should begin. I know it can be difficult to separate what we’ve been taught by people we love from what we see in the Bible, but you can do it. I wish you well, and hope that you will reach out if I can help you in any way.

      Have a great day!

    • Mercy says:

      Trinity is somewhat difficult to understand. You have to get the understanding from God. The Trinity of God is like man being a spirit having a soul and living in body. It is still one man. God the Father, son and spirit is one and same person in three forms to carry out different functions for man. Man has three components likewise God. Jesus said the HolySpirit proceeds from the Father. It literally means He came out from my inside the Father. Elevation pastor is not wrong at all.

      • Tony says:

        Mercy:

        Thanks for trying to help. Unfortunately – and I say this with respect – most of what you wrote contradicts Scripture.

        Trinity is somewhat difficult to understand.
        This is true.

        You have to get the understanding from God.
        This is also true. To paraphrase 1 Corinthians 2:14, spiritual things are Spiritually discerned.

        The Trinity of God is like man being a spirit having a soul and living in body.
        This is false. The trinity is hard to understand because God is triune, but nothing else is. Humans are not a trinity. We are not a spirit that has a soul and is living in a body. Go back to Genesis and see that God created Adam out of the earth, and breathed into him, and he became a living soul. We don’t have souls… we ARE souls, which is a combination of the physical and the spiritual.

        God the Father, son and spirit is one and same person in three forms to carry out different functions for man.
        This is false. This is modalism, the same error that Furtick makes. The son is NOT the Father, nor is He the Spirit. They are all one God, but they are not different “modes” or “manifestations” or “offices” of one person. This heresy has always been condemned because it contradicts Scripture. The order is wrong.

        Here’s the order of modalism:
        God existed, then created humans, then became the Son to carry out different functions.

        Here’s the order from Scripture:
        The Father existed, and the Son existed, and the Holy Spirit existed, before anything was created. All three took part in creation. Many years later, the Son became a human. The Father was still in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit was still doing His thing. The Son went back to the Father, and they both sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in each believer. Jesus still has a body, by the way… He didn’t stop being human after the resurrection. If Jesus (the Son) is only the form that God took to carry out functions for man, why did the Son exist before man did? Why do we learn in Colossians 1 that the Son actually created everything?

        Jesus said the HolySpirit proceeds from the Father. It literally means He came out from my inside the Father.
        This is false… and ridiculous. The Holy Spirit came out from inside the Father? The Father is spirit. He has no “inside.” The Holy Spirit is spirit. Can He be contained in anything? This is unbiblical nonsense that doesn’t match the Greek text. Furtick should know better, and you shouldn’t parrot ideas about the Bible that you haven’t actually looked up. I mean no offense, Mercy… but you’re being irresponsible. If the truth matters, then repeating the errors of others is also a problem.

        Elevation pastor is not wrong at all
        This is also false. Quite simply, you’re both wrong. I don’t say that to say that I’m right, but to point to the objective fact that what Furtick teaches, and what you’ve repeated, simply contradicts Scripture. In addition, it’s been condemned by Christians as heresy for the entire history of the church. You can SAY that you’re right, but you can’t responsibly use Scripture to show that you’re right.

        I really do appreciate you being here, Mercy. I also appreciate you taking the time to comment, and to try to be helpful to Kathleen. I hope you won’t be discouraged by what I’ve written, and I hope you’ll accept the challenge to dig into God’s Word to see the truth for yourself. I would never ask you to take my word for anything… I simply want to point you to the Scriptures. We should all be like the Bereans:

        Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

  9. Stegman says:

    Thank you for Narcigesis! False teachers often try to make us read the Bible to see how God is trying to bless us. I am then always in the middle of each passage and then God is not being served. I called this me-ology, instead of theology. I like Narcigesis way more! Thanks again.
    Ps. Your James reference you switched up, 1:3 should be 3:1 😀

  10. Godson Paul-Nzeh says:

    He is wrong about the Trinity. Any person who went through good theological college would have known about sound theology of three persons in one God mystery. Yes heresy touches the doctrines of the Church not the mistakes of theologizing, Trinity is such central doctrine about God.

  11. Leslie t Black says:

    Bottom line, does he teach the gospel, does he glorify Jesus, does he teach repentance as a lifestyle, does he teach the importance of obedience, does it teach how important it is to get sin out of your life, if they teach you how to build a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ???

    • Tony says:

      Leslie:

      Thanks for writing! While you and I would probably be on the same page as to what those things mean, it’s important to be clear:

      • Does he teach the gospel as we see it in the Bible?
      • Does he glorify Jesus as we see Him in the Bible?
      • Does he teach repentance as a lifestyle as we see it in the Bible?
      • Does he teach the importance of obedience as we see it in the Bible?
      • Does he teach how important it is to get sin out of your life as we see it in the Bible?
      • Does he teach you how to build a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ as we see described in the Bible?

      If you and I sat down over lunch and talked about these things, I’m confident that we would find a lot of common ground. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with everyone. For example: Jehovah’s Witnesses may glorify Jesus, but not the Jesus described in the Bible. Rather than being God, Jesus – to them – is a created being. Obedience is very, very important… but there are some churches that teach that a single act of disobedience will cause the Holy Spirit to leave you, losing your salvation. Some teach that getting sin out of your life isn’t a matter of obedience and self-discipline, but of being enlightened.

      Do you see? Yes, I agree with everything you said. The question isn’t whether any teacher is right about some things. For that, I’m glad. The question is whether a teacher directly contradicts the Bible, or adds to the Bible in a way that compromises the truth in it. We all have some things wrong, I’m sure… the goal isn’t to nitpick, but to warn people that false teachers are all over the place, and to encourage them to compare what’s being taught with what God has said.

      Isn’t THAT the bottom line?

  12. Richard Henderson says:

    Interesting, thank you

  13. Ballard Christian says:

    Can you please provide the date of the sermon you reference (or better yet, a link as most Furtick sermons are available online).

  14. Sally L OConnor says:

    Can Revelation 22:18-19 apply to the whole Bible. (It says “this book”) Or does it just mean Revelation. I believe it means all of Scripture and think these false teachings are adding to Scripture.

    • Tony says:

      Sally:

      First, I’ve confirmed your subscription to this comment thread. Thanks for letting me know.

      On the question of Revelation 22:18-19 I would ask you to consider a few questions.

      First: what does this passage actually SAY? I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

      Second: who does it apply to? In this case, to anyone and everyone.

      Third: what is “this scroll”? Is it part of Revelation? All of Revelation? All of the New Testament? All of the Bible? We want to think clearly about these questions, of course. One of the main issues that cause both false teaching and teaching in error is reading verses out of context. We want to understand the context of this passage before we even think about applying it. Here’s what we know from the passage itself, from history, and simple logic:

      • The scroll in question is a “scroll of prophecy.” That excludes a number of books in the Bible, since not all are prophetic. So it can’t apply to the whole Bible, or even to the whole New Testament. It makes the most sense to apply it to Revelation, as it IS a book of prophecy. Technically, we call it ‘apocalyptic literature,’ which tells the future using symbolism.
      • The book of Revelation was, when written, not part of ‘the Bible.’ Don’t get me wrong: it has always been inspired Scripture. I mean to say that it hasn’t always been combined into a single volume with other inspired Scriptures… so, when Jesus referred to this scroll, he wasn’t referring to the inspired writings of Luke, or Peter, or Paul. He wasn’t referring to the gospel of John, or the epistles of John, either. When we read Revelation in full, we see that it is both a group of personal letters from Jesus to seven real-life churches in Asia Minor, and a prophetic vision given to John. The text gives no indication that it might apply to any other writing by any other author.
      • What makes the most sense of these verses, in context? That Jesus was speaking only about Revelation.

      Because Revelation is usually the last book in the compilation of books we call the New Testament, we have a natural tendency to see it as the summation of what came before. It’s not. We don’t want to fall into the same kinds of errors that false teachers fall into… that is, reading a passage and then drawing conclusions that don’t match the context. The context here makes it clear that Jesus was referring to the prophecies in Revelation.

      That does NOT mean that it’s okay to add to, or to take away from, ANY passage of Scripture. Truly, that’s implied throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament… and it’s one of the ways we know which teachings are true and which are false. This passage carries with it two specific kinds of punishments: plagues for those who add to it, and eternal condemnation for those who take away from it. It would be a mistake to apply these penalties to any other passage of Scripture, as the context will not allow us to do so. We would be saying what Scripture itself does not say, and we should avoid that.

      Does that make sense?

  15. Joann says:

    First of all we have the Holy Spirit which guides us when something is incorrect the holy spirit will Quicken us to let us know what is right and what is not. And as I’m reading your comments. Do not line up with the holy spirit that was Within Me. Because I know my God. And my God will convict you let you know the word is right or the word is wrong.. That is why we have the Holy Spirit when you discern what is right in the world and what is wrong in the world you are led by the spirit of God I disagree with you I believe that you are wrong doctor you are a fake preacher you should not get on this Social Media stuff and tell people things that you really don’t know. Because if a person really Noah’s God and has a true relationship with him they know right from wrong keep your comments to yourself and quit causing Discord among the brethren.

    • Tony says:

      Joann:

      Thanks for writing. I wonder: why do you think that almost all of the books in the New Testament warn Christians to watch out for false teachers? I mean, weren’t first-century believers also indwelt by the Holy Spirit? Didn’t He guide them into all truth, as you say He guides you? I’m not sure that what you’ve written makes sense.

      Apparently, Jesus and James and Jude and John and Peter and Paul thought that it was important to tell the churches to watch out for false teachers. What you’ve written makes it sound like you think that’s unnecessary. I wonder, Joann: who do you think I should listen to? You, or the writers of Scripture?

      No, seriously. I’d like to know. Thanks!

  16. Scout says:

    Thank you for this clarity and God bless. I do think Steven Furtick should not entirely be blotted out but know that not all should be teachers as well and Steven Furtick should refine his biblical views before preaching on the podium again. So I agree and hope God reveals the truth to him. God bless and give you discernment.

  17. Rina says:

    Thank you for writing this. Insightful and reignited the importance of chasing after Truth. I especially resonated with your statement that many false teachers today change the focus of the gospel from God to humanity. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

  18. Holly says:

    🤦‍♀️ the gospel is being preached , judge not lest ye be judged .

    • Tony says:

      Holly:

      With respect, you’re wrong on both. The gospel is NOT being preached, and you’re taking Jesus’ words out of context. When Paul wrote that he was glad that the gospel was being preached, he pointed to the fact that the gospel was being preached for personal gain. I have no idea whether Furtick does what he does for personal gain, and you don’t either. Frankly, I doubt it. I believe he believes what he’s saying. The problem is that he’s not preaching the gospel. He says a lot of things that are true, of course… but he also promotes unbiblical falsehoods.

      As for not judging, you might take the time to look up the passage in question. When you read Jesus’ words in context, you will see that He wasn’t saying to not judge. If you need a hand working through these issues, I’m here to help.

  19. mercy says:

    why would you call me irresponsible? Is that godliness? Is that the language of the kingdom?

    • Tony says:

      Mercy:

      Is that REALLY all you got out of my response?

      First, I didn’t call you irresponsible. I said you were BEING irresponsible. I have no idea whether this was the first time or only the most recent time you’ve been irresponsible, and that’s none of my business. The question is whether you were, or weren’t… and you were. Believe it or not, I held back from actually using ‘the language of the kingdom.’ You should spend a little time in 1 Timothy and Titus to see what Paul says about people who teach anything other than the true gospel. He’s pretty harsh. All I did was point out the fact that you were repeating false teaching, which is – OF COURSE – irresponsible.

      Second, I’m supremely confident that you will agree with these statements… correct me if I’m wrong:

      • When people teach things that contradict Scripture, that’s bad… right?
      • When people defend false teachers and repeat their errors, that’s bad too… right?
      • We’re called to watch our lives and doctrine closely… right?

      If you agree with those things, then the only thing left for you and me to figure out is whether Steven Furtick’s teaching actually DOES contradict Scripture… right? If you knew that he was teaching falsely, I don’t believe you would repeat his errors, because you know that what we believe about God really matters. Right?

      Here’s my position: Steven Furtick teaches modalism. Modalism does not match what we see in Scripture, so those who teach it are, by definition, teaching falsely.

      I’m open to the possibility that I’m wrong, of course. I’m sure you are as well. I’ve outlined a few of the reasons we know that modalism is false in my previous comment to you. Please feel free to respond to the content of that comment, rather than simply complaining about my tone. If what you believe really matters to you, let me encourage you to begin a fresh journey into the Scriptures. See for yourself what the Bible says. Don’t listen to what I say, or what Steven Furtick says. Don’t even listen to yourself! See what God says and then compare that with what you currently believe. In my experience, people who are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit into a clear understanding of Scripture will change their minds easily. People who are unwilling are often, in my experience, not actually interested in following Jesus closely. They’d rather follow their favorite teacher.

      I mean no offense by this, Mercy. I say these things as a brother, and I mean them as a brother. If I’m wrong, show me. If you’re wrong, change. In the meantime, let me know how I can help.
      Have a great day!

  20. Dennis says:

    I just came to this discussion after hearing an amazing worship song on You Tube from Elevation Worship. I don’t know Steve or anything about him. However, I stand in agreement about Modalism. God isn’t morphing like a CGI character from one state of being into another. Ask yourself, who was Jesus constantly praying to, himself? Why did he always defer to the Father, and not himself? Why did he always point seekers to the Father? Why would the gospel of John say” And the Word was with God, and the Word was God” ? The idea of Trinity is a theological one. It’s an observation. While it is an imperfect term, it’s the best one we can come up with. Why imperfect? Because as created creatures in a 3 dimensional world, we can understand how one can be 3-a carrot sliced in three pieces is still a carrot- but we can’t understand how 3 can be one. We are told it in scripture, and accept it on faith. God is not limited by creation, but is above creation, transcends creation. Neither is God limited to 3 dimensions as we are, but exists in such a way that the past, present and future are observed simultaneously. Also as Christians, let us be humble and love one another. Don’t let brother Tony, whoever he is, hurt your feelings. If a brother or sister in Christ corrects us, rejoice! Wouldn’t it be terrible if we spared each other the truth, and allowed our brother or sister to miss out on heaven? May it never be! Search the scriptures and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into the truth about this, and He will do it.

  21. Ryan says:

    I’m less likely to trust anyone who makes a point to call another out in this fashion. I’m more likely to listen to someone who doesn’t point fingers.

    • Tony says:

      Ryan:

      Like you, I think we should be careful about making accusations. That doesn’t mean that we should remain unaware of what’s going on around us, or that we should ignore those who teach falsely in the name of Jesus.

      If you’re a Christian, one would assume that you believe the Bible to be a guide for Christians. Paul wrote a whole bunch of books in the New Testament, right? Peter called Paul’s writings Scripture… and Paul called out others in exactly this fashion. Does that make you less likely to listen to Paul? I hope not.

      In 1 Timothy 5, Paul said to rebuke false teachers publicly, “so that the rest may stand in fear.” He specifically called out false teachers by name, too: Demas, Phygelus, Hermongenes, Hymenaeus, Alexander, and Philetus.

      The simple truth is that I don’t want you to trust me, Ryan. I want you to know the Scriptures. Almost all of the books in the New Testament warn us about false teachers, and tell us what to do when we find them. Don’t trust me. Do your own homework. Find out whether the people you listen to are teaching what we find in the New Testament, or not. If not, do something about it.

      Does that make sense?

  22. Ryan says:

    I have 1 simple question, 1st question for now… what is the 1 and only way to heaven?

  23. Chibuzor Onuorah says:

    There seem to be a lot of controversies/criticisms about Steven Furtick and Elevation church doctrines and also rumors of false teaching. That notwithstanding, i believe as a human, we should be able to sieve what we are being told, take the good and ignore the evil

    • Tony says:

      Chibuzor:

      Thanks for your comment. We agree: everybody should be able to sieve what we’re told. The trouble is that many – if not most – are not able. That’s the reason that so many of the warnings in the New Testament say to not be deceived: to avoid that, we must know the gospel. So few know the gospel that many are deceived. That’s the ONLY reason I’ve written about people like Steven Furtick… people CAN be deceived, ARE BEING deceived, and Christians are called to contend for the gospel.

      What do you do when confronted with false teachers? What do you do when someone asks you whether a teacher is reliable or unreliable? Do you tell immature believers, or impressionable non-believers, that they should take the good and ignore the evil?

  24. Thomas Bland says:

    A good example of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is Jesus baptism.
    Luke 3:21-23 KJV
    [21] Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, [22] And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. [23] And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

  25. Andrea says:

    What other, in your opinion, false teachers have you written about?? I would like to read them..

    • Tony says:

      Andrea: As you might imagine, it takes time to write about what other people teach… so while there aren’t many articles about specific people, you can find them on the List of False Teachers. If their name is a link, there’s already an article. Thanks for visiting!

  26. Thomas Howard says:

    I am not a follower of Furtick, but you ask, “Do you see it? There’s a gigantic difference between Jesus not doing many miracles because of their unbelief and Jesus being unable to exercise God’s power because He was entirely powerless to do so.”
    No, I do not see it, as Furtick said of Jesus; “He wanted to. He was prepared to. He was able to. The power of God was in Nazareth, but it was trapped in their perspective.”
    So, were do you get “Jesus was entirely powerless” from : “He was able to” and “The power of God was in Nazareth”?
    To me it is just reiterating, Matthew 13:58. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Thanks for your comment. There are two problems in that quote that relate directly the passage in question.

      1. Furtick misquotes the passage. The Greek word translated “did” is POIEO. The word means ‘to make or to do,’ and I can’t find any Bible that translates it in any other way than “did.” Furtick claimed that Jesus “could not” do miracles, but the text says that Jesus “did not.” This is not a small distinction.
      2. Furtick’s focus is not on the events outlined in the text, but on the belief of those around Jesus as the limiting factor in His ability to do miracles. Changing the verse from “did not” to “could not” allows Furtick to make claims about our own belief that aren’t found in Scripture. This idea – that we are able to limit God – is held by many, if not most, Word of Faith teachers. Myles Munroe is a good example, and you can see that here.

      In other words, Furtick didn’t reiterate Matthew 13:58. He changed its meaning to make a point that doesn’t appear in the text… or in any text. Do you see it now?

  27. Thomas Howard says:

    Sure, we know that there is only one God. Second, we know that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Third, we know that the Son is not the Father nor the Spirit, and that the Spirit is not the Father. Yet, is Furtick teaching heresy, for this is what John was saying; For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7. Which goes along with; “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,” Ephesians 3:16,17.Here is the Spirit and Christ mentioned in the same verse, showing “oneness” John spoke of, the one in the inner man and the other in the heart. Yet the heart is the inner man, right! “Christ lives in me:” Galatians 2:20. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27
    Again, why this foundation of being, “rooted and grounded in love”? Because “faith works by love”, Galatians 5:6, and must continue in this love, if our faith is to work John 15:9.
    This is further spoken of in Galatians 3:5, “He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith” As This power that works in us is the Spirit, which must be activated by faith! As another scripture that captures this “faith concept” is Jesus saying; “According to your faith be it unto you.” Matthew 9:29.

    So that we, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” Ephesians 3:18-20.
    This seems to figure in the “trapped in their perspective” of “he could not”, as what is the difference between “could” and “did” if it does depend on our faith which comes by hearing the word? Because basically it comes down to; He ‘did not’, because he ‘could not’, because of their “lack of faith”! Thanks, Thomas

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Oneness theology is 50% biblically orthodox. It’s correct in that there’s only one God, but it’s wrong on the rest. Oneness theology isn’t simply monotheism. It’s the denial that the Father, Son, and Spirit are three distinct persons. Instead, it’s modalism: the unbiblical idea that God is ONE person that appears to us in different modes, or manifestations. In this way, God only APPEARS AS the Son and the Spirit. There are no internal relationships in the Godhead… but that’s contrary to a whole bunch of clear passages of Scripture. For example, the Father sent the Son (1 John 4:14). The Son obeyed the Father (John 14:31). The Son sits at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12) and we await His return (Titus 2:13), but the Holy Spirit dwells in each believer (1 Corinthians 3:16). There are countless clear statements like these in Scripture, and Oneness theology pretty much denies them all. Modalism has been considered heretical by the entire Body of Christ for almost 2000 years, so it’s not as if it’s a new idea.

      As for “did” and “could,” do you really think that it’s okay to misquote clear passages of Scripture? I wouldn’t think so, but that’s the result of what you’ve written. We should say what the Bible says, and we should not say what the Bible does not say. This is pretty basic, and every Word of Faith teacher – including Steven Furtick – does it. When good teachers do it, it’s irresponsible. When false teachers do it, they compound their misquotations with false theology… doubling down on irresponsibility with more irresponsibility. In any other context, I have no doubt you would share my concern:

      In the beginning, Marduk created the heavens and the earth.
      For God so loved the Brits that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
      For the wages of sin is penance, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      See what I mean? Changing “did not” to “could not” says something that favors Furtick’s theology, but does not reflect what God’s Word actually says.

  28. Thomas Howard says:

    You shared, “we see that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not the same as each other”. True, and I hope you don’t think I agree totally with Furtick, as they are not the “same”, but rather “one”, a big difference!
    I do not agree with His saying; ““What God did when he sent his son… [he] broke the Law for love.” Is totally wrong, for because of the Law (as you know this), Christ had to come as a perfect man, just like the law say’s, a perfect lamb was to be sacrificed, for
    without the shedding of blood, there is no remission ( forgiveness, Hebrews 9:22). Yet, the difference between animals blood and Christ blood, is great. The blood of Jesus is far superior to the blood of animal sacrifices in the eyes of God, so much so that sacrifice of animals ceased being acceptable to him since the completion of the atoning work of his Son on the cross, Hebrews 9:11-14
    Yes, breaking the law was a big deal and He did not “break the law for love”, but rather fulfilled the law to show love, to us who have.
    The law of the Lord is perfect (Psalm 19:7-10) and God could not break his own law “for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4);thus Christ was undefiled sinless Lamb of God and therefore as priest and victim He would make the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin. Praise God!
    You said you could not find any Bible that translates it in any other way than “did.”, yet CEB say’s;
    “He was unable to do many miracles there because of their disbelief.” And PHILLIPS
    “And he performed very few miracles there because of their lack of faith.” In both it indicates that “did not” is part and partial to “could not” for it was the lack of their faith that caused this. But, seeing that you have an aversion to faith folks, you are not going to relent. But, remember that everything we receive of God is by faith (Romans 5:2), through faith (Ephesians 2:8), as we know, “without faith it is impossible to please God”and Matthew 13:58 is indicative of this. Bottom line, Jesus was not pleased, and was unable to do many miracles there because of their disbelief. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      With respect, you’ve mischaracterized me in an important way. I don’t have “an aversion to faith folks.” You and I have a responsibility to the gospel as it was once and for all handed down:

      Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Jude 1:3-4

      The problem is not, and has never been, the people. The problem is what the people teach, and the damage done to both believers and non-believers alike. If the gospel matters, then teaching it as it was handed down matters. If the truth sets us free, then lies keep us bound. If knowing the difference between faithful biblical teaching and false teaching matters, then I made a wise decision to begin writing about what false teachers say. A significant portion of the New Testament was written to directly counter false teaching in the first century. Most of those ideas are still around, of course… and if it mattered then, it matters now.

      I’m grateful that you’ve pointed to a few things Furtick teaches that are unbiblical. I see that you don’t write to condemn him, but to objectively note his errors. I’ve only done the same. I have no doubt you and I would agree on virtually everything, given the opportunity to talk at length. I also have no doubt I could be friends with Furtick, given the opportunity. It’s not about Steven Furtick, but about the fact that he teaches unbiblical ideas in the name of Jesus Christ.

      The issue of Furtick’s misquotation and conclusions about the text isn’t the biggest issue, but it does point to a common problem for him and other false teachers: they feel comfortable saying what the Bible doesn’t say. Here’s the point: the text does not say that Jesus’ ability to work miracles was in connection with, or in proportion to, or directly dependent on their state of mind. In Furtick’s own words, ‘the power of God was trapped in their unbelief.’ THAT is his point, as the rest of his quote shows. What does the text say? It says “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

      That what it says. It doesn’t say more than that. We might try to conclude how it worked, but we have ONLY the text to work with. God’s power was not “trapped in their unbelief.” That elevates us higher than the Scriptures indicate, and limits God in ways the Scriptures don’t. A reasonable conclusion from the text might be that Jesus did fewer miracles there because fewer people, not believing in Him, came to Him to be healed. Another might be that Jesus, in some sense, rewards faith with action. That fits with other texts, so maybe He didn’t heal people who didn’t want to be healed. Here’s something we can know with certainty: God’s power was not “trapped in their perspective.” That’s the direction of Furtick’s point, and it’s plain and simple evidence that he’s comfortable pouring his own meaning INTO the text (eisegesis) rather than deriving God’s meaning OUT OF the text (exegesis).

      Am I making sense?

  29. Tom Howard says:

    I am glad you don’t have that aversion , as Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame” is full of great deeds of faith, speaking of those who moved God with “faith”. “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again.” Verse’s 33-35. I don’t agree with everything Furtick say’s, but even a heretic can say things that are true, as “one should not throw the baby out with the bath water”, and yes, we need to stay in line with scripture, but also we need to keep in context.
    As interesting, this is the last verse of a long chapter, yet just before this, Jesus makes that famous quote; “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country”.
    This sets the stage (so to speak) for what is about to happen, in effect because these local folks coped an attitude saying ; who does this local guy think he is? We know him only as a regular guy, not somebody with any special favors from God, “and they were offended in him” verse 56.
    This is saying, if I may be so bold, that because of their thoughts towards Jesus, they did not believe in him! Not “trapped in their perspective.”? Seems to me it is a pure case of it.
    Here is what the great Matthew Henry said; “It (this familiarity breeding contempt). did for the present (to speak with reverence), in effect, tie his hands: He did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief. Note, Unbelief is the great obstruction to Christ’s favours. All things are in general possible to God (Matthew 19:26), but then it is to him that believes as to the particulars, Mk. 9:23,24. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, but then it is to every one that believes, Rom. 1:16. So that if mighty works be not wrought in us, it is not for want of power or grace in Christ, but for want of faith in us. By grace ye are saved, and that is a mighty work, but it is through faith, (Eph. 2:8).
    The scripture are flush with such scripture, and I shared many in my last response, as truly all things (healing, deliverance, and salvation, which is the greatest miracle) are possible, but one has to believe! If one doesn’t, then such a one can ask humbly for help (James 4:10), as this man in scripture did! Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      Thanks for your patience. I’ve just returned from a vacation. =)

      As you say – and as I’ve written here – false teachers also teach many true things. That doesn’t undo or excuse false teaching, of course. The standard in the New Testament is clear: we ARE to throw the baby out with the bath water. No, we don’t throw out true things… but we do throw out false teachers. Let’s see what the apostle John says in 2 John 1:

      Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

      Those are strong words, but they’re not my own. They represent the consensus view of all of Scripture, old and new. When Furtick claims that Jesus was UNABLE to do ANY miracles because the power of God was trapped in the unbelief of humans, he contradicts God’s Word. He puts humanity in the position of thwarting God’s will, which is a common idea among Word of Faith teachers. They elevate men and demote God, and this really is a good example of it. While it’s true that our faith can prompt God to act, our lack of faith cannot prevent Him from acting if He wants to. The very idea of salvation contradicts that notion! In our natural state, we want nothing to do with God. He draws us to Himself, or we could not be saved. If our lack of faith prevented Him from acting, then nobody could be saved… ever.

      Please: take some time to consider throwing the baby out with the bath water. Even “overseers” are to be above reproach (1 Timothy 3), and Furtick is a teacher… he is held to a higher standard by God, and we should recognize that fact. The problem isn’t that he said something that isn’t true. The problem is that he persists in teaching them despite being told that it’s false. Anyone who welcomes a false teacher shares in their “wicked work,” right?

  30. Troy Dooly says:

    New to your work. I must say from what I’ve read so far, I can see you provide a solid foundation of where your thoughts are coming from, and a humility to the fact your just human.

    As apologists it can be tough not to throw stones when we see raw contradictions to scriptures.

    I thank you for holding true to the message Jesus taught and the foundations we see from Genius to Revolutions.

    I’ll be drinking coffee and pondering more of your thoughts.

  31. Ryan says:

    First off it also said in the Bible that no one has the right to judge anyone but God this is the problem with the world today no compassion at all Steven furtick is a great preacher and has lead a lot of people to the lord another thing that the Bible said is jealousy is a sin and a lot of people get jealous and start speaking bad things about other people you know I’m so sick of this if you are truly a man or women of God and a true Christian then we don’t speak bad on others Jesus died on the cross for us so we can be saved this is not how Jesus is nor will he ever be……!!!!!!

    • Tony says:

      Ryan:

      You sound angry. I have questions, and I hope you can take a deep breath and answer them clearly.

      1. Where in the Bible does it say that no one but God has the right to judge anyone? Please be specific.
      2. Do you agree with Furtick that God is a molecular structure that fills all in all?
      3. Is it possible to recognize another’s errors without being jealous?
      4. Is it good or bad to point to unbiblical teaching?
      5. I’m sorry you’re sick of this. Do you believe that false teachers exist? If so, what should we do about them?

      Thanks!

  32. Thomas Howard says:

    Right, good choice, as those scripture about false teachers is true and not to be ignored, but we were speaking of a certain scripture and its interpretation, yet you bring it into the realm of being part and partial to a “false teacher”. That is convenient, yet to throw it out as false because someone use’s it, is also wrong. Will you bring Matthew Henry into this category too? As he say’s of lack of faith; “So that if mighty works be not wrought in us, it is not for want of power or grace in Christ, but for want of faith in us”
    You rightly say; “While it’s true that our faith can prompt God to act”, but to then say; “our lack of faith cannot prevent Him from acting if He wants to. The very idea of salvation contradicts that notion! In our natural state, we want nothing to do with God. He draws us to Himself, or we could not be saved. If our lack of faith prevented Him from acting, then nobody could be saved… ever”, is not copacetic with the many scripture that point to the need of both hearing (His drawing) and believing, as it is hearing the Gospel of our salvation that prompt faith to act on it;

    Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized. Acts 18:8
    “Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” And “He therefore that ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” Galatians 3: 2 and 5
    No, its simple as hearing; “In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” Ephesians 1:13.These scripture tell us God use’s faith, as faith is action, or acting on “after that you heard the word of truth”.
    As for; “, our lack of faith cannot prevent Him from acting if He wants to”, is partly right, as the word say’s “he wants to”,;
    “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 Showing he wants to, but his longsuffering is towards our lack of faith, for “… without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
    We are talking about Furtick as a teacher and his interpretation of Matthew 13:58, yet Matthew Henry is a teacher, and said the very same thing, will you draw him into this category too? Furtick say’s some false things, but on this scripture, I will stand with collaborating scripture and Matthew Henry. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      I’m curious. We’ve gone back and forth a number of times, and I’m not entirely clear on where you stand. Are you trying to defend Furtick against the claim that he’s a false teacher? Are you simply discussing one particular theological point because it’s interesting?

      You see, it sounds a bit like both… so I’m not sure. I’d like to ask you some very direct questions, and hope that you’ll be straightforward in your answer: Do you consider Steven Furtick a false teacher, or not? Do you agree with him that Modalism is true and the trinity is false? Do you agree with him that God “broke the law for love,” or do you think that’s – at least – an inartful attempt to explain something true? Do you agree with him when he says that God is a molecular structure that fills all in all, and that that’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning?

      If your point is that he’s not a false teacher, then you must agree with these things… or at least think they’re inconsequential. If you agree that he’s a false teacher but want to talk more about Matthew 13, at least I’ll have some sense as to your intentions. Thanks for a good conversation so far. I appreciate you.

  33. Janice King says:

    I agree with you on Steven Furtick and have warned several friends about him. It really only takes a couple of minutes online to find false teaching from the multitude of false teachers if people would just take the time. But thought I had read something about TD Jakes now realizing modalism is wrong. Found this quote in an article supposedly from T.D. Jakes: ”I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son,” Jakes said. “There are distinctives between the working of the Holy Spirit and the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the redemptive work of Christ. I’m very comfortable with that.” I always wonder what they do with the verses about Jesus’baptism where all three members of the Trinity are present at one time.

  34. Thomas Howard says:

    Do I consider Steven Furtick a false teacher? Sure, if a false teacher is someone who say’s false things, but on this scripture we are discussing Matthew 13:58, I will stand with collaborating scripture I have shared and with Matthew Henry, and with Furtick, if need be. As this comes back to the baby and bath water analogy. Because Matthew Henry said similar interpretation as Furtick, Will you bring Matthew Henry into this category of false teacher too? Think Furtick problem maybe just being ignorant of the word, proud. Needs a dose of 1 Peter 5:5, as we all must!
    As for this modalism, that claims the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one person and not distinct person’s, yet Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is the mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5), so he exist separate from God the Father, being God the Son. We can know they are three distinct person’s, as indicted in this conversation; “…Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 1:26.
    As for asking if I agree with him, that God “broke the law for love,” have you forgotten, I already shared earlier about that (look above);
    Yes, breaking the law was a big deal and He did not “break the law for love”, but rather fulfilled the law to show love, to us who have.
    Again, no, God did not break the law, as James 2:10 says whoever stumbles at one point of the law is guilty of breaking it all, which means God did not break any of His Old Testament laws!
    As for Furtick saying; “God is a molecular structure that fills all in all in all, and that that’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning?”
    Well, we know everything is made up with molecules (atoms with protons and neutrons), but to say God is a molecular structure does not fit, as the word does say clearly; “all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (“all things hold together”, in many translations), Colossians 1: 16. Scientist still do not know what holds the molecules together, but interesting the word say’s; “by him (Jesus) all things hold together”.
    But as for, “… that’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning?”
    Remember, Christ had no beginning (Hebrews 7:3), the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit are eternal beings, they always existed!
    I heard a bible teacher say once, that we should let the scripture interpret scripture, as it does a better job. Thanks

  35. Rina H says:

    I find it no surprise people such as yourself, doing anything to rip apart a man who is chosen by Father God to bring millions and millions of people to Jesus Christ, as he has done with Pastor Furtick. Your greed and jealousy has destroyed your soul.
    Also who died and left you in charge of judging anyone? Did Father God forget to send out a memo that these responsibilities have been passed down to you?
    Pastor Furtick is one of the chosen. Accept it and leave the rest to Father God. How many people do you bring to GOD every week? I am sick on my stomach and disgusted by your interpretation or misinterpretation of God’s chosen disciple. God knows and he will prevail.
    Let’s see a sit down between you and Pastor Furtick. We will see how full of sinful judgmental, misguided jealousy you are. When a man spends this much time in attempt to rip down another man’s character down. That says more than anything you or I can say. Rip down your character by listening to Satan.

    • Tony says:

      Rina:

      Thanks for visiting GodWords! I’d love to sit down with Steven Furtick. I’d probably really like him. I wonder whether he’d really like me after finding out that I’ve written about him. Who knows? Not I.

      Of course, I can tell that YOU don’t really like me. Rather than praying for me, or finding Scriptures to show that what I’ve written is false, you’ve attacked me. No worries. That’s okay. I only have one question for you:

      Do you agree that God is a molecular structure that fills all in all?

  36. Nicole says:

    Thank you for this. I plan to study it thoroughly with my husband. We are in our late 30’s, I was raised Pentecostal in a preachers household and my husband raised Baptist. Both of us having what I would describe as a crisis of faith.
    Something in me feels disgusted over the modern day church. The coffee bar, the band with the weird hair and weird clothes, the power point presentations to accompany the message. The starting point classes and the nonsense.
    I used to love Steven Furtick but now I see he is up there with Joel Osteen and all the other greasy guys.
    I just want the truth which I believe I can only find through prayer, study and revelation.

    Thanks again for sharing this!

    • Tony says:

      Nicole:

      I’m happy to have been even a little bit helpful. I’m sorry to hear about your crisis of faith, truly. Please, let me encourage you: there may be bad things happening in many churches, but there are also good things happening as well. Jesus is the head of the church, and He’s chosen to use us to accomplish His goals. MANY are quietly doing exactly that: being used by God to grow His kingdom. There’s no “Plan B,” so we need to make sure the church follows Jesus’ lead. I too get tired of the nonsense, and the focus on secondary issues, and on the desire to be entertaining rather than edifying.

      Part of the problem is that we humans are too often lazy, impulsive, greedy, self-absorbed, and pleasure-seeking. That’s part of the reason people like Furtick have a huge audience. Christianity seems pretty boring (to some people) after listening to false teachers explain that God doesn’t judge them, that God wants them to be rich, that they have the power inside themselves to live an amazing life, and so on. What we never hear from false teachers is that this life is filled with tragedy, that people around us are suffering, that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, or that maybe God wants them to give everything to the poor and follow Him. How many times have we heard a sermon like this from Furtick, or Joel Osteen, or Kenneth Copeland? Yeah… never:

      His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

      Hang in there, Nicole. Your dissatisfaction with ‘church as usual’ is a GOOD thing. It shows that you’re hungry for the true things of God, that you really want to see God’s people living like God’s people, that you feel anxiety over how many lost people are being led farther astray. Don’t give up… your frustration is evidence that the real thing is out there waiting. The Holy Spirit is working in your hearts, and part of that process is seeing through the fantasies put forward by wolves in sheep’s clothing. What you need is what we all need: to see people actually following Jesus closely. There are plenty of us out there. When you find where God wants you, it will be satisfying and rewarding and frustrating and you’ll need patience and grace and perseverance… because the church is filled with broken people who are in the middle of being put back together. It sounds like you’re ready to help fix things too, which puts a smile on my face. You need fellowship with real Christians, and they need fellowship with you. Go find them!

      Let me know how I can help, because I want to help.

  37. Jon Ryan says:

    Hi There

    I know analogies are flawed and the Trinity is difficult to encapsulate but, for me, it’s always been easy to understand at the simplest level.

    Essentially, the principle of Trinity exists all around us. In essence it means a single entity being comprised of multiple constituents. I guess that’s why people thought of the three states of water, clover leaf, etc. I get why these actually misdescribe the Trinity and are ultimately unhelpful.

    In human terms though there are also single entities being comprised of multiple persons, and I think this gets us closer to a useful analogy. Examples include, a choir, a team, an audience, a congregation, a couple, etc.

    The best analogy I’ve come across and the one that I’ve found is not only the most useful but the most accurate, is the term “family”. The term “family” is singular. There can be just one “family”. Nobody has any problem with the concept that a “family” has just one person. Thus if a “family” is comprised of a father, a mother and a son, nobody thinks there are three families or one person with three personalities or such like. Furthermore, nobody has a problem with the father speaking to the son, or the son speaking to the “family” or any of the other ideas that are used against the Trinity.

    In other words, once we understand the term God, even within the phrase “there is ONLY one God”, means a single entity comprised of three persons, the simplest aspect of the Trinity isn’t so difficult.

    …not that I cannot see problems/difficulties with this analogy!

  38. KP says:

    First, phenomenal post! Spot on. And, I am sure you could have hit a few more points and added many more examples. My comment is about the comments here. I am struck by how several people irresponsibly and incorrectly used various verses or created their own paraphrases around the concept of judging, knocking you for “judging.” And, each person that commented with something to that effect seemed emotional, whereas other comments of disagreement seemed more calm rational theological discussions. It is interesting to see how many people assert a defense that if you question anything about someone else, you’re “judging,” and furthermore, the assertion that judging is unbiblical. It does appear that most often people do this to stop any questioning because they aren’t able to actually defend their views. But also, I think many teachers, Pastors, etc. fail in properly teaching about judging and what various verses that use the phrase actually mean. I know this is off-topic from your post, but it struck me enough to lead me to comment. Perhaps it is a topic worthy of a post for you sometime, if you’ve not already posted about it.

  39. Josiah says:

    Your article comes as no surprise. The coverage of Furtick in the American Gospel series confirms this. I have yet to see Furtick really talk about sin and repentance. In and of itself, that should be enough to avoid him. Do you know of any instances he may have snuck that in a sermon?

    • Tony says:

      Josiah:

      No, I’m not aware of him teaching on sin and repentance. Of course, I don’t really watch very many of his sermons… so it would be easy to miss if he did.

  40. Tom Huntford says:

    Thanks for doing this. I’ve been wondering why people say he’s a false teacher. I’ve listened to some of his sermons, and actually been blessed. But he’s sloppy in his enthusiasm. And from what you have quoted, has definitely made some statements that go beyond Scripture. I would have to say, however, that the first quote hardly contributes to a “little gods” doctrine such as taught by Mr. Copeland, Mr Hinn, Mrs Meyers, etc. But it and the other quotes slide perilously close. I’d like to see a citation on him saying that Joyce Meyer is a great teacher. An assertion like that would be valuable information if it could be readily verified. In apologetics these days, there is so much information just slamming around, one needs to be able to verify the claims.

    • Tony says:

      Tom:

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, the first quote – as noted – is not heretical. I’ve added a link at the bottom (in the Notes section) to a video where Furtick calls Meyer the greatest Bible teacher alive today. It’s at the very beginning of the video. I appreciate your input: too many simply condemn people for being unbiblical, or heretical, without actually pointing to what they teach. As I continue to add to the False Teachers list, and to add articles about them, I want to be responsible and use their own words rather than sharing my own, largely irrelevant, opinions.

  41. Esther Shepherdking says:

    I think you all foolish jealous that God can use a young man to reach and touch a younger generation-A godly man will alway get rebutted -shepherd boy David was constantly rejected yet he had heart after God -God see the heart of man so say you everything you want at least pastor Steve is not like Jimmy Swaggers a A womanizer or like Jim jones all these preacher that were manipulators of and womanizers—God said you know then by their fruit! I think your all wrong you all a I have religious spirit like the Pharisees because Pastor Steve speak the truth and you can’t handle the truth -you water down the word of truth make hard -this is my opinion Shame on all you all one you be judges for accusing your brother in Christ instead of support him -you you don’t look good pick part everything that you don’t like only have itching ears you are like your father the devil may God help you all

    • Tony says:

      Esther:

      You’re right… Steven Furtick doesn’t seem like a womanizer or a manipulator. Of course, those are entirely irrelevant as to whether he’s a false teacher. Just as a manipulating womanizer can say true things, false teachers can be kind, sincere, morally upright people. The only relevant question is whether Steven Furtick responsibly teaches what Jesus taught. If you will, please answer one simple question:

      Do you agree that God is a molecular structure?

      If not, you should acknowledge that Steven Furtick is wrong about the nature of God. That seems important, doesn’t it? Does pointing to false teaching make one a Pharisee? If so, then all of the apostles were Pharisees. The New Testament is full of warnings about false teachers, and you don’t appear to take those things very seriously.

      Why don’t you take this seriously, Esther? Is it because Steven Furtick tickles YOUR itching ears? Let me go a step farther and BEG YOU to take the Bible more seriously, and to compare what I’ve written, what you’ve written, and what Steven Furtick says with God’s Word. Let me know if you need a hand getting started. I’d be happy to help!

  42. Jt sandberg says:

    This guy who is spending all this time with only one side of view is not write you may want to get your self out of the way and let go and let God . This indepth info is showing a envy for his church and a single point of view. Post the video showing Seven stating this and 2 or more to find this man is misleading before you accusing. Your a leader but you are just the same as I am you are not more important your just held accountable because you are reaching more people do not twist the word to deceive people . The verse reads your held accountable not your better and not the same we are all the Same under God’s eyes you need to address this I challenge you to show your accusations of this man I want to see proof not your own understanding because you are incorrect what the verse says that you are standing on.. and I’ll pray your convicted to see the right over the wrong . And if you have so go into such length to disprove a blessed church you are the deceiver please reach out to me on this matter and let’s pray on it ..In Jesus name I ask or be held accountable .

    • Tony says:

      JT:

      Your comment is interesting. Do you believe that God is a molecular structure? If so, we should probably talk about that. If not, then you would agree that Furtick’s statement about God’s nature is wrong. In that case, your complaint seems irrelevant.

      Instead of addressing the issues, you attack the messenger. Why is that? You have no idea whether I’m envious of Steven Furtick (I’m not). You’re right when you say I’m not more important than you are. Let’s turn that around and see how you feel: I’ve done my homework. Will you do yours? If Steven Furtick IS a false teacher, it would be irresponsible to ignore the evidence. Of course, you’ve already made up your mind. Anyone who disagrees with what Furtick teaches must a) be envious, b) ignorant of how God has blessed his church, and c) a deceiver.

      Please – and I sincerely mean this – please, don’t run away. Don’t pretend that you know my heart, either. Let’s be like the Bereans and examine the Scriptures to see if what Steven Furtick says is true. Let me know if you’re in.

  43. Josiah says:

    Tony,
    You make several good points in this response but one that I’d like to expand on: “b) ignorant of how God has blessed his church”. In my opinion this is an often overlooked or unaddressed misconception among professing Christians. The idea that if there is evidence of God’s ‘blessing’ this is proof of his approval. Now in the context of this discussion, I don’t believe there is any evidence of God’s blessing. Feeling encouraged by a false message, confident when they should be repentant, etc. does not equate to God’s blessing. Nevertheless, I think it is an attitude that should be addressed. The clearest example I can think of is when I see Christians rejoice when a baby is conceived outside of marriage while ignoring the sin that caused it. Every life is a miracle and every child a blessing, true. But that miracle, that blessing is then construed as God’s approval of the sin that brought it about. Instead of seeing God’s grace in this life and His mercy they didn’t receive and STD or worse, the justify their sin going as far as to say “It was obviously God’s will I have this baby, so I don’t have to recognize my sin in its conception and anyone who tries to call me to account is going against God’s will.”

    Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    Josiah

    • Tony says:

      Josiah:

      It seems we agree. First, what looks like a blessing may simply be something we like… not something God has done to bless us. Then, as you point out, God graciously blesses humanity with all kinds of things that have nothing to do with His approval. He causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous alike. He is the sustainer of the universe. He seeks the lost, does not delight in the death of the wicked, and wants all to come to repentance… so His character is such that we receive all manner of “blessings” from Him that are entirely unrelated to whether we’ve gained any approval for our efforts.

      As for babies and stuff, it seems we Christians sometimes have a language problem. We’ll say things like, “I wouldn’t change a thing because that’s what made me who I am.” Well, that suggests that bad things might actually be good things. I teach this very plainly: bad things are always bad, and never good. That doesn’t mean that God can’t USE the bad things for our good, of course… but that doesn’t make bad things good. I have friends who were conceived because their mothers were raped. I’m glad they’re alive, but that doesn’t turn their rapists into benefactors. They did bad things, and no amount of awesomeness in the lives of their children can turn their crimes into blessings.

      What do you think?

  44. Josiah says:

    Wow, your example with children drives the point home WAY better than mine did.

    Something you said reminded me of another misconception. Admittedly, this is absolutely a rabbit trail but I am enjoying your feedback so I will press on.

    You said: “I teach this very plainly: bad things are always bad, and never good.”

    It reminded me of conversations I have often had concerning Christ’s fulfillment of the law. The misconception I encounter is that His fulfillment of the law means it no longer applies.

    My response is along these lines:

    1. Christ’s sacrifice fulfilled the sacrificial requirement of the law -on behalf of His elect- (dashes for emphasis, I don’t know how to italicize in this chat box). Payment for sin still applies and, to His praise and glory, is satisfied for those in Christ and unsatisfied for those who are not.

    2. The ceremonial laws addressed ‘uncleanliness’. While it is true, we don’t observe them anymore, the reason we don’t is not that they no longer apply, but there is no longer anything to apply them to. God did not arbitrarily decide He now longer cared about cleanliness. Through His Son, that which was unclean -was made clean-.

    3. What Christ DID NOT do in fulfilling the law was to make that which was immoral now moral.

    #3 is what came to mind when you said ‘bad things are bad, never good’

    Okay, I have taken enough of your time. I just want to thank and encourage you in ‘contending earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

    In Him, Joe

    P.S. You started saying “It seems we agree”: correction – we definitely agree!

  45. Angela Capps says:

    Judge not yet you be judged. You are judging this man and putting your spin on what he is saying. What gives you the right to say who is or is not of God every Pastor gives there interpretation of what the Bible is saying. If he is not a man of God then why did he start out his ministry with 14 people and grow to over 27,000 in a short period of time. He is rare he actually tells how life really is and tells his own fears and struggles that people can actually relate to. The only one who has the right to say if this man is a true man of God is God himself and if he wasn’t called by God he will fall.

    • Tony says:

      Angela:

      Judge not yet you be judged. You’re judging me, putting your spin on what I’m saying. What gives you the right to say who is or is not of God? Every pastor gives their interpretation of what the Bible is saying (I’ve been a licensed minister, so you’re talking about me). If I’m not a man of God then why did I start out this ministry with ZERO readers and grow to over 160,000 per month in a short period of time? I am rare. I actually tell how life really is and tell my own fears and struggles that people can actually relate to. The only one who has the right to say if I’m a true man of God is God himself, and if I wasn’t called by God I will fall.

      ROFL. No, no, no no no no no noooo. Don’t you see? Steven Furtick either teaches false things, or he does not. Do YOU believe that God is a molecular structure? Come on, Angela. Don’t make this about you or me. If Steven Furtick teaches things that contradict the Bible, we’re supposed to call him out on it. If you don’t know that, you simply haven’t read the New Testament very much. If you give the pizza delivery guy the wrong address, you’ll never get your pizza. If Steven Furtick fails to actually tell people how to get to Heaven, they’ll never get there. Heaven is waaaay more important than pizza, as I’m sure you’d agree. I’m not attacking Furtick. I don’t feel attacked by you. Let’s all open our Bibles and compare what we believe with what God has said, and adjust our beliefs accordingly. Don’t trust Steven Furtick. Don’t trust me. Don’t trust yourself. Trust God.

  46. Stephanie says:

    Hi there!
    I appreciate this post very much; you walked through and explained things very well. My question is about Elevation music— do you think we ought to sing their songs at home or in church? I have felt conviction over singing their music because it supports their ministry, which clearly teaches some wrong theology. While specific songs might be perfectly fine in their lyrics, are they pointing people back to Elevation church and Steven Furtick’s teaching? I’m struggling with whether I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, or whether I’m being discerning. I want to be discerning.

    And if a church were to simply remove the names of the musicians and only include the title, would this somehow make singing the songs ok?

    Thanks I’m advance!

    • Tony says:

      Stephanie:

      I don’t believe you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. I think it’s important, on several levels. If eternal life matters (and it does), then teaching and preaching the truth about God matters. When we elevate (no pun intended) a teacher, preacher, leader, musician or band, we’re recommending them to people. When we elevate people who lead others astray – whether accidentally or by false teaching – we risk the lives of our friends and family, both now and into eternity.

      Now, one could take that too far. If I like a soft drink and tell people it’s good, they might drink it too… and find out later that the company is run by terrible people who eat babies and torture puppies. Is that really a problem? I’d say no… but recommending Elevation’s music really is recommending Elevation. Because Steven Furtick isn’t a reliable and responsible teacher, recommending their music is a lot like endorsing a false teacher. Someone gave me a good example that I’ll share with you: if the Jehovah’s Witnesses started producing really good music that your church liked to sing, would you be okay with that? What happens when the group that created your favorite worship song comes to town and gives a concert, and teaches and preaches throughout the concert? Is it okay to sing the songs, but not go to the concert? Would you bring an unsaved friend to an Elevation concert?

      There’s a technical and legal side to this, too. You ask about removing their names. That’s not legal. Most churches pay a subscription fee to a licensing service so they can put song lyrics on screens for people to follow along with. Removing the copyright information violates that agreement and makes you guilty of, essentially, piracy: using their intellectual property for your own benefit without compensation. So, singing Jehovah’s Witness songs would put licensing money in their pockets, furthering their ministry while promoting them as a source of good religious music.

      The only real question is whether Steven Furtick IS a false teacher. If not, Elevation music is just music… some great, some good, some average, some not so much. If Steven Furtick IS a false teacher, then playing Elevation music in your church promotes a false teacher, funds his ministry, and adds to the problem rather than solving it.

      If the decision were mine, I would not allow a church music ministry to use songs by false teachers… whether Jehovah’s Witnesses, Elevation, Hillsong, or Bethel. It’s hard, because some of the music IS good. By itself, I see no problem… but playing music in church isn’t “by itself.” It comes with spiritual baggage that the Kingdom of God, quite simply, is fighting against. Not the people, but the ideas, and the spiritual forces behind those ideas.

      Does that make sense? A lot of people disagree with me, but there’s TONS of good music out there. We don’t need the bad with the good. I’ve had to make these decisions on one of my other websites, Awesome Christian Music. I’ve had to NOT put some of my favorite songs on the website because I found that they were made by worship ministers at Joel Osteen’s church, or wherever.

      Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

  47. Pamela Hankins says:

    Paul gave us the way to avoid error in Philippians 3. He bares his heart in vs 2-14 as an example for what it means to fix our eyes on Jesus. Paul’s entire ministry illustrates the selfless nature of the true Shepherd. He did not pursue what was ‘gain to him’ and he left the benefits of his heritage and education behind in order to know the Lord and the power of His resurrection, to be made conformable to His death. That attitude is the prerequisite for vs 15, “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” Relying on the Lord Jesus this way ensures us that He will correct us if we begin to go off on a tangent. Humility and teachableness, and the willingness to consider that there ‘might be’ more than we now understand is fundamental to avoiding error. Many people such as Paul himself before his conversion, along with his brother Pharisees, know the Word. As does Satan. And without the necessary attitude described above, we are apt to fall for the logic of those who are disingenuous, self-seeking teachers who take advantage of the flock. Jude gives us the definition of apostasy with examples, so we have the necessary information to discern between the example of Paul’s ministry and those examples presented by Jude. It’s no coincidence that the book of Jude is just before the Book of Revelation.

  48. Thomas Howard says:

    I tried to “reply” on our original discussion, but did not allow it. So, to recap what you said; “While it’s true that our faith can prompt God to act, our lack of faith cannot prevent Him from acting if He wants to. The very idea of salvation contradicts that notion! In our natural state, we want nothing to do with God. He draws us to Himself, or we could not be saved. If our lack of faith prevented Him from acting, then nobody could be saved… ever. “

    I came back to this discussion because of a “recent email” on this subject, so I read your last statement again. True he draws us to himself (hearing the Gospel, as there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved), but it takes two steps for salvation as it is (by grace), but it also takes the second part (through faith) Ephesians 2:8. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6. This is also why Jesus said; “According to your faith be it unto you. “ Matthew 9:29. Again, Paul speaking of the gospel of Christ: “for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes;” Romans 1:16. as it, whether “could not” or “would not”, is still (bottom line) for want of faith in us, just as the scripture say’s in Matthew 13:58
    No, all these scripture above are contrary to your saying; “our lack of faith cannot prevent Him from acting if He wants to” just does not fit. As it also say’s in Mark 6:5
    “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” So, again, it can be either word used, as here, scripture does interpret scripture with similar scripture.
    Now true, God does give us “the measure of faith” per scripture Romans 12:13, yet we must use that which is given. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Again, thanks. The commenting system only goes so deep, then you can’t add another level of replies. =)

      Furtick’s claim is that Jesus was powerless because of their faith.

      Ernest Angley made the same kind of claim: “By begging God in fear, doubt, despair, rather than asking in faith, He is limited.” As with all Word of Faith teachers, this demotes God to a subordinate position and elevates man to a superior position. Man has power over God. It’s based on the ‘dominion’ idea that Adam inadvertently gave dominion to Satan in the Garden of Eden, and that God had to create a scheme to trick Satan and get dominion back. Jesus’ sacrifice was the trick that restored man’s dominion. All of this is contrary to Scripture. The Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world.

      No, this won’t do. In John 4 Jesus healed a nobleman’s son in spite of his lack of faith… and Jesus did it without the permission and, ostensibly the faith, of the son. Sarah didn’t have faith that God could give her a son, but He did anyway. In Numbers 11, Moses doubted that God’s plan to feed meat to the Israelites would work. God’s response? Is the Lord’s arm too short? In feeding the 5,000, the faith of Jesus’ disciples wasn’t what allowed Him to multiply the loaves and fishes. Zachariah didn’t believe he could have a son at his advanced age… it wasn’t his faith that allowed God to give him John the Baptist.

      I could go on and on.

      God does respond to our faith. Our faith is important, but it does not limit what God CAN do. It might or might not limit what He WILL do, but let’s not pretend that God cannot do a thing because you or I lack the faith that He can do it. The Bible is full of examples to the contrary. Furtick is, quite simply, wrong: God can, and often does, override our unbelief.

  49. Thomas Howard says:

    True, I must admit I was not accurate as to what God can do, and does in His sovereignty, but still the scripture Mark 6:5 ; “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.” sounds so close to Matthew 13:58, as here He was powerless to do no mighty work, Jesus was blocked, and even marveled at it, saying it was because of “their unbelief”. Can not get any clearer than that! Furtick used the word “could” in Matthew 13:58, yet you said it was heresy, now here the same word “could” is also used.
    Can you admit to that! I am not lifting up Furtick, rather just contending for the faith. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      I appreciate the tone of our conversation very much. Questions about false teaching often raise emotions pretty high, so thanks! You’re wise to combine the different gospel accounts to reconcile our beliefs. They give a more complete picture of the events, and provide more accurate meanings. It’s important to make sure we keep the question in mind. I’ll recap, for clarity:

      Steven Furtick said that the power of God was in Jesus, and that He WANTED to do miracles, but Jesus could not BECAUSE the power of God was trapped in their unbelief.

      It seems we’ve already agreed that Furtick went too far when he claimed that Jesus COULD NOT perform a miracle because of someone’s unbelief. Even a single example is enough. God’s power is not blocked by anything. God can do whatever He chooses to do.

      From Phineas Quimby to EW Kenyon to Kenneth Hagin to Furtick, Word of Faith teachers claim that God is limited in what He CAN do, that WE are the ones who can unlock His power and allow Him to act as He’d LIKE to act, and that it’s our MINDSET that keeps us from reaping the amazing benefits of being born again. From start to finish, this is wrong. God is not limited in what He can do. We don’t hold the magic key that opens the door for Him to work. Our mindset is important, but we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It’s interesting that two verses after Paul wrote that, he wrote this:

      For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3

      With all due respect, Word of Faith teachers ALWAYS demote God and elevate us. They don’t use sober judgment. Just yesterday I watched a clip of Jesse Duplantis, where he said (and I quote) “You choose when you live, you choose when you die. Death and life is in the power of your tongue, not God’s.” I also listened to Furtick’s full sermon on this subject yesterday. Do you know what his conclusion was? His takeaway – his summation for the sermon – was the the people in Nazareth thought too little of themselves. Their low self-esteem is why Jesus COULD NOT release the power of God, no matter how badly He wanted to. I’ve never heard a Word of Faith teacher suggest that anyone COULD think too highly of themselves.

      I really do appreciate this discussion. I hope you won’t just take my word for any of this, but will continue to search the Scriptures and make sure that what you’re hearing matches what God has already said.

  50. Joe says:

    From Ligonier (https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/obstacle-unbelief)

    “Rejecting Jesus has significant consequences, as we see in today’s passage. Having described the failure of the people in Nazareth to believe Jesus despite their knowledge of His wisdom and power, Mark explains that our Lord “could do no mighty work there” except to heal a few people (Mark 6:5). Unbelief in Nazareth somehow kept Christ from doing all that He could.

    Some professing Christians have concluded from texts like this that human faith gives power to God. The Word of Faith movement, for example, tends to place the blame on weak faith whenever a person is not healed of a disease. Our trust is seen as so powerful that God is unable to act without it.

    Such a belief betrays a surface-level reading of Mark 6:5 and a failure to consider Jesus’ wider ministry. After all, Christ did heal when people had weak faith. He restored the son of the man who cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (9:24). Moreover, Jesus healed people when there was no evidence of faith at all. Martha did not believe that Jesus would raise her brother Lazarus from the dead (John 11:23–24, 39), but our Savior resurrected him anyway (vv. 40–44).

    Thus, when Mark says Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth, He does not mean that their unbelief sapped His power. Instead, Christ could not do many miracles because the circumstances under which the Lord readily shows Himself were not present. The miracles of Jesus bore witness to His identity as the Son of God, but the people in Nazareth had rejected Him. Consequently, Jesus could give no further confirmation of His identity that they would accept. Nothing He could have done would have made them believe, for they had hardened their hearts against the revelation that they had enjoyed. John Calvin comments, “Unbelievers, as far as lies in their power, bind up the hands of God by their obstinacy; not that God is overcome, as if he were an inferior, but because they do not permit him to display his power.” Jesus did not do miracles because performing them would have been against His purpose to judge those who were unwilling to believe. Dr. R.C. Sproul writes in his commentary Mark: “The circumstances by which God the Holy Spirit unleashed [Christ’s] power were not available there, because there was a judgment of God on the town of Nazareth. In other words, God mostly withheld His power from the stiff-necked people who held Jesus in contempt.””

    • Tony says:

      Joe:

      Thanks! That’s good stuff. Two responses:

      “… when Mark says Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth, He does not mean that their unbelief sapped His power. Instead, Christ could not do many miracles because the circumstances under which the Lord readily shows Himself were not present.”

      Yes, that. There’s no limit to what God CAN do, but there are limits to what He WILL do. These limits are self-imposed, of course… and they are chosen to produce the best outcome. If there were a better choice, God would have made it instead.

      Jesus did not do miracles because performing them would have been against His purpose to judge those who were unwilling to believe.

      We need to be careful to avoid presuming God’s mind. When He tells us, we should pay attention. When He doesn’t, we shouldn’t present our thoughts as if they’re His thoughts. Jesus’ decisions about who to heal could have had several reasons – or hundreds, or thousands – behind them. We can’t know them all, as God has not revealed them to us. Claiming that Jesus didn’t do many miracles because God wanted lots of reasons to judge unbelievers simply goes too far, in my opinion. What do you think?

      I appreciate your input!

  51. Thomas Howard says:

    I understand you want to have the final say in discussions, but let me share this last thought, then you can put me in my place, so to speak.
    Sure, it is noted he was not appreciated in his home turf, but bottom line, Jesus himself marvelled at their “unbelief”, which is another way of saying, lack of faith, which has a lot to do with receiving things from God, even salvation as, “he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12. Again, this was why Jesus said; “According to your faith be it unto you”. If you think faith has nothing to do with folks getting healed, the woman healed from an “issue of blood” shows just how by ones faith, power is drawn from God. As this power mentioned in John 1:12 is the same power here in Luke 8:45-48 that is able “to save, heal, and deliver”. In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus said to the eagerly awaiting, to be healed, blind man, “Go, your faith has healed (sozo) you.”   These are just examples showing not only how he worked individually, but also how he worked in mass. For There is such a thing as an atmosphere of faith, which genders favorable results, even Jesus knew this, as here in his own turf, he would put out doubters; “The child is not dead. She is only sleeping.” But they (the doubters) laughed at Him.
    He made them all go outside. He took only the child’s father and mother and the disciples…” Mark 5:39,40, showing doubt hinders, faith encourages favorable out comes.
    Not getting respect is a symptom of “unbelief”, which will result in “let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:7) exactly which happened here in Mark 6:5,6.

    No, think using the word “could” in Matthew 13:58 is not as heretical as you make it, since it is used here in Mark 6:5,6 in relation to lack of faith, for any reason. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      No, Thomas… I don’t want to have the final say. That’s not who I am. I want to have the TRUTH, as we can find in Scripture. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong… and correcting me is doing me a huge favor. Yes, I have the final word on what gets published, but that only applies when people are being unduly combative or promoting things I can’t promote. The reason I allow comments is that I want discussion, which generally comes from disagreement. Feel free to continue disagreeing, if you don’t see what I see.

      It’s important, again, to keep in mind the claim that’s being addressed. Furtick taught that there are things Jesus CANNOT DO. His claim was that Jesus COULD NOT heal those people because of His unbelief… that He had the power, and wanted to use it, but COULD NOT.

      The question is not whether our faith plays a part in how God interacts with us, including healings. Of course it does… it’s all over the gospels. The question is not whether the unbelief of many in Nazareth stopped Jesus from doing more miracles. The text clearly indicates that. What IS the question?

      COULD JESUS HAVE HEALED THEM IN SPITE OF THEIR LACK OF FAITH, OR ARE HUMANS ABLE TO STOP GOD FROM DOING WHAT HE WANTS TO DO?

      That’s the question. Furtick – along with virtually every other Word of Faith teacher – says that God is dependent on us to do work here on earth, and in our own lives. That makes us more powerful than God.

      God’s INABILITY is a bad explanation. A better explanation is God’s WILLINGNESS. Jesus couldn’t do many miracles… why? Not because He could not, but because He wouldn’t do it under those circumstances.

      The alternative is heresy, as defined in the traditional, historic sense: limiting God’s power and ability to do what He wishes to do is a non-starter. The only logical and biblical explanation could be that He chooses to act under certain circumstances, and to not act in others.

      What say you?

  52. Thomas Howard says:

    Right, Jesus did miracles to show he was God the Son, as in, “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” These were not unbelievers, but believed and even asked for Jesus to come heal Lazarus. But, Jesus knew that a resurrection would be greater show of his power, than a mere healing! Got it. But seems you are conflating the two things, that of, God “showing” (demonstration) of who he is and the people “receiving” of said power through faith .. They are separate, as they are different.

    Even Sproul (who you quoted earlier) does so by saying “”The circumstances by which God the Holy Spirit unleashed [Christ’s] power were not available there, because there was a judgment of God on the town of Nazareth. In other words, God mostly withheld His power from the stiff-necked people who held Jesus in contempt.” Yet that is not true, for the word is clear; John 12:47   “And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
    Jesus was not judging them, they were judging themselves, self incriminating (thus not getting anything, James 1:4) for as, per John 3:18.
    As John Calvin comments, (I am not a Calvinist) “Unbelievers, as far as lies in their power, bind up the hands of God by their obstinacy; not that God is overcome, as if he were an inferior, but because they do not permit him to display his power.” Only difference is he used “obstinacy”, Christ used “unbelief”, as I shared earlier, obstinacy is a symptom of unbelief.
    Any way, right Calvin, unbelief caused Him not to display his power. As no, it is not a logical and biblical explanation that He chooses to act under certain circumstances, and to not act in others, as “God is not the author of confusion” 1 Corinthians 14:33, and that would be the height of it, as even in your question:
    COULD JESUS HAVE HEALED THEM IN SPITE OF THEIR LACK OF FAITH, OR ARE HUMANS ABLE TO STOP GOD FROM DOING WHAT HE WANTS TO DO? Notice he did heal some by laying “his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them”. But, you are saying he did this by a sovereign act of his will, how can that be, since he specifically said; “according to your faith be it unto you”, as even your answer to such question, “does our faith play a part in how God interacts with us, including healings. Of course it does… it’s all over the gospels”, right, so which is it? It was those who had faith that received from God that day! Its all over the Gospels, for “God is no respecter of person’s” Acts 10:34, as He only respects faith, Matthew 9:29.
    Sure, Furtick has said some strange things, and You should speak up against such, but to include the entire faith teachings is another thing.
    May I share a harsh scripture that not only you, but “all of us”, may need to consider, Acts 5:38,39.

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Again, thanks for writing!

      I’ll address your use of Acts 5:38-39 first. The fact that something is IN the Bible doesn’t mean it’s an instruction from God. This was Gamaliel’s opinion, and shouldn’t be used as a strategy for how to address false teaching in the church. In fact, it’s the opposite of what the rest of the New Testament says about the matter! Gamaliel didn’t know whether this new sect of Jesus-followers was from God or not. Your use of this passage suggests that we don’t know whether Furtick is teaching the gospel or not… whether it’s from God or not. We absolutely do know, should know, can know. All we have to do is compare the gospel as expressed in the New Testament with anybody’s teachings to see if they match. You and I aren’t in Gamaliel’s situation. We are not kept in the dark about the truth of the gospel.

      As for “including the entire faith teachings,” please feel free to defend any of them. I can certainly use the discussion to teach people how to handle Scripture properly, how the teachings of the Word of Faith movement come directly from New Thought, and how they distort the biblical record about God and man.

      God has revealed (some of) Himself through His Word. It’s CRUCIAL that we avoid going further than God went in making claims about Him. Theology should come directly from the Bible wherever possible. Where the Bible is clear, we should adhere to it. Where the Bible isn’t clear, we should hold loosely to the ideas that we come up with about who God is, how He operates, and why. In this specific conversation, the question is whether Jesus COULD HAVE performed more miracles in Nazareth, or COULD NOT HAVE. Furtick clearly and indisputably taught that Jesus COULD NOT. His reason? Jesus “cannot” override someone’s unbelief. According to Furtick, Jesus had the ability and the desire to do more, but “the power of God was trapped in their perspective.”

      Not “Maybe Jesus chose not to exercise His power because they wouldn’t acknowledge Him as Messiah,” or “Maybe Jesus decided not to perform more miracles because people didn’t really want to be healed,” or “Maybe Jesus knew that more miracles would accomplish nothing for the Kingdom,” or anything like that.

      No: Jesus was UNABLE to perform the miracles He wanted to perform because the people of Nazareth lacked faith.

      This is, quite simply, unbiblical. I’ve shown a number of Scriptures where Jesus performed miracles in spite of a lack of faith. It’s clear that God does some miracles on the basis of a person’s faith, and that God does some miracles independent of anyone’s faith. Doctrinally, it’s immensely problematic to suggest that God’s ability to do ANYTHING is limited by ANYONE or ANYTHING. In point of fact, it is undeniably heretical. I’m not making a mountain out of a molehill here, Thomas. To suggest that God is not all-powerful goes against 3500 years of biblical witness, every bit of Judaic and Christian belief, and hundreds of verses of Scripture, both Old and New Testament.

      If you’d like to address the idea that God is or is not omnipotent, go ahead.

      Feel free to disagree with Sproul. I do. I didn’t cite the judgment part because I think he goes too far. I cited the part I agreed with. I also added my own clarifying comments to the citation. For the record, I don’t believe it’s a good idea to cite any human being – Sproul, Calvin, or anyone else – as evidence of what Scripture says. If someone makes a good point, good… but we don’t use human authority to point out God’s authority in Scripture. The Scriptures are enough.

      Your mention of John 3:18 sounds an awful lot like Furtick’s conclusion in that same sermon, which I have not yet added to the article above: that Jesus’ inability to perform the miracles He wanted to perform was caused by the people’s lack of belief… IN THEMSELVES. Go watch the sermon. That’s his conclusion. Their low self-esteem, expressed by Nathaniel’s question about anything good coming from Nazareth, was what trapped the power of God.

      Again: heresy.

      You say, “it is not a logical and biblical explanation that He chooses to act under certain circumstances, and to not act in others, as God is not the author of confusion.” With respect, you really haven’t thought this through. First, you’re taking 1 Corinthians 14:33 completely out of context. Paul was talking about PEOPLE exercising gifts improperly in church and CREATING chaos, which clearly would not be from God. That doesn’t mean that people can’t be confused by what God does… the Bible is full of that. Don’t you think Mary and Martha were confused about why Jesus just hung out while Lazarus died? Don’t you think the disciples were confused when Jesus told THEM to feed the 5,000? Jesus’ decision to heal some and not others might be confusing to you, but it’s not illogical and it’s certainly not unbiblical… and it certainly isn’t addressed in 1 Corinthians 14.

      You wrote, “It was those who had faith that received from God that day!” First, it must be said that the text does not give us that information. Making the claim as if it’s self-evidently true is a mistake, and not how we should handle Scripture. I’m not chastising you, but making a point for all to see that the text is our source, and our interpretations should be entirely dependent on the text. After having said that, I believe you’re probably right. It seems reasonable to conclude that Jesus healed some because they had faith and wanted to be healed, and didn’t heal others because they lacked faith.

      That, however, is not what Furtick said. It’s important to keep our eye on the actual question at hand. The question is whether Steven Furtick was RIGHT or WRONG when he claimed that Jesus wanted to do more (seems reasonable) but WAS THWARTED (utterly heretical).

      I’ll ask you straight out: do you believe that your own lack of faith in God PREVENTS HIM from anything at all?

      I don’t mean that you might create a circumstance where God doesn’t get what He wants… that happens all the time. I don’t mean that you might create a circumstance where God would be less than pleased about your cooperation with Him. I don’t mean that you might create a circumstance where God has already made decisions about what will happen, as when someone dies after a lifetime of rebellion. I mean – plainly and obviously – do you believe that God is ever POWERLESS to do what He wants in any given situation because your decision RENDERS Him powerless?

      That’s a yes or no question, by the way. If you need clarification to answer it that simply, I’ll be happy to clarify… but it seems simple: Do you, in any sense, have power over God?

      I hope you’ll take all of this in the spirit in which it was written: from one brother to another, with respect, and even a little fun. I’m encouraged by these discussions, as iron does sharpen iron. My disagreement is in no sense an indication of dislike… given the opportunity, I’d love to buy you lunch and chat in person. This is good stuff, my friend.

  53. Thomas Howard says:

    I want to express this, and hope you will not be offended, and write a lengthy response to it, as such privilege you have , yet do not share with others. Right my grip is that you can express yourself at length yet do not afford it to others, as kind of “Rules for thee, but not for me”! No, I get that it would be rough if others out here in cyberspace land could write at the same length, yet all I ask is that you follow same, be equitable . Thanks, so I will just try to answer a couple of things.
    As for, “Do you, in any sense, have power over God?” Paul said he was “not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: “ Notice the connection between Power and faith
    Then in John 1:12 this power is received by faith, then in Ephesians 3:7 this gift of grace is through working of his power”.
    So no, a christian has not power “over” God, but rather through Gods power we can do exploits, as in Daniel 11:32 “… the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Oh, you say thats for the old testament saints? Sure, but they knew not God as intimate as we do, for they had the Holy Spirit about them, yet we have the Holy Spirit in us, Great difference! See, John 14:17 “ for he dwells with you (old testament), and shall be in you (new testament).” So, then how much greater exploits, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” What power? 2 Timothy 1:7
    and this Christian’s power is not his own, as after God used Peter to heal a lame beggar, the apostle explained to astonished onlookers that the man was healed not by Peter’s own power but through faith in the name of Jesus Christ: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. . . . By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:12–16). This is how it works, as right, it is this same power that we all have today (Hebrews 13:8) to obey the command of Mark 16:15-20.
    Again, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
    Right, I also hope you’ll take all of this in the spirit in which it was written, as truly iron does sharpen iron, as our Great brother Paul said, “for we know in part”.
    I end, if I did not reach my max, with Thessalonians 4: 6-9. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      With respect, I don’t really care if you feel things are unequal between me and those who comment on my website. You might want to write more, but you don’t have to read through the 10,000 word screeds that people used to post here. I’ve had people paste entire chapters of their books here, and then ask me to rebut each sentence directly. GodWords exists to point people in the direction of Scripture for all things, not to provide a place for everybody to say whatever they want. Even Facebook has something like an 8,000 word limit. It’s not unreasonable. Besides: it’s easy to ask a question like, “What does the Bible say about baptism,” but the answer isn’t so brief. I work to be brief, but sometimes serving the people who ask legit questions takes extra space. You probably understand.

      You’ve spent many words pointing out that God can enable us to do things using His power. Those things might include speaking in a foreign tongue, or healing, or something as simple as gaining insight into how to explain the gospel to someone. Those things are all found in the New Testament, so – of course – we’re going to agree on that. Unfortunately, all of that – while meaningful – is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether Steven Furtick has taught falsely.

      You agree that Christians do not have power over God. That’s wise. You’ve already agreed that God is not limited by a person’s lack of faith. Furtick taught – as I’ve shown – that the people of Nazareth lacked faith, and it was their lack of faith that trapped Jesus’ power to heal. I’m not sure why, at this point, you’re still not acknowledging that this specific thing that Furtick taught is false. Can you explain why?

      Iron does indeed sharpen iron… and some friction is a necessary part of that process. I do sincerely appreciate you taking the time to write. I’m confident that we’re all better for it. The question is whether you’re willing to reassess what you think about people like Furtick… not in light of what I say, but in light of what God has said. I’ll ask you, quite simple: do you agree with this statement made by Steven Furtick?

      God is a molecular structure that fills all in all. That’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning.

      If you agree, we have a LOT of work to do. If you disagree, I struggle to imagine why you would continue to argue about whether Furtick should be trusted to teach the gospel.

  54. Joe says:

    Tony, I know you don’t need a cheering section or anything, but I can’t help it when you make points I have been saying for years. Its’s just cool. In your last response to Thomas you said: “Iron does indeed sharpen iron… and some friction is a necessary part of that process.” I only disagree inasmuch as friction is essential. Iron really can’t sharpen iron without friction. The friction literally removes rough burrs and the heat of friction causes the metal to be molded to fill in the gaps left by the removed metal. It is fascinating to watch in slow motion and magnified. Especially when you can see the iron (microscopic amounts) from one transferring to the other. The Proverb gains so much more meaning as you examine what actually happens during the sharpening process.
    —Joe

    • Tony says:

      Thanks, Joe. I don’t NEED a cheering section, but your words are a big encouragement. You inspire me to work harder to be encouraging, so you’re awesome. Have a great day!

  55. Tara Hogg says:

    Every time I hear some of steven furtick motivational speeches… my heart each time is just tore up about it… thank u for digging and honestly confirming what I’ve always felt each time he opens his mouth… normally missing the mark isn’t some huge extravagant bald faced lie, it’s subtle… hence “surely you won’t die”… but we just like Eve are looking through our humanistic evil eyes (Ayin)… it’s never been a physical death, always a spiritual death, resulting in our separation from God!

  56. Donald Holt says:

    How about occasionally giving the gospel . No I can’t see a man’s heart, but everybody talking about heaven ain’t going. I never assume someone is saved,born again because they like to debate God’s Word. Having said that, great reading.

  57. Kristi says:

    I’m curious as to who you are. I can’t find your name or any information on you. Maybe I am just missing it.

    • Tony says:

      Kristi:

      Thanks for asking. My identity isn’t a secret. GodWords isn’t really about me, so there’s not much… but you can find some info in the About GodWords pages, and my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked at the top of every page.

  58. Donald Holt says:

    Can a man present the gospel that may be doctrinally incorrect on other matters ? Will God honor His word regardless of who presents it ? Many through the years have been wrong, and yet many saved through their ministries. This man may be and seemingly is wrong on some doctrinal issues. Having said that ,he may be the only source of the gospel to many. We must be careful to consider the cost when publically denouncing a man as a false teacher. Does he believe Jesus is the only way to heaven ? Salvation by faith through grace ? A man goes to heaven by putting his faith in Jesus and Jesus alone . What must I do to be saved,believe. The gospel , death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Does this man believe ?

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      Thanks for writing! Yes, it’s possible to present the true, biblical gospel while being wrong about a lot of things. I have confidence that it happens all the time, all around the world. For that, I’m grateful. I don’t know that anyone has everything right, yet the gospel IS preached again and again. And yes, it’s true that many who follow false teachers ARE saved there.

      Is that the standard we find in the New Testament? Is that what Christianity is… being saved? I don’t think so, and I’ll bet that you don’t really think so, either.

      First, the New Testament is clear about false teachers:

      • They exist
      • They’re in the church
      • They teach what they should not teach
      • They should be confronted
      • They should not be tolerated in the local church
      • This really matters.

      Don’t get me wrong: it’s VERY important to be VERY careful when throwing around accusations. As I’ve written in What is a False Teacher, I want to be careful, and I don’t see these teachers as my enemies… only as people who need to be seen, assessed, critiqued, and understood.

      That said, Christianity is far, far more than just being saved. Salvation IS a huge deal… but if our only concern was salvation, we wouldn’t need most of the New Testament. Most of it has nothing directly to do with being born again. Instead, the New Testament is chock full of instruction and correction about how Christians should live, think, and act AFTER we’re saved. I’m sure we can agree on this: salvation is not the end, it’s the beginning. Remember Jesus’ words about the sower, and the four kinds of soils. Even those who receive the gospel with joy may fall away. Also, seeds sown among thorns often prove unfruitful. Why? Because of the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things. While you (and I, at times) focus only on salvation, Jesus did not. His disciples did not. Instead, they focused on living as disciples, members of the kingdom. The question is not whether anyone can be saved at Elevation Church. The question is whether Steven Furtick is a faithful teacher who repeats what Jesus taught.

      Some are saved through Steven Furtick’s ministry… but not solely because of what he teaches. Too often it’s in spite of what he teaches. God can and does use faithful people, unfaithful people, and even wicked people for His own purposes. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s okay to be unfaithful or wicked. That God might use Furtick is easy to understand. That we should ignore his false teaching is not.

      I don’t want to write about false teachers, my friend. I only do so because people write to me and ask whether this teacher or that teacher can be trusted. I can’t turn my back on those who come to me for help… and many are looking for answers who will never send me an email. I can’t ignore them, either. GodWords has been around for a long time, and – being a web professional – I’m very good at making effective websites. As soon as I started explaining why we should consider people like Steven Furtick to be false teachers, my traffic DOUBLED. That’s not good. That’s bad. People shouldn’t have to search the web to find out whether anyone claiming the name of Jesus is trustworthy… but they do. All I had to do was write, and suddenly it became very apparent that a lot of folks are looking for answers.

      If you think I shouldn’t be writing about false teachers, what do you think I should do instead?

  59. Thomas Howard says:

    Not saying this is same problem furtick has, but Donald, we can also be incorrect at times while presenting the Gospel, as you have done writing Ephesians 2:8 in reverse. Minor? Not as far as doctrine goes, as it is salvation by grace, through faith… Thanks

  60. Donald Holt says:

    I thought I left a reply but apparently didn’t go through. Well said, salvation is the most important possession someone owns. Knowledge is important but it alone doesn’t save. Once born again the believer needs to grow. He can’t bear fruit if he remains a baby. Teachers are very important and we need to be warned of false teachers. I wonder how many on this forum have a biblical salvation experience ? How many have only joined a church , gotten baptized, confirmed without being convicted. I would rather be saved , on my way to heaven and be ignorant of some biblical truths than be a man of knowledge but yet unconverted. Thanks for your work.

  61. Thomas Howard says:

    Hope you are doing well, as it has been awhile since corresponding and you writing; “When Furtick claims that Jesus was UNABLE to do ANY miracles because the power of God was trapped in the unbelief of humans,…” But since then, I just heard Andrew Wommack teach about Mark 6:5,6 saying we can limit God. He shared this scripture in relation to Ephesians 3:20 that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly” but it is “according to the power that works in us,..” Any way here it is explained; [Edit: link removed]

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      I’m well, thanks. I hope you’re doing great!

      It’s not a surprise to see that Andrew Wommack agrees with Steven Furtick, as both are Word of Faith teachers. Both, in this case, misuse Scripture and claim that it says something that it does not say. Furtick claims that Jesus was unable to do any miracles, but that’s not what the text says. Wommack, as you point out, teaches that we can limit God. Unfortunately, his understanding of Psalm 78:41 is off-base. There are older translations that do render tava as “limit,” but that’s not what the word means. Other translations, using thousands of additional ancient and biblical manuscripts, render it differently. The word means to wound, trouble, or cause pain. The context doesn’t suggest that God lost any ability due to Israel’s actions… the context tells us that God responded as He said He would. Here are the ways that better translations render tava: vexed, provoked, pained, distressed, caused terrible pain, offended. How did God respond? First, He restrained His anger… then, furious, He rejected Israel completely. He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, He sent the ark into captivity, and so on. That’s not an indication of limitation, and the very idea contradicts the rest of what God reveals about Himself in all of Scripture.

      As for healing, here’s some of what false teacher Andrew Wommack says… and none of it matches what we see in the Bible:

      • You have raising from the dead power on the inside of you, and you have to see it. You have to get past looking at your sickness and thinking about your sickness, and you have to start seeing yourself well.
      • You’re gonna have to get to a place where what you believe in your heart is more real than what a doctor says, more real than what your body says.
      • If you can’t learn how to believe and stand on the word of God and believe that you’re healed before you see it, then the majority of you are not ever gonna see the physical manifestation.
      • You have to see yourself healed [in your heart] before you see yourself healed [in reality].
      • Healing comes not from the outside in, it comes from the inside out. You gotta get healed in your heart, and then release it. And when you get born again you’ve got that resurrection power but then you’ve gotta get that soul in agreement to where it sees it.
      • If you don’t receive it in your heart, you limit what God can do.

      Unfortunately, that’s a big fat NOPE. The power that works in us is God’s power, not ours… and it’s not ours to command, it’s His. Wommack, like every other Word of Faith teacher, claims that the power is in us, that we are the ones who determine whether we’re healed, and that God has already provided healing for all believers… but we have to manifest it by faith. It’s real in the spiritual realm, they say, and we have to bring it into the physical realm by believing. This is nonsense.

      If only the apostle Paul had known what Kenneth Copeland, Steven Furtick, Joyce Meyer, and Andrew Wommack know. Rather than telling Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach, he would have undoubtedly written that the young pastor needed to appropriate God’s healing by faith and manifest it in the physical through positive confession.

      I’ve removed the link you provided, in case any would be tempted to go and listen to him. They can easily search and find him, but I won’t facilitate it. I’m sorry that you and I disagree on this, my friend… but my position is not my own. It’s the established position of Scripture and the witness of millions of faithful Christians throughout history: God CAN heal, but He might not… and we don’t have the power to override His decisions. Please, Thomas: keep studying what God has said in His Word.

  62. Thomas Howard says:

    I am well too, thanks. Yes, we do not agree, but right, using KJV word “limit” was an honest mistake, but hard to lose ones self from it, especially when growing up in the 60’s with that one being the top seller. Though it is clear here in the Lord’s vexed, provoked, pained, distressed cry, Matthew 23:37, saying; “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”, as here it is no doubt speaking these children “limited” Gods gathering ability.
    Right, they can go hear Wommack themselves and learn how, God is “able to do exceeding abundantly” but it is “according to the power that works in us,..” just as Jesus spoke to this, when he told the woman who had touched the hem of his garment (or tassels) and was healed, yet, while she being under threat for breaking the law (Leviticus 15:19), not only could she not ask him to heal her, she was not even allowed to touch him, or even be there in the crowd. But he said unto her, “Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” This goes along with him also saying; “According to your faith be it unto you.” Matthew 9:29.
    What is wrong with saying; “the power is in us, that we are the ones who determine whether we’re healed, and that God has already provided healing for all believers… but we have to manifest it by faith”? For “Death and life are in the power of the tongue….” Proverbs 18:21. Does not Paul say salvation is in the power of our tongues confession? “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
    We know that salvation is translated from the Greek word; Sozo which includes healing. They are both real in the spiritual realm, (both already provided according to 1 Peter 2:24), yet only procured through faith, for by grace ‘through’ faith are we saved (sozo).
    As for telling Timothy to “take a little wine for his stomach”, you took that out of important context of which indicates the reason for the admonition, “Drink no longer water”, which was the source of his problem. Similarly, today a Doctor would tell a 21st century man to lay off coffee, an over used source of stomach (acid) trouble. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      I’m happy to hear you’re well! I hear you, about it being tough to move on from what we’ve been taught… especially from a young age. I recently worked with a retired pastor, and our topic was discipleship. When I spoke of the Great Commission, he was confused. He didn’t know about making disciples, as the KJV only says to “teach” and doesn’t say “make disciples.” When we walked through some other New Testament verses about discipleship, he was grieved. He wished he had known about that before… but, because his denomination only uses the KJV, he had no idea. He committed to going back to the 50+ churches on his district and letting them know – not how he had failed, but how he missed the opportunity to do better.

      It’s not a surprise that Andrew Wommack agrees with false teachers like Steven Furtick and Myles Munroe, as he too teaches contrary to Scripture. Furtick and Munroe teach that there are things that God wants to do, but CANNOT do. There’s a GIGANTIC difference between what God CAN do and what God WILL do. Certainly God’s actions are, at times, conditional. For example, if the ancient Israelites obeyed the terms of the old covenant, He would bless them. If they disobeyed, He would curse them. Their disobedience did not PREVENT God from blessing them. It only resulted in God following through on His promise. Word of Faith teachers typically demote God and limit Him in ways that don’t match Scripture. Contrary to what they teach, the Bible clearly teaches there is nothing that prevents God from doing what He wants to do. Here are a few verses:

      • With God all things are possible. – Jesus, in Matthew 19
      • Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son. – God, in Genesis 18
      • Ah, Sovereign Lord… Nothing is too hard for you. – Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 32
      • I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? – God, in Jeremiah 32
      • I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. – Job, in Job 42
      • Nothing will be impossible with God. – Gabriel, in Luke 1

      I could go on, of course. There’s nothing in Scripture that tells us that we can prevent God from doing anything He wants to do. There are plenty of Scriptures to indicate that God may respond to us based on our actions, or our faith. The difference isn’t trivial. In the world of the Word of Faith movement, God CANNOT do ANYTHING on earth without us giving Him permission. In Scripture, God can do whatever He wishes.

      By the way: Leviticus 15 doesn’t even come close to suggesting that the woman was under threat for breaking the law. It simply explains the nature of ritual purity. Touching a dead body – a common occurrence – caused one to be ritually impure, and there are instructions about that. Same thing. She didn’t do anything wrong… but there were consequences for the people she touched. In this case, those consequences might be only a few minutes of ritual uncleanness, or most of a day.

      Let’s talk about Romans 10:9-10.

      If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

      You seem to think that the power is in US… that speaking those words is what saves us. That’s undeniably false. In that equation, we save ourselves. You and I both know that we don’t save ourselves, yet many persist in the false notion that it’s our faith-filled words that save us. No. We are – as you’re aware – saved by grace, through faith… and this is NOT from ourselves, it is the gift of God. The word in Romans 10:9 that’s translated “you will be saved” is a verb. Greek verbs communicate 5 different things: tense, voice, mood, person, and number. They’re very explanatory. The word is sozo, and it’s used here as a future passive indicative second-person singular word. I’ll break that down for you:

      1. Future tense: just like in English, points to an event that will, or might, happen in the future.
      2. Passive voice: the subject is the recipient of the action, not the one who performs it.
      3. Indicative mood: a simple statement of fact… an indication, not a prediction or supposition.
      4. Second Person: just like in English, the subject of the verb. “I” is the first person, “You” is the second person, “They” is the third person.
      5. Singular: just like in English, the number of subjects that the verb applies to.

      So here’s what sozo means in Romans 10:9: IF (in the future) you (the singular second person) confess and believe, salvation will happen (indicative). You will RECEIVE salvation (passive voice).

      That’s the full meaning of the Greek word that we translate “you will be saved.” Just a plain reading of that phrase in English should be enough, but apparently some stubbornly resist the idea because a wise-sounding and skilled public speaker tells them otherwise. WE DO NOT SAVE OURSELVES. God saves us in response to our acceptance of His offer of salvation. It’s not our words that save us. It’s not power inside of us that saves us. God Himself saves us because we have met His terms of agreement.

      Word of Faith teachers twist the Scriptures to say something that God has never said. They demote God from the all-powerful, all-knowing being that He is into a victim of a clever demon that He created… the Creator was tricked by His creation, failed to see the future, and was rendered impotent as a result. This is not the God of the Bible, it’s someone else entirely. Please, I beg you: do your homework. Study the Scriptures. Be like a Berean and test everything – including what I say here – with Scripture. Learn a little Greek. Pray for discernment. Don’t listen to false teachers, and don’t defend those who teach falsely. Be transformed into an advocate for truth to protect yourself and your loved ones from the wolves that the Scriptures talk about.

  63. Joe or Josiah (same guy) says:

    Tony, I appreciate the thoroughness of your response. I find John 5:2-15 to be the Achilles heal for Andrew Womack and his ilk. Of the many false things they preach, these are two things I hear the most: 1) Jesus healed everyone he encountered. 2) Healing is only accomplished through faith.

    The passage I referenced starts with (v3) “In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.” There are a MULTITUDE there and Jesus heals one man (later in the passage it refers to him leaving due to the crowd.) So #1 is debunked. v13 says “Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.” Jesus healed this invalid who had no faith, HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HIM! #2 debunked. (sorry for the all caps, sometimes I get carried away.

  64. Thomas Howard says:

    Right, John 5 speaks to Jesus ministry, doing his Father work verse 17, again in Acts 10:38, going about healing all who were oppressed of the devil . He was making himself known by his visual works of power, as he told the evil hearted Scribes ; “For whether is easier, to say, your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man “has power” on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up your bed, and go unto your house.” Matthew 9:5,6. These where mass healings, revealing his power, but there were others who had to seek and ask. Like blind Bartimaeus, who asked Jesus to have mercy on him Mark 10:46-52 and Jesus asked; What do you want Me to do for you? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go your way; your faith has made you whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
    There are too many to list like this, showing that there was a two fold ministry, of both his “revealed power” and his “response to faith”. As he also told the disciples he would not always be with them physically; “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” John 16:7, which brought forth the gifts of the Spirit, even gifts of healing and miracles 1 Corinthians 12:9,10.

    Healing belongs to you and to me. God has given us great promises in His Word, including promises of health and wholeness, as Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from sin and sickness. Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has (past tense) redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us….” The curse includes every sickness and every disease (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). Jesus’ sacrifice paid for us to be redeemed from them all.
    As far as God is concerned, that settles the issue of healing, as it’s all done, 1 Peter 2:24. There’s nothing left for Him to do. Healing belongs to us in Christ Jesus, and yet it’s up to us to receive it, take it, with your faith.

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Yes, we agree that Jesus had the power to heal… and that His healing was a combination of compassion for those who suffered and a declaration of His identity as Messiah. We don’t agree that “healing belongs to us in Christ Jesus,” because the Word of God does not say that. In addition to not saying it, it also does not indicate it. It is not OUR FAITH that allows us to be healed. As Josiah points out, Jesus healed people who had no faith as well. Jesus healed people because of the faith of others. There were plenty of people that Jesus never healed.

      Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re right, though. Let’s pretend that “healing belongs to us in Christ Jesus.” What should we conclude about the apostle Paul? He had a physical ailment that was never healed. If healing belongs to us, why was Paul never healed? If you will, please answer VERY briefly… these are the only options I can think of, so pick one:

      1. Paul was unaware that God could heal him, so he was never healed.
      2. Paul didn’t want to be healed.
      3. Paul wanted to be healed, but never appropriated his healing.
      4. Paul wanted to be healed, but lacked sufficient faith.
      5. God wanted Paul to be healed, but Paul had some hidden sin that prevented it.
      6. Paul didn’t speak faith-filled words to manifest in the physical the reality that he had already been healed in the spiritual.
      7. God did not heal Paul because, in His wisdom, had a purpose for Paul’s suffering that resulted in greater glory for Himself than healing Paul could have accomplished.

      Please just pick one, or propose your own as briefly as you can. Seriously. It’ll only take a moment: why was Paul never healed?

  65. Thomas Howard says:

    The old saying; “If I had a nickel for every time this was presented….” Well anyway, I would have a lot of nickels!
    But, and if any one, the closest would be, “God did not heal Paul because, in His wisdom, had a purpose for Paul’s suffering that resulted in greater glory for Himself than healing Paul could have accomplished.”
    But, why this “buffeting”?
    “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” 2 Corinthians 12:7. This “measure” he was referring to was the measure of God, a measure he did not want to exceed, for he knew (knowing the scripture’s) that God is to receive all glory and honor. Thus,understood he had to be humbled, and thus, as you mentioned, “resulted in greater glory for God”.
    Paul was certainly a special case, as don’t forget what he did to the church, by such destructive degradation he perpetrated on it; and even Jesus made response to it; “for I will show him how much he (Paul) must suffer for My name’s sake.” Acts 9:16, and thus buffeting, because of revelations, was part and partial.
    In relation to his saying; “I sought the Lord three times, that it might depart from me.”, I then think of the woman who followed Paul around bugging him to no end, repeatedly saying; “These men are servants of the most High God”, Acts 16:16-18, were in he handled that spirit, commanding it to come out of her in the name of Jesus, yet not this one, again, (because he knew the purpose); “lest I be exalted above measure”. As there has never been, nor ever will be any man that (past, present, future) has ever received such “abundance of revelations”, so that there can never really be any comparison.
    Bottom line, how do we know that in his saying “I sought the Lord” that he was not “standing in faith”, and “confessing healing”? The word Sought covers a lot of ground. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      Feel free to build yourself a palace full of nickels. You say Paul was a special case. Here are a few other special cases that people try to plead:

      • You have to be baptized to go to Heaven. The thief on the cross was a special case.
      • Women should never cut their hair. Nazarite vows are a special case.
      • Godly people would never drink alcohol. The “wine” at the wedding in Cana was non-alcoholic.
      • Christians are to be Torah-observant, except for sacrificing animals. That’s different.
      • Jesus’ death provided for our healing, except for Paul and Timothy and, of course, every Christian who ever died.

      It’s clear that you feel comfortable suggesting that the apostle Paul knew less about following Jesus than you do. Paul, you say, needed to be humbled. The implication, of course, is that regular Christians do not. Regular Christians always get to be healed, but Paul was a special case. Well, enough wrangling. The topic of this article is the false teaching of Steven Furtick. You weren’t willing to provide a simple answer to my question about why Paul wasn’t healed. I’ll give you another shot at a one-word response. Here’s a quote from Furtick for your consideration:

      God is a molecular structure that fills all in all. That’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning.

      Do you agree with Steven Furtick on this matter? YES or NO. Those are your only options.

  66. Donald Holt says:

    Provoking conversation to say the least. Let me ask you a question. How many doctrinal errors does it take to make one a false teacher ? Eternal security, tongues, … Can we still fellowship without compromising our beliefs. Is a biblical false teacher one that denies the deity of Christ, one that denies His redemptive plan of salvation. Just what is the criteria in establishing if someone is a false teacher. John Rice associated with some he didn’t agree with as long as they professed Christ as Savior. Not trying to cause a gunfight, just asking.

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      Good question. I wouldn’t suggest that one add up the number of doctrinal errors to determine whether someone is a false teacher. There are plenty of Scriptures about not rejecting other believers simply because they don’t yet understand all that Jesus taught. As Paul taught the Romans (Ch. 14), some have weaker faith and some stronger. We shouldn’t reject our weaker brothers and sisters… but we shouldn’t join them in their weaker faith, either.

      The New Testament is full of warnings about false teachers, so we do have an abundance of direction on the matter. It might be helpful for you to read What is a False Teacher. It’s not a comprehensive look at the definition of false teachers, but it’s a start. Let me know what you think.

  67. Thomas Howard says:

    “God is Spirit and we who worship him must worship him in Spirit and TRUTH” (John 4:24), so, no, dont agree with Steven Furtick. God is not molecular, but rather, God made molecular!
    But, I also do not agree nor do I know where you get, I suggest that Paul knew less about following Jesus than I. I also did not initiate the idea “Paul needed to be humbled”, as I got that from Paul, who said that about himself; “Lest I should be exalted above measure” at the beginning of verse, 2 Corinthians 12:7 and to make it clear, he then repeated, “Lest I should be exalted above measure” again at the end of same verse.
    But right, Paul was not so special a case that he would be the only one God dealt with “weakness”, but his special case was because of “abundance of revelations”, and not for the reason of sin, like David revealed; “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67. Thanks

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      So you don’t believe that God is a molecular structure. Neither do I. Apparently, in his own words, Steven Furtick does. This belief isn’t like saying that children should be baptized, or like thinking that Christians would be better off being kosher. This belief talks about the nature of God. Seems like a pretty big deal. Seems like a foundational idea on which other bad ideas are built. THAT – along with a whole bunch of other things Furtick teaches – is why he’s a false teacher. THAT is the purpose of this article: to help people understand that Steven Furtick is not a trustworthy teacher of Scripture.

  68. Donald Holt says:

    Not really a definitive answer to what constitutes a false teacher. If a man is truly born again, he has the Holy Spirit as his guide into all truth. What’s the conclusion? If saved , is the man that teaches error deliberately contradicting the Holy Spirit ? That’s the issue as far as I am concerned. These men tend to teach extra biblical or unbiblical thoughts as truth. Where is the Holy Spirit conviction , where’s the guidance of the Holy Spirit ? If a man is labeled as a false teacher and not only a “weaker” brother , can he possibly be a child of God. In my opinion when labeling a man a false teacher we are inevitably questioning their salvation , whether we admit it or not.

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      You’re right. It’s NOT a definitive answer. I don’t have a definitive answer. Do you? I’m eager to improve.

      Jesus did say that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. When we look in the mirror, however, it doesn’t seem that He guides us into all truth right away. If He did, then it would be easy to spot those who have been born again: we would all agree on everything. Not just theological stuff, but ALL true things. We would also be able to identify any error, about anything, instantly. No, that can’t be the way to identify false teachers. In Romans 14, for example, Paul tells us that there are “disputable matters.” With all due respect to other writers of websites (and makers of videos, and tweeters of tweets), many who talk about false teachers are willing to call someone a false teacher simply because they disagree over disputable matters. This is wrong, per Romans 14… and I would suggest that it’s often actually sin. Fodder for another discussion, maybe.

      If there are disputable matters, there are indisputable matters. As always, Scripture should be our guide. When Paul chastised the foolish churches in Galatia, he did so because they had turned to another gospel. They had, apparently, disputed the indisputable. What can we say about these people? Can we say they weren’t born again? I’m not sure we can say that. We CAN say, with some confidence, that those who led them astray were probably not born again… they were trying to pervert the gospel.

      So what’s the difference between being wrong and trying to pervert the gospel? I’m not sure I trust myself to draw that line about people I’ve never met. It’s not that I can’t identify error, it’s that I can’t know someone else’s motivation. Is Steven Furtick TRYING to pervert the gospel, or has he simply not yet been led into all truth? Does being wrong – confidently wrong – mean he’s not saved? I have no idea what goes on in his head, but I do know that he teaches things that contradict Scripture… indisputable things.

      After studying these things for literally several decades, I’m still working to properly explain how one can tell the difference between those who are wrong and those who are false. I’m not sure I can be more definitive than that, without pretending that I know things I couldn’t possibly know. I welcome your thoughts!

  69. Robbie says:

    One word… snake!

  70. Tom Z. says:

    Thank you for all you have written. It confirmed everything that I have seen and heard from Steven Furtick. I feel the same about Joyce Meyers. Ther very first time I saw Steven, he reminded me of someone very long ago named Reverend Carl H. Stevens of “The Bible Speaks Ministry” back in the 70’s and 80’s. He started in Lenox, MA and fled the area (for legal reasons) and continued to move around the country ultimately settling again in Baltimore, MD. My father used to say that people rarely and almost never amass large amounts of money and wealth without deceptive practices. It’s rare to see a young man like Steven Furtick living in a 15 million dollar home with several astronomically priced vehicles in this day and age. I do applaud those who have obtained these things legitimately.

  71. Rachel says:

    Steven Furtick is clearly not saved. He wouldn’t be spouting such heresies if he was.

    • Tony says:

      Rachel:

      While that’s your opinion, let’s not pretend that anyone else can know his heart. I don’t know if he’s saved and simply really, really wrong… or if he’s not saved. We can say with certainty that he’s a false teacher, but we can’t say whether he’s sincerely false or insincerely false. I’ve known plenty of Christians who have held some very, very wrong views about God. In most cases, they simply repeated what they had been taught. Is Furtick only repeating what he’s been taught? I don’t know, and neither do you. You’re welcome to your opinion on Furtick’s salvation, but I hope you recognize that it’s a suspicion only, and not a fact that you can prove.

      Does that make sense?

  72. Donald Holt says:

    In his situation not only is his doctrine in error but the wealth he has amassed leads one to believe his teaching is intentionally dishonest. The simple fact that he profits to that degree implies dishonesty with regards to God’s word.Hopefully those that hear the simple plan of salvation truly get saved. I’ve noticed recently that two of these groups in N.C. that promote satellite churches also seem to believe in baptismal regeneration. It pays to look a little deeper and realize that there are false teachers that are teaching another way to heaven. They sound right but like these add works to faith.

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      I share your opinion about Furtick’s wealth. It is, however, only an opinion. There’s nothing in Scripture to suggest that there’s a cap on the amount of money a Christian can have, or should make. We all know that loving money is a gigantic problem, and prosperity teachers seem to ignore this fact… but one can’t conclude that someone isn’t saved because of their wealth, let alone conclude that they’re being intentionally dishonest. We also agree on baptismal regeneration, which contradicts Scripture.

      Thanks for writing!

  73. Jane says:

    Sounds like YOU are a false teacher – get your facts right and don’t judge others. Who are YOU to make any claims about anyone – I mean who are you?

    • Tony says:

      Jane:

      Thanks for writing! I have no problem with you believing that I’m wrong. Every teacher should be willing to discuss the issues, to take questions, and to be challenged. I wouldn’t expect you – or anyone – to simply believe me. I only present evidence so that others can see it.

      Unfortunately, you’ve provided no evidence of your own. Instead, you’ve basically only stopped by to say “NUH-UH.” That’s not very helpful. Millions of people are reading this page, so it would be great if you could do them a favor and give some reasons to doubt what I’ve written. You’ve suggested that I don’t have my facts right. Which facts? Please be specific.

      As for the question “who are YOU,” I could just throw it back at you. Who are YOU to question ME? Nope… that’s not a good way to discuss our differences, is it? The answer to the question is that I’m simply a follower of Jesus. I’ve studied these things at length, but – of course – I could be wrong. I’m open to correction, but you haven’t provided any. As for hypocrisy (I know you didn’t mention it, but I will)… you’re judging me for judging Steven Furtick’s words. Right? That too is a bad way to discuss our differences.

      If you’ve been born again, you are my sister. As your brother, I’m asking you for help. If I’m wrong, I want you to show me I’m wrong. I can then correct the article and do better. Whaddya say, Jane? Will you help?

  74. Donald Holt says:

    That’s true in regards to money but prosperity preaching is contrary to scripture. To amass this type of wealth is against the teaching of Jesus and that of Paul . One thing leads to another and when we look closely at ones ministry usually it’s the tip of the iceberg. There will be many that will not agree. They view these “ preachers “ as thou they were super heroes. They had rather follow the charismatic false teacher than the true man of God . It’s nothing new and hasn’t caught God off guard . He knows who are His and will one day separate the tires from the wheat .

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      Thanks again for your thoughts. Yes, prosperity preaching is 100% contrary to Scripture. The clear teaching is that all we have – money, time, our very lives – belongs to God, and we are only stewards of what He has entrusted us with. Our role is to use what we have to benefit the kingdom, making God’s goals our own. To that end, we’re to not only care for our own families but also for those around us. While we’re talking about what Scripture actually teaches, we must acknowledge that there is no hard-and-fast explanation of how much money is too much for one person. It’s simply not covered in any way. That puts the burden on each individual to do what they believe is best in light of what Scripture DOES teach. Some may fund scholarships for pastors. Some may invest to multiply what God has given them, in order to serve with greater capacity. Some may choose to live very simply, giving away everything they don’t currently need.

      You and I agree on false teachers. You and I agree that their lifestyles match their teaching, which is the false prosperity gospel. What we should also agree on is that Scripture doesn’t give us specifics on how much we should have, how much we should spend, how much we should invest, or how much we should give away. Our rejection of the prosperity gospel should not cause us to go to the other extreme and pretend that extreme poverty is God’s will, either. I’m concerned about consumerism, and the seemingly natural drive to acquire more and more. That seems the opposite of a life of stewardship as well. Do we agree?

  75. Donald Holt says:

    Agree, being poor doesn’t make you spiritual anymore than being wealthy makes you less than spiritual. Having said that most with “ money “ are hard to reach with the gospel. They tend to trust in their money . Most believers that are wealthy acquired their wealth after coming to Christ. The Bible is clear in regards to money hindering the gospel. We are told not to trust in riches. When someone uses the false notion that God blesses in material things he’s teaching false doctrine . They are the same that claim poverty and sickness is a punishment from God . So that if you are not prosperous, you are not spiritual . We are told to lay up treasures in heaven . Be content. I have never seen a wealthy man that didn’t want more . His goal in life is to acquire more , never being satisfied. That’s contrary to God’s word. How many prominent false teachers that are not wealthy ? That’s why I personally believe their teaching is purposely done in order to gain wealth. These are not just weaker brethren but wolves intentionally deceiving and making merchandise of the gospel.

  76. Timothy Reasoner says:

    Here’s the problem. These false teachers dangle a shiny object to lure one in….then set the hook. Sounds like fishing. Once in the boat they can tell you what you want to hear, not what we need to hear. There is only one true way to analyze this. Take what is taught, then back it up with scripture. If it isn’t in scripture, the teaching is false.

  77. Becky says:

    I believe you that furtick is probably a false teacher, esp if he’s arm in arm with Jakes & Meyer. Unfortunately, your first paragraph about why he is false was a turn off for me & I never got further. When we were regenerated, we received another life & another nature. This is the divine life & the divine nature. We are no longer simply human, but the divine element was imparted into us. We are now God-men. God actually dwells inside us as another life. This is the difference between the old man & the new man. You said who are we supposed to show this divine nature too? Gods, demons, angels, trees? Um, hello? You didn’t think to mention people? Seems like a glaring omission. I’m not interested in arguing with you. I am saved & I have the triune God living inside me. To say anything else is heretical. You lost me right after hello.

    • Tony says:

      Becky:

      With respect, I hope you take this as love from a brother to a sister: you’re wrong. We who are born again do NOT have “the divine element” imparted into us. It’s not true that we’re “no longer simply human.” The Holy Spirit indwells each believer, but we do not become “God-men.” It’s odd that you agree that Steven Furtick is a false teacher, but are unable to see that your response is full of the same.

      You don’t have the triune God living inside of you. The Father is in Heaven. The Son, Jesus, still has a body. If He were living in you, you’d have some serious medical problems. Only the Holy Spirit indwells believers. In your words, “to say anything else is heretical.”

      Please remember that our disagreement isn’t personal, even though you seem to think it is. We should both seek the truth, and – like the Bereans – compare what we hear and read with what God has already said in the Scriptures… that is, in the Bible. Let me know if you have questions!

  78. Becky says:

    The same power that rose Jesus from the grave,
    The same power that commands the dead to wake
    lives in us. The same power that moves mountains when He speaks, the same power that can calm a raging sea lives in us. He lives in us. – Jeremy Camp

  79. Donald Holt says:

    I believe every believer is in dwelt by the Holy Spirit. Are the Father , Son and Holy Spirit equal as we speak. I understand this to be true . I don’t know if the term God man is accurate. I don’t know what other denominations believe , but I do know Baptist. They are terrified of recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit because they don’t want to be identified with the Pentecostal movement. They go out of their way to disagree when in fact their is no disagreement. Without question every false teacher has some truth to what he says.

    • Tony says:

      Donald:

      Yes, each believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Father, Son and Spirit are considered equal. No, “God-man” isn’t accurate for anyone but Jesus. Yes, I would agree that every false teacher also says many true things.

      As for knowing Baptists, it might be useful to note that you know the Baptists that you know… and that, like me, you don’t know the Baptists you don’t know. While I’ve encountered the same thing you have in certain Reformed churches, including some Baptist churches, it’s clear that our experiences don’t include most of the Baptists in the world. Wikipedia lists around 200 different Baptist denominations, some of which are absolutely Pentecostal in doctrine. You say that you know what Baptists believe, but I have some doubts. Baptists are incredibly diverse. Some are “progressive.” Some are “primitive.” Some are free will, some are full gospel, some are separate, some are seventh-day, and so on. While your complaints about some of the Baptists you know may be accurate, it doesn’t seem wise to project those shortcomings to include all Baptists. You say you know Baptists… but I’m not sure that any one person alive can truly say they know all Baptists.

  80. Thomas Howard says:

    Maybe not the “divine element” but it is sure, we are now partakers of the “divine nature” making a New Creation ,and as Christ said to His Father; “I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; ..” John 17:23 so, if God is in Christ and Christ (by his own word) is in us, then God actually does “dwell inside us as another life”, a life “made perfect” (speaking of our spirits 2 Corinthians 5:17), But, as noted, both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ, Romans 8:9, being one, do dwell in our new spirits. Not God-men, but surely son’s and daughters of God, like Jesus and even as John said; “because as he is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17. As Jesus said; “…whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” John 14:12.

    • Tony says:

      Thomas:

      1. Last night I was able to partake of some ice cream. I did not become ice cream, of course. Being a partaker of the divine nature does not mean we become divine.
      2. God inhabited the tabernacle in the wilderness. He did not become the tabernacle, nor did the tabernacle become God in any sense. The Holy Spirit inhabits, or indwells, each believer. That does not mean we join with Him to become divine.
      3. Jesus is the Son of God. The implication is that He is of the same substance as God. We who belong to Christ are indeed sons and daughters of God… but, as the New Testament expresses, we have been adopted. We are not of the same stuff that God is.
    • Donald Holt says:

      Let me qualify my comment. I know independent fundamental Baptist. As for the many others you mentioned I am aquatinted for the most part with their essential doctrines. Our independent Baptist churches are dwindling into obscurity. Their in not one IFB church in my county of over 260,000 people. We have over 460 churches in our city and county. You can have your doubts about me knowing Baptist if you like . I’m not offended in the least . I know what I know and our churches are afraid of getting called charismatic if they even mention the Holy Spirit. We are turning into hyper Calvinist , and for the most part lacking conviction. We get what we deserve.

    • Thomas Howard says:

      True, adopted, and Not the same stuff, but we, being sons of God, are now partakers of the divine nature, and as such, “we should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21,so that we can also (as Jesus said) “do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he (that follow in his steps) do.”

      • Tony says:

        Thomas:

        Yes, Jesus is our example. However: “follow his steps” shouldn’t be plucked out of its context… and that’s what you’ve done here. If you actually READ what Peter wrote, it’s clear that the context of following in Jesus’ steps is that we endure suffering for doing good:

        Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

        As for doing greater works, let’s look at that in context as well:

        Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

        These are Jesus’ words, and they’re obviously true. Following in Jesus’ steps does not necessarily include bringing people back from the dead, or coming back to judge humanity. Doing the works that Jesus did is NOT the same as becoming divine in nature. We do not become God-men in any sense. It’s important to say what Scripture says, and to avoid saying what Scripture does not say. Agreed?

    • Sinenkhosi Dlamini says:

      I’d really appreciate if you’d teach more about Jesus Christ, His coming and winning more souls. If Jesus would be present with us what would He be focusing on? What would He be doing? Please focus more on that. Only God has the power to detect who is wrong and who is right, ask yourself this question: is God completely pleased with me? …. please don’t reply but repent

      • Tony says:

        Sinenkhosi:

        Thank you for your thoughts! I agree: I should teach more about Jesus Christ, His coming, and winning more souls. However, I don’t think that’s what you mean. I think you mean that I shouldn’t have written this article that outlines some of the false teaching of Steven Furtick. Let me know if I’ve misunderstood.

        What would Jesus focus on, if He were present with us? I think He would focus on the same things He focused on when He WAS here. That’s why we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John… and the rest of the New Testament. Those things were written because we need to know what Jesus taught, and how to live it. They needed it then, and we need it now. It’s a serious mistake to only focus on the parts of the Bible that you like. Jesus talked about false teachers, His disciples wrote about false teachers, we have been warned about false teachers, and we have been instructed how to respond to false teachers. Why do you think we should ignore those parts of Scripture?

        Only God has the power to detect who is wrong and who is right? Wow… that’s a ridiculous statement. Really. Aren’t YOU saying I’m wrong? Are you God, to have such power? No: it doesn’t take POWER to detect who’s wrong. It takes truth. If you believe that the Bible is God’s Word, all we have to do is compare what someone says with what God has said. When someone says that God is unjust, we can compare their words with Scripture to see if they’re right. When someone says that Jesus never really died, we can compare. It’s not complicated, and we are commanded – in Scripture – to compare.

        “please don’t reply but repent” – LOL. By that, it seems you mean “I expect you to simply agree with me, to acknowledge your sin, and to change.” Well… I’m sorry (not sorry) to disappoint you, but I had three choices here:

        1. I could delete your comment, or
        2. I could post your comment without replying, or
        3. I could post your comment and reply.

        1: I seldom delete comments. 2: I wouldn’t let you teach people here, on my website, that we should ignore what the Bible says about false teachers. So: I did what you hoped I would not. Deal with it. If you think I’m wrong, bring Bible verses to support your position. If you’d rather not engage, let me encourage you to grow some courage. You’re bold enough to correct a stranger on the internet… be bold enough to back up your comment with patience, and with the firmness that comes from understanding God’s Word.

        I wish you well, Sinenkhosi. Truly I do. I hope you’ll accept my challenge. Have a great day!

    • Andy says:

      Hey man, I really appreciate you writing this, I also wanted to affirm you and encourage you in that it is very easy to become (I believe righteously) angry at someone like this, you have a heart for God and a heart that is saddened by this teaching more than angered. This is shown in your expression of sadness in having to write this, and the wish to update the article should the teaching be recanted. Keep up the good fight brother!

    • KR says:

      I’ve read through the comments and sadly all of you are wrong. The trinity is a false doctrine that found its way into modern day Christianity with emperor Constantine at the council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. Any historical search proves this. God himself told the Israelites at Deut. 6:4 that he is ONE God, not a triune one like all of the false gods the nations around them worshipped. THE Bible teaching that God is one is called monotheism. And L. L. Paine, professor of ecclesiastical history, indicates that monotheism in its purest form does not allow for a Trinity: “The Old Testament is strictly monotheistic. God is a single personal being. The idea that a trinity is to be found there . . . is utterly without foundation.”Was there any change from monotheism after Jesus came to the earth? Paine answers: “On this point there is no break between the Old Testament and the New. The monotheistic tradition is continued. Jesus was a Jew, trained by Jewish parents in the Old Testament scriptures. His teaching was Jewish to the core; a new gospel indeed, but not a new theology. . . . And he accepted as his own belief the great text of Jewish monotheism: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.’” (Deut.6:4) Just that one reasoning point is enough but one could go on and on with simple proof that God is Almighty, Jesus is his son who was created and is subordinate to God and the Holy Spirit is simply God’s power that he uses to accomplish his will. IF PEOPLE were to read the Bible from cover to cover without any preconceived idea of a Trinity, would they arrive at such a concept on their own? Not at all.

      • Tony says:

        KR:

        I’m sorry to be contrary, but you’ve been misled. What you’ve written isn’t new, of course… and it’s been debunked many, many times over many years. I’m not sure where you’ve been getting your information, but it’s simply historically inaccurate.

        L.L. Paine
        Let’s first address the issue behind your words about L.L. Paine. It appears that you’re simply parroting what someone else told you, and that you haven’t checked it out. Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witnesses sometimes quote him, and use the exact quote you’ve used. It’s unfortunate that they skip over Paine’s words at the beginning of that very paragraph. The doctrine of the Trinity, which he called Athanasianism, “has its roots in the New Testament.” The title of that book is A Critical History of the Evolution of Trinitarianism, which is the first clue that he recognized at least parts of the doctrine from long before 325. He wrote that the apostle Paul was to blame for the doctrine… not the church fathers, and certainly not Constantine.

        To put a very fine point on it, Paine rejected the gospel of John. He claimed that it’s Gnostic, written well into the second century. Obviously, we now know that’s inaccurate. His rejection of Scripture didn’t end there, of course. Here’s an important quote from his book: “Historically considered, the Bible is simply a literary product of the Hebrew and Jewish nation.” It seems abundantly clear that you’re unwise to use Paine to defend any form of biblical Christianity, no matter your theology. If you consider John’s Gospel to be Gnostic and the rest of the Bible to be of human origin and not divinely inspired, then Paine is your guy.

        Constantine
        The idea that the doctrine of the Trinity was invented in 325 at Nicaea is, honestly, ridiculous. The plain and obvious facts say otherwise. Why was the council convened? To settle a theological dispute. What was the dispute? There were several issues, but the issue in question was this: a priest named Arius claimed that the Son of God is not an eternal being. Arius believed the Son was created at a specific point in time. He accused his bishop, Alexander, of “carelessness” in emphasizing the Son’s eternal nature. In a sermon about the similarities between Father and Son, Arius thought that Alexander was reviving Sabellianism (known today as Modalism, another heresy). This debate was mostly limited to the Alexandrian “diocese.” That was in 318, seven years before the council. That there was a debate prior to the council is proof that Jesus was already considered to be eternally God. The council at Nicaea in 325 was convened to settle the matter, not to introduce it.

        Note: it’s fascinating to me that so many who claim that Constantine and the council invented Jesus’ deity also believe in the very thing Arius complained about.

        The New Testament
        One can try to argue against the Trinity by appealing to monotheism, but this argument fails. Christians, like Jews, have always been fiercely monotheistic. This is well-established in the New Testament and, as a result, throughout the history of Christianity. In addition, there are plenty of plain statements in Scripture that establish that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are each God, but are not the same as each other. Arius rightly fought against Modalism, but wrongly believed that the Son is not eternal, and not co-equal with the Father. In Titus, Paul wrote about our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. In Acts, Peter pointed out that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, concluding that he had lied not to men, but to God. I could go on and on.

        With respect, KR: your position can’t be substantiated with Scripture or with historical facts. I don’t say this to put you down, but to encourage you. Acts 17 tells us of the Bereans, who were of noble character. They received the message from Paul, then checked the Scriptures – each day – to make sure Paul was right. Let me encourage you to NOT take my word for any of this, my friend. It’s far better to begin a serious study of Scripture to make sure that what YOU have heard is what God has actually said. I’m available to help with resources, should you be in need. I’m praying for you now, and hope that you will accept this response not as an argument from a stranger, but as a challenge from a friend.

    • Timothy Reasoner says:

      From Genesis 1:26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

      Notice the pronouns “us” and “our”. These are plural not singular. The Trinity is embedded in the 26th verse of the Bible. No need to go any further than this to refute the idea of the Trinity. This also expresses the ideal of “community”, in which God wishes us to live. The first thing God created was relationships, His relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. God doesn’t want to be alone. He wants relationships. After the universe and all it’s splendor we’re created; He made relationships. Relationship between Himself and Creation, relationship between Man and creation; and relationship between Himself and Man. Then He created another relationship between Man and Woman.

      • Tony says:

        Thanks, Timothy.

        I know it’s hard to use human terms to describe God, so please take this response as a gentle reminder that our words matter, even when they must fall short. When you say that God created His relationship with the Son and Holy Spirit, that suggests there was no relationship before that… that God (the Father) was alone. For that to be true, the doctrine of the Trinity would have to be false: that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are NOT actually one God. I don’t know if that’s what you meant, but the words you’ve used here don’t reflect the oneness of the three… they reflect, if you will, threeness.

        Have I misunderstood you?

    • Timothy Reasoner says:

      When I stated “alone” I should have articulated. I understand that the Trinity is three-in-one, that the three are not separate. Present eternally as one yet having three different functions: Creator (God the Father); Savior (God the Son); and Advocate or Helper (The Spirit of God). Present as one always. When I say “alone” I meant to be separated from us. Since the Fall of Man, God has given us chance after chance at reconciliation, He wants to be with us. However, due to our sinful nature, we are separated from Him. Through the suffering of Jesus (be mindful now that God the Father and The Holy Spirit also suffered during the crucifiction), God created a way for us to be once again reconciled with Him.

    • Timothy Reasoner says:

      Also, in my original post, I wrote “The Trinity is embedded in the 26th verse of the Bible. No need to go any further than this to refute the idea of the Trinity.”

      I should have included a very important addition. “No need to go any further than the 26th verse of the bible to refute KR’s idea that the concept of the Trinity was introduced by Constantine. It was of God from the beginning and first written by Moses, some 4,000 years before Constantine.”

    • Craig says:

      I love the Holy Spirit and how God speaks insight and knowledge to me through His spirit. It’s relationship. It’s God speaking to me. I’ve heard him thru my spirit, verbally (2 times), and have the gift of foreknowledge.
      The spirit gives me a sense of bitterness and jealousy in your statements.
      When reading the Bible we should all take and review a proper context of the Exodus (SP?).
      In the same we should never judge when the spirit is speaking thru another human.
      I could quote a ton of bible verses backing my statements. But I need not. You know them. Steven is doing GODS work here on this planet.
      Not claiming him to be infallible as he does not claim himself to be.
      It seems your spirit and heart come from a dark place that is direct contradiction to Gods word.
      I need not quote the scriptures or point out your microscopic views of Furticks sermons.
      A simple man can see your heart and your spirit are not aligned with the Word of God.

      • Tony says:

        Craig:

        No, the Holy Spirit is NOT giving you a sense of bitterness or jealousy in my statements. How can I know that with certainty? That’s simple: I’m neither bitter nor jealous. Not even close. The Holy Spirit would never steer you wrong, of course… so you’re either hearing from some other spirit, or you’re projecting your imagination onto this situation. No offense intended, my friend. I’m just telling the truth. I’m sure you’d say the same if our roles were reversed, and if I told you the Holy Spirit told me you’re three feet tall. Right?

        You say ‘we should never judge when the spirit is speaking thru another human.’ I’m sorry to break it to you, Craig… but that’s 100% wrong. In 1 John and 1 Thessalonians and elsewhere we’re taught to test the spirits, to test everything, and so on. In other words, we should ALWAYS JUDGE when someone claims to hear from the Holy Spirit.

        I’m sure you’re right: Steven Furtick doesn’t claim to be infallible. We all make mistakes, and we’re all wrong about something. If you read What is a False Teacher, you can see that it can be difficult to tell who is and isn’t. I’m open to your correction, Craig… do you agree or disagree with this statement from Steven Furtick?

        God is a molecular structure that fills all in all. That’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning.

        If you agree, please provide Scriptures. If you disagree, please provide Scriptures. Wait… what? There aren’t any? Yeah, you’re right. There aren’t any.

        You can think whatever you want of me. If you belong to Jesus, you’re my brother and I have nothing but love for you. My only suggestion for you is to NEVER TRUST ME. Be like the Bereans and double-check me against God’s Word. Do your homework. Test the spirits and everything else. Cling to what is good… then do exactly the same with everybody else, including Steven Furtick.

        Your website is down, by the way. Let me know if you need a hand getting it online.

    • Jeani says:

      This is the first time I have stumbled across you. I absolutely cannot believe the arrogance of you thinking you have been picked to be the judge of every Christian leader in the world!!

      • Tony says:

        Jeani:

        Aloha! I’m very sorry to read your comment. No, it’s not because you’re being critical of me and my website. I value each criticism, and take yours as seriously as any other.

        Your comment suggests that you think there’s some difference between you and me and people like Steven Furtick. I’m not sure why you would think that, except that a lot of people consider pastors to be more spiritual than everybody else. Having been a pastor, I can tell you that that’s not necessarily true. Pastors are people like you (and me). They have the same kinds of temptations, the same kinds of weaknesses, and the same Savior. The only difference is that some get paid to be a Christian and some don’t. I don’t write that to bring pastors down. I write that to bring everybody else up! There’s no difference between a faithful pastor and a faithful non-pastor, except for who signs their paychecks. Every born-again believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them… pastors and non-pastors alike.

        Let me put it another way, if you don’t mind me poking a little fun in your direction. I absolutely cannot believe the arrogance of you, Jeani, thinking you have been picked to be the judge of me!!

        Which is it, Jeani? Is it okay to judge me, but not okay to judge you? Is it okay to judge me, but not okay to judge Steven Furtick? Maybe you’ve never noticed the apparent hypocrisy there… it’s okay. A lot of people make the same mistake. I don’t mind. Believe it or not, the apostle Paul actually addresses this directly in 1 Corinthians 5:12:

        What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.

        Keep in mind that Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, which had TONS of problems. They were supposed to judge those in the church! Because teachers like Furtick claim to be Christian, and because I’m in no position to disagree with them on that, I take Paul’s instructions to heart. Of course, almost every book in the New Testament warns us about false doctrine, about those who teach falsely, and about our response to them. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want me to ignore all of those passages of Scripture. Would you?

        You and I and every other believer should be like the Christians in Berea:

        Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

        That is, of course, found in Acts 17. Now, let’s think carefully about this: Luke (who wrote Acts) says that some regular old Christians in northern Greece heard Paul teach, and received the message with eagerness, and then they DOUBLE-CHECKED WHAT HE SAID by looking in the Scriptures.

        They weren’t considered “arrogant” for doing this. No, they were… wait for it… commended. If Berean Christians were commended for double-checking Paul, don’t you think it’s commendable for YOU to double-check ME? Don’t you think BOTH OF US should double-check Steven Furtick, and every website we read, and even our own local pastors? Seems like a reasonable thing to do.

        No, I don’t think I’ve been “picked” to do this. I’ve been commanded to do this, and so have you. Please feel free to double-check everything I’ve said by comparing me with the Scriptures. Along the way you might check out What is a False Teacher? and let me know what you think.

        Have a great day!

    • Jeani says:

      And you are not going to post my comment as I wrote it You are so arrogant that you have to approve my comment or alter it.
      Do even the comments people put are judged by you.
      Are you a communist ?!?

      • Tony says:

        Jeani:

        LOL… I don’t generally alter anyone’s comments. I don’t automatically approve comments, like a lot of websites. Why? Well… millions of people read this website. I’m not bragging, just stating the facts. If millions of real people come here, can you imagine how many spammers come here? I get thousands of fake comments every month, promoting some business or some service or some porn sites or whatever. Rather than letting the garbage get in the way of conversations about Jesus, I only approve comments from real people. Does that make sense?

        No, I’m not a communist. You’re funny.

    • almark says:

      Doctrines of demons indeed. – Thank you Paul for warning us 1000’s of years in advance.

    • Rocco D says:

      Who are you to judge ?
      This man is highly anointed by God

      Don’t be a fool

      • Tony says:

        Rocco:

        Please, call the sheriff… I’m the victim of a hit-and-run!

        Who am I to judge? Who are you NOT to judge? You call me a fool, but I hope you’re not so foolish that you don’t know the Scriptures. We ARE to judge those inside the church. Furtick claims to be a Christian, and to preach the gospel. I’m not in a position to know his heart, but you and I can both compare his words with Scripture. That’s the test.

        By the way, I’m curious. You say that he’s “highly anointed.” How do you know that? Are you “kinda anointed,” or “mostly anointed,” or only “a little anointed”? I need some kind of scale for this stuff so I know how seriously I should take your point of view. I mean, really… if you’re only “a little below averagely anointed,” maybe I can just pretend you never said anything. Right?

        No, Rocco. Every Christian is in the same position: the New Testament tells us clearly to watch our doctrine, identify the one true gospel handed down once for all, have nothing to do with false teachers, and more. There’s nothing spiritually special about Steven Furtick, nothing spiritually special about you, and nothing spiritually special about me. Study the Word. Apply the Word. Stop following false teachers.

        I’m here to help, should you want to talk about it. =)

    • Lynn says:

      You need to check the word! Jesus said we would do everything He did and more!! We have His resurrection power in us! N it’s dangerous to speak against Gods anointed!!! I’ll b praying for you!!!

      • Tony says:

        Thank you VERY MUCH for praying for me, Lynn! I appreciate that.

        I hope you won’t mind if I disagree just a little bit. First, if WE have His resurrection power in us in the way most people claim, you should run down to the hospital right now because there are a bunch of people who need your help. Imagine how much more God would be glorified if people who claim that power, who claim that good health is promised to us in the atonement, would simply go and use it to serve those in need! Why doesn’t Benny Hinn simply go from town to town, like Jesus did, and heal EVERYBODY? It seems like there’s a gap between what certain teachers SAY and what those same people DO.

        As for speaking against God’s anointed, isn’t that what you’re doing right now? Aren’t you speaking against me? Am I not anointed? How do you or I know who is, or is not, anointed? Here’s some food for thought, dear sister: would God’s anointed say this?

        God is a molecular structure that fills all in all. That’s what it means to say that Christ was from the beginning.

        Do you agree with Steven Furtick here, Lynn? Do you believe that God is a molecular structure? Honestly, I’m betting you don’t believe that. If not, why would we give a pass to someone who claims to teach from the Bible but makes statements about God – pretty important stuff – that are simply ridiculous? Truly, I hope you’re willing to reply because I want to know what you think about that.

        Thanks!

    • Janelle says:

      Just fyi
      believers are called to judge. Indeed, there are many scriptures in the Bible asking us to do so. A whole book in the Bible details the activities of judges, appointed by God Himself for the promotion of His righteousness. Paul says: “He who is spiritual judges all things.” (1 Corinthians 2:15). He says furthermore: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). Jesus Himself requires us to judge. He says: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time? Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:54-57).

      Echoing Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says: “Someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:13-14).

      Righteous judgment

      Scripture is used to understand scripture. So, although Jesus says we should not judge in Matthew 7, He says we should judge in Luke 12. It is then up to us to determine exactly what He means because Jesus does not contradict Himself. But He says: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 18:16).

      Does Jesus want us to judge or not? Yes, He does.

      In the same Matthew 7 where He says: “Judge not,” He also says: “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6). We cannot identify “dogs” without judging. Neither can we determine “swine” without judgment.

      Jesus then goes on to say: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16). If we are to identify false prophets by their fruits, we cannot but judge them. Jesus’ concern becomes apparent when He says: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24). This shows Jesus wants us to judge, but we must judge righteously. The Law of Moses says: “In righteousness, you shall judge your neighbour.” Leviticus 19:16).

    • Stana Jones says:

      We have to remember he’s a man. That’s why we need understanding of the scriptures, that way when someone says things like that we can counter it with truth. But man falls and a lot of pastors are to much with politics. We need to focuse on Jesus and not man.

    • Timothy Reasoner says:

      Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. 1 Timothy 4:1-2

    • M U says:

      Wow someone struck a nerve, I see a ton of arguments and nothing but alternative ideas about who’s right or wrong. I did not know I was suppose to choose how I get my church back.
      I listen to furtick because I’m understanding how his version translates the Bible I was always confused with. For me furtick makes the Bible believable again reviving my revival helping me to reqrow in the Christ I got lost from, his church his music has more diversity than a ton of others. I have rejoicing back in my soul. I’m reading the Bible again, I’m attending a church again. To me without finding such a teacher who’s words brought the Holy Spirit back into my life from the sin I was stuck in feels more refreshing than all the mystical rationalities I read from your website about your idea of someone who’s reviving people back to Jesus.
      Good Day & God Bless

      Sincerely MU

      • Tony says:

        M U: Thanks for writing. I have a very simple question for you: is God a molecular structure? If so, how do we know this?

        There are only 2 options:

        Steven Furtick (or someone he listened to) made it up, or
        it’s true, and we can verify it.

        Let me know what you think.

    • M U says:

      My god is alpha @ omega, I know not your question, sounds more like I struck a nerve. Now your in defense because one of gods children has gotten a rejuvenated by his Holy Spirit asking what god I’d or is not. If you want to know what god is why not ask him, I’m not the plank in your eye but only a splinter asking why you judge more than you need..

      All I can say is what a friend we have Jesus

      • Tony says:

        M U:

        You don’t know the answer to the question? Of course you don’t know the answer. WHY don’t you know the answer? Because the Bible doesn’t tell us whether God is a molecular structure. Why would Steven Furtick teach that God IS a molecular structure? It’s not something he can show us in Scripture. We only have his word for it… and we have no way to test whether he’s right or wrong. Let’s turn it around:

        If I told you that God is a giant invisible brain, would you know whether I’m right or wrong? No, you wouldn’t. If I teach it AS IF IT’S TRUE, would you consider me a reliable teacher? No, you wouldn’t. You’d probably get all judgy, call me a false teaching nutjob, and tell my millions of readers why I shouldn’t be trusted.

        So let’s stop playing games, shall we? Steven Furtick teaches things about God that 1) contradict Scripture, and/or 2) go beyond Scripture. I take no joy in saying it, but it needs to be said: Steven Furtick is a false teacher.

    • M U says:

      We are more than able, who am I to deny what the lord can do, I challenge anyone to prove my salvation wrong, my god he’s not done with me yet, and yes there more to this story, you and I will both be judged yet my beliefs are with those that lead souls to Christ, I think you are upset because furtick has a bigger audience than you will ever have with all your crazy righteousness & your judgements.

      Good Luck & God Bless

      • Tony says:

        M U:

        Sounds like I struck a nerve. Nobody’s questioning your salvation. Lots of people are questioning whether Steven Furtick is a false teacher, which is the only reason I’ve explained a few of the false things he teaches.

        As for the charge of jealousy, you should probably stop pretending to know things you can’t know. How many souls have I led to Christ? More, or fewer, than anyone else? You don’t know, and I have no desire to try to prove myself to you. I’m not commending myself to anyone here, my friend. I’m commending SCRIPTURE to EVERYONE, so they can do their own homework and come to their own conclusions. You can whine all you want about my supposed ‘crazy righteousness and judgements,’ but your whining isn’t helping anyone. I’ll be plain here:

        If I’m wrong about Furtick, PROVE IT. Show me that I’m wrong.
        If I’m right about Furtick, you should want to know it. Do your homework.

        Otherwise, nothing you’ve done here will do anyone any good at all. You’re not helping Furtick. You’re not helping me. You’re not helping the thousands and thousands who read this article every month. You’re only whining. Do you have anything of value to share, or not?

    • Charles says:

      I would like ur email the word of god not the world of god thanks for pointing it out I got confused I’ll submit to you privately so I don’t throw any one off that’s not my job to throw or lead etc that’s my fathers I’m releasing again currently in rehab god is peeling away so many oh my father he can do all things his will not mine not the world the word!!!

    • AH says:

      How would you be a witness and what words would you choose to describe who God is to someone that may know absolutely nothing about God?

      • Tony says:

        AH:

        A good question! There seem to be two approaches to this: personal and general. A general approach might describe God in broad categories. He’s the creator of everything. He loves everybody. He will hold us accountable for our actions. He’s good, and patient, and knows everything. For general descriptions of God, sticking to these categories is pretty simple. Our descriptions, of course, must match what we see in Scripture.

        A personal approach is far, far better… if it’s possible. If we know something about the person we’re talking with, and can identify the parts of their life that they struggle with, we can tailor our description to meet their needs. We must still, of course, match what we see in Scripture… but we can focus directly on the things our friend needs to hear.

        • If they’re lonely, we might point out that a relationship with God means we’re never alone because the Holy Spirit indwells every believer.
        • If they’re struggling with character issues, we might point out that when we surrender our lives to God, He remakes us from the inside out. We’re made new, and He then begins to transform us to be more like Jesus.
        • If their life seems empty and pointless and hopeless, we might explain why WE are better off by following Jesus: our lives have meaning and purpose, and we have real hope. That hope isn’t a wish, but the expectation that God will keep His promises to us. His track record shows that He’s trustworthy.
        • If they have had a difficult relationship with a parent, we might explain that God is the perfect Father, who loves and protects and provides.

        God is good, and general descriptions of Him from Scripture are often enough. Seeds of hope are planted when people hear that God may be who He says He is. Personal, customized, biblical descriptions of God are like lasers, focused directly where they hurt. Many times, a personal approach comes AFTER a general approach, and leads a seeker to finally surrender their lives to the One who loves them best.

        I hope that makes sense.

    • Mercy says:

      It is very interesting that these fundamental Christians (who act like the pharisees) constantly refer to any pastor, who delivers the message of the scripture as a massage of hope, salvation, deliverance restoration and the unconditional love of God for us, as false prophets.

      Romans 15:4 states that everything written in the scripture were written for our learning, so that through patience and comfort of them we shall have hope.

      Therefore, any Pastor who promotes hate instead of using the word of God to give hope to the broken as stated in Isaiah 61:1-3 is the false prophet. Because a true pastor’s calling like Christ’s should focus on saving souls and not to add to people’s problems. Matthew 7. Romans 8. Galatians 5, Matthew 24

      We are asked to run our own race and focus on how to love God enough to do things that are pleasing to Him, that will make us love our neighbors as ourselves -Matthew 22;34-40, Mark 12:28-34.
      Luke 10:27-28. This is the only way to live a true Christian life.

      If I were you, this would be my focus. Because no matter who we are and what we do and how much we pretend deceiving ourselves that our beliefs are the right one, we shall all stand before the throne of God and be judged by Jesus Christ – Romans 14:10-12.

      God is the judge not us. Except you don’t believe in God’s existence. Because if you do, you will not twist the scriptures but focus on your own salvation, so you don’t die and go to hell- Philippians 2:12-13

      • Tony says:

        Mercy:

        It’s interesting that you would refer to me as a “fundamental Christian.” It doesn’t appear that you understand the meaning of the words you’re using. If Furtick’s teaching were limited to delivering the message of Scripture, there would be no complaint about his being a false teacher. Every false teacher says many true things, of course… but that doesn’t mean that Furtick’s true statements excuse his false statements.

        Pointing out false teaching isn’t hate. If that were so, every author of the New Testament would be guilty. Clearly, you’re unaware of what they taught about false teachers… and unaware of the biblical response to false teaching. This isn’t “adding to people’s problems.” It’s protecting the Body of Christ from false doctrine and lies. If I were you, I would take the time to begin a study of what the New Testament actually says about this issue. Clearly, you have not. If you had, this conversation would be very different.

        You say that God is the judge, not us. Once again, this directly contradicts what we see in the New Testament. We ARE to judge. If you’d like to know which Bible verse says exactly that, let me know. If you don’t ask, I’ll assume that you don’t really want to know.

    • Keith Rayeski says:

      Why is not Julie Green on the list of false prophets? She calls herself a “pastor”,

      • Tony says:

        Keith:

        The question of whether women can be pastors is an in-house debate among believers. The reason for the debate is that there are legitimate questions on both sides. While many have strong feelings about the issue, it’s important to understand the issue before condemning those with whom we disagree. This is a separate question from whether someone is a false teacher or prophet. False teachers teach ‘another gospel,’ and false prophets (essentially) claim that God has said things that He has not said. The general question of whether the Bible allows a woman to be a pastor isn’t directly related to the content of her message. I’m sure we can agree on this: if the Bible doesn’t allow women to preach, and a woman preaches the truth, she would be in error but not a false teacher. Right?

    • Jared Kapavik says:

      I had been blindly listening to these “faith based” folk for a while. I am especially embarrased because one of my gifts is research, being an OSINT investigation and ethical hacking professional. Once I commited myself to finding His truth and built up my study discipline, I was (not so) randomly led to resource afte resource similar to this. I had “read” most of The Bible (I now grasp the difference in reading and comprehension of the Word) once maybe 10 years ago so it was not completely foreign to me, which thankfully kept me from burying myself with much conviction into their teaching. Now, thinking back to their sermons, the subtle un-truth’s are glaring. How many millions of seekers are being misled based on the followings of this massive, yet uncomplete list?? If roughly 20% of the world population identify as Christian, minus the number who claim to be to appease for various selfish reasons, minus random variables, minus the misguided, how many will actually find His Truth? Will the misguided be judged less harshly? This does not sit well with me. A deep rooted desire to develop a relationship with Him should not be met with tithe wrapped “gifts” of their bestseller self help propaganda. It is difficult for me to believe they are ignorant to what they are doing. Furtick and a lot of the others on this list do come off as genuine which may be the most dangerous thing about them. The huge followings make sense being that humans want to feel good about themselves while carrying on decadant, sinful, and selfish existences, devoid of any fault in their actions. This sincerely hurts my heart since I do beleive people can be saved from that mentality.

      p.s. You left Peter Popoff and his miracle water off the list I believe. Perhaps I missed him lol.

      • Tony says:

        Jared:

        What a story! I’m glad you’re able to see what so many cannot: that there are people, like Steven Furtick, who simply are not worthy of gathering a following.

        As for God’s judgment, we do know a couple of things:

        Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1 and God is just. 2 Thessalonians 1:6

        We’re held accountable for what we know, not for what we don’t know. There won’t be a single person who can say that God judged them unfairly, so I’m not at all concerned. He will do what is right.

        Popoff, by the way, is on the list of false teachers… just not on the Word of Faith list. I haven’t studied him well enough to put him there. Thanks for writing!

    • Christy says:

      I really appreciate your approach to apologetics. I’ve learned quite a bit in reading how you respond to criticism. Sean Mcdowell is another apologist whose excellent in responding to adverse critics. I get really fired up when I listen to false teaching and watching Sean’s approach really helped me look at false teaching with grace and more logic. You handle topics with that same grace and knowledge and scripture! It’s helpful to see the discourse so I can go forward with that approach too. I would say that you maybe missed Brandon Robertson on your list. I don’t think I saw him on your list but then again he doesn’t fall under NAR or Word Of Faith so maybe that’s why. I’m leading a women’s group this Sunday on the topic of false teachers, why we need to call them out and what is being falsely taught. I’m using some of your points here. Thank you again!

      • Tony says:

        Christy:

        Thank you very much for your kind, encouraging words. I love Sean’s work, for sure. I’ve added Brandan Robertson to the list… thanks! Let me know how it goes with the ladies.

    • West says:

      My guy… I haven’t even read everything you said.

      I Don’t need to.

      You are totally looking at Furtick’s teachings only to judge.

      He preaches diffrent , he has a diffrent way of getting his message across.

      I have been listening to his sermons for a very long time.

      Not once has he tried to mislead or change the context of messages in the bible.

      Get your facts straight. And I suggest if you don’t fully understand the way he preaches , just find other sermons to look at , and stop trying to drag a good name through the dirt.

      • Tony says:

        West:

        Sorry… I don’t know what you mean. Your comment was too long, so I didn’t finish it.

        Seriously, my friend. I appreciate hearing from you, but your response isn’t very helpful. You say you haven’t heard Furtick mislead or change the context of passages of Scripture. Well, I’ve provided examples – quotes from him, in his own words – for you to read and consider. Instead of addressing those, maybe mentioning how I’ve misunderstood him, you simply tell me I don’t have my facts straight.

        With respect: get real. If I’m wrong, let me know how you know I’m wrong. Maybe start by reading What is a False Teacher and then actually finishing the article above. It’s not that long… you can do it. Then, when you’re finished, come back and correct me. I’ll be here.

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