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What is “the Law of Faith”?

HomeFalse TeachingsWhat is “the Law of Faith”?

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.

Sally asked about Kenneth Copeland’s teaching on “the law of faith,” where he cites Mark 11:12-24. In that passage, Jesus cursed a fig tree and it withered. He points to this passage as an example of using words to change reality, and suggests that we can do the same. Is he right?

Let’s think about Mark 11:12-24 together. Kenneth Copeland’s point – clearly and obviously, from his many years of teaching – is that you and I can change reality by speaking faith-filled words. Right? If that’s true, here are some other things that are true:

Not only that, but

Right? An honest question: why do Word of Faith teachers take donations? Sometimes they SAY it’s to allow their audience to experience a blessing, by giving. Of course, if you look at their finances, they take those blessings and buy expensive suits, build big houses, and buy private jets. Why do they not simply speak faith-filled words and gather so much money that they’re able to have those things AND give away billions of dollars? Why do they not bless their own fig tree?

The Law of Attraction is a lie

The answer is that the “law of attraction” is a lie. What did KC use to buy his private jet? Money. Why? Couldn’t he just manifest a jet? Of course not. Where did he get the money to buy a jet? From people who donated their own money to his ministry. Why isn’t he asking people to only send him their address, so he can send THEM money? Because that’s not how it works.

Back to the fig tree. Jesus spoke, and the tree withered. Traditionally, the explanation for WHY is that He was making a point about people… about the religious leaders of Israel, who – like the tree – appeared to have fruit, but did not. They were leaving the area of Bethany and Bethphage. Bethany means “house of dates” and Bethphage means “house of unripe figs” or “house of green figs.” They had a unique kind of fig known as the green or winter fig. When Jesus saw the leaves, it wasn’t regular fig season… but the leaves on the tree indicated that it had fruit, so He went to check it out. Most commentators throughout history agree that Jesus cursed the tree as a sign for Israel, which had the appearance of having fruit, but actually did not. They ‘had leaves’ but did not produce righteousness in its people or growth for the kingdom of God. This kind of symbolism, where Israel is represented by trees, is common in the Bible.

Jesus Spoke

Now, forget for a moment WHY Jesus did it. Let’s address HOW He did it. He used words. KC points this out. Jesus spoke and changed reality. This isn’t really disputed by anyone who believes the Bible is true. Let’s examine another time Jesus spoke:

In Matthew 9, Jesus told a paralytic that his sins were forgiven. The teachers of the law thought this was blasphemy. Now, this doesn’t fit KC’s teaching. KC teaches that we aren’t “like” God in some ways but unlike God in other ways. Here’s an example of what he teaches:

“Today, as believers, we have that same God-like ability to speak those things which be not as though they were.”

Let’s put that to the test in Matthew 9. Jesus did NOT tell the teachers of the law that anyone can forgive sins. What did He say?

“I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”

In verse 8, we see this: “When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.” This is true, but KC teaches this:

“God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself… He was not a little like God. He was not almost like God. He was not subordinate to God even… Adam is as much like God as you could get, just the same as Jesus… Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh.” and “You don’t have a god in you. You are one.”

If we are duplicates of God… or if we ARE gods… then anybody can do what God can do. Anybody can forgive sins, anybody can curse a fig tree, and anybody can speak faith-filled words to create an entire universe of their own. The simple fact is that we are NOT gods, and we CAN’T do those things.

About verse 22, Copeland claims that it teaches we’re to have the same faith as God. He relies on the fact that most people who hear him speak will do exactly no homework of their own. They’ll just believe him, but they shouldn’t. Here’s the Greek for Mark 11:22…

ECHETE PISTIN THEOU

It means “have faith in God.” It doesn’t mean “have the faith that God has” or “God-faith,” as he claims. The same words are used around 40 times in the Bible. Here are a few… you tell me if these mean “have the faith of God:”

No, Kenneth Copeland is wrong. He teaches things that simply aren’t true. Worse, like a child trying to not get caught, he compounds one lie on top of another. We are not gods. We are not exactly like God. We cannot do all that God does. There are a lot of teachers out there who teach unbiblical things, but Kenneth Copeland is one of the worst. There’s a reason he’s the richest “pastor” in the world, and it’s not because he follows Jesus and preaches the truth. It’s because he’s been fleecing the flock for longer, and more effectively, than the rest of them.

Please: don’t pay any attention to Kenneth Copeland. Listen to preachers and teachers who are not lying to you. I’ve begun a small list of people I’ve found reliable, and you can probably hear them on the radio in your area. You can certainly watch and listen to them online, and they will teach you the truth from God’s Word: Bible Teachers I Can Recommend.


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Comments

2 responses to “What is “the Law of Faith”?”

  1. Joseph says:

    Hello. My comment is breaking the ties that bind. When you hear truth it does something to your spirit, but it may take time for it to change your circumstance. For all the people that sit under preachers like the one’s you have listed it may take time before they have the courage , or should I say the faith to leave. What advice would you give someone that may be torn? I assume they have stayed under these people, because they have seen some benefit from their teaching.

    • Tony says:

      Joseph:

      Thanks for your comment. Here’s my advice for someone who’s torn: leave.

      I say that as someone who’s attended church for almost 50 years, who’s been a licensed minister, and who’s been studying false teachers for decades. I don’t say it lightly, either. The standard in Scripture is clear: we’re to have nothing to do with false teachers. Those who welcome them take part in their wickedness. They must be silenced (at the local church level). This isn’t optional, and it’s not in any way squishy.

      How much poison do you want in your coffee? Just a little? No, none at all.

      I get this question regularly: what if they’ve really helped me? The answer is that they could have received the same help – or better – from a responsible Bible teacher. It can be hard to find a good church, but there are plenty of solid Bible teachers we can learn from who don’t put just a little poison in our coffee. Should we excuse a false teacher because they also say some things that are true? Of course not. It’s hard to hear, but that’s the best advice. Turn away. Get away. Run away. Don’t listen to false teachers.

      What do you think?

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