The Jesus Christ of New Thought: The Result of Positive Confession; Took on the nature of Satan at Calvary; Went to Hell; The First Man Born Again.

  New Thought doctrine teaches that Jesus Christ is not the eternal God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father. In fact, according to Kenneth Hagin, the idea that Jesus has no beginning or end is "not true."1 Jesus Christ, according to Name it Claim it theology, is the result of the positive confession of the prophets throughout the ages. Just like you can now, by means of positive confession, bring a new Cadillac into existence, so also was the Messiah brought into existence. The prophecies, given throughout biblical history, were nothing more than a series of these confessions given by God through the prophets with a view of creating Jesus. This confession came to fruition when the "angels spoke the words of the covenant" to Mary, and the spoken word of the angels "generated that seed" in    her.2

   Kenneth Copeland put it this way; "Now you see, God is injecting his word into the earth to produce this Jesus; these faith-filled words that framed the image that was in him.  He can't just walk onto the earth And say, 'Let it be!' because he doesn't have the right.  He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world that was blocking him every way that he could."3 Thus, not only is God impotent and sneaky; not only is Satan sovereign in the earth; but Christ is again depicted as the result of spoken words made flesh.

   Perhaps it is because of this demoted view of Christ and his incarnation; and maybe it is because of the elevated view that Positive Confession proponents have of themselves that prompted Kenneth Copeland to declare that the Holy Spirit himself had told him that He (Copeland) could have died for the sins of the world.

   On the audiobook Christianity in Crisis, an excerpt of a Kenneth Copeland Ministries audiotape is played where Copeland says:

   "The Spirit of God spoke to me, and he said; 'Son, realize this'.  Now follow me in this. Don't let your tradition trip you up. He said 'Think this way. A twice born man whooped Satan in his own domain.' And I threw my Bible (inaudible) like that, I said What! He said 'a born again man defeated Satan. The firstborn of many brethren defeated him'. He said 'You are the very image and the very copy of that one'. I said 'goodness gracious sakes alive (inaudible)'. I began to see what had gone on in there. And I said 'well now you don't mean, you couldn't dare mean that I could have done the same thing'. He said; 'Oh yeah, if you'd normally had the knowledge of the word of God that he did, you could have done the same thing; Cause you're a reborn man too."4

   This is blasphemy at the highest level.  Yet it is "revelation knowledge" that allows for such distortions of doctrine. If you question it, then it is you who has the problem. You've been "tripped up by your traditions." As bad as this sounds thus far, we have yet to reach the depths that Word Faith teachers have sunk to, riding the "Revelation Knowledge Express."

   According to the Profits of Got, Christ died "spiritually" on the cross, taking on the very nature of Satan himself. Kenneth Copeland puts it this way; "The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in his own spirit. And at the moment he did so, he cried, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?' You don't know what happened at the cross! Why do you think Moses, upon the instruction of God, raised a serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said; 'Why didn't you put a lamb on that pole?' And the Lord said: 'Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross'. He said; 'I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off'."5

   It is no surprise that Mr. Copeland would blurt out such blasphemy when you consider the words of the man who discipled him. In the words of his mentor, Faith Teacher Kenneth Hagin, we find him contending that; "Spiritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan's nature."6 Further, on the audiobook Christianity in Crisis, author Hank Hanegraaff plays a portion of one of Mr. Hagin's audiocassettes where he asserts;

   "Why did he (Jesus) need to be begotten; or born? Because he became like we were, separated from God. Because he tasted spiritual death for every man. And his spirit and inner man went to hell... in my place. Can't you see that? Physical death wouldn't remove your sins; he's tasted death for every man. He's talking about tasting spiritual death. Jesus is the first person that was ever born again. Why did his spirit need to be born again? Because it was estranged from God."7  (parentheses mine)

This leaves a portrait of a Jesus Christ that is:

       1. The result of positive confession (not eternal God).

       2. Formerly estranged from God, (a spiritually dead god/man).

       3. A former recipient of Satan's nature, (an ex-god demon/man).

   It should be clear thus far that this clearly isn't the Jesus Christ of scripture.  But it doesn't stop there.  Leading Word Faith teacher Frederick Price contends that it wasn't Christ's sacrificial death on the cross that redeemed fallen mankind.  Instead, Christ had to go to hell to accomplish our redemption.

   "Do you think that the punishment for sin was to die on the cross?  If that was the case, the two thieves could have paid your price.  No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time separated from God. Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had him bound, and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence."8

   According to New Thought theology, when Jesus was finally freed from hell on a technicality,9 and resurrected from the dead, he had the distinction of becoming the first man "born again." He was "born from sin to righteousness," he was a man who is now called God. According to POG teachers, Christ was elevated to "godhood" because of His born again status.10
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Biblical Christianity: Jesus Christ, the Everlasting God.

   The Jesus Christ depicted in scripture, again, is the exact opposite of the one of the Word Faith movement. Unlike the New Thought Jesus, the Christ of the Bible is not the result of accumulated words. Instead, he is Almighty God himself. The Eternal Word.  This is proven in that:

  • Isaiah 9:6 calls the Messiah (Jesus) the "Mighty God."

  • John 1:14 calls Jesus "the word made flesh" after the Apostle John tells us that the word was God in the beginning (1:1c-2), and that it was he, in fact, that created         every thing that is created (1:3).

  • 1 John 5:20 calls Jesus the "True God."

  • God the Father calls Jesus (the Son) GOD (Hebrews 1:8).

   While the Profits of Got may contend that Christ's death on the cross did nothing for the redemption of mankind, the Bible, however, makes it clear that Jesus finished his work for our salvation when He was crucified on Calvary's cross.  Here is a list of reasons why Biblical Christianity teaches that the work of the Atonement was completed on the Cross:

  • Because Jesus said so. The Bible says; "When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is FINISHED!' And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit" (caps added).11 The word "finished," ("tetelestai" in Greek), carries the meaning of a completed act, or a finished work. In fact, the word was used during this time period to signal the close of a business transaction.

  • The Bible says Jesus took our sins on the Cross. 1 Peter 2:24 reads; "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross."

  • The Bible says that Jesus forgave our sins and nailed them to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14 reads; "And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of de-                 crees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

  • The Bible says we have redemption and forgiveness through His Blood (which he shed on the cross). This is seen in Ephesians 1:7, which reads; "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."

  • The Bible says that our redemption was accomplished in the very act of the crucifixion. This is seen in Galatians 3:13, which reads; "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

   Our salvation WAS finished on the cross! Jesus bore our sins on the cross, he nailed anything that would condemn us to the cross, the curse of the law was lifted on the cross, and our redemption and forgiveness came through His blood -- which was shed on the cross!  The crucifixion of Jesus paid it all!

   Further, rather than being "dragged and tortured" to hell by demons, Colossians 2:15 says of Christ; "Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (the cross). This clearly shows that the battle was fought and won at Calvary! There was NO "sentence" served in hell.

   As for Christ's dying spiritually and taking on the nature of Satan at the cross; and of his being born again. All of these contentions fall flat when one considers the fact that proponents of New Thought believe that Christ was released from hell on the technicality that he never had, in fact, sinned. A fact that made his imprisonment illegal.

    If Christ never actually sinned, then how did he die spiritually? If he didn't die spiritually, how did his nature change? And if he didn't take on the "nature of Satan, why did he have to be born again? The answer to all of these questions is, quite simply; "He didn't." None of these things happened. They are the fruit of the ranting and ravings of New Thought "revelation knowledge," and are in no way connected to the knowledge gleaned from the careful study (and respect) of God's word.

   Also, when considering the claims of the teachings of these individuals concerning Christ's "rebirth in hell;" one would also have to wonder; "If mankind can only be born again by expressing faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then by what means was Jesus Christ born again?  A good question that will likely go unanswered by those who choose, against all truth and reason, to follow this heresy.
1. Durand.
2. DeCastro and Hanegraaff
3. Kenneth Copeland Ministries audiotape #01-1403 (1989) entitled  "The Image of God in You III"  side 2.
4. Harvest House Publishers double cassette (1993) tape 2, side 3.
5. Kenneth Copeland Ministries audiotape #02-0017 (1990) entitled  "What Happened from the Cross to the Throne" side 2.
6. Kenneth Hagin Ministries book entitled  "The Name of Jesus" p. 31.
7. Tape I, side 2.
8. Frederick K.C. Price periodical - "Ever Increasing Faith Messenger"  (June 1980)  p. 7.
9. It is believed by the Faith teachers that Satan was forced to release Christ from hell, not because of the sovereignty of God, but  because he dragged him there illegally. Christ hadn't actually sinned.
10. Durand
11. John 19:30, (NASB).