The Nature of God
When we describe God we are doing so, even as redeemed people, from our fallen perspective. We are attempting to describe the Infinite and Transcendent with the finite and earth-bound, but God has not left us to wallow in our ignorance. He has revealed through creation ( natural revelation Psalm 19:1, Romans 1 ) and Scripture and Christ ( special revelation 2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1 ). We can know who God is in a way that is real and reliable because He has condescended to reveal Himself to us.
We know that God the Father is Spirit ( John 4:23-24 ), that he is Holy (Leviticus 11:44 ), He is Powerful ( Genesis 1 ) , and that only through the Incarnation of the Son ( who is Eternal, un-created, equal in being and essence ) can we describe God in anyway as being man. The Father is not now nor has ever been man, contrary to what both Mormons and many Word of Faith adherents claim.
Word of Faith Heresy
Copeland- “You don’t think earth was first, do you? Huh? Well, you don’t think that God made man in His image, and then made earth in some other image? There is not anything under this whole sun that’s new. Are you hearing what I’m saying? This is all a copy. It’s a copy of home. It’s a copy of the Mother Planet. Where God lives, He made a little one just like His and put us on it.” (Following the Faith of Abraham I, 1989 audiotape, #01-3001, side 1)
Copeland- “God spoke Adam into existence in authority with words. These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God’s were exactly the same size.” (Holy Bible, Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition 1991, p. 45)
Copeland- “Adam was made in the image of God. He was as much female as he was male. He was exactly like God. Then God separated him and removed the female part. Woman means ‘man with the womb.’ Eve had as much authority as Adam did as long as they stayed together.” (Sensitivity of Heart, KCP Publications, 1984, p. 23)
Dollar: “If horses get together, they produce what?”
Dollar: “If dogs get together, they produce what?”
Dollar: “If cats get together, they produce what?”
Dollar: “So if the Godhead says ‘Let us make man in our image’, and everything produces after its own kind, then they produce what?”
Dollar: “Gods. Little “g” gods. You’re not human. Only human part of you is this flesh you’re wearing.”
They often confuse the nature of man and God:
Copeland- God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself. I mean a reproduction of Himself, and in the Garden of Eden He did just that. 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.” (Following the Faith of Abraham I, 1989 audiotape, #01-3001, side 1)
“You’re all God. You don’t have a God living in you; you are one! … When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, ‘I AM,’ I say, ‘Yah, I am too!'” (“The Force of Love,” Tape BBC-56).
“Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you are God … They crucified Me for claiming I was God. I didn’t claim that I was God; I just claimed that I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah! That’s what you’re doing …” (“Take Time to Pray,” Believer’s Voice of Victory, 2/87, p. 9).
Benny Hinn- “When you say, ‘I am a Christian,’ you are saying, ‘I am mashiach’ in the Hebrew. I am a little messiah walking on earth, in other words. That is a shocking revelation….May I say it like this? You are a little god on earth running around.””Our Position in Christ #2-The Word Made Flesh”, Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Centre, 1991, audiotape #A031190-2, Side B
Hinn- “When you were born again the Word was made flesh in you. And you became flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone. Don’t tell me you have Jesus. You are everything He was and everything He is and ever shall be…. It (the new man) says, ‘I am as He is.’ That’s what it says.. As He is, so are we in this world. Jesus said, ‘Go in My name, go in My stead.’ Don’t say, ‘I have.’ Say, ‘I am, I am, I am, I am, I am.'”Praise-a-Thon” program on TBN, 6 November, 1990.
Kenneth Hagin- “Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.””The Incarnation”, The Word of Faith magazine, 13, 12 (Dec. 1980): p14.
Hagin- “This eternal life He came to give us is the nature of God.” He then adds, “It is, in reality, God imparting His very nature, substance, and being to one human spirit….Zoe, then, means eternal life, or God’s life. This new kind of life is God’s nature….Even many in the great body of Full Gospel people do not know that the new birth is a real incarnation….Jesus was first divine, and then He was human. So He was in the flesh a divine-human being. I was first human, and so were you, but I was born of God, and so I became a human-divine being!Zoe: The God-Kind of Life, Tulsa, OK. Faith Library, 1981, p40.
We are not gods, we are not divine, and God is not now nor ever was a failure. We have been born again ( John 3 ), we are in union with Christ ( Romans 8:9, 8:15 ), and one day this mortal shall put on immortality ( 1 Cor 15 ) but we will not even then be divine in the sense that we are God.
An absurd claim
I want to point out a quote from Kenneth Copeland:
God is the greatest failure in the Universe.
“I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the Bible actually is. … The biggest one is God. … I mean, He lost His top-ranking, most anointed angel; the first man He ever created; the first woman He ever created; the whole earth and all the Fullness therein; a third of the angels, at least—that’s a big loss, man … Now, the reason you don’t think of God as a failure is He never said He’s a failure. And you’re not a failure till you say you’re one.” (Praise-a-Thon program on TBN [April 1988] )
To claim that God is a failure is the the most utterly absurd thing that I have ever had the (dis)pleasure to read or hear. To even speak or write the words here is revolting and causes neurological and spiritual spasms within me as it is a blasphemous assault on the very nature and purposes of my God. When Adam fell, God was not taken by surprise, at a loss as to what to do, or fumbling over His heavenly robes while wringing His hands in consternation. He immediately cursed Satan/Serpent, dealt with both Adam and Eve, made a covering for them with blood sacrifices, cursed the creation, cast them ( Adam&Eve ) from their privileged place, and most importantly proclaimed the first glimpse of the Gospel and the coming Messiah in the proto-evangelium ( Genesis 3 ). Does that in any way convey an inept and/or incompetent God? Does that text in any way give the feeling that God was a failure in need of humanity’s help? I don’t think so.
God, neither then nor, now needs permission to work in and through His Creation:
He worked through Noah to preserve humanity ( Genesis 6-10 )
He scattered the people at Babel ( Genesis 11 )
He CHOSE Abram/Abraham as the ancestor of the Messiah ( Genesis 12)
He preserved His people throughout the sins of Joseph’s brothers ( Genesis 50:20 )
He used pagan Empires to discipline His people ( Egypt, Assyria, Babylon )
He orders the steps of a righteous man ( Psalm 37:23 )
Causes all things to work for our good ( Romans 8:28 )
We are not Gods and neither was Adam
It is an error to proclaim that we are gods or that we are divine in any way other than that we have been united with Christ by and through the Spirit ( Romans 8:9 ). Theosis, the doctrine of partaking in the Diving Nature and ultimate deification as found throughout the Eastern Church, is to be distinguished from the Word of Faith “ little gods “ theology. Theosis, while we in Protestantism often disagree with it, never fully makes man God, only that we are partakers with His nature through the working of the Spirit; that we can once again become the fullness of being created in the “ image of God. “
This is not the same idea as conveyed by Copeland et al when they declare:
“You’re all God. You don’t have a God living in you; you are one! … When I read in the Bible where God tells Moses, ‘I AM,’ I say, ‘Yah, I am too!'”
The Force of Love, Kenneth Copeland, tape BBC-56
While it is correct to declare that we were saved at the Cross, we are currently being saved in the present, and that we will ultimately be saved when glorified, it is un-scriptural to say that we are God, that we are little Messiahs, or that we are now divine by nature. We, by nature, are human, and He ( the Father ) is not; he did not need to create in order to reproduce Himself either. The “ need “ to create Adam in an exact manner as Himself is a foreign concept in Scripture, since to create “ another god “ would necessitate that God would not be the only One. To say that God needed something is to, at the very least, imply that He was incomplete in Himself and had to do something that would make Him complete. This also closely corresponds to the Mormon doctrine as stated here:
“As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.
This is aberrant, heretical, and quite possibly blasphemous statements from some of the leading Prosperity Preachers; why should we be surprised though when they consider God the biggest failure in history.
What do you think?