And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? “But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” Luke 17:6-10
There are many so called believers who are very upset with the Word-Faith Movement that emphasis faith and have attacked it with critiques such as:
The fastest growing segment of professing Christianity today is the Word-Faith Movement, also known as the Positive Confession or simply “Faith” movement. Its growth is at least partially due to the massive amounts of money the leaders are able to extract from the faithful. This influx of cash allows for huge buildings and extensive ministries, and more importantly, wide exposure on television, which translates into numerical growth. Not only do many Word-Faith preachers broadcast their services and campaigns, but Word-Faith adherents, Paul and Jan Crouch, own the largest Christian-based television network in the world. The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), founded by the Crouches, with an estimated net worth of approximately $600 million dollars, is capable of televising the Faith message (as well as many other errant messages) all over the world.
As is implied by the title “Word-Faith,” the supporters of this movement believe that faith works like a mighty power or force. Through faith, we can obtain anything we want — health, wealth, success, whatever. However, this force is only released through the spoken word. As we speak the words of faith, power is discharged to accomplish our desires. Hagin’s theme, as found in his booklet How to Write Your Own Ticket with God, can be summarized as follows (Christianity in Crisis, pp. 74-75):
In the opening chapter, titled “Jesus Appears to Me,” Hagin claims that while he “was in the Spirit” — just like the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos — a white cloud enveloped him and he began to speak in tongues. “Then the Lord Jesus Himself appeared to me,” says Hagin. “He stood within three feet of me.” After what sounded like a casual conversation about such things as finances, ministry, and even current affairs, Jesus told Hagin to get a pencil and a piece of paper. He then instructed him to “Write down: 1,2,3,4.” Jesus then allegedly told Hagin “if anybody, anywhere, will take these four steps or put these four principles into operation, he will always receive whatever he wants from Me or from God the Father.” That includes whatever you want financially. The formula is simply: “Say it, Do it, Receive it, and Tell it.”
1. Step number one is “Say it.” “Positive or negative, it is up to the individual. According to what the individual says, that shall he receive.”
2. Step number two is “Do it.” “Your action defeats you or puts you over. According to your action, you receive or you are kept from receiving.”
3. Step number three is “Receive it.” We are to plug into the “powerhouse of heaven.” “Faith is the plug, praise God! Just plug in.”
4. Step number four is “Tell it so others may believe.” This final step might be considered the Faith movement’s outreach program.[i]
But it was Jesus Christ the author and founder of the Christian faith who taught about using faith to say things and get concrete results in the now – “if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done” (Matthew 21:21). So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ” So how can critics blame the Word-Faith movement for doing what Jesus told them they would do? They cannot!
A simple examination of many of the critics of the Word-Faith Movement reveal that they don’t have the faith that Jesus was talking about and they don’t do what He has commanded them to do including:
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. Matthew 16:17-20
How could hypocrites and blinds ones critique ‘faith?’ They cannot for they deny much in the Word of God including:
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his Stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed. 2 Peter 2:20-24
Yes, Jesus suffered for us. He was severely whipped with iron balls that caused deep contusions and the leather thongs and sheep bones that cut into the skin and subcutaneous tissues. As the flogging continued, the lacerations tore into the underlying skeletal muscles and producing quivering ribbons of bleeding flesh result in great pain and blood loss so that by His stripes we are healed. Yes, at the hands of unbelievers, Jesus, our LAMB, was beaten. On His body deep furrows were plowed by the awful Roman lash and it literally tore pieces of flesh from His back. THESE WERE THE STRIPES by which, Isaiah and Peter say, WE WERE HEALED. And they were laid on His BODY. This was the bearing of our sicknesses, and so, the provision was made for the healing of our body. Jesus took these “stripes” for you and I so that we could be healed. God’s word is unchanging:
Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:19-20
Yes, the Word of God tells us that the benefits of putting our trust in the Lord includes forgiveness of all our iniquities, healing of all our diseases, redemption of our life from destruction, being crowned with loving-kindness and tender mercies, satisfied with good things, So that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. But each one of us must understand how to receive healing and keep it. Mind you the critics of the Word of Faith movement don’t believe and accept God’s word or the fact that when we understand God’s word on healing and act upon it, it brings forth a manifestation of healing in our physical bodies that gives our heavenly Father the glory for what Jesus has done for us. They don’t believe that sickness is the result of an oppression of the devil. Acts 10:38 says, “…and Jesus went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed by the devil; for God was with Him.”
Yes, the devil inflicts people with sickness and doesn’t like it when God’s Word brings healing and destroys his work. The devil, using people like the critics of the Word Faith Movement, reestablishes his infliction by stealing the truth of the Word from God’s people as demonstrated in Matthew 13:19 where it says, “When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and does not understand that the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.”
As a result many people from dead Christian churches receive the Word on healing and are prayed for and a healing takes place, and they receive it with joy, but due to lack of proper teaching don’t allow it to become firmly rooted in them and are not prepared to resist the devil who inflict them with the very same symptoms to change their minds. Matthew 13:21 tells us because of the Word, this affliction will be brought against them once again to cause them to fall away. The devil will once again bring the symptoms of the sickness to try and convince them that they are not healed. This is a lying vanity. The root meaning of a lying vanity is something that comes against us to change our mind. For if the devil can cause us to look at symptoms instead of God’s promise, he can convince us to believe his lie. When we focus on the symptoms, pain or whatever it is, doubt and unbelief come to our mind and this gives entrance for fear to re-establish the sickness. Hence we must keep our heart and mind fixed upon God and His promise. Isaiah 26:3 says, “I will keep him in perfect peace who’s mind is stayed upon me.”
We need to hold fast to that which is good. We must allow the Word to take root so that it can complete the manifestation of healing. Jonah is an example of this. He was swallowed by the whale and was in the whale’s belly for three days and nights, yet he did not give up on God and His promise. He said in Jonah 2:8-9 “Those who regard lying vanities forsake their faithfulness, but I will sacrifice to thee with the voice of thanksgiving.” Jonah decided not to believe a lying vanity, but to trust God and God delivered him out of his circumstance. Had Jonah believed the lie, he would have lost his faith and not received deliverance. How can we expect God to deliver us if we go by what the devil does rather than trust God? So when the symptoms return, we must set our faith in God and his Word and tell the enemy, no matter what, we are not going to believe his lies. James 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and He will flee from you.” [ii]
We know that not all are saved (even though God is not willing that any should perish) because not all appropriate the blessing of Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ. In the same light, not all appropriate the blessing of Divine Healing and Divine Prosperity because not all HAVE ABSOLUTE FAITH that Jesus desires to heal them and prosper them NOW! Yet God’s word is unchanging about faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him Hebrews 11:1-6
The Bible says that NOW Faith is and God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If a person had absolute faith that Jesus is his Healer NOW, then his healing would manifest NOW. Yes, we need to pray for God to help us in our weak faith so that we can be able to receive every blessing that God has Promised us in His Word in this lifetime as well as the one to come for God’s word is unchanging about faith:
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked 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, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:29-34
We can live FREE from sickness and diseases if we’re are a child of GOD. Once we understand where sickness comes from, we can understand why we are able to get rid of it! God’s word clearly reveals that death, disease and sickness originated with sin and now are being spread by Satan (Rom 5:12-21; Job 2:6-7; Luke 13:16). Think of all those Jesus healed. The Gospels say they were all “oppressed of the Devil” (Acts 10:38). Only when sin is taken out of the human race, will there be no more sickness. Until then we pray for the sick to be healed!
The Bible teaches that forgiveness of sins and healing of the body goes hand in hand. Healing is just as easy to receive from God as forgiveness of sins. If you have need of healing, it is only right that you surrender your life to God if you expect Him to heal you. Healing is one of the benefits of being in right relationship with God. “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits he forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (Ps. 103:2-3). God calls Himself in Scripture “Jehovah Rapha”, meaning “I am the LORD who is your healer” (Ex. 15:26)
When Believers agree together things begin to happen. Join with others in agreeing upon your condition, pray one for another, and get anointed with oil. (Mark 6:13, James 5:14-16). Jesus exercised no power in His ministry which every true believer cannot have today. True believers can heal the sick and cast out devils! They can perform miracles and even raise the dead. Many will say these things were only for the Apostles, just to get the church started. Not true my friend, this is for today and what true disciples were meant to do!
Satan’s primary objective is to discredit God. Spoiling our bodies is one way he operates. Created in the image of God, we are caught in the middle of this spiritual battleground. Satan “as your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He will devour you with disease and sickness if you let him. Our great advantage is that God sent His Son to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:3). God through Jesus Christ will destroy Satan’s evil work in your body!
Our failures come because of an imperfect understanding of God’s word. God’s word declares that, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Satan your adversary knows the truth better than you do. Until you discover and start claiming what is legally yours, Satan will continue his harassment and assault on your life. He knows your weak areas.
CHRIST THE HEALER
The Bible clearly reveals that God wills to be the “healer” of His people and declares His will to heal all those that obey Him. Christ’s works of healing were not only to prove His divinity but were a part of His complete mission of fulfilling the will of God. “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” (Heb 10:9). “Many followed Jesus, and he healed all their sick” (Matthew 12:15). Jesus Himself is a revelation of the will of God. He did the will of God; He healed all who came to Him. He has an unchanging priesthood; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrew 13:8).[iii]
Yes, Our God is strong and mighty indeed. He is our shield and buckler. The Lord has promised to go with us. Joshua 1:9 tells us we do not need to be afraid or dismayed. No matter what the devil brings our way. There is complete victory through the divine blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus has all power, and His promise is, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” We can trust Him with all of our heart; lean not to our own understanding, and He will move for us and work all things out for our good. God’s word is unchanging:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:26-32
EXTRACT FROM Be Not Ignorant