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False Teacher of the Day #34: Kenneth Copeland

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Kenneth Copeland is one of the most well-known televangelists of all time. He is known all over the world for his charismatic preaching and the genie-in-a-bottle-style message that he gives, particularly to poor, underprivileged people both in America and abroad. His “gospel” is filled with words of hope of financial prosperity and physical healing. But, according to the Apostle Paul, Kenneth Copeland’s “gospel” is false and he is accursed.

Kenneth Copeland is one of the most notorious prosperity gospel preachers–he’s like the spiritual father of the modern-day movement. The Prosperity Gospel–also known as “Health and Wealth Gospel,” “Name it and Claim it,” and “Word of Faith”–is a perversion of the biblical gospel that teaches that the primary purpose of Jesus’ death and resurrection is to create material gain for those who have enough “faith.”

Adherents to this false gospel are found primarily in the charismatic movement and include other prominent figures such as Creflo Dollar and T.D. Jakes. But the movement also includes people like Joel Osteen and Steven Furtick who aren’t as focused on charismaticism (such as tongue-speaking and prophecies) as much as they are on the financial prosperity of their movement.

Yet, Kenneth Copeland is arguably the worst of them.

Kenneth Copeland is at the top of what has been described as a “spiritual Ponzi scheme” where the peasants at the bottom give their “tithes” and “offerings” to organizations led by these kinds of people with promises of returns of financial blessings from God. Yet, only those who are lucky enough to make it to the top of the pyramid actually ever receive anything.

In his book, Laws of Prosperity, page 67, Copeland writes:

Do you want a hundredfold return on your money? Give and let God multiply it back to you. He urges his supporters, Invest heavily in God; the returns are staggering, … Every man who invests in the Gospel has a right to expect the staggering return of one hundredfold.

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A few years ago, Inside Edition did an expose on Copeland’s lavish lifestyle he lives by bilking his mostly poor, underprivileged congregation for money.

One of the problems we run into when exposing false teachers is the fact that we’re often asked to prove a negative. What most makes Copeland a false teacher, however, isn’t what he does say and do, but what he doesn’t. Kenneth Copeland does not preach the actual gospel–his message is completely devoid of it. He does not preach about man’s sin and his need for a savior from the coming wrath of God, nor does he preach about the actual reason for the cross, the shed blood of Jesus, and the resurrection. and call on people to repent and believe the gospel.

Other blasphemous things that Copeland has taught include that “Jesus is no longer the only begotten Son of God,” which he wrote in his book, Now We Are in Christ Jesus, page 24. He is also an advocate of the false teaching that believers, like God, have the power to speak things into existence. In his book, The Power of the Tongue, he writes:

“As a born-again believer, you are equipped with the Word. You have the power of God at your disposal. By getting the Word deep into your spirit and speaking it boldly out your mouth, you release spiritual power to change things in the natural circumstances.

And perhaps, one of the most blasphemous teachings of Kenneth Copeland–which has been adopted by the vast majority of the charismatic movement–is that human beings are “little gods.” On a February 5, 1986 airing of his Believer’s Voice of Victory Broadcast on TBN, he declared:

Am I a god? Man was created in the god class, was not created in the animal class, it was the gods class. He has a uniqueness about him that even angels do not have…Now Peter said by exceeding great and precious promises, you become partakers of the divine nature. Alright, are we gods? We are a class of gods.

And on a July 9, 1987 airing of the program, he added,

When I read in the Bible where He says I AM, I just smile and say, ‘Yes, I AM too.

What this would make Kenneth Copeland is not only a false teacher but also a false god. He has set himself up in place of God in many ways and the Scriptures have declared him both accursed and anti-Christ.

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” –Galatians 1:8

And 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 says that the “man of lawlessness” is he “who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

If that sounds like Kenneth Copeland to you, congratulations, you have good spiritual discernment!

         

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