Once upon a time, long, long ago, on a faraway planet,1 there lived a good God. This God was very much like you and me—a Being who stands about 6’2” to 6’3”, weighs a couple of hundred pounds, and has a hand span of about nine inches.2
This God’s wisdom and power were so great that He literally had the ability to speak things into existence. In fact, this God could actually visualize beautiful images in His mind and then turn them into reality3 by utilizing a special power called the “force of faith.”4
One day, this God had a cosmic brainstorm. He decided to use the force of His faith to create something superb and special.5 He decided to bring a whole new world into existence.6 This was not going to be just any old world; it was going to be the most fantastic world imaginable. In fact, this world would become so wonderful that it would actually feature an exact duplicate of the mother planet where God lived.7
After carefully visualizing every detail of this wonderful, wonderful world, God went into action. Releasing the force of His faith like a whirlwind, God spoke into existence the planet He saw in His mind’s eye.8 And boy, was God excited! Looking down with fondness on this classic new creation, He named it planet “Earth.”
And this was only the beginning. Suddenly, a host of brilliant new ideas began to flood into God’s creative consciousness. He began to visualize vast oceans and springs abounding with water. He saw magnificent mountains and fertile fields. His mind produced flashes of thunder and lightning. Plants, flowers, and trees blazed in rapid succession through His thoughts. Now on a roll, God began to visualize life replete with beautiful birds and creatures of every size and shape imaginable.
Yet this was merely the beginning. For after five days of vivid visualizations, God’s mind moved into yet another dimension. On day six, His imagination went wild and, in His mind’s eye, God saw the crowning jewel of His creation. As the details developed within His fertile mind, God suddenly found Himself focused on an exact duplicate of Himself.9
Throwing all caution to the wind, God spoke and, suddenly, out of the pristine soil of planet Earth there arose another god—a god spelled with a small “g” but a god nonetheless.10 As the image of this little god11 took form, God saw that He had literally outdone Himself. For there, before His very own eyes, stood another god—an exact duplicate of Himself, including size and shape.12
God had finally done it! He had thought the unthinkable and, by His word of faith, God had created a creature that was not even subordinate to Himself.13
And boy, was God ever glad. For now He had a colleague whose nature was identical to His own—a god who could think like Him, be like Him, and do almost but not quite everything that He could do. God called His carbon copy “Adam,” and He gave him dominion and authority over the entire creation.14 As a matter of fact, this creature had so much power that his Creator could do nothing in the earth realm without first obtaining his permission.15
Adam was truly a super being! He could fly like the birds and swim underwater like a fish. And that’s not all. Without a space suit Adam could literally fly through the universe. In fact, with just one thought, he could literally transport himself to the moon!16
Yet even after creating a super-being like Adam, God was not fully satisfied with His accomplishments. Somehow, He just knew that a piece of the puzzle was still missing. So putting His mind into overdrive God began brainstorming once more.
And then, in a flash, it dawned on God! Why hadn’t He thought of it before? Adam was made in His image, so obviously he was as much female as he was male, right? So, why not double His pleasure and double His fun? Why not separate the male part from the female part?
Not wanting to waste a single moment, God charged into action! Causing a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, God opened him up, removed the female part from the male part, and made a being of surpassing beauty. He made woman—man with a womb—and He called the womb-man “Eve.”17
This time God had clearly gone too far: He had actually brought into existence the very beings that would one day get Him kicked off of the very planet He had created. As incredible as it may seem, these super-beings would one day turn on their Creator and relegate Him to the status of the greatest failure of all time.
You see, long before God had visualized planet Earth into existence, He had also created a whole other world full of beings called angels. One of these angles was a being of such breathtaking beauty and brilliance that he was named “Lucifer,” the Morning Star.
Lucifer had great ambitions. In fact, he wanted to take control of everything God had ever visualized into existence; he wanted to become exactly like the Most High. Well, because of his treason, Lucifer was cast out of heaven and renamed “Satan,” the deceiver.
Tumbling down from the Mother Planet where God lived, Satan landed on the replica that God had spoken into existence. He landed on planet Earth, the very planet on which Adam and Eve would one day live. There, he lay in wait for the opportunity of the ages, the opportunity to get back at God.
Satan instantly transformed himself into a serpent and cunningly tricked the two little gods into committing cosmic treason. For just the price of an apple, Adam and Eve sold their godhood to Satan. The devil, through Adam, became the god of this world.18
Alas, not only did Adam and Eve lose their nature as gods, but they were actually infused with the very nature of Satan himself.19 Adam had become the first person to be born again; he was “born” with the nature of God and “born again” with the nature of Satan.20
In one blinding instant, the first man and woman who had ever lived were transformed from divine to demonic. Immediately, they became susceptible to sin, sickness, suffering, and, more importantly, spiritual death. In fact, Eve’s body, which like Adam’s was originally made to give birth out of her side, underwent a radical transformation — from that moment on, she and her female offspring would bring forth children from the lower region of their anatomies.21
In that fateful moment, Adam and Eve were summarily barred from Eden, and God was banished from the earth. Satan now had legal rights to the earth and all her inhabitants,22and God was left on the outside desperately searching for a way to get back in.23
God, in a flash, had become the greatest failure of all time. Not only had He lost his top-ranking angel, as well as at least a third of His other angels, but now, in addition, He had lost the first man He had ever created, the first woman He had created, and the whole earth and the fullness therein!24
But as they say in baseball, “It ain’t over till it’s over!” God was not yet ready to throw in the towel. He had that winning attitude and refused to let go. Realizing that He needed man’s invitation to get back into the earth, God immediately went to work. And after thousands of years, God finally found an “old boy,” named Abraham, who took the bait and became the vehicle through which God, if He was lucky, may one day win back the universe He had lost.25
You see, through Abraham would eventually come a Second Adam who would reverse the consequences of Satan’s deception. This Adam, if all went according to plan, would return to man his godhood and to God His good earth.
Well, in time, God got Abraham to strike a deal with him. In fact, God and Abraham became blood brothers26 and forged a covenant that would gain Abraham health and wealth, and regain for God a foothold in the world He had created.27 God’s plan was to make Abraham the father of all nations and to produce from his seed another Adam who would regain the turf that was lost by the first Adam.
In keeping with His Word, God made Abraham very, very wealthy. And then, once again, He proceeded to visualize. Through God’s mind raced images of a brand-new Adam — a man who would one day restore to Him His rightful place in the universe, and who would forever banish His archrival, Satan, from the kingdom.
And then it happened! One fine day, the image of this Savior coalesced in God’s mind. Without hesitation, God began speaking into existence the picture of the redeemer He had painted on the canvas of His consciousness.28 Excitedly, God positively confessed, “The Messiah is coming, the Messiah is coming!”29
As God’s Spirit hovered over a little woman named Mary, the confession began to take shape before His very eyes.30 The spoken Word became legs, arms, eyes, and hair. And then, presto! There, before God’s very own eyes, emerged the body of the Second Adam.31
The Second Adam was named Jesus. And as Abraham’s descendent, Jesus was wealthy and prosperous. He lived in a big house,32 handled big money,33 and even wore designer clothes.34 In fact, Jesus was so wealthy that He actually needed a treasurer to keep track of all His money.35
Jesus, who was a whiz at speaking things into existence, showed His disciples how to master the art of positive confession.36 Thus, they, too, experienced unlimited health and unlimited wealth. The fact is that some of His followers caught on so well that they became rich beyond comprehension. The apostle Paul, for example, had so much money that government officials would work feverishly to try to get a bribe out of him.37
Jesus also overcame every trick and temptation that Satan could throw His way. Despite the fact that He never claimed to be God, Jesus succeeded in living a life of sinless perfection.38When all was said and done, Jesus passed the test that the first Adam had failed.
And then, at the prime of His life, Jesus entered a garden—a garden much like Eden, where the first Adam had lost his godhood. In this garden, called Gethsemane, Jesus moved into the final stages of a process that would transform Him from an immortal man to a satanic being39 and would, in turn, re-create men as little gods40 who would no longer be subject to the scourge of sin, sickness, and suffering.41
As part of the process, Jesus would have to die a double death on the cross. He would have to die spiritually as well as physically. If physical death had been enough, the two thieves on the cross could have atoned for the sins of mankind.42 No, the real key was spiritual death and suffering in hell.
And then, one day, upon a cruel cross, the crystal Christ—the paragon of virtue—was transformed into a defiled demoniac. The lamb became a serpent43 and was ushered into the very bowels of the earth. There, Christ was tortured by Satan and his minions.44 And all hell laughed.45
Little did Satan know, however, that the last laugh would be on him. For just as Adam had fallen for Satan’s trap in Eden, now Satan had fallen for God’s trap in hell.46
You see, Satan had blown it on a technicality. He had dragged Jesus into hell illegally.47 The truth is that Satan had completely forgotten to take into consideration the fact that Jesus had not actually sinned. You see, Jesus had merely become sin as a result of the sin of others. Alas, Satan and his demonic hosts had tortured the emaciated, poured-out, little, wormy spirit of Christ without legal rights.48
And this was exactly the opening God had been looking for. So seizing the moment, God spoke His faith-filled words into the bowels of the earth. Suddenly, the twisted, death-wracked spirit of Jesus began to fill out and come back to life.49 He began to look like something the devil had never seen before.
There, in the sinister presence of the evil one himself, Jesus began to flex His spiritual muscles. As a horde of whimpering demons looked on, Jesus whipped the devil in his own backyard. He snatched Satan’s keys and emerged from hell as a born-again man.50
God had pulled off the coup of the ages. Not only had He tricked Satan out of his lordship using Jesus as the bait, but He had also caught Satan on a technicality through which Jesus could be born again.
But that’s not all! You see, because Jesus was re-created from a satanic being to an incarnation of God, you, too, dear reader, can become an incarnation—as much an incarnation as Jesus Christ of Nazareth!51 And, as an incarnation of God, you can have unlimited health and unlimited wealth—a palace like the Taj Mahal with a Rolls Royce in your driveway.52 And if I could shock you (and maybe I should), you, my friend, are a little messiah running around on earth!53
All it takes now is to recognize your own divinity. You, too, can harness the force of faith. Never again will you have to pray, “Thy will be done.”54 Rather, your word is God’s command.55 By simply using your tongue, you can literally speak whatsoever you desire into existence;56 and then you can live happily ever after on this planet of prosperity.
What you have read is a composite of the writings and ramblings of some of the most powerful and prolific prosperity preachers operating within the church today—“teachers” who are systematically turning the truth into mythology.
Hank Hanegraaff is president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the Bible Answer Man daily broadcast (for a list of stations airing the Bible Answer Man, or to listen online, log on to equip.org). Hank has authored more than twenty books, including The Complete Bible Answer Book — Collector’s Edition, Revised and Updated (Thomas Nelson, 2016), and Christianity in Crisis — 21st Century (Thomas Nelson, 2009), from which “Turning Truth into Mythology” is excerpted.
1 Kenneth Copeland: “Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” (“Spirit, Soul and Body I” [Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985] audio tape #01-0601, side 1.)
2 Kenneth Copeland: “Now God is not some creature that stands twenty-eight feet tall, and He’s got hands, you know, as big as basketballs. That’s not the kind of creature He is . . . He’s very much like you and me. Can you conceive that? Not hardly in the mind, but your heart can. Your heart can. A Being, a Being that stands somewhere around 6’2”, 6’3”, that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds, little better, [and] has a [hand]span nine inches across.” (Ibid.).
TABKenneth Hagin: “And I said, ‘Why, Alton, God weighs more than 250 pounds.’” (Exceedingly Growing Faith [Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1983 (2nd ed. 1990)] 15).
TABIn another context, Kenneth Hagin said that God’s Son is a bit shorter and lighter: “as I looked to see who it was, I saw Jesus . . . I saw Him. He had on a white robe. He wore roman sandals . . . He seemed to be about 5 feet 11 inches tall. He looked to weigh about 180 pounds.” (How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God [Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1978] 29–30).
3 Charles Capps: “God filled His words with faith to cause the things He said to come into manifestation. There was an image inside Him. He expressed it in words.” (The Substance of Things [Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1990] 19).
4 Kenneth Copeland: “Faith is a power force. It is a tangible force. It is a conductive force.” (The Force of Faith [Fort Worth: KCP Publications, 1989], 10).
TABCreflo Dollar: “Now, God used faith substance to make everything that He made….in every one of those words they were filled with faith substance, because words are nothing but containers….Every time God speaks, He can’t help but to speak words that are filled with faith….God’s guts are called faith stuff….Everything in Him is faith….What’s in His heart is faith…if you were to cut God open you’d see nothing but faith. Every time He opens His mouth now, He automatically fills those words with His faith material” (Creflo Dollar, “The Just Shall Live By Faith,” Changing Your World, Trinity Broadcasting Network, September 20, 1998).
5 Charles Capps: “Faith is the substance, the raw material….Faith is the substance that God used to create the universe, and He transported that faith with His words….Faith is the substance of things, but you can’t see faith. Faith is a spiritual force” (Changing the Seen & Shaping the Unseen [Harrison House, 1980], 14–15).
6 Jerry Savelle: “Well, just because the Bible says that God framed the world with things that were not seen, that does not mean that He framed this world out of nothing. It simply means that He framed the world out of something that you could not see. In other words, He didn’t go out here and pick up something—a few raw materials—and then sling a world together. No, the raw material or the substance that God used to frame this world was His faith and His Word—His faith and His Word….The way that He created the world was, first of all, He conceived something on the inside of Him. He conceived; He had an image; He had a picture. God doesn’t just sling things into existence without first of all conceiving it first.” (“Framing Your World with the Word of God, Part 2” [Fort Worth, TX: Jerry Savelle Evangelistic Association, Inc., n.d.], audio tape #SS-36, side 1).
7 Kenneth 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” [Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1989], audio tape #01-3001, side 1).
8 Charles Capps: “He framed the world with His words. You can’t build without substance. He took words—faith-filled words were God’s substance. Here, essentially, is what God did. God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying ‘Light be!’ That’s the way God transported His faith causing creation and transformation.” (Dynamics of Faith & Confession [Harrison House, 1987], 28–29.)
9 Charles Capps: “God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness. The word likenessin the original Hebrew means “an exact duplication in kind”….Adam was an exact duplication of God’s kind!” (Authority in Three Worlds [Harrison House, 1982], 15–16 [emphasis in original]).
TABCreflo Dollar: “If the Godhead gets together and say let us make man then what are they producing?….They’re producing gods….You are gods because you came from God and you are gods, you’re not just human. The only human part about you is this physical body that you live in” (Creflo Dollar, World Changers, September 15, 2002).
TABT. D. Jakes: “We were made out of God. When God created Adam, He created him from the dust of the earth. He put His mouth on him; blew in him the breath of life. He became a living soul. God said, “I wanted to see what I looked like, so I made you to be in My image. You have My DNA. You are created out of Me. You are a derivative of Me. You are My picture in the Earth” ( D. Jakes, “MegaCare 1,” The Potter’s Touch on Lightsource.com, iTunes Podcast, August 17, 2008).
10 Paul Crouch, speaking to Kenneth Copeland, said: “Somebody said—I don’t know who said it—but they claim that you Faith teachers declare that we are gods. You’re a god. I’m a god. Small ‘g’ now, but we are the gods of this world….Well, are you a god—small ‘g’?” To this, Jan Crouch, referring to Copeland, enthusiastically exclaimed: “He’s gonna say, ‘Yes.’ I love it.” (Praise the Lord program on TBN [5 February 1986]).
11 Paul Crouch: “He [God] doesn’t even draw a distinction between Himself and us….You know what else that’s settled, then, tonight? This hue and cry and controversy that has been spawned by the Devil to try and bring dissension within the body of Christ that we are gods. I am a little god!….I have His name. I’m one with Him. I’m in covenant relation. I am a little god! Critics, be gone! (Praise the Lord program on TBN [7 July 1986]).
TABJoyce Meyer: “If you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If cattle have another cattle they call it cattle-kind. I mean, what’s God supposed to call us? Doesn’t the Bible say we’re created in His image? Now you understand, I’m not saying you are God with a capital ‘g’ ” (YouTube, “Joyce Meyer-Little Gods” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y4eVu2oxP8), accessed July 12, 2007).
12 Kenneth Copeland: “God spoke Adam into existence in authority with words (Gen. 1:26, 28). These words struck Adam’s body in the face. His body and God were exactly the same size.” (Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition [Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1991], 45 [emphasis in original]).
13 Kenneth 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,” side 1).
TABCreflo Dollar: “Philippians chapter 2 and in Philippians chapter 2, I want you to look at verse 5, (laughs) look at this now verse 5 let this mind be in you, a better way to say that is let this attitude be in you. Let this mind, let this attitude be in you which was also in Christ Jesus so now what mind, what attitude is it that you want me to make sure that this same attitude is in me, what is this way of thinking. What is this, it’ll move me even into confidence that you want me have here. Verse 6, here it is, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Let this attitude that was in Jesus be in you. Let this way of thinking that was in Jesus be in you. Let this confidence that was in Jesus be in you. Jesus didn’t think it was robbery, he didn’t think it was a dishonor, he didn’t, he didn’t think it was, Oh you ought not think that way. No, he said, let this attitude, let this way of thinking be in you who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God. Now if I’m to take what he said here and put it on, then my whole attitude should be, I have equality with God. That’s my way of thinking. Now somebody says, well it’s hard to think that way, well keep saying it, I have equality with God talk yourself into it, you’ve talked yourself into other things talk yourself into this attitude. Talk yourself into this way of thinking. Talk yourself into it until you build a confidence on the inside of you that I have equality with God. Now when the guy says the storm is coming over, get ready, it’s gonna blow your house down. You go out on the porch because you have this way of thinking on the inside you and you say peace be still you will not cause any destruction on this property. Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. And then he moves down on to verse 15 says why that you may be blameless and harmless the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom you shine as lights in the world. This is God’s desire that we shine as light. He says notice, he says, we’re not going to shine as lights until we change the way we think. We’re not going to shine as lights ’til we accept our equality with God. We’re not gonna shine as lights until we stop thinking that being equal with God is a dishonor and a robbery. He says but when we take hold of this way of thinking in this crooked and perverse generation he says we will shine as lights and now we will be the reflection of God in this earth. He is light. God is light and He says now we can shine in this world like He shines and truly be a reflection of God in this earth” [Creflo Dollar, World Changers Internet broadcast, May 23, 2002].
14 Kenneth E. Hagin: “Originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of His hands. In other words, Adam was the god of this world.” (The Believer’s Authority, 2d ed. [Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1991], 19).
15 Frederick K. C. Price: “God can’t do anything in this earth realm except what we, the body of Christ, allow Him to do. Now that statement is so—that’s so—that’s so foreign and so contrary to tradition that, like I said, if they could get their hands on me right now most evangelicals would burn me at the stake and dismember me and feed me to the crocodiles, because they’ll consider that statement to be just heresy.” (Ever Increasing Faith program on TBN [1 May 1992], audio tape #PR11).
TABMyles Munroe: “I’m going to say it again! Prayer is man giving God authority, or God license, to interfere in the affairs of man. In fact, God—I’m going to take a deep breath because some of you religious people aren’t going to understand me—Are you ready? God cannot do anything in the earth without a human’s permission!” (Myles Munroe, Praise the Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network, February 23, 2000).
TABRod Parsley: “Why does God say, ‘Ask of Me’? Why does he say that? Because he can’t do it on his own! He can’t get what he wants on his own because he placed you in authority on this earth” (Rod Parsley, Praise the Lord broadcast, Trinity Broadcasting Network, August 7, 2003.).
TABCreflo Dollar: “Who do you think you are going around commanding God around? Well, that‘s what the Bible said to do in the book of Isaiah. Command ye me!” (Creflo Dollar, Expanding Your Faith, tape series, tape 3).
16 Benny Hinn: “Adam was a super being when God created him. I don’t know whether people know this but he was the first superman that really ever lived. First of all, the Scriptures declare clearly that he had dominion over the fowls of the air, the fish of the sea—which means he used to fly. Of course, how can he have dominion over the birds and not be able to do what they do? The word ‘dominion’ in the Hebrew clearly declares that if you have dominion over a subject, that you do everything that subject does. In other words, that subject, if it does something you cannot do, you don’t have dominion over it. I’ll prove it further. Adam not only flew, he flew to space. He was—with one thought he would be on the moon.” (Praise the Lord program on TBN [26 December 1991]).
17 Kenneth 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], 23).
18 Kenneth E. Hagin: “Adam committed high treason and sold out to Satan, and Satan, through Adam, became the god of this world. Adam didn’t have the moral right to commit treason, but he had the legal right to do so” (The Believer’s Authority, 19).
TABJoyce Meyer: “Through listening to Satan rather than God, Adam surrendered to him the authority to rule the earth that God had originally given to man….The devil said, ‘All dominion and authority over the earth has been turned over to me, and it is mine.’ Adam had been given a lease to the earth by God, and he turned it over to Satan. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we read that Satan is the god of this world, or we might say, the god of this world system” (Joyce Meyer, The Word The Name The Blood (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, Inc., 1995) 100–101).
19 Kenneth E. Hagin: “God came down in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden to commune and fellowship with him [Adam], as he had in the past. And he couldn’t find him. He called out to him, ‘Adam, where art thou?’ And he said, ‘I hid myself.’ Why? Because of sin. Because, first, sin separates you from God. Secondly, by sinning, by listening to the Devil, he took upon himself the nature of the devil into his spirit being.” (“How Jesus Obtained His Name” [Kenneth Hagin Ministries, n.d.], audio tape #44H01, side 2).
20 E. W. Kenyon: “Man [i.e., Adam] was actually Born Again when he sinned. That is, he was born of the Devil. He became a partaker of Satanic Nature.” (The Father and His Family, 17th ed. [Lynnwood, WA: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1964], 48).
21 Benny Hinn: “He [the Holy Spirit] says, ‘God’s original plan is that the woman was to bring forth children out of her side’….Adam gave birth to his wife out of his side. It was sin that turned the thing around….And it was sin that transformed her flesh and her body. When God took the woman out of man, He closed up his rib. But she was created identically as him. In other words, she was created with an opening in her side, and children were supposed to be born. And I get that from the very fact that you’ll never see birth spiritually, except from the side.” (“Our Position In Christ #5—An Heir of God” [Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Center, 1990], audio tape #A031190-5, side 2]).
22 E. W. Kenyon: “Adam evidently had a legal right to transfer this dominion and authority into the hands of the enemy. God has been obliged through the long period of human history to recognize Satan’s legal standing, and legal right and authority, and on this ground, and this only, can we understand the legal side of the Plan of Redemption….Adam had legally transferred to him [Satan] the Authority with which God had invested him.” (The Father and His Family, 38–39).
23 Kenneth Copeland: “God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody….He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn’t come….God is on the outside looking in. In order to have any say so in the earth, He’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.” (“God’s Covenants With Man II” [Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985], audio tape #01-4404, side 1).
24 Kenneth Copeland: “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]).
25 Frederick K. C. Price: “Adam, as I said, gave it [the earth] away to the serpent, to the devil. As a result of it, he got his behind kicked out of the garden. He went out of Eden, out of the garden. He began to wander around, and he has troubles from day one. Now God was out of the business. God was out of the earth realm. God had no more stock in this earth realm. No more. None at all. Nothing He could do. Not a thing in the world He could do….The only way God could get back into this earth realm, He had to have an invitation. Ha-hah! He had to have an invitation. And so, God looked around—saw different men, saw Noah, saw different ones. He gave them a few instructions. They did what He said. So and so and so and so. But, finally, He got to a point where He had His plan ready for operation. And He saw a man named Abraham.” (Ever Increasing Faith program on TBN [1 May 1992], audio tape #PR11).
26 E. W. Kenyon: “[A]s soon as they [the parties of the covenant] cut the covenant, they are recognized as blood brothers by others, and they are called the blood brothers….God and Abraham had entered the Covenant….God cut the Covenant with Abraham.” (The Blood Covenant [Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969], 14, 16).
27 Charles Capps: “In this [Abraham’s Covenant], God is establishing some legal entry into the earth, and He is giving Abraham access to Himself….This Covenant gave God legal entry into the earth through Abraham….Until that time God was, to a certain extent, still on the outside looking in. He needed a legal entry through man so that He could destroy the works of the Devil who was running rampant on earth….Abraham was God’s avenue of entry into the earth.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 60–61).
28 Kenneth Copeland: “Once that [Abrahamic] covenant was established, God began to release His Word into the earth. He began to paint a picture of a Redeemer, a man who would be the manifestation of His Word in the earth.” (The Power of the Tongue [KCP Publications, 1980], 9).
29 Kenneth Copeland: “So before Jesus came to the earth, God spoke His Word and then spoke His Word again. How many times did He say the Messiah was coming? It was prophesied over hundreds, even thousands, of years. He kept saying, ‘He is coming. He is coming.’ The circumstances in the earth made it look as if there was no way He could accomplish it; but He just kept saying it. He would not be moved by what He saw….God would not relent.” (The Power of the Tongue, 9–10).
30 Kenneth Copeland: “The angels spoke the words of the covenant to her [Mary]. She pondered them in her heart, and those words became the seed. And the Spirit of God hovered over her and generated that seed, which was the Word that the angel spoke to her. And there was conceived in her, the Bible says, a holy thing. The Word literally became flesh.” (“The Abrahamic Covenant” [Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985], audio tape #01-4405, side 2).
31 Benny Hinn: “The Bible says the prophets spoke the Word not knowing what they were saying. But 4,000 years passed when the Word became a human being and walked and talked and moved. The spoken Word became a human being. The spoken Word became flesh. The spoken Word got legs on, arms, eyes, hair, a body. And He was no longer saying, ‘Thus sayeth the Lord.’ He was saying, ‘I say unto you.’ The Word that was spoken through the lip [sic] of prophets was now walking on the seashore of Galilee. (Benny Hinn program on TBN [15 December 1990 (emphasis in original)]. This message, entitled “The Person of Jesus” [delivered during Orlando Christian Center’s Sunday morning service on 2 December 1991], comprises part four of Hinn’s six-part series on “The Revelation of Jesus” [Orlando Christian Center, 1991], video tape #TV-292).
32 John Avanzini: “Jesus had a nice house, a big house—big enough to have company stay the night with Him at the house. Let me show you His house. Go over to John the first chapter and I’ll show you His house….Now, child of God, that’s a house big enough to have company stay the night in. There’s His house.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory program on TBN [20 January 1991]).
TABJohn Hagee: “John 1:38 says that Jesus turned to those who were following and said, ‘come with me,’ and they said, ‘where dwellest thou?’ He said, ‘come and see,’ and Jesus took the crowd home with Him to stay in His house. That meant it was a big house.” (John Hagee, Praise-a-Thon 2002, Trinity Broadcasting Network, November 5, 2002.).
33 John Avanzini: “Jesus was handling big money because that treasurer He had was a thief. Now you can’t tell me that a ministry with a treasurer that’s a thief can operate on a few pennies. It took big money to operate that ministry because Judas was stealing out of that bag.” (Praise the Lord program on TBN [15 September 1988]).
34 John Avanzini: “John 19 tells us that Jesus wore designer clothes. Well, what else you gonna call it? Designer clothes—that’s blasphemy. No, that’s what we call them today. I mean, you didn’t get the stuff He wore off the rack. It wasn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. No, this was custom stuff. It was the kind of a garment that kings and rich merchants wore. Kings and rich merchants wore that garment.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory program on TBN [20 January 1991]).
John Hagee: “Jesus had a seamless robe so valuable that Roman soldiers gambled for it at the cross. It was a designer robe” (The Seven Secrets: Unlocking Genuine Greatness [Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2004], 232).
35 Frederick K. C. Price: “The Bible says that He [Jesus] had a treasurer—a treasury (they called it “the bag”); that they had one man who was the treasurer, named Judas Iscariot; and the rascal was stealing out of the bag for three and a half years and nobody knew that he was stealing. You know why? Because there was so much in it, He couldn’t tell. Nobody could tell that anything was missing. If He had three oranges in the bottom of the bag and he stole two of them, don’t tell me He wouldn’t know that some was missing. Beside that, if Jesus didn’t have anything, what do you need a treasury for? A treasury is for surplus. It’s not for that which you’re spending. It’s only for surplus—to hold it until you need to spend it. Therefore, He must have had a whole lot that needed to be held in advance that He wasn’t spending. So He must have had more than He was living on. (Ever Increasing Faith program on TBN [23 November 1990]).
TABJohn Hagee, “When you have to have a secretary-treasurer to carry the excess money, you’re not poor” (The Seven Secrets: Unlocking Genuine Greatness [Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2004], 232).
36 Charles Capps: “Notice that when Jesus said, ‘I have finished the work’ [John 17:4], we know that He had not finished the work. But I want you to catch something in the way He prayed and the way He talked—He spoke the end results. He never spoke what was. He never admitted death or defeat….Jesus was speaking the end results in His prayer to the Father.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 258–59 [emphasis in original]).
37 John Avanzini: “You don’t think these apostles didn’t walk around with money? I mean, they had money. I just thank God that I saw this and gave up the denominational line and got on God’s line before I starved me and all my family to death. Go to Acts 24. I mean, you don’t think there wasn’t money in this Paul’s life?….Paul had the kind of money that people, that government officials, would, would block up justice to try to get a bribe out of old Paul.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory program on TBN [20 January 1991]).
38 Kenneth Copeland (through whom Jesus allegedly delivered the following prophecy): “They crucified Me [Jesus] for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him [the Father] and that He was in Me.” (“Take Time to Pray,” Believer’s Voice of Victory 15, 2 [February 1987]:9).
39 E. W. Kenyon: “Jesus was conceived without sin. His body was not mortal. His body did not become mortal until the Father laid our sin nature upon Him when He hung on the cross. The moment that He became sin, His body became mortal, only then could He die. When this happened, spiritual death, the nature of Satan, took possession of His Spirit….He was to partake of Spiritual Death, the nature of the Adversary….Jesus knew that the moment had come, and He was to be made Sin. He must partake of that dread nature of the Adversary. His body would become mortal. Satan would become His master….He [Jesus] had been lifted up as a serpent. Serpent is Satan. Jesus knew He was going to be lifted up, united with the Adversary.” (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne [Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969], 20, 33, 44–45).
40 Benny Hinn: “I’m going to be led by the Holy Ghost today. Is that alright with you?….God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods, went back to heaven as a man. He faces the Father as a man. I face devils as the son of God. Do you see what I’m talking about? You say, ‘Benny, am I a little God?’ You’re a son of God, aren’t you? You’re a child of God, aren’t you? You’re a daughter of God, aren’t you? What else are you? Quit your nonsense! What else are you? If you say, ‘I am,’ you’re saying I’m a part of Him, right? Is He God? Are you His offspring? Are you His children? You can’t be human! You cant! You can’t! God didn’t give birth to flesh. He gave birth to a new creation. And the new creation is not flesh and blood and bone, for no flesh and blood would inherit heaven. Did you hear what I said? Some of you didn’t really hear what I said. You said, ‘Well, that’s heresy.’ No, that’s your crazy brain saying that.” (“Our Position in Christ #2—The Word Made Flesh” [Orlando Christian Center, 1991], audio tape #A031190-2, side 2).
41 Benny 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 areeverything He was and everything He is and ever He 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.’ That’s why you never ever, ever, ever ought to say, ‘I’m sick.’ How can you be sick if you’re the new creation? Say, ‘I’m healed!’ Don’t say, ‘I’m a sinner.’ The new creature is no sinner. I’m the righteousness of God in Christ” (ibid.).
42 Frederick K. C. Price: “Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell 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.” (Ever Increasing Faith Messenger[June 1980], 7; quoted in D. R. McConnell, A Different Gospel [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988], 120).
TABJoyce Meyer: “You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell” [Joyce Meyer, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make (Fenton, MO: Life in the Word, 1991), 37].
43 Charles Capps: “The sinless son of God became as a serpent that He might swallow up all evil….If you will behold what happened when the sin offering was made and the fact that Jesus became a serpent upon the pole, it will change your life….Jesus died spiritually, not for any of His own sin! He became the serpent on the pole, the snake on the ground, in the Old Testament type.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 177, 166–67).
44 Paul E. Billheimer: “The Father turned Him over, not only to the agony and death of Calvary, but to the satanic torturers of His pure spirit as part of the just desert of the sin of all the race. As long as Christ was ‘the essence of sin’ he was at Satan’s mercy in that place of torment….While Christ identified with sin, Satan and the hosts of hell ruled over Him as over any lost sinner. During that seemingly endless age in the nether abyss of death, Satan did with Him as he would, and all hell was ‘in carnival.’” (Destined for the Throne, special edition for TBN [Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1988 (orig. 1975)], 84).
45 Charles Capps: “If there’s any part of hell Jesus did not suffer, you’ll have to suffer it. But, thank God, Jesus suffered it all, for you! In the place of the wicked dead, all the demons of hell and Satan rejoiced over the prize. The corridors of hell were filled with joy. ‘We’ve done it! We’ve captured the Son of God! We’ll no longer be in the pit of the damned! The earth and all that is therein is ours! Forever it will be ours!’ Rejoicing in hell had never been so great as it was that day. But it was short-lived.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 143 [emphasis in original]).
46 Kenneth Copeland: “Satan didn’t realize He [Jesus] is in there [hell] illegally….This man had not sinned. This man has not fallen out of the covenant of God, and He had the promise of God for deliverance. And Satan fell into the trap. He took Him into hell illegally. He carried Him in there [when] He did not sin.” (“What Happened from the Cross to the Throne” [Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990], audio tape #02-0017, side 2).
47 Charles Capps: “When Jesus was in the pit of hell, in that terrible torment, no doubt the Devil and his emissaries gathered around to se the annihilation of God’s Son. But in the corridors of hell, there came a great voice from heaven: ‘Turn Him Loose! He’s there illegally!’And all of hell became paralyzed.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 143).
48 Kenneth Copeland: “He [Jesus] is suffering all that there is to suffer. There is no suffering left apart from Him. His emaciated, poured out, little wormy spirit is down in the bottom of that thing [hell]. And the devil thinks he’s got Him destroyed.” (Believer’s Voice of Victoryprogram [21 April 1991]. This message was originally delivered at the Full Gospel Motorcycle Rally Association 1990 Rally at Eagle Mt. Lake, Texas).
49 Kenneth Copeland: “That Word of the living God went down into that pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before.” (“The Price of it All,” Believer’s Voice of Victory 19, 9 [September 1991]:4).
TABCreflo Dollar: “When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you became born again. That simply means that your spirit was transformed from a state of spiritual death to life in a split second of time. But have you ever considered that Jesus went through the exact same thing? Often, in the midst of our religious views of Him, we forget that He was actually the first person to ever become born again” (emphasis added, Creflo Dollar, “The First Begotten Son” [http://www.creflodollarministries.org/public/bible/article.aspx?id=18&version=printer]).
50 Kenneth Copeland: “He [Jesus] was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles . . . Jesus was born again—the firstborn from the dead the Word calls Him—and He whipped the devil in his own backyard. He took everything he had away from him. He took his keys and his authority away from him.” (Ibid., 4–6).
51 Kenneth E. 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 13, 12 [December 1980]:14; cf. E. W. Kenyon, The Father and His Family, 100).
52 Frederick K. C. Price: “The whole point is I’m trying to get you to see—to get you out of this malaise of thinking that Jesus and the disciples were poor and then relating that to you—thinking that you, as a child of God, have to follow Jesus. The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. I’m following Jesus’ steps.” (Ever Increasing Faith program on TBN [9 December 1990]).
53 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.” (Praise-a-Thon program on TBN [6 November 1990]).
54 Frederick K. C. Price: “When I first got saved they didn’t tell me I could do anything. What they told me to do was that whenever I prayed I should always say, “The will of the Lord be done.” Now, doesn’t that sound humble? It does. Sounds like humility, it’s really stupidity. I mean, you know, really, we insult God. I mean, we really do insult our heavenly Father. We do; we really insult Him without even realizing it. If you have to say, “If it be thy will” or “Thy will be done”—if you have to say that, then you’re calling God a fool because He’s the One that told us to ask….If God’s gonna give me what He wants me to have, then it doesn’t matter what I ask. I’m only gonna get what God wants me to have. So that’s an insult to God’s intelligence.” (Ever Increasing Faith program on TBN [16 November 1990]).
55 Kenneth Copeland: “As a believer, you have a right to make commands in the name of Jesus. Each time you stand on the Word, you are commanding God to a certain extent because it is His Word.” (Our Covenant with God [KCP Publications, 1987], 32).
56 Jerry Savelle: “You mean to tell me I can talk my world into existence? You certainly can. That’s how you got the one you’re living in now. You talked it in there….You talked that one in there, the one you’re living in right now, brother. You can’t blame it on nobody else. Your words got it there. You framed it. Somebody says, ‘You mean the world that I’m living in right now originated by the words of my mouth?’ They certainly did, because the Bible says you are snared by the words of your mouth, you are taken by your words. Amen? (“Framing Your World with the Word of God, Part 1,” audio tape #SS-36, side 1).
TABJoel Osteen: “I want to speak to you today about the importance of speaking faith-filled words over your life. Words are like seeds. They have creative power. When we speak something out we give life to what we’re saying. It’s just like we’re planting that seed. And if we say it long enough eventually we’re going to reap a harvest” (Joel Osteen, Discover the Champion in You television broadcast, May 3, 2004).
TABJoyce Meyer: “Words are containers for power. They carry creative or destructive power, positive or negative power. And so we need to be speaking right things over our lives and about our futures if we expect to have good things happen. Because what you say today is what you’ll probably end up having tomorrow” (Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Everyday Life, Trinity Broadcasting Network, July 16, 2002).
TABT. D. Jakes: “If the power of life and death is in the tongue and you can have whatever you say,” it’s time for you to “Declare it! Speak it! Confess it! Get your list out!” (T. D. Jakes, The Potter’s House broadcast, December 3, 2001).
TABPaula White: “Oh come on Paula….are you actually saying that just because my mouth says it, that makes it true? Well I am here to tell you, yes, that’s just what I am saying: Your words create your world” (emphasis in the original Paula White Ministries, “Understanding the Power of Words over Your Money” [http://www.paulawhite.org/content/view/172/88888897/]).
From elementary schools to colleges and graduate schools, education in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is widely considered far more valuable to society—because it is believed to be more technologically and economically productive—than education in the humanities, such as philosophy, classical literature, history, and the other non-STEM liberal arts. At its most extreme, this valuation of STEM education over non-STEM education takes the form of blatant denigration of study in the humanities.
U.S. senator and former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, for example, has made a habit of disparaging the study of philosophy in his remarks about education reform, repeatedly joking along the campaign trail that “the job market for ancient Greek philosophers has been very tight for 2,000 years.” In one seemingly well-intentioned attempt during a Republican debate to promote the value of technical trade schools, Rubio made the arguably false (and ungrammatical) claim that “welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” The audience responded with enthusiastic applause.
Such devaluation of the humanities is by no means a distinctively American attitude. In June of 2015, Japan’s Minister of Education Hakubun Shimomura ordered Japan’s national universities to begin taking “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities] organizations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs.”1Unpacking Anime’s Thematic and Spiritual Depth By Jason Morehead Originally a niche medium, anime (Japanese animation) has experienced a massive explosion in popularity in recent decades. Its cultural influence is widespread, from massive conventions full of truly devoted fans to Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and family films. However, anime can be daunting to explore and understand due to both cultural differences as well as its willingness to feature more mature themes and subject matter then are usually found in American animation (including sex and violence). While this is cause for concern, anime’s willingness to wrestle with serious themes also means that it contains numerous titles that parallel Christian theology in surprising ways, and are worth the discerning believer’s consideration. Studio Ghibli has become the most celebrated studio in anime history thanks to its beautifully rendered tales full of moral complexity and ambiguity. Ghost in the Shell offers a cyberpunk look at technology’s challenges to our definition of what it means to be human. One man’s never-ending search for atonement and forgiveness is at the heart of Rurouni Kenshin’s samurai tale. Haibane Renmei’s depiction of the wages of sin and self-righteousness could easily have been lifted from 1 John’s opening chapter. And finally, Attack on Titan is a violent and harrowing look at what it means to live in an apparently materialistic and godless universe. Titles like these not only offer Christians some fascinating explorations of important themes, but they also provide a way for believers to engage with one of pop culture’s most dynamic influences.