Or A Well-Disguised Cult?
This must be a disconcerting question to most people in the early part of the 21st century: how do you ask a question such as this with so many church buildings and cathedrals in so many towns, cities, villages and countries; with so much wealth and institutions in various places all carrying the names ‘chapel’ and ‘Jesus’; with so many millions of people who worship in these facilities every week and hundreds of thousands that participate in the yearly Shiloh program? How do you go around asking such questions when ‘renown’ evangelists such as Kenneth Copeland and Fred Price and the like grace the programs of the church every year?
One of the very first things we must get clear in our hearts is the primacy God gives to His words. He said He placed His words above His name. Psalm 138:2 states , “for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name”. 2 Tim 3:16 declares: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” The Bible in Revelation 22:18-19 prevents true Christians from adding to or subtracting from the word of God.
The reason for these is to underline the unimpeachable importance of the written word of God, the Bible. The reader must notice that the proponents of the Word of Faith, Prosperity and Dominion doctrines always come around this issue of the sanctity of the word of God by asserting some special off-bible revelations they have received from some ‘jesus’. We must disallow that out of hand. The Bible does not allow a Christian, any human being or an angel for that matter , to change, add to, or deduct from, the written word of God (Galatians 1:6-9).
If, however, the Winners’ Chapel and other proponents of these doctrines disavow the foregoing biblical restraints, we have no further argument on their doctrines: they are no Christian in any way, shape or form. If, on the other hand, they allow the Biblical restraints, they must justify the basis of their doctrines by reference to the passages of the Bible; and that in context.
Let me warn the reader before I go far. The importance of the truth or falseness of the doctrines being churned out by this emerging religious movement is so heavy that the fate of the countless millions, possibly including the reader, hangs on getting to the root of what they profess. You need to pay close attention for your own sake. The Word of Faith movement and its doctrines are almost everywhere people say they are ‘doing’ church.
If we are to examine the doctrines and beliefs of a Christian organization or movement, it is necessary we have a standard against which we would do the measurement. Does Christianity have a set of rules we may use to judge anyone who says he is a Christian? The answer is yes. Let me quickly summarize a few of the most important ones right away:
1 That God created the world and human beings perfect and sinless but with the ability to love Him or rebel against His Rule. Man chose to rebel and he lost his contact with God. This rebellion brought sickness, wars, hardships, poverty and death. Gen 2:16-17. Gen 3
2 That since the first man sinned, human beings are born with a sin nature and they start committing sins as soon as they are able and are thus enemies of God by nature and habit; Gen 6:5, Jer 17:9, Ps 14:3, Rom 3:10-12
3 The Divinity of Christ. Jesus Christ, unlike all other men who were sired by a human father, existed before He was conceived. The Bible says He is an Eternal Person; He is God, and is part of the Godhead: John 1:1-4, John 1:14, Prov 30:4, Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2. He never lost His God attributes even while He was on Earth. His life, death, resurrection, teachings and miracles are demonstrations of His Godhood, Col 2:9, Eph 3:9 (KJV). He did not come as an example we can copy: He came as our Saviour, our Deliverer, OUR ONLY HOPE! Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 43:15, Matthew 1:21, Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 1:10, Titus 2:13. Christ’s sole ability to pay for our sins is because of His DIVINITY and sinlessness , 1 Peter 2:21-24, 2 Cor 5:21, Gal 3:13, Isa 53:4-6.
4 That Christ was born by a virgin: Isa 7:14, Luke 1:35. He lived both man and God while He was on Earth. He had ALL the attributes of God while He walked the earth but decided not to use any of these attributes only according to His own will at any time, John 10:17-18. His miracles were confirmatory evidences of Who He was, not examples of things any human could hope to replicate.
5 That Christ lived a sinless life and died on the cross as payment for the sins of every man, woman and child that will put his/her faith in His sacrifice, and was buried. 1 Cor 15:3-4, Matthew 26:28, Luke 24:47, Isaiah 53:5-11, Lev 17:4, John 8:46
6 That Christ was raised back to life bodily the third day. This confirms both the authenticity of Christ’s claims to DIVINITY and is a token of the acceptance of His sacrifice to God the Father. Not less than five hundred people saw Him after He rose from the dead. 1 Cor 15:6, John 10:17-18, Acts 4:10, Luke 24.
10 Hell exists and everyone who disregards 3 to 9 above is lost and in enmity against God and will end up in hell when he dies: Ps 9:17, Matt 10:28, Matt 18:9, Matt 23:33, Luke 12:5, Luke 16:23, John 14:6, John 3:16-18.
11 That everyone who satisfies 3 to 9 becomes a child of God and is given God’s Holy Spirit to indwell in him to re-orientate him towards love for God and God’s laws. This Holy Spirit helps the man to become aware of, understand, appreciate and obey God’s laws and makes man ready to meet God when he dies. Isaiah 35:8, Jer 31:33-34, John 16:13-14
They Are All Christs!
But to Mr Oyedepo and the Word of Faith people, the Lord Jesus Christ was simply another human being, no special from any other human, and, according to them, He only died so man would be able to regain his supposedly lost control of the wealth of the earth and live in unending bliss, health and splendour. As far as they are concerned, there is nothing special about the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ since His blood was no better than the blood of any one of them or of any goat!
These teachings, which are basically the same as the teachings of AMORC, MORMONS and Christian Science cults, say the Lord Jesus Christ was just an example to men, not any God performing any fundamental saving work only a sinless Divine Person from heaven could do. According to Mr Oyedepo and other Word of Faith preachers, the Lord Jesus Christ can and is to be emulated but that is all there is to it! He was a mere way-shower! He can even be surpassed once ‘christians’ learn the principles of the science by which He did His miracles!
Even though the foregoing is squarely against the teachings of the Bible in both the Old and the New Testaments, Mr Oyedepo and the Winner’s Chapel insist their own view, sourced from Hinduism, Buddhism and the occult, is the correct one. They explain this by saying they receive new ‘revelation knowledge’ and ‘mysteries’ no generation of Christians, including the Apostles, ever had! Mr Oyedepo and other Word of Faith preachers totally reject the teachings of the Bible in John 1:1-4, John 8:24, Isaiah 9:6, Hebrews 13:8, Revelation 1:8 and many other passages that Jesus Christ was God Almighty when He was on earth.
Their own ‘jesus’ was a man who became ‘christ’ after God ‘touched him’ and became ‘born again’, like any other sinner, but this time in hell after he was adequately tortured by the Devil!
The Word of Faith Movement and the Winners’ Chapel teach their ‘jesus’ can be controlled and commanded to carry out ‘his side’ of the bargain he entered into with his followers. The outburst ,“ Enough is enough; hear me now or forget it, jesus; I know you got it in your hand; you are not going to prepare for it: already fully paid for; give it to me today or never” from Mr David Oyedepo in his 2015 sermon titled, “How To Command Your Healing And Deliverance” is very typical but should be very distressing to anyone with any sense of decorum. Those are statements of rebellion, statements of witchcraft, not of a worshiper of God. How many of you talk like that to your father? How many fathers allow their children to talk like that to them? Now God is supposed to be our heavenly Father; worthy of more honour and respect than our earthly father.
This ‘jesus’ that Mr Oyedepo is commanding here, however, permits being chided; he can and must be ordered to let go of your ‘inheritance’ in his hands! That is not a prayer of desperation: it is insolence. That is permitted only to people who serve demons. No one does that in the presence of The BLESSED, The Maker of uncountable worlds Who lives and reigns forever!
In “Engaging Violent Faith For A Supernatural Turn Around” in Bill Winston’s church in 2015, Mr Oyedepo taught, “Unlimited possibilities; you know.. Jesus said, ‘with men this is impossible but with God all things are possible’.. then He turned back to say, ‘if you can believe, all things are possible to them that believe’; that means there is a kind of faith that put you in the same ..on the same platform with God; no, no, that shouldn’t look blasphemous: its scriptures; in fact Jesus said, ‘the works that I do shall he do also, greater works, unlimited..’ he also came and said, ‘a greater than Solomon is here’, talking about Himself…that means He is greater than Solomon and He said faith can make you greater than Him. That is Solomon, Christ and you”!
According to Mr Oyedepo, ‘Christians’ are greater than Christ by virtue of some ‘faith’! In so few words, Mr Oyedepo’s ‘jesus christ’ is not God, violating the fundamental belief of the Apostles and countless statements in the Old Testament such as Isaiah 9:6 declaring the Son that would be born as “Everlasting Father” and “Mighty God”.
‘Faith’, for Mr Oyedepo and all other Word of Faith preachers, is not an implicit confidence you have in an infinitely good, SOVEREIGN and powerful God; it is a force outside of, and, even higher than, God, and by which you may even command God to do your bidding!
Apart from the fact that no human will ever be on the same platform with God, the Bible does not have any instance in which real Christians, or anyone else, will be higher than God. It is blasphemous to teach otherwise. Sadly this teaching is not untypical of the Word of Faith Movement and Mr Oyedepo. It is an integral part of their teaching: man is raised up; God and Christ is reduced.
In his teaching in “Having the Next Level Mentality” he taught, “Jesus found His mission from the scriptures; Jesus took the book and opened it and then He found what was written of Him there”.
No. That is very different from what the Bible says. The Bible says Jesus is the Word of God. John 1 introduced Christ in this format: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:3 . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men”. It later moved on to state: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
That does not sound like someone ‘finding’ his mission in the word of God, does it? The words ‘found’, ‘find’ and ‘finding’ may seem small to you until you get to the Hindu source of the Word of Faith doctrine. Those words fit in perfectly since Jesus Christ was no God, according to the Word of Faith, but a mere man who became something higher at some point before he started his public ministry. This doctrine, if I may remind you, is also the central theme of the AMORC and MORMON cults.
We may now summarize and check the Word of Faith and Winners’ Chapel’s doctrines in the light of the preceding standard of sound Bible doctrines listed 1 to 11 above. One of the best ways we can do this and which I believe will be very beneficial to the reader is by introducing the main proponents of the Word of Faith Movement. These, according to Mr David Oyedepo, are his spiritual fathers and mentors, and it pays we understand who they (were) are and what doctrines they preach. He affirms them every now and then as his teachers and guides. Readers must note that everyone of these preachers believed in Hindu, New Age teachings, not classical Christianity of D L Moody or John Bunyan or even Martin Luther.
I advise readers google up the names, lives, doctrines and works of these ‘evangelists’ and teachers. You must be very careful, however, with their occult books, as with Mr Oyedepo’s books, and check up each statement they make with the explicit, express, statements of the Bible.
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866)
It is important to note that the bulk of the theology of the Word-Faith Movement can be traced directly to the cultic teachings of New Thought metaphysics, Hinduism and Buddhism in the main. Thus, much of the theology of the Faith Movement can also be found in such clearly pseudo-Christian cults as Religious Science, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity.
Over a century before the Faith Movement became a powerful force within the Christian church, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), the father of New Thought, was popularising the notion that sickness and suffering ultimately have their origin in incorrect thinking. Quimby’s followers believe that man can create his own reality through the power of positive affirmation (confession). All of these are basic Hindu teachings.
Metaphysical practitioners have long taught adherents to visualize health and wealth , and then to affirm or confess them with their mouths so that the intangible images may be transformed into tangible realities. These are the same things David Oyedepo also teaches. Quimby’s writings gave rise to the works of Norman Vincent Peale’s “Power of Positive Thinking”. Some of the teachings and practices of the movement can be traced to certain pre- and post-World War II faith healers and revivalists operating within Pentecostal circles. Both Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin point to T. L. Osborn and William Branham as true men of God who greatly influenced their lives and ministries. (I dare say if William Branham was a true man of God, you must ask who a man of the Devil is). Of course, Osborn himself has consistently followed E. W. Kenyon’s Scripture-twisting antics, and Branham has denounced the doctrine of the Trinity as coming directly from the devil. Twisted texts, make-believe miracles, and a counterfeit christ are all common denominators of the Faith Movement’s leading teachers. And, as all who look into the matter will clearly see, it all began with the metaphysical teachings of Essek William Kenyon.
Essek William Kenyon
Essek William Kenyon (1867-1948), whose life and ministry were enormously impacted by such cults as Science of Mind, the Unity School of Christianity, Christian Science, and New Thought metaphysics, is the true father of the modern-day Faith Movement. Many of the phrases popularised by present-day prosperity preachers, such as, “What I confess, I possess,” “The believer is as much incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth” , were originally coined by Kenyon.
D.R. McConnell, in his book, A Different Gospel, summarizing the overwhelming influence of E.W. Kenyon’s occultic teachings on what is now known as Word of Faith Movement, wrote:
“…not to say that Kenyon’s writings are lacking in biblical proof-texts and Christian jargon. On the contrary, his writings are an endless series of proof-texts followed by one and two-sentence paragraphs of short, pithy statements about the text in question. Those in the Faith movement who are students of Kenyon would be scandalized by the claim that writings so filled with Scriptures could contain cultic ideas. What they fail to consider is that all of the New Thought and Christian Science writings are similarly filled with biblical proof-texts and Christian jargon. Cultic writers such as Quimby, Eddy and Trine referred to the Bible constantly. Like Kenyon, they claimed that their metaphysical interpretations were merely the same ‘Spiritual Science’ that Jesus himself preached and practised.
In fact, this is precisely what makes Kenyon’s syncretism of the various metaphysical cults such a threat to the church. The most successful cults in American church history, including New Thought and all its expressions, are those that make the most use of the Bible and sound the most similar to evangelical Christianity. This is no less true of Kenyon and the Faith movement. The cultic elements in Kenyon’s theology are all the more dangerous because of his biblical proof-texting and proximity to evangelicalism. The facade of orthodoxy created by Kenyon’s biblical proof-texting and evangelical jargon make the cultic elements in the Faith movement even more dangerous than a blatantly heretical cult..”
The reader, if he is in The Winner’s Chapel or knows anyone in the ‘church’ or any other Prosperity or Word of Faith ‘church’, is advised not to move forward from this point in this post without reading, again, D. R. McConnell’s A Different Gospel‘s summary of the teachings and beliefs of Essek William Kenyon since these are essentially what obtains in every one of these ‘churches’.
Most men are deceived and taken in by the frequent quotes being made from the Bible in the teachings and sermons in these ‘churches’ without thinking about the relevance of those quotes to the topics and issues at hand and the speakers’ ‘clever’ slant on the Bible quotes.
Kenneth Hagin, to whom we next turn our attention, plagiarised much of Kenyon’s work, including the statement, “Every man who has been ‘born again’ is an Incarnation … The believer is as much an Incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.” Again, these are basic Hindu teachings.
Kenneth E. Hagin
Kenneth Hagin takes Kenyon’s theology from bad to worse. Not only does he boast of alleged visits to heaven and hell, he recounts numerous out-of-body experiences (OBEs) on the earth as well. On one occasion, Hagin claims he was in the middle of a sermon when, suddenly, he was transported back in time. He ended up in the back seat of a car and watched as a young woman from his church committed adultery with the driver. The entire experience lasted about fifteen minutes, after which Hagin abruptly found himself back in church, summoning his parishioners to prayer. Despite his propensity for telling tall tales and describing false visions, virtually every major faith-movement teacher has been impacted by Hagin, including Frederick K. C. Price, Joseph Prince, David Oyedepo, Poju Oyemade, Paul Enenche, Paul and Jan Crouch and Kenneth Copeland.
Kenneth Copeland started his ministry as a direct result of memorising Hagin’s messages. It wasn’t long before he had learned enough from Hagin to establish his own following. To say his teachings are heretical would be an understatement—blasphemous is more like it. Copeland brashly pronounces God to be the greatest failure of all time, boldly proclaims that “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross” and describes Christ in hell as an “emaciated, poured out, little, wormy spirit.” Yet, despite such statements, Benny Hinn ominously warned that “those who attack Kenneth Copeland are attacking the very presence of God and David Oyedepo promotes him as a ‘man of God’!”
Doing Away With The Cross of Christ
One thing you cannot fail to notice by its absence in Mr Oyedepo’s sermons and the teachings of his mentors and peers is the cross of Christ. They speak forever on wealth, sound health, the next level, assuming your inheritance, dominion, miracles of material and physical blessings, violent faith deployed to personal advancement in life but rarely, if ever, on the real and the overweening reason why the Son of God and God, The Son, was sent to die for men. Mr Oyedepo’s ‘jesus’ only serves his adherents.
The reader may begin to get an idea of the relationship (or, rather, absence of any relationship) of Mr Oyedepo with the Lord Jesus Christ by the sheer amount of I, me, my, in Mr Oyedepo’s and other Word of Faith preachers’ sermons. These egocentric sermons must be contrasted with the Christ-centered teachings of the Holy Spirit, according to the Lord Jesus Christ:
John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
Which ‘jesus’ Is This?
The job of Mr Oyedepo’s ‘jesus’ is to take orders and commands from his followers and execute those commands as instructed! Mr Oyedepo, like his mentors, denies that Jesus Christ was God, The Son. They teach they, too, can do whatever the Lord Jesus Christ did while He was on earth! They set themselves out, not as sinners Jesus saved, but as His ousters.
The Winners’ Chapel, Mr Oyedepo and his mentors teach that anointing can be transferred from one person to another by touch on the head or being in a vicinity with the recipient. From which part of the Bible was this taught by Christ?
It is called Shaktipat in Hinduism: that is where it came from.
Speaking A Witches’ Language
The Winners’ Chapel, like all Pentecostal ‘churches’, accepts languages spoken in witches’ covens as examples of speaking in ‘tongues’. Even though it knows this is in no way related to the tongues of Acts 2:6-11, which were full human languages spoken by identifiable tribes of people on earth, it persists in attempts to force the Bible to fall in line with its occultic teachings and practices. To Mr Oyedepo, the Winner’s Chapel and Pentecostal and Charismatic Movement, it is the Bible that must be silenced or forced to conform to their Hindu beliefs.
The Winners’ Chapel And Communication With The Dead
Even though this is vehemently forbidden by God in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, it is important every reader notes the prominence the Word of Faith and prosperity preachers give communication with the dead in their teachings Deut 18:8-12, Luke 16:27-31. These are couched as special revelations from ‘God’ through someone who has died or someone who returned from a visit to ‘heaven’ or ‘hell’.
Enemies Of The Cross Of Christ
“Philippians 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”
Like all other heresy teachers of the Word of Faith Movement, Mr Oyedepo’s main duty is to serve the Devil, not God. That is why he vigorously belittles the cross of Christ and His eternity while telling men what he knows they like to hear on health and wealth so they might forget their end.
Mr Oyedepo’s assignment from the Devil is to send men to baseless euphoria. His followers walk into hell barely conscious of the imminence of the judgment before a holy God and eternity in hell.
Mr David Oyedepo: Hindu And Buddhist Doctrines
The true depth and direction of the teachings of Mr Oyedepo – and every other Word of Faith and Prosperity preacher – are laid bare by looking at the teachings of Hinduism and Buddhism. The reader will be shocked discovering what the Winners Chapel and Mr Oyedepo package as Christianity is essentially Eastern (Hindu and Buddhist) mysticism wrapped in the name of Jesus Christ!
Readers are advised to click on this link for a view on the teachings of New Thought metaphysics.
(We recommend the book, Death of A Guru, by Rabi Maharaj and Dave Hunt, for introduction to the teachings of Hinduism.)
These are a very small tip of the iceberg. We have included links to much more materials at the foot of this article. Open the websites and read the materials.
I must warn each reader that his life and future is in his hands. God in 1 John 4:1 asks us to try every spirit attempting to teach us about God. That word ‘try’ is the root of the word ‘trial’ used in law courts. Nothing; not the amount of wealth, huge followership, cathedrals, titles, visibility or ‘accomplishments’ of the Winners’ Chapel must prevent you from doing this. You are not trying to win an argument with anyone: you are striving to save your own soul.
Is the Winners’ Chapel a Christian church? Each reader must answer the question if a religious organisation set up by the Devil to cause men to forget the reason for the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ and His triumph over sin and death can be a church of Christ.
It is an example of the best Satan can do now to haul men to hell.
Readers are advised to check up additional valuable materials at the following sites. A click on the figures 1, 2 or 3 below will bring up more educative materials:
We are indebted to the authors of: “What’s Wrong with the Word Faith Movement? (Part One) – Christian Research Institute”, for some of the materials in this post.