Using Correct Terminology (Part 10) - Confession (Word of Faith Movement) (Part A)


18. Confession / confess; Profession / profess A. The false doctrine of Positive Confession. i. There is a false doctrine called "Positive Confession" which is taught in Charismatic so-called "churches" within the "Word of Faith Movement." ii. This doctrine teaches that people can have whatever the say if they say it in faith accompanied with positive thoughts. iii. Definition a. "Positive Confession: The Theology of the Spoken Word (Rhematology), or thought actualization, is commonly known as positive confession. It stresses the inherent power of words and thoughts. Each person predestines his own future by what he says verbally and by how well he uses spiritual laws. As such, it is as if we live in a mechanistic universe instead of a personal one (see, Kenneth Copeland, Laws of Prosperity, p. 15; Charles Capps, The Tongue A Creative Force, pp. 117-118; Releasing the Ability of God, pp. 98-99, 101-104)." (Clete Hux, Word-Faith Movement Profile, 5-10-2022) b. "In Word of Faith teaching, a central element of receiving from God is "confession", often called "positive confession" or "faith confession" by practitioners. Practitioners will claim and affirm they have healing, well being, prosperity, or other promises from God, before actually experiencing such results. They do so in demonstration of their faith, which they believe will ultimately result in the fulfillment of their words. While similar, it should not be confused with Norman Vincent Peale's positive thinking theology focusing on the individual, as evidenced by the motto, "Faith in God and believe in oneself". Noted Word of Faith teachers, such as Kenneth E. Hagin and Charles Capps, have argued that God created the universe by speaking it into existence (Genesis 1), and that God has endowed believers with this power. Thus, making a "positive confession" of God's promise and believing God's word stirs the power of resurrection which raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20; Ephesians 3:20), and brings that promise to fulfilment. This teaching is interpreted from Mark 11:22-23. A more recent variant of positive confession is "decree and declare". Word of Faith preachers have called faith a "force". Conversely, "negative confession" can harm, so believers should be conscious of their words." (Word of Faith, Wikipedia, 7-13-2022) iv. Quotes from Word of Faith teachers regarding Positive Confession a. "In the moment you ask, and believe and know you already have it in the unseen, the entire Universe shifts to bring it into the seen. You must act, speak, and think, as though you are receiving it now." (Byrne, The Secret, p. 49.) b. "Faith is released with mouth. Even our salvation is based on the confession of our mouths that Jesus Christ is our Lord (see Romans 10:9-10). You can have what you say! In fact, what you are saying is exactly what you are getting now. If you are living in poverty and lack and want, change what you are saying. It will change what you have!" (Kenneth Copeland, The Laws of Prosperity, p. 88.) c. "So, every time we confess the Word of God from a heart that’s confident God will do in our lives what He said—according to Jesus in Mark 11:24 — we shall have what we say." (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, The 7 Laws of Prosperity, 5-2-2019) v. Quotes from Charles Capps' book, The Tongue – A Creative Force. a. "God's Word that is conceived in your heart, then formed by the tongue, and spoken out of your mouth, becomes a spiritual force releasing the ability of God within you." (emphasis in the original) (Charles Capps, The Tongue - A Creative Force, 1976, p. 1) b. "You have prayed, "Lord, I've got this problem and it's getting worse." "Now let's compare this prayer with the Word of God. First, you have prayed the problem and not the answer. The Word said pray the things you desire. You desire the answer. Second, you have released faith in the ability of the enemy. To make it worse, you established the words of the devil that prayer doesn't work and things are getting worse. You are walking by sight and not by faith. You have denied the Word of God. You have done it because of the lack of knowledge." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, p. 4) c. "The Bible says, "Let us hold fast to the profession (confession) of our faith…" (Heb 10:23). "It didn't say, "Hold fast to your prayer." When you hold fast to the prayer, you're holding fast to your problem, because most of the time you've prayed the problem. "Turn loose of the problem and get hold of your confession. Quit praying the problem. And start saying the answer. "For verily I say unto you, whosoever shall say unto this mountain be thou removed…." "When you prayed and said, "Lord, the mountain's getting bigger; it's not getting any better. I've prayed, and it's not working out," you were holding on to the problem. You haven't got to the answer. You're not there yet; you are still too involved with the problem. "The answer is in the confession. The answer is in believing and confessing what the WORD SAYS. THE WORD SAYS THAT IT WILL BE REMOVED AND CAST INTO THE SEA. "We should continually affirm and confess this: "I thank God, though it looks like the mountain's getting bigger, in THE NAME OF JESUS, I see it removed by the eye of faith. BY THE EYE OF FAITH, I SEE IT REMOVED." "There is creative power within you. Learn to use it wisely." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, pp. 23-24) d. "The tongue can destroy the very course of nature that causes you to be healthy. "If you begin to say, "I believe I'm coming down with something," you probably will. ""I believe I am taking a cold." "You'll get it! "I've had people come in the prayer line and say, "I'm afraid I've got cancer. Well, I don't have any proof, but I just believe I've got it." "It says the tongue will set on fire the course of nature. It will destroy the life-giving flow in you that God put in you to heal you and make you whole. "Everyone has natural healing power within their body. If you cut your finger, you don't have to be concerned about it. It knows how to heal itself. That healing power is in you. "If you go to talking sickness and disease and defeat, you have released words that will produce after their kind. You can stop the natural healing power that God put in you by the words of your mouth. Many have stopped divine healing the same way, by negative words." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, pp. 40-41) e. "I have heard some folks say, "Pray for me, I'm taking the flu." "They've got it termed right; they are taking it. Satan offered it to them. He said, "You've got a runny nose, and a neck ache; now let's see what you're going to say about it." Then most people will side with the devil and begin to say the very thing he said. "I am taking a cold." "The WORD says, "…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" (2Co 13:1). "You may have a runny nose. You may have aches all over. That is how you feel, but what are you going to say about it? "God's Word is forever settled in heaven; it is already established there. "For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven" (Ps. 119:89). "The first thing most people do is to go tell their wife or husband, "I believe I'm taking the flu." You have released faith in sickness. You have established the words of the enemy. And Jesus said you can have what you say. The WORD, in essence, said the tongue will cause the healing power to stop. It will set on fire the wheels of lineage, or that which you have inherited. What you have inherited is natural healing power in your body. Now don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about divine healing at this point, but the natural healing ability of the human body. Then all things being level, all things being right, and without Satan involved, any sickness that comes upon your body ― your body will cast it off and heal itself. "That healing ability is in your body. But Satan has come on the scene, and he distorts these things, and he has found out that his ability is limited to what he can get you to say. "Jesus said you can have what you say. Not many Christians know that, but Satan knows that, and he believes it. "Just think back to the last time you had a cold or were sick. What was the first thing you wanted to do after you noticed the symptoms? "You wanted to go tell somebody, "I'm sick." And you probably did. Then you began to get worse immediately if not sooner. Being unaware, you activated a spiritual law that gave the authority you had to dominate your physical body over to the enemy. You established the words of the enemy instead of God's Word. You have openly proclaimed, I AM SICK. "I beg your pardon, THE WORD SAYS YOU'RE HEALED. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24). Not going to be ― WERE HEALED ― Jesus already did it two thousand years ago. He's not going to do any more to heal you. "You lay hold on what He said and deny that sickness has the right to exist in your body. Lay hold upon it by faith, confess the WORD OF GOD over it, and say. "I may hurt, but in the NAME OF JESUS I AM HEALED." "Somebody said, "That sounds like a nut!" "Well, it may, but I'd rather be a well nut than a sick one! It works. It works because God said it would. God tells you in His Word YOU CAN HAVE WHAT YOU SAY. "Most people are having what they say, but they say the wrong things. Now, a lady stood up in the church and said, "Pray for me, I'm taking the flu." Your praying wouldn't do her any good. You're wasting your time praying for her. She believes the wrong thing. By the words of her mouth she has released faith in the ability of the enemy to make her sick. She has no Scripture basis for that belief. She has been motivated by her physical feelings." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, pp. 47-50) f. "Don't get up and testify to the whole church, I'm taking the flu." "One night, I heard a lady announce it to the whole church, "I'm taking the flu," and most of the people in the congregation said, "You know, she does look bad. You know, I did notice her eyes watering. Yeah, she's taking the flu. That's what it is." "Now she has a hundred people agreeing she has the flu. "And Jesus said, "If two of you shall agree on earth… (Mat 18:19). "Wouldn't it be much simpler to stand up and say, "Well, the enemy's been trying to put the symptoms of the flu on me and cause me to believe in it. But I stand before you tonight, and you are my witnesses before the angels and before God and before heaven that I AM not sick. I'll not have the flu ― by the stripes of Jesus, I'm healed. That settles it, thank you. The Word says I'm healed. That's good enough for me." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, pp. 57-58) g. "Jesus said your faith would speak to the object (sycamine tree), and it should obey you. "Now, let's bring this into focus. IT (poverty) should obey you. You said, "We don't ever have enough money. We will never be able to meet the payments"; and IT (poverty) followed you home. You sneezed and said, "I am taking a cold." AND IT (the cold) was obedient to your words and the virus fastened itself to your body. You said, "I just can't remember anything any more." IT (your memory) became obedient to your words. You said, "My nerves are on edge." IT (your nervous system) became obedient, because Jesus said, IT SHOULD OBEY YOU." (emphasis in the original) (Ibid, pp. 168-169) B. Refutation of the "Positive Confession" false doctrine. i. The "Positive Confession" doctrine and the "Word of Faith" movement are founded upon a misunderstanding of a number of Bible verses such as the following. a. Mat 17:19-21 – "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." b. Mat 21:21-22 – "Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." c. Mar 11:22-24 – "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." d. Luk 17:5-6 – "And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. 6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you." ii. In all of the above verses Jesus was speaking to the apostles who had the apostolic gift of faith (1Co 12:9; 1Co 13:2). a. This gift of faith is not the "common faith" which all Christians have (Tit 1:4). b. It was one of the supernatural spiritual gifts which was given to the apostles and some Christians prior to 70AD. (i) This gift of apostolic faith was grouped with the other sign gifts such as the word of wisdom (1Co 12:8), the word of knowledge (1Co 12:8), the gifts of healing (1Co 12:9), the working of miracles (1Co 12:10), prophecy (1Co 12:10; 1Co 13:2), discerning of spirits (1Co 12:10), speaking in tongues (1Co 12:10), and interpreting tongues (1Co 12:10). (ii) This type of faith was one of the "signs of an apostle" (2Co 12:12). c. The gift of faith and healing was also given to the early churches (Jam 5:14-15). (i) This was part of the apostolic gifts. (ii) The only other place where anointing with oil for healing is spoken of in the New Testament is when Jesus gave that gift to the 12 apostles (Mar 6:13). (iii) When this gift was exercised healing was guaranteed: "the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (Jam 5:15). (iv) Churches do not have the gift of healing today.
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