The Prosperity Gospel Isn’t Very Prosperous Right Now

Here is an article from Christian News Wire, which was written by Rich Vermillion.  Good work, Rich.

FORT WORTH, Texas, July 4, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — Rich Vermillion submits the following and is available for comment:

“Con them, shoot them, or divorce them!” Those seem to be the vogue relationship tactics of some televangelists today.

KENNETH’S TITANIC:

Major financial problems seem to be plaguing the “godfather of prosperity.” Convention cancellations, payroll cut-backs, media budget slashing — and even golf-tournament fundraising — cannot seem to slow Copeland’s financial “ship” as it dives toward the ocean floor.

Of course, the entire fiscal foundation of Kenneth Copeland (alleged) “Ministries” (KCM) is based upon deceiving its followers into thinking that the “prosperity gospel” that they teach will work for them. That provides KCM’s revenue, through resulting product sales and donations, in order to fund the lavish lifestyles of the Copeland family (as was featured recently on a CBS “Inside Edition” investigative report). Recently updated with new information, however, “Copeland’s Financial ‘Titanic’ is Sinking Faster” examines the evidence that suggests that the “prosperity” of this scandal-ridden family may soon be “underwater” forever.

Continue reading…

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34 Responses to The Prosperity Gospel Isn’t Very Prosperous Right Now

  1. Thank you, Chrystal, for the kind word of encouragement. You are a blessing to post this story on your blog as well.

    You keep up the great work on your blog too! I have not always commented on your articles, but I have been monitoring your work. Good stuff, Sis. :)

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  2. SirDent says:

    I believe David said it best,

    Psa 31:17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

    Psa 31:18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

  3. stan says:

    I wonder how many of Copeland’s supporters will still defend him over this obvious failure to maintain the “King’s Kids” prosperity they claim they’re entitled to through their enlightened “faith principles?”‘ Abraham, on whom they base much of their precedent for earthly rewards for faithfulness, did not go into financial failure late in life. This decline only shows that these doctrines of men that exploit human greed work only in good economic times. That reality is contrary to another favorite proof text of theirs concerning Isaac’s example of reaping a hundred-fold in famine.

  4. Lady D says:

    @Stan, you just don’t understand the spiritual reasons for financial decline:
    The Copeland’s faith is being tested or they are under attack by the devil and/or they will get double for their troubles. See Stan, this is how the decline in giving will be explained. The sheeple will use the above reasons and other demonic inspired logic to defend the Copelands. May God have mercy and open their eyes like He did for me~

  5. Grant says:

    I saw one of KC’s granddaughters/Kellie’sdaughter on TBN with him whose last name used to be Ward and now is changed to Swisher. Any reasoning for that?

  6. Kiwi Dave says:

    @ Rich, thanks for the news fegarding bothe Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar. When I read about how Crefloe Dollar would happily have his followers gun down in cold blood anyone not paying tithes, I was reminded of this scripture:

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 KJV

    Of course the same also applies to Kenneth Copeland and all who preach and adhere to the false “prosperity” gospel.

  7. David says:

    My prayers have been answered! Kenneth Copeland was exposed to the viewing public by that Inside Edition feature. When he got nasty with the interviewer, that let everyone see for themselves a little of what the “real” Kenneth Copeland is like. May what happened to Robert Tilton and Larry Lea many years ago after a newsmagazine did a similar story on them that revealed their love of $$$’s and a lavish lifestyle happen to KCM. For those who don’t know,people exited both ministries almost immediately after the show aired. Watch for KCM to hunker down and send out lots of letters like this, “we are experiencing an attack by the devil which we haven’t seen or experienced in all the years of this ministry,we need your prayers and financial support now more than ever”.

  8. ian vincent says:

    Going broke could be a great blessing for Kenneth Copeland. Could be the LORD’s mercy. He may even get to the place where he has to trust God and have real faith.

    James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Has not God chosen THE POOR OF THIS WORLD RICH IN FAITH, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

    James 2:6a But you have despised the poor…. . [ WOF despises the poor by implying that the reason they are poor is that they lack faith. Jesus and Paul didn’t have a lot of money bcos they lacked faith etc..]

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  9. Grant,

    The reason for Kellie’s name change is because she’s on her third marriage. I’m not sure about the granddaughter, though.

  10. WOW! This is really surprising. Why should they have to send out their children as spokespeople for KCM when they preach so much about “sowing a seed and reaping a multiplied harvest.” Why don’t they just give away hundreds of thousands of their money and wait for the financial harvest to come their way? How about sowing some money into the lives of the people they forced into unemployment too?!

    No sympathy for KCM at all. They have been wolves in sheep’s clothing for quite some time.

  11. @Kiwi Dave: Your Scripture citation is quite apropos. Thank you for the encouragement as well.

    @Grant: We addressed the last name change issue regarding Lyndsey Ward “Swisher” within a recent update to our “Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: The Untold Story” article: http://kennethcopelandblog.com/2010/08/01/kenneth-and-gloria-copeland-the-untold-story/ Please check that section out, and pop back here to share your further thoughts.

    @Lady D: I agree with your prediction about how KCM/EMIC will likely attempt to “spin” these issues for their most ardent (and gullible) cult followers. Your analysis shows tremendous insight into how they operate, so I must assume you were once a “sheeple” within that fold yourself, as your closing statement seems to suggest. Regardless, your point was well-stated, Sis.

    @ian vincent: I agree. The best thing for the Copelands right now would be to be completely stripped of everything in a Nebuchadnezzar-like fashion (see Daniel chapter 4). Stripped of their “gods” of money and material opulence, they may just have their “reasoning return” to them as that ancient king did, and they might even look upward to the True and Living God of the Bible in repentance and genuine faith…and get saved.

    Interestingly, even Copeland supporters are coming to a similar conclusion. Note what one minister wrote to me recently. While he expressed doubt in my position that the Copelands are unsaved wolves in sheep’s clothing (see this article of mine, which addresses that point in detail: http://richvermillion.com/2011/04/03/when-wolves-remove-their-clothes/ ), this particular man that I am quoting below did readily acknowledge that KCM’s lunacy had reached a level that he (as a minister) was quite embarrassed by:


    I think that in the 1990’s KCM got too big. If our ministry growth exceeds the growth in our character, there will be danger and problems. I think the Copelands suffer from the same problems experienced by all who would “live the lifestyle of the rich and famous,” but that does not make them bad. I think that they have lost touch with reality. Quite possibly greed has infiltrated their hearts. Nonetheless, in my heart Kenneth Copeland is like my favorite Uncle who took me fishing, and was always a blessing to me. At some point the Uncle lost touch with reality and went a little crazy. He now forgets to comb his hair, or brush his teeth. Sometimes he says embarrassing things, or acts a little daft, but he is my uncle who always blessed me, so I will overlook his old age goofiness and honor him for what he meant in my life. He is embarrassing in public, but I can live with that.

    Perhaps I am wrong about all of this, but that is how I feel. I wish he would retire and shut-up. I think the best thing that could happen to them is for the money flow to dry up. I do think they need to repent for the greed that they have taught to many in the body of Christ, but I believe that they have been deceived and are not malicious. I think the Copelands honestly believe that their money proves God’s blessing in their lives.

    So even some of the long-time Copeland supporters are coming to the conclusion that Kenneth may be at least going senile, and loosing his mental faculties. This man also believes that the Copelands need to repent of greed, and that if “the money flow [would] dry up” they are more likely to do so. Thus, this man’s note above also seems to indicate that many Copelandites are also waking up to the fact that the Copelands are being motivated by sheer greed these days.

    Of course, many of us see the problem as way worse than what some Copeland supporters (like the brother above) will admit to themselves. I have found that when Copeland-cult people either refuse to look at the facts that reveal that the Copelands have always been corrupt, or deny those facts, it seems to be from one or more psychological-based agendas: (1) They do not want to admit to themselves that they were deceived for so many years; or (2) They do not want to face the social/familial realities related to admitting to others that they where wrong in promoting KCM and their teachings so ardently through the years; or (3) They themselves have been operating as wolves ministerially…and they just cannot fathom turning away in repentance from such behavior for either the two reasons above, or because of their fear of losing that income and alleged “ministry opportunities.” (In the case of the minister above, I believe it is a combination of #’s 1 & 2, and not 3; this guy is actually a good well-meaning pastor.)

    Thoughts?

    This has been a good discussion folks.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  12. Barry says:

    The sad truth in all of this is that as the S.S.kcm dives to the bottom it drags along with it all those who have been passengers aboard this ill fated voyage that has been damned to sink.The Lord has torpedoed this false floating farce and many also will follow in its wake.

  13. ray says:

    Can tares become wheat? , do wolves turn into sheep? , hardly!.KC is reaping what he has spent a lifetime sowing , deceit. Upon reading this , I was reminded of what Rev 17:16 says;

    they will make her desolate and naked ……..

    KC and his ilk , and indeed anyone that promotes false teaching are the harlot, and from what I read in Revelation , it will not be a happy ending.

  14. Grant says:

    Several years ago there was a Kenneth hagin word of faith magazine with a picture of his granddaughter in a wedding gown and her then married husband about a year or so later there was another picture of the same granddaughter (Ken hagin Jr’s daughter) married again to another man

    I’m not trying to debate remarriage or anything but it does bring about ? Concerning the word of faith promotions and the idea that is at the least conveyed that these ministers are spotless

  15. Grant says:

    Just channel surfing and saw that KCM’s meeting is on and Creflo Dollar is own talikng about “the blessing” and no mention of Jesus

    Creflo looks like he had a facelift or some injection of something

  16. Kiwi Dave says:

    @ Rich, if Kenneth Copeland is “going senile” there’s a very real possiblilty that he may lose his Pilots Licence as he must pass a very strict physical and medical examination every year. Who will fly his Cessna Citation jet then? You have to have a type rating for that aircraft too. This has nothing to do with any “judment of God”, it’s just a fact of life and the requirement of the FAA. Maybe he’ll sell it to Creflo Dollar in order to “bless his ministry”. Of course, it’s the faithful tithe paying congregation that will pick up the tab for that jet. Mind you, It’ll be cheaper in the long run than hiring private jets.

  17. ray says:

    Some of the most blasphemous things I have heard have come from KC . The following are but just a few of the disturbing utterings that should leave few wondering whether this man ever had salvation to begin with.What KC says here is not commensurate with someone who claims to be one with the Spirit of God.

    quote
    The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.” He said, “Think this way: a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.” And I threw my Bible down, like that, and I said, “What?” He said, “A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.” He said, “You are the very image and the very copy of that one.” I said, “Goodness, gracious sakes alive!” And I began to see what had gone on in there. And I said, “Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean that I could have done that same thing?” He said, “Oh yeah. If you’d had the same knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could’ve done the same thing, ’cause you’re a reborn man too.” 5

    quote
    “I say this with all respect so that it don’t upset you too bad, but I say it anyway. When I read in the Bible where he [Jesus] says, ‘I Am,’ I just smile and say, ‘Yes, I Am, too!'” (Kenneth Copeland, “Believer’s Voice of Victory” broadcast on TBN, recorded 7/9/87)

    quote
    “The biggest failure in the Bible…is God.” (Kenneth Copeland, Praise-a-Thon, TBN, 1988.)

    quote
    “God is on the outside looking in,” says Copeland. “In order to have any say-so in the earth, He’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.” (Kenneth Copeland, God’s Covenant with Man II (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-4404), side 1.)

  18. Carolyn says:

    @ray – your quote from Kenneth Copeland
    The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.” He said, “Think this way: a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.” And I threw my Bible down, like that, and I said, “What?”

    This back and forth dialogue with such “familiarity” vs holiness with the supposed Holy Spirit is so typical of the mystical practices of the charismatic movement. And notice what is attacked? The Word of God, of course. That should be anyone’s first clue that it is not the Holy Spirit. Also, the fact that the lying spirit referred to “traditions” instead of the Word. How subtle, how devious.

    All of these doctrines of demons appeal to the flesh…and do any of these deceived individuals examine the doctrines they are being fed by lying spirits in the light of Scripture?…of course not!
    John 3:19
    This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil

  19. Doug says:

    Rich hit home with this: “(1) They do not want to admit to themselves that they were deceived for so many years.”
    This is pride. This is fear of losing face for being proven wrong. I still see this in my Pentecostal friends who must cover their ears and eyes to keep from admitting the truth about these false teachers.
    Do you know who doesn’t have this problem? People God humbles. A humbled brother or sister is going to say, “I was fooled…but God showed me the truth about Copeland/Hinn/etc.”
    May God save our brethren (and ourselves) from Pride.

  20. @ Bary: Good points. I’m glad I awoke and got in a life boat back in 2007. May many others do so as well.

    @ Ray: Good points in your comments as well. I do believe that a “tare” can become “wheat” (after all, Luther did…so did Wesley…both were highly educated unsaved “religious” men before being born again). That is the power of the new birth. But first, the “tares” have to be warned. I like what Charles Spurgeon said about this type of thing, which is certainly applicable to false brethren in our midst as much as the sinner on the street corner:

    “Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for” (From his sermon, “The Wailing of Risca”).

    Of course, the Bible says the same thing (which is what inspired Spurgeon to think as he did). Here are just two examples of many that could be cited:

    James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

    Jude 1:22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

    However, your points about Copeland’s heretical blasphemes is certainly spot-on. Consequently, I have concluded that Copeland has likely NEVER been born again, and is certainly a false prophet by his manifest “fruit.” So I certainly agree with your assessment, Ray. Well, said.

    @ Grant: Good points, indeed. I wrote “The Family Test” as a prerequisite teaching on the qualifications of a minister, and made a strong emphasis within the beginning of “Kenneth and Gloria Copeland: The Untold Story” that the said prerequisite teaching was essential to understanding the purpose of the latter article. A minister MUST have a stable home life to be qualified for ministry. Period. And if that foundation begins to crack, then they need to attend to their home and marriage (even if they have to exit the ministry for a while) and get it repaired. Thus, exposing points (as you did above) about divorces & family dysfunction is a necessary and legitimate examination of the “fruit” of any minister. Circumstances must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis (e.g. what if their spouse simply went nuts, or there were other such unusual factors present?); but examination of the marriage/family of a professed “minister” is certainly in order and biblical, particularly if they show signs of problems therein.

    @ Kiwi Dave: That is an outstanding point to ponder. However, I know firsthand from working with my grandfather in his final years (who suffered from severe dementia) that a medical exam that does not include a rigorous testing for such things, will typically not reveal that problem. I have been through the pilot’s physical exam myself, and I can attest that it would not likely identify senility if present, unless the person began to show strange behavior in the doctor’s office and alerted the physician that there may be a problem.

    Good point, however. Perhaps the solution is to file companies with the FAA to force them to examine his mental capabilities. However, I have known intelligent people who were nuts (i.e. psychologically deranged), but they knew how to hide it whenever a doctor was around or some other person whom they wished to deceive. So Lord only knows how long it would be before Kenneth showed signs severe enough to alert the attention of an honest physician.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  21. ian vincent says:

    The quotes which Ray posted are really damning. It’s amazing that God has let Copeland live till this day.

    a) Has anyone spared a minute to pray for Kenneth, that the LORD have mercy on him and lead him to repentance?

    b) Has anyone thought what they would say to Kenneth if they happened to meet him, and the manner in which they would say it?

    c) I was wondering, if so many Christians in America care about the deception Kenneth is spreading, why aren’t there more protests outside (or inside) his conferences? I mean civilized protests with a strong message of righteousness, holding forth the Word of God, not ranting. Sounds like hardly anyone cares either way.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  22. ray says:

    Rich
    Thanks for your response to my comment re tares and wolves [ which should’ve read goats]. I had in mind the passage from Matt 13 when i wrote that that post. While I do fully agree that we were all once enemies of God, this does not in effect alter the fact that God predestines some to be conformed to the image of Christ. The essence of the parrable of the tares is that Christ sows the good seed , and satan the bad seed, and if we are to take Gods word as his word , then these outcomes were determined before the world began. I realise that this is off on another tangent , but getting back to the topic at hand, I find it reprehensible that someone like KC who claims to have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit can so brazenly trash the gospel by which he claims salvation.

  23. shane says:

    I think 2Peter 2 describes KC pretty well.

  24. Eli says:

    Only God knows the heart, but fruits of the spirit are the mark of a true born-again believer, and Copelin has so few fruits. One thing that always always “shows up” when he’s on tv is his gargantuan bully ego. he’s an arrogant bully. if he was this way occationally, and repented it would be different (all of us are sinners and have our “stuff”), but KC is ALWAYS this way. and his “gnostic” attitude that makes one feel like KC has the “inside scoop” on God and we’re all just trying to reach his level. and he has dead eyes. There’s no light there.

  25. IWTT says:

    a) Has anyone spared a minute to pray for Kenneth, that the LORD have mercy on him and lead him to repentance?

    b) Has anyone thought what they would say to Kenneth if they happened to meet him, and the manner in which they would say it?

    c) I was wondering, if so many Christians in America care about the deception Kenneth is spreading, why aren’t there more protests outside (or inside) his conferences? I mean civilized protests with a strong message of righteousness, holding forth the Word of God, not ranting. Sounds like hardly anyone cares either way.

    A) Yes and many before me
    B) No but I am sure that many have attempted correction in love and then some
    C) I think they care but I also believe that they are decieved because the Lord has turned them over to their deception. If prayer, the most intmate communications with the Lord, has not turned caused them to turn then what makes you think that a love protest will? If God is allowing this, then in His soveriegnty He will allow it to take the path it will. Maybe bankruptcy will e the bottom of the barrell and they will turn???

  26. @ ian vincent: Good points. I can only speak for myself and my wife, of course. However, we have prayed literally thousands of hours for the Copelands, that God would lead them to repentance. But we also mixed “works” with our “faith” (James 2:14-16) and have done the following in addition:

    (a) I attempted to meet with Kenneth personally, or at least members of their executive staff (they refused, and actually hid from me).

    (b) We sent them documents and faxes detailing the problems with their failure to perform as promised regarding the Angel Flight 44 ministry (AF44) that Kenneth had said was already founded and operational (but it wasn’t). They hid from me even more thereafter.

    (c) We launched http://kennethcopelandblog.com in October 2008 to get their attention, since the former methods had been rebuffed. Note: Initially, this project only had limited content, as we were attempting to prod them toward discussion and repentance, not attempting to “expose” them per se. At the time, we thought they were “backsliding” and were trying to get them to wake up and get right. (We have no concluded that most have them have never been born again.)

    (d) We began fully documenting their AF44 frauds and deception publicly on the website in January 2010, coupled with press releases and other means of drawing attention to those issues.

    (e) We realized after a few months of watching KCM “duck and dive” and “dance around the issues” in hypocrisy, that they were not in the least bit interested in repenting or getting things right with God or their partners. Thus, we began later in 2010 and into 2011 to document MANY other frauds, lies, and outright heathen behavior, of KCM and their dysfunctional family. Hereby, we are endeavoring to break their idolatrous hypnotic hold over their followers; and to put further pressure on the Copelands AND their followers to wake up and repent. That is where we are today.

    All the time the above was occurring, we were praying for them and about them profusely. Thus, I have no qualms about stating quite frankly that Donna and I have prayed literally thousands of hours for them.

    But prayer alone is not enough: As you pointed out, there needs to be more. We have been doing our part, as the Spirit has directed in accordance with the Word of God. I am certainly hopeful others will “step up to the plate” (so the speak) and join us in prayer and pragmatic confrontation.

    BTW: Others HAVE protested outside of their conventions through the years. I am sure some looked like religions nuts in the way they did so, but others were sincerely concerned about the errors and heresy being propagated by KCM. Still others have exposed KCM errors via the Internet (as Chrystal has done with this post)…in fact, many people have don this. Still others have publicly confronted Copeland on TV and other public venues. In short, there has been no lack of confrontation historically…but until recently, nobody has documented their frauds in such a way as to have a serious effect upon their cash flow. Their “supporters” just believed Kenneth Copeland’s “spin” and interpreted it as “persecution.”

    Senator Grassley certainly made an impact there, by bringing many issues out publicly into the spotlight. The media has also had a tremendous effect in exposing the hypocrisy. My wife and I are certainly doing so also, with the website. In fact, let me note that this is the reason why we spend very little time arguing doctrine on the website (which tends to be easily pushed aside by KCM) and have instead focussed on documenting FRAUD and blatant lies (which tends to make people think twice about sending their money to such wolves).

    Anyway, you have a sound point, Ian: One that I have trumpeted myself, in that I have encouraged many others to pray and to get proactive in pressuring the Copeland family to repent (by any means they so feel impressed to employ). Some have taken that to heart, and have formally renounced their KCM “partnership” via email or by letter with KCM, and clearly stated why. Others simply stopped sending money and attending conferences. Overall, given the panic we see at KCM, it is obvious that the cumulative affect of all of the above is making them “feel” the errors of their ways financially.

    So their fiscal “Titanic” continues to take on water…and it is only a matter of time before they have an epiphany about their multiplied sins and errors, as God strips them of everything they value. May they then follow Nebuchadnezzar’s example and have enough since to repent afterwards.

    @Ray: I hear where you are coming from, but cannot embrace your concept of predestination. Who are we to know which will be saved? Only the Lord knows. The Great Commission said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature.” I cannot see any biblical reason to assume someone is damned (unless we have properly identified the Antichrist), but LOTS of scriptural precedent that exhorts us to tirelessly warn the wicked…from Genesis to Revelation, in fact. So I understand where you are coming from…I just cannot accept it as being biblical.

    We will still hold out hope that the Copelands can (and will) be saved. Until the Lord Himself tells us otherwise, we will continue to peruse this in accordance with His Word, and with a clear conscience that knows we did our best to save them as the Scriptures admonished us. In addition to the ones I already provided within this thread, here is another:

    If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Surely we did not know this,” does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds? (Proverbs 24:10-12, NKJV)

    We are determined to hear Jesus say to us one day, “Well done, thou good and faithful servants.” And compassion for the lost is definitely the best way to ensure that we hear those words. :)

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  27. Barry says:

    Rich,praise God that he rescued you.Keep followin the leading of the Holy Spirit and what he is revealing to you and asking u 2 share with the body of Christ.There r multitudes in deception but God has rescued people like u and others 2 speak up and speak out against that deception in order that those who r still in deception can have the opportunity to be rescued 2.God is doing it,he is snatching people out of the fire,he snatched my wife and I out of the deception we were involved in several yrs. ago.Stand up stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the cross,lift high his royal banner it must not suffer loss,from victory unto victory his army we shall be,til ever foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed,AMEN

  28. IWTT says:

    @Rich,

    I am looking for the verse but I seem to remember that (maybe in my last reading of Jude) it makes reference that God even predestined or predetermined those who would be used for false teaching.

    Oh I found it…

    3Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    So my thinking is that in the area of predestination, it seems that He has called some to be used even in the way of false teaching in order to bring about His purposes. In my opinion, these such as KC have been allowed to work their apostatsy so as to bring us closer and closer to the “great apostasy” or “falling away” before the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Also, it is not our place to know who is and isn’t saved other than we will know them by their fruit but it’s all Gods call in that area, but at the same time I guess those who say, But Lord, Lord didn’t we …” are not saved as they will be told to go away. I think God can certainly predestin those who will be saved. But the point is that we are to preach into all the world so that all will hear and when that is done then Jesus come to judge. We preach the rest is up to God.

  29. ian vincent says:

    I wasn’t so much thinking that we can convert the Copelands (though we should pray and do something if possible) but rather i was thinking of their thousands of followers. If there was a powerful counter-movement at those conferences then it’s possible that many could be reached with the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Praise God that Rich has been doing this for years.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  30. @ian vincent: Thank you, Ian, for the encouragement, and I agree with your main point. I will also tie this comment back to your main point further below.

    @IWTT: I’m with you on that, my friend. Perhaps I was not clear enough with my point in my earlier post on the subject of predestination (for which I apologize). I do not have a problem with the concept that some are predestined to damnation (take Judas, for example). I also do not have a problem with the idea that in His foreknowledge, the Lord has predestined many of us to salvation (Romans 8, for example). I also don’t have a problem with the idea that heretics are used by God, and predestined by Him for particular purposes (your Jude citation, for an example). In fact, on this last point, I have written a very comprehensive article myself called “How God Uses Heretics”: http://richvermillion.com/2010/09/17/how-god-uses-heretics/

    @ Everyone: My point before was NOT to begin a theological argument regarding predestination (either for or against) or even to discuss the finer doctrinal aspects of how such a thing is construed in the Scriptures (i.e. topics of the individual’s will verses the Lord’s foreknowledge, etc). Rather, my point is that we do NOT know who is predestined for WHAT, because none of us are God…and none of us are omniscient.

    Sure, if we happen to properly identify the Antichrist and his False Prophet in the future (though I am open to the rapture preventing us from caring about those two devils at all) then we can point at them and say, “Those two guys are predestined for the Lake of Fire!” because Revelation already tells us that they are.

    But what about Paul? He was “breathing out threatenings” against the Church, and was a blasphemous persecutor, according to his own testimony. Yet, God got through to him and he was born again. Are ALL heretics beyond redemption? Are ALL of them predestined for destruction? I cannot see ANY Scriptural proof that is so universal on that topic. In fact, I see the opposite.

    Though surely MANY such miscreants will go to perdition, I can see God’s grace at work in the Bible with the likes of Paul—and even Manasseh, who though he was Judah’s most wicked king EVER…his eyes were opened God’s grace within the Babylonian prison, and he repented and was redeemed (see 2 Chronicles 33:10-13). The Lord even “converted” numerous Gentiles in the OT (such as Naaman) to serve and worship the One True and Living God of Israel. Cannot He do the same thing today?

    Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. (Isaiah 59:1, NKJV)

    Biblically, it would not be both blasphemous and absurd to assert that He either COULD NOT or even WOULD NOT? I would assert that it is, because the first would discount His ability and the second would attack His compassionate nature and mercy.

    This returns me again to my original point: What about the Great Commission? If we are NOT omniscient, or possessing the “inside information” about who is predestined for salvation, verses who is predestined for damnation—and Jesus specifically commanded us to preach the Gospel to EVERY creature (heretics included)—then is it biblical or permissible to refrain from obeying God’s command, simply because WE have decided who falls into which category? God forbid!

    I am not God. (Kenneth seems to need that same revelation, however.) Thus, I cannot tell if He will EVER get through to Kenneth Copeland as He did to Manasseh and Paul. As a minister of Christ, I am only responsible for being faithful to preach His Truth to “every creature”—no matter how well they listen to me:

    You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. (Ezekiel 2:7, NKJV)

    In fact, I can look in the Scriptures and see MANY men whose entire ministries—spanning several decades, in some cases—were dedicated to rebuking and preaching God’s Truth to people, most of whom would NOT listen or repent. Ezekiel was even TOLD by God beforehand that most his audience would not listen to him (see 3:7 also) and yet, his entire life was spent preaching God’s message. Surely, a few repented and were saved from God’s wrath, as was the case under Jeremiah’s ministry in Jerusalem during that same time period. The had Lord likewise told Jeremiah that most would not listen (7:27) and yet some did listen and obe his admonition to surrender to the Chaldeans (compare 38:2 to 38:19 and 39:9) and were subsequently spared, as promised. Could this not happen with Kenneth Copeland and/or among the members of his family? Could this not happen among his leadership, as it did often among the leadership of wicked kings in the OT?

    And now tying back this topic to what Ian mentioned in his last comment: Such redemption should surely happen AT LEAST among Copeland’s followers to some degree; and thus, I must continue to sound off God’s Word toward their nutty leader in hopes that at least SOME of them will take heed and repent. If we ALSO get one or more Copeland family members at some point (i.e. mostly likely after their Manasseh and/or Nebuchadnezzar experiences), then that will be a bonus! Furthermore, it is certainly not outside of the ability of God:

    “And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
    When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
    But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:24-26, NKJV)

    They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever…These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage…..And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude 1:12-13; 16; 22-23, emphasis mine)

    Note: Despite the fact that Jude said some are predestined to damnation, he still admonished his readers to do their best to save everyone they can. Should we do anything different?

    We do not know specifically who is predestined for what (i.e. we can only speak in generalities; that heretics in general are predestined for such damnation and genuine Christians are destined for eternal glory). Only God has such specific foreknowledge about individuals, for only He is omniscient. Thus, ANY application of ANY variant of the doctrine of predestination that discourages the biblical mandate of preaching tirelessly to the lost—epitomized within the Great Commission itself—MUST certainly be a heresy itself. Only a “doctrine of demons” would discourage the advancement of the Gospel toward ANY lost soul; and thus, any effort to apply some variant of the biblical doctrine of predestination in such a manner is a gross distortion of Scripture…and thus, a damnable heresy by definition.

    So please let me encourage any of you reading this to understand my main point: None of us are omniscient; and from Genesis to Revelation the biblical mandate is certainly to “seek and save that which was lost.” If any of you have attempted to apply ANY form of predestination doctrine in such a way that undermines this overarching Truth, then you must repent. By biblical and logical NECESSITY, that would be a blasphemous and heretical use of such a doctrine. Please ponder that fact soberly, and adjust your doctrines accordingly.

    Then…go preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. That is our Lord’s chief command to us all. :D

    Lastly, many thanks to the encouraging comments that many of you have posted within this thread. My wife and I truly appreciate it, I can assure you. :)

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  31. ray says:

    Rich
    Thanks for clarifying your thoughts in the above post, I do agree with the prevailing thrust that none of us are to know who are the elect , but in that we must faithfully preach the gospel.

  32. Amen, Ray. You are welcome for the clarification, and thank you for being such a blessing with your reply.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  33. Rev's Kate & Rich M. says:

    Looks like alot of excess is being snipped off–it’s about time–we all need to snip in these hard financial times, all of us. K

  34. taxpayer says:

    It is absolute rubbish the Copelands are going broke. They would have millions stashed away fpr themselves. How about a photo of Kellies home and does she live on the same compound. She never seems sincere to me does anyone know if that voice of hers is fake. I heard the story on you tube how she and her third husband met but it was a different one to the one Kenneth said when introducing them.

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