First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building a Foundation of Faith (g)
Like I wrote earlier, I am not a Word of Faith teacher, but I am a beneficiary of its teachings. Most of the teachings have worked well in my life, but a few have not. Over the next few chapters I will outline which teachings have built me up and which have not worked well for me.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the father of the Word of Faith movement: Kenneth Hagin.
If you have read any of Hagin’s more than one hundred books, you are bound to read his testimony about being a sickly child and how he was bedfast with a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease. How he then had a powerful conversion experience, after dying three times and visiting Hell, all within a period of ten minutes.
Hagin remained in bed after his conversion, suffering from his ailments, for many more months until he received his revelation of the following scripture:
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11: 24 King James)
Before August 1934, countless Christians had read Mark 11:24, but few had the exact revelation which Kenneth Hagin had on that summer day. Hagin stated he was talking to the Lord about the verse and how he especially agreed with the words: “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray.”
Hagin desired to be healed. Thus he kept praying and asking and believing the Lord heard his prayers.
As he continued talking aloud, he heard the Holy Spirit speak to him: “You do believe all right – as far as you know.”
The Holy Spirit then quoted the rest of the verse: “Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
At that moment, the lights went on inside of Kenneth Hagin:
“I prayed for healing because that’s what I desired, but I was trying to have my healing first, and then I was going to believe I received it. But when do we believe we receive what we desire from God? When we pray! That means before we see a change in the circumstances we must believe that God has heard and answered us. We are to believe we receive whatever we desire from God the minute we pray and ask Him for our petition.”
I said to the Lord, “Now I know what I’ve got to do. I’ve got to begin to believe I receive healing for my paralyzed body right now, while I’m still lying here helpless. While I’m lying here bedfast, I’ve got to believe I receive healing for my deformed heart and incurable blood disease.” (Word of Faith, Kenneth Hagin, 1990)
Kenneth Hagin eventually jumped out of bed, totally healed. He became a young preacher, a pastor, and an evangelist in the Healing Revival of the 1940′s and 50′s. He then began his teaching career, which led to radio programs, founding the Rhema Bible Training Center, and the Rhema church system.
If you check out Kenneth Hagin on Google, you will find various sites, which accuse Hagin of being a plagiarist, a heretic, a false prophet, a serpent, and a false teacher. What’s with this, huh? How can a godly man have so many accusers?
Most of his critics’ biggest complaints are that he taught and preached like a Pentecostal, which he was. That’s like complaining Charles Stanley taught like a Baptist pastor because he is a Baptist pastor.
There are no perfect teachers, except Jesus. As Mike Bickel says, “God loves to use people who offend us so that He can show us our hearts.”
Kenneth Hagin never once took the time to answer his critics. He never once defended himself. When his critics called for a comment about a critical book or article they were writing about him, he always said, “No comment. God bless you.”
My only disagreement with Kenneth Hagin’s teachings is he looks at salvation and grace from an Arminian/Pentecostal point of view while I agree with the Baptist/Calvin one. You can be the judge on that one for yourself.
I recommend his books.
Since, he has sold over 60 million copies, you can buy them on Amazon (new and used), from numerous other sites (new and used), from Salvation Army stores, from Hagin’s ministry site, and wherever.
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)