The Enemy Within?

[Some doctrinal concerns relating to various teachings within the Word-Faith movement]

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned."
(Gal 1:6-8)


I realize that this is a delicate issue within the body of Christ and that care must be taken to insure that we do not slip into error ourselves by attacking individuals rather than doctrine. However, the teachings within any group which contends to be a part of the body of Christ must be examined in light of scripture. Paul tells us that "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim 3:16). Paul does not end the usefulness of scripture at teaching. He continues so that we may know what to do with what we have been taught. Of what good is this instruction if we, for whatever reason, faint from the task of rebuking and correcting when it becomes necessary to do so? As for Paul's position on one who corrects false teaching, he says "If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed" (1 Tim 4:6). Notice that in the preceding verse Paul is referencing correction to "the brothers", those within the family of believers. It is not implied that all who hold to the teaching examined herein are apostate and lost. Only God can judge a man's heart and intent. However, let us not be so foolish as to assume that what we indeed believe about the nature and person of God has no bearing on our eternal position in Christ Jesus. It most certainly does. What I am suggesting is that we recognize the importance of doctrinal integrity and the need to "rebuke and correct" when necessary, and limiting our discussion away from individual attacks. Those quoted are done so as part of the evaluation of their teaching and to draw conclusions about what is said, not who said it.

It must be noted that one of the things that creates such highly emotional "heel digging" on this issue (for both sides) is that not every thought or word that comes from some of those quoted below is heretical. How much easier it would be if that were the case! It is unfortunate that the areas of concern are indeed both: 1) Fundamental to a correct understanding of our relationship to God and His dealings with us and 2) Areas not covered often in bible studies (much less sunday morning sermons). The general thought of most teachers of scripture is to presuppose that we understand that Jesus died for us and so we move into lessons regarding our christian walk, prayer, help in overcoming sin in our life, etc. Try to recall the last time you attended church and listened to the speaker teach on the atonement of Christ Jesus, not just reference it as a concept mutually agreed upon, but teaching in depth on just how Jesus was able to concur sin and death by the shedding of His blood on the cross (Old Covenant) and what happened after His death (New Covenant). While Christian living is important to teach, we can get the cart before the horse if a proper doctrinal foundation has not been laid. We have moved too quickly from accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior to discussions of meaningful prayer and the end of the world.

When constructing a house or building, it is exciting to see the framing go up, to watch rooms take shape as walls are finished, to see the careful detail of the finished trim being set. While it is not as exciting to watch ditches being dug, concrete foundations poured and dirt being moved in preparation of building, it is precisely this foundation which will allow the rest of the construction to be correct. This is precisely the illustration given us by Jesus when he warned, "The rain came down , the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock" (Matt. 7:25). We in the body of Christ, on the whole, have been guilty of allowing houses to be built upon sand by not firmly grounding our people early in the correct understanding of the faith we profess. May God give us the wisdom and strength to correct this error.

To prevent being accused of not following my own advise, we shall begin by laying a foundation of what is meant by certain terms and concepts in scripture and then compare how others have used them in their teaching.

    INCARNATION - This term, while not found explicitly in Scripture, is used to refer to the fact that while Jesus was fully God in nature, He was also fully human. He was God in human flesh. The act of God having taken to himself a human nature is called the incarnation.  (John 1:1; 1:18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8 (quoting Ps. 45:6); and 2 Peter 1:1)
In case it isn't already obvious by definition, the only person to whom this term applies is Jesus. This is because he was not just a man filled with the Spirit of God, but was God in his very nature (Php. 2:6; Col. 1:19).

    ATONEMENT- For our purposes, we shall define atonement as the work that Christ did to earn our salvation.

    Some of the terms used in the Bible to indicate just what this work was and what he accomplished in it are as follows:

    Sacrifice - Jesus paid the penalty of death deserved by us because of our sins. Heb 9:26 reads, "He has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself".

    Propitiation - Jesus died to remove the wrath of God from us which we deserved. 1 John 4:10 reads, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins".

    Reconciliation - Jesus provided a way to bring us back into fellowship with God, to overcome our separation from Him. Paul says that God "through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself".

    Redemption- Jesus redeems us from the bondage of sin. Col. 1:13 states that God "has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son". Paul says, "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus . . . For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace" (Rom. 6:11, 14).

So, then, the Bible teaches us that we are, by our disobedience, deserving of death and separated from God by our own sin. That knowing we were incapable of attaining to the perfection required by the law of God to reestablish right relationship with Him, God became incarnate (human), sacrificed himself on a cross to become our propitiation that would reconcile us to God and redeem us from the dominion of darkness and sin.

The knowledge of these truths taught by the Bible are, in and of themselves, not the criterion for salvation. We need to accept the finished work of Jesus on the cross, with all it's implications, and put our trust in a relationship with Jesus, making him Lord of our life. Always more than knowing, it's trusting. Let's look at the meaning of the word faith to make sure we have a clear understanding of it.

    FAITH - The author of Hebrews tells us that "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1). Again the implication is clear, faith is not just believing or knowing, it is trusting in the God of creation to save us through the work he did when he was here among us in the person of Jesus Christ. Faith is only the subject of the relationship. For faith to become meaningful, there must be an object to have faith in. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).

Are the above meanings understood by all of those in the word-faith movement as it is being taught on television and through countless books being sold today? Let's take a look at what some of the leading personalities within this group have to say on such matters.

I am not here going to attempt to detail the background of the individuals involved as many have already done so. The teachings of men like E.W. Kenyon and his connection to the metaphysical "new thought" movement have been well documented by others much more qualified to do so. What I will do is simply use quotes from the various individuals involved in the word-faith group and examine whether they express correctly the doctrines of the Bible. These individuals include, to name but a few; E.W. Kenyon, Kenneth Hagin, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Benny Hinn, Charles Capps, Morris Cerullo, Robert Tilton, and Frederick K.C. Price.

It may seem a small matter that on occasion (yet consistently) these teachers, and others, have misstated the correct position of Scripture in some areas of their teaching. I am reminded of something I heard Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute, say several times in the course of his work. He said, "You can be right in all areas of Christian doctrine and be wrong in the doctrine of the person and nature of Jesus Christ, and that will make you wrong enough to miss salvation altogether." With this in mind, let us allow these teachers to speak for themselves on such matters.


Man "was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority." (Kenneth Hagin, Zoe: The God-Kind of Life (1989) pg. 35-36).

"He made us the same class of being that He is Himself." (Kenneth Hagin, Ibid.)

"God duplicated Himself in kind!" "Adam was an exact duplication of God's kind!" (Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds (1982), pg. 16, emphasis in original.)

"You don't have a god in you, you are one." (Kenneth Copeland, "The Force of Love" (1987), audio tape #02-0028, side 1)

"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 into space. He was - with one thought he would be on the moon."  (Benny Hinn, "Praise The Lord" program on TBN [Dec. 26, 1991] ).

"Man, I feel revelation knowledge already coming on me here. Lift your hands. Something new is going to happen here today. I felt if just as I walked down here. Holy Spirit, take over in the name of Jesus...God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person; and He is a triune being by Himself separate from the Son and the Holy Ghost. Say, what did you say? Hear it, hear it, hear it. See, God the Father is a person, God the Son is a person, God the Holy Ghost is a person. But each one of them is a triune being by Himself. If I can shock you - and maybe I should - there's nine of them. Huh, what did you say? Let me explain: God the Father, ladies and gentlemen, is a person with his own personal spirit, with his own personal soul, and his own personal spirit body. You say, Huh, I never heard that. Well you think you're in this church to hear things you've heard for the last 50 years? You can't argue with the Word, can you? It's all in the Word."  (Benny Hinn, "Benny Hinn" program on TBN [Oct. 3, 1990] ).

"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." (E.W. Kenyon, The Father and His Family, [1964] pg. 23)

I realize that these are simply a few of the statements made by some within the word-faith movement.  It is not meant to be an exhaustive listing (others have already documented these men and their work is readily available), only a representation of what they teach. Please take the time to research this for yourself if you have any doubt as to how often and how much time these teachers have spent on this subject. The questions before us are these; 1) Are these statements correct according to the Bible? 2) If they are not, does it really matter  that much to our theology or our understanding of God and our relationship to Him?


The Bible teaches that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26). We can conclude by this statement that in some ways, perhaps many, we are indeed "like" God. But does the Scripture imply that we are "created on terms of equality with God"  or that "God duplicated Himself in kind!"?

The Hebrew word for "image" (tselem) and the Hebrew word for "likeness" (demut) refer to something that is similar but not identical to the thing it represents or is an "image" of. It can also be used to refer to something that represents something else. These are the same Hebrew words used in Gen 5:3: "When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth". In just what ways Seth was in the "likeness" or "image" of Adam we do not know. It could have been his brown eyes, or curly hair, his height, or his disposition. What we do know is that Seth was not an exact copy or duplicate of Adam any more than our children are an exact duplicate of ourselves.

What about after the fall of man, do we still maintain the "likeness" of God, or do we take on some other likeness? Certainly, man's "likeness" to God after the fall was distorted in the sense of moral purity. Man's sinful character does not represent a "likeness" of God. However, in Gen 9:6 God gives Noah the authority to establish a civil penalty, death, for murder among human beings just after the flood. God says "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." This clearly indicates that man retains at least some of his "likeness" to God even after the fall. To attack man is to attack the part of creation that is most like God Himself.

Scripture also declares that things reproduce themselves after their "own kind". Does is stand to reason that God, then, in His creative act, reproduced Himself "in kind" when He created the first man Adam? Our we, as some have stated, "as much an Incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth."? Again the Scriptures are clear in their depiction  of Jesus as unique. In John 3:16 we are told that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV). Some translations render "one and only" as "only begotten", but these terms are derived from the Greek word "monogenes". Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, Vol. 2, page 1144, renders "monogenes" as "only or unique, the only member of a kin or kind, hence generally only". Jesus was the only person in eternity to have God's very nature. He is God's only Son in kind. We are adopted as sons, grafted in, to the family to share as a joint heir with Christ Jesus. We are not the same by nature as God, but, through His grace, share in the inheritance he has for us as though we were.

In the area of dominion, it needs be mentioned, that no where is it implied that in order to have dominion over any subject "that you do everything that subject does" (see Benny Hinn above). This simply is absurd on it's face value. The implication would be that Adam could breath under water as fish do, inflict venomous wounds with his teeth, spin webs, lay eggs, fly, walk on walls (how much more of this do we need to examine?), drop quills from our back in defense, sting with our poisonous tails, etc. If ever there was a created being such as this, I assure you that it came from the mind of someone more closely like Stephen King than God. To have dominion is simply to "rule" over a given subject. To think this is even a topic that needs clarification seems sad to me.


Nowhere in the Scripture do we find the teaching that God has a body. In fact, the Bible teaches that "God is spirit"
(John 4:24). More than this we are told that it is sin to dare portray God in any way that it would imply that he has a material body. In Exodus 20:4-5 we read, "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." Here God tells us to not even think of him in human terms by trying to craft his image.

I realize that Mr. Hinn retracted the above statement when interviewed by Randy Frame for Christianity Today on Oct. 28, 1991, pg. 44-45. In his interview, Mr. Hinn admitted "That was a very dumb statement...I told my church the very next week that the statement was wrong." It must be remembered, however, that the "teaching" Benny Hinn gave on the triune nature of God was given under what he considered "revelation knowledge". This becomes a bit of a sticky situation for Hinn.  In Deuteronomy 13:1-5a we are told, "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God." Did Benny Hinn claim this "word" to be a prophecy? No, but in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 we are told that all gifts (knowledge, wisdom, healing, prophecy, etc.) come from one and the same Spirit who gives to each one as he determines. God warns us that even if the sign or wonder takes place (healings) but the person tells you to follow other gods (three gods each with their own body, soul, and spirit -- united in purpose but distinct) that you are to "purge the evil from among you" (Deut. 13:5b). This is not a personal attack upon Benny Hinn, but let us realize just how important God considers right thinking about him to be.


"Spiritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan's nature...Jesus tasted death -- spiritual death -- for every man." (Kenneth Hagin, The Name of Jesus [1981], pg.31, emphasis in original)

"Somewhere between the time He (Jesus) was nailed to the cross and when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane -- somewhere in there -- He died spiritually. Personally, I believe it was while He was in the garden." (Frederick K.C. Price, "Identification #3" [1980], audio tape #FP545, side 1)

"The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, 'My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?'. You don't know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, 'Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there -- the sign of Satan? Why didn't you put a lamb on that pole?' And the Lord said, 'Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross.' He said, 'I accepted, in My own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off." (Kenneth Copeland, "What Happened from the Cross to the Throne", [1990], audiotape #02-0017, side 2)

"He (Jesus) tasted spiritual death for every man. And His spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can't you see that? Physical death wouldn't remove your sins. He tasted death for every man. He's talking about tasting spiritual death." (Kenneth Hagin, "How Jesus Obtained His Name", Kenneth Hagin Ministries audiotape #44H01, side 1)

"When Jesus cried, "It is finished!", He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. There were still three days and nights to go through before He went to the throne...Jesus' death on the cross was only the beginning of the complete work of redemption." (Kenneth Copeland, "Jesus -- Our Lord of Glory", Believer's Voice of Victory 10, 4 [April 1982]:3)

"In hell He (Jesus) suffered for you and for me. The Bible says hell was made for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It was not made for men. Satan was holding the Son of God there illegally...The trap was set for Satan and Jesus was the bait." (Kenneth Copeland, Walking in the Realm of the Miraculous [1979], pg. 77)

"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 look like something the devil had never seen before. He 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." (Kenneth Copeland, "The Price of it All", Believer's Voice of Victory 19, 9 [Sept. 1991]: 4-6)

"Jesus was born again in the pit of hell. He was the firstborn, the firstbegotten, form the dead. He started the Church of the firstborn in the gates of hell...He went down to the gates and started His Church there...The Church started when Jesus was born again in the gates of hell." (Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, [1982], 212-213, emphasis in original).

"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 that. 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, 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 the same thing?" He said, "Oh yeah, if you'd had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could've done the same thing, 'cause you're a reborn man too." (Kenneth Copeland, "Substitution and Identification", [1989], tape #00-0202, side 2)

"Jesus is the first person ever to be born again." (Kenneth Hagin, The Name of Jesus [1981], pg. 29)



The position held by these individuals in the area of the atonement is, perhaps, the most offensive and most damaging of all to the nature, person and work of Jesus. Correct understanding of who Jesus is, what he did for us, and how he accomplished it is in fact the entire gospel message. If the Bible does not, as is suggested above, teach that Jesus' nature was changed into that of Satan, that he died "spiritually" in this process, suffered in hell totally helpless at the hands of Satan, and needed to be "born-again" to take his rightful place at the right hand of God the Father, then what these men (and others) are presenting us is indeed a "different gospel". Paul warned the Corinthian church in 2 Cor. 11:3-4, "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." (Emphasis mine). Paul continues by describing the men who teach these different things in verse 13, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Cor 11:13-15)

When we talk of the nature of Jesus, we are referring to what he is in essence and attribute. The Bible consistently affirms that Jesus, while fully human, never ceased to be fully God. Since it seems no problem to understand that Jesus was indeed human, or fully man, we shall concentrate on his Godhood. The following passages should help on this point.

    "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form." (Colossians 2:9)

    "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with     God something to be grasped." (Phil. 2:5-7)

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word ws with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
    "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." (John 1:14a)

The miracle of the incarnation is not one of adding "godhood" to a man in the person of Jesus. It was, rather, that God added humanity to his divinity. All that God is and has always been (omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, independent, unchanging, infinite, etc.) took on the nature of a servant, clothed in humanity, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the God-Man.

If "Somewhere between the time He (Jesus) was nailed to the cross and when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane" Jesus took on the nature of Satan, as Frederick K.C. Price maintains, we create for ourselves quite a problem.  According to John 1:29, Jesus is "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". But in order for a sacrifice to be acceptable to God, it must be without blemish or defect (See Leviticus 4: 3, 28 and 9: 3). In Deuteronomy 15:21 we are told, "if an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God." The question then becomes, how could God accept the sacrifice of Jesus if indeed his nature had become Satanic? If Jesus, at any time, became any less than God Himself, then the sacrifice would become less than perfect and would not be acceptable to God the Father for the remission of sin.

Once we accept that Jesus must have been perfect in every way according to all that God decrees, we eliminate the possibility of suggesting (as Ken Hagin Ken Copeland, Frederick K.C. Price and others do) that any of us could have paid the price upon the cross for the remission of man's sin. This is precisely why the author of Hebrews goes to such lengths to teach us of the greater priesthood of Christ. Hebrews 9:11-14 states it in this manner, "When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!"

It is indeed the blood of the Messiah, which was shed for us all on Calvary, which redeems us from the curse of the law of sin and death. It is not the suffering of a spirit in some Hell bound place at the tortuous hands of Satan himself which God demanded. God demands the sacrifice of perfection, unstained by sin, in the life of each of us. Since we could not meet the expectation of the law, God, himself, became a man so that he might become our perfect sacrifice. This is the "Good News" which we proclaim to the ends of the earth and for which the angels sing before the throne of God, "You are worthy...because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God". (Revelation 5:9).

It stands to reason that since Jesus never "died spiritually", he had no need to be "born again". It is an absurd concept that suggests that God "died spiritually" and needed re-birth. The new birth is a reality for all those who have accepted the finished work of Jesus on the cross and follow after him in obedience to his teachings. We needed someone to die in our place if we were to have any hope before the justice seat of God. Jesus did not need to sacrifice on his own behalf.

Proper understanding of who God is and what he has done for us is not an option. In order to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we need to know why he came, how he uniquely qualified before God to ransom us from sin, and how he went about accomplishing this task. Then, when we have appropriated his finished work for ourselves, we can "take this gospel into all the nations" and know that he is with us "even to the end of the age".


There are those who feel that any conversation regarding the correctness of doctrine is not only unnecessary, but a cause of great division within the body of Christ. Let me say now, and for the record, right thinking about God has never caused division. Many areas of our Christian walk fall under the liberty within Christ Jesus that each of us have. You may choose to abstain from wine, or not. You may choose to worship on Sunday, or any other day you prefer. You may choose to abstain from certain foods, or eat everything that is provided from the Lord. You may choose to wear makeup or leave yourself un-adorned. In all these things you have liberty, provided that you don't require others to follow your lead in these areas, nor lord it over others in an attempt to seem more "holy". Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord, it is between you and Him.

In the area of correct doctrine, however, such liberty does not exist. The following Scriptures are provided to show the importance of correct doctrine, both in the church as a whole, as well as the individual believer, from God's perspective as he has revealed it to us in His Word..

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
(Matthew 7: 15-23)

"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."  (1 John 2: 19)

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
(2 Cor 11: 13-15)

"Hate what is evil; cling to what is good." (Romans 12: 9)

"Deacons, likewise are to be men worthy of respect,...They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." (1 Timothy  3: 8-9)

"The Spirit clearly says that in the latter times some will abandon the faith to follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."

"If you point these things our to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed."

(1 Timothy 4: 1-2, 6)

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." (1 Timothy 4: 16)

"If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think godliness is a means to financial gain." (1 Timothy 6: 3-5)

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations." (2 Timothy 4: 3-5)

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