Monday evening, we were back in downtown Clearwater, singing and praising God before we split into teams. A man on his bicycle stopped to watch us, and Josh P asked him to join us, and he did. After the praise time had ended, Josh began to discuss with the man eternity and Jesus Christ. The man knew something of it, but we all could tell that something was wrong. Then the man mentioned Kenneth Copeland.
I don't know how many people know of his ministry, but Mr. Copeland believes that we have the same power as Jesus to cure diseases and other earthly ailments, particularly the afflictions we suffer ourselves--nevermind that John the Apostle did not die of persecution, that Paul's request of healing was denied, that Jesus Himself promised us tribulations and afflictions, and that God doesn't promise life without death, but resurrection. All these things I mentioned to Dave, but he insisted that he (and we) have been given the power to do greater works that Jesus Himself. Now, Jesus did say that (John 14:12), but what would be the purpose of those works? To show the Father to the world, which is what Jesus Himself came to do. Then I asked Dave a question:
"Jesus raised people from the dead, and you are talking about foot pain. How is this doing greater works than Jesus?"
He tried to bluff, but he could not answer. So I firmly told him, "You are serving yourself, you are not serving the Lord, and you need to repent." That ended our exchange.
I was greatly saddened by that man. He has swallowed a lie because he has not believed the whole Word of God. "WithHis stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5) and "by Whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24) are either falsehoods from God (because Christians die from various ailments everyday) or a deeper promise than a remedy for earthly nuisances. Jesus promised us eternal life, not the easy life. Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, etc., do not believe that, but we must, if we expect to find God true to His Word.