Is Our Unbelief > God at Work in Us? – Part 4

Here is the next post in this series exposing the false doctrines of a Word-Faith teacher who stopped by a local church just long enough to drop a full load of heresy on its unsuspecting congregants.  I’m astounded that it’s been necessary for me to write five long articles debunking a handful of Prosperity Pete’s teachings from one single sermon – and I’m only dealing with a few selected quotes.  If I determined to critique the entirety of the message my response would be novel-length. This is ludicrous! The doctrines I’ve defended should all be obvious to the discerning reader of God’s word.  This is common sense, foundational level stuff, folks!  But somebody has to do it. These teachers have ministries because they have followers, else they would have long since abandoned the occupation.  So onward I press.

Quote:  “Unbelief is more powerful than God in you.”

Truth:

What truth?  I don’t see any truth here, just one great damnable lie.

Falsehood:

Man’s disposition of failing to trust upon the Lord who created him somehow overrides God’s ability to govern him.  When put like this it sounds even more ludicrous.  This idea stems from a typical Word-Faith teaching on the essence of faith itself.   They have hijacked the term and completely redefined it. Faith isn’t an unshakable trust and tenacious clinging to God and all his promises.  No, faith is a force, an internal power inherent in all humanity that can make things that are not as though they are.  In other words, faith has creative power when spoken, just as creation came into existence when God spoke. 

It’s not such an implausible idea when coupled with another Word-Faith doctrine that teaches men are little gods – carbon copies of the one true God.  After all we are made in his image. As little gods we have the same creative power with our words as God does. So faith is a power that is activated by the spoken word and causes things to happen in the spirit realm that will manifest itself in material reality.  By our ‘positive confession’ we can change the circumstances in our lives to bring us better results.  By claiming health and wealth, we can manipulate reality to actually grant us healthy bodies, thick pocketbooks and material possessions.  God is relegated to nothing more than a third rate genie in a bottle who grants us unlimited wishes to apprehend all the wares he has stocked up in his grand warehouse.  The idea is that God has already given us all things for both our spiritual and physical good, but we must apprehend those things with the force of faith to speak them into existence.  As I’ve heard more than one Word-Faith teacher proclaim, ‘God cannot do anything without our permission’.  He cannot work in the world or bless or even curse without man’s say so.

Conversely, our doubt and unbelief is a power unto itself, much the same as our faith.  Unbelief can cause us to make ‘negative confessions’ that will bring evil consequences into our lives.  if someone says, ‘I’ll get cancer because it runs in the family” then that’s exactly what will happen.  It appears to me what the Word-Faith teachers proclaim as unbelief is only faith.  In their theology (if it can be called that) since faith is centered on the mind and desires of man, whatever he thinks shall come to pass must, by consequence, be an act of faith.  It’s almost like the force of faith has a light and dark side – just like The Force in the Star Wars universe.  Well, anyway what Word-Faith advocates call unbelief is a power that binds God’s hands and silences his promises.  This faulty premise is what gives rise to Prosperity Pete’s outlandish claim that our unbelief is more powerful than God.  He doesn’t just say unbelief trumps God’s power in the battleground of our mind and soul, no he truly teaches God does not match up to our negative force of faith (AKA unbelief) PERIOD.  Let me remind you what he taught in his message on the subject (quoting from Part 1):

‘In a tone intimating someone’s objection he says, “‘Well , there’s nothing more powerful than God’. Read the book!”

Here he makes a generalization.  It isn’t about God being more powerful ‘in us’ it is speaking of God’s overarching authority and sovereignty over all creation.  He refers to a scripture proof to solidify his case that yes, unbelief is more powerful than God, PERIOD.

Now that we know exactly where he stands,  let’s begin to break this all down.

Let’s for just a moment assume Pete’s statement is true.  This ultimately means that God is subject to his creation.  If God is subject to the whims of fallen man then he is not all powerful or omnipotent.  If God is not all powerful then he is not sovereign over the earth, the course of history and the affairs of men. How could his plans ever be accomplished?  How could prophecy ever be fulfilled? Is this the scriptural teaching?  Let’s examine what the bible tells us about the omnipotence of God.

To say God is omnipotent is to say he is all powerful.  Throughout Scripture God is often referred to as ‘Almighty’.  This is a title identifying him as the absolute and universal sovereign of all creation.  The Greek word pantokrator, translated ‘almighty’ in the New Testament, means just that.   God, by his title alone debunks the absurd notion that he is not in total control of his own universe.

Many other scriptures testify to God’s omnipotence but I’ll throw out just a few that should suffice.  In the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke the angel Gabriel says to Mary, “With God nothing is impossible.” (v. 37).  Again, in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says, “With God all things are possible“.  These statements would be patently false if Pete’s claim that our unbelief can thwart God’s purposes holds true.  When the words of a mere man contradict the words that proceed from the mouth of God I’ll “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom 3:4).

God is not only all powerful he fully exercises his power over the works of his hands.  He governs the universe and everything within it, including the affairs of man.  Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ “upholds the universe by the word of his power“.

The psalmist declares “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Psalm 135:6).

God’s providence over human activities is addressed in Job chapter 12: “He makes nations great, and he destroys them; he enlarges nations, and leads them away. He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them stagger like a drunken man” (v. 23-25).

In the Book of Daniel God humbles the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and as a result he makes this stunning confession: “for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?””

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians writes (in the context of the election and predestination of men to salvation) that God “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (1:11).

In the final post we will examine Prosperity Pete’s prooftexts that man is more powerful than God.

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