Question on WoF

EvaAugust1974

Well-Known Member
Hi all.

I posted this question in another forum yesterday, so I'm sorry if this also is the wrong one.

There's a couple in my Bible study group who seem to me are involved in the WoF movement. We always end with prayers. Sometimes they lay their hands on me while praying prosperity, speaking in tounges, which to me is not biblical. They spoke in tounges in Paul's time. But that was then. Now we have translation books.

Lately, I've been asking myself wether it is wrong for me to let them lay their hands on me, when I think it is not of God`? Advice please? Am I way off?

YSIC, Eva.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
Eva I'm sorry, I've just come back on, and saw this question. First off no you are not way off. In fact you are ABSOLUTELY right.

Your biblical discernment is working perfectly!

Word of Faith people believe very strongly that they can impart or give you something of their "spirit" which they think is the Holy Spirit.

Some WOF people ARE Christians, just misguided (and you really don't need them laying hands on you, they need prayer and gentle correction to bring them to a real understanding of what the Bible says).

BUT SOME WOF people aren't even saved, because they never understood the God of the Bible, the gospel. And they MUSTN'T lay hands on you EVER!!!!

Either way they have a cult like misunderstanding of the Bible, and either way you DON'T want what they have to give.

By you giving them permission to lay hands on you you are saying yes to whatever spirit they are operating with.

If you are sensing there is a problem then THERE IS A PROBLEM!

If they are truly of God and have the Holy Spirit, they will have a gentle spirit and be ok with you saying NO THANK YOU, I'D prefer NOT to have hands laid on me!

If that offends them, that tells you something about what spirit may be operating thru them.

The bottom line is NO, DON'T let anyone lay hands on you without your express permission and certainly not Christians who have a very faulty understanding of God, Salvation and the gospel.



In Biblical terms the laying on of hands in the New Testament is to commission someone for service in ministry, or to pray for God's healing for someone or to impart a gift of the Holy Spirit although that can happen without the laying on of hands. In the Old Testament it was done to give blessing or authority so very similar. Consecration for service of God is in both Old and New Testaments.

It's actually a very serious act before God.

In 1 Timothy 5:22 Christians are cautioned NOT to lay hands on one another too hastily (too quickly without thinking and praying first) in case you participate in that person's sins. I'll give the Amplified version here because it helps get to the full meaning of that verse.

1 Timothy 5:22 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
22 Do not be in a hurry in the laying on of hands [giving the sanction of the church too hastily in reinstating expelled offenders or in ordination in questionable cases], nor share or participate in another man’s sins; keep yourself pure.


The meaning of that verse is related to commissioning someone or consecrating them (setting them aside) for the ministry in some way. People who are being commissioned for ministry need to meet some qualifications. This warning is about making someone into a pastor or other leader without really checking first if they are truly called and equipped or if they have some moral failures or habitual sins that could tarnish the church. P0eople who consecrate or commission someone into service are held somewhat responsible if they did so without checking if the person was fit for service.

Sometimes people make that verse out to mean don't let others lay hands on you hastily, but that isn't what that verse means.

HOWEVER it is wise to avoid letting people lay hands on you unless they are part of the elders of the church who are expected to be in good order with their lives.

Like here:
James 5:14-16 King James Version (KJV)

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

When you allow someone to lay hands on YOU, you are giving them permission to impart something to you, whether it's healing or consecration for service.

If it's healing these WOF people want to give you, it is proper to call the elders of your church -- not theirs --to come and anoint you with oil and pray for healing. But again, you should know and trust the person laying hands on you and pray for protection from God that if there is anything off about the elders that God would protect you.

Eva I hope that helps and I'm going to flag my reply because Adrian (Matt 5:4) has a greater understanding and can counsel you more accurately than I can but it's Sunday and he may be pretty busy with church stuff as he is a pastor. If Adrian says differently please listen to him. His counsel is one I trust implicitly!

Meanwhile Eva, just know that your discernment is working great!

Biggest hugs! :bighug
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
While I personally do not have an issue with tongues per se, I do not know these people who want to lay hands on you or by what spirit they are operating. They may be godly and sincere—but I just do not know and, therefore, I cannot advise you in that regard. I can advise you, however, that if you do NOT feel comfortable with them, then do not allow them to lay hands on you. Be kind and gentle with them, and if they want to pray for you by themselves, then fine. But don't allow them to lay hands on you for prayer. God can (and does) heal without hands being laid on a person.

I pray this helps.
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
As for tongues it is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but cults like WOF often insist you MUST be speaking in tongues to be fully living as a Christian. They put an emphasis on the gift rather than the giver who is GOD, and they presume to say what gift is important where God plainly shows in Paul's epistle to the Corinthians that it is at God's discretion, and God's will.

And it is for the common good which means the need around us, IN the Body of Christ which is the church. So God uses the individual gifts as HE pleases to accomplish what He wants and it is for the common good, not necessarily for the individual to say that they have such and such a gift.

There are many gifts as Paul said in 1 Cor. 12 4-11 and vs 30 here plus on to Chapter 13. where Paul emphasizes HOW we are to use our gifts. Then chapter 14 where Paul explains, we should desire gifts but especially the gift of prophecy. He says in verse 5 of that 14th chapter, that he wishes all could speak in tongues (again, pointing to the fact that all don't speak in tongues) but even more so that they should prophesy.

Just read it in this and several other versions and take note of the part I've put in BOLD. You'll see that Paul emphasizes many gifts that work together for the common good of the church, and that it is up to God who gets which gift to use in God's service. At the end Paul asks a rhetorical question, one that has the answer already there and in verse 30 he plainly asks expecting a NO for an answer "all do not speak with tongues do they?" The implied answer is NO, all don't speak with tongues but the point of the passage is to stop emphasizing one gift over another.

1 Corinthians 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Use of Spiritual Gifts
12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.


4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.


12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19 If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20 But now there are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23 and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24 whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25 so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.


27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30 All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts.

And I show you a still more excellent way.

1 Corinthians 13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Excellence of Love
13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.


4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Margery speaking here:
There is a division within the Body of Christ as to whether or not Chapter 13: v 8-10 mean that tongues ceased when "the perfect comes, the partial will be done away". For many that means when the canon of Scripture was closed, the perfect came, and tongues was done away. That position is called Cessationism.

However another large number within the Body of Christ see it differently, pointing to the the fact that Knowledge is not done away with yet and in verse 12 we may actually see a reference to what happens after we see Christ face to face when we are able to finally fully know as we are fully known by God. That position is called Continuationism I think. And Continuationists will point out that according to the records of the early Church fathers, that even after the canon was closed (meaning the books of the Bible were agreed on, and no more added) that many of the gifts continued to operate.

There are extremes in both camps. Some cessationists refuse to consider the continuity of the gifts in the historical records of the early church past the closing of the canon while some continuationists insist that everyone who is saved can have the gift of tongues and should express that gift as a normal part of Christian life.

I am a continuationist. I don't believe the gifts ceased, but I don't believe that everyone who is saved has to speak in tongues. I think God gives gifts as He pleases and it's for the general edification of the Body of Christ according to the needs in each church or gathering together. However there are good people, solid Christians on this board who are cessationists and while we differ on this one point we are in general agreement on other points.



Chapter 14 goes on to explain that we should desire the gifts, but especially prophecy. Paul was making a point because the Corinthian church was getting all bent out of shape with an emphasis on tongues to the exclusion of other gifts. He ends that chapter by reminding them not to forbid tongues or prophecy but to keep it orderly.

Chapter 14: 5 says this:
5 Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying.

verses 13-19 here explain the proper orderly use of tongues and why.

13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. 16 Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

More on that here v22-33

22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.


26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, it should be by two or at the most three, and each in turn, and one must interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

and finally Paul concludes his teaching on the gift of Tongues this way:
37 If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord’s commandment. 38 But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.


39 Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues. 40 But all things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.
 
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athenasius

Well-Known Member
And here is Got Questions on the problems with Word of Faith teachings: https://www.gotquestions.org/Word-Faith.html

Question: "Is the Word of Faith movement biblical?"

Answer: Word of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical. It is not a denomination and does not have a formal organization or hierarchy. Instead, it is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Fred Price.


The Word of Faith movement grew out of the Pentecostal movement in the late 20th century. Its founder was E. W. Kenyon, who studied the metaphysical New Thought teachings of Phineas Quimby. Mind science (where "name it and claim it" originated) was combined with Pentecostalism, resulting in a peculiar mix of orthodox Christianity and mysticism. Kenneth Hagin, in turn, studied under E. W. Kenyon and made the Word of Faith movement what it is today. Although individual teachings range from completely heretical to completely ridiculous, what follows is the basic theology most Word of Faith teachers align themselves with.

At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the "force of faith." It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God's sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god.

From here, its theology just strays further and further from Scripture: it claims that God created human beings in His literal, physical image as little gods. Before the fall, humans had the potential to call things into existence by using the faith-force. After the fall, humans took on Satan's nature and lost the ability to call things into existence. In order to correct this situation, Jesus Christ gave up His divinity and became a man, died spiritually, took Satan's nature upon Himself, went to hell, was born again, and rose from the dead with God's nature. After this, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to replicate the Incarnation in believers so they could become little gods as God had originally intended.

Following the natural progression of these teachings, as little gods we again have the ability to manipulate the faith-force and become prosperous in all areas of life. Illness, sin, and failure are the result of a lack of faith, and are remedied by confession—claiming God's promises for oneself into existence. Simply put, the Word of Faith movement exalts man to god-status and reduces God to man-status. Needless to say, this is a false representation of what Christianity is all about. Obviously, Word of Faith teaching does not take into account what is found in Scripture. Personal revelation, not Scripture, is highly relied upon in order to come up with such absurd beliefs, which is just one more proof of its heretical nature.

Margery talking for a moment here: Be very very careful when you hear someone say "God told me this, or God showed me this, and it's a brand new revelation. Anything coming from God will align with Scripture and it won't rely on a single verse or two out of context to back it up, it will have tons of scripture backing it up and furthermore, it will line up with Godly teaching from the past. I was in churches that were very much influenced by Word of Faith and these personal new meanings of Scripture or new revelations claiming that God said this or that to them were common.

another point is that many people caught up in Word of Faith don't know or believe all the weirder things, but they still feel they need to have faith in their faith, and if they don't then they are failing God in some way. To them I always point to

Hebrews 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I tell them Jesus is the one I have faith in, because when my own ability to have enough faith is no good, HE is the one who began it in me (gave me faith in HIM, and HE WILL FINISH it, in other words Jesus will COMPLETE IT FOR ME, filling up whatever I lack. I have faith in Christ, not in my own ability, not in my own "faith".
Back to Got Questions:


Countering Word of Faith teaching is a simple matter of reading the Bible.

God alone is the Sovereign Creator of the Universe (Genesis 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:15) and does not need faith—He is the object of faith (Mark 11:22; Hebrews 11:3).

God is spirit and does not have a physical body (John 4:24).

Man was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26, 27; 9:6), but this does not make him a little god or divine. Only God has a divine nature (Galatians 4:8; Isaiah 1:6-11, 43:10, 44:6; Ezekiel 28:2; Psalm 8:6-8).

Christ is Eternal, the Only Begotten Son, and the only incarnation of God (John 1:1, 2, 14, 15, 18; 3:16; 1 John 4:1). In Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).

By becoming a man, Jesus gave up the glory of heaven but not His divinity (Philippians 2:6-7), though He did choose to withhold His power while walking the earth as man.

The Word of Faith movement is deceiving countless people, causing them to grasp after a way of life and faith that is not biblical. At its core is the same lie Satan has been telling since the Garden: “You shall be as God” (Genesis 3:5). Sadly, those who buy into the Word of Faith movement are still listening to him. Our hope is in the Lord, not in our own words, not even in our own faith (Psalm 33:20-22). Our faith comes from God in the first place (Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 12:2) and is not something we create for ourselves. So, be wary of the Word of Faith movement and any church that aligns itself with Word of Faith teachings.
 
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GotGrace

Well-Known Member
Hi all.

I posted this question in another forum yesterday, so I'm sorry if this also is the wrong one.

There's a couple in my Bible study group who seem to me are involved in the WoF movement. We always end with prayers. Sometimes they lay their hands on me while praying prosperity, speaking in tounges, which to me is not biblical. They spoke in tounges in Paul's time. But that was then. Now we have translation books.

Lately, I've been asking myself wether it is wrong for me to let them lay their hands on me, when I think it is not of God`? Advice please? Am I way off?

YSIC, Eva.
What is wof?
 

athenasius

Well-Known Member
GotGrace, there are a lot of good threads over in the Apostasy in the Church section of RF that have a lot more than I touched on above. It's one of those things that affects a lot of churches but not everyone knows it's name or even that it's a thing. If you or Eva have more questions on it, by all means launch a thread over there, and one of us will be sure to respond.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
Word of Faith. If you need details about it, please see Athenasius's post immediately above yours.
Why would I want information about these guys? I'm too busy doing my best to follow in His footsteps to take any side trips through someone elses dubious way of interpreting God.

Having grown up in the North East US area, that doesn't seem to have a lot of these alternate religious systems, having been insulated from these systems seems to have been a blessing.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Why would I want information about these guys? I'm too busy doing my best to follow in His footsteps to take any side trips through someone elses dubious way of interpreting God.

Having grown up in the North East US area, that doesn't seem to have a lot of these alternate religious systems, having been insulated from these systems seems to have been a blessing.

I totally agree with you that focusing on God's Word to follow in His footsteps is the very, very best way to go!! :nod Praise God and how fortunate to be blessed with a spiritual insulation from these false teachings, may that be true for so many more places!

Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, this stuff has just permeated our area. When it first hit, I knew that there was something seriously wrong but could put my finger on what it was and why. What a blessing to have found RR and RF with so many resources explaining what was happening and how to unpack false teaching and delineate between biblical teaching and false teaching. It was so validating and strengthening, helping me to make sense of spiritual insanity and what/why it was happening.

So, I went through a time of really trying understanding the various winds of false doctrine blowing around vigorously just to know what they were and contend scripturally in my neck of the woods. Now, I'm so much more focused on God's Word, but feel very equipped to deal with false teaching when in comes up, by God's grace. There comes a point where it's wise to not waste any unnecessary time with false teachers and teachings but to be about God's instructions to share the Gospel. One does have to be very careful not to become too focused on false teaching that they are not fed by the Word of God....which in turn protects one from false teaching. In a sense, contending with false teaching strengthened me in God's Word, causing me to delve more deeply but I had to also remember to stay focused on God's Word. However, I also know that God in His grace grows us all in different ways......just sharing my story is all. :)

I find it interesting that in the New Testament that the first most spoken about subject is the Gospel, then the second, false teachings and to watch out for them. Just shows how we still have an enemy trying to subvert the Gospel. :sad
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
I totally agree with you that focusing on God's Word to follow in His footsteps is the very, very best way to go!! :nod Praise God and how fortunate to be blessed with a spiritual insulation from these false teachings, may that be true for so many more places!

Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, this stuff has just permeated our area. When it first hit, I knew that there was something seriously wrong but could put my finger on what it was and why. What a blessing to have found RR and RF with so many resources explaining what was happening and how to unpack false teaching and delineate between biblical teaching and false teaching. It was so validating and strengthening, helping me to make sense of spiritual insanity and what/why it was happening.

So, I went through a time of really trying understanding the various winds of false doctrine blowing around vigorously just to know what they were and contend scripturally in my neck of the woods. Now, I'm so much more focused on God's Word, but feel very equipped to deal with false teaching when in comes up, by God's grace. There comes a point where it's wise to not waste any unnecessary time with false teachers and teachings but to be about God's instructions to share the Gospel. One does have to be very careful not to become too focused on false teaching that they are not fed by the Word of God....which in turn protects one from false teaching. In a sense, contending with false teaching strengthened me in God's Word, causing me to delve more deeply but I had to also remember to stay focused on God's Word. However, I also know that God in His grace grows us all in different ways......just sharing my story is all. :)

I find it interesting that in the New Testament that the first most spoken about subject is the Gospel, then the second, false teachings and to watch out for them. Just shows how we still have an enemy trying to subvert the Gospel. :sad
Exactly.
And thank you for sharing your story ;)
 
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