For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 4:5-7)

Covering The Same Ground

Not long after I wrote Arrogance and Blasphemy: The Faith of Kenneth Copeland I was contacted by a reader of Apprising Ministries, whom at the time I didn’t know, concerning a church where the teachings of Kenneth Copeland and other Word Faith teachers was now being put forth from its pulpit. As I mention in the Copeland article early in my own walk with Christ I also found myself in a church just like the one this brother in Christ was sharing about.

“Discernment” ministries like AM are designed by the Lord to be a kind of spiritual military police unit assisting and protecting the Body of Christ during this apostasy. A work such as this can also be an invaluable tool for overworked and under supported pastors in helping them to become aware of numerous deceptions now quickly slithering into their local fellowships. They simply do not have the time to keep up and the Devil knows it. And due to time constraints myself I hadn’t even been able to get to this important story earlier.

Now whether you personally like those whom God has called and equipped in this capacity remains between you and the Lord. But I point this out as important background for you to understand that while we don’t talk that much about the Word Faith movement it has sadly become a strong force even within mainstream evangelicalism. This is why our brother’s point below is so well-taken:

While we take a stand against the big name megachurches such as Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell, we should also consider the impact that Rhema has had in pumping out thousands of preachers preaching this Word Faith stuff.

I get the feeling that this local church is under the guidance, well as the preacher says, his credential holders. My concern is for people who go to smaller churches and not realize the poison that is being said from the pulpits.

And this is why discernment ministries like AM do need your support. Unfortunately too much funding ends up going to the same big “name” ministries, who quite frankly really don’t “need” to do yet another conference in the exact same big cities. You see where the problem is in both cases? If all the Lord’s ministries concentrate upon the same cities and the same people things like what I’ll fill you in about below will only grow worse. I know I’d be perfectly happy ministering in small communities but how can we afford to unless others sacrifice with us financially. Food for some prayerful thought.

The Heresy Of The Word Faith Movement

Those points made I turn more specifically to the issues brought up by my brother below.

I myself used to attend this church and I have seen it move from being a full gospel Christ centered church into one that is in complete rebellion to God. I have seen the devastation caused by the Word of Faith preaching and its cultic tendencies.

The preacher is getting away with making vile heretical statements and everyone there is following him. I cry for this church and I am in constant prayer for it. I have many friends there who have been so blinded by its teaching.

The church he is talking about is First Assembly of God in Indiana, PA with “Head Pastor” Jake Shelatz. Our brother then provides us with an example of this blind teaching of Shelatz. What you’ll see is right line with the Word Faith pillar of the Ecumenical Church of Deceit of the new evangelicalism. To be perfectly honest this same centered on man malarkey is itself deeply embedded in The Idol of Evangelicalism as well:

The preacher claims that the Bible tells us “Jesus wept” because Jesus had said that He was going to raise Lazarus and no one would believe Him. But later with a smile on His face and pulling His shoulders back Jesus said “Lazarus come forth.”

Truthfully, from studying this cult of the Word Faith church for years, though I’ve not personally heard Kenneth Copeland specifically teach this foolishness I sure could hear him saying it smugly. In Apprising You Of Joel Osteen’s Word Faith Teaching I point out that this whole false idea of speaking “faith-filled words” comes from the murky cultic waters of the repackaged Gnosticism of the metaphysical Mind Science cults such as Christian Science and the Unity School of Christianity. Essentially we are being taught the physical world is an illusion.

Our brother then goes on in his heartfelt letter:

My point is sharing this with you is that you may pass on the info through your sites as a warning to others. Also to ask others to join in prayer that this church may return to true faith in Jesus Christ.

May Jesus Christ alone be exalted! May Jesus Christ reign! May Jesus Christ come back soon!

Amen my brother. And with his letter he pointed me to Aleris, which is the website of Alan Seymour, who is a Christian Therapist and Campus Minister in Indiana, PA. In his November 7 post Word of Faith – Name It Claim It, But Do Not Call It Christianity Seymour says:

I wanted to notify the church and let them know that I would be posting these [comments/sermons] and give them a chance to reply if they wish. I want to be fair to them and give them a chance to reply to the dangerous comments that were made from the pulpit.

As I stated I would give you the name of the Pastor and the church. They did not respond to my email letting them know I was posting his sermons. His church is Indiana First Assembly of God,…

The Pastor’s name is Jake Shelatz, and he is a Word of Faith preacher, which is neither Pentecostal nor Evangelical, and is in fact a cult and heresy. Below you will see in his own words that he is Word of Faith, so there is no need to demonstrate it from what he says.

Proclaiming The New Evangelical Sovereignty Of Man

But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. (Psalm 115:3, NASB)

I also have copies of some of Shelatz’ sermons and can verify that what Seymour points out next is not taken out of context. In line with what you would read in my Osteen article referenced earlier you’ll see below Shelatz spouts the classic Word Faith heresy of the sovereignty of man speaking his own words of faith supposedly filled with creative power:

Well we talked about this. Well I’m going to be healed, I’m going to be healed, I’m going to be healed. No you are healed. So what happening is just a minor adjustment… Faith is, I have it now. [long pause] Do you understand that’s why Jesus said the Bible says that you [exaggerates] were healed by the stripes of Jesus. Most people are trying to get healed.

You got to release your faith by saying it. [loud voice] Say it. Say it. Say it. Say it. You got to [emphasizes] Say more than you believe because the Bible says you will have whatsoever you say. Not whatsoever you believe. [long pause] If you ask most folks what’s more important the believing or the saying? Well most folks will say believing is. No, they’re equally important. [strong voice] You got to believe and you got to say

You will have whatsoever you say. Speak it. Now listen. We get in a lot of trouble with folks, you say you word of faith preachers because all you preach is blab it and grab it, name it and claim it and whatever else. You can be upset about it as you want to be but the fact of the matter is it’s a Godly principle and it rules the Kingdom of God and if you want to be blest you better say it.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the teachings of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and dozens of other TBN clones recognize this Word Faith jargon immediately. Not only that but even Shelatz himself acknowledges that he is a Word Faith preacher. Men and women I can tell you from much personal experience with this type of metaphysical mumbo jumbo of Word Faith heresy that Seymour is absolutely correct when he warns:

This is a perfect religion, cult, for a materialistic society, especially when the promise is made to a poorer community, as Indiana, PA. People flock to the possibility of the “get rich” quick scheme.

Seymour is right because this type of greed-based self-centered teaching in the cult of the Word Faith movement plays quite well here in this nation whose made an idol of narcissism. And Seymour also brings out that this kind of spiritual poison is so very harmful to an area of depressed economy. You need to know that the enemy of men’s souls has been playing with the wants of human beings for thousands of years and he and his minions know exactly how to shipwreck the weaker Christian’s faith.

And not only that but when the promise of wealth and health in this Word Faith self-fest isn’t delivered the preacher is then free to blame the flock for their lack of faith. You see it? The perfect philosophy for driving a wedge between God’s people. This article is offered with the prayerful hope that ministers in the Indiana, PA area will take a closer look at what is going on with Jake Shelatz before even more people are broken and led astray. No longer just on TBN but Word Faith is live and in color at First Assembly of God off the rails.