This particular sermon can also be entitled “ The God kind of faith” as mentioned by Pastor Prince in his opening to the sermon. However, this teaching did not actually originate from Hagin, but from E W Kenyon, the great grandfather of the WOF movement( Kenyon, Two kinds of Faith p 103). Hagin then took this teaching and developed it into his ‘God kind of faith” teaching (Hagin, New Thresholds, p 74)
This faith is a combination of positive confession and creative faith, which is distinguished from the “Man kind of faith” that is dependent on the physical senses. PP also mentions this as well when he talks about the devil trying to keep us in the sense realm as opposed to the faith realm. The teaching on the sense and faith realm is beyond the scope of this article but you can find it in Kenyon’s works. However, the part where PP departs from the norm is when he states that “ Who you believe in is important.” This goes against the previous statement about the God kind of faith as proposed by Hagin and other WOF teachers. The God kind of faith is faith in itself alone and apart from God. With the God kind of faith, you can believe, and speak! However, do note there is no mention of God’s will nor is there any mention of belief in God’s providence alone. There is some quasi-spiritual belief in one’s positive confession to overcome any and all problems and difficulties.
Pastor Prince in this case, does mention belief in God, but to what extent is unknown and not mentioned. Please note that such obfuscation is common in PP’s sermons as he tries to reconcile the fundamentals of Christianity with WOF beliefs.
Moving along, we come to the cusp of the sermon which is found in Mark 11: 12-14 and v 20-25. In this story, Jesus was passing by when he saw a fig tree without fruit. He then curses the fig tree. The following day, when He and his disciples passed by again, they saw that the fig tree had withered and Jesus begins to teach about prayer.
PP begins to talk about this passage and mentions examples of speaking in Faith with regards to healing. PP then says that exercising Faith is believing and speaking. (Does not matter if it is God’s will or not?) When you need healing, just speak to the disease in particular and curse it like Jesus! And how does Jesus accomplish this feat? Referring to v 22, He says, “ Have faith in God.” PP then goes onto say that in the original greek, it is “ have the God kind of faith” Now, to clarify, what he is trying to say is that the original translation says “ have the faith OF God.” That is, the kind of faith God exercises in creating the world. PP then goes on to say that we should follow Jesus’ example in speaking and exercising that same kind of faith( Speaking to the weather, speaking to leprosy etc…) Jesus lived life by speaking and He shows us what man is to live like?
Now before I go now, let’s look again at the issues at hand:
1- Have faith in God or have the “God” kind of faith
2- God had faith when creating and speaking things into existence
3- With God’s kind of faith, you can be like Jesus, speaking to the weather, casting demons out, healing the sick etc…
Okay, let’s look at point one. The God kind of faith was actually originally touted by Kenyon. (Two kinds of faith p 103 Kenyon). Kenyon actually accepts both translations of this verse but not so here in PP’s sermon. Hagin then took this teaching further to deduce that this kind of Faith is the same kind of faith that God exercised when He spoke the universe into existence and is dealt to in our hearts ( New Thresholds p 74, Hagin)
However, according to McConnell( quoted from A different gospel), this concept is based on an erroneous translation of Mark 11:22 as a subjective genitive. C E B Cranfield, a prominent NT scholar states that such a translation “is surely a monstrosity of exegesis.” In the original greek, Faith or pistis, is frequently followed by a genitive construction and is always translated as an objective genitive! That means, as all reliable translators and translations of the Bible would have it, we should translate Mk 11:22 as have faith IN God and not have faith of God! (see acts 3:16, Rom 3:22,26, Gal 2:16: 3:22 for some examples)
Secondly, did God have to have faith when he created the universe and spoke things into existence? According to the bible, Christ “ upholds all things by the word of His power( Heb 1:3), “ in Him all things hold together (Col 1:17) That is, God’s word has no power apart from God himself. God does not need faith to create anything and does not need faith to hold all things together. God’s word has power because God is all power.
Thirdly, can we really behave like Jesus in speaking to the weather and to diseases? I covered this briefly in my last article but I will reiterate again that Jesus could do the things He did because (This may come as a revelation to some of you)…He IS GOD! Referring to point two above, if Jesus is God, He does not need faith to make things happen because He is the source of all power and in Him, all things are made that was made!
PP continues to say that by believing and speaking, we are acting like out Father in heaven! Wow! Imagine you can be like GOD?!! Does this remind you of an incident in the garden of Eden? Anyway, just to detract from the above, PP mentions that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Now this passage comes from Provb 18:21 and PP goes onto say “if you love talking about death, you will eat it, if you love life, you will eat its fruit.” Now let’s look at this passage in context from v19-21:
19 A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city,
And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
20 A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;
From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Thus, in the context of the passages above, one may understand that the writer is not writing about words having power to create or destroy like God but that the words you say may affect yourself and others emotionally and can have dire consequences if not used correctly. This is the context when the writer starts with v19 where a brother is offended. (See Jer 17:9, Matt 15: 18-20, Matt 12: 34-36 for more details on this subject matter)
Coming back to the passage in Mark 11:
20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
After verse 23, comes verse 24 where Jesus tells His disciples to “Pray”! Strange that Jesus would say that and not just “Speak”! Was it because WE are not as powerful with our words as Jesus? And if so, we need to pray to God to meet our needs??
Unfortunately, PP does not really talk about this, rather, he mentions that speaking has got to do with praying?! So whatever you desire, a house, healing for your body…What things so ever you desire?!!(Emphasis mine) Does this mean you can also wish for a million bucks, maybe a Ferari or a private jet? Or how about the death of your enemies? PP does not mention it here but maybe you might want to check with God on whether you can or should have such things??
With this, I leave you my friends to decide on the validity of speaking and believing as Pastor Prince does and whether there is any truth in the Bible about what PP says.