|By: Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr.John Weldon; ©2012|
|Given that the devil’s sin was pride and self-aggrandizement, it is not surprising that he would find it difficult to relinquish the self-love that produced his notoriety. Unfortunately, people rarely comprehend where a self-love philosophy that mimics the devil’s may lead them.|
Given that the devil’s sin was pride and self-aggrandizement, it is not surprising that he would find it difficult to relinquish the self-love that produced his notoriety. Unfortunately, people rarely comprehend where a self-love philosophy that mimics the devil’s may lead them. Those angel authors who define the devil as “ego-dominated personality,” or similar euphemisms, need to rethink the implications.
One of the most popular angel teachings is that people must learn to esteem and love themselves above all else, even above God Himself. But since they are God, it’s really one and the same thing. Consider a few examples:
• “Our Being is a wonder that has no name....”
• “We are not separate from God. We are God....”
• “Self-love will nurture and nourish you.... Forge ahead into the everlasting wonderful effects of true self-love.... Simply allow feelings of love for yourself to emerge. Here they come. Now bask in the light of self-love.... Eventually, you find yourself fully in the golden light as you step forward on the path of self-love with your angelic guide from the energy system of divine love.... Regardless of what you think is good or bad, right or wrong,... you must accept life as perfect in being just what it is. You are perfect in being who you are right now... human life is basically good.... You belong to heaven. Love your frailty and your humanity. It connects you to the creative force in the universe.... As you love the weakness of being human, you will grow strong inside.... Your [angel] teacher speaks.... ‘You do love yourself, and this is okay. You are beautiful.... You are life divine—you are love itself.’... The more you generate this heavenly love for yourself the more magnificent life will be.... You are transformed by self-love. You thank your angel guide and then thank yourself.”
• “You do not need to ask permission to love yourself,... nothing less is sufficient to you or God.”
• “[Claiming] your own goodness... [will] further goodness on the earth.”
• “You have a Buddha nature.... Here for your use in meditation is a powerful mantra.... ‘I am love, I give love, I accept love.’…”
The problem here is that this kind of self-esteem is based on the false concept that man in his true nature is divine. And once the creation and the creature become God, then everything is reduced to the lowest common denominator and everything in the creation ends up with the same value. As the popular angels teach, “Nature has no favorites; it loves the frog and the fish equally; it supports the bird and the dog in the same ways.... You and we, your angelic teachers, are each essential parts of the system, neither more nor less.”
If the tree and the rock and the dog and the frog are just as much God as everything else, then there is no fundamental difference between things. The irony is that this does not elevate man, it degrades him to the lowest element of nature.
Regardless, this kind of self-love and self-esteem teaching provides an entrance into the church through modern psychology and the positive confession movement. As noted earlier, many modern angel books use terminology directed toward Christians. One particularly potent occult text encourages readers to “endow each angel with the Will of God, the Love of Christ, and the Action of the Holy Spirit.”
As we documented in The Facts on the Faith Movement and The Facts on False Teachings in the Church (eBooks), the modern faith/positive confession leaders usually claim that they have received their unique teachings by direct divine revelation, occasionally through the mediation of angels. In these books, we have shown that such teachings are not biblical and could not have come from God or the good angels.
If the proponents’ claims to supernatural inspiration are legitimate, then only one source of revelation remains. Perhaps it is significant that many spirit guides today have positive confession tapes on sale by their mediums.
The popular angels also support and endorse positive confession teachings. Terry Lynn Taylor remarks, “Angels are the missing link in the chain of... self-help, self-development, and self-reliance programs.... Angels are heaven-sent agents who are always available to help you create heaven in your life.”
The entire purpose of the book Creating with the Angels: An Angel-Guided Journey into Creativity is to use angels as a means to create success in every area of life. One angel says, “Abundance is a state of mind that leads to physical manifestation of physical resources. But, more important, abundance is a state of spirit that initially awakens the minds to its creative possibilities. You are being led toward abundant thinking, feeling, loving, and participating in life so that you will be in a position to encourage wholism in every form wherever you find it.”
The popular angels often speak in the same words and cite the same biblical passages as the modern Christian prosperity teachers. In The Angels Within Us we read, “The Bible also says, By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned’ (Matt. 12:37); ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue’ (Prov. 18:21); and, ‘Thou shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee’ (Job 22:28). Charles Fillmore, cofounder of Unity, wrote, ‘The spoken word carries vibrations through the universal ether.... And Ernest Holmes, founder of the Church of Religious Science has written, ‘The word gives form to the unformed....’”
Other teachings from this same occult book also reflect basic Christian prosperity beliefs: “We should meditate for an understanding of what produced the original condition of lack in our minds, speak the word for a healing of that mental-emotional condition, and then work consciously with the Angel of Abundance to reveal a divinely prosperous life.” Or, “Abundance is the true nature of God.... And when you identify this Spirit of God within as your abundance, your consciousness becomes the principle of prosperity. The energy flows into manifestation through you, forever reproducing the vibration of your consciousness in the world of form.” And, “When you contemplate the God Self I Am as infinite supply... you are deepening your awareness of the truth of your Reality.”
One popular angel reveals, “I have promised you unlimited prosperity.... I am the Lord your healer, I heal all your diseases, restore health to you, and heal your wounds. This is not to come. It is. In truth, you are healed now; you are whole.” The author tells his readers, “Make contact with the angel and ask how you are limiting your own success. Let him show you any false beliefs that may be blocking the flow from his perspective.”
Other popular angel books advise:
• “True abundance is the ability to see the abundance that is already ours.”
• “I harness the power that enables me to realize all of my desires and objectives.... I have the power to know what is best.”
• “If we believe that we can have something... our higher selves—the parts of our psyches that are in communication with the angels—will begin to create it for us.”
• “I create my own miracles.”
That the modern Christian prosperity movement has aligned itself with the same teachings has given Christian leadership, across denominational lines, great concern that “faith teaching” is an avenue for the acceptance of doctrines of demons masquerading as angels. Consider the following statements made by several popular faith teachers.
Kenneth Copeland teaches, “When you use the Word in the name of Jesus they [angels] are obligated to follow your command.” Gloria Copeland thinks that there may be at least 40,000 angels assigned to each believer; thus, “there is no shortage of angel power,” and, “how long do you think it would take them to make you wealthy?” Unfortunately, “for the most part, the heirs of the promise have not been using the angel power available to them.” Thus, “Your words put the angels to work on your behalf to bring to pass whatever you say... the words of your mouth bind them or loose them to work for you.”
Charles Capps says that God supernaturally revealed the same truths to him. In Angels he says, “You need the supernatural beings of God working for you here on earth.” In Releasing the Ability of God he states, “The Spirit of God spoke this into my spirit just as plainly as if I heard it with my ears.... He said: ‘The Word says the angels are ministering spirits. These ministering spirits stand beside you daily and listen to the words that you speak…. But you are the one who tells them what to do.” Thus, “Angels will work for you. They will become involved in every area of your life—your home, your business, everything—but only to the extent that you allow them to operate.”
Kenneth Hagin claims that in 1958 “the Lord Jesus suddenly appeared” before him, with an angel standing three feet behind Him. In I Believe in Visions he reveals, “He [Jesus] said, ‘This is your angel.’ ‘My angel?’ I asked. ‘Yes, your angel, and if you will respond to him, he will appear to you as I will at times; and he will give you guidance and direction concerning the things of life….’”
Jerry Savelle says that when we apply the principles of the Faith Movement, “the angels come on the scene to see that what you say comes to pass.” John Osteen teaches that, “When you become a covenant-person, God assigns angels to watch you and your family....” Robert Tilton says, “When you talk positively about your dream, you not only release its substance, but you release the angels to work for you, causing your dream to come to pass.” Benny Hinn also accepts the supposed ministry of the “faith” angels.
Our concern is that Christians are being conditioned to have a particular expectation about angels that is not biblical, and that the angelic characteristics and promises are similar to what channelers with spirit guides claim about the spirits they contact.
In 1987, Kenneth Copeland gave a prophecy “from Jesus Christ” in which “Jesus” promised that new and dramatic angel manifestations were going to increase in the church and that many “will have visitations from the spirit realm.” Concerning the angels, “Jesus” allegedly told Copeland:
A very outstanding time is on the way. A time is coming when there will be manifestation of angels more than usual, more than there has been in the past. Many of you are going to witness for yourselves the angel that has been put in charge and in command of your ministry and your life. Many of you are going to have visitations from the spirit realm. Many of you will have divinely appointed visions and dreams.... Oh, there’s no time nor distance in the spirit realm. You’ll be connected together at times like you’ve never witnessed before. Suddenly, you will be standing in that [spiritual] country, and suddenly you’ll deliver a message and then suddenly you’ll be brought back in your kitchen again. Oh, I have some outstanding things, sayeth the Lord.
But this “Jesus” also denied his own deity when he said: “Don’t be disturbed when people accuse you of thinking you are God…. They crucified me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in me. Hallelujah. That’s what you are doing.” But in the Bible Jesus did claim to be God when He said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 NASB), and “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), and “Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58; cf. John 1:1,14; Phil. 2:9; Heb. 1:3,8-10; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:1).