A review of T.D. Jakes’ Code Orange Revival sermon

This article is a review of T.D. Jakes’ Code Orange Revival sermon, preached on 20 January 2012 at Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

T.D. Jakes is the leader of The Potter’s House, a 30,000 member congregation located in southern Dallas, Texas. I had never heard a T.D. Jakes sermon before, though I knew of his reputation. I was curious to see – if only via an Internet video stream – the man that Elevation Church reminded us was named ‘America’s Best Preacher’ by Time Magazine. Would I be able to uncover the secret of his mystique? And would he preach the Biblical Gospel?

After 40 minutes or so of emotionally intense praise and worship, Steven Furtick, founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church, introduces Jakes to the manifestly ecstatic, cheering crowd. Furtick promises that God is about to speak to us, that our lives will never be the same:

God’s gonna honour your faith. He’s going to shake you, and He’s gonna remake you. And He’s gonna do things in your life that will blow your mind. And we’re believing that for you tonight.

We’re in revival. If you’re joining us from all over the world, you need to know that this is night 10 of Code Orange Revival. We’re coming to you live from Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, reaching over a 100 countries all over the world. And God has made an appointment with you tonight. He’s about to speak something to you. Your life will never be the same. In His presence is fullness of joy.

These things are not being done in a corner.

Furtick is on a roll:

If you’ve never heard T.D. Jakes preach, listen, you have heard Bishop T.D. Jakes preach. Let me explain that. Every preacher who has anything to say rips off Bishop T.D. Jakes. Bishop T.D. Jakes is the preacher, if you attend this church, who feeds your soul every single week. And you didn’t even ever know to write him a thank you note. Most of us quit apologising for how much we ripped-off Bishop T.D. Jakes a long time ago, because we were taking more time in our sermons attributing the credit to him for the way he fed our souls than we were actually preaching. So when Bishop Jakes said that he would be with us at Code Orange Revival, I just made up my mind that we would sing just enough to get you ready, and not show any videos or anything like that, and that I would sit down on my orange chair on the stage, and I would have the best night of my life listening to my favourite preacher in the world.

That’s some build-up. But Furtick has not yet finished:

When someone has touched your soul and been an instrument of God that speaks so deeply to you, and then, he agrees to come and share with your church, and help build your church, that’s gotta be one of the most meaningful moments of your life.

I want you to know, Bishop Jakes, that there’s a whole generation of younger pastors who, because you’ve been a pioneer to stay faithful to God’s word, and to preach with such power, that we’re now charging forward in the name of Jesus. And I want to let you know personally, that I’m gonna do my best to make you proud.

Furtick concludes his panegyric:

I appreciate the fact that you would come and be with us tonight. But, more importantly, I appreciate the fact that you’ve got a bunch of hungry people in here, who are about to lose their minds. Elevation Church, at every location, I want you to stand up on your feet right now, and let’s welcome to the stage the Greatest Preacher of Our Time – Bishop T.D. Jakes. Come on, let’s show him some embarrassing love.

Jakes takes the stage. He acknowledges the crowd’s standing ovation.

His charisma is immediately apparent.

He courts the crowd with some gentle banter. He is approachable. He is humorous. He is the embodiment of the idealized kindly grandfather.

He is your grandfather.

The audience cheer and offer their applause. This is the one whom those camping outside on the streets came to see.

Jakes praises Steven Furtick and Elevation Church. The Elevators love him. And Jakes makes sure that they know their love is reciprocated.

Jakes impresses with his modesty. With a suddenly faltering vulnerability, he declares:

I’m gonna spend most of my time just going right, er, er, to, to the word of God. I’m, er, um, honoured and appreciative of all of His goodness in my life. And, er, [I’m] trying to seek Him, trying to serve Him, trying to learn more of His grace and power. I, I think that I am more fascinated with Him now than I have ever been in my life.

Jakes carefully modulates his speech.

He starts softly, then builds to a minor crescendo, as he demonstrates that he is steeped in the knowledge and language of the Scriptures, the result of 33 years of ministry. With a rhythmic cadence, Jakes proclaims the praises of a majestic God:

It will never grow old. It will never grow weary. You will never reach the end of Him. From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. His, His riches are unsearchable. His love incomprehensible. His ways past finding out. You will grow old and wither away, and still be searching the newness of God. His mercies are new every morning. Aren’t you glad you’re washed in the blood of the Lamb?

The cheering audience is enraptured. Surely, this is how a man of God must speak.

Little wonder that Furtick is captured by his spell.

Barely a few minutes in and Jakes, the master communicator who overcame his childhood lisp, has already won this crowd.

They trust him.

He is the humble, faithful servant who loves his God.

Abruptly, the tone changes. Everyone relaxes. Jakes turns to Hebrews chapter 4. We’re going to start in the Scriptures, as befits the preaching of the man from God.

Unexpectedly, there’s a problem. Jakes has lost one of his notes.

Temporarily disoriented, he looks around.

Someone hands him the missing note, just in time to prevent the enchantment from being shattered.

Jakes changes tempo – he’s back in control. He has everyone stand for the reading of God’s word. Jakes reads from the King James Version – he is reassuringly and self-deprecatingly old school.

We begin with the eighth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, verse forty-six:

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

He elaborates a little on the text, then moves quickly to Hebrews 4:15–16. He wants to ‘play with these two texts and see whether we can get them to cohabitate [sic] together.’

Jakes jokes with the crowd as he waits for them to find the book of Hebrews. They laugh adoringly with him.

Jakes begins to read:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be…

He pauses for a fraction of a second.

He enunciates the next word – ‘touched’ – with explosive emphasis.

He continues his recitation:

…with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come [‘How?’, Jakes interjects] boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jakes reads with passion and feeling. You could listen to him read Scripture all day and still be eager for more.

He explains that he read all of that to get one word: ‘Touched, touched’.

Touch is the theme of tonight’s sermon.

Jakes changes pace. The crowd needs their release, a moment to reflect upon the word ‘touched’. The background music, which had stopped unnoticed minutes before, now resumes as Jakes prays, beseeching the Holy Spirit for His glory. Jakes’ humility is again on display:

There really is no preacher but You. There is no glory but Yours. There is no word but that word which proceedeth out of Your mouth. And we come before You like sparrows with our mouths open, waiting for, for bread to fall into our mouths. Feed us O God, until we want no more.

As Jakes finishes his prayer, he builds up to another carefully crafted crescendo – higher than the last, but nevertheless merely anticipatory of those yet to come. He truly is lord of the rhetorical arts and master of his own voice, consciously aware of the effect of his intonation’s every nuance.

Jakes begins his sermon proper. He talks at length about the importance and power of human touch. Words are insufficient – some meaning can be conveyed only through touch.

His discussion moves back to the book of Hebrews. He outlines with an infectious enthusiasm his understanding of the book: it is a comparative analysis of the Old and New covenants, ‘so that we might understand that what we have in our contemporary society – through the blood of Jesus Christ – is a better thing.’

This is the evening’s second mention of the blood of Christ. Surely, we must be hearing Gospel?

Jakes holds forth on why the New Covenant is better than the Old:

[God] always takes you to something better, never lesser. God is always in the business of taking you forwards, never backwards. He’s not in the business of diminishing you, he’s in the business of increasing you. He doesn’t want to divide you, he wants to multiply you. He doesn’t want to subtract from you, he wants to add on to you. And wherever God is, He will take you from faith to faith, and from glory to glory.

The crowd laps up the rhetoric. This is what they have yearned to hear. Jakes waits for the applause to quiet.

A niggling doubt begins to surface.

Is this the Gospel? That God is in the business of ‘increasing us’? Is that why the blood of Christ was shed?

What of John the Baptist, who said ‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ (John 3:30)? Has not the Lord ‘made all things for himself’, ‘even the wicked for the day of doom’ (Prov. 16:4)? Are not all things made for His benefit and His glory? Paul said – did he not? – ‘For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.’ (Rom. 11:36)

But perhaps Jakes is speaking of a spiritual increase, whereby, in the language of Luther’s Small Catechism, our old nature is drowned by daily sorrow and repentance, put to death, ‘that the new man should come forth daily and rise up, cleansed and righteous, to live forever in God’s presence’. For twice already Jakes has invoked the blood of Christ – surely he will bring us the Gospel.

Jakes tests his sway over his audience. He tells them, ‘Look at someone and say it’s getting better’.

They obey.

He has them utterly in thrall.

The crowd offers the appropriate liturgical response: ‘It’s getting better.’

Is this the Good News, then? That my life is continually getting better?

Was this the experience and hope of Stephen, calling upon the Lord to receive his spirit as he succumbed to the stones being hurled at him for the sake of the Gospel (Acts 7)? And what of Paul and his chains (Phil. 1)? Or the other apostles – all martyred, save John, as history recounts.

Jakes continues:

You have to know that. And you have to know that by faith, because sometimes, when He takes something or someone out of your life, the enemy will tempt you to think that your life is on a decline. But there is no way your life can be on a decline and you serve the Lord. Because He’s ever increasing brighter and brighter and brighter, to a perfect day. So if He pulled it out, if He took it away, if He moved it, it is only a sign that something is coming that is better than the thing before.

Something surely is coming that is better than what went before: ‘He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 1:6). ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.’ (1 Cor. 13:12)

Could that be what Jakes means?

Jakes is right in this: the New Covenant is better than the Old. And this is indeed a major theme of the book of Hebrews.

But, for the writer to the Hebrews, the ‘better’ of the New Covenant is the perfect once-for-all sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross, contrasted with the Old Covenant, which:

…having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

(Heb. 10:1)

According to Hebrews, then, the superiority of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood is the once-for-all washing away of our sins 2,000 years ago at Calvary. The inferiority of the Old Covenant was demonstrated by the need for its continual sacrifices. These were a constant reminder of Israel’s ever present sins. The sacrifices had to be repeated, for it was impossible that sins could ever be taken away by the blood of bulls and goats (Heb. 10:4). Yet, what the sacrifices of the Old Covenant could not do, Christ accomplished once and for all on the cross.

Jakes, however, though he gives the impression of having expounded the book of Hebrews, does not mention sin or the need for propitiatory sacrifice.

Jakes, for the moment, leaves the ‘better’ of the New Covenant unexplained, except that, somehow, God is now in the business of increasing us. The New Covenant is better, because, well, it just is. And thus, for us, Jakes says, ‘It’s getting better’.

The ‘It’ in Jakes’ affirmation is left undefined, leaving us free to substitute whatever happens to appeal to our carnal desires. His message is universal, appealing to fallen human natures everywhere.

Not once does Jakes carefully delineate between the earthly blessings of this life and the spiritual riches that are surely ours in Christ. When Jakes says, ‘It’s getting better’, everyone implicitly understands that he is talking about this life. The spirit of Joel Osteen’s Best Life Now speaks to us.

When Paul asks ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?’, he makes plain the ever present probability in the life of the believer of tribulation, distress, physical want, and yes, even death:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

(Rom. 8:35–36)

Christ’s love does not spare us from these troubles, but rather overcomes them. Christ’s love and grace supply our every need, causing us to endure all things to His glory. Thus, Paul asserts:

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom. 8:37–39)

Similarly, James tells us to ‘count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.’ (James 1:2–3).

Jesus does not promise us freedom from trouble and distress. Rather, he pronounces blessed ‘those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. (Matt. 5:10)

‘Blessed’, Jesus says, ‘are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.’ He bids us ‘Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’ (Matt. 5:11–12)

The Christian’s hope and reward is not in this life. Our hope is Christ; our reward – and what reward! – is to be with Him in heaven forever.

When Jakes talks of ‘It’s getting better’, he leaves us free to understand that he means this life, here and now. He commits the error of all word-faith teachers, claiming for this temporal life the blessings that belong to the eternal glory to come. He omits to mention the present tribulations and persecutions that Jesus indicates are in store for the faithful.

Jakes uses Biblical language. He even speaks of ‘the blood of Christ’. But in this sermon, that phrase can be no more than a magic incantation, for he tells us nothing of why our sin required that blood to be shed.

Christ commissioned His Church to preach ‘repentance and remission of sins’ (Luke 24:44–48), yet Jakes speaks neither of repentance nor of forgiveness.

Jakes returns to his text:

The thing, then, for the book of Hebrews, is the book of better things. And so what he is saying in the text, he says ‘We have not a high priest who cannot be touched’. The implication is almost, is almost a slur to that which is former, compared to that which exists now. Because up under the former administration through the Old Testament and the Old Covenant, there were high priests as well. But they could not be touched. They could not be touched. It almost reminds of a comparative analysis between religion and relationships.

Jakes here quotes only the first few words of Hebrews 4:15: ‘We have not a high priest who cannot be touched’. He builds on these words to make the point that the crucial difference between the Old and New Covenants is that we have a High Priest who can be touched, whereas the laws of the Old Covenant made the high priests untouchable. The Old Covenant was cold and religious. The New Covenant is warm and relational. We can touch our High Priest.

Jakes has played a verbal sleight of hand, a conjuring trick with words. Hebrews 4:15 does not teach that we can reach out and touch our High Priest. This is clear if the whole verse is quoted, even in Jakes’ King James Version:

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The problem becomes glaring if a modern translation is compared. Here is the same verse from the New King James Version:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

This verse teaches not that we can reach out and touch Jesus, but that Christ can sympathize with our weakness – and specifically, our weakness in the face of temptation – because, like us, He was tempted in every way.

The incarnate Christ is fully human. He knows our weakness, and sympathizes with it. Unlike the high priests of the Old Testament, though, and unlike us, He never succumbed to temptation and remains without sin. Our High Priest’s sacrifice of Himself is pleasing to God because He is sinless.

But can Jakes really be intending to preach an entire sermon based upon a basic misreading of Hebrews 4:15?

As we continue to listen, it becomes clear that yes, yes he is.

Jakes introduces us to some more of his innovative theology:

[God] paid the ultimate price, that He might express the value of you by dying on the cross to give you eternal life. Never let any devil in hell make you think that you’re not valuable. Not based on the mistakes you made, or the things you did, or the circumstances of your birth. Not based on your economy, not based on your intellect, your education, or anything like that. Any time you doubt your worth, you tell the enemy ‘I must be valuable because Jesus died for me’. He died for me. I must be somebody, or He wouldn’t have died for me. No matter what I did, no matter what I’ve been through, no matter what mistakes I’ve made, I’ve got to be valuable because He’s shed His blood for me.

Touch your neighbour and say, ‘I am somebody’.

(The cheering audience, now on their feet and well conditioned, obeys.)

I am somebody only because Jesus paid a price to recognize my worth. I will never doubt my worth again.

Did Jesus die for us to recognize our intrinsic worth?

Is that the Gospel?

Or is the grace of God so overwhelming, His love so great that, even though we had no worth, even while we were rebels and at war with God, even though we had nothing whatsoever to offer Him, God nevertheless sent His only begotten Son to die in our place and purchase us as His pearl of great price?

In thesis 28 of his Heidelberg Disputation, Luther explains the Biblical teaching:

The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.

We love the things that we find loveable. In Christ, God’s love takes we who are unloveable and makes us lovely.

Those who are in Christ by faith, those who are trusting in His work for them and not their work for Him, have truly been made into something beautiful and glorifying to God. Christ did not die for us because we were acceptable to God, but rather ‘He made us accepted in the beloved’. (Eph. 1:6) We, having been given the gift of trusting in Christ, are now to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:12) We have worth, then, because we are in Christ. We are not in Christ because we have worth.

If we had something to offer God, our salvation would not be by grace. Yet the grace of God bestowed upon us is unmerited favour:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

(Eph. 2:8–10)

Jakes’ gospel glorifies us. It ascribes to us an intrinsic worth even outside of Christ. The true Gospel glorifies Christ, proclaiming His love and tender mercy even towards those who were utterly without merit.

Jakes’ gospel has no need to speak of sin, only ‘mistakes’, for his god looks upon sinners and sees their worth. The true Gospel has Jesus crucified in the place of sinners and for their sin, for without Christ’s appeasing sacrifice we should be consumed by the eternal wrath of a perfectly Holy and terrifyingly righteous God.

Jakes’ gospel speaks of the blood of the Lamb, but merely as a token of our intrinsic worth. The true Gospel speaks of the blood of the Lamb as that which cleanses us from sin, that which justifies, that which sanctifies, and that which glorifies. The true Gospel speaks of the perfect sacrifice for sins, once made forever:

By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

(Heb. 10:10–18)

Jakes returns again to his theme of touch:

We have a High Priest who can be touched…He’s accessible. You can reach Him. You don’t need special people in the Church to reach Him. You don’t have to reach me and ask me to reach Him.

The definition of ‘touch’ has shifted. It now means ‘accessible’.

And what Jakes says here is true. But it is still not the meaning of the text he is expounding. He makes a valid point using invalid means. His is not a faithful handling of God’s word.

Jakes continues, demonstrating that he does understand on a certain level what Hebrews 4:15 actually says, that it’s not about us touching Jesus, but Jesus sympathizing with our weaknesses:

You cannot stop me from reaching God. He can be touched by the feeling of our infirmity. And sometimes He is the only one who knows how you feel.

Jakes makes a seamless transition, moving from touch being our reaching out to God, to Christ being touched by the feeling our infirmity, sympathizing with our weakness.

Even here, though, we have a subtle twist. Christ’s sympathy for our plight in the face of temptation is made into a general sympathy for how we feel. This is not what the text says.

Jakes clearly knows what Hebrews 4:15 teaches, but that does not stop him from preaching at length from that text ideas not found within it. This is not how to handle God’s word. This is not according it due respect. This is not a model of preaching to be emulated.

Jakes picks a verse because it contains a word – one word, as he stated – that he wants to use to make his point. He then uses that verse to lend a veneer of Biblical authority to whatever he has already decided to say. This is not the behaviour of a great preacher.

Jakes continues with his cavalier attitude towards the text.

In context, the word ‘infirmities’ in Hebrews 4:15 is speaking of our sin:

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses [‘infirmities’, KJV], but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

(Heb. 4:14–16, NKJV)

These verses contrast our sin with Christ’s sinlessness. Yet Jakes now takes the word ‘infirmities’ out of its context, and through wordplay almost imperceptibly changes the topic to that of our physical sicknesses. Speaking on behalf of God, he says:

It is the feeling of your infirmity that touches me. Your humility touches me. Your tears touch me. Your needs touch me.

This is shocking truth at the time that it is heralded in the word of God, because the ideology previously is that anybody who had infirmities couldn’t touch God. But now He has been wounded for our transgressions. He has been bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace is upon Him. And with his stripes we are healed.

Hebrews 14:15 does not teach that our humility touches God, nor our tears. It teaches that Christ understands our temptation, because He Himself was tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.

Jakes’ quoting of Isaiah 53:5 ought to be pure, comforting Gospel. But Jakes has not told us of our sin, and so we do not know our need of the Gospel. Jakes instead uses Isaiah to shift the topic, because he wants to talk about physical healing. And thus he moves to the subject of the Luke 8:46 verse that he read earlier: the woman with the issue of blood.

As he promised, Jakes has indeed played with the texts. He has forced them to cohabit.

There is much that could be discussed concerning Jakes’ extended handling of this text, but the pattern has been established. He handles this verse in a similarly cavalier way to his treatment of Hebrews 4:15. He emphasizes the word ‘touched’ in Luke 8:46. He makes the verse about us, about how we can reach out and touch Christ. Jakes again plays with words:

You must understand this woman has an issue that has engrossed her and overwhelmed her. And sometimes when we’re praying we have an issue, all we talk about is the issue. Oh Lord…do something about my issue, do something about my situation. And after a while…the only thing that’s big to you is your problem.

The woman’s issue of blood becomes our ‘issue’ – our situation, our problem. Jakes builds upon his new textual victim, teaching that we can reach out and touch Jesus, and that, when we do, He will fix our issues, our problems.

But Luke 8:46 is not about us. It is a historical record of one woman’s encounter with Jesus. It is not normative for our faith and practice. It does not teach that we can reach out and touch Jesus, and that He will then fix our problems in this life.

The woman’s issue of blood is not representative of our issues, our problems. Rather, the miracles that Jesus did in fulfilment of prophecy authenticated His ministry, demonstrating that He was the promised Messiah, God made flesh.

This is clear from Luke’s own gospel, in the chapter immediately prior to the one from which Jakes’ takes his text:

Then the disciples of John reported to him concerning all these things. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to Jesus, saying, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

(Luke 7:18–23)

In the book of Acts, this same Luke records Peter explaining the purpose of the miracles that Jesus performed:

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

(Acts 2:22–24)

Once again, Jakes mishandles the Holy Scripture, taking a verse out of context and misapplying it to make a point of his own devising. He expertly clothes his error with Biblical language, obfuscating it with generous portions of truth.

Having shifted the ground, Jakes introduces a subtle version of the word-faith heresy, which teaches that the confession of our mouth actualizes reality:

And whenever you start talking more about your problem than you do your promise, you are praising your problem. And whatever you praise will be magnified in your life. Let’s explore this a little bit.

Time passes.

Jakes continues to whip up the crowd into ever increasing crescendos of ecstatic frenzy. They love him. They love his message.

I fear for him.

I fear for those who love his teaching.

Please, pray for him.

Please, pray for them.

Jakes now mocks faithful, humble, Biblical Christians, his voice saturated with scorn:

You’ll never get what you want from God being passive, sitting back and folding your arms and saying, ‘Well, if it’s the Lord’s will’. That woman [the woman with the issue] would have died praying ‘If it’s the Lord’s will’.

The crowd goes wild.

Jakes continues:

It, it wasn’t just about the Lord’s will. It was about her will.

You have a will – that God respects.

He created us with a will, an ability to make choices and make decisions…we have a will. That’s why he asks one man, ‘Wilt thou be made whole. Do you want it bad enough to crawl for it? Do you want it bad enough to go through what you gotta go through to get it? Do you want it bad enough to be laughed at and criticized, not be popular at work, and they call you a Christian and make jokes about you? How bad do you want it?

Contrast this with Jesus’ prayer to the Father:

Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.

Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

(Luke 22:42–44)

Compare Jakes’ words with how Jesus taught His disciples how to pray:

So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

(Luke 11:2–3)

Or the teaching of James:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

(James 4:13–16)

Or that of John:

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him

(1 John 5:14–15)

The petition that God hears and grants is the petition made in accordance with His will. The Christian life is one of putting to death our own will, the desires of our flesh, that the express will of God might instead reign in us:

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:25)

Jakes’ doctrine is arrogant. It is not from God. He magnifies us, and diminishes our Sovereign Creator. Heed the wisdom of Solomon:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

(Ecc. 12:13–14)

Jakes continues to glorify our own spirits:

The human spirit – I’m not talking about the Holy Spirit – the human spirit is so strong that doctors will tell you that there have been cancer patients eaten up with cancer. They said ‘You’ll be dead in 30 days.’ And by sheer will, they have lived. I’m talking about the human spirit – I’m not even talking about the Holy Spirit…if the human spirit is that strong, imagine what happens when you add the holy.

The subtle version of the word-faith heresy introduced but moments earlier grows rapidly towards full maturity.

We see now why Jakes dared only to read a single verse from Luke 8. Had he read the story of the woman in context, it would have been plain that it was not the woman’s ‘aggressive’, bold and powerful will that made her well. No, it was her faith – her childlike trust in the ability and compassion of Jesus:

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”

But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me. Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

(Luke 8:42–48)

Jakes continues his eisegesis, reading into the text with great profundity that which is not there.

The crowd, wild with excitement, does not care. They are utterly enchanted by his spell.

The music reappears, signalling the beginning of the end.

Jakes tells the crowd that God gave Him this message: ‘God told me, when you get to Code Orange, He said, tell my people, “You’re not just having a 12 day revival. You’re having a 12 day resurrection.”’

This self-proclaimed prophet of God launches into a frenzied series of final crescendos. This is the consummation for which he has been labouring, artfully seducing his audience.

The crowd is on its feet, clapping, hands waving, cheering. Dramatic music plays.

There is more revelation directly from God. ‘God says,’ claims Jakes, ‘I’m still touching. Whatever you want. Whatever you need.’

Again, Jakes gives free rein to our wants, our desires.

God is still touching, says Jakes. This message, this sermon, must therefore have been what God wanted Elevation to hear, never mind that it misrepresented and twisted God’s Holy word.

Jakes is still speaking:

Let him touch you.

You might be watching on a screen, you may be watching over the Internet, but allow the power of the Holy of the Spirit touch you right now. You might have a condition or an issue that has persisted in your life for years. But oh my God, the glory of God is here to minister in your life.

A singer sings He Touched Me.

Jakes declaims again, his voice charged with emotion:

I feel the Spirit of God sweeping up and down these aisles. The glory of the Lord is moving from pew to pew. Hallelujah. His presence is in this place right now. You don’t have an issue that he cannot fix. Every situation, every circumstance, every problem is within His grasp. You are to allow the Holy Spirit to do a new thing in your life right now. To heal you, to minister to you, and set you free. The glory of the Lord is here. Touch causes growth. You can’t grow in God if you won’t touch Him and allow Him to touch you.

Here we have another confusion of temporal and eternal promises in Christ. Can God fix my every problem in this life? Certainly. Does He promise in His word that He will? No.

Jakes’ teaching is deadly to those who are enticed by it. They trust in God to fix the problems of this life, to keep them from trial and tribulation. And should He not accede to their arrogant expectation, their faith is shipwrecked, because it was founded not upon the sure and certain promises of God’s word in Christ as recorded in the Scriptures, but upon the false words of a self-proclaimed prophet.

This preaching gives people a transient emotional high. It scratches itching ears, speaking into them what they are eager to hear. It manipulates, it deludes, it defrauds. Afterwards, when tribulation or persecution arises, immediately its victims stumble. They are lost, inoculated to the true Gospel. They have tried Christianity, so they think, and found it full of empty promises – it doesn’t work.

Is T.D. Jakes the Greatest Preacher of Our Time?

Only if the measure of greatness is the ability to play a virtuoso performance on the emotions of a crowd.

But that is not the Biblical measure of great preaching, which rather esteems fidelity to the text, and the ability to make the proper distinction between Law and Gospel. Law, to frighten comfortable sinners, to show us our need for a Saviour, to teach those who trust in Christ the perfect standard of godly living. Gospel, the power of Salvation to all who believe, that sweet comfort of Christ declaring ‘It is finished’, His having reconciled us to God and saved us through His perfect life, death and resurrection.

Jakes is concluding. He commands by divine authority that I allow the Holy Spirit to do a new thing in my life right now.

But does the Holy Spirit require my permission before He works in me? If so, how was I ever saved, when I was once His enemy and dead in my trespasses and sin?

In quiet, tremulous tones, Jakes pleads repeatedly over the music and song for us to ‘Touch Him’.

Even here, Jakes leaves us with a problem. For he has not yet told us how to touch Jesus. Jesus isn’t standing bodily before me, as he was for the woman with the issue of blood. I can’t reach out with my hand and touch the hem of His garment, as did she.

Jakes instructs the now reflective audience to ‘Climb over every obstacle and excuse.’

He changes tone. He feels the pain of every individual in the crowd. He assures them, ‘God wants to stop your issue, and set you free.’

Has God said in His word that He wants to stop your issue? By what authority, then, does Jakes proclaim this?

Jakes is well into his emotive plea for people to be saved:

Now, He won’t make you be saved. And He won’t make the backslider come back to Him. And He won’t make you be a Christian. You have to use an act of your will and say “I want this, I want this.”’

Is this true? Does the Scripture teach that we are saved through an act of our will?

Or does the Scripture instead teach that we ‘were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God’ (John 1:13)? Does it teach that ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him’ (John 6:44)? Does it teach that ‘by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’ (Eph. 2:8–9)?

Jakes pleads:

Wherever you are, if you’re here and you want to be a Christian, or if you’ve drifted away and you wanna come back to the Lord, would you raise your hand? Right where you are, and say, ‘I wanna be saved’?

What does Jakes mean, by ‘I wanna be saved’? Saved from what?

He gives his answer:

If the woman with the issue of blood with all of her problems and obstacles can say, ‘I want this’, lift that hand up! Yes! Lift it up! Yes!

For Jakes, salvation is deliverance from the problems and obstacles of this life. This is his beguiling message, for who would not want that? And, having heard his sermon, the fervent crowd has believed the lie that this is what God is offering them.

A few more words, and Jakes is done.

Furtick steps forward. ‘The Bible says that the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner turns from their sins’.

The crowd cheers and claps.

Wait, what was that? – ‘when one sinner turns from their sins’?

But we have heard nothing at all about our sins from Jakes, only about our ‘issues’.

For Jakes, our problem is not that we have grievously offended an infinitely Holy and righteous God with our sin, and that He is therefore justly angry with us. For Jakes, our problem is not that we are deservedly facing an eternity in hell. No, for him, our problem is that we have issues in this life.

With his misdiagnosis of the human condition, Jakes’ gospel is necessarily false. His gospel is not that Christ died to bear the punishment for our sin and rose from the dead, but that Jesus died to show us our worth and to fix our problems.

Furtick, though, is smitten. He tells us that we’ve just received ‘one of the greatest gifts in the body of Christ’ – the treasure of God’s word through Bishop T.D. Jakes.

But we didn’t hear the proclamation of repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

We didn’t hear the Law or the Gospel.

We didn’t, then, hear God’s word.

And never once did Jakes make anything of the second half of Hebrews 4:15 – that the reason Jesus is able to sympathize with our weaknesses is that He was ‘in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.’ And that, therefore, we should ‘come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need’.

The writer to the Hebrews speaks not of a ‘Jesus who can fix my problems’, but of the Jesus who lived the sinless life that I could not and can not. It tells us of the Jesus whose righteousness is now put to our account by faith, so that we may come boldly to His throne and receive grace and mercy without fear or condemnation.

And how I need that grace and mercy! For even this very day, I find myself mired in sin and in need of forgiveness. I have not loved the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. I have not loved my neighbour as myself. Not even for a moment. I need, right now, a High Priest who has made a perfect sacrifice for my sins. I need His flawless righteousness put to my account.

Furtick finishes by telling Elevation that they have to ‘expect God to bless you because you’ve been a part of this’.

I am excluded, because I wasn’t part of that. I haven’t been on pilgrimage to the Holy City of Charlotte, North Carolina. I haven’t entered into the great Temple of Elevation Church. I have not worshipped at the feet of Bishop T.D. Jakes.

And, do you know what?

I’m glad.

Because I have something infinitely better.

I have a sinless High Priest who sympathizes with our weaknesses.

A sinless High Priest who took our sin upon Himself on the cross, and now pronounces absolution through His sure word.

A sinless High Priest who bids us come boldly to His throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy and grace to help in this time of need.

Repent, then, and believe this Good News.

Postscript

I have deliberately eschewed writing here about Jakes’ embrace of the heresy of modalism as valid Christian doctrine, notwithstanding modalism’s lethal opposition to the historic orthodox Christian faith, which is necessarily Trinitarian. Yes, the offering of mainstream evangelical platforms to such a man is a cause for profound alarm and ought certainly to have us weeping in fearful repentance before the Holy One who is Truth. But this was not that post.

Update

The official video of the T.D. Jakes’ sermon reviewed here is now available online: Code Orange Revival Night 10 – T.D. Jakes.

Update 2: further reading

Readers may also be interested in:

138 thoughts on “A review of T.D. Jakes’ Code Orange Revival sermon

  1. I listened to Jake’s sermon in it’s entirety and I could not agree with you more. It was a perverse, twisted corruption of scripture. I could not decide if I should be more angered that a “man of God” would handle Go’s word like he did or if I should be more saddened for the people who so obviously bought into the false gospel Jakes preached.

  2. Very thorough review. It’s so hard at times to practice good discernment and test the spirits, but this is an excellent walk through of some great difficulties in this message. Thanks for doing the work! I may link to this blog.

  3. I believe if a person is truly seeking God threw His Son Jesus Christ, there was no mention of this at all. If the Spirit draws you. Not all on that day will be saved. Even they cast out demons in Jesus name and they did not make it. Why? Simply put.. They twisted the Word of God for their OWN benefit not that of Gods orthe Person the sinner but their OWN, we are told to take up out Cross and deny our selves. hmm i wonder what might our Father be meaning? If you are called you know the amswer, warn them that go down and you have done them good.

  4. This is the kind of discernment needed in American Christianity. If more Christians were versed in the truth of God’s Word and unafraid of Biblically criticizing false teachers, the Church would be stronger for it.

  5. I caught a short bit of Jakes but I just could not stand to listen to the whole thing. I totally understand why fleshly people are caught in his sway, similarly with other teachers who use these sorts of pscyhological crowd manipulation techniques. But I don’t understand why Christians, supposedly full of and led by the Holy Spirit, are caught in his sway.

    “Touch is the theme of tonight’s sermon.”

    There is a straight line there…

    His shifting of the definition of “touch” (and later, other words like “issue”) is as you say blatant eisegesis. But considering the rest of the verse is right there in front of people when they open their Bibles, how ‘sincere’ believers can miss this abuse of the text is beyond comprehension. People who adore the guy will dismiss it as ‘unimportant’ and “oh no one is perfect” “everyone makes mistakes in their preaching.” But if some incompetent health care professional ‘accidentally’ used a dirty needle and injected them with it, they would raise the roof. All emergency measures would be taken to try and remove any POTENTIAL pathogens from the victim’s body. Lawsuits would be filed with huge payouts. But hey, infect my mind and soul with falsehood, it’s no big deal.

    And Furtick’s fawning intro of Jakes is a bit like the hype included in and surrounding the Purpose Driven Life to reassure you that you are about to read something stupendous. “It will CHANGE your life” blah blah “Most important nonfiction book ever written” or whatever it all was. And that’s all it was. Hype. For anyone with real discernment the book was kind of a let down. Much like Jakes’ preaching. It is nice to have some of the transcript, because it divorces it from the emotionalism and psychological crowd management techniques which too many preachers use to cover up the appalling lack of a Biblical message.

    “Is this the Good News, then? That my life is continually getting better?”

    Why yes, if you are a proponent of a man-centered Theology of Glory!

    http://www.pastormattrichard.com/2010/05/theology-of-glory-and-theology-of-cross.html

    “Not once does Jakes carefully delineate between the earthly blessings of this life and the spiritual riches that are surely ours in Christ. ”

    Studied ambiguity *is* the rule these days. I mean, how else will they secretly introduce destructive heresies right under the peoples’ noses?

    “When Jakes says, ‘It’s getting better’, everyone implicitly understands that he is talking about this life. The spirit of Joel Osteen’s Best Life Now speaks to us.”

    Even if we were speaking of sanctification, which is a process God is continually carrying out in our lives, one cannot objectively say “it’s getting better” because the very process of sanctification makes us more and more aware of and sensitive to sin in our lives. Therefore to say we are getting better is inherently prideful no matter how you couch the terms. I once cringed to hear John Macarthur (who I respect immensely, secondary theological differences aside) answer the question “do you sin as much as you used to?” with “No, but I feel worse about it.”

    “Did Jesus die for us to recognize our intrinsic worth?”

    I suppose in a sense, yes – but it’s more of a word game to say yes. I get a totally different message from the cross about my worth than Jakes seems to get. The cross is a visual display of God’s wrath against me, against my sin, as well as a display of his love for me, in spite of that sin and the wrath I so justly am WORTHY of. So I would answer no, according to Jakes’ understanding.

    Rom 3:22b-27a “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
    Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded.

    “Jakes picks a verse because it contains a word – one word, as he stated – that he wants to use to make his point. He then uses that verse to lend a veneer of Biblical authority to whatever he has already decided to say. This is not the behaviour of a great preacher.”

    But it is the behavior of megachurch pastors these days. As I mentioned the Purpose Driven Life above – Rick Warren set the course for this sort of “Bible Study.” While he did it with something like 15 different Bible translations, you don’t need 15 different translations in order to participate in this sort of fallacious hermeneutic.

    This sort of brainstorming/lateral/associative thinking which makes use of a thought process like ‘fluid intelligence’ is attractive to some people. Creativity owes itself to this talent which everyone has to one degree or another. I can totally understand the temptation. But it is not used in hermeneutics. It may more appropriately used in research and development, art, music, inventing, innovation, intelligence gathering, investigation of crimes, criminal profiling, etc. We are not given license to innovate “truth.” But even in the fields in which this sort of thinking can be used to find ‘leads’ you still must subject each ‘lead’ to a rigorous linear logical and scientific verification process to figure out if you are discovering any FACTS that can actually be used.

    “It, it wasn’t just about the Lord’s will. It was about her will. You have a will – that God respects.”

    Furtick seems to have a penchant for inviting Pelagians to his stage. And adds a semi Reformed pastor as his token of credibility. It is amazing that when they had Kevin Gerald show up, preaching the same sort of “God is subject to your free will” stuff, that Furtick had just previously said (paraphras) “there was nothing I could do to earn God’s love and there is nothing I can do to lose it.”

    This is the danger with mixing systematic theologies. Furtick says there is nothing they can do to lose their salvation – while at the same time promoting people who say God is subject to our free will. Once Saved Always Saved Arminianism, semi-pelagianism, or pelagianism is a recipe for utter disaster. It ends up being Decision theology/easy believism at best. Entire Sanctification is sure to follow, for many.

    I simply don’t see how any supposed Christian pastor can disparage the idea of praying “if it be your will” in the face of all the Scriptures (some of which you quoted) to the contrary. My only guess is that he is trying to get people to stop sitting on their hands and DO something. Of course, we all know that the way to stir up love and good works (Heb 10:24) is to preach faith… to show people the boundless love and Good Work already done for them on their behalf, because they could not do it for themselves.

    Jakes speaking of Cancer patience and the power of the will
    “They said ‘You’ll be dead in 30 days.’ And by sheer will, they have lived….”

    Yes, of course God had nothing to do with it.

    “if the human spirit is that strong, imagine what happens when you add the holy.”

    The entire message seems to get mixed up with Theophostic emphases, but this particular bit is sounding more and more LDS. (LDS are Pelagian as well, and I am sure LDS probably don’t have much trouble with Theophostics. In our lengthy discussion with some LDS missionaries, the more experienced Elder told us stories reminiscent of his theophostic experiences.)

  6. Pingback: What really did Bishop Jakes preach at Code Orange Revival? « A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

  7. Having attended to see this spectacle for myself at the Matthews Campus via simulcast, this is a fantastic, awesome breakdown of what I saw there. I had never heard a Jakes sermon, but he played that crowd–even via video feed–like a fiddle. And he had Furtick on the edge of his seat the entire time; no one was more entranced than he.

  8. Through Steven Furtick and Elevation Church a “functional equivalency” is being created between “Word Faith” pastors like TD Jakes, “Seeker Driven” pastors like Perry Noble, and more reformed, solid men like Matt Chandler and James MacDonald. And it is this equivalency that is so dangerous to the church of Jesus Christ. Chandler preached a good sermon at this event, but his participation lends itself to be twisted by Furtick and others of his kind to be interpreted as “We’re not that far away from Chandler, that’s why he came to preach for us…” James MacDonald’s continued courting of Furtick and Noble through the Elephant Room, his participation in this “Revival,” and his agreeing to speak for Perry Noble’s Leadership Conference this coming September does nothing but cause confusion and muddy the waters. It gives men like TD Jakes and even Steven Furtick a credibility they do not deserve. It also leads naiive, undiscerning believers to draw the conclusion that Jakes’ and Furtick’s theology must be OK, otherwise why would James MacDonald participate in something like this, with men like this, if they weren’t basically “equivalent” in the area of doctrine and practice. Dangerous stuff happening here, folks.

    • I think James’ involvement in these men’s lives are that of a discipler. I too, at times, have been questioning why James is being involved with them, but I think in the long run Furtick and Noble will learn a lot from James. They respect him. Both guys have a tremendous amount of faith, which is not to be discounted. Think of the impact they will make in years to come when their theology becomes evermore sound. Driscoll started out this same way that these guys have. Fast. Edgy. Unapologetic. Driscoll has come a long way from those days. Through what? Discipleship. Everyone needs it. Pastors included.

      In no way am I making a case for the ministries of Furtick and Noble. I’m just appreciative of the heart that James MacDonald has to see these guys grow in their knowledge of the scriptures and in Christ.

      Much grace.

  9. This was a very thorough and gentle and truthful review, thank you for spending the time to do this. I can honestly say that this turned out to be worse than I thought it would be–this from someone who used to “love” T. D. Jakes and was lost in the WOF movement for many years. I am very afraid for Mr. Jakes.

  10. There was a time, not that long ago, that I view those who listen and believe this type of ear-tickling “gospel” as victims, but I was listening to Fighting for the Faith and realized that this is what they are looking for and want and it makes me so very sad.

    • Becky, thank you so much for sharing your experience here. It’s people like you who make the effort ‘to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints’ worthwhile.

      May our great Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly in His marvellous grace.

  11. Thank you so much for posting this sir. I have family and friends trapped in this same kind of gospel-less false teaching….

    Do you mind if I re-post this article on my blog with full credit given to you?

  12. Thank you for a carefully created and sound analysis. We can learn much about discernment from what you have posted here. Well done!

  13. When the bishop said, “I must be valuable, he died for me”, that spoke volumes of where he was heading with that sermon.

    • Wrong, to God you are valuable. He created you for his glory. That’s what the bible says. You are valuable made possible by the blood of Jesus Christ.

      • On many occasions, I have stepped down from the pulpit thinking about what a poor sermon I have just preached. To my horror, I sometimes realize that I have forgotten to preach the Gospel; that the Lord Jesus Christ has not even been mentioned. People sometimes pounce on me with their greater wisdom and revelation, telling me what I did or did not say and of course I take it on board and yes, it can be painful at times. I guess that’s the pride in me. Sometimes, the criticism is most untimely and unhelpful. People do it because it’s easier to criticize than to encourage. All I would say is that I never claimed to preach with papal infallibility and I thank God that salvation is of the Lord and not of me. This is not a cop-out on my part. That’s just how it is; I try to honour the Lord in and out of the pulpit but all too often, I fail. So, that’s where I’m coming from in this debate.

        The sermon under discussion, that of T.D. Jakes is somewhat different in as much as it is not about an omission or that it was lack-lustre or plain boring; rather it’s about whether or not a false gospel was preached.

        I do have a problem with that sermon or any sermon that claims that God died on the Cross because of any intrinsic value that a person has. Surely that is not in agreement with the Bible which teaches in Romans 3:9-16:-

        9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
         10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
         11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
         12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
         13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
         14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
         15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
         16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

        Surely, if any of us had any value of our own then grace would no longer be grace; it would be reward. Surely God has taken the filthy rags of self-righteousness off those whom the Lord Jesus came to save and he has decked them out in his own perfect righteousness. Surely what is so amazing about the Gospel of Christ is that he hung and suffered upon that cross for wretched, worthless and hell-deserving sinners and not because we have value.

        Have I got it wrong?

  14. Thank you, Daniel, for this review. I can’t say it was especially enlightening because I really didn’t expect much from Jakes to begin with (please don’t take this as taking anything away from your review). But what I would like to say is I appreciate the graciousness with which you did this review. It was very similar to Matt Chandlers sermon at the Code Orange Revival a few nights back. Both your review and Chandlers’ sermon was steeped in the Word of God and got the point across without sounding angry and defensive. You both called it like it really is. The Church in America is at a dangerous place right now and we need more people who will stand up for the honor of God and proclaim that the Gospel is about Jesus Christ and not about us.

  15. This was a pleasure to read and very thorough, thank you.

    I agree with Dan’s comment Jan 22 11:10 pm. He mentioned “more reformed, solid men like Matt Chandler.” I am wondering as well about Chandler’s declaration of God’s approval for Elevation church…as evidenced by his statement in his sermon there as he said, “This is a way. It is not the only way. God is for Elevation Church.”
    Troubling?

    • Diane, I understand why that question might come to mind, but personally, I’m not troubled by it, given the context of Matt Chandler’s message. I didn’t go back and listen to that section, but I would expect he’s speaking about Elevation as a local congregation, and God clearly is for local churches. Chandler’s critiques were not saying “This place isn’t a real church, and Steven Furtick isn’t a real pastor;” they were corrective in nature, warning about issues and tendencies. What rebukes he offered, he gave in love and lovingly, yet firmly, and always within the light of the Gospel.

      From what I’ve seen, I’d agree with Chandler’s approach and evaluation in his message, and I consider the way he dealt with the whole situation as an example to follow.

  16. Wow, you may need to get a life. Investing this much time and effort into TD Jakes? The guy is a fake, done, move on.
    Line up commentors and praise another useless blogger with to much time on his hands. Sad, very sad.

    • T.D. Jakes falsehood may be obvious to you, but it is not so to everyone else. Thousands went wild for him last week at the code orange revival, believing him to be preaching the true word of God. I used to go to Elevation for years until recently, seduced by the attractive messages. It wasn’t until reading articles like these here, and listening to Fighting for the Faith that I understood what was wrong with those teachings. That’s why reviews such as these are necessary.

      I’ll also add that insinuating that the author spent the time crafting this fantastic article for personal praise is not only unfounded, childish, shallow, and hateful, but it also completely contradicts your name, creating the appearance that honoring God is hating your brother. It also brings shame upon and the pirate christian radio logo that you associate with your name.

      • Yes and the point is the goats will continue to lineup behind these people no matter how many bloggers waste thier lives sitting behind a computer for hours talking about it. God will convict and remove as many of these people as he wants without blogging assitance.
        Get out of this trap of thinking their is a religious war that is being battled. For thousands of years thes people have existed and always will. The problem is as opposed to 300ad there is no church to make a statement against him and leave it at that. There are now over 30,000 differernt protestant sects, denominations and independants that all use the bible as thier authority yet cant get along for anything. So where does that leave us? it leaves us with your opionion meaning squat because who are you (bloggers)? Your just another christian sect with another different view point that carries no weight. Your ( your=bloggers) a self imposed pope sitting in his back room interpreting scripture and holding others to it. That is the short answer why these guys need to shut down their blogs. Christianity is a mess and the Creator has vindicated “no one” as being the right group.

        Riddle me this:
        Young calvnist hears John Macarthur teaching on the radio and is blown away by exegetical(?) preaching. Feels the call to go to the masters seminary, becomes an on fire minister for God, God has called him to show the world reformed christianity.
        Down the road a young man hears Adrian Rogers, goes to seminary and is on fire for God. Follows Adrians theology who said God would be a monster if calvinism/reformed nuttiness was true.
        Down the road from him is a young man who reads a book about william booth and becomes a salvation army officer on fire for God. God has called him no doubt. Yet they adhere to know sacrements, and their theology in practice mind you is borderline corrupt. Yet, God has called him he feels and he feeds the hungry.
        Down the road from him is a Presbtyrian, Methodist, Nazarene, 75 different pentecostal young men, baptist, free will baptist, free will methodist, anglican, lutheran, missouri lutheran and so on and so on young men who all feel God calling them to the ministry. They all love God and serve him fervently.

        Has the same God all these people to denominations that disagree fervently and wouldnt work together? See what i mean, who cares if this blogger disagrees with any of these guys. Why believe him over the next guy. There are theologians twice as smart as him in other denominations that would woop him in a debate. Who is right?

        Now back to the point, bloggings are a waste of everyones time and should focus as we should on living an honorable existence before the Creator.

        • You wrote, “Now back to the point, bloggings are a waste of everyones time and should focus as we should on living an honorable existence before the Creator.”

          Do you not see the irony in this statement? You spent considerable time reading this blog and then considerable time responding to it as well. Yet, its a “waste of everyone’s time?”

          I can’t help it, but this just made me smile:)

    • Wow, you may need to get a life. Investing this much time and effort into TD Jakes? The guy is a fake, done, move on.
      Line up commentors and praise another useless blogger with to much time on his hands. Sad, very sad.

      In case you hadn’t noticed, Daniel took close to a year off of blogging until quite recently. I guess that must mean he has a life somewhere.

      Yes, we know Jakes is a fake. the problem is, many do not. And thanks to some like Furtick, James Macdonald, and others, Jakes is gaining credibility among young evangelicals who don’t know the Word.

      You must have taken the time to read the article even if your comment didn’t take too long to compose. So apparently you also have too much time on your hands, showing up here to tear down a brother in Christ? Sad.

    • Although i was raised in the church, i’m a baby christian and this was helpful to me….it makes me realize how easy it is to twist the scriptures and it shows me how important it is for me to study the scriptures and continually ask for God’s wisdom while studying it and while searching for teachers of His word…..we are seriously in the last days…

  17. Humanism: chief end is the happiness of man ::: Christianity: Chief end is the glory of God.
    Truly sad the state of our churches, where man is exalted and God diminished.
    Pray, pray, pray and pay close attention to how you preach.

  18. I don’t think Bishop T.D. Jakes said anything wrong but that is just my opinion. Loved your notes on what he said, you are able to type fast and really catch it all, I admire that.

    • Thank you, Becky – I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.

      As for the transcription – I worked from a video of the evening and was able to pause and re-watch segments as I needed.

      Peace and grace.

  19. Some of the points you make may seem logical, however, some of the points you make are also not biblical. It seems that according to your view that Jakes may have left out some things he should have said, but I find it hard that unless you have followed a ministers teachings for an extended period of time that you can make an accurate assumption of his beliefs from one sermon, or the opinionated views of others, unless he is outright preaching paganism,etc. You seem to state that you serve a God that never blesses his people. Yes the bible quotes that you make are accurate but you need to remember that in addition to those there are numerous others that speak of the blessings of God, heavenly and earthly. There are numerous stories in the Bible that speak of God blessing his people with earthly wealth, children, food, riches, and all sorts of prosperity, so when you say that Jakes is teaching a false doctrine of earthly blessing from God, you are also misleading the people because the bible contradicts your teaching of nothing but doom and gloom while on earth for followers of God. You also say that it is not possible that people can choose to accept Christ during Jakes altar call because the Holy Spirit must make the choice for them and that is not biblical, yes the Holy Spirit will move you to make the choice, but the choice is yours to make, God forces no one to choose him or Satan would still be at God’s throne and all this would be a non-issue. God does give man free will to choose. And your whole argument about the touching Jesus thing it seems to me that you are unclear on what you are arguing. You state that Jesus can sympathize with us because he was human, isn’t sympathy touching the heart of God. I don’t know a lot about TD Jakes, but from what you presented you fail to convince me that he is a heretic because he was preaching a sermon on reaching out to touch God and faith and in this sermon he didn’t mention hell. I have heard him preach numerous sermons myself and he does preach against sin. I’m not saying he is perfect or that I know everything that there is to know about him, but from the one sermon that you have picked apart I fail to see how you conclude that the main is a heretic. The Jesus I serve does heal our bodies, our finances, our emotions, etc. etc. etc. It is documented in the bible. We are commanded to have faith, without faith you can’t please God, the bible says he came to heal the sick and set the captive free. Seems to me that your article lacks faith at all. Now if you can give me something concrete where Jakes has “no question asked” preached another gospel, then I am open to listening to it and I will join you in your plight against him, but just because he encouraged people to reach out and touch God, to come to the altar and give their lives to Christ, or that they are worth something in God’s eyes, I find no scripture contrary to any of that teaching. Joel Osteen is another story, and they are men and we are not to put our faith in any man. Maybe his choice of words in God increasing us could be questioned, but again that is just a matter of how you look at what he was saying and it could really go either way. If he starts talking about you making yourself holy, or trans. meditation, or some of that other one world religion junk than let me know and I’ll agree with you 100%. If he preaches that no one will suffer ever and everyone will be rich on earth, then that too, but to preach to have faith that promises found in biblical text could be yours is just preaching faith and that kind of faith fed and healed a many sick, demon possessed, dead, etc. man in the bible and each time Jesus was impressed by the faith. The bible also teaches that without faith we are all wasting our time, for without faith there is no belief in Christ. Jesus himself said, you will do greater things that this so yes miracles and blessings from God are attainable and maybe it is just that many of us have never reached that level of faith or obedience, esp. in our tithing and offerings to obtain them. If you get the hard core goods on the man then let me know, because I’m all about truth, but until them to it seems that more than one person is guilty of twisting the word to fit their views. No every Christian won’t die rich, etc., but neither will every Christian die poor and stoned to death. We don’t know the ways of God, they are higher than ours and sometimes I think that we try to rationalize and educate ourselves so much that we lose any faith and thus we reap no reward of faith.

  20. Unfortunately these “reviews” are simply the platform for the author to spew his preconceived ideas about T.D. Jakes, Elevation Church, Steven Furtick and everyone else who doesn’t interpret Scripture as he does or preach it as he would or emphasize the “most important” points as he sees them. I feel sad for such people as they are exerting so much time and energy into picking apart others. For some reason they feel it is their duty to warn everyone of the dangers of listening to preachers or sermons that don’t meet their criteria. The complaint about Jakes’ sermon is that is doesn’t focus enough on sin and people might get the wrong idea about being saved from our troubles. I don’t know if people will get that wrong idea or not. I listened to Jakes’ sermon and that idea never occurred to me. I understood the message to emphasize that God does, in fact, want to reach into the situations and circumstances of my life and “touch” me. He cares about me so much that he wants to be intimately involved in all of my “issues.” But I never took it to mean that my salvation now meant a free pass from any trials or tribulations. I suppose I will have to trust that the Holy Spirit is the one who will reveal the truth of Scripture as it is preached to me. I think this will be more successful than having to wait for articles like this to give me direction. Let me excuse you from this mission. You are dismissed. The Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of leading and guiding the followers of Christ. Besides, the Holy Spirit is far less smarmy than you.

    • All believers are called to rightly handle God’s Word. Preachers, as teachers of Scripture, are held to a higher (not different) standard in that regard (James 3:1). Was what you understood from Jakes’ sermon biblical? How do you know? Because if you go to the passages Jakes was using and try to understand what they actually say, you’re not going to find support there.

      You seem to have missed that a large part of Daniel’s critique was that Jakes’ message was not rooted in the Scripture passages from which he was claiming to preach. It simply didn’t say what Jakes argued it said (and here’s the most important part) even when what Jakes was claiming it said *was actually biblical* (i.e. consistent with other Scriptures understood in context)! That’s not a disagreement on the meaning of a passage or a minor theological difference; that’s a credibility issue (or should be) even if you completely agree with what the preacher is saying, and even if everything he’s saying is orthodox.

      C.M., you may not like what Daniel said or how he said it, but would you deny that he took what Jakes said, looked at the passages Jakes said he was using, and gave detailed reasoning on how things didn’t match up? Isn’t that exactly what Acts 17:11 commends the Bereans for doing, regarding Paul’s preaching?

  21. I posted a link to this review on my facebook account, and received many replies.

    However, one reply stood out, and I wanted to post it here so that this man’s opinion could be brought to light. I am NOT saying I agree with him at all. I am simply posting it here because I would like Daniel’s input on it.

    Here it is:

    The only problem I have with Neades’ comments are that he embraces a hellenistic approach to critique while ignoring the fact that he is critiquing someone who is expounding a very Jewish (some could even say Asian) text.
    While it’s true, for example, that the story of the woman with the issue of blood found in Luke 8 is “a historical record of one woman’s encounter with Jesus”, it does not necessarily follow that the story “is not about us” and/or that “it is not normative for our faith and practice” nor that “the woman’s issue of blood is not representative of our issues, our problems.” Further, the fact that it may be relevant to us in our lives today does not negate or even diminish the truth that it was a miracle “that Jesus did in fulfillment of prophecy authenticated His ministry, demonstrating that He was the promised Messiah, God made flesh.”
    In hellenistic thinking we have as our undergirding ontology – and even our teleological processes are girded up in this – the law of noncontradiction. “A can not be both A and non A at the same time and in the same relationship.” I hold to this because, for the most part, it is a reliable foundational truth. However, this idea doesn’t really exist in Jewish thinking. It’s freedom from that kind fo constraint that makes it able for the following contradictory affirmations to be true:

    “In Christ, I am free indeed”

    and,

    “I am a slave to Christ.”

    When we understand this, we can embrace the fact that while the bible records historic events, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t applicable to our lives right now today.

    Additionally, Neades’ says that Jakes:
    “introduces a subtle version of the word-faith heresy, which teaches that the confession of our mouth actualizes reality [when he says]: ‘And whenever you start talking more about your problem than you do your promise, you are praising your problem. And whatever you praise will be magnified in your life.'”
    But Neades never explains how this is a “subtle version” of anything, nor does he address why, in his, Neades, opinion this statement by Jakes is untrue. It happens again a few paragraphs later when Neades says:
    “Jakes now mocks faithful, humble, Biblical Christians, his voice saturated with scorn:
    ‘You’ll never get what you want from God being passive, sitting back and folding your arms and saying, ‘Well, if it’s the Lord’s will’. That woman [the woman with the issue] would have died praying ‘If it’s the Lord’s will’.'” But he, Neades doesn’t explain or even offer an opinion of how/why this statement is wrong. Where are we taught to sit back and just say “if it’s the Lord’s will”? Where does that happen in Scripture (NOTE: I’m not even saying it does or it doesn’t, I’m saying that, as a critic, Neades fails his task miserably here).

    I’ve gone on too long. Also, in the interest of full disclosure and for clarity, I don’t want to be misunderstood: I have my own problems with Jakes, but none were presented in this argument.

    • Robert,

      Thank you for posting those thoughts. You’ll understand if I am a little weary right now, and thus I hope you will forgive me if I am brief and do not therefore provide an exhaustive response. Others may wish to chip-in and make up for my lack.

      The only problem I have with Neades’ comments are that he embraces a hellenistic approach to critique while ignoring the fact that he is critiquing someone who is expounding a very Jewish (some could even say Asian) text.

      When interpreting Scripture, one has to bear in mind the purpose for which the author was writing. Luke is absolutely clear about his purpose, as I documented in the article, and as he makes clear in Luke 1:1–4:

      Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

      Luke says he is doing what others had done: recording a narrative of ‘those things which have been fulfilled’. Luke’s stated purpose for writing his gospel is to record Jesus’ fulfilment of prophecy, ‘that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed’. To be valid, one’s interpretation of the text must start from there.

      While it’s true, for example, that the story of the woman with the issue of blood found in Luke 8 is “a historical record of one woman’s encounter with Jesus”, it does not necessarily follow that the story “is not about us” and/or that “it is not normative for our faith and practice” nor that “the woman’s issue of blood is not representative of our issues, our problems.”

      I agree that it does not necessarily follow that a given historical record is not normative for our faith and practice. We need to consider authorial intent, the textual context of whatever pericope we are examining, the historical context, and the wider counsel of Scripture – and, of course, what the text actually says (which will involve a proper consideration of grammar and syntax).

      Thus, for example, the Church has always understood the Lord’s Supper as being normative – that, after all, is what the New Testament clearly teaches. Where, though, does Scripture teach that Luke 8:46 is normative for all believers? It simply doesn’t.

      If, in this case, the rest of Scripture had taught that God promises to fix our temporal problems, then we could legitimately use Luke 8:46 as an example of that. But the rest of Scripture does not teach this – in fact, it makes plain that we can expect all sorts of problems and tribulations (which is not to say at all that God does not often bless us with temporal blessings, simply that we do not have a promise from Him to deal with our ‘issues’). And we have plain examples in the New Testament of physical sickness where the advice is not to ‘reach out and touch Jesus’. Consider Paul’s advice to Timothy, for example: ‘No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.’ (1 Tim 5:23)

      It is therefore illegitimate to read into the Luke 8 account something contradicted by the rest of Scripture (and especially so, since we are told the actual reason for the account being written). There is nothing in the pericope or the rest of Scripture to suggest that it should be normative, and much to prove that it isn’t.

      In hellenistic thinking we have as our undergirding ontology – and even our teleological processes are girded up in this – the law of noncontradiction. “A can not be both A and non A at the same time and in the same relationship.” I hold to this because, for the most part, it is a reliable foundational truth. However, this idea doesn’t really exist in Jewish thinking. It’s freedom from that kind fo constraint that makes it able for the following contradictory affirmations to be true:

      “In Christ, I am free indeed”

      and,

      “I am a slave to Christ.”

      I’m not sure this argumentation is even relevant to the proper handling of the Luke 8 passage. We’re not talking about a question of logical contradiction, but a proper hermeneutic, as discussed above. And I defy anyone to use a valid hermeneutic and come up with the doctrine that Jakes taught in his sermon.

      That said, I’d assert that the statements proffered are not contradictory affirmations at all, if they are properly understood in their respective contexts. And consider Paul, someone very close to Luke (e.g. Col. 4:14, Acts, etc.). I defy anyone to read, say, Romans or Galatians, and argue that Paul is not making heavy use of rigorous logical deduction, despite him being a Jew’s Jew. Thus, are we really to argue that Greco-Syrian Luke has a completely different mindset from Paul, or that the 1st century Jewish mindset did not embrace rigorous logic?

      Additionally, Neades’ says that Jakes:
      “introduces a subtle version of the word-faith heresy, which teaches that the confession of our mouth actualizes reality [when he says]: ‘And whenever you start talking more about your problem than you do your promise, you are praising your problem. And whatever you praise will be magnified in your life.’”
      But Neades never explains how this is a “subtle version” of anything, nor does he address why, in his, Neades, opinion this statement by Jakes is untrue. It happens again a few paragraphs later when Neades says:
      “Jakes now mocks faithful, humble, Biblical Christians, his voice saturated with scorn:
      ‘You’ll never get what you want from God being passive, sitting back and folding your arms and saying, ‘Well, if it’s the Lord’s will’. That woman [the woman with the issue] would have died praying ‘If it’s the Lord’s will’.’” But he, Neades doesn’t explain or even offer an opinion of how/why this statement is wrong. Where are we taught to sit back and just say “if it’s the Lord’s will”? Where does that happen in Scripture (NOTE: I’m not even saying it does or it doesn’t, I’m saying that, as a critic, Neades fails his task miserably here).

      I believe I did explain both of these points in the article, though obviously not to the satisfaction of your commenter.

      Peace and grace.

    • It’s not really fair to reply in detail to a comment copied from another site, but I wanted to say a couple of things on one part (and since I’ve seen that Daniel can format comments, I’ll try to put some inline HTML for clarity. I hope it works):

      The only problem I have with Neades’ comments are that he embraces a hellenistic approach to critique while ignoring the fact that he is critiquing someone who is expounding a very Jewish (some could even say Asian) text….

      In hellenistic thinking we have as our undergirding ontology – and even our teleological processes are girded up in this – the law of noncontradiction. “A can not be both A and non A at the same time and in the same relationship.” I hold to this because, for the most part, it is a reliable foundational truth. However, this idea doesn’t really exist in Jewish thinking. It’s freedom from that kind fo constraint that makes it able for the following contradictory affirmations to be true:

      “In Christ, I am free indeed”

      and,

      “I am a slave to Christ.”

      I’ll admit that I haven’t spent a lot of time studying the justifications for a non-Hellenistic hermeneutic in this passage, so I don’t want to over-extend my comments. I understand that a “non-Western hermeneutic” is growing in popularity; I’ve seen it in what’s often called the Emergent church and with other authors sympathetic to that general movement, and it was a large part of a debate between Bob DeWaay and Doug Pagitt that I attended a few years ago (though Pagitt used the term “binary reductionistic thinking” instead). To this point, I’ve not seen a compelling, Scripture-based argument supporting it, in spite of some very intelligent, well-educated excellent communicators promoting it.

      Personally I try to use an historical-grammatical approach, which holds the context of the passage to be of primary importance in determining its meaning, and at first blush, I’d say that the cultural outlook of the author is part of that context. One should be able to keep that in mind without abandoning a “Hellenistic approach to critique.”

      Other than that, just a few minor thoughts that came to mind in reading this:

      What does Hellenistic mean? Referring to Greek language and culture. Luke’s gospel is written in very refined Greek, so the recipient Theophilus would at least have had to be very comfortable in the Greek language and culture, if not a Greek or Roman by birth.
      Jewish thinking seems to have had a pretty clear understanding of the law of non-contradiction; the Ten Commandments and Great Shema seem pretty unambiguous in that regard.
      The sample “contradictory affirmations” aren’t contradictory given careful definition of terms, which is a critical part of Hellenistic thinking. In particular, the relationships of the two statements are not the same.
      I’m puzzled as to what relevance this whole critique is intended to have. I can think of at least three possible answers, but non of them seems particularly on topic. Is the author arguing that Jakes was using a more appropriate hermeneutic? In that case, some detail and support would have been useful. Is he or she saying both Daniel and Jakes are using an improper understanding, thus invalidating the whole topic? Or is this just a way to validate what Daniel wrote and what Jakes preached? Regardless, it seems the author is trying hard to define a different hill upon which to fight, and I didn’t see a lot of positive evidence for why that would be needed or desirable.

      I’ll try to keep the ideas within this comment in mind, since I believe this sort of objection is growing in popularity. If it has merit, I’d love to understand it better, but as someone who believes consistency in thought is valuable and that it reflects an attribute of God, so far it seems to be applied in an arbitrary fashion, to allow the individual to avoid undesirable interpretations of otherwise clear texts.

      • The only way I can read that person’s comment as making any sense whatsoever is if he really meant to say Jews often relied heavily on context to give the actual meaning of the word. But even so, that does not mean the law of noncontradiction is suspended. It means there are other factors to take into account. Noncontradiction still applies, as it does in all rational thought. What this person is trying to say is that essentially, Jewish thought is irrational. In which case, if true, we are all at best guessing as to God’s character and commands, and no one, him included, has a right to judge anyone else, including judging us as “haters.”

    • “In hellenistic thinking we have as our undergirding ontology – and even our teleological processes are girded up in this – the law of noncontradiction. “A can not be both A and non A at the same time and in the same relationship.”

      Oh good! So then since noncontradiction doesn’t apply, I am happy to see that you AGREE with Daniel!

      • Well, then I’m happy you agree with me! I never said the law of non-contradiction was suspended. I said it didn’t really exist in the way that we understand it in the west.
        It’s really best demonstrated in a scene from the musical “Fiddler On The Roof.” The men of the village surround Tevye, the milkman as another elder reads bad news about the other villages:

        REB LACHAM:
        Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let the outside world break its own head.

        MEN
        Well put!

        TEVYE
        He is right. As the Good Book says, “If you spit in the air, it lands in your face. ”

        PERCHIK
        Nonsense. You can’t close your eyes to what’s happening in the world.

        TEVYE
        He is right.

        REB MORCHE
        He’s right and he’s right? They can’t both be right.

        TEVYE
        You know, you are also right.

        As I am the person who wrote the comment, I feel free to here respond to some statements made about the things I said (on FB, no less).
        I didn’t say that Jewish though is irrational, and to even infer it from the full text of what I said is ridiculous.
        I said, originally, that while we in the West tend to view our entire world through a very hellenistic lens, we must understand that, in the jewish (and broader Asian mindset) that kind of constraint didn’t necessarily apply. Which is why I used the “slave/free” examples. They are, prima facie, contradictory, and to try to convince anyone otherwise demands that we give a broader context and, even then, explain how we can accept and believe what seem to be two contradictory statements.
        “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them that bring good news.” The feet of running messengers are not pretty. Yes, it’s poetry, but it exists as more than poetry. We do ourselves a great disservice when we limit what Scripture CAN mean, simply because it’s not what we have determined it to mean via our systematic approach.
        I’m not saying that one can just make scripture mean whatever one wants it to mean (and, for the record, I never called anyone a “hater” so, please, in the future, be more careful with your replies), but it’s a simple matter to understand that, while, yes, Luke was Greek, the story he was telling was a Jewish one. Jewish people. Jewish culture. Jewish heritage.
        The example I use with some frequency is that of adoption and being grafted in. We don’t understand what that means (in America especially, I can’t speak with as much certainty regarding other places), and, because we don’t, we miss the power of the truth that we have been adopted by God and have been grafted into the promise of Abraham. But even a little cultural study can show what this means. You don’t HAVE to know it to be saved. It doesn’t increase your salvation. But it CAN enhance your experience with God. I’ve seen it.
        I’m quite ill as I write this, and I worry that I am not being as coherent as I would like. My apologies if that is the case.
        In closing, let me say that, whatever your thoughts about what Jakes’ emphasis is in his preaching, we run on dangerously thin ice to say that he is not a Christian. I have heard the man teach that salvation is through Christ alone. According to Paul, that is the end of our soteriological requirements. And now, to quote myself from FB:

        Yes the good news is that we have a Savior Who redeems people from the sentence of an eternal Hell, but that’s NOT ALL HE DID! Jesus didn’t come to endure every temptation, live a sinless life, die a brutal death and resurrect again just to prove that He is God and save us from the hot place. He came to give life, and that life is supposed to be overflowing with abundance (not necessarily material wealth, but true abundance).
        Finally, [another commenter] said that it “saddens [me]” that we would “even remotely criticize a fellow worker [Neades].” But that’s exactly what Neades did. He ripped Jakes, Furtick and those attending to shreds. You can say what you want about Jakes (most of which I probably would not disagree with, but you can’t say he isn’t a Christian. First of all, the Bible is fairly clear that to be saved one need only “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” What we do after that, is all growth. NONE of us are there. If we were, I firmly believe we would have been Enoched out of here.
        If Jakes is off in his theology, or, more to the point, he doesn’t focus on issues that you would focus on if you were preaching, then, by all means, go [start?] preaching and be thankful that God has blessed with a myriad of voices, each of whom have independent strengths and abilities, so that, where you are weak, they might be strong; so that, in the end, we can, all of us collectively, be all things to all people so that by all means we might win some.

        • James, thanks for clarifying your comments. As you are ill and we’re already pretty far afield of the original post, I’m not going to respond in length; I think in many ways we would agree, but the way we describe things (and the results of the language that we use) differs. Finding the bounds of that agreement could be instructive; perhaps some other time.

          I feel I need to comment on one thing, however, because you echo what many others seem to be saying:

          But that’s exactly what Neades did. He ripped Jakes, Furtick and those attending to shreds.

          Daniel’s article dealt with the substance of Furtick’s introduction and Bishop Jakes’ message. If you want to say he ripped that message to shreds, feel free; I might agree with you. Perhaps you could say that by showing the unbiblical foundation of Jakes’ message, he implicitly accused the discernment of any who were listening with approval. But most of those who have taken issue with Daniel’s article seem to think that by disagreeing with what Jakes said (and by extension, what Furtick said about him), Daniel is attacking them as individuals and questioning their salvation. That is a leap in category that isn’t supported by what Daniel wrote; since your comments draw fine categorical distinctions, I’d hope you could extend that same courtesy to him.

          I would recommend that you look on this blog for references to Dr. Rosenbladt’s “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church.” Listen to that message and see what Daniel says about it. While I’m comfortable saying that the immediate context of this post refutes your characterization, I’m certain that the additional insight you’d get by this further research would clarify things further.

          Or, just listen to Rosenbladt’s message; it is wonderful and well worth every Christian’s time (and I’m not saying that because I expect you to disagree with it; I think you’ll agree with most of it).

    • Robert – I apologize that I missed that you didn’t agree with the “hellenistic” comment which you copied here. As such my comments should be directed at the original commenter.

  22. Just a little too much drama here.
    Each church is different. I agree that churches must use the bible as the Word–no argument here – and they MUST follow the Lord. But let’s be real here and not over think everything. Other churches may worship differently and preachers preach differently, buts that because people are different, and what attracts them may not be what attracts you–and that’s ok…

    Critics used to write letters just like this–against Mahalia Jackson. She sang the devil’s music, they said. To much jazz–which as we all know is the music of satan. We were told that rock music was a pit into hell – and told that we must stop our youth from going on that wild ride. Sheesh. Now, we freely worship with the music of Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, and Jeremy Camp. Based on those standards–we are all now lost. Do you not realize that there is nothing new under the sun?

    For your own sakes, and I say this in love — get off of the high minded doctrinal themes, the insulting comments (He Is Not of God!), the twisted judgements that define you more than Bishop Jakes or Steven Furtick. I am seeing words that look illegal–what the heck are Pelagians? I think I know what LDS is (isn’t it mormon related?)–what what on earth is a Theophostic? Talk about humanistic.
    Are these words even in the bible?

    HOW DID THE GOSPEL OF JESUS COME TO THIS?
    I am going to be straightforward with you–I think when you LOVE–which was Christ’s command to all of us–all this debate about who is hellbound and such becomes a little bit tiresome, and sort of small, don’t you think?
    We (and I include myself in this) might want to focus on the true meaning of Jesus and his sacrifice for us. I don’t think it was to have us sitting here splitting hairs and starting wars. And frankly, I still don’t see what Bishop Jakes (or anyone else in the 12 days revival for the matter) said or did was wrong.

    And by the way–all great preachers know how to work a crowd. When Jesus himself spoke, I heard you could hear a pin drop. That is not a negative.

    Peace, Grace, Love AND Mercy

    • VROB125, I hear what you’re saying and I understand your point of view. May I gently make a suggestion to you? If you do not understand the term “Pelagian” or even “Theophostic,” this could be good motivation for you to dig into those terms for understanding. Trust me, its important that you do have a working knowledge of those terms as they are relevant to this critique. Additionally, as you study Pelagianism particularly, you’ll discover that its an ancient heresy that was condemned by the church centuries ago. Some thought it dead at that point, but they were wrong… Even today, it continues to poke its gnarled head up from the dirt of the past over and over again. Yep, history just seems to constantly repeat itself.

    • But let’s be real here and not over think everything. Other churches may worship differently and preachers preach differently, buts that because people are different, and what attracts them may not be what attracts you–and that’s ok…

      Absolutely would agree with you. So then I would assume you’d be just fine attending, say, Harold Camping’s church, or a Mormon church, or a Jehovah’s Witness church? How about a Rastafarian church?

      Basically what you have said here is akin to Rodney King’s “can’t we all just get along?” Well, yes, we can, within certain limits. But obviously we must not overthink those limits, because… someone might be disregarding them and we wouldn’t want to actually know about that, would we?

      It really doesn’t take much thinking at all to see what is wrong at Furtick’s church. However, for those who do prefer to think through things, Daniel has put heart and soul into providing something concrete to deal with. If Daniel indeed sees danger in what is being pushed at Elevation, it wouldn’t do for Daniel to just say “I dont’ like it” because that is inherently subjective and means nothing as a warning. You see, Daniel is doing this, as most people do, because he cares about people knowing the truth, because he cares about people.

      Furtick characterizes people like Daniel as “haters” when in fact, if Daniel didn’t do it when he believes it to be spiritually dangerous to people, THAT would in actuality be unloving and hateful of his fellow Christians.

      So you see, the issue then comes down to, is Daniel right, or is he wrong? And that cannot be determined without thinking and analyzing and being a Berean. The apostle Paul considered those that tested by Scripture everything he said to be ‘of more noble character.’ (Acts 17:10-12) Paul, of all people other than Christ, had a right to demand people take him at his word. And he did not.

      Contrast this to Furtick and others like him who consider the people who do what Paul calls “noble” to be “haters.” Something wrong with that picture.

  23. 38 John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone* casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ 39But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. 40Whoever is not against us is for us. 41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

    Your time could be much better spent reaching lost souls yourself than tearing apart preachers who are. Let God be the Judge.

    • FAITH CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS – I’m not trying to be unkind here at all, but I’ve always thought it hypocritical for a person to come in to a blog for the express purpose of telling the author that what he wrote was invaluable and that his time “could be much better spent” in some other way (insert favorite Biblical mandate here).

      I mean, seriously, could we just not say the same thing to you for “wasting your time” while posting here? While telling the author how he ought to be spending his time, are you not judging him in this? Yet, you wrote “Let God be the Judge.”

      It is the author’s right and I would even add, Biblical responsibility to speak the truth in love. He seems to be trying to do that. Since you’ve decided to be here and interact, why don’t you do that by talking about the merits or non-merits of his arguments and assertions, rather than telling him how you think he should be spending his time?

    • Your time could be much better spent reaching lost souls yourself than tearing apart preachers who are. Let God be the Judge.

      I always find it amazing for people to come to a blog, piously judge other Christians for “judging” and further judge them for the blogger not doing something in his life, when the person has no possible way of knowing what the blogger does in his personal life at all. Amazing.

        • Dan, Terriergal, and Bobby, seems that you too may be guilty of judging me so the circle goes.

          I will always speak out for the truth and the truth is that you are all picking apart a sermon and searching for reasons to tear down a man of God preaching the gospel. It’s not judging, it’s just the truth of the article. “He didn’t say hell, he said you can literally touch God, etc. etc. etc.” All of it is grasping at straws. A house divided can’t stand.

  24. I see the author of this critique being a Berean, and kindly sharing his Berean thoughts with others even if some of them partially/wholly disagree with him.

    Ideally, T.D. Jakes would read this critique and respond warmly with the charitable heart that looks at this critique as an “iron sharpens iron” labor.

  25. Pingback: Jakes’ sermon at the Code Orange Revival

  26. I find it extremely sad that “Christians” spend more time judging one another then seeking Jesus Christ and reaching the lost, fulfilling the great commission our Lord gave us.Yet the ones you Judge are doing more for the kingdom of God then most. Let God be the judge! Do not become the very Pharisees that Our Lord Preached against!!!

  27. That was an awesome sermon by Jakes. We need the reminder that if we boldly follow Christ He can repair all things.
    The message I got from Code Orange is one of unity and strength. We are all necessary parts of the body of Christ.
    The hand should not be jealous of the feet or vise versa.
    We need to work together and lift each other up! I’m up for the Mission!

  28. Pingback: Modalist Heretic T.D. Jakes at Code Orange « Wittenburg Church Door

  29. Dude I was there. I drove 4 hours to go. I watched every night online but this once. I did not stand everytine or tell ppl the things he told us to. But the holy spirit was there and it was a great message. If ppl read for themselves then you know his point and also know what you were saying. Stop complaint on the internet and go be a Christian and do something.

  30. It really pains me to know that some “christians” would freely take the liberty to take a significant amount of time to write a review on a man of God just to shoot him down. As my pastor, Steven Furtick said the last day of the Code Orange Revival, The more something seems as if it’s pressing you down, the more God is working to raise you up.
    Pastor Jakes didn’t choose the topic for this sermon, God did. Anyone who believes that the preacher decides what his congregation hears needs to rethink their relationship with God. There’s more to the bible than salvation. For our relationship with Christ to grow, we must study His word and better understand it. You don’t grow by hearing the same salvation sermon every Sunday. God did send down our Savior because he did want to show us our worth. We had to be worth something for Him to send death upon His own son. .

    I grieve deeply for you. Your consequences for your actions will be heavily felt by you and those contributing.

    • Ashley, thank you for your comments.

      It really pains me to know that some “christians” would freely take the liberty to take a significant amount of time to write a review on a man of God just to shoot him down.

      I assure that the purpose of my writing this article was not to shoot Jakes down – your assumption that it was is really rather uncharitable. Indeed, I have not attacked Jakes at all, but rather compared his doctrine – the content of his teaching – to the Scriptures. This is a practice that we should all do, and something that the Bible commends. I’d encourage you to read this other comment of mine, where I go into this in a little more detail, although there is far more that could be said on this matter.

      No, the purpose of my writing here was to counter Jakes’ false gospel and in its place proclaim the true Gospel of Christ crucified for sinners and raised from the dead.

      We had to be worth something for Him to send death upon His own son.

      This might seem logical to you, but it is not what the Scriptures teach – as indeed I endeavoured to show from Scripture in the article. I’d encourage you to go back and re-read what I wrote – and the Scriptures that I quoted – in the article.

      The depth of the love of God, the immense riches that we believers have in Christ, is far more wonderful than you, or any of us, realize. The love of God to us in Christ is such that He died for us even though we did not in any way merit or deserve such a gift. Christ died for us even though we were His enemies. And He makes us into something beautiful for His own glory. The length and depth and height of the love of Christ truly surpasses our knowledge and understanding.

      For our relationship with Christ to grow, we must study His word and better understand it.

      Amen to that.

      Peace and grace.

  31. Definition of the Church: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
    —John 3:16

    Elevation Church, TD Jakes, and some others that you choose to condemn have openly confessed their belief in this truth. Whether you like it or not they will have everlasting life according to the Bible and they are apart of His Church just like you!

    Different churches have different flavors based on the people that attend. Different preachers have different translation of various parts of the doctrine (some things are really complicated). They may be right they may be wrong, who cares because they teach the most important Truth. God gave a son, and He died so that we may live.

    PLEASE stop wasting your energy Condemning these men! You are harming the Church. Your words and actions are not constructive, they are destructive.

    Thanks

  32. Thank you for being so clear in explaining the difference between T.D. Jakes sermon, which had words or phrases taken out of context, and the actual truth of the passage. Does that mean I agree with Episcopalian beliefs? I do agree with you, Daniel.

    Your non-Episcopalian friend

  33. WOW!!! I have never heard of so many theological elitist minds bash a man who has been washed & redeemed by the Blood of Christ, but who has also lead hundreds of thousands to the feet of Jesus. Men and women, we must be very careful who WE choose to knock off… God never looks at our theological accomplishments, He looks at the heart of man and the desire to do His will. We will never-ever preach the perfect sermon, because if YOU think you do or have… in your own mind, you have now surpassed the infinite wisdom and knowledge of Almighty God. We are nothing! We are only called to fulfill the Great Commission.

    King David said it very eloquently, “I will not come against the Lord’s anointed.” In this instance, you have done so ladies and gentlemen. That is something to grieve about… Stones have been casted upon a very humble and gracious man… and he has taken your assault with humility. Yet, Bishop T.D. Jakes remains under the precious Blood of the Lamb!!!

    In heaven, there will not be a separation of race & state, eloquent preacher & learning to be a preacher… We will all be one. And it hurts to hear so many of you speak crudely about our brother-in-Christ. And let me caution you, to say anything on the contrary of the work the Holy Spirit has done through this man, would be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Lives have been truly changed, healed, redeemed, only by the Blood of the Lamb, through the ministry of Bishop T.D. Jakes.

    What would Jesus say about all the postings on this website! DO NOT ANSWER! Just meditate on that. Because we can never truly speak the mind of God.

    BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, I ask you with a humble heart, take down and remove every postings in this website. You know you have the power to do so. The decision is yours. Quit enticing others to spew hatred and ugly talk against your brother-in-Christ. Instead, encourage your website followers to pray and intercede for Bishop Jakes to reach those for Christ that you and I can not reach!

    The Choice is yours!!! Also, you have ended some of your postings with Peace and Grace. I have NOT heard any peace-talk or grace-talk towards your brother-in-Christ.

    Pray peace over Bishop Jakes and God’s grace over him. PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL BLESS HIM AND KEEP HIM, THAT THE LORD’S FACE WILL SHINE UPON BISHOP JAKES, AND BE GRACIOUS TO HIM. PRAY THAT THE LORD’S COUNTENANCE WILL RISE UPON HIM AND GIVE HIM PEACE.

    Grace to you all,

    Kirby

    • Kirby:
      I was reading Ryle’s Holiness last night, and I would like to recommend it to you, and other Code Orangers, coming off the revival high.

      Here are three short bits to whet your appetites. You can find the book online, for free. Give it a read, son. It’ll be most instructive to you!

      “A religion without doctrine, is a thing which many are fond of talking of in the present day. It sounds very fine at first. It looks very pretty at a distance. But the moment we sit down to examine and consider it — we shall find it a simple impossibility. We might as well talk of a body without bones and sinews. No man will ever be anything or do anything in religion — unless he sincerely believes something. Even those who profess to hold the miserable and uncomfortable views of the deists, are obliged to confess that they believe something. With all their bitter sneers against dogmatic theology and Christian credulity, as they call it — they themselves have a kind of faith.”

      Emotional feelings, after false religious excitement, is a most deadly disease of soul. When the devil is only temporarily cast out of a man in the heat of a revival, and by and by returns to his house — the last state becomes worse than the first. Better a thousand times begin more slowly, and then “continue in the Word” steadfastly, than begin in a hurry, without counting the cost, and by and by look back, with Lot’s wife, and return to the world. I declare I know no state of soul more dangerous, than to imagine we are born again and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, because we have picked up a few religious feelings.”

      For lack of counting the cost, hundreds of professed converts, under religious revivals — go back to the world after a time and bring disgrace on religion. They begin with a sadly mistaken notion of what is true Christianity. They imagine it consists in nothing more than a so-called “coming to Christ” and having strong inward feelings of joy and peace. And so when they find, after a time, that there is a cross to be carried, that our hearts are deceitful, and that there is a busy devil always near us — they cool down in disgust and return to their old sins. And why? Because they had really never known what Bible Christianity is. They had never learned that we must count the cost.”

    • Kirby,

      BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, I ask you with a humble heart, take down and remove every postings in this website.

      You are asking me to remove an article that is a careful Biblical rebuttal of a false gospel and which proclaims the true Gospel clearly in its place – the Gospel of Christ crucified for sinners and raised from the dead. By the grace of God, this I will not do, no matter how personal, vitriolic and hateful the attacks become.

      Quit enticing others to spew hatred and ugly talk against your brother-in-Christ.

      It is not hateful to compare carefully with the Scriptures the teachings of a preacher, to see whether they are true. This is what we are all called to do. As Paul says to the Thessalonians, ‘Test all things; hold fast what is good’. Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, commends the Jews of Berea for scrutinizing even the teaching of the Apostle Paul. No one – not even St. Paul – is beyond scrutiny by even the humblest of saints:

      Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

      (Acts 17:10–11)

      I wonder, do you consider the Apostle Paul to have ‘spewed hatred’ when he wrote this to the Galatians?

      I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

      With regard to hatred and ‘ugly talk’, I think an impartial observer of my article and all the comments here would draw their own conclusions. One side of the argument makes careful application of the Scriptures and is measured in its language. The other overwhelmingly does not base its opinions in a sound exegesis of the Scriptures, but instead resorts to rancour and personal attack. This should, I think, give cause for reflection.

      Now, that said, I understand that you are sincere and believe you are in the right. I’d ask you, though, to consider whether you might not be mistaken.

      If I am wrong – and I have been wrong about a great many things in the past, and no doubt am wrong about a great many things now – if I am wrong, show me by a careful argument from Scripture where I have erred. That is the only way I shall be persuaded.

      May our Lord and Saviour cause us no longer to ‘be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, [to] grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.’ (Eph. 4:14–16)

      May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you.

    • FJ, did you not read the article? I took great care to proclaim the true Gospel of Christ crucified for sinners and raised from the dead. Indeed, the entire reason I wrote was to counter a false gospel and proclaim the true in its place.

      Peace and grace.

  34. I think back to the days of my new found faith in Christ. In pure innocence I asked my pastor how the Bible could possibly hold the answers to every need I might ever have. It seemed too small to answer everything. And instantly the Holy Spirit revealed to me that each story, verse, and word would be used to help me according to my need at the time. I felt comforted, yet still not sure how that would happen. Now, 26 years later, I have witnessed this many times. As I read from Genesis to Revelation straight through the Word comes alive to me as a beautiful picture of God’s saving grace. And as I face trials and tribulations I open my Bible and read a verse or two that seems to be exactly what I need at the time. I never fail to be amazed when something is opened to me at those times and I marvel that I had never quite understood the verses in that way before. That is because I didn’t need that particular answer at any other time while reading the same verses.

    What I trying to say is that is the only way that the Bible can contain all answers that we will ever need. There is a difference in preaching and teaching God’s Word. Teaching should never take scripture out of context, but preaching must be left to the Holy Spirit’s direction. Unless Bishop Jakes or anyone else preaches contrary to the Word, their choice of scripture verse(s) should not be questioned. Unless a person knows all of the burdens and needs of every other person in attendance at a service they have no way of knowing how the Word is ministering to others. Have you never sit through a sermon and not be personally ministered to, yet others are rejoicing, weeping, or even broken, on their faces before God? Have you never been the one that was rejoicing, weeping, or broken while others sit at their pews seemingly untouched? The Holy Spirit ministers to those that are in need and open to His ‘TOUCH’ as He chooses. We are not to question His wisdom. I have never personally heard a sermon preached by Bishop Jakes so obviously I was not in the congregation. Yet I feel confident that there were people ‘touched’ by the Spirit and those people received answers to the needs in their lives by whatever verses the Holy Spirit chose to use that day.

    • Sharon, it’s wonderful that you are finding such delight in God’s amazing written word. May the Lord continue to bless you richly as you abide in Christ through His sure word.

      There is a difference in preaching and teaching God’s Word. Teaching should never take scripture out of context, but preaching must be left to the Holy Spirit’s direction.

      If I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that preaching does not need to be based on the Scripture, nor that it must teach only what is found there.

      I wonder what you would make of Paul’s charge to Timothy:

      But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

      All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

      Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

      (2 Tim. 3:13–4:5)

      Paul instructed Timothy to ‘Preach the word!’ Which word? The immediately preceding context shows the word to be the Holy Scriptures, given by the inspiration of God, which are profitable for ‘doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’.

      And so Paul is telling Timothy to preach the Holy Scriptures. He instructs him to ‘convince, rebuke, exhort’. How? With all patience and teaching. Biblical preaching, then, is nothing else than teaching the Holy Scriptures with longsuffering.

      R.C.H. Lenski, the great New Testament commentator and Greek scholar, explains the charge to ‘Preach the word!’ like this (he translates ‘Preach’ as ‘Herald’):

      “Herald the Word!” is properly put first, for this is Timothy’s greatest work and function. This connects directly with 3:14–17, especially with “all Scripture God-inspired.” This word is regularly translated “preach” and regards the preacher as a “herald,” whose function is to make a loud, public proclamation, one that has been given him by a superior. He must announce it in its completeness (Acts 20:27) and not alter it in any way, not add anything of his own or anything that is borrowed from another source, not subtract a particle. “Herald!” and not offer religious opinions, not philosophize, not argue. In view of the connotations of this imperative many a preacher, who should be a “herald” and is not what he should be or not all that he should be, must stammer and blush when he faces Christ’s appearance and his kingdom.

      (R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon)

      Paul makes a direct connection in this passage between preaching and teaching. He contrasts Biblical preaching of the Scriptures with the time that he said would come (and I believe is now upon us) when people ‘will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables’.

      When a preacher turns aside from what Scripture teaches, and instead preaches something else that is popular – something that what people want to hear and therefore think is wonderful – does he not put himself into the category of those teachers that people heap up for themselves, not enduring sound doctrine?

      The stature of a preacher, then, is not measured by the reaction that he obtains from his audience, nor by the popularity of his message, but by his faithfulness in proclaiming nothing else but the Holy Scriptures and the doctrine that they contain.

      Unless Bishop Jakes or anyone else preaches contrary to the Word, their choice of scripture verse(s) should not be questioned.

      The intent of my article was to show in detail how what Jakes taught in this sermon was contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and to proclaim the true Gospel in its place. I question not the choice of verses that Jakes made, but what he read into them contrary to their meaning.

      Unless a person knows all of the burdens and needs of every other person in attendance at a service they have no way of knowing how the Word is ministering to others.

      I agree. But the point here is that the word of God was not preached. Rather than teach the Scriptures faithfully, Jakes misused them and taught what is not found there, leading people to put their trust in promises that God has not made. This will have tragic results.

      I have never personally heard a sermon preached by Bishop Jakes so obviously I was not in the congregation.

      If you did not hear this sermon, I am not quite sure of the basis upon which you are quite so vigorously defending it…

      For a flavour of T.D. Jakes real doctrine, you might be interested in watching these few minutes of him on YouTube. Is this the voice of God speaking? Does God promise faithful believers the things that Jakes is promising to his audience there?

      Yet I feel confident that there were people ‘touched’ by the Spirit and those people received answers to the needs in their lives by whatever verses the Holy Spirit chose to use that day.

      How do we know whether people are touched by the Holy Spirit? Simply because they feel an emotional high? Do not people feel such highs in non-Christian contexts? A concert, for example? Do not people in other religions also have their own highly emotional experiences? Are those religions therefore true?

      The Holy Spirit never contradicts the written word that He has inspired. He does not lead people to misuse it and abuse it, but to reverence it, and trust in the promises it delivers to us in Christ. Simply then, if teaching contrary to God’s word is preached, this cannot be the work of the Holy Spirit. Those people who claim to speak on behalf of God things that He has not said put themselves into an exceedingly precarious position (cf. Deut. 13 & 18).

      Paul tells the Thessalonians not to despise prophecies, but to ‘Test all things; hold fast what is good.’ Clearly, there must be an objective standard for what is ‘good’, otherwise we could not hold fast the good and reject everything else. Scripture gives us no objective standard for such testing other than the one He gave Israel in Deut. 13 & 18 – accuracy, and conformance with his word.

      Finally, notice how the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to write of those at Berea who subjected even the words of St. Paul the Apostle to a stringent scrutiny from Scripture:

      Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

      (Acts 17:10–11)

      It is a good thing to diligently compare all that we hear preached with the Scriptures, holding fast to what is good and rejecting what is not. It is very easy for us to be misled by teachers with great charisma who freely use Biblical language to cloak their error. But we must be very careful not to be misled by another gospel that is not the Gospel of Christ – Him crucified for sinners and raised from the dead. St. Paul writes to the Galatians:

      I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

      (Gal. 1:6–9)

      Peace and grace.

  35. T.D. Jakes has many times spoken about the redemption of sin through the finished work of Christ. He would not deny that this was the most important feat by our Saviour. To call him a heretic because he emphasizes a different side of Christ’s work in this sermon is rude, unkind and unfair. It’s blunt to be listening to your very first T.D. Jakes sermon, and subsequently jump to your computer and rant away about the man. You’re entitled to the opinion that this sermon was unbalanced, but it’s really not up to you to judge his character.

  36. A brief heads-up that I am now actively moderating comments in accordance with this site’s Comment Policy.

    I have been very lenient thus far, and let just about everything through. From this point on, comments will need to make a substantive point accurately, and do so with respect. Critical comments are still welcome, but please craft them carefully in accordance with the Comment Policy.

    Your cooperation towards achieving a dignified conversation is appreciated.

  37. It is troubling to think that people who believe criticism is negative and unloving are so foolish.

    You see, folks, without criticism of people who claim to be teachers of God’s Word, you wouldn’t even be in this country, believing what you think you believe about Christ (if I may be so reductionist).

    We would all be Gnostics, or Roman Catholics, or whichever prevailing heresy was left uncontested.

    Steven Furtick and T.D. Jakes would have been burned at the stake for preaching at all without papal approval. THAT would be horrific, even to those of us that might not agree with their mishandling of Scripture.

    But that aside, I think the question I always come back to when people criticize critics is this:

    What teaching would be ANTI-BIBLICAL enough that you would approve of a critique? From the present level of dissenters, such a teaching doesn’t exist, for we should all just “love” one another, and “assume” that each is a brother in Christ.

    As pointed out numerous times in previous articles and in previous comments above: we are COMMANDED to test EVERYTHING against Scripture. You cannot do this if you do not know Scripture.

    The author here (Daniel) has carefully studied both Jakes’ teaching as well as his use of communication at the event, and has made very cogent biblical points. To speak out against him is foolish without Scripture, for you betray that your value is not in Scripture (God’s actual revealed Word) or in Christ, but in the favor of man, which is fleeting and often-times sinful.

    Are there bloggers who simply attack preachers with unbiblical critiques (calling them names, and deserving the title, “haters”)? Yes. This is not one of those bloggers. Save your pithy Aesop fable responses for the really nasty ones. This author is interested in Truth, even if, in a discussion, you point out that his may be faulty—he is humble enough to admit it if you make a case with Scripture.

    In Christ,
    Frank

  38. I am new to TD Jakes, I don’t really understand the points that the author of this article is making about his teachings being false. Could you elaborate briefly in summary as to exactly what the false points are. Thanks.

  39. I was just curious about the doctrinal background of the author of this article, if I may ask. What religious preference are you? I am catholic myself and I agree with your article, just wondered if we share the same faith and if not are you willing to disclose your doctrine? ie catholic, baptist, etc. God Bless.

    • JW, welcome :-)

      I’m a mongrel. Think Reformed Baptist, but heavily influenced by Confessional Lutheranism on a bunch of things, and you’ll probably not be too far off. No, that probably doesn’t make much sense, and I am still working a bunch of things through :-) I tend to quote quite frequently both from the Lutheran Confessions and from the Westminster Confession of Faith. That no doubt frustrates a few people…

      I generally think of myself as being in the Reformation tradition, and I hold to the five solas of the Reformation. I currently attend a Reformed Baptist Church that adheres to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.

      There’s a little more info (not much) on my About page.

      Peace and grace.

        • It’s probably worth adding that I grew up in the UK in what I suppose would be considered mainstream evangelicalism – a mix of general Baptist, Assemblies of God (i.e. Pentecostal) and soft charismatic churches. Though I had fellowship with a great many very dear Christians, I subsequently came to see the error of my ways and to embrace more historically orthodox (small ‘o’) Reformation doctrine. (Or, perhaps I should say that it embraced me.)

          • If Daniel says yes, will you believe him? If he says no, does that mean everything he says is wrong? Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?

            In fact, everyone has a relationship with Jesus. It’s either one of having been redeemed and therefore loving him, or not redeemed by him and so fearing and hating him for the judgement which is coming. So your question is poorly phrased in the first place.

            However I will concede that everyone understands that the wrongly phrased question actually MEANS “Has Jesus Saved you?” I have never seen anything from Daniel to indicate otherwise. His devotion to standing for Biblical truth, as Jesus, the prophets and the apostles, and innumerable saints through the ages, is exemplary.

          • Terriergal- I’m trying to respond to your comment- but there was no reply button underneath it. I totally love love love your response about “do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”
            The whole “it’s about a relationship, not religion— or it’s about relationship, not about doctrine” has wrecked the evangelical community. It has boiled salvation down to the lowest common denominator of claiming a relationship with Jesus, while at the same time disregarding the terms that God has ordained to be in a reconciled or covenant relationship with Him. It makes me crazy, but it seems people love their bumper sticker Christian slogans more than they love the revealed Word of God. Anyway- your response was helpful to me personally in thinking through this issue.

  40. Dear Daniel,

    Grace and peace in Christ Jesus!

    Thank you for being the Lord’s bond-servant.

    “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape form the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 24-26

    It is evident through your careful dividing of God’s Holy Word that you have met the requirements for being the Lord’s bond-servant.

    Many would claim that the gift no one wants in Christianity is martyrdom. I understand, but I think that the gift of discernment is actually harder. The body of Christ needs all of it’s members working effectively to operate the way God intended. Some members do not appreciate the part called discernment because it illuminates the spiritual cleaning that is inorder. This causes distress because there are those members who are comfy in their old, feel good, dirty sneakers and they don’t want to change. May God grant us the love of His Word which will melt our hearts into undivided obedience to the One who purchased us with His precious blood.

    May God continue to strengthen you for His purposes and bless all of those who are seeking wisdom and truth.

    Only by His undeserved grace, charisse

  41. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If he did miracles then, sent the Holy Spirit to large groups then, etc. then he is the same today.

    Other than what you say that in you opinion Jakes took a verse out of context where is the heresy? If he is in fact heretical then I am the fist who wants to know so I can stay away from it.

    Just a brief to the point response of his false doctrine is appreciated. (ie what he believes that is not biblical.)

    Your response is appreciated.

    • ” If he did miracles then, sent the Holy Spirit to large groups then, etc. then he is the same today.”

      Yes, so are you saying that we ought to be slaughtering animals in the temple? After all, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever…

      If he is in fact heretical then I am the fist who wants to know so I can stay away from it.

      Daniel wrote an entire post detailing the heresy. Did you not read it?

  42. Charisse,
    Thank you for that lovely reminder to be gentle and patient with all that perhaps God may grant them repentance. Daniel has certainly been an example of that here.

    Some of these responses are not only ironic, but are wholly ignorant of what the Word of God says. They’d rather defend a man than the Word of God. But alas, I was one of those people when I was blinded by the false teaching of the Word of Faith movement. They are so high on themselves (as I once was) that they don’t know what they are saying. They only know what they have been taught by Furtick and Jakes and company. They think they know the Word of God but they only know the twisted portions they’ve been fed by these wolves, believing they can get by without rigorous study of God’s Word because they have the “leading of the Holy Spirit”. In order to know “what Jesus would think about this review”, you have to actually know Jesus. When I didn’t know Jesus but thought I did, I was mean-spirited and hateful towards those who would hold a standard of truth because they were tearing down my idols. But God granted me repentance and He may do the same for those reading this biblical review.

    Daniel, do not grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). This was a much needed article.

  43. Pingback: Elephant Room 2: may we now regard T.D. Jakes as Trinitarian and orthodox? « BetterThanSacrifice.org

  44. A piece in today’s National Post on the continuing relevance of Nietzsche is not to much of a stretch from Jakes’ continuing theme at The Potter’s House or at Code Orange. The article reminds us that “Our political leaders are Nietzschean heroes, fuelled by the will to power. In popular fiction and journalism we eternally reinvent the drama of Nietzschean characters who scorn tradition and prove their bravery by setting their own course, as he urged. Defiant originality is sanctified everywhere from art galleries to the business pages…. and churches.

    Passion, values, transparency, will to succeed, things are getting better, overcoming challenges, lack of complacency, … these are Jakes’ themes with only slight modifications to include a verse or a biblical example, but over the past ten years his WTAL ministry and TPH ministry have been, at root, this humanistic engine. The verses and anecdotes are incidental; the world view is, as Fulford say, grows in the shade of Nietzsche’s image.

    Read the whole thing: http://arts.nationalpost.com/2012/01/24/fulford-carving-a-nietzche/

  45. Great article! Just curious, has anyone “confronted” you by saying “touch not Gods anointed”? What would be your reply if they did say that to you?

    • Rom623Rom828,

      Thank you for your question.

      There’s this comment, above. I’m afraid I didn’t respond directly to the ‘touch not mine anointed’ point – I didn’t consider it to be a serious one as it so misunderstands what the Scripture teaches. Had I responded, I would probably have done so generally along the lines of this article:

      Touch not my anointed!

      (Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about, nor do I endorse, letusreason.org, but this particular article seems to cover the main points well.)

      Here is a relevant extract:

      The first thing one should notice is that the word touch actually means physical harm. What it does not mean is saying something about another person publicly that is true. How do we know this? Because that’s exactly what David did about Saul. It was David who said he would not harm God’s anointed, who was King Saul at the time but He spoke out publicly about him.

      Not only David, but Samuel “touched God’s anointed,” as he spoke out against the kings disobedience. God told Saul to “Smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not…” (1 Sam. 15:3). But instead, he spoke a half truth and “spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord…” (v.15). Samuel said it was rebellion like witchcraft and idolatry (v.24). Because he did not obey the Word of the Lord he would be removed being king. Saul admitted he feared the people and obeyed their voice. What a crucial thing to learn of Saul who was God’s anointed.

      In1 Sam.16:13-16 we find David who was shepherd boy was anointed before God took away Saul’s position. David refused to touch Saul physically but it didn’t stop him from telling everyone the truth about him publicly.

      David not raising his hand to touch (harm physically) God’s anointed is used in 1 Sam.26:9,11,23. Look at 1 Sam.26:11: tells us that David would not stretch his hand out to touch him (harm him); instead he sneaked up and took Saul’s spear and water jug. In verse 15 David rebukes Abner for not guarding Saul and says he deserved to die. Saul hears the commotion and comes out, and David rebukes Saul before all his troops, asking why he is pursuing David’s life since he is innocent — that the king has come out to seek a flea. Saul then repented for his rash behavior and called himself a fool. David returned Saul’s possessions and said, “For the Lord delivered you into my hand but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.” Notice what this means, not to bring physical harm.

      1 Samuel 24:10 “Look, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.” “And David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?”(1 Sam. 26:9)

      Saul was anointed as King over Israel he had a position of rulership that was soon to be over. Knowing he was next in line David refused to physically touch the king as God’s anointed and remove him from his position prematurely. It was God, not David who would remove Saul from his position (26:8-10).

      We should notice an important part in this story, it was Saul who was pursuing David, hunting him down and trying to kill him. The Bible story has Saul whose position was threatened, pursuing to kill David who was innocent. Isn’t this what we see today? Those who are in a greater position of leadership going after people who are anointed that are challenging them in what they are saying and doing as wrong. From their position they have trained people to listen to them and willing to silence their challengers. They do this by going after them with Bible threats such as “don’t touch God’s anointed” or you are committing the “blasphemy the Holy Spirit” when you speak against another “man of God.” Ignoring the fact that blasphemy meant one is saying that Jesus’ miracles were done by an unclean spirit, not about questioning another mans alleged miracles. Those of the flesh are pursuing those who are of the Spirit, just as Saul did to David. Those who are following the Spirit of the Lord go to His Word to keep themselves in the truth no matter what the opposition may say.

      • BetterThanSacrafice,

        Thanks for the reply. I too saw that good article on the letusreason.org site.

        The ““touch not God’s anointed” tactic was used on me, mostly I believe in response to my posting a link to your article here on my facebook page.

        Also, I hadn’t seen your response to KirbyCarranza above. It was a good response.

        I have another question for you but I’ll start a new message for it.

  46. BetterThanSacrafice,

    This is a stand-alone post (i.e. not a reply to a comment) I saw on facebook yesterday:

    I have now seen 3 critical reviews of people trying to teach the Bible in the past week. Each of these reviews, if true, I agree with to varying degrees (some are just using the wrong words to communicate the “right” doctrine and others are just plain scary).

    But I have to ask. Is writing critical reviews of this type in anyway supported by scripture? Is re-posting these reviews all over the Internet supported? I’m having trouble reconciling this practice with Acts 17:10-12, Gal 6:1, 1Tim 5:13, and Matt 18:15.

    I’m sure this generates traffic to the web site, but does it edifying to the Church?

    How would you respond?

    • My friend, Erin Benziger, provides a good answer to your question. I’ll leave you to read the whole piece, but here’s a snippet:

      The answer to why I maintain this blog (and to why I’ll “call a spade a spade” in any conversation) lies in Ezekiel 33:6:

      But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

      If I saw that your house was burning down, but you were in a far room and were as of yet unaware, would you like me to alert you of the impending danger? Or would you prefer that I stand back and watch the house burn with you inside of it? The same idea applies to what I am doing with this blog: I see a destructive, un-Biblical teaching in the church and instead of sitting back and watching you drown in a sea of apostasy, I am led to boldly speak up for the Truth and stand against the false teaching. Though my prophecy postings are few, the idea is the same. Jesus is coming back…SOON and as a Christian who is eagerly awaiting His return, it is my duty (and yours) to “blow the trumpet” and warn others who are not yet ready!

      Now, there is of course a right way and a wrong way to go about comparing a preacher’s teaching to the Scriptures. If the intent and effect is to tear down the preacher, then this reprehensible. If the intent and effect is to warn the flock of error, to present the true Gospel, and to all people to repentance, it is commendable. Speaking personally, I consciously strive for the latter, though I no doubt fall short from time to time. My desire is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ crucified for our sins, and raised for our justification.

      You may find the following articles from Bob DeWaay both relevant and helpful:

      The Believers Call to Judge Part 1

      The Believers Call to Judge Part 2

      The Believers Call to Judge Part 3

      Peace and grace.

  47. In the vry beginning of his sermon, T.D. Jakes used this passage to mean what it does not:

    Hebrews 4:15, For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities

    He cut the passage off at ‘touched’ to build on uw ‘touching’ Jesus. that’s eisegesis, not exegesis. It was a self-centered, NOT God centered sermon, well delivered to tickle the itchiest of ears.

  48. Great review!

    T.D. Jakes uses classic Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

    He delivers a) audience hypnotism, b) showmanship, c) misdirection and d) suggestion.

    And his “finish my, finish my, finish my, finish my……. SENTENCE!” weirdism surely creates high blood pressure, heart troubles, blinding-of-sheep’s mental acumen, and a whole host of demonic troubles…. that keep His Empire on, er, fire.

  49. Pingback: Elephant Room 2: James White on T.D. Jakes and elephants in the room « BetterThanSacrifice.org

  50. Pingback: Elephant Room 2: the emergence of pachydermism « BetterThanSacrifice.org

  51. Bro Daniel ,First off, let me say that I completely agree with your refute of TD Jakes’ so- called sermon. My question to you and the other preachers here is – is it absolutely essential, when preaching to Christians, to expound the gospel(Christ death,burial and resurrection) every single time, even though the ones listening are already saved. The reason I ask is, it is often said that if you did not preach Christ` death, burial and resurrection, you have not preached.

    • Tarre, thank you for visiting and for your question.

      I’d think about this by asking a question: ‘What is it that makes a sermon Christian?’

      It is surely not an exhortation to moral living and loving one’s neighbour. Many other religions – Judaism and Mormonism, for example – enjoin their followers to such things. Indeed, all religions other than Christianity combine one or more of three ladders that we can purportedly use to climb toward god (or heaven, nirvana, or whatever the goal of the religion happens to be). Pastor Wolfmueller explains:

      Lutheran theologian Adolph Koberle talks about these attempts of man to ascend to heaven as the three ladders. These three ladders are moralism, mysticism, and speculation.

      The first ladder is moralism. Moralism is the ladder of the will. The moralist tries to get to heaven by works, efforts and the living of the good life. Human pride often thinks that it has climbed the ladder of moralism into heaven. Time after time the question, “Why will you be in heaven? Is answered by the ladder of moralism. “I’ve lived a good life, I’ve been a good person.” This is perhaps what most people think of religion, and even of the church, that the Christian life is trying to be good enough for God. Lord have mercy! Good enough for God! No, the ladder of moralism in not high enough to reach heaven. The top of that ladder will only reach the peak of pride or the clouds of despair. No, no one is saved by ascending the ladder of moralism.

      The second ladder is mysticism. Mysticism is the ladder of emotions. The mystic thinks that heaven can be reached by an emotional experience. If we sing the song enough times, if we sit in profound silence, if we discipline our soul, we can feel God, experience God, somehow climb the ladder of the emotions into the bliss of heaven. But this ladder, like the ladder of moralism, is woefully short. Searching the depths of the human soul for the flower of divinity, it finds instead the horror and the depth of sin clinging not just to our flesh but to our very soul. Mysticism, if it is honest, finds that we are sinners, and that we cannot change that on our own. Mysticism, if it is not honest, becomes inflated with is idolatrous pride that thinks “God lives in me.” No one one is saved by ascending the ladder of mysticism.

      The third ladder is speculation, or rationalism. Speculation is the ladder of the mind. This ladder attempts to climb into heaven by obtaining perfect knowledge, as if salvation is a matter of knowing about God. But what do we know of God that He has not told us? So inquiry into the nature of God apart for His Word is like looking into deep darkness, and the ladder of the mind tumbles into this despair, often into the prideful despair of atheism and unbelief. No, no one is saved by ascending the ladder of speculation

      Wolfmueller concludes:

      Salvation is the gift of God. We are saved not because we’ve gotten up to heaven, but because Jesus has come down to us. We are saved not because we’ve climbed a man-made ladder into heaven, but because Jesus was lifted off the earth on a cross. Our salvation is not the result of our doing, feeling or thinking, it is the result of Jesus’ suffering, dying and rising.

      Christianity is not about man climbing up to God. The exact opposite is true. Christianity is about God coming down to man, coming to our weakness, coming to our sin, coming to our punishment and death, to take our place under the wrath of God so that we might have life eternal.

      To be Christian, preaching must therefore necessarily be about Christ – his life, death and resurrection for us poor undeserving sinners. This is why Paul says this:

      And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:1–2)

      Only the Gospel is the power for salvation – not just for our initial conversion, but to sustain us throughout our lives:

      For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Rom. 1:16)

      I have touched on this theme in a number of articles. You might find the following of particular interest:

      The power of the Gospel

      What is the activitiy we call ‘discernment’ really all about?

      Some preliminary musings on sanctification

      I hope this is somewhat helpful. (Incidentally, I highly recommend Pastor Wolfmueller’s Table Talk Radio theological game show.)

      • I don’t know about such rigid rules being talked here. Always this, always that…

        What about Christ-in-You?

        What if saints since the resurrection went about their Christianity, and lo and behold: quickly come in them is Christ-in-You? (Behold, I come quickly… Behold with eyes to see, eyes not blinded by rigid-righteous rules about… uhm, say preaching?)

        What about that? Do we honor Christ-in-You individuals?

        Or do we honor rigid rules about preaching!

        Careful with your answer, here… because Jesus taught that it is better to honor the holy flexible than the dummy rigid-righteous folk practicing the religion of the day.

  52. Pingback: Elephant Room 2: Uh, this is embarrassing… « BetterThanSacrifice.org

  53. It’s interesting to see the great passion and study of the Bible that this man has, even while he seems to take no precaution to mishandling and miscontextualizing it. I was curious to see if this “touched” sermon was one that Jakes had done before, and came across this video, uploaded over a year ago http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS2_D27oRVE

    As the video goes on, blatant and uncalled for allegory of the Israeli worship customs grows, but in the first few minutes Jakes is getting at least closer to the meaning of Hebrews 4:15.

  54. Very astute observation,why do christians beleive all this fluff that the name it and claim it,blab it and grab it bunch have to say.People wake up,dont u realize that all these people that preach that kinda rot had mentors and teachers and people who influenced them by what they beleived,do some homework and see who influenced them,who their mentors and teachers were and u will be blown away by what they beleived and how it has influenced the prosperity gospel,signs and wonders bunch.The devil has done his homework well and has counted on many christians to not care about discernment,bein grounded in the word of God and testin the spirit so they would know what is and is not of God.He hasnt changed his tatics much since the garden,hes counting on christians to be walkin in the flesh and not after the spirit,much easier to deceive someone who is walkin in the flesh.God may spare T.D JAKES from trial and tribulation but I know personally speaking he has not spared me nor my family and heres the kicker he didnt spare his own son.

  55. This really has little to do with the original posting, but I could not help but notice that the blog author ends several of his postings with “Peace and grace.” I use to do this as well until a friend pointed out to me how Paul and Peter used the words and their order.
    I believe that the above review was well written and handled well according to the Bible. Thank you for your time and effort.

  56. Pingback: Voddie Baucham names the elephant in the room | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  57. Pingback: Elephant Room 2 claims first Acts 29 casualty | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  58. Pingback: James White on the discernment gap | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  59. Pingback: Elephant Room 2: playing the race card, again | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  60. Pingback: Voddie Baucham accuses ER2 defenders of cult-like ‘Ethnic Gnosticism’ | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  61. Dear Sir,

    I really appreciate the heart that you have for God’s word. However, I am very sorry to inform you that you are wrong. I had the opportunity to listen to Pastor Jake’s message and it was awesome. How can false doctrine and false theology draw people closer to God. If it weren’t for preachers like TD. Jake’s and Furtick, youngsters like me would be far from God. Both these preachers don’t preach doctrines that tickle the ears. In fact, the teaches of both these men of God encourage us to press on God and see his glory unfold in our lives. If you use your influence in a productive manner, God will surely use you for the glory of his name. May God bless you Sir.

    Greetings,
    Jobin Joseph Kottaram

  62. Pingback: Deny The Trinity as Jakes – Or You are Racist? « Truth with Snares!?

  63. Pingback: The human cost of T.D. Jakes’ false prosperity gospel | BetterThanSacrifice.org

  64. Thank you for the comments about Jakes, I enjoy listening to him because he is the best at what he does. I know the Word for myself because I study the Word to show myself approved. I do not look to him or any other mega preacher for truth. I have said to my wife when you listen to these individuals, they never mention sin, repentance or forgiveness. It is sad that they have so many people who follow them and take their word instead of searching the scriptures for themselves.
    I know you will not be surprised to know that so many pastors, especially the young men, try to emulate Jakes. In my denomination (Seventh day Adventist) it is embarrassing to see how we have gone away from the foundation of the doctrine to be like Jake and others in our preaching, and dress in the pulpit It seems that we are going all out to win young people and get them in the church. As a professor on at a secular university, I can tell you that our youth do not respect you as an older adult for how you try to emulate them, in your dress, talk or walk; they want you to respect them. They respect me and have given my annual awards because they trust me and I am there for them in the hours that most faculty and administrators have left campus. They know I care about their successes and share my experiences to help them in their decision making. I do not proselytize but they invariably ask me questions about my faith, Christianity, and walk with God.

  65. One of the best ways to discern a good preacher/teacher is to look around to see with whom he associates and emulates. For instance: WOF. Once you “get burned” by one of those characters you don’t have to nit-pick the rest of them. They are all alike and what they teach can only be appreciated by those that teach the same “messages”. Watch any two or three of them on the same stage and you’ll notice head nodding in agreement with everything presented. Whenever I’m in the mood for secular entertainment I dial up TBN or the 700 club and have a barf bag handy. I pray for the day when Jesus comes to Jerusalem.

Comments are closed.