HAGIN DRUNK "IN
On Thursday, September 17, 1998, I attended a Kenneth Hagin Holy
Ghost Meeting at the New Life Victory Center in Huntington, West
Virginia. Hagin, who died in September 2003, was the father of the
Word-Faith movement and founder of the Rhema Bible Institute and the
Rhema group of churches. His influence extends around the world.
Thousands of students have graduated from Hagin's Rhema Bible
Training Center and have gone to various nations planting churches
patterned after Hagin's ministry. The stated purpose of Rhema is "to
produce graduates who will carry forth the great charismatic renewal
that God has sent into our time." Hagin's daily radio program, which
is carried on by his son, Kenneth Hagin, Jr., is broadcast on more
than 180 stations in the States and by short-wave to about 80 other
countries. By the late 1980s, more than three million copies of
Hagin's 85 books and a half million copies of his sermons on audio
cassette were being distributed each year. Hagin's monthly Word of
Faith magazine goes to 190,000 homes.
A large portion of the Huntington, West Virginia, meeting was given
over to a rock-jazz concert disguised as a worship service. There
were no hymns, no Scripture songs. It was obvious that the crowd came
to boogie! Even old West Virginia farmer types were bopping around.
The lyrics to most of the songs focused on unscriptural Word-Faith
themes. The song "No More Bondage" falsely proclaimed "no more
sickness, no more poverty, no more bondage." The song "I'm Free"
stated, "I don't have to be sick; I don't have to be poor; the
devil's under my feet; sickness is under my feet; poverty is under my
feet; prosperity is complete." Another song proclaimed repetitiously,
"Demons are afraid of me." The offertory was a strong jazz number
which would have made any Bourbon Street nightclub happy.
Kenneth Hagin and other Word-Faith preachers claim that the Christian
has the authority to profess wealth and healing with his mouth. In an
article "How God Taught Me about Prosperity," Hagin claimed that
Jesus Christ told him not to "pray about money anymore; that is, the
way you've been praying. CLAIM WHATEVER YOU NEED." Christ allegedly
further taught Hagin that he has personal angels who could be
commanded to do his bidding.
In light of these claims, I believe it is exceedingly contradictory
and hypocritical that at least 20 minutes of Hagin's meeting was
given over to fund raising.
In West Virginia, Hagin preached on "The Demonstration of the Spirit"
from 1 Corinthians 2:4. There was no Gospel message, no preaching
against sin or carnality or worldliness or apostasy; no call to grow
in Christ. Instead, the message was a litany of alleged miracles
which had been demonstrated in Hagin's ministry. He told of a woman
preacher who danced in the air (levitation). He told of another woman
who danced during an entire church service, dancing the metal taps
off of her shoes without making any noise. He told of a girl who fell
into a trance during one of his meetings and remained transfixed for
eight hours and 40 minutes. He had commanded that she be filled with
the Spirit. Two men tried to move her to a warmer part of the room
but they were unable to budge her. He told of how his wife and two
other people were glued to the floor by the "Holy Spirit." When
someone was levitated in a meeting, Hagin's wife and two other people
had questioned whether it was of the Lord. He claims that God
instructed him to touch all three of them on the forehead with his
little finger, and when he did so, they were knocked to the floor and
paralyzed so that they could not get up. They were not allowed to
rise until they acknowledged that Hagin's power was of God. When they
admitted this, Hagin touched them again with his finger and they were
After he had preached for about ten minutes, Hagin began to argue
that one of the demonstrations of the Spirit is drunkenness. At that
point he stopped preaching and for about 25 minutes he staggered
about, laughing, waving his arms at people and blowing on them, and
otherwise acting drunken and foolish. He repeatedly tried to speak
was unable to do so. Large numbers of people in the crowd also began
to laugh loudly and some fell to the floor or staggered about and
acted ridiculously like drunks. Women fell to the floor in all sorts
of compromising positions and had to be covered with the assistance
of ladies who are assigned that task. Kenneth Hagin, Jr., attempted
to read from his father's notes, but he could not form the words and
staggered all the way across the front of the church.
When Hagin, Sr., began speaking properly again, he claimed that what
had happened was a fulfillment of Acts chapter 2. He said the
Apostles were drunk in the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. This is
nonsense. Those who said the disciples were "full of new wine" were
the unbelieving mockers who wanted to debunk the miracle of tongues
(Acts 2:13). The mockers did not say the disciples were drunken
because they were staggering about and their speech was slurred and
they were falling to the ground, but because of the many strange
languages which were used to preach the Gospel that day and because
they wanted to slander the servants of Christ.
In his reply to these mockers, PETER PLAINLY SAID THEY WERE NOT
DRUNKEN (Acts 2:15). In Ephesians 5:18 Paul CONTRASTS drunkenness
with the filling of the Spirit. The drunk is not in control of
himself but is under the power of a foreign substance. In contrast,
the Spirit-filled Christian is entirely in control of himself under
the direction of the Holy Spirit. There is absolutely no case in the
New Testament of the Lord Jesus Christ or the apostles or the early
Christians staggering about in a drunken stupor, unable to attend to
necessary duties, as those in the modern charismatic "laughing
revival" have experienced.
THE CHRISTIAN IS COMMANDED TO BE SOBER AT ALL TIMES (1 Thess. 5:6,8;
1 Tim. 3:2,11; Titus 1:8; 2:2,4,6; 1 Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). If for no
other reason, I would reject Kenneth Hagin's ministry on this basis
alone. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter
The only example of "spiritual drunkenness" in the Bible is in the
prophets, referring to God's judgment upon sin and apostasy (Isa.
29:9-14; Jer. 51:37-40). These prophecies sound a solemn warning to
the charismatic Word-Faith crowd. They have rejected the sound
teaching of the Bible; they have refused to be sober and vigilant;
they have mocked careful biblical discernment; they have exalted
experience over doctrine; they have gone awhoring after feelings and
"signs and wonders"; and they have been blinded by demonic delusions.
God warns that those who refuse to obey the truth will be blinded by
lying wonders (2 Thess. 2:9-12). The Lord Jesus plainly stated that
it is an evil generation that seeks after a sign. "And when the
people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil
generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it,
but the sign of Jonas the prophet" (Lk. 11:29).
Throughout the rest of Hagin's sermon, various people were laughing
hysterically in various parts of the auditorium, making it difficult
to follow his message. The service could best be characterized by
confusion, but the Bible says, "God is not the author of confusion,
but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (1 Cor. 14:33).
It ended like it began, with a sensual rock concert disguised as a
Kenneth Hagin's positive-confession teachings, which he derived at
least partially from the false teacher E.W. Kenyon, have spawned an
entire movement within modern Pentecostalism. Its proponents have
vast influence. The Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic
Movements admits that "Kenyon's writings became seminal for the
ministries of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Don Gossett, Charles
Capps, and others in the Word of Faith and Positive Confession
movements." This dictionary also notes that Kenyon influenced Ern
Baxter, F.F. Bosworth, David Nunn, T.L. Osborn, Jimmy Swaggart, "and
In a survey taken by Charisma magazine in 1985, seven Word-Faith
teachers ranked among the top 24 most influential Charismatic
leaders. Kenneth Hagin, Sr., ranked third. Hagin's protege Kenneth
Copeland ranked second. Other Word-Faith teachers listed in the
survey were Marilyn Hickey, Fred Price, Robert Tilton, John Osteen,
and Norvel Hayes.
Kenneth Hagin claimed that his teaching was given to him by God, but
in fact he plagiarized heavily from the writings of E.W. Kenyon
(1867-1948). D.R. McConnell, in his book A Different Gospel,
documents this with many pages of comparisons, proving beyond
question that Hagin plagiarized Kenyon's writings. McConnel
introduces this section of his book by saying: "Hagin has, indeed,
copied word-for-word without documentation from Kenyon's writings.
The following excerpts of plagiarisms from no less than eight books
by E.W. Kenyon are presented as evidence of this charge. This is only
a sampling of such plagiarisms. Many more could be cited."
Kenneth Hagin taught that Christ's physical death did not remove sin.
Rather, it was Christ's alleged spiritual death and struggles in hell
that removed sin. Hagin taught that Christ was sent to hell and there
struggled against Satan and demons and by his victory over them was
born again. This is heresy of the highest caliber. The Bible plainly
states that we are redeemed by Christ's death and blood (Acts 20:28;
Heb. 9:14; 10:10). The atonement was finished on the cross. When
Christ dismissed His spirit from his body, He cried, "It is finished"
(John 19:30). The Lord Jesus Christ was not born again; He was never
lost! He bore our sin, but He was never a sinner. He was never
tormented in hell by Satan and the demons. Nowhere does the Bible say
that Satan is in hell or that he has any influence in hell. One happy
day in the future he will be bound for 1,000 years in the bottomless
pit (Rev. 20:1-3) and ultimately he will be cast into the lake of
fire (Rev. 20:10), but nowhere does the Bible say Satan is the master
Kenneth Hagin further taught that the Christian is an incarnation of
God like Jesus was. "The believer is as much an incarnation as was
Jesus of Nazareth" (Hagin, "The Incarnation," The Word of Faith, Dec.
1980, cited from Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, p.
175,397). This is a gross heresy. The Lord Jesus Christ is God
manifest in the flesh. He is the eternal Son of God. Nowhere is the
believer said to be an incarnation of Almighty God. The Lord Jesus
Christ performed miracles to demonstrate that He was the Son of God,
the promised Messiah. No Christian can do the things that Christ did.
Not one Pentecostal preacher has ever been able to perform the
miracles that Christ performed. It is blasphemous confusion to claim
that the believer is an incarnation of God like Christ was.
Hagin received guidance by alleged visitations of angels and even of
the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. His book I Believe in Visions
describes eight of these. The seventh occurred on December 12, 1962.
Hagin claimed the Lord prophesied to him in this visitation that He
would soon begin to move among all denominations to "bring them into
a full salvation and into the baptism of the Holy Ghost." Hagin
claimed that Jesus Christ told him that he would play a part in this
ecumenical miracle revival.
A similar prophecy was given to David DuPlessis by Pentecostal
"prophet" Smith Wigglesworth in 1936.
The ecumenical-charismatic movement which has since swept through the
Roman Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant denominations would
appear to be a fulfillment of these prophecies. DuPlessis was the
first to carry Pentecostal experiences to the Roman Catholic Church.
He was the only Pentecostal to attend Rome's Vatican II Council in
the mid 1960s.
The succeeding ecumenical-Charismatic movement has not been based on
the Word of God, though. Charismatic Catholics who have received the
"baptism of the Holy Spirit" have not turned away from Rome's
heresies but instead have found that their love for heresy has been
rekindled. They have subsequently fallen more in love with the false
Catholic Mary and with the false Catholic mass and with the
blasphemous office of the pope. I have witnessed the unscriptural
fruit of the ecumenical Charismatic movement firsthand. In 1987 and
again in 1990 I attended with press credentials two of the largest
Charismatic conferences ever held. They were organized by the North
America Congress on the Holy Spirit & World Evangelization. Roughly
40 denominations were represented. Fifty percent of the tens of
thousands of attendees were Roman Catholic. A Catholic mass was
featured every morning. Catholic priest Tom Forrest from Rome brought
the concluding message at both meetings. In Indianapolis Forrest
preached a message on why he was thankful for Roman Catholicism, and
he said that he praised the Lord for purgatory! Upon the authority of
the Bible I can testify that the ecumenical-Charismatic "revival" is
demonically inspired because it produces doctrinal error instead of
truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of TRUTH.
Kenneth Hagin promoted a health-prosperity gospel. He said: "Like
salvation, healing is a gift, already paid for at Calvary. All we
need to do is accept it. All we need to do is possess the promise
that is ours. As children of God, we need to realize that healing
belongs to us" (Hagin, Healing Belongs to Us, p. 32). He further
said: "God is glorified through healing and deliverance, not sickness
and suffering" (Hagin, The Key to Scriptural Healing, p. 17).
Hagin's claims did not match reality, though. In the early 1990s he
claimed that he hadn't been sick in 60 years, but actually he had had
several cardiovascular crises, one lasting six weeks. Heart disease
is a sickness, dear friends!
As for prosperity, Hagin claimed that the Lord spoke to him in a
vision in 1959 with the words: "If you will learn to follow that
inward witness I will make you rich. I will guide you in all the
affairs of life, financial as well as spiritual" (Hagin, How to Be
Led by the Holy Spirit). In the article "How God Taught Me about
Prosperity," Hagin claimed that Jesus Christ taught him not to think
that it is wrong to have riches. Allegedly Christ told him not to
"pray about money anymore; that is, the way you've been praying.
CLAIM WHATEVER YOU NEED." Christ allegedly further taught Hagin that
he had personal angels who can be commanded to do his bidding. Hagin
said that Christ told him in 1963 that the angels were waiting for
his command to provide his material desires. "They are waiting on you
to give them the order, just as the waitress cannot do anything for
you until you give her the order" (Hagin, I Believe in Visions, p.
This is the source for the terms "word-faith" or "positive
confession." That which the believer confesses with his mouth will
become true in reality. Various forms of this false idea have spread
throughout many parts of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement today.
Friends in Christ, beware of the Rhema Bible Institute and the many
churches that are affiliated with it throughout the world.