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John MacMillan and the Authority of the Believer

60 Kenneth Copeland has taught on the authority of the believer from the same passage of Scripture of MacMillan’s exposition, Ephesians 1. He also used the same police officer illustration used by MacMillan. Kenneth Copeland, “Prayer of Binding and Loosing,” Ft. Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, sound recording, 1987. Charles Capps wrote a booklet Authority in Three Worlds on the authority of the believer. Charles Capps, Authority in Three Worlds (Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 1982). Since both Copeland and Capps are leaders in the modern Word of Faith movement, undoubtedly they gleaned the illustrations and teaching from their mentor Kenneth Hagin, but MacMillan was the originator. MacMillan, however, would not approve of all that is currently taught regarding the authority of the believer and faith.

61 Anglican charismatic Michael Harper, in his 1970 book Spiritual Warfare, refers to the authority of the believer, but does not mention MacMillan. MacMillan’s influence is evident indirectly, however, as Harper cites Unger four times. Michael Harper, Spiritual Warfare (Plainfield, NJ: Logos Intl., 1970), 26, 29, 56-59, 68-69, 116. In 1974 Don Basham and Dick Leggatt co-authored a book entitled The Most Dangerous Game as a “Biblical expose of occultism.” While they do not mention MacMillan by name in the text of the book, they do list another of his books, Modern Demon Possession, in the bibliography at the end of the book. This demonstrates that they were familiar with and dependent upon MacMillan’s work, and found his material important enough for others to read and study. Don Basham and Dick Leggatt, The Most Dangerous Game (Greensburg, PA: Manna Christian Outreach, 1974), 128. Basham published other books on the subject as well including: A Manual for Spiritual Warfare; Can a Christian Have a Demon?; Deliver Us from Evil. Don W. Basham, Manual for Spiritual Warfare (Greensburg, PA: Manna Books, 1974); Don W. Basham, Can a Christian Have a Demon? (Monroeville, PA: Whitaker House, 1971). New Wine, a charismatic magazine with which Basham was associated, carried an article entitled “Prayer Works,” by Erik Krueger and Ron Milton, which taught the authority of the believer according to Ephesians 1, but with no acknowledgement of MacMillan as the source. Erik Krueger and Ron Milton, “Prayer Works,” New Wine, Feb. 1980, 27-28. For fuller documentation and discussion, see King, “A Case Study of the Authority of the Believer,” 283-285.

62 Because of his connection with TBN and a questionable interpretation of a certain passage of Scripture, Hank Hanegraaff mistakenly labeled him as a cultic faith teacher, not knowing his teaching comes out of the classical holiness camp. Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1993), 164-165, 383, 396.

63 Foster and King, Binding and Loosing, 13, 18, 62, 67, 107, 119, 135, 138, 247, 248.

64 King, “A Case Study of a Believer with Authority,” 389-410.

65 Boda, “J. A. MacMillan and Spiritual Warfare,” Communicate, 8, no. 4 (May 1998), 1.

This paper was presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and is used by permission of the author.

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About the Author: Paul L. King holds a D.Min from Oral Roberts University and a D.Th. from the University of South Africa. He served for 16 years on the faculty of Oral Roberts University as Coordinator of Bible Institute programs and Adjunct Professor in the College of Theology and Ministry. Author of 12 books and more than 60 articles, he was ORU 2006 Scholar of the Year. He has also served as Scholar-at-Large for the D.Min. program at Alliance Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry Mentor for the Randy Clark Scholars program at United Theological Seminary and Global Awakening Theological Seminary, Leadership and Church Ministry Consultant and Trainer, an ordained pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Interim Consulting Pastor for the Plano (Texas) Chinese Alliance Church, and Faculty Director of Purdue Ratio Christi/Christian Faculty and Staff Network. His books include God's Healing Arsenal: A Divine Battle Plan for Overcoming Distress and Disease (2011), Anointed Women: The Rich Heritage of Women in Ministry in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (2009), Only Believe: Examining the Origin and Development of Classic and Contemporary Word of Faith Theologies (2008), Genuine Gold: The Cautiously Charismatic Story of the Early Christian and Missionary Alliance (2006), Binding & Loosing: Exercising Authority over the Dark Powers (1999), and A Believer with Authority: The Life and Message of John A. MacMillan. Twitter: @PaulLKing.

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