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Claiming God’s Promises Today: Classic and Modern Word of Faith Views Compared and Contrasted, by Paul King

Although some take the blessings and curses of the covenant in Deuteronomy 28 in a literal, physical sense as applied to believers, Simpson stressed that they primarily apply to the church as spiritual Israel spiritually, not materially.8 Further, they belong to the Mosaic covenant, and are only types of the New Covenant. Some contemporary faith teaching confuses what belongs to the Mosaic covenant and what belongs to the Abrahamic covenant, thus mistakenly identifying the material blessings in this Scripture with the Abrahamic covenant.9

Other Reflections on Criticisms Regarding Claiming the Promises of God

Imputed vs. Imparted Righteousness

“The promises of God are certain, but they do not all mature in ninety days.”
— A. J. Gordon

While both contemporary and classic faith teaching emphasize that believers are “the righteousness of God in Christ,” contemporary faith teachers such as Kenyon fail to distinguish between imputed righteousness and imparted righteousness.10 Murray makes clear that believers are clothed with the robe of imputed righteousness.11 The view that righteousness is imparted at conversion results in a two-fold practical-theological problem: (1) lack of seeing the need for believers to seek growth in sanctification and also (2) the lack of realizing the on-going problem with sin in the believer’s life.

Over-Realized Eschatology

There is a problem of over-realized eschatology in contemporary faith teaching.

As Simmons argued, there is a problem of over-realized eschatology in contemporary faith teaching.12 The problem lies not in the teaching that a believer can claim an inheritance, but in the extent of claims being made. For some, there is a failure to recognize the “already, but not yet” nature of the kingdom of God as explained by Ladd.13 Classic faith leaders make it clear that the believer’s inheritance is a part of the kingdom “already, but not yet” status. Some contemporary faith teaching fails to understand that believers only receive the “firstfruits,” a sampling of the inheritance, in this life.

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Category: Church History, Fall 2012, Pneuma Review

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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