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Joyce Meyers Research Paper

For those who haven’t heard this before, Christian celeb Joyce Meyer is a false teacher. In 2011 Fran Sankey of Tower of Truth Ministries and host of Test All Things radio broadcast discussed Mrs. Meyer’s unbiblical and problematic teaching on her program. We’re posting the transcript, which is well worth the read for anyone who is in the dark about this woman. To listen to the show, scroll down to the end for the link. Sankey begins with some background on Mrs. Meyer and then fills us in on the reasons that some of her teaching is considered heretical. You don’t have to take Sankey’s word for it. Listen to the sound clips of Joyce Meyer she has provided.

Sankey begins:

[Meyer] is a very popular author, conference speaker and Bible teacher based in the Saint Louis area. Meyer has a multimillion dollar ministry called Joyce Meyer Ministries and can be found on the net at www.joycemeyer.org. She also has an extremely popular TV and Radio programme called Enjoying Everyday Life which can be seen and heard on hundreds and hundreds of Radio and TV stations nationally and worldwide. Meyer teaches on some very practical issues making her well received such as forgiveness, dealing with a busy life, emotional healing, anxiety, addictions and self-discipline. She is especially loved by tens of thousands of women who hold her teachings up as being life changing. Joyce Meyer gained even more prominence when she made it to the cover story of Time Magazine in February of 2005 as one in the list of 25 most influential Evangelicals in America and by the way she is also in the September 18th 2006 issue of Time Magazine and she has also been on the cover of Charisma Magazine.

Well as popular as Joyce Meyer is this certainly doesn’t mean her teaching shouldn’t be held up under the light of the scriptures. We are commanded to test all things, examine the prophets, rightly divide the Word of truth and test the Spirits for not all come from God. As always I will be testing the teaching of Joyce Meyer and not judging her relationship with God. Only God knows if she has been born again by the Spirit. Only he knows what is in her heart and if she has truly repented and trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of her sins.

Joyce Meyer – Jesus Tormented in Hell by Satan and Demons (click this link to listen to the sound clip)

(audio clip) Joyce Meyer, “The Devil thought he had it, the devil thought he had won. Oh they were having the biggest party that has ever been had. They had my Jesus on the floor and they were standing on his back jumping up and down laughing and he had become sin. Don’t you think that God was pacing wanting to put a stop to what was going on. All the hosts of hell were up on him, up on him, up on him. The angels are in agony, all the creation is groaning. All the hosts of hell was up on him, up on him, they got on him. They got him down in the floor and got on him and they were laughing and mocking, “haha you trusted God and look where you ended up. You thought he would save you and get you off that cross – he didn’t haha.”

Just in case you doubt Joyce right now she wrote in her above mentioned, quote, “There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.” Continue reading

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First, what does the Bible say?

It is necessary that we Christians use biblical discernment when supporting any preacher and teacher of the gospel.  It is irrelevant whether or not we like the person, think the person is a good speaker, or if the person says things that are uplifting.  Instead, we must be as noble as the Bereans.

  • Acts 17:11, “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.”
  • 1 Cor. 4:6, “Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.”

If the Bible says that even Paul was checked by scripture, and that we are not to exceed scripture’s teaching, then aren’t we obligated to judge what Mrs. Meyer says against the word of God?  Of course we are.  It is not enough to just believe what she says, no matter how good the words are or how well she presents them.  Let’s not be taken in by a public figure who is confident, assertive, and appears to be biblical.  Our duties as Christians include biblical discernment – which can only be done by examining what she says and comparing it with Scripture.

What does Joyce Meyer teach?

From the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) site:

“For the most part, Joyce Meyer preaches a positive, biblical message that is of great value to many people.  We applaud her desire to be biblical, to point women to godly submission and humility, to trusting God, being loving, to have value based on what Christ has done for us, etc.  These are all good.  However, there are some very significant errors that we need to address.  Some of them are so bad that she is outside of biblical orthodoxy and must be considered a false teacher.  Let’s take a look at what Joyce Meyer has said.

Following is a list of quotes from Joyce Meyer, along with responses.

  1. Jesus stopped being the Son of God:  “He could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn’t do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin, he was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.” (http://storage.carm.org/joycemeyer/joyce-meyer-Jesus-became-sin-stopped-being-son-of-God.mp3)
    1. Response:  This is heresy.  Jesus did not ever stop becoming the son of God.  Essentially what she is saying is that Jesus stopped being divine, the eternal son, second person of the Trinity. This is an attack on the very nature of Christ and it is a dangerous false teaching.  Joyce Meyer needs to repent and retract this statement.  There is no place in Scripture that says Jesus stopped being the son of God.  She’s adding to the word of God and placing in the hearts and minds of listeners false doctrine.
  2. Jesus was born again:  “The minute that blood sacrifice was accepted Jesus was the first human being that was ever born again,” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neKsa_74w7k&feature=related)
    1. Response:  This is just plain wrong.  Being born again means to be saved from the wrath of God for a person’s sins (Eph. 2:1-3), to have a new birth (John 3:3), and to be regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17).  Mrs. Meyer is simply wrong biblically.  Why does she teach this?  It can only be because she has bought into many of the errors of the Positive Confession movement where many say that Jesus lost his divine nature, went to hell, finished the atonement in hell, and was born again!  These are serious errors.
  3. Jesus paid for our sins in hell:  “He became our sacrifice and died on the cross. He did not stay dead. He was in the grave three days. During that time he entered hell, where you and I deserve to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 35)
    • Response:  This is blatantly wrong.  Jesus did not pay the price of our redemption in hell.  He paid the price on the cross.  It was finished on the cross when he said, “It is finished,” (John 19:30).  Also, consider the following verses:
    • Col. 1:20, “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
    • Col. 2:14, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
    • 1 Pet. 2:24, “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”
  4. Jesus went to hell in our place and was tormented:  “Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, ‘let him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead — the first born again man.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 36)
    • Response:  Where does she get this entirely fictitious dialogue between God and the demon powers?  It is made up, not founded in scripture, and mistakenly assumes that Jesus went to hell, the place of torment and suffering after he died on the cross.  The Bible does not teach any such thing.  However, it does say that Jesus descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9).  This can mean that Jesus was physically buried, or that Jesus went to Hades to inform those who had already died about who he was and what he did on the cross, or it can be referring to his incarnation as is contrasted with his ascending into heaven (Eph. 4:10).  But there is simply no reason to believe that Jesus suffered in hell and finished the atonement there.  See response to Quote 1.
  5. If you don’t believe Jesus went to hell, you cannot be saved:   “His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserve to go… There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth.” (The most important decision you’ll ever make, by Joyce Meyer, second printing, may 1993, page 37)
    1. Response:  This is an amazingly bad statement on her part.  She is saying that you cannot be saved from your sins unless you believe that Jesus went to  hell where we deserve to go.  This is a false modification of the gospel which is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4 and states that the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  Nowhere in scripture are we told to believe that Jesus suffered for us in hell or that he went there.   This is not only wrong, it is heretical.
  6. We are called little gods:  “I was listening to a set of tapes by one man and he explained it like this..this kind of gets the point across…he said why do people have such a fit about God calling his creation, his creation, his man not his whole creation, but his man, little gods? If he’s God what’s he going to call them but the God kind? I mean if you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If if [sic] cattle has another cattle they call it cattle kind. I mean what is God supposed to call ’em? Doesn’t the Bible say we are created in his image? Now you understand I am not saying you are god with a capital G. That is not the issue here so don’t go trying to stone me or yell blasphemy at me.” “The Bible says right here John 10:34…’and Jesus answered is it not written in your law I say we are gods.’ So men are called God’s by the law…”(Joyce Meyer). (www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrP3OLCH9GI&feature=related)
    1. Response:  In this clip she goes on to quote John 10:34 where Jesus says to the Pharisees “you are gods,” which is a quote from Psalm 82:6, which is an imprecatory Psalm of condemnation for the unrighteous judges.  Psalm 82:7 says, “nevertheless you will die like men.”  She then turned to Psalm 82 and went through it.  The video stopped, so I do not know what she would have said about the next, all-important verse.
  7. Joyce Meyer said she is not a sinner:  “I am not poor. I am not miserable and I am not a sinner. That is a lie from the pit of hell. That is what I were and if I still was then Jesus died in vain. I’m going to tell you something folks. I didn’t stop sinning until I finally got it through my thick head I wasn’t a sinner anymore. And the religious world thinks that’s heresy and they want to hang you for it. But the Bible says that I am righteous and I can’t be righteous and be a sinner at the same time.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dmHJdM63hk)
    1. Response:  Mrs. Meyer needs a lesson in basic biblical theology.  1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”  Notice that John the apostle says “we.”  He includes himself with sinners.  Also, Paul said in Rom. 7:19-20, 24, “For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. 20 But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me…24 Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”  Is Joyce Meyer better in Christian character than John and Paul?  I think not.  Mrs. Meyer fails to recognize her own sinfulness, and so mistakenly denies her own sinfulness.  I can only conclude that this false teaching comes from pride because it certainly isn’t biblical.
  8. The host of hell were literally on Jesus and were laughing:  “They were having the biggest party that had ever been had. They had my Jesus in the floor and they were standing on his back jumping up and down laughing. And he had become sin. Don’t you think that God was pacing, wanting to put a stop to what was going on? All the host of hell were upon him. Upon him. Up on him. The angels were in agony.  All the creation is groaning. All the host of hell was upon him. Up on him. They got on him. They got him down in the floor and got on him and they were laughing and mocking. Ha ha ha ha. You trusted God and look where you ended up. You thought he’d save you and get you off that cross. He didn’t, ha ha ha.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwNfOaxIcOMhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwNfOaxIcOM)
    1. Response:  Where did she get this – in the sacred Book of Joycemeyeronomy?  It is certainly not in the Bible, and yet she has no problem teaching it as an authoritative truth.  Does she not know that the Bible says not to exceed what is written (1 Cor. 4:6)?  She has done exactly that.  She is in grave error and has violated God’s word that says that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and finished the atonement on the cross (John 19:30) – not in hell at the hands of demons!  There is no way demons were literally standing ‘on’ Jesus.  Meyer is in gross error!
  9. Joyce Meyer gets revelation knowledge:  “The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really that is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine.” (http://storage.carm.org/audio/joycemeyer/joyce-meyer-revelation-knowledge.mp3)
    1. Response:  Revelation knowledge?  Is she on par with the apostles who received revelation knowledge from God himself?  Or how about the Old Testament prophets?  Does she, like them, also receive revelation knowledge from God?  If so, how would we know if it were true or not? The answer is simple:  we test what she says against Scripture, and it is obvious that she is getting a lot of things from somewhere else that contradict the word of God.

Joyce Meyer is a preacher

As unpopular as it might be to say, Joyce Meyer is wrong for occupying the position of a preacher of God’s word.  Not only does she preach false doctrines, but she also functions as a preacher by teaching God’s word, exegeting it, applying it, and telling people what to believe – in public.  She is out of place for doing this.  She speaks as a minister of the gospel teaching with authority.  She needs to stop.  If you doubt this, and if you also believe the word of God, then please see the article Should women be pastors and elders?

Joyce Meyer is a popular Pentecostal preacher living outside of St. Louis, MO, who has been in fulltime ministry since 1980.[1] She is a best-selling author in the Christian market,[2] and her books cover everything from America’s Christian heritage to weight-loss.[3] But she is perhaps best known from her radio and television program, Life in the Word, both of which are broadcast nationally and internationally.[4]

Meyer shares the platform from time to time with Word of Faith teachers like, for example, Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Benny Hinn, and T.D. Jakes.[5] CRI is critical of and concerned with some of her practices and teachings.

In her 1991 booklet, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, she teaches a hallmark doctrine of Faith theology, namely, that Christ had to suffer in hell to atone for our sins and be born again:

During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin….He paid the price there.…no plan was too extreme…Jesus paid on the cross and in hell….God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, “Let Him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus….He was resurrected from the dead ¾the first born-again man.[6]

Her assertions are not unlike those of leading Word of Faith proponent Kenneth Copeland, who also believes Christ’s death on the cross was not sufficient to atone for our sins, and that His work of redemption was completed by suffering in hell and being born again. According to Copeland,

When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. There were still three days and nights to go through before He went to the throne….Jesus’ death on the cross was only the beginning of the complete work of redemption.7

[The] word of the living God went down into the pit of destruction and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life. He began to look like something the devil had never seen before. He was literally being reborn before the devil’s very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles….Jesus was born again ¾ the first-born from the dead. 8

According to a recently published interview with free-lance writer Ken Walker, however, Meyer contradictorily denies ever believing or teaching that Christ was born again in hell.9

Moreover, in her 1991 booklet, Meyer asserts that salvation is impossible without believing Jesus suffered in hell as the believer’s substitute. Meyer writes, “There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell.”10

While historic Christianity has debated the issue of whether or not Jesus actually descended into hell (e.g., to proclaim the gospel, declare victory, etc. [1 Peter 3:18-19]), no orthodox believer ever held to

the belief that Christ suffered and atoned for our sins in hell, rather than on the cross. Yet, Word of

Faith teachers, including Joyce Meyer, teach the necessity of Jesus having to pay for our sins in hell, under the torment of Satan and his angels ¾ a teaching both unsubstantiated by and contrary to Scripture. The entirety of Christ’s atoning work (i.e., His suffering and death in our place) occurred on the cross (e.g., 1 Peter 2:24), ending with His proclamation, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The Christ of Faith theology literally had to become sin, taking on the nature of Satan while in hell, thereby needing to be born again in hell before His resurrection could occur.

OTHER QUESTIONABLE TEACHINGS

Meyer also advocates peculiar and unbiblical manifestations at church gatherings, and attributes them to the power of God. She proclaims,

you gotta come on out in the deep….Oh, I think that word’s anointed right now. Deeeep!!! Mmmmmm! One lady was in a conference recently in St. Louis, and she said “I am telling you, every time you said the word “deep” the fire of God hit me in the pit of my guts.” The lady, she kept falling out of her chair and being on the floor, you know? And she said later, “every time you said ‘deeeeep’ it was like I just couldn’t stay in my chair!”11

For a refutation of this and other unbiblical phenomena (e.g., being “slain in the Spirit”), we recommend Hank Hanegraaff’s book, Counterfeit Revival (B393/$20.00).

Although there is no biblical precedent, she makes the assertion that angels tell her what to preach:

Now spirits don’t have bodies, so we can’t see them. Okay? There probably is, I believe there is, and I certainly hope there is several angels up here this morning that are preaching with me. I believe that right before I speak some anointed statement to you, that one of them bends over and says in my ear what I’m supposed to say to you.12

She goes on to promote the superstitious belief that certain kinds of jewelry attract evil spirits:

There are many different signs and emblems that people wear as jewelry that are straight from the devil, and they absolutely do not know it, and I’m quite sure there are going to be people here today that probably even have some of these things in your possession. You may even be wearing one. And what they do is they draw evil spirits.13

In lieu of the biblical admonition to test everything by the objective Word of God (1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:16), Meyer further asserts that God would never allow her to fall into error. Turning instead to her subjective feelings she says,

I am going to tell you something right now. I no more believe that my God is going to let me stand around and believe a lie than I believe that I am going to turn green in the next two minutes. God is my source and He loves me and I am after God with my whole heart. And if I am accidentally, or any other way, getting into error, I am going to have a bell go off on the inside of me that is going to be so loud that not only am I going to hear it, but so is everybody else.14

Despite what Meyer’s feelings tell her, Scripture says otherwise. The apostle Peter is a constant reminder of our proclivity for committing error, and demonstrated, for example, by Christ’s rebuking of Peter for attempting to deter Him from His mission (Matt. 16:22-23; Mark 8:31-33), and later by being publicly rebuked by the apostle Paul for yielding to the pressure of the Judaizers (Gal. 2:11-21). Were it not possible for Meyer to fall into deception and error, Scripture’s repeated warnings (e.g., Matt. 24:4-5; Acts 20:28-31; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; 2 Peter 2:1-3) would be meaningless.

Also problematic are some of Meyer’s beliefs regarding spiritual warfare. According to her, for instance, generational spirits supposedly torment families for generations with specific sins, and she even believes that a demon of lust torments her family. On one occasion she says,

I told you that there was a spirit of incest in my family bloodline….And the thing that I want you to understand today is when there’s a spirit like that in a bloodline, until some person believes on Jesus and takes the blood of Jesus and draws it across that natural bloodline, that devastation goes on for generations and generations….Well see, my father’s grandfather had problems and so his father had problems and so my dad had problems and so I had problems and so if I wouldn’t have stood and believed Jesus, my kids would have had problems and their kids would have had problems and so on and so on.15

Scripture, however, does not support the existence of a demon or spirit of lust, nor any demon of a particular sin. It is true that certain sins (e.g., alcoholism) are perpetuated and can affect families for generations (see Exod. 20:5; Num. 14:18), but these are the consequences of sin ¾ not generational spirits. James’ epistle is clear that we sin because of our own evil desires (v. 1:14). Demons cannot force us to sin; however, they can influence our behavior through temptation (e.g., Gen. 3:1-6). Nonetheless, we are ultimately held accountable for our actions (e.g., Ezek. 18:4, 20). If this were not so, we would have license to exclaim, “the Devil made me do it!”

Along similar lines, she believes that there are “mind-binding” spirits who keep multitudes of believers in a perpetual state of unbelief.16 Through deliverance, however, the attacks of mind-binding spirits will disappear. In her case, “when the spirits left, the ability to believe came rushing back.”17

Meyer overemphasizes and distorts the parameters in which God permits Satan and his angels to work, by attributing practically every negative experience to demonic activity. There is even a demon of accidents. For example, she recounts experiencing a close call while pulling into and out of a fast food restaurant parking lot. She shouts, “‘I rebuke the spirit of accidents, in the name of Jesus!’”18

Her false view of demonic activity propagates a paranoid and superstitious mindset, while obscuring the work of Christ, human accountability, and biblical views of spiritual warfare.

Because of Joyce Meyer’s adherence to a major tenet of Word of Faith theology and her subjective and unbiblical teachings concerning spiritual warfare, CRI cannot recommend her ministry.

CRI will continue to monitor Mrs. Meyer’s practice and teaching. We will periodically update this statement as necessary.

All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Christian Research Institute.


[5] ICBM (International Charismatic Bible Ministries) Conference 2000, http://oru.edu/icbm/icbm.html, retrieved 11 April 2000. Similar mention is made in the Christian Research Journal; Jerry L. Buckner, “The Man, His Ministry, and His Movement: Concerns about the Teachings of T.D. Jakes” (Volume 22, Number 2), 16.

[6] Meyer, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make: A Complete And Thorough Understanding Of What It Means To Be Born Again (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1991), 35-36 (emphasis in original). The 1996 version of this booklet contains slightly different wording, but essentially the same message:

“Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place….God rose up from His throne and said to the demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, ‘Let Him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus….His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserved to go.” See Meyer, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make: A Complete and Thorough Understanding of What it Means to be Born Again (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1996, 5th printing), 41-43.

7 Kenneth Copeland, “Jesus¾Our Lord of Glory,” Believer’s Voice of Victory (Volume 10, Number 4, April 1982), 3.

8 Copeland, “The Price of it all,” Believer’s Voice of Victory (Volume 19, Number 9, September 1991), 4-6.

9 Ken Walker, Charisma (November 1998). Walker interviewed Joyce and Dave Meyer in Columbus, Ohio, where Joyce spoke at World Harvest Church.

10 Meyer, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make (1991), 37 (emphasis added). The words “in hell” are deleted from this sentence in the 1996 version of The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make. However, substantial references to the general idea remain in this later version (see the example given in endnote six above).

11 Meyer, Go To The Upper Room and Wait (Audiotape 6).

12 Meyer, Witchcraft & Related Spirits (Audiotape, Part 1).

15 Meyer, Trophies of God’s Grace (Audiotape, Part 1).

16 Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1995) 53.

18 Meyer, The Root of Rejection, 86.

(NOTE: A CRI researcher contacted Joyce Meyer Ministries/Life in the Word by phone on 20 January 2000, and confirmed that her ministry is still selling the audiotapes listed above.)

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June 9th, 2009by Christian Research Institute | Type: Standard

Filed Under: Christian Articles, Word Faith Movement

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