T. D. Jakes
Thomas Dexter ‘T.D.’ Jakes was born on June 9, 1957 in South Charleston, West Virginia.
Jakes mother, Odith, a schoolteacher (home economics); and father, Ernest, owner of a janitorial services business with 43 employees, instilled in him a reverence of God and a strong work ethic.
Jakes and Serita Ann Jamison were married in 1981, producing 5 children.
In 1982 Jakes ministry began in Montgomery, West Virginia as preacher of Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, a small, storefront independent Pentecostal church with 10 members. Jakes moved his congregation several times in the ensuing years, growing in numbers, popularity and wealth until moving with 50 employees and their families to Dallas in 1996. He purchased the Eagle’s Nest Church which had been started by disgraced televangelist W. V. Grant, Jr., sentenced to prison for tax fraud.
Jakes’ church, The Potter’s House, in Dallas, Texas, is non-denominational (thepottershouse.org/Local/About-Us), however Jakes originally converted into Oneness Pentacostalism, a denomination which denies the Trinity. Jakes in 2012 revealed to Mark Driscoll that he did believe in the Trinity, but did not confirm the eternality of Them.
Jakes calls himself an Apostle, a Prophet and a Bishop. Let us examine how the Bible defines these words and then apply those definitions to the life and theology of T. D. Jakes.
It is not within the scope of my analysis to question this man’s personal relationship with God, or the validity of his Salvation in Christ. I am only interested in judging a tree by the fruit it produces and whether the tree grows on a foundation of solid scriptural authority.
Everything herein is based upon exegesis and hermeneutic examination of the Scriptures; accepted definitions; quotes from Jakes’ recordings, broadcasts, written material; and legal findings. I will not include unsubstantiated personal attacks, rumor, innuendo or character assassination. Much of this work is based on my understanding of the Scriptures; information obtained has sources.
An Apostle is defined as: ‘each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.’, (google.com); ‘any one of the 12 men chosen by Jesus Christ to spread the Christian religion.’, (merriam-webster.com);
The above, commonly accepted definitions of the word therefore would seem to exclude the presence of an Apostle in the present day. From whom is the Apostolic authority conferred? Do we take Jakes’ word for it that ‘God spoke’ to Him? I think not.
Revelation 2:2 “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false”
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
A Prophet is defined in the Bible as one who speaks with the voice of God, giving warnings of coming events. All such utterances come to fruition and the test of a true prophet is, if any of their prophecies fail to come to pass, they are not prophets of the living God.
A Bishop is defined as: “a senior member of the Christian clergy, typically in charge of a diocese and empowered to confer holy orders.” (google.com)
1 Timothy 3:1-7, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer (bishop), he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
So, by that definition, Jakes qualifies as a Bishop of his congregation at The Potter’s House. There is no evidence heretofore obtained that indicates from whom his bishopric was conferred, this seems to be a self-given title, though the possibility remains that he was so appointed by the board of The Potter’s House.
“There are two biblical offices in the local church (Pastor and Deacon), both of which are chosen by the congregation. Scripture uses the term pastor, elder, overseer, and bishop interchangeably to refer to one position (c.f. Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5). These four terms indicate various features of leadership ministry, not varying levels of authority or separate offices. The pastor (along with the servicing leadership of the deacons) provides spiritual and theological leadership in order to equip and build up the church. As spiritual shepherds of the local church, pastors serve in developing (not dictating) church policy along with congregational input and affirmation (c.f. Acts 15:1-29); oversee the church (Acts 20:28); rule, teach, and preach (1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12); exhort and refute (Titus 1:9); and set the example as to what it means to shepherd the church (1 Peter 5:1-3). The pastor provides spiritual oversight, theological direction and leadership, and is held accountable by the Elder Board, the church congregation in general and, ultimately, God Himself.” – charlesspecht.com/20-qualifications-every-pastor-must-possess/
Jakes is famously quoted as saying that “Jesus is the product” (Scarborough Reports, youtube.com) and that he (Jakes) is selling this product. Preachers that define our Lord and Saviour with a verb used for new cars or toasters should reexamine their priorities and whether salesmanship has any place in preaching the Word of God. Jesus is God, the Almighty Who created the Earth and everything on it and inspired the Word. He is Mighty and Great and is not a ‘product’.
Jakes has recently partnered with acknowledged New Age guru and apostate, Oprah Winfrey in her ‘Lifeclass Series’. Jakes alone has an astounding 122 results on a search of oprah.com/lifeclass. One would think this a great opportunity to spread the Gospel to a limitless number of people who desperately need it, but there are few, if any, mentions of Jesus, sin, the existence of hell, or the need for Salvation. Along with characters such as Rob Bell, Joel Osteen, Devon Franklin, Rick Warren, et al, there are nebulous mentions of God, Jesus, and scripture taken out of context, but no exposition of the Good News of the Gospel.
Jakes’ entire message seems to be that if it make you feel good do it, don’t regret the past, and you are your own best judge of right and wrong. This code of ethics is entirely worldly and devoid of the personal responsibility we hold to our Creator for sin and the necessity of seeking to Jesus for Salvation and God for forgiveness.
Jakes has a very special and interesting connection to that grand peré of the nascent syncretism of New Age nonsense and Christian mysticism, Deepak Chopra. In 2012, they teamed up for a television program on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) called “Living From the Core”. The following is from the ‘Stand Up For The Truth’ website:
Emmy Award-winning series “Bishop T.D. Jakes and Deepak Chopra: Living From the Core” will simulcast on-air and online on OWN, Oprah.com and Facebook.com / OWNtv July 1 at 11am ET/PT.
“Lifeclass all-star teachers Bishop T.D. Jakes and Deepak Chopra bring their spiritual insight to the stage in two exclusive talks designed to help you reach your greatest potential. First up, one of the country’s most dynamic spiritual leaders, Bishop T.D. Jakes, takes us on an electrifying journey of self-realization to show us how to maximize our lives by changing the way we think. Then, one of the greatest thought leaders of our time, Deepak Chopra, explains why he believes there is a spiritual solution to every problem in the world. He’ll walk us through the steps of becoming fully aware of our own power and energy, in order to find solutions to obstacles that hold us back.” depakchopra.com
Not a lot of conversion witnessing on the part of Jakes, nothing but more of his self-improvement, self-image, self-help, self-realization, et cetera.
With an estimated net worth of $18 million, Jakes is not afraid to flaunt his immense wealth. He resides in White Rock Lake, a wealthy enclave just outside of Dallas, in a 7 bedroom mansion a shade under 10,000 square feet that includes a bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool. He wears high-end tailored suits. He drives Lexus, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes, flies in a private jet and wears a large diamond stud in his ear (though, to his credit, not while occupying the pulpit). (Matthew 16:24-25 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”) Jakes justifies this by saying ; “Anybody who has sold 8 million books shouldn’t have to justify why they live in a nice house.” And told the Dallas Morning News that his ministry is supported in a large part by those who purchase products, books, DVDs, et cetera. “So the stereotypical idea that the evangelist is out there trying to get money from poor widows and welfare people to support his lavish lifestyle – that model does not fit my life.” But the main product he sells is Jesus and the message of prosperity in the material realm that he says is promised to the believer. The poor, the widowed and the unemployed are those who support his ministry by literally buying into his message of prosperity.
2 Peter 2:3 “…through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you…”
Job 9:20 “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.”
Presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama; the Mayor of Dallas; Deepak Chopra; Oprah Winfrey; Joyce Meyer; Creflo Dollar; Time magazine; Bishop Eddie Long; Bill Hybels; Al Gore and many others heap praise upon this man. Perhaps we are reminded that 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?…”
Jakes certainly loves himself. His own words show this. “Nothing is more essential to spiritual and emotional well-being than that which we are considering now.”…“It is a healthy mind that can celebrate itself.” Chapter entitled “Falling in Love with Yourself” from the Jakes book, The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord
Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly,….”
Jakes suffers from a level of self-esteem that would make Malcolm Muggeridge blush, as evidenced by the following quote: “…I’m preaching so good I’m about to ‘Amen’ myself! Oh!…Oh God! I’m preaching good! Hallelujah!”, “Give it up, Have it All II,” TBN, April 15, 2005
A modalist of the highest order, Jakes is espouses a heresy that rejects the Trinity but couches it in wordplay that most good Christians would overlook. He is quoted as saying; “God–There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
The following question and answer is taken from an interview on “Living by the Word” with John Coleman on KKLA in August 23, 1998 and can be found on forgottenword.org:
Questioner: My first question would be, the Trinity would be defined as one God Who’s revealed Himself in three distinct Persons, each co-equal and co-eternal. How important is it for the believing Christian to hold to this belief?
T. D. Jakes: I think it’s very, very significant that we first of all study the Trinity apart from salvation, and first of all that we embrace Christ and come to Him and come to know Who He is. Having come to know Who He is, then we begin to deal with the Trinity, which I believe is a very complex issue. The Trinity, the term Trinity, is not a biblical term, to begin with. It’s a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I’m not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, “Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside Him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like Him, He didn’t make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul and spirit. We have one God, but He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration. It’s very important that we understand that, but I think that the first thing that every believer needs to do is to approach God by faith, and then having approached Him by faith, then they need to sit up under good teaching so that they can begin to understand who the God is that they have believed upon.”
Jakes’ message is a mish-mash of Modalism, Word-Faith, Prosperity, Little Gods and New Age mysticism.
He is quoted as saying; “My brothers and sisters the power of life and death is in the tongue. You can have whatever you say.”and “You gotta speak to stuff or it won’t change.”; “The Bone Collector Part II,” TBN, August 12, 2004.
So we, like God, can create and have power over life and death? Apparently so:
“Did you know that the Bible says, ‘You shall have whatever you say.’ Now, don’t you say that if you don’t want no increase. If all you want is what you had don’t say that anymore. But, if you want something beyond what you have ever seen, shout increase! The power of life and death is in your tongue. When you open your mouth you release power all over the room! Shout increase!”, “Bible Answer Man Show,” September 14, 2004
“It’s what you say to yourself that gets you healed. If you say that you won’t be healed you won’t be healed.”; “Seize the Moment,” Woman Thou Art Loosed, 2000, Atlanta.
Apparently God doesn’t heal, it’s the power of our words over our circumstances that does it.
Adjusting his spectacles, Jakes says the following on TBN with a straight face: “You’re entitled to have wellness in your body. Stop begging for what you’re entitled to.”; “God Never Meant For You To Lose,” TBN, July 29, 2004
In the grand tradition of that master of hucksterism, ‘Dr.’ Mike Murdock, Jakes is an energetic cheerleader for the Seed Faith movement:
“I want the privilege of praying over your seed. I want to pray over your seed and it would be ridiculous for me to pray that God to give it back to you. Because if all He was going to do was give it back to you, you ought to keep it and then you would just have it. That’s ridiculous! You got a $100 or a $1,000 and you’re gonna give a $1,000 and I tell you God is going to give $1,000 back. Well, you just broke even! You could have kept that $1,000 and not gone through the trouble! Come on church folk! But God is going to give you some more on top of that. And as you sow it [a person shouts, ‘Increase!’] I dare you to say it again, [The audience shouts, ‘Increase!’]. Oh My God! Woo, we’re about to get ours in here. I don’t know what you’re getting out there. Well, we’re about, somebody shout, ‘Increase!'”, “Bible Answer Man Show,” July 30, 2004
Jakes has proven his intolerance for those who would expose the truth regarding pastors who fleece their congregants by having Davidlee Richardson, former elder of Potters House, escorted out of the church by security during a service in retaliation for the publication of his book, “The Sunday Morning Stick Up. What your pastor doesn’t want you to know about tithes.” (Released in March 2013) A tell-all in which Elder Richardson details the uses to which donations, tithes and other funds are put by those who pastor the church.
Please join me in praying that T.D. Jakes renounce his worldly position and take up the Cross of the Great Commission. He is a spellbinding speaker and could be an effective arrow in the quiver of the Church. Pray also for the millions following him and potentially losing their souls for want of the true Bread of Life.
Our closing verses:
2 Timothy 4:1-5 – “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
“Bishop T.D. Jakes Had One Of His Ministers Removed From A Sunday Morning Service For Writing A Tell All Book”, By Freelance Reporter Joan Ross, June 26, 2014, scandalmedia.wordpress.com
’20 Qualifications Every Pastor Must Possess’, charlesspecht.com;
‘Apostasy Alert: T.D. Jakes Joins New Age Priestess Oprah Winfrey Lifeclass’, beginningandend.com;
‘T.D. Jakes – In His Own Words’, Steve Lumbley, 2004, apostasywatch.com;
‘Apostasy and Ecumenism Exposed’, Chris Lawson, 2013, spiritual-research-network.com;
‘Look At Evangelicalism’s Word Faith Future With T. D. Jakes’, Pastor Ken Silva, Apprising Ministries, apprising.org;
‘T.D. Jakes Has Elder Escorted Out Of Church During Service For Spilling His Tea In A Tell All Book’, funkydineva.com;
‘TD Jakes and Joel Osteen Enrich Themselves in Jesus’ Name’, youtube.com;
‘“Get Ready” For T.D. Jakes, The Velcro Bishop With Another Gospel’ by G. Richard Fisher at Personal Freedom Outreach, pfo.org;
‘With Gifts From God, Bishop T.D. Jakes has made millions by reaching millions. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.’ By Libby Copeland Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, March 25, 2001, Washington Post;
Ole Anthony of The Trinity Foundation, trinityfi.org;
‘T.D. Jakes’, wikipedia.com;
‘“Cool” T.D. Jakes in Earrings Now?’, By Lynn Green, June 29, 2008, hicktownpress.com;
‘T. D. Jakes’, bornrich.com;
‘The human cost of T.D. Jakes’ false prosperity gospel’, February 7, 2012, betterthansacrifice.org;
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