There is a phrase that is popular in many circles of evangelicalism that is extremely unbiblical and downright heretical. I remember being confused the first time I was corrected by a friend, who after hearing me acknowledge that I had a headache said, “Edwin, don’t speak it into existence.” I was in shock while at the same time overjoyed as I asked him, “We can speak things into existence?” Dismayed by my ignorance my friend looked at me with those, “you have a lot to learn” eyes.
That event took place over 10 years ago, right around the time I had become a Christian. It didn’t take long for deception to pay me a visit and when it did it came strong. I had not been a Christian for more than a couple of months before I was a candidate and participant in the “it’s your turn to be deceived by the false teachings show.” And deceived I was.
Shortly after genuinely coming to faith in Christ I starting “speaking things into existence” like nobodies business. If I was running late for school and I needed all the lights to be green; no problem, I spoke green lights into existence. If I injured myself while playing sports; no worries, I spoke healing over my body and got back in the game. On one occasion me and a friend were having a discussion with my father, who had not yet been enlightened by this “blessed” doctrine of speaking things into existence; so as the Holy Ghost filled, and Fire baptized Christians that we were; we needed to educate the poor guy on all that he was missing out on.
Years later, my father and I along with my friend look back on the conversation we had on that warm summer evening, and we laugh out loud because of what took place on that day. As we were educating my father about this important teaching that we were convinced was taught in scripture, a bee comes out of nowhere and interrupted our conversation.
Quickly, my friend and I recognized that this was no one else but the devil himself trying to keep us back from teaching God’s truth to my father. Being the always prepared Christian soldiers that we were we knew actually what needed to be done. Before you could blink, my friend and I were already rebuking that bee and speaking its presence out of existence. The funniest thing of all is that once we told the bee to leave, it actually left.
Talk about being proud of ourselves that day. We had proven to my father, by way of example, that this teaching was real. So what if the bee came back moments later after eventually causing us to relocate; the fact of the matter is that when we told the bee to leave the first time; it left. On that day, we were yet again convinced of the power God had given to us as his children in the Devils world.
When I was a new believer I completely missed the whole, “This teaching is heretical” memo. I lacked sound teachers who could disciple me on how to properly read the Bible in context, and because of that, I was in a circle of professing Christians who although they meant well, and were indeed genuine and sincere in their convictions, they, along with me were sincerely deceived.
I wish I could tell you that this was an isolated event, but unfortunately, there are countless other professing Christians who still hold to and practice the dangerous teaching of “speaking things into existence.” What makes this teaching so dangerous you ask? Because the word of God is the Christians final authority it is only right that we see what the book says about this whole speaking things into existence doctrine and examine if this is a practice we should embrace or denounce.
The first reference comes from Romans 4:17 which say’s,
“(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;”
Did you notice what the text said, “…God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;” Did you catch that? God is the one who calls things into existence that did not previously exist—not man!
If God is the only being that can create something from nothing and He alone has the power to create reality with His words then what does this tell us about people who think they have the same ability to do what only God can do? People who hold to this teaching do so by completely abusing and take out of context this clear and straightforward passage. I am a simple man as I read this passage the application I leave with is this, Man is not God. And because he is not God he cannot speak things into existence. Only God can speak things into existence. Amen!
Another passage that is often taken out of context and abused by those who embrace this teaching is found in Proverbs 18:21 which says,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The application that is often drawn from this text is that we need to be careful how we use our words because death and life are literally in the power of the tongue. In other words, to confess that you are, “Starving to death.” (which is generally understand as a mere expression for extreme hunger) is frowned upon and can indeed even be harmful to your very life. The point is, if you make a negative confession, it could literally coast you your life, or at least someone else’s life.
Several years ago I knew someone who was convinced that their father died prematurely because he accidentally spoke death over his own life. I really can’t make this stuff up. This may sound absurd to you, but again there are people who, like me when I was a new believer are caught up in this unbiblical, deceptive and heretical nonsense.
If Proverbs 18:21 is not teaching that we can literally bring life or death to someone with our words what is it teaching? Indeed, I believe the proverb was intended to remind its readers of the weight and influence words have on a person. No doubt words are powerful, and they have the potential of destroying a person or building a person up, but again that does not mean that our words have the power to actually create reality.
I can use my words negatively and attempt to destroy a person’s character by speaking untruthfully about that person, but I cannot create the manifestation of my words over that person’s life. In other words, just because someone speaks positive or negative affirmations over your life does not mean that what they say is actually going to come to pass. Remember, man is not God and only God has the power to speak those things that are not was tho they were. Honestly, I think those two verses are more than enough evidence to prove that the “speaking things into existence” teaching is worthy of being ditched ASAP.
But before I go I need to say this to those of you who are practicing this teaching as though it is biblical. I know the power you feel seems real but it’s only an illusion. Rather than feeding your sinful nature that is bent on longing for its own glory, why don’t you look to the Only Wise and Sovereign King who alone has the power to create reality out of nothing? Rather than trying to prevent negativity from happening in your life why don’t you trust in the One who promises to keep and hold up His people in the midst of the worst of sufferings and pain they may experience in this fallen world. All the while reading in the text that His grace is sufficient in time of need.