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 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 - a teaching both unsubstantiated by and contrary to Scripture.
Meyer also advocates peculiar and unbiblical manifestations at church gatherings, and attributes them to the power of God.
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.