Televangelist Jesse Duplantis was accused of preaching heresy this week for his application of Isaiah 9:6 during a recent sermon.
“For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders,” the scripture reads. “And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The text is commonly quoted during the Christmas season as a prophetic reference to the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Where is the government now?” Duplantis asked in his sermon, The Gift That Jesus Gave to His Father, which was published on YouTube on December 26. “It’s on us. The government of the world is on mankind, and because we’re made in God’s image and in God’s likeness, you can call us Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Christ in us, the Everlasting Father, whoo! The Prince of Peace. That’s what it means to be the gift that Jesus gave to you.”
During the sermon, Duplantis was wearing a Christmas bow to bring home the point that Christ gave humanity as a gift to God the Father.
A clip of Duplantis’ sermon made the rounds on social media this week. Many Christians labeled his remarks as heretical.
“Why is Biblical hermeneutics (the study of the methodological principles of interpretation) so important?” Keith Walker, president of Evidence Ministries, tweeted. “Because improper hermeneutics leads to heresy. Jesse Duplantis is exhibit A. Listen to how he takes verses that apply to Jesus and attributes them to us. Blasphemous!”
Why is Biblical hermeneutics (the study of the methodological principles of interpretation) so important? Because improper hermeneutics leads to heresy. Jesse Duplantis is exhibit A. Listen to how he takes verses that apply to Jesus and attributes them to us. Blasphemous! https://t.co/PwdLIetbxb— Keith Walker (@KeithWalkerEM) December 27, 2022
Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California also responded to Duplantis’ sermon, writing, “Blasphemy Alert!”
BLASPHEMY ALERT: The government of the world is on mankind, and because we’re made in God’s image and in God’s likeness, you can call us Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Christ in us, the Everlasting Father. @malachiobrien @ToddCoconato https://t.co/uikJVIRk71— Shane Idleman (@IdlemanShane) December 28, 2022
As reported by ChurchLeaders.com, Duplantis told the congregation at the start of the sermon that God had told him to preach “the December partner letter.” According to Jesse Duplantis Ministries website, “partners” are described as people who “regularly pray and sow financial seeds” into his ministry. Partners also receive a monthly letter from Duplantis “filled with exactly what God has put on his heart to share with his Partners.”
Throughout the sermon, Duplantis spoke about God’s creation of the world and how the members of the Holy Trinity had a “business meeting” about creating humanity and decided to give people free will, which came into the world through sin. He added that while God and the Holy Spirit said they would never “touch sin,” Jesus then “took over the meeting” and chose to save people at the cost of His own life.
The prosperity preacher stressed that Jesus saving humanity was His gift to God the Father.
“So when you get born again, you a baby Christian and Jesus takes you upstairs and says, ‘Father, what do you think?’…And the Father says, ‘Wow, they look just like you, Jesus,’” he added.
Duplantis compared how God views His people to how parents view their children as precious gifts. He also insisted that churchgoers have inherent worth in God.
Believers are Christ’s gift to God, Duplantis stressed. Quoting Ephesians 5:1, he added that for this reason, we are to “act like God.”
“People get irritated when we act like God, but if we don’t, then we’re acting like somebody else.” he added, “That’s why I live here on earth like I’d be in heaven. I truly am living the ‘Our Father’ prayer.”
Duplantis, a proponent of the prosperity gospel, has faced criticisms for other remarks he’s made in the past.
In 2021, Duplantis appeared in a four-day fundraising event on Kenneth Copeland’s VICTORY Channel and told viewers that they could speed up the return of Christ by donating money.
“I honestly believe this,” he said at the time, “that the reason why Jesus hadn’t come is because people aren’t giving the way God told them to give.”
He also made headlines in 2018 for asking his supporters to donate money so his ministry could purchase a $54 million private jet, which he stressed would be used to preach the gospel around the world.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Artisteer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.