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F.F. Bosworth and Kenneth Hagin Jr.

A Look at the Similarities in Their Writings on the Past Tense of God’s Word

By Roscoe Barnes III

Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer

Copyright (c) 2018

#FFBosworth

#BosworthMatters

Kenneth Hagin Jr.’s booklet, The Past Tense of God’s Word (Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1980), is very similar to F.F. Bosworth’s booklet, The Past Tenses of God’s Word (1940?), which was sold and promoted by Bosworth in the 1940s. The content of Bosworth's booklet is also published as Chapter 8 – “How to Have Your Prayers Answered,” in his classic, Christ the Healer.

An examination of Hagin's booklet reveals he borrowed heavily from Bosworth’s writings. He mentions Bosworth in the third paragraph of Chapter 1 (page 1) and includes this quote:

In the words of F.F. Bosworth, “The Gospel is a world-wide emancipation proclamation of liberty from service and bondage to the old tyrant master of sin and sickness – the devil.”

That quote, however, is the only place in the book where Bosworth’s name is mentioned. Although several lines, words and ideas appear to be lifted from Bosworth’s booklet, Bosworth is not given credit for the material and he is not identified as the source for the message presented by Hagin. In some places, Hagin uses the same verses of Scripture that Bosworth uses.

Below are examples of the material used by Hagin followed by the content in Bosworth’s book.

KENNETH HAGIN JR.:

When Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross, he meant the work He was sent to accomplish was finished. It is finished! It’s in the past tense. It has been taken care of. And everything included in that statement “it is finished” is for you and me today. (p. 1)

F.F. BOSWORTH:

When Jesus said “It is finished,” He meant that the work was done – completed as God sees it; and God expects us to reckon as done what Jesus says was done. The past tenses of God’s word mean a settled, sealed and final decision of His Will. (p. 2)

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HAGIN:

Hope expects it “sometimes.”

Faith takes it now. (p. 2)

BOSWORTH:

Hope is expecting a blessing sometime in the future; but faith is taking now what God offers. (p. 2)

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HAGIN:

It is important as we seek after the mercies and benefits of God to appropriate them by faith. This means actually taking them. (p. 2)

BOSWORTH:

It is important for seekers after the mercies of God to see that appropriating faith is taking and using what God offers to us. (p. 2)

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HAGIN:

Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ HATH redeemed us from the curse of the law ….” Is “hath” past tense or future tense? It’s past tense, isn’t it?

The Word of God puts our redemption from the curse in the past tense. We receive our deliverance because it’s in the past tense. It already has been taken care of. It’s not up to God now; it’s up to you. You have the responsibility. (p. 5)

BOSWORTH:

In Galatians 3:13, we read “Christ hath (past tense) redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a cruse for us.” God has put our redemption from the curse of the law in the past tense, and we receive our deliverance when we do the same. (p. 2-3)

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HAGIN:

Look at Isaiah 53:4: “Surely he HATH BORNE our griefs and CARRIED our sorrows….” Are those verbs in the past tense? Yes.

Look at Matthew 8:17, “Himself TOOK our infirmities, and BARE our sicknesses ….” Past, present, or future tense? “Took” and “bare” are past tense. Because he took our infirmities in the past, we can claim the promise now and take it into the present – because it is ours.

For example, look at the Scripture “by whose stripes ye WERE healed (1 Peter 2:24). “Were is past tense. Therefore, if we “were” healed – bring it into the present tense – we ARE healed. (p. 6)

BOSWORTH:

In God’s Word we read “Surely He hath (past tense) borne our sicknesses and carried our pain” – “Himself took (past tense) our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” – “By Whose stripes ye were healed.”

God wants us all to appropriate the past tenses of His Word regarding His redemption of our souls and bodies from sickness and disease and go forth in obedience acting as if we believed him. When God puts a promise in the past tense, He thus authorizes and expects us to do the same. Nothing short of this is appropriating faith. (p. 3)

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HAGIN:

Mark 11:24 is a familiar passage of Scripture; especially from a fellow by the name of Kenneth E. Hagin. (He didn’t write it, contrary to what some people think!) it says, “…when ye pray, believe that ye RECEIVE them, and ye shall have them.” Notice it doesn’t say “you are going to receive them” (future tense). No, you receive them (present tense). (p. 10)

BOSWORTH:

In Mark 11:24 Jesus authorizes us and commands us to put the reception of the blessing we pray for in the past tense. He says, when we ask for what He offers, Believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them.” (P. 3-4)

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HAGIN:

We must continue to realize that God’s past-tense Word can only become present tense in our lives as we act upon it. God can’t do anything about it until we do.

I realize some of you won’t like me to say that, but if God already has done something about it, then His responsibility has ended and ours has begun. (p. 10-11)

BOSWORTH:

We are to continue to believe that God gave us what we asked for when we prayed, and continue to praise and thank Him for what he has given us. (p. 3-4)

But all of God’s blessings are OFFERED gifts as well as promised, and therefore need to be accepted; and the responsibility for their transfer is ours. This clears God of all responsibility for any failures. (p. 8)

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HAGIN:

Jesus Christ Himself demonstrated this when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Remember the story? Jesus’ best friend was lying dead I a cave. Jesus stood outside that tomb and, while Lazarus was still dead, said – talking to His Father – “Father, I thank thee that thou HAST heard me” (John 11:41).

The sick who are praying for healing need to say – before it ever materializes – “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.” (p. 12)

BOSWORTH:

Jesus, at the grave of Lazarus, said, while Lazarus was still dead, “I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.

The sick who pray for healing are to say before their healing materializes, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me.” (p. 4-5)

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HAGIN:

So we stand there with the prayer of faith, believing we have been heard before we ever see any manifestation. (p. 13)

BOSWORTH:

The Prayer of faith is believing our prayer is heard before the answer materializes – before the answer is manifested. (p. 5)

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HAGIN:

Faith refuses to see anything contrary to what God’s Word says. (p. 16-17)

BOSWORTH:

Faith refuses to see (as reason for doubting) anything contrary to the Word of God. (p. 5)

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HAGIN:

With our natural eyes we see only temporal, materialistic things. But with the eyes of our spirit, we can begin to behold supernatural, satisfying, lasting realities of God’s spiritual, eternal kingdom. (P. 16-17)

BOSWORTH:

With our natural eyes we see only the temporal and inferior things of earth, but with the enlightened eyes of our understanding we behold the superior, satisfying and lasting realities of God’s spiritual and eternal Kingdom. (p. 5-6)

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HAGIN:

God said to Abram, “…for a father of many nations HAVE I made thee.” Do you know what Abram did? Immediately he changed his name to Abraham to mean what God said he was going to be!

Notice that God said, “I HAVE [past tense] made thee the father of many nations” (Gen. 17:5). He didn’t say he was “going to” (future tense). (p. 19)

BOSWORTH:

God said to Abraham, “A father of many nations have I made thee” (past tense), and since God put this promise in the past tense, Abraham did the same and acted his faith by taking his new name, “Abraham” which means “the father of a multitude”. (p. 6)

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HAGIN:

Suppose someone came to me and said, “Brother Hagin, I appreciate you. Here is a title deed to such-and-such a house. It’s worth $100,000. I’ll sign it over to you. It’s all yours, legally signed.”

I could put that house on the market and sell it without even having seen it. Why? Because I’ve got the title deed. I could even turn around and give the house to somebody and never see it. It’s mine. I can do with it what I will.

Faith is the evidence – or title deed – of things not yet seen. (p. 19-20)

BOSWORTH:

If someone should deed you a home that you had never seen, you actually have a home before you see it. “Faith is the evidence (title deed) of things not (yet) seen”. A deed makes a home so much yours that you can sell it without every seeing it. Faith is believing you have what God says you have and acting accordingly before you either feel or see that you have it. (p. 6-7)

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HAGIN:

But you see, these promises are not just promises; the promise has already been taken care of through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. He already has taken care of the promises. They are offered to us because they have been taken care of. That puts the responsibility on us to take these offers and use them. (p. 23)

BOSWORTH:

“Were the gifts of God for soul and body merely PROMISED gifts, we would have to wait for the Promiser to fulfill His promises, and the responsibility would be on Him. But all of God’s blessings are OFFERED gifts as well as promised, and therefore need to be accepted; and the responsibility for their transfer is ours. This clears God of all responsibility for any failures. (p. 8)

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HAGIN:

The only reason you weren’t saved the year before you were saved wasn’t God’s fault, was it? God had already purchased salvation. The responsibility was yours to accept it. (p. 25)

BOSWORTH:

The only reason you were not saved a year earlier than you were is that you did not take what God had provided and was offering to you. God was not making you wait; you were making Him wait. (p. 8)

Giving credit to whom it is due

It is both surprising and unfortunate that Hagin failed to acknowledge Bosworth's contribution. It is stunningly sad to see the extent he went to present the ideas and words as his own, with no credit being given to the actual source of his message.

Hagin should have followed the example set by T. L. Osborn who fully acknowledged the people he cited, as well as those from whom he borrowed ideas about healing. In other words, he gave credit to whom it was due. For example, when Osborn published One Hundred Divine Healing Facts (Harrison House, 1983), he included this note:

In presenting 100 Divine Healing Facts, we are indebted to the resourceful writings of F.F. Bosworth, from which several of the thoughts expressed have been gleaned.

His faith literature has brought healing within the grasp of many thousands who could not have recovered without knowing the truths which it contains.

By reading his book, Christ the Healer, you can get in just a few hours what took Rev. Bosworth thirty years of hard work in a healing ministry all over the United States and Canada to learn. I urge every Christian, pastor, teacher, and evangelist to obtain a copy of this masterpiece in faith building and read it repeatedly.

T.L. Osborn

Hagin could have also learned from Bosworth who fully acknowledged E.W. Kenyon as his source of inspiration (and ideas) for the booklet, The Christian Confession (copies available through Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center: https://ifphc.org). On the final page of his booklet, Bosworth wrote:

Some of the thoughts expressed in the first part of this booklet were brought together by permission from the writings of Rev. E.W. Kenyon, Author of “The Father and His Family”, “The Wonderful Name of Jesus”, “In His Presence”, “Two Kinds of Love”, and other writings. Address, Kenyon Gospel Publication Society, 1901 Fourth Avenue, North, Seattle 9, Washington.

F.F. Bosworth

P.O. Box 5

Biscayne Annex

Miami, Florida

One can hope that by bringing attention to this topic, Hagin and others will come to see the importance of truth, integrity, transparency, and the Christian call to fully acknowledge the works of others by giving them the credit they deserve. As Christians, we should also remember to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. The church should be a light and set an example for others to follow.

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Resource:

The image and content for F.F. Bosworth’s booklets, The Past Tenses of God’s Word, and The Christian Confession, were obtained through the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (https://ifphc.org), Springfield, Mo.

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For more information:

Visit the F.F. Bosworth page here. Questions about the research and commentary on F.F. Bosworth may be directed to Roscoe Barnes III, Ph.D., via email at doctorbarnes3@gmail.com or roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com. For updates on F.F. Bosworth history, simply follow this blog or @Roscoebarnes3 on Twitter. #ChristTheHealer

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