Picture of a falling building signitying the faulty foundation of financial prosperity message

The financial prosperity message

Kenneth E Hagin Snr. of blessed memory was also known to have pioneered the modern day financial prosperity message. He was a great teacher of God’s word. Others preached financial prosperity message before him, but he popularised it. He laid the foundation for the modern day financial prosperity message as we now have it. Kenneth Hagin Snr. affected many lives positively. Every one of us in the charismatic movement drank from the fountain of his ministry through the ‘Word of faith’ publications and many inspiring books which he authored.

Many upcoming ministers all over the world travelled to the United States of America to hear him teach and train them for the end time harvest. He was a man of integrity without scandals and we all loved him. He was a world leader of the charismatic movement with a huge followership from every corner of the globe.

Financial prosperity message

Apart from teaching the word of faith, Papa Hagin (as we fondly called him), also taught the financial prosperity message. He taught about it in many of his books and publications. In “The Midas Touch”, he explained for the last time, how he received the revelation of financial prosperity message. However, over time as he grew old and nearing the end of his stay on this side of eternity, he realised how his protégées have taken the message of financial prosperity which he taught them to the extreme and were doing so many things that are not biblical. To correct the error and the excesses of his followers, he wrote “The Midas Touch”.

The midas touch

The purpose was to warn and correct them. Before the book was released to the public, he called a meeting of some of them and gave them a copy each with a lot of admonition to correct their excesses. I have read the book over and over again and discovered that beyond the excesses, the foundational scripture that Papa Hagin used for the financial prosperity message is wrongly interpreted. The error of that misinterpretation led to his modern day financial prosperity message. In “The Midas Touch”, Kenneth E Hagin (Snr) reinstated this teaching. I believe he was honest with his interpretation, but I also believe he was wrong. The passage is found in II Cor 8:9:

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”

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  1. You couldn’t be more right when you said that relating and walking with God is not about making money, and that financial prosperity can only be a by-product of our redemption. The Psalmist stated that wealth and riches shall be in the house of the righteous, and the New Covenant has not nullified that provision.

    However, the problem with our age is the overemphasis on financial prosperity and excesses, as you have noted and of which Brother Hagin attempted to correct in “Midas Touch.”

    Your article is analytical, enlightening and engaging with deep nuggets of truths.

    I will just like to propose by way of addition to the entire discourse that it appears to me that 2 Corinthians 8:9 has a double application in the use of the word “rich” (noting that the same Greek adjective – ‘plousious’ – translated into “rich” here in 2 Corinthians 8:9 is the same root word or Greek adjective translated into “rich” or “wealthy” in 2 Timothy 6:17 where it says those who are “rich” or abound with riches in this world should not trust in their riches or wealth.)

    Christ paid a great price by becoming “poor” (in the sense of abdicating his heavenly glory), not only to liberate us from spiritual death, and making us “rich spiritually”, but also laying the foundation to make the believer become “abundantly blessed” in such a way and manner that their material or financial needs are met as they patiently follow godly principles and not the methods or ways of the world.

    That doesn’t mean however that we’d all become multimillionaires or billionaires (we have massive numbers of unbelievers and fraudulent people who already are). That’s not to say also that we’re promised to live a flabouyant or extravagant life style (in fact, God’s Word advocates moderation in all things).

    But it means that though the young lions do lack and suffer hunger, they that seek the Lord will not want or lack any good thing necessary for them to live a decent and God-glorifying life in the material sense.

    Finally, thank you very much for bringing your perspective and insight into the discourse on the prosperity gospel.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the time you put into writing a detailed review of the post. Your suggestion is noted.

      When a man gets born again, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. All things are become new (2Cor. 5:17). Being in Christ affects the totality of a believer’s life. His perception, the way he talks, dresses, the places he hangs out, friends and behaviour generally changes. This newness of life has a way of positively affecting the finances of the believer too. When the life of a believer pleases the Lord, he walks in divine favour and the leading of the Holy Spirit. The prayer life of a believer should not be taken for granted. God makes all things to work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). So, as a believer walks with God, God prospers him financially and in other areas of his life. Financial prosperity is an additional blessing to salvation. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33). My take is that Jesus did not go to the cross for the purpose of financial prosperity as it is being taught in many churches these days. He went to the cross to pay the price for our sins. On the cross, Jesus said: “It is finished”. The finished work of Christ on the cross no longer requires our work to access. It is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8,9). This is our redemption. We are justified by faith. Financial prosperity requires our hard work. God bless you Brother.

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