Kenneth Hagin’s Forgotten Warning

This article by J. Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine will no doubt be doing the rounds but it is worth reprinting in a day when there is a lot of unquestioned practises around, especially to do with giving.
Before he died in 2003, the revered father of the Word-Faith movement corrected his spiritual sons for going to extremes with their message of prosperity.
Charismatic Bible teacher Kenneth Hagin Sr. is considered the father of the so-called prosperity gospel. The folksy, self-trained “Dad Hagin” started a grass-roots movement in Oklahoma that produced a Bible college and a crop of famous preachers including Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar and dozens of others—all of whom teach that Christians who give generously should expect financial rewards on this side of heaven.
Hagin taught that God was not glorified by poverty and that preachers do not have to be poor. But before he died in 2003 and left his Rhema Bible Training Center in the hands of his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr., he summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence. Those who were close to Hagin Sr. say he was passionate about correcting these abuses before he died. In fact, he wrote a brutally honest book to address his concerns. The Midas Touch was published in 2000, a year after the infamous Tulsa meeting. 
Many Word-Faith ministers ignored the book. But in light of the recent controversy over prosperity doctrines, it might be a good idea to dust it off and read it again.
Here are a few of the points Hagin made in The Midas Touch:
1. Financial prosperity is not a sign of God’s blessing. Hagin wrote:
“If wealth alone were a sign of spirituality, then drug traffickers and crime bosses would be spiritual giants. Material wealth can be connected to the blessings of God or it can be totally disconnected from the blessings of God.”
2. People should never give in order to get. Hagin was critical of those who “try to make the offering plate some kind of heavenly vending machine.” He denounced those who link giving to getting, especially those who give cars to get new cars or who give suits to get new suits. He wrote: “There is no spiritual formula to sow a Ford and reap a Mercedes.”
3. It is not biblical to “name your seed” in an offering. Hagin was horrified by this practice, which was popularized in faith conferences during the 1980s. Faith preachers sometimes tell donors that when they give in an offering they should claim a specific benefit to get a blessing in return. Hagin rejected this idea and said that focusing on what you are going to receive “corrupts the very attitude of our giving nature.”
4. The “hundredfold return” is not a biblical concept. Hagin did the math and figured out that if this bizarre notion were true, “we would have Christians walking around with not billions or trillions of dollars, but quadrillions of dollars!” He rejected the popular teaching that a believer should claim a specific monetary payback rate.
5. Preachers who claim to have a “debt-breaking” anointing should not be trusted. Hagin was perplexed by ministers who promise “supernatural debt cancellation” to those who give in certain offerings. He wrote in The Midas Touch: “There is not one bit of Scripture I know about that validates such a practice. I’m afraid it is simply a scheme to raise money for the preacher, and ultimately it can turn out to be dangerous and destructive for all involved.”
(Many evangelists who appear on Christian television today use this bogus claim. Usually they insist that the miraculous debt cancellation will occur only if a person “gives right now,” as if the anointing for this miracle suddenly evaporates after the prime time viewing hour. This manipulative claim is more akin to witchcraft than Christian belief.)
Hagin condemned other hairbrained gimmicks designed to trick audiences into emptying their wallets. He was especially incensed when a preacher told his radio listeners that he would take their prayer requests to Jesus’ empty tomb in Jerusalem and pray over them there—if donors included a special love gift. “What that radio preacher really wanted was more people to send in offerings,”
Hagin wrote.
Thanks to the recent resurgence in bizarre donation schemes promoted by American charismatics, the prosperity gospel is back under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns and find a biblical balance.
Hagin told his followers: “Overemphasizing or adding to what the Bible actually teaches invariably does more harm than good.” If the man who pioneered the modern concept of biblical prosperity blew the whistle on his own movement, wouldn’t it make sense for us to listen to his admonition?

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma Magazine.

The Midas Touch is available from Kenneth Hagin Ministries at-


23 thoughts on “Kenneth Hagin’s Forgotten Warning

  1. Good article, and thank you for replicating it here for others to see. I will add your blog post to mine as a “second witness” concerning this fact, which I discussed recently using both text and video at:

    It is a remarkable fact to most Charasmatic/Pentecostal believers to learn that years before the Senator Grassley investigation of the six televangelists (including both Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar) that “Dad” Hagin rebuked such error in person and in his book. If they had listened to that instruction then, the Copelands and Dollars would not be having problems today.

    1. Brother Rich,

      I just finished reading a few of your articles about the Copelands and Ken Hagin. I want to thank you for unveiling the truth on what is happening behind ministry’s closed doors. I was radically delivered from a lifestyle of bondage back in 1997 and hold firmly to many of the teachings of the Word of Faith confession and movement, but I also know that humans are fallible and I believe the reports that you have posted on your sites. I think there is good and bad in the belief system known as Word of Faith, and I hope at some point those confronted will indeed repent and be saved, delivered and set free.

      I appreciate you taking the time to enlighten people about the truth. I still watch Ken Copeland, but now I know the rest of the story and can keep things in alignment and right prespective.

      ~Pastor L

  2. I think as Christians we would be more helpful in spreading the gospel and saving more souls (and I consider this very important) if we leave trying to correct others.
    Pastor Kenneth Copeland continues to positively affect lives all over the world, Rev Hagin has become even stronger in the death. I for one ought to have died if not for his teachings. Now I’m healthier, richer and in faith. How many lives have you and your cohorts changed from failure to success, from sick to healthy, from nothing to something? Maybe that explains why some of you are struggling in ministry, because correcting others is not a ministry. Show proofs of your faith, don’t waste time on other people who are making fool proof of their calling.

    1. Hi. I’m sorry if you saw my publishing of this article as an attack on Brother Hagin. My purpose was to highlight his warning to those who followed him, a warning that if heeded would go a long way in helping good ministries stay on track and not be brought into disrepute. I’m a prison chaplain. I see many lives

      changed from failure to success, from sick to healthy, from nothing to something

      and I’m sure Kenneth Copeland’s TV ministry has been a great source of faith and hope for those I minister to. I’d hate to see it turn sour.

  3. Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  4. Hello, I am very interested about this article, but when i follow the source it was not there. Could you help me , please post or send it in my email address.
    Thank you
    Doy Nacpil
    Cabanatuan City, Philippines

  5. Great word. The Midas Touch brought humility and change to my view of ministry and money. Many of my friends in ministry have rejected this message.
    “We are here to give first as ministers. It is about serving people, not getting…”
    The time is short. Thank God for your and the late Kenneth E. Hagin’s obedience!

  6. Bother Hagin was a profound blessing to the body of Christ but it is funny how quickly people forget how controversial his message originally was (and still is for some very slow/Pharisaic Christians). When God is doing something new it is always WIDELY resisted, it is always heresy/extremism/sinister. It is also the case that frequently saints of God who were put on Earth for an earlier era do not get the move of God in a later era. Brother Hagin to me went home to be with the lord now that his era has passed, having accomplished great things for God and a new era has begun. I don’t care how much people in the world and people in Religion balk, threaten and give “divine warning” God’s will shall be done in this area. if you wish to resist him, that’s your choice.

    1. Hello Perceiver. The article is not an attack on Brother Hagin but a reprint of his warning to those who had gone beyond the balance of his teaching.

  7. Thank you for a wonderful article.

    I have been following the “prosperity” movement for more than a decade. The movement leaders quote many scriptures correctly, such as that God wants all His children to have enough not only to satisfy their needs, but to give to all good works.

    However, never have I heard them quote Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your lives free from the love of money. Be content with what you have. For, He himself said that I will never you, never will I forsake you.”

    My problem within the movement is that there is no balance in the quoting and interpretating of Scripture. The leaders of the movement fail to make people realize when they (the people) are motivated by greed, lust or the love of money. Consequently, we have a huge number of Christians claiming the promises of God on the basis of their yearning to get rich, but not to give to all good works.

    We live in a society that measures success and happiness according to physical possessions. The bigger the house, the greater level of success achieved. The nicer the car, the happier one should be. Even Christians fall for that worldly thinking. So, they now look for an excuse through the Bible to try to measure their success and happiness as this world system does.

    I Timothy 6: 9-10 admonishes us “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

    There are even more scriptures in Proverbs that warn us to guard our hearts against the temptation of riches. But, again the leaders fail to quote those scriptures.

    Christians were not saved to make money and live a lavish lifestyle. Jesus didn’t die for that. We were created unto all good works. Now, while we are fulfilling our reason of existence, which to glorify God, God will make sure that He does not abandon us. He will meet our needs. As a matter of fact, He will gives us more than we need in order to be instruments of blessing to others. He wants our money to help establishing all good works, which is to promote His kingdom.

    That is the balance we need nowadays. Stay away from the love/lust of money. And, allow God to manifest His blessings even in the areas of finances for His kingdom’s sake.

    May God continue to give you the wisdom needed to do His work.

  8. This article demonstrates discernment and Biblical intelligence. From my experience, the rate & magnitude of God given wealth is determined by the depth of (individual communion/w Our Lord). Christ made it clear that those who (remain) with wolves are not His anyway! There is a level a Christian can reach where worship, trust, and Power of GOD yield great wealth to those saturated with intercession for a hurting world.

  9. Also, have had conversations with Christians and Messianic Jews as we have sought the Biblical reality on the wealth subject. We agree there is no substitute for (truthfull, dynamic testimonies) with no exaggerations concerning sowing and reaping. God’s people are becomming wiser, a Psalm:24:6 generation. Whether here in Tulsa, or nation wide. Now a brief testimony. I’ve sown much but beyond question, when fasting and prayer (preceed sowing) we enter into God’s court w/a consecrated gift. HE WANTS US, NOT OUR MONEY. I sent $100 to three ministries during 3-day fast. Three days after sowing im always recieve Holy Spirit Impartation of great measure. Then 7-days later $1200 settlement for a lawsuit I never filed. Another time 5-day fast, $1000 sown, $21,000 harvest. I could go on. But none of these were impulsive actions. God keeps His word. There are many Ministers who are telling believers that fasting and prayer don’t work. They worship each others egos. They manipulate multi-media, hammer congregations.

  10. Sweeeet!!!!!

    But they won’t listen. But you’ve done your job. Some would though. And its to those fewer ones you were sent

  11. Ruben B. Turner (Rhema Graduate says)

    God bless you for telling the truth. I’ve been aware of this since Senator Grassey had them on the carpet but I’ve never heard it told like this. My wife and I are now in Dave Roberson’s Family Church in Tulsa, OK. Pastor Dave teaches that paying tithes is of the Law and Christians are no longer under the Law. Pastor Dave is committed to the truth even if he goes broke.These people are teaching false doctrine to scam money out of people. May God truly bless you.

    Ruben B. Turner
    Tritter Account ( 24)

  12. Wow, what a great word. I needed to read this. I was a secretary in a mega church for almost 7 years and witnessed abuses as a result of this false theology. Praise God I got out when I did. Unfortunately I have dear brothers and sisters in Christ still trapped. They need to get back to their personal relationship with GOD & HIS WORD (Bible & HOLY SPIRIT ) and ask HIM how, when, where & to whom HE wants them to give. The Apostle Paul didn’t like those who peddled/sold the Gospel anymore than he liked the Judiser who tried to put us back under the Old Covenant & therefore steal Grace. Let’s become Grace givers and not Law givers, always asking our PAPA GOD to show us how to discern the “greedy from the needy”. Blessings, Ruth

  13. I wonder why Hagin Sr., did not repent from preaching tithing. There is no use in rebuking fellow preachers without addressing the basic flaw in his theology which is tithing.

    1. tithingstudy: ask yourself this question.. why did Abraham tithe? If you find the answer to that question, you’ll no longer “have” to tithe (as under the law), but you’ll want to tithe.

      1. Hello Lance. I guess the answer to ‘Why did Abraham tithe?’ is to ‘honour Melchizidec’. As to whether that was a weekly, monthly or even annual occurance we don’t know. Nor do we know if it was ever a tithe of his income (in this instance it was a tithe of the spoils of battle) or whether he ever saw Melchizidec again. And so it seems that all we can really learn from this incident is that it is right to honour those who Christ has given us as leaders and that, since many of them ‘live by the gospel’, such an honouring should often be more than words but be practically aimed at meeting their needs. Paul teaches the same. He never, however, suggests that it should be through a weekly tithe but leaves it to the believer to work that out in his own heart. And if you study how the Macedonian Christians followed that teaching, giving from the heart usually went way beyond the tithe.

      2. Lance, Abraham tithed ONLY once. Abraham tithed from the best of the war spoils and not from his monthly income. Also did you notice, Abraham gave the 90% back to the king of Sodom. So is that an example for us to follow? Why Isaac did not tithe? Why did Jacob not follow Abraham’s tithe model. Melchizadek was a King of Salem also. So it could have been a tax as well. Abraham married another woman Kethura after Sarah’s death. So do you think a modern day Christian also should get remarried if his wife happens to die?! Abraham got circumcised before the law so why all Christian males should not get circumcised.

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