Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

By J. Lee Grady

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 hair-brained 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?


151 thoughts on “Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

  1. I remember him teaching that. It made me wonder if this was one of those last messages to his sons in the faith and to get back to balance.

  2. I heard that Daddy Hagin published such a book but I’ve never seen anyone in the Word Of Faith camp admit to it. I’d love to get my hands on one and I think if anyone has a copy they should do a fundraising drive to republish.

    1. The book is given out first year of RBTC, along with a semester class. No Rhema grad can say they didn’t hear his true message on money when it’s apart of the curriculum. The book is also available in the church bookstore and in many other places that carry Hagin’s books.

      1. Wow. 37 requests when you only have “a” copy (which means one, people). I can understand if English isn’t their first language, but I think some people just jumped on the band wagon.

      2. Let us not get confused overemphasis on Prosperity at the expense of other aspect Christian living will make the church materialistic. We must balance our spiritual or Christianity in the light of the word of God, by so doing we will not be desperate & evil minded in the pursuit of earthly things. Churches must constantly remind the congregation about heaven as the no 1 pursuit for every Christian.

      1. This is so funny, all these word of faith folks begging for a free copy of a book. Go to Amazon, or Alibirs and you can probably buy a copy for 99 cents. Just one more example of the total hypocrisy of this movement.

      2. You only got 8 requests when you only have “an” (which means one, people) extra copy . I can understand if English isn’t their first language, but I think some people just jumped on the band wagon.

      3. Please, send me a copy of Kenneth Hagin’s book “The Midas Touch”
        My email
        Thank you.

    2. It was a mandatory reading in the years I was at Rhema 1999-2002. It was in our box of college books at the first of the year.

    3. The Midas Touch is available as a Kindle on line book I have so found a few copies on amazon

  3. A well known pastor said that it is sometimes very hard to tell the difference between a true prophet and a false one, but generally the false ones have a great love for money. That was about 50 years ago and it still stands true, in my books.

  4. Sure do miss our spiritual father of the faith, Dad Hagin. When my wife and I were students at Rhema (1996-1998 Grads) we were impressed by his wealth of knowledge of the bible and his humility. He would often say, that he has missed it before. That spoke volumes to us and we keep with that same attitude in mind at all times. No one is 100% on anything. He was a great example to us all. The Midas Touch will be brought off the shelf again.

  5. I noticed not many have commented.

    I’ve observed amongst some, both wealthy unbelievers & believers in my part, a clear similarity.

    While desiring to add to what they already have, the similar symptoms produced from the greed & self indulgance in their hearts is one forefront trait…

    It is apparent that they care nothing (genuinely disinterested) for others around them, unless they have sonething to gain from them or to promote their cause(s), whatever that may be.

    An indication of their true character that comes to light or the surface, is if they feel you threatened by you or wont jump on their bandwagon.

    With the unbeliever, they’re apt to retaliate in various ways, depending on the nature of circumstances

    The prodessing believer(s), meanwhile invoke trepedation on others with the proverbial, “Touch Not Gods Annointed!” As much as a counterfeit admonishment is dispersed amongst those that are on their bandwagon, to stay away from ones they so called have marked for not joining in or contributing.

    “…Let each one give as they have purposed in their own heart. Not grudgingly or under compulsion.”

    2 Corinthians 9:7

  6. You don’t want to stray to far to the right or the left I am an 2010 grad and I still sow into the ministry and find it hard to invest my material gifts any where else!..we are all looking for the right doctrine but truth be told its are motives that hinder or move us forward!!!

  7. Even as i write this reply i have Dad Hagin’s “Zoe the God-Kind of life” message playing on my ipad… in africa :),
    This Bogus TYPE of THE Prosperity [there is a right way to Gods riches, if you want to know look of Kenneth Hagin’s “BIBLICAL Keys To Financial Prosperity” book – i have it sitting on my shelf] is not just prevalent in America it is like the AIR that blows here in Ghana where i live, i believe that this is a move of the Devil in his final bid to capture the heart of the ELECT of God..

    Beware Brothers, there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is Destruction… Therefore … Test every Spirit

  8. It is tragic that a man of Faith such as Mr Hagin should be heralded as the founding father of the prosperity gospel. He was the founding father of bible believing, word confessing faith in the Living God and His promises.
    I’m glad he had a chance to speak to those he may have influenced before he died but I will cherish the wisdom of God that came from his absolute trust and faith in Jesus.
    We need to ask the ourselves in all circumstances what would Jesus do.

    1. Amen. I totally agree with what you say about dad Hagin. It was his bold stand on the Word and being led by the Holy Spirit that set him apart. I endeavor to follow that example. God bless you.

    2. Yes, my first thought as I started reading, is that I knew of Hagin as the father of the Faith movement.

  9. I have a lot to be grateful for Kenneth Hagin. My wonderful Pastor of Victory Life Church,
    Pastor Margaret Court often speaks of the wonderful teacher. He was a great influence to many. Praise God for men such as these.

  10. Really great to here that Kenneth rebuked the satanic distortion of his teaching. I was deeply influenced by him in the seventies in what I believe was (mostly) a Biblically positive way. I continue to grieve deeply over today’s ‘prosperity’ preachers who profane and blaspheme the Name of Jesus, as they peddle their ‘gospel.’ Kenneth really impacted my faith in the Word of God through his authority of the believer teachings and persuaded me to learn Paul’s prayers in Ephesians by heart.

      1. Why are you asking someone to send you this book? Read the other comments and you can find where you can download it.

  11. Any man who introduces & promotes Paganistic spirituality to “The Church” is a False Apostle. The “Drunk In The Spirit” experience is Nof of YaHWeH God. Scripture teaches “Sober-Mindedness” & Temperance in Emotions & Behavior. The Bachanalians of ancient Corinth were indulgent in “Drunken Spirit Worship .. believing that as they worshipped their God Of Wine, Bacchus, his Wine Spirit Filled & Inebriated them. Paul exhorted the Church, “Don’t be Drunk”. He’d rather that they “Be Filled With YaHWeH’s Holy Spirit .. the Spirit of Temperance & Sober-Mindedness”. Paul said, “anyone that preaches Another Doctrine is, ANATHEMA .. Cursed Of God”. Heresy is Anathema! Now, we have False Apostles teaching, “TOKING the ghost .. SNORTING the ghost .. MAINLINING the ghost. Getting HIGH/STONED “in-the-spirit”! “DRUNK in the spiritual,” .. HIGH/STONED in the spirit”! Where does it end!? What Next!? This is all “The Fruit” of Kenneth Hagin Sr’s Ministry .. Heretical Fakse Apostle!

  12. I have followed these preachers overtime. Never have they said prosperity is the only sign of the blessing. They have thought that God is not poor and there’s no pride in poverty. The blessing comes with prosperity.

  13. Biblical prosperity should not be compared to individuals who motivate and gimmick and extortion the sheep for personal gain. Separate Biblical prosperity for the believer and not charlatans in sheep clothing. 3rd John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

  14. Whatever man does here on this earth one day we will have to stand before GOD on JUDGEMENT DAY and be held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth. The mouth is a very powerful tool, so be careful what you say. We should always speak positive things ,not anything negetive

  15. Good to hear he rebuked parts of the way this movement has been going. But the truth is that it is his teaching that started this. And unfortunately there’s a reason for the link between Hagin and these prosperity preachers. Also, Hagin is/was no spiritual “dad”. We have one earthly dad and One heavenly.

  16. This was taught for many years, and I expect 100 fold return if not 1000 in my giving. I am thankful he corrected the message before he went to heaven.
    thank you for posting this again. Mario you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. looking forward to seeing you in Branson soon.
    Sure miss the revival.

  17. Evangelical pastors who appear to work very hard at accumulating and worshipping wealth is obscene. I know some. Consequently the Evangelical movement leaves me cold.

  18. One thing that bothers me is reading all these posts that make statements about other people. All of us need to judge our own hearts so that we will not have to be judged. Sure there are people who distort the truth. I certainly dont want to be one of them. So, posts like these are a time for me to check myself out rather than complain about what others might be doing.

  19. I was bothered when Creflo asked for money to buy an aircraft, I thought this wasn’t well thought. That’s never a requirement to fulfill any of God’s mandate. He preaches a hundred fold but could not practice it himself. I have a few books by Mr Hagin and he is a good teacher, but some of his fruits are distorting his teachings.

  20. Planting a seed without hoping to reap, is like throwing seeds on the road for birds to feed on. The is no way that you can sow a seed without hoping for the seed to grow and yield fruits.

  21. thank you for this news.i am a pastor and I am wordbased teacher.some of the mis-information and lies that are being tought at the pulpit will be difficult to correct.our pulpit is contaminated with prospery teachings and magic teachings.for one to think that a bank that financed your house can cancell your debt is wishfull thinking.we should start teaching our people about wealth christian principles of joseph when he stored food in a store rooms.Thank you to the late kenneth Haggin for bringing a subject like prosperity .it is true that poverty is not a good thing .Abraham s blessings are ours .we are going to be blessed everywhere we go.

  22. I recall this special call meeting, and many of us were pleased about it. Unfortunately it didn’t have the impact he wished.

  23. all those who want to have a copy of this book, please buy two. Give the other one as a gift to those you know will benefit from it.

  24. God is not a vending machine or Kalo Kalo as Nigerians do call those who stake money in an inordinate pursuit of more. Worldly tendencies have taken over the church. Flashy and flamboyant pastors with state of the arts equipment and auditoriums are gaining more converts of late because gullible people want to tap into the anointing of making wealth. This is leading a lot astray. We must emphasize that God is not much after our comfort as after our character. The idea of sowing in the church and not to the poor has led to the sudden emergence of mega churches with spiritually dead members.

  25. I bought the book a couple of years ago. This article is super essential now. It’s time the church applies the brake and examines her doctrine, especially as it regards money.

  26. If we say our prayers produce material results..are we saying those who do not have are less believers. God is very clear he says I will choose whom I will bless. No amount of offering can make God to bless us. We were made to worship him because he is God..not because of what he gives us. We thank him for choosing to bless us.

    1. Luke 6:38King James Version (KJV)

      38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

  27. Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Let’s not be to hasty to judge Bro. Hagin or Kenneth Hagin Jr.

    My wife and I attended RHEMA (RHEMA Bible Training Center-RBTC) 2000-2002 where we received “The Midas Touch,” as first year students. We sat through Bro Hagins teachings, as well as many other instructors (Doug Jones, David Bebe, and Billy Joe Watts to name a few), the funny thing about being a RHEMA grad is the prosperity message is not what you walk away as you graduate, thinking about.

    You walk away thinking, Jesus was moved with compassion…., Jesus prayed….., Jesus felt…..Jesus said….., Jesus wept.

    Jesus didn’t have a place to lay his head (the equivalent of a house), he wasn’t transported on a Chariot (the equivalent of a car) therefore if we teach or think as Christians we are suppose to have lavish cars,houses, planes, and clothes we have truly missed the mark and this teaching is unscriptural.

    I tell you as a RHEMA Grad sitting under the teaching of Bro. Hagin before he went to be with our Lord, the prosperity message was not the focus of his ministry.

    The book, “Knowing God as your Father,” would be a better depiction of the intent of his ministry.

    We don’t judge a driver that reads the handbook from the Department of Motor Vehicles, gets their license and either gets drunk, drives and kills someone, or drives too fast for the road conditions and kills themselves do we? Do we say, “How could they do this? We know exactly how they did it. It’s called being a human. Do we question or accuse them and say “Didn’t they read the handbook?” Or “They read the handbook so they knew what they were getting into.” No that’s a lack of compassion. The excess or misinterpretation of what is taught at RHEMA (RBTC) cannot be stopped just as much as two people can hear the same message and walk away with two different opinions.

    Martin Luthur King Jr’s speech ” I Have a Dream,” left some in tears enough to look at their own prejudice and bring change, others with wrath to the point to kill him. Both heard the same words.

    What I’m saying is, to those that judge Bro. Hagin, don’t judge him because some have taken his words and ran the wrong way with it.

    Then why would you judge a man’s ministry by what someone says they learned at RHEMA (RBTC) under Bro. Hagin?

    Please don’t say what he taught is from the devil because that’s simply not true. What he taught is to Love People, to be moved with compassion, feed people, clothe people, pray for people, weep with people. To Love People!

    This is what their instructors teach, and the intent of Bro. Hagin and RBTC.

    If all we read is “The Midas Touch,” then we will also miss the mark.

    Remember this, “We have to have something to give something, and the more you have the more you give, out of the abundance of your heart, not from guilt or coercion, then it’s not giving.

    A giving heart is a heart that has been set free from materialism!

    I didn’t say how much, I didn’t say give all, that is between you and God.

    1. Sir I sincerely hope that that was what Brother Hagin taught and that that is the legacy and impression that he left.
      I am a 2015 Rhema grad, and I saw a lot at Rhema that left me quite disillusioned. Most of what I heard seemed to encourage me to have a sense of entitlement more than anything else. I went to Rhema because God told me to go, and I still have no doubt that God told me to go.
      I have to say though that a lot of what I saw go on there grieved me greatly.
      I certainly hope, and have been told that it was quite different when Dad Hagin was alive, and I certainly pray that all of the craziness that I saw go on there gets corrected.
      I have since started to return to my Baptist roots until I figure things out. I still believe in the gifts, I still believe in tongues, prophecy, etc, but I have to say most of what I saw there was not what I expected when I first arrived to go to school

  28. Brother Hagin was not the auther of the prosperity gospel. He was the auther of the Faith Movement. God told him to teach my people faith. I have the book The Midas touch. I’ve read it a few times seeing that you’re talking about it I’m going to start reading it again.

  29. Amen! I love Brother Haggin. He’s an amazing man. I miss him. His legacy lives on through his son and grandchildren.

  30. Was Kenneth Hagan not partly responsible for propagating this very gospel? So his book, The Midas Touch, was a bit like slamming the barn door after the cows got out.

  31. I believe we as believers and followers of the Lord Jesus and His word, need to do as one of the brothers early comment, examine ourselves, and our own motives, not blame a pastor teacher or evangelist. I believe we are just as responsible to follow the word of God rather than what some one teaches us as truth. Paul said to study to show yourself approved of
    God, and about those that studied the word daily to rightly dividing the truth, it’s called Biblical ignorance. So many believers are so reliant upon preacher, teacher, or evangelist to give them the truth instead 0f studying it and finding out for themselves what the Bible really says and this is very dangerous, because it leads to be deceived. I have witnesses in many different services of people being manipulated by their own deception, not just the pastor or teacher. As I was maturing in the charismatic movement I not only question certain teaching about prosperity I did a lot of study for myself and realized how easily people can be swept up in the emotions and urgency of the moment by these charismatics and even left a particular church and dropped supporting some ministries. In ending I think it shameful that a preacher can ask for donations and tithes to finance an airplane, special building and football field, to build the membership or make their life more comfortable, when that money should be going to feed and clothing the poor or financing the missions furthering the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you go for the deception that by giving money for these schemes God will reward you, first you need to get out of your selfishness, and you need to exercise your faith in the Father God to provide your every need according to His word. It’s almost the same as putting your money on the lottery with a chance of winning. And if God doesn’t answer or bless you then you lose your faith in Him. Father knows best he isn’t going to give you anything and everything you think you need or have to have. His eye is on the sparrow and His eye is upon you. Please give according to what the Word of God teaches not by what someone tells you contrary too His word. The Prosperity Ministry has do so much damage to the true gospel of God that many have fallen away from the faith. If you trust Him and seek His will and study His word for the truth you won’t be deceived and then blame a preacher for your own ignorance and foolishness. “OK you can throw your stones now”, but I have told you the truth from experience and the Word of God. Bless you and as it is said in Ephesians 3:14-21, May the Lord Jesus “open and enlighten the eyes of your understanding and that you might know the love of Christ which passes knowledge that you may be filled with all fullness of God”, Vs. 21 if you will trust Him for everything He will do exceedingly abundantly above what we can ask or image.” He doesn’t need our money to do what only he can do for us. Amen God richly bless you all.

  32. That is absolutely true we shouldn’t emphasize our message on money or material things the One that called us owns the entire universe. Psalm 24:1 if He actually call you He can back you up.

  33. That book “Midas Touch” is the most balanced book I have ever read on prosperity. The book is trying is just trying to say, “just agree with the Holy Spirit in the area of finances and you would not satisfy the desires of the flesh that makes us coveteous, extravagant, flamboyant, lustful, greedy and self-serving”. I bought the book in 2004 as led by the Holy Spirit and used the front logo(thumbprint) on the cover page as my campaign logo and won a Student Union election as President that 2004. My friend took it away for some years and I saw the reluctance with which he returned it. It blessed him no doubt and it has blessed me too. And the truths and princples contained in it are still working. I’m on it at the moment. I’m reading it as at the time of sending this post. Who doesn’t want to be blessed!

  34. I have read a few books by Daddy Kenneth Hagin and I must say they have helped me to grow spiritually rapidly if you read the books and apply that knowledge God will move mightily in your life. I recommend The Gift of Prophecy, Tongues beyond the upper room, Why tongues, I believe in Visions, Growing up Spiritually, Seven Vital steps to receiving the Holy Spirit, all these can be downloaded freely Including The Midas touch which I’m about to read. just google the names. May God richly bless you in the Mighty name of Jesus Christ the Son of the living God.

  35. I really enjoyed reading this article and was blessed so much by it. I shall definitely be sharing it on social media for the benefit of pastor friends of mine here in The Philippines. I am not a Rhema graduate but I have been tremendously blessed by Bro. Hagin’s writing and I think this is a timely warning for Christians to stop being idolatrous because this is exactly what Bro. Hagin is describing, idolatry, focusing on the gift and not the Giver. I agree that there are verses in the Bible that indicate God wants to bless us, but that the blessing comes with a responsibility and a purpose. For example, God told Abraham that He would bless him, but the purpose was that Abraham in turn would be a blessing (Genesis 12v2). In a second example, Paul makes a similar point in 2 Corinthians 9v8 that God’s grace provides us with everything we need and more, the purpose for the more is so that we can abound to every good work, in other words, be a blessing. I am a missionary working in The Philippines and there is a massive problem among pastors here regarding this issue. I am all over this as an instructor in a school of evangelism here because I don’t want to be responsible for producing carnal, greedy, selfish, covetous and idolatrous Christians more interested in getting than serving, more interested in riches than relationship and more interested in themselves than in others, which is exactly what is happening. God is not mocked, that is what is being sowed, that is what will be reaped. The focus needs to shift and quickly. Time is short, the fields are white and too few labourers available and I for one want to be able to present Jesus with increase, with fruit when I have to account for myself to Him. Bro. Hagin is right and people need to pay attention to his warning. They have to account for themselves too. That should be a check to them in itself.

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