The Heresy of Seed Faith Giving by Steve Lumbley

2 Peter 2:1

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

What do you think it means to deny the Lord? Many would say that any person or group that doesn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God would be denying the Lord and that would be true enough. False religions like Islam and Hinduism would fall into this category. Most orthodox Christians would include the pseudo Christian cults like Jehovah’s Witness’, Mormons, and others of that ilk. And they would be correct but are these the false teachers Peter is referring to here? 

If you look closely you will see that Peter says these false teachers will be “among you”.  Since he was writing to a group of born again, Spirit filled believers we must conclude that he is not talking about the obvious false religions or even pseudo Christian cults. The false teachers he is speaking of will be found within the Body of Christ.

Now how do you suppose that false teachers will get away with denying the Lord among a group of believers?

The word denying as it is used here is the Greek word arneomai {ar-neh©-om-ahee}. It is the same word used in Titus 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him….  Used in these contexts, the word means to contradict.

So a teacher that contradicts the Lord is in fact denying Him. He may say that Jesus is Lord. He may speak right sounding words claiming to be born again and he may have the biggest Bible you’ve ever seen but if his works or teaching contradicts the words of Jesus he is denying Him.

For example, when Benny Hinn claimed in 1999 that Jesus would physically appear at one of his upcoming crusades he was contradicting the specific words of the Lord Jesus.

Matthew 24:23 -26

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.”

By making the claim that Jesus would physically appear at one of his crusades Hinn contradicted (denied) the words of the Lord and proved himself to be a false prophet and false teacher
according to 2 Peter 2:1

The so called principle of seed faith giving was first popularized by Oral Roberts almost 50 years ago. It proved to be so profitable to him that he essentially based his entire ministry on it.

As with any other profitable venture others soon followed. Today it is used by virtually every “Faith” preacher, the majority of Christian television networks, and almost all TV preachers in general. It has even found its way into many mainstream and denominational churches.

How does seed faith giving work. It is loosely based (very loosely as we will see) on the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. Using the illustration of sowing seed, people are instructed that if they will give money to the church, the ministry, the TV network, the man of God, etc, God will multiply it back to them 30, 60, or 100 times more than they gave. In fact now days about all you ever hear about is the 100 fold return. The 30 and 60 fold returns
have pretty much been dropped altogether.

That’s a pretty good deal wouldn’t you say? Give God $1 and get back $100. Give God $100 and get back $10,000. Give God $10,000 and get back a cool million. And not only that, but you can also sow money and get back other things. Things like salvation for relatives, healing for incurable diseases, and deliverance from various demonic influences! That’s right, all you have to do is send your seed (meaning money) to the man of God!

Is this really what the parable of the sower is all about. What do you think? Let’s examine this important parable.

Luke 8:4-8 NASB

“When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus explains the parable:

Luke 8:11 NASB

“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.”

Now right here anybody with even a minimal level of reading comprehension should be able to see that this parable has nothing to do with money. The seed is the word of God. Even a brand new baby Christian should be able to look at this and say  “I don’t think these fellows are teaching this correctly”

Let’s continue with Jesus’ explanation

Luke 8:12-15 NASB

“Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.  Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.  The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”

This parable is about what happens when the word of God is sown or revealed in the heart of a person. It may be the most important parable Jesus taught. Why do I say that? Because Jesus said this:

Mark 4:13

“And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?”

Jesus is saying that if you don’t understand this parable you won’t understand any of the parables he taught. This is a foundational teaching!

By misapplying the parable of the sower these false teachers do great damage to Gods people. First, by falsely claiming that God works like some kind of cosmic slot machine. But the real damage is in the fact that believers are robbed of the true meaning of this teaching.

The parable of the sower is at work every time Gods word is revealed to you. In fact it is at work right now in many of you who are reading this.

I know that many of you will read this and say “I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that my favorite preacher would preach a false message” You’ll reject what I’m saying.  You’ll actually be rejecting the words of Jesus.

The devil has come already to steal this word from you.

Some of you will hear what I say and receive it gladly. “ Glory to God” you’ll say, “preach it brother…. Hallelujah ”  But you won’t take the time to really meditate on this word. You won’t really apply it.

And then a testing will come. Testing because of the word sown in your heart. A test to see if you really believe, trust in, rely on, adhere to what you claim to believe. You’ll be challenged. God Himself will allow that challenge, that test.

Will you pass the test? Or will you revert back to your traditional thinking?

And of course some of you will hear and believe but you won’t give this word the proper place in your life. You’ll think about it for a while. You’ll decide that it’s right but then you’ll get on with your life. You’ll get busy with your job, your family, your daily responsibilities and it will recede further and further into the recesses of your heart until it has no real value to you.

And the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches will have choked the truth out of your heart.

But I know too that some of you will hear this word and receive it. You’ll meditate on it. You’ll give it the proper priority in your life. When challenged you’ll stand and agree with it rather tha contradict!

And you will have proven yourself to be good soil. You’ll produce fruit, becoming more and more Christ like in your life. You’ll become a disciple indeed.

John 8:31-32

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

A little leaven leavens the whole lump

Paul said that evil men will wax worse and worse and so it is with false teaching. The false ideology behind the seed faith message has infected the church to such a degree that many never even question the idea that if you “have a need” you must “plant a seed.”

But is that assumption theologically sound? Should we really plant a seed when we have a need?

During a recent telethon (beg-a-thon) Paul Crouch, founder of Trinity Broadcast Network explained that even God sowed a seed when He had a need.

That’s right God had a need. He’d lost His first family in Adam, Crouch explained, so God sowed His best seed, Jesus. Not only that, but God sowed in expectation. Just like we are taught to sow expecting a miracle, God sowed expecting a 100 fold return. He gave His son Jesus and got back many more sons and daughters. Proof positive that seed faith giving works!


Does the Bible really teach that God had a need? Did God ever lose anything or anyone. Would you like God’s response to Mr. Crouch’s exhortation. Well look right here.

Psalm 50:9-12 NKJV

“I will not take a bull from your house, Nor goats out of your folds. For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you;  For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.”

Or how about this verse Mr. Crouch.

Matthew 3:9

“And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”

God is God.  He is not a man having needs. He didn’t lose anything. All is His. If He were hungry He wouldn’t tell us. Isn’t that incredible!

It is the height of arrogance (or perhaps apostasy) to claim that God is anything like us. He is in no way dependent on us. We are dependent on Him. And herein lies the real heresy of the seed faith message.

It turns the doctrine of grace into a doctrine of works and thereby denies the finished work of the cross.

The seed faith message is a message of works, not grace. It says God cannot or will not act until we do something.

Would you like to know how to have God meet all your needs, even financial needs every time? Go to the words of Jesus.

Matthew 6:31-33

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

What does Jesus say to do when you have a need? Does He say to sow a seed?

No, He says take no thought. He says don’t worry about material possessions. He says that the Father knows you have need of these things.

So, when a preacher says sow a seed after Jesus has said take no thought isn’t that preacher guilty of contradicting the Lord?  Isn’t he in fact denying the Lord?

Of course Jesus doesn’t stop there. He tells us how to have our needs met. It’s simply, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

How do we seek His kingdom and His righteousness? Well, Gods kingdom and His righteousness are revealed in the Gospel

Romans 1:16-17

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

The Gospel is defined in 1Cor 15:1-4.

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

The Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is this Gospel that is the power of God. It is in this Gospel that God’s righteousness is revealed. It is in this Gospel that your needs are met.

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Like many Christians you’ve probably read this scripture so many times you don’t even think about it any more. You’re probably saying “yes, praise God I know that I’m saved by grace, I know that I’m heaven bound but what’s that got to do with me paying my bills?”

The word saved in the Greek is the word sozo. It means literally to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, from injury or peril, to save a suffering one from perishing, to make well, heal, restore to health, to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue.

You see, to be saved means much more than just “go to heaven”. It means to be set at safety in the here and now. It means to be made safe in spirit, soul, and body.  That would certainly include material things as well as eternal things wouldn’t it?

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the free gift of God. It is salvation (all needs met) to everyone who believes. It requires no work on our part. It requires no vows, no pledges, no seeds of faith. What it requires is simply belief.

To believe means more than mere mental assent. It means that we trust in, rely on, adhere to the fact that God has provided for all our needs when He raised Jesus from the dead. In other words we must refuse to contradict (deny) the words of the Lord!

2 Peter 1:3

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Gods divine power, that same power that raised Christ from the dead has (past tense) given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness. All things means all things! All things that pertain to life would include finances to pay your bills!

God doesn’t want your money He wants your life.

The faith teachers like to suggest that you must make an exchange or a trade with God in order for Him to move on your behalf. You know what? They are right in principle but wrong in practice. The exchange is not material for material. It’s not give something to get something.

The exchange is your life for His. It’s your will for His will. It’s your desires for His desires. That’s the exchange. And that’s the only exchange God desires. It’s the only exchange He will honor.

A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to have eternal life. Jesus told him to obey Gods commandments. When the man answered that he had been doing that all his life, Jesus told him there was one thing he lacked.

Mark 10:21

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

This passage is about seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. It’s about what has priority in our lives.

Mark 10:22

“And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”

The man chose material (temporal) wealth over eternal (true) life. He chose his will over Gods will.

What does it mean to “take up the cross”? It means to believe the gospel. To trust in, rely on, adhere to, the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and our death, burial, and resurrection with Him!

That’s the exchange God is looking for!

Galatians 2:20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Paul understood the exchange. He understood that to trust in, rely on, and adhere to the Gospel (the cross) he had to enter into it himself.

Romans 6:4

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 2:12

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

When we reckon ourselves dead to the world we are made alive in Christ Jesus. When we lose our lives, we gain real life!

Mark 8:35

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

Notice the next to last word in that scripture. That’s right, it’s the Greek word sozo again. To lose your life is to save it, to make it complete, to rescue it from destruction, injury, or peril. To be set at safety.

1 Corinthians 15:1

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;”

The seed you sow is yourself.

John 12:24

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”

When you enter into the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ you sow your life. And you sow it 100%. Not a tenth, not a seed, all of your life must be sown.

New Testament Giving

The New Testament model for giving is found in 2 Corinthians chapter 9. Paul here is exhorting the church in Corinth to fulfill an obligation to which they had earlier committed. The offering was being taken for the believers in Macedonia who were suffering great privation and affliction.

Notice if you will that the offering was to go to needy people, not to Pauls ministry . Paul was not taking up an offering for himself, or so that he could “reach the world for Christ” or build an orphanage, or stay on the air, or for any of the other reasons modern preachers give to extort
money from Gods people.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

This passage of scripture clearly equates financial giving with sowing seed but it does not validate the “principle” of seed faith giving.

First of all our giving should be directed primarily toward the poor and needy. Here’s an interesting scripture you’ll never hear from these seed faith preachers

Proverbs 22:16

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.”

Aren’t you giving to the rich when you send “seed” to these money preachers? They all live in million dollar homes, drive high dollar cars, wear expensive suits. That sounds pretty rich to me. This scripture says that by the very thing you are doing, you’re perpetuating your own lack!

Secondly we should give as we purpose in our hearts. Third we should give cheerfully, not out of need (or just because there is a need), and not because we feel we must give (out of necessity).

Here is the place where the doctrine of seed faith giving contradicts the word of God. Every preacher practicing seed faith giving first of all makes you feel that you must give (of necessity) before God can move on your behalf.  But look again at what Paul said:

“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity.”

Now think about it. Think about how these preachers put pressure on you to give. They make emotional appeals. They make extravagant claims.  They tell you that you must give in order to receive from God. If you don’t give (and I mean right now!) you’ll miss God, etc, etc, on and on, ad infinitum.

Aren’t they contradicting the clear word of God? Aren’t they in fact denying the Lord who bought them?

The result of this model of giving is that we are promised that we will always have enough (always having all sufficiency in all things) for all the things that God asks us to do (to every good work).

This is in no way a promise or guarantee of worldly wealth. It is a promise that God will provide regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Philippians 4:11-12

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

Now let’s look again at the proper object of our giving. This is important because wherever Jesus spoke of giving finances He spoke of giving alms. The word alms always means a gift of charity. This is giving specifically for the benefit of the poor.

When Jesus spoke to the rich young ruler what did he tell him to do?

Mark 10:21

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”

Jesus told him to give to the poor. He didn’t say give to my ministry. He didn’t say give at the temple. He said give to the poor. Jesus spoke may times of giving alms.

Matthew 6:1

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

Luke 11:41

“But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.”

Luke 12:33

“Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”

In the book of Acts we see the spiritual and physical benefits of giving alms.

Acts 10:1-2

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”

Acts 10:4

“And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”

God rewarded Cornelius (a gentile Roman soldier) with salvation for himself and his household because of his prayers and his alms (gifts to the poor).

How often are we taught today to give alms to the poor?

Now I know that these seed faith preachers make a pretense of giving to the poor. But how much of what they receive really go to the poorest among us? I can tell you that it is precious little. Many of the largest ministries take in millions of dollars each year and send a few thousand dollars per month to missionaries in third world countries.

Do you realize how few dollars it takes to feed and cloth the poor in the poorest nations, Many missionaries are thrilled to have a $2,000 or $3,000 per month donation from a major ministry. These missionaries are to be commended. For the most part they are doing a great work and doing it unto the “least of these” (Matthew 25:45).

But the seed faith preachers who make a show out of giving a relative pittance, that’s another matter. In fact the reason most of them give to missions at all is so that they can go to the mission once a year with their cameras to show their “partners” how they are feeding starving kids. This is a pure business decision. By showing pictures of them hugging poor third world kids they are able to deceive even more people into sending them money. It’s all a scam, a charade.

Jesus tells us we shall know them by their fruit. Or by the results of their lives

Matthew 7:16

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Here are some of the fruits of these seed faith preachers

Oral Roberts

“Here is a portrait of the real Oral Roberts, the man not too many of his admirers know. He dresses in Brioni suits that cost $500 to $1000; walks in $100 shoes; lives in a $250,000 house in Tulsa and has a million dollar home in Palm Springs; wears diamond rings and solid gold bracelets employees `airbrush©out of his publicity photos; drives $25,000 automobiles which are replaced every 6 months; flies around the country in a $2 million fanjet falcon; has membership, as does his son Richard, in `the most prestigious and elite country club in Tulsa, the Southern Hills (the membership fee alone was $18,000 for each, with $130 monthly dues) and in `the ultra-posh Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California (both father and son joined when memberships were $20,000 each – they are now $25,000); and plays games of financial hanky-panky that have made him and his family members independently wealthy (millionaires) for life. (When his daughter and son-in-law were killed, they left a $10 million estate; Evangelist E.L. Sumner review of “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” by Jerry Sholes; editor’s note – numbers quoted here are from the mid to late 70’s).

Paul and Jan Crouch

TBN Televangelists Buy $5,000,000 Home

LOS ANGELES TIMES, Nov.4,2001, page K15

Televangelists JAN and PAUL CROUCH of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach house for close to $5 million, Orange County Realtors say.

The home was described as “a palatial estate with ocean and city views.” The Crouches had been living in a smaller house in the same neighborhood.

The house they bought has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier.

The three-story, nearly 9,500-square-foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain.

The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch had been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs, sources said.  Trinity Broadcasting, established in 1973, has more than 768 TV stations on the air worldwide. The Crouches oversee a $100-million-plus-a-year enterprise. Even so, faithful viewers are said to consider the couple, who are in their 60′s and have been married since the 50’s, as everyday folk.

Creflo Dollar

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 9, 2000

The Rev. Creflo Dollar Jr. has unabashedly embraced his name by building a
religious empire on the message that his brand of piety leads to prosperity.

He drives a black Rolls-Royce, flies to speaking engagements across the nation and Europe in a $5 million private jet and lives in a $1 million home behind iron gates in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood.

Joel Osteen

The younger Osteen lives the life of prosperity that he preaches. A 2001 Real Estate Guide ( ) valued his home at $1,265,500.

Benny Hinn

What happened to Hinn’s promised healing center?


By STEVE McGONIGLE / The Dallas Morning News

Evangelist Benny Hinn dazzled an overflowing Reunion Arena three years ago with plans to bring a touch of Lourdes to Las Colinas.

The flamboyant Pentecostal preacher offered the crowd a multimedia tour of his proposed $30 million shrine to faith healing and solicited donations to pay for it. The start of construction was imminent, he told followers. Mr. Hinn’s “World Healing Center” never materialized. After a few months, he stopped talking about the project. His tax-exempt ministry did not have to give a public accounting of how much money he raised or how it was spent, and it didn’t.

Last year, a subsidiary led by Mr. Hinn began work on a $3 million “parsonage” overlooking the Pacific Ocean south of Los Angeles.

Paula White

Supporters of Randy and Paula White say they have no problem with their displays of wealth. Tampa – When preachers Randy and Paula White bought the $2.2 million red-brick house on Bayshore Boulevard last month, they were already thinking ahead to November.  “We always do a Table in the Wilderness Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless,” says Randy White, senior pastor at Without Walls International Church.  “Now that we have the space to do it on our own we’d like to find a way to bus them here for the party.” A spacious yard is attached to the 8,000-spare-foot, five-bedroom English manor home. And the White’s church has its own buses. IN HIS SERMON “PROSPERITY OR POVERTY,” White announced he and his wife had bought this house. Their taste in cars reflects their substantial income. She drives a Mercedes sedan, he a Cadillac Escalade. The side of Randy White’s car is emblazoned with “Big Daddy” – a nickname bestowed by inner-city kids served by the church’s many missions. Randy and Paula White married in 1988 and in 14 years they claim 15,000 members and offer 250 ministries from job training for welfare recipients to a teen rock club. Randy is a fifth generation preacher. Much of their money comes from tax dollars through the faith-based initiative.

Joyce Meyer

From Fenton to fortune in the name of God
Carolyn Tuft and Bill Smith

©2003, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Joyce Meyer says God has made her rich.

Everything she has has come from him: the $10 million corporate jet, her husband’s $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children — all blessings, she says, straight from the hand of God……

A penchant for nice things

Meyer is fond of nice things and is willing to spend for them. From an $11,000 French clock in the ministry’s Fenton Headquarters to a $105,000 Crownline boat docked behind her vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, its clear her tastes run more to Perrier than to tap water. ….

The ministry’s headquarters is a three story jewel of red brick and emerald colored glass that, from the outside, has the look and feel of a luxury resort hotel.

Built two years ago for $20 million, the building and grounds are postcard perfect, from manicured flower beds and walkways to a five-story lighted cross.

The building is decorated with religious paintings and sculptures, and quality furniture. Much of it, Meyer says, she selected herself.

A Jefferson County assessor’s list offers a glimpse into the value of many of the items: a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases, six French crystal vases bought for $18,500, an $8,000 Dresden porcelain depicting the Nativity, two $5,800 curio cabinets, a $5,700 porcelain of the Crucifixion, a pair of German porcelain vases bought for $5,200.

The decor includes a $30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each.

Inside Meyer’s private office suite sit a conference table and 18 chairs bought for $49,000. The woodwork in the offices of Meyer and her husband cost the ministry $44,000.

In all, assessor’s records of the ministry’s personal property show that nearly $5.7 million worth of furniture, artwork, glassware, and the latest equipment and machinery fill the 158,000-square-foot building.

As of this summer, the ministry also owned a fleet of vehicles with an estimated value of $440,000. The Jefferson County assessor has been trying to get the complex and its contents added to the tax rolls but has failed.

Stylish sports cars and a plane

Meyer drives the ministry’s 2002 Lexus SC sports car with a retractable top, valued at $53,000. Her son Dan, 25, drives the ministry’s 2001 Lexus sedan, with a value of $46,000. Meyer’s husband drives his Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG sedan.

“My husband just likes cars,” Meyer said.

The Meyer’s keep the ministry’s Canadair CL-600 Challenger jet, which Joyce Meyer says is worth $10 million, at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. The ministry employs two full-time pilots to fly the Meyers to conferences around the world.

These are just a few of the most prominent seed faith preachers. Now I ask you do you honestly believe these people are living the crucified life. Have they forsaken all to follow Jesus. Have they forsaken the world or do they love the things of this world?

Joyce Meyer says her husband drives a $100,000 Mercedes because he “just likes cars”. But the Apostle John says:

1 John 2:15-16

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Do you think that a $100,000 Mercedes qualifies as a thing that is “of the world”?  How about that $30,000 malachite table Joyce bought for the office, or the $11,000 French clock, or the $105,000 boat at the $500,000 lake house, or the …. well, you get the idea.

Look again at the words of John. He says that if any man (person) love the world (and by extension the things of the world ) the love of the Father is not in him.

Do you believe the Bible? Do you believe the Bible is contradictory? Do you believe that what God says applies to some people but not to others? Do you believe that Joyce Meyer and her husband have the love of God in their hearts?

Paula and Randy White need an 8,000 square foot, $2 million home so that they can bus poor people in once a year and feed them. Feeding the poor is a commendable thing to do. But Jesus says:

Matthew 6:1-2

“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

When the Whites announce that they will be feeding the homeless at Thanksgiving are they not “sounding a trumpet” Are they not doing their alms “to be seen of men”.  According to Jesus doesn’t this make them hypocrites?

We could continue with this exercise but I think you get the point. Are these peoples lives and words in agreement with the words of Jesus and the apostles or are they contradicting (denying) Him?

You’ll know them by their fruit

Now I know that many of you will now accuse me of  judging.  Well, you’re correct, I am judging these hypocrites and false teachers. I am judging them the way we as Christians are instructed to judge.

Matthew 7:15-16

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Matthew 7:20

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Matthew 7:21-23

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Jesus says we will know them “by their fruits” In other words we will know them by what their lives produce. Not by what they say but by what they do . Talk is cheap. Don’t tell me, show me!

Tell me this.  Who do you think Jesus was talking about when he said these words “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

He certainly wasn’t talking about the unsaved. He wasn’t talking about the cults and false religions. Hindus don’t prophesy in Jesus name and Muslims don’t cast out devils.

If you are honest with yourself (and if you haven’t let the devil steal the word that this teaching has been sowing in your heart) you must acknowledge that the people He is talking about are the very teachers and preachers we see on TBN and Daystar every day. These wolves in sheeps clothing that tell us that if we have a need we must sow a seed. These false prophets who deny (contradict) the Lord who bought them. These so called great men and women of God (and their followers) who “through covetousness..  with feigned words make merchandise of you” (2Peter 2:3).

These are the ones Jesus says shall not enter in. Why? Because only those who do the will of the Father shall enter.

Obey God not man

Have you been a follower of any of these false prophets? Have you been “sowing your seed” faithfully. Have you been giving sacrificially to the man or woman of God? |

Have you received your hundred fold return?

I don’t mean have you had some occasional victories here and there. I want to know have you received your hundred fold return. Has it worked for you like it seems to work for them? Are you living in a $2 million dollar home? Do you have a $100,000 Mercedes. Do you fly around the country in a private jet?

Well, why not? I hear these people all the time say that God is no respecter of persons (Rom 2:11) They say that what He did for one He will do for another. So again I ask, where is your Mercedes, and your $5 million estate?

Are you honest enough to ask yourself and your heavenly Father why you’re still following these people when it’s obviously not working in your life?

Do you really want the answer? Now before you go any further you should know that once you receive the truth you are responsible for it.

2 Peter 2:1-3

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

And so we are back to the scripture with which we started. False teachers are among us. They are bringing in damnable heresies like seed faith giving. In doing so they deny or contradict the Lord who bought them. They are destined for swift destruction.

And many of you are following their pernicious (destroying) ways. And because of this the true Gospel is ridiculed throughout our society.

It is by using the sin of covetousness that they make merchandise (exploit or use) of you.

This covetousness is in your heart. You follow them because you desire the things they promise. Even when you see the scriptures that condemn them you ignore them , you evade them, you rationalize in your mind that the scripture doesn’t really mean what it say.  You have itching ears and are heaping up to yourself teachers after your own lusts.

You are guilty before God and you will share in the swift destruction reserved for these false prophets if you don’t repent.

Matthew 10:41

“He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.”

Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. If you receive (take hold of, take up with) a false prophet you will share in that false prophets reward.

If you are convicted by this word you need to repent. Repent means to change your mind. It means to change direction. It is an act of will.

Ask your heavenly Father to deliver you from the covetousness in your heart. Ask Him to deliver you from the love of worldly things. Ask Him to show you the truth as it is written in the word without adding to it the traditions of men.

Take up your cross today. Deny yourself. Deny your fleshly desires and humble yourself before the Most High God. Enter into the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Reckon yourself dead. Lay your life on the altar. Present yourself as a living sacrifice.

Don’t wait. Now is the acceptable time. Repent and believe the Gospel before it is too late.

Revelation 18:4

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

Steve Lumbley 2003

This article may be reproduced and distributed free of charge as long as it remains in its original form.

Catholicism—Christian? Or Cultic? by Dave Hunt

The evangelical church today is being seduced as never in its history. It faces a danger so grave that, although we have discussed this problem before, it must be addressed again with new insight and vigor. If evangelicals succumb to the seduction, as they increasingly are doing, then their gospel witness will be submerged in confusion and could eventually be lost—a tragic and new dimension to the apostasy from which the church and the world will never recover. Most astonishing and alarming is the fact that (with few exceptions) evangelical leaders and even the major cult watchers refuse to acknowledge this threat. We are therefore compelled to address the subject once again with renewed concern.

For decades evangelicals have diligently and faithfully attempted to identify, analyze and warn the church against cults . Included in the standard list are Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity, Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, etc. Yet the most seductive, dangerous, and largest cult (many times larger than all of the rest combined) is not included in the list! Most cult experts refuse to identify this horrendous cult as such! Instead, they accept it as “Christian.”

Worst of all, this cult (which preaches a false gospel that is sending hundreds of millions into a Christless eternity) is now embraced as a partner in “evangelizing the world” by many groups that preach the biblical gospel. Major denominations, such as the Anglican and the Episcopalian church, are involved in merger talks with this cult. The Assemblies of God hierarchy has been engaged in “fruitful dialogue” with this cult, whose members are now widely perceived as born-again Christians. As a consequence, the evangelical church faces an unprecedented crisis that threatens its very survival.

The above is a severe, solemn, and devastating charge to make—a charge that we have documented in the past and in support of which additional evidence will now be given. We challenge any church leader to a public debate who declares that this assertion is false. If proven wrong, we will publicly repent. But if this accusation is true, then a major shake-up in the evangelical church is required, including repentance by many of its most highly regarded leaders. We solicit your help in providing church leaders with the facts they need to identify this cult—facts of which I [Dave] was ignorant years ago when I, too, failed to identify the Roman Catholic Church as the cult that it is.

What is a “cult?” In his book, Rise of the Cults , Walter Martin defined cultism as “…any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.” Though unmentioned by Martin, Roman Catholicism is undeniably a “major deviation from orthodox Christianity” on many “cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith,” and thus, by his own definition, a cult. Recognition of this fact ignited the Reformation! To deny that Roman Catholicism is a cult is to repudiate the Reformation and mock the millions of martyrs who died at Rome’s hands, as though they gave their lives in vain.

But, says someone, since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the Roman Catholic Church no longer teaches and practices what it did at the time of the Reformation. That popular idea is false. To counter the Reformation, Rome’s foremost theologians met from 1545-63 in the Council of Trent. Its Canons and Decrees , which rejected every Reformation doctrine, remain the standard authoritative statement of Roman Catholicism, and adherence thereto is required by Catholic catechisms. Opening Vatican II, Pope John XXIII declared, “I do accept entirely all that has been decided and declared at the Council of Trent.” Vatican II went on to reaffirm Trent’s Canons and Decrees . No, Rome has notchanged since the Reformation—except superficially.

Were Luther, Calvin, and the other Reformers alive today, they would denounce Roman Catholicism as the largest and most dangerous cult on earth! Yet the Christian Research Institute and other counter-cult groups refuse to classify it as a cult. In the above book, Martin emphasized that the five major cults at that time had “a following exceeding 8.5 million persons ….” Yet he overlooked Roman Catholicism’s hundreds of millions!

Answers to Cultists at Your Door presents another example. Its authors, Bob and Gretchen Passantino, are described as “experts in cult research [who] have spent years in countercult ministry” (outside back cover of Witch Hunt ). They include such marks of a cult as the claim that it “is the only organization on earth that is following God’s will” and that its leader is “uniquely chosen by God to lead God’s people” and that it alone “offer[s] the Bible’s ‘true’ interpretation on all matters.” Again, the Roman Catholic Church fully fits all of the criteria. It claims to be the only true church, says that its pope is uniquely chosen to lead all of God’s people, and explains that only its hierarchy can interpret Scripture. Yet the Passantinos, like most other “cult experts,” fail to include Roman Catholicism as a cult, though it meets all their own tests!

Mormons must blindly obey Joseph Smith and his successors, JWs dare not question The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, and other cultists must submit to their leaders. Such authoritarianism is the primary mark of a cult. The same blind submission is required of all Catholics. Canon 212 of Catholicism’s Code of Canon Law requires that Catholics must give absolute obedience to their “sacred pastors.” Vatican II states repeatedly that only Catholicism’s hierarchy can interpret the Bible and that papal pronouncements must be obeyed without question. Canon 333 (Sec. 3) declares, “There is neither appeal nor recourse against a decision or decree of the Roman Pontiff.” Vatican watchdog Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s recent 7,500-word “Instruction” declares that dissent about church teachings cannot be “justified as a matter of following one’s conscience.” No cult demands surrender of mind and conscience more fully or arrogantly than Roman Catholicism.

Roman Catholicism is not only left out of the list of cults by the experts, but it is explicitly approved. For example, in Scripture Twisting , James W. Sire, longtime Editor-In-Chief of InterVarsity Press, defines a cult as having “ doctrines and/or practices that contradict those of the Scriptures as interpreted by traditional Christianity as represented by the major Catholic and Protestant denominations… ” (emphasis his). Sire makes Catholicism a standard of orthodoxy against which cults are to be judged. Yet he accuses the cults of twisting Scripture, a technique of which Rome is surely the ultimate master. Sire indicts Mormonism as a cult for adding other revelations to the Bible—but Rome has added far more new revelations to the Bible than the Mormon Church. Sire declares, “There is no guru class in biblical Christianity, no illuminati, no people through whom all proper interpretation must come”—yet that is exactly the situation in the Roman Catholic Church! How, then, does he make it the standard of orthodoxy?

Consider also The Agony of Deceit published by Moody. Each chapter is written by a leading evangelical about a specific false teaching within today’s church. While Agony mostly repeats much that was found in Seduction of Christianity five years earlier, it is another voice issuing many of the same warnings, for which we are thankful. Yet it, too, whitewashes Roman Catholicism. On page 65 it states, “Traditional Roman Catholicism…hold[s] to biblical inerrancy.” In fact, Catholicism explicitly denies biblical inerrancy! The next sentence does acknowledge that the “messages [of Protestantism and Catholicism] are poles apart,” but moves right on without identifying the vital differences.

Page 111 declares, “The Catholic church resisted the mounting heresies with regard to the Person of Christ, and…Protestants would continue to affirm Catholic Christology.” Again, terribly false! Catholicism’s Christology is heretical. It denies Christ’s exclusive role as mediator between God and man, making Mary “co-mediatrix”; it denies the exclusivity of His redemptive work, making Mary “co-redemptrix” (Vatican II credits Mary with a perpetual “salvific role; she continues to obtain by her constant intercession the graces we need for eternal salvation”); and it denies the sufficiency of His redemptive work, declaring that the redeemed must, in addition to Christ’s suffering for them upon the cross, suffer for their own sins here and/or in purgatory, etc. A great deal more heresy is involved in Catholic Christology, such as presenting Him as perpetually an infant or child subject to His mother, perpetually on the cross—but lack of space prevents further detail. The “Christ” of Roman Catholicism is just as false as its “Mary”—as much “another Jesus” as that of Mormonism or any other cult. Let’s admit it!

Several times in Agony it is stated that Protestants and Catholics embrace the same apostolic creeds. This is a partially true but seriously misleading statement. The implication is that the creeds are an all-encompassing statement of biblical Christianity, which they are not. Furthermore, there is a vast difference between the meaning that Catholics and Protestants attach to what the creeds say. For example, while affirming that Christ “suffered under Pontius Pilate,” Catholicism teaches that His suffering was insufficient. In addition to Christ’s suffering, we must each suffer for our sins in order to be saved. We can even suffer for the salvation of others. (The Apostolic Constitution of Jan. 1, 1967, Indulgentarium Doctrina , #1687, urges Catholics to carry “each one his own cross in expiation of their sins and of the sins of others…assist[ing] their brothers to obtain salvation from God.”) This is rank heresy to Protestants. Yet Agony implies that Catholics mean the same thing as Protestants by the creeds—an inexcusable and deadly error in a book by eminent Christian scholars written to point out errors within the church. Though this and the other books cited above contain much that commends them, their approval of Catholicism is tragically misleading.

The deviation by Catholicism from biblical Christianity goes to the heart of the faith, to salvation itself, and thus affects the eternal destiny of those who are deceived thereby. Roman Catholicism rejects salvation by faith and preaches a false gospel of works that cannot save—salvation is not in Christ but in the Church through submission to its edicts and sacraments. The Basic Catechism of Christian Doctrine calls the sacraments “the chief means of our salvation.”

The first of the seven sacraments is baptism, which is performed upon 98 percent of Catholics as infants. It is declared in Canon 849 to be the means “by which men and women are freed from their sins, are reborn as children of God….” The Basic Catechism declares that baptism “is necessary for salvation…cleanses us from original sin, makes us Christians….” Another sacrament is the Mass, which the Catechismdeclares to be “one and the same Sacrifice with that of the Cross, inasmuch as Christ…continues to offer himself…on the altar, through the ministry of his priests.” Canon 904 states that “the work of redemption is continually accomplished in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice,” thus denying Christ’s triumphant “It is finished!”

Let me remind you of Hugh Latimer’s last words, spoken through the flames to his companion who was bound to the same stake: “Be of good courage, master Ridley…for we shall by God’s grace this day light such a ‘candle’ in England as I pray shall never go out!” Tragically, the “candle” lit by hundreds of thousands of faithful martyrs burned at the stake, if not already out, is barely flickering and in danger of being snuffed completely. Paul Crouch, head of the largest Christian TV worldwide network, demeans the martyrs by calling the issues they died for mere semantics; and he makes a mockery of the Reformers by declaring orthodox the heresies that sparked the Reformation.

Those who believe Rome’s lies and follow her gospel of works for salvation are lost. Failing to recognize this fact, many evangelical leaders and cult experts have themselves been deceived by Rome and need to be confronted and informed. How tragic to assume that Catholics are Christians who merely have some peripheral beliefs and practices which seem peculiar to Protestants but which will not prevent them from being saved. A false gospel is a false gospel, and it damns those who believe it, whether preached by Mormonism or Catholicism. A cult is a cult. Roman Catholics, like the members of other cults, need to be treated with compassion, warned of cultic lies, and presented with the true gospel, which alone can save them.

If you are concerned about the growing cooperation between Catholic organizations and major evangelical ministries, please write to them and ask where they stand on this critical issue. The questions could be: 1) What is your organization’s position regarding Catholic doctrines? 2) What is your position regarding organizational participation with Catholics in matters of world evangelization? 3) Are you presently either officially or unofficially involved with any Catholic lay or clerical groups or organizations? If so, on what basis…and to what end?

Posted by permission of the Berean Call

Article first published in June, 1991