Posted by: Damon Whitsell | March 10, 2009

John Avanzini’s Hundredfold Lie. Prosperity for preachers; Poor-perpetuation for the Poor

John Avanzini’s Hundredfold Lie. 

 

by Russell Earl Kelly, PHD, July 22, 2007 

Prosperity for preachers; Poor-perpetuation for the Poor 

This article can be duplicated almost word for word concerning any of the word-faith preachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, T D Jakes, Creflo P. Dollar and all of the other false-prophet-John Avanzini types who are getting fat and rich by manipulating the poor among God’s beloved children.

Go to Nigeria, one of the poorest and least educated nations of the world. Assemble 1000 Pentecostal holiness preachers whose main education is from preaching seminars. Tell them that God appeared to you in a vision last night. Promise them that God said He would give a one hundred-fold financial increase to those who would give what he instructed in faith. The result? The crowd of preachers went wild. They gave everything they could get their hands on and even gave their rings and watches.

John Avanzini boasts about this great Holy Spirit experience and tells it over and over again as he goes to churches around the world. He speaks of his Nigerian driver who immediately received a new car but he does not tell if that driver continued to receive the hundredfold financial blessing from future donations. He does not tell if that driver is now superabundantly rich today because he has kept on giving. The odds of many of the 1000 eventually receiving a financial bonus are great, but why did not most of them receive it?

The motive? Do I have to spell it out? Avanzini appeals to greed, avarice, covetousness and especially ignorance of God’s Word.

What does the Bible say about the “hundredfold” increase? The NT Word of God includes the word five (5) times in two occasions. It occurs in Matthew 13:8, 23 and the parallel in Luke 8:8. It also appears in Matthew 19:29 and its parallel in Mark 10:30.

FIRST USE OF “HUNDREDFOLD”:

Matthew 13:8, 23 and Luke 8:8 is Jesus’ parable of the sower. It is about gospel workers who go forth and sow seeds of gospel truth in order to harvest souls (not money) for the kingdom of God. It is NOT about money! In 13:10 the disciples asked Jesus why he taught in parables. Referring to knowledge of the “mysteries of heaven” in 13:11, Jesus says in 13:12 that those who are given knowledge from God will be given even “more abundance” –of knowledge, not money! Again this is referring to knowledge and not money.

SECOND USE OF “HUNDREDFOLD”:

Matthew 19:29 is in the context of the aftermath of the rich young ruler leaving because he was not willing to give up his fortune and follow Jesus. Jesus summed up the encounter by saying in 19:23 “It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus’ statement would not make sense if he wanted his disciples to become rich with earthly possessions.

In Matthew 19:27 Peter asked the important question that is in the minds of many Christians today. After reminding Jesus that the disciples had left everything and followed him, he asked “What then will there be for us?” In other words, “What kind of reward will we receive for following you?”

In 19:28 Jesus replied to the direct and pertinent question, “In the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Notice that the rewards are not earthly rewards for this age at all.

Jesus continues in 19:29, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” In the context of 19:28 this must only refer to “in the regeneration” and not to this current age.

THIRD USE OF “HUNDREDFOLD”:

Mark 10:30 (cf Luke 18:30) coincides with Matthew 19:29 but is worded differently. It reads “He will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. The question is “Is Jesus speaking of material blessings in this age or is he speaking about the blessings of sharing from the extended body of Christ wherever Christians may go?” It is clear from common sense that one hundred “houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and farms” far exceeds the needs and expectations of even kings.

In conclusion, therefore, the Bible does not teach that the “hundred-fold” blessing is a reference to personal physical financial blessings on earth.

However, that is totally irrelevant to John Avanzini and others like him. Why? Because at least in 1989 he did not claim that the “hundred-fold” teaching is from God’s Word! As a self-designated “prophet” who has been “anointed” in a vision by the Holy Spirit while in Nigeria, this “truth” had been given to him “prophetically” as the means for blessing faithful Christians in the “end times.” Therefore it is not necessary to use the Word of God to prove it at all! That is what he taught in 1989.

Jesus: Jesus lived the life of a poor wandering preacher.

Matthew 8:20 “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”

2 Cor 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.”

Disciples: The disciples and Jesus were allowed to glean food from property of others because they were poor. As visiting evangelists they lived as the poorest of the land and depended on others to house, clothe and feed them. Such was their “worthy” support.

Matthew 10:9-11 Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city.

Matthew 12:1,2 [the Pharisees did not rebuke him for being wealthy and unqualified to glean.]

Luke 10:3-8 [To the 70] Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.

Peter: Peter’s famous quotation in Acts 3:6 was typical of Christ’s disciples who were expected to remain poor. “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.”

Paul: Paul did not seek or expect wealth as a result of “giving God the amount he tells you to give” or as a result of strong “faith.” He would have scoffed at the idea of a “hundredfold” financial blessing. He said in Philippians 4:11 “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Timothy: Paul wrote to Timothy in 1st Timothy 6:8 “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

The Masses: Jesus did not have much good to say about wealthy people. The opposite is true. He said a lot about how hard it is for wealthy people to be saved.

The Poor:

Matthew 11:5 “The poor have the gospel preached to them.”

Matthew 26:11 “You will always have the poor with you [even among believers].

Mark 12:42-44 [There is no indication that the poor widow received any kind of financial blessing after giving her all –especially not 100 times more!]

Luke 6:20 “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Luke 14:13, 21 [The poor (not the rich) are called to the wedding party.]

James 2:5 Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

The Rich:

Matthew 19:22 … he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Matthew 19:23 “A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 19:24 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Luke 1:53 He has sent the rich away empty (no salvation).

Luke 6:24 Woe to you that are rich! For you have already received your comfort in full.

Luke 12:21 The man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

1 Tim 6:9 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.

1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

James 2:5 Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

James 5:1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

………………………………………………..

Kelly: The Bible does not record instances of Christians becoming financially wealthy through applying the “hundredfold increase” principle. Jesus, his disciples, Paul and early Christians in Acts were not financially secure. If there are no demonstrable instances of success found in God’s Word, then why are we to assume that Avanzini is correct for our generation?

…………………………………………

The following comments by John Avanzini are found in his 1989 book, 30-60-Hundredfold, Your Biblical Harvest Released, chapter 15.

Avanzini: I advise you to be certain you have the leading of the Holy Spirit before you act on anything written here.

…………………………………………….

Kelly: The Holy Spirit makes doctrine clear in its proper context and the results of the Spirit’s teaching are seen already present in the New Testament church after Pentecost. If it cannot be demonstrated to work within the Word of God, then it probably is not a true doctrine.

…………………………………………….

Avanzini: From that day on, I would teach a very special end-time message. At the end of my session the next day, I was to take an offering. He promised He would miraculously reveal Himself through this offering with unmistakable signs and wonders.……………………………………………..

Kelly: This kind of argument does not require God’s Word to prove itself true.

……………………………………………..

Avanzini: God said to him: “When My people give without a desired result in mind, they do not give in faith.”…………………………………………..

Kelly: In the context of the long statement which precedes this vision Avanzini is saying that we must give and EXPECT God to bless our giving financially.

…………………………………………………..

Avanzini: They must believe with you, that when you lay your hands on the offering, it will be multiplied back to them one hundredfold……………………………………………..

Kelly: In 1989 the blessing only came when Avanzini himself is physically touches the offering plate and prays over it. HE was the only channel of the financial blessing!

……………………………………………..

Avanzini: I told them there would be a miraculous manifestation of the one hundredfold increase to everyone who would join their faith with mine in this meeting.

…………………………………………..

Kelly: This did not happen to “everyone.” Most of, the 1000 Pentecostal preaches assembled must have done something spiritually wrong.

……………………………………………….

Avanzini: Ninety percent of the congregation had not yet given, and the offering plates were full and overflowing. Both pillowcases were now jammed to capacity with money. Watches, rings, money, and articles of clothing were ankle deep on the floor around me. I closed my eyes and said, “Be multiplied one hundredfold in the name of Jesus”.………………………………………………

Kelly: Was this the hand of God or the result of carefully orchestrated mass hysteria and greed? Was it repeated at every service afterwards?

……………………………………………….

Avanzini: Every letter must come to my desk for me to personally lay my hands on. I have stressed to them that I must speak the one-hundredfold increase over each individual letter.……………………………………………….

Kelly: When would he have time for anything else? Do you not see how silly this is?

………………………………………………

Book Epilogue: Dr. Avanzini is an extraordinary teacher of the Word of God,

…………………………………………….

Kelly: John Avanzini is an extraordinary manipulator of poor, ignorant uneducated people and takes advantage of them often. His doctrine is straight from circus hucksters. He does with money what Benny Hinn does with the sick. They lift hope high in the air, pad their own pockets, and then dash hope to the ground for the vast overwheming majoriity of their followers. Yes, a few become rich and a few are healed but that same phenomena occurs among atheists and in secular society. If God actually performed the miracles the way in which Avanzini and Hinn claim, then Christians woud be the richest and healthiest part of society and there would be almost no poor Christians.

I suggest that Avanzini and Hinn give away their ill-gotten fortunes and live on the same level of poverty found in Jesus and his disciiples. That would be a real miracle.

http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id58.html

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