The Reverend Ike recently passed away and left all his wealth behind, but he certainly knew how to gather it and enjoy it while he was here. His flamboyant ministry was introduced in the 60’s and became popular in the mid 1970s, and the point was - the money.
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II was shortened to Reverend Ike who appealed to the masses with 15-minute messages of money and instant divinity over his weekly radio sermons carried by hundreds of stations across the United States. He was known as America's top-ranked black preacher on the radio.
A year after his preaching the Mammon gospel, Eikerenkoetter was able to buy a $600,000 movie theater on a full city block in the area of Washington Heights in Manhattan. He restored the Christ United Church in Harlem, formerly the Loews 175th Street movie theatre.
In 1965, he invented the “Blessing Plan.” The plan: Give whatever you can afford to Reverend Ike, and it will be returned--with interest--to those who possess sufficient faith. “Pledge at least $100!” “Borrow it if necessary. People borrow for the doctor and the lawyer and they save for the undertaker but rob God! DON'T LET THIS BE YOU. Send an extra offering. And believe for EXTRA blessings.” To make it easier for those who bought his ponzi scheme, Ike had an installment plan, either by the month or by the week.
The plan also provided him the to pour $1 million into remodeling the theater as the United Palace, with a 5,000-seat auditorium, offices for his United Christian Evangelistic Association, and headquarters for the Science of Life Institute.
Rev. Ike’s Science of Living Philosophy was Thinkonomics. New age met the Bible as he offered the mixture of mental alchemy for life. He taught “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” (the bible says the love of money is). The best thing you can do for the poor is not be one of them.” He claimed the bible “says that Jesus rode on a borrowed ass. But I would rather ride in a Rolls Royce than to ride somebody's ass!” It is said he owned 2 Rolls-Royces, 2 Mercedes, a Bentley, diamond rings, expensive suits, and multiple mansions.
And he got these “things by his preaching… “Jesus said seek you first, first what the kingdom of God and what , and his righteousness and what happens behind that? All these things, Cadillac’s, fine homes, good clothes, then the congregation broke out singing “I say all is mine.”
His influence on the next generation of “prosperity teachers” did not go unnoticed by Bishop E. Bernard Jordan and Atlanta's Creflo Dollar. Bishop E. Bernard Jordan, founder of Zoe Ministries, is one of Rev. Ike's protégés, he told JET: “He has been a father figure to me. He taught me about self-empowerment. I found out that he was not about money, but about how to get out of the ghetto and 'get into the get mo.' He teaches you about your human potential. His is a voice that needs to be heard.”
This article is dedicated to the mammon preachers that have taken over the radio and TV and brought into bondage a good portion of the church.
We must give credit where it is due. Oral Roberts is known to be the one who began the seed faith movement (known as the prosperity teaching.) Roberts in his book A Daily Guide to Miracles recorded how 3 John 2 was used to change his whole perspective in life. Benny Hinn credits Roberts on this teaching: "It changed my whole look on giving and receiving, sowing and reaping." Others who focus on wealth preaching feel the same.
The “Transfer of wealth” doctrine was created in wealthy America. This insidious doctrine became a virus originating with Oral Roberts (seed faith) and carried by Avanzini, Murdock, Copeland, and others apostles of prosperity into the church. We have been told about a transfer for years and it finally is happening. A transfer of wealth that originally went from the people to the prosperity teachers has occurred and from the people to the government. They promised for years this would take place and now it is finally happening.
“God started giving me that revelation that the wealth of the wicked was laid up for the just, the wealth of the wicked was laid up for the just.” (John Avanzini 1996 TBN Telethon)
“Now, I’ll bet everyone in this room just about has heard prophecies that God is about to release huge amounts of wealth, to transfer the wealth from the Gentiles to His people. You’ve heard those prophecies, and I’ll bet you apostles, you’ve probably given that prophecy more than once.”
“that gate of transference of wealth, will be opened. Look what it says in Isaiah 60:11. Don’t bother looking in your Bibles, but I just want you to write down Isaiah 60:11. “Therefore your gates shall be opened continually. They shall not be shut day or night that men might bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles.” (Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10/10/2004)
Cindy Jacobs, ”I'm going to pour out the anointing even for the wealth of the sinner that has been laid up for the righteous” ( A Word To South Louisiana June 4, 1998)
2003 Word of the Lord Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders “In our meeting in 2002 two angels came and left two pots of gold. God is saying that he wants transference of wealth. One of the reasons he wants to transfer it is for the feeding of the poor. There is a direct connection that we felt between giving to the poor and the transference of wealth. We prophesied the release of this wealth into the hands of those who would feed the poor” (Chuck Pierce Prayer News Alert).
That is is nice condition except for the fact that it was preached to people without this intent.
Benny Hinn “The wicked are piling up the funds and I love the way John [Avazini] teaches on this. He's the best there is on how to get the wealth of the wicked. Man, I like it!” (Praise-a-Thon, TBN, 6th November 1990.)
Years later Hinn states “Ask God to give you the wealth of the wicked and mean it” (February 28, 1997 Blaisedell center)
Benny Hinn has people chant for their wealth “Say after me, all of you, everybody say it, 'The wealth of the wicked is mine.' [The audience repeats.] One more time. [The audience repeats.] One more time. [The audience repeats.]” (Praise-a-Thon, TBN, April 1990)
“the wealth of the wicked is accumulated for the just.” The prosperity teachers preach to others to grab hold of it. The actual scripture verse is a proverb, not a promise to make into a doctrine to Christians. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.” This is not a last days transfer of wealth as they boast, but in context it is an admonition to be wise with the use of our time and saying that righteous man passes his inheritance on a sinner, no mater how much he has stored will have his wealth end up for those who will do right with it. Ask yourselves if this is how these men are teaching this scripture and if they are the righteous or the sinner?
Steve Munson on LeSea TV “ This is the year of Jubilee were in it now Ted turner has given 1 billion dollars that’s a sign to us that we are going to inherit the wealth of the wicked” (Sept.29,1997)
“When he says the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous, just wait brethren, the precious fruit of the earth, it's getting ready to come into your hand. I'm telling you, if Abraham was rich and very rich, I am in the covenant of Abraham. (3/6/2000 Ellen Parsley - (Rod Parsley's mother on Celebration - Daystar TV Network, Dallas, TX).
“Everybody watching tonight can break the curse of poverty...This revelation right here is the key to bring the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the righteous.” (Larry Huch, “This Is Your Day,” Benny Hinn, May 18, 2004)
How’s that transfer of wealth working out for ya? It worked out well for them; they all made millions to hundred’s of million dollars over the years as they connived you with their words. If you want the wealth of the wicked you have just joined their ranks. It’s called coveting, which makes you a sinner not righteous. The Holy Spirit ruins greed, not promotes it. The rich young ruler came to Jesus and Jesus responded to him by saying give all his riches to him and his ministry and follow him! No, Jesus said for him to give all his riches to the POOR and follow. When was the last time the seed faith wealth - seekers gave their riches to the poor and obeyed Jesus? Did you see any feed the poor with this transfer of wealth? Jesus saw the problem as that those who have lots of money have a hard time letting go of it, it interferes being faithful because it corrupts ones intentions. This is why Jesus said it is harder (not impossible) for a rich man to enter the kingdom. But they portray being rich as being what the kingdom is made of. 1 Tim 6:9-10: “But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.”
Listen to what they are teaching you. The majority of sermons are on getting money, because their own life revolves around it, it is justification for how they live.
Benny Hinn has emphatically stated “Years ago they used to preach, 'O we are going to walk on streets of gold.' I would say, 'I don't need the gold up there. I've got to have it down here” (Praise-a-Thon, TBN, 2nd April 1991).
“The pastor defends both, saying that “in today’s world, there’s this idea that preachers are supposed to be poor, wearing sandals and riding bicycles, I guess … which is really nonsense.
“The Lord wants us to follow His righteous life, but yet we have to exist in the 21st century. You can’t be going about riding a bicycle and to travel the world … that is not smart.” (Fox News Hinn says “the plane is a necessity, not a luxury” because of his extensive travel. Pastor Benny Hinn: Charlatan or Man of God? October 9, 2009)
Jesus never said we must be poor to do his work yet a bicycle would have been welcomed as Jesus traveled on foot to his people in his land. According to Hinn, Jesus should have had a gold bicycle or a limousine chariot.
A probe initiated by Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, called into question whether it's appropriate for some leaders of multimillion-dollar ministries to live in majestic homes, drive luxury cars and earn CEO-like salaries when they do not have a business but a non- profit status.
Why not? they run their ministries like a CEO in a fortune 500 business. A cliché used to accurately describe the prosperity preachers is “pimps in the pulpit.” Frankly, I think this is being too nice to those who “prey on people” more than they “pray for them.” How they live and what methods of manipulation they use tell us what they are really about. Since the supporters, of these spiritual con artists embrace the false prosperity gospel, the federal government is the only one left to challenge their tax-exempt status. I’m not in favor of government doing the churches house cleaning (the less government interference the better), however God has always had the heathen judge the saint when the saints will not do it.
Should not the church clean out these thieves and do the work that Jesus asked to do as Christ’s servants. But the church leadership has no spine or inclination to do this; instead they befriend them and adopt their luxurious lifestyle.
As instructed by the Spirit Paul writes to us 1 Cor 5:11-13: “not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
Unfortunately that we do not judge those inside the church, we avoid it. Therefore God will have them judge us. The church is the one supporting these thieves, why would we think that we would police our own. Judgment begins at the house of God. Since we would not take responsibility God will use the gentiles and unbelievers, secularists to judge the church just as he did Israel in her backslide- He will use others to do the churches Job.
According to Sen. Grassley's office, he is trying to determine whether or not these ministries are improperly using their tax-exempt status as churches to shield lavish lifestyles. These are men and woman who have been doing this for years and they are the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Congress has the authority to subpoena these televangelists. Some televangelists might be required to testify before Congress concerning their alleged use of tax-exempt donations to support extravagant lifestyles.
In 2005 the Trinity Foundation learned of Grassley’s work investigating financial abuses of nonprofits and contacted the senator about investigating various televangelists. After working together for two years, this investigation is becoming public and could lead to criminal charges, the tax-exempt status of various televangelists being revoked, and new legislation to reform religious broadcasting.
Letters were sent to the six nationally known ministries, Grassley asked for documentation to back up ministry activities and the use of tax-exempt monies, specific expenditures, including certain transfers of church assets to for-profit companies run by the ministers. The letters were sent to:
Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church in Tampa. Among other things, Grassley demanded that the Whites explain why the church allegedly bought a Bentley convertible for Bishop T.D. Jakes, who runs the Potter's House in Dallas.
Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church in Grapevine, Tex. Hinn has been asked for details of his personal use of assets owned by the tax-exempt organization. Paperwork explaining how Benny Hinn's ministry purchased his $3 million home in Dana Point, Calif.
David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo. In addition to supplying other documentation, they were asked to explain why the ministry spent $23,000 on a toilet with a marble top, $30,000 for a conference table and $11,219 to purchase a French clock. People can often justify a large salary, but not this kind expenditures.
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Tex. They were questioned about their travel expenditures, using their Jet not for ministry purposes. Records about vacation trips to Hawaii and Fiji that Kenneth and Gloria Copeland took using their ministry plane. Of all the people being investigated the Copeland’s are the least cooperative.
Bishop Eddie L. Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of Lithonia, Ga. Long has been asked to detail “love offerings,” or direct donations from members. Receipts and other records explaining how Eddie Long paid for his $1.4 million estate on 20 acres in suburban Atlanta.
Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International of College
Park, Ga. The Dollars were asked to list all vehicle purchases. In a television
interview, Creflo Dollar indignantly disputed claims he owns two Rolls-Royces. [Creflo
had two Rolls-Royce’s (his congregation gave him) he may have sold one for
another luxury car. Clarification from Atlanta faith preacher Creflo Dollar
about his role in raising a hefty portion of a $2 million gift donated to
Grassly’s attempt of an investigation is like the fireman who rushes in as the last embers of a house burns down. It’s at least 10 years too late but as the saying goes, “better late than never.” We should all commend Sen. Charles Grassley who at least tried to launch an investigation into only six televangelists that have been abusing their position. They may get away with this on earth but one day they will answer for all they have done and God’s judgment will be just.
Unfortunately, this matter got lost in the shuffle of the financial crises that surfaced before the election and currently is in full swing. I doubt we will hear anything soon on any of this as it has been frozen like the economy. This has made it convenient for the TV entrepreneurs of seed faith, but inconvenient for the church that must live with them as they continue to pilfer the naïve, the hurting and the downtrodden.
Many people have complained that it’s not working for them; they have done everything to the letter. They believed wholeheartedly in the prosperity promises of the preachers without receiving results. What do you think the solution from the televangelists is when they hear this? Give more money; keep sowing till you get your harvest (meanwhile they are reaping theirs all the time on your hard work). The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Like a hamster in a cage on a spinning wheel there is no way off unless you stop.
Randy White (Church Without Walls) told his followers that if they were broke, they should still give to his church. “If you don't have anything to give, ask the person beside you to borrow $100,” White said. “If they don't have it, ask them to give you a blank check. I'm asking everyone to give.” (This is the same manipulation method Benny Hinn used a number of years ago at his crusade in Hawaii to transfer money from their wallets and bank accounts to his own). This is what they think, only of themselves. Did you ever wonder why they keep asking you to give but they do not use the same solution for themselves when they need money.
Yes, ministries do need money to function, but are these ministries to the Lord or is the ministry used to elevate their own living conditions to a luxurious class that was unknown to ministers of the gospel throughout history. They name the ministry after themself and they promote self as the focus for nearly all they do.
People do not see themselves as being targeted by ponzi money making schemes by these men. They don’t understand these men and woman have no good intentions toward them. They are on TV day after day with the same message on money and call it proclaiming the gospel. These men (prosperity teachers) are religious predators, if you allow them, they will manipulate and take advantage of you to take as much money from you as they can.
These men are shrewd and lack a conscience. They have no scruples stealing the widows mite to buy themselves a bigger mansion, or a new car. Instead of consoling the poor or actually helping them in a practical way they tempt them to become rich by eliciting the last sheckel they have sent to them as some type of prophet of prosperity. The cultic teaching of giving to them (which they say is giving to God) will get you a blessing from God. It may be a lesson but it won't be a blessing.
Some people just can’t bring themselves to see what they have fallen for and do not want to believe the worst about certain preachers they see each day on TV, they want to believe them, trust them. Maybe they believe they are touching God’s anointed by questioning them. used by men who know how to manipulate the vulnerable, injured and hurting
I cannot count how many letters I have received over the years of people's testimony of being ruined by the so called faith teachers that had them enter into covenant with their promise of health and wealth and received neither. Some have been overthrown in their faith, others are dismayed and have to live with their decisions.
We can take solace in the promise that no extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
What is extortion- Illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage. American Heritage Dictionary. It is abusing ones authority or position to coerce, manipulate or intimidate for their own gain. Using false promises for a return that benefits the, Listen carefully to their words and consider the word of God by Paul
1 Timothy 6:3-12: “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”