Does Mike Murdock’s 58 days seed covenant really work?
‘You must give in order to receive…’
Many televangelists employ a fundraising tactic known as ‘seed-faith giving.’ There are several variations on the theme, but they basically all amount to this: if you wish to receive money – lots of money – you must first give some money to God. well, not exactly to Him, but to whichever preacher claims to represent Him in this investment scheme.
Your donation is the ‘seed’ you sow in faith. Or so they claim. Once you do this, God will reward you by giving you lots of money – up to 100 x more than you gave. Again, so they claim.
Naturally, if this scheme really worked the folks who make such claims would be eager to send you money, instead of trying to get you to send it to them. Alas, thus far we have not found any televangelist willing to demonstrate how seed-faith giving works for them by sending us a donation
So we’re watching this blog instead:
Seed Faith Journal
A Christian blogger donates 58 dollars to Mike Murdock and keeps a journal for 58 days to see what happens.
We don’t know who runs the thing, but here’s how the project works:
I just got off the phone with Mike Murdock?s ministry after watching him on Daystar. I have just donated 58 dollars to his ministry. Why, you might ask, would any thinking person do a thing like that? Well, the purpose of my donating the 58 dollars is to prove whether or not Mike Murdock?s 58 days seed covenant really works. I am keeping my donation a secret, and keeping this journal to record what happens. If someone gives me money for no apparent reason, I will record it in this journal. If something unexpected happens causing me to lose money, I?ll write about that too. By the end of this journal you will know if I’m heaven’s latest recipient of a miracle, or if I’ve fallen for a cheap gimmick.
If you’re not familiar with the 58 day seed covenant here’s how it works: Send Mike Murdock 58 dollars and tell him what you want. Got debt? Need healing? Looking for a husband? A Wife? Whatever it is, send Mike Murdock 58 dollars, tell him what you want from God, and within 58 days you’ll have it.
So what do I want from God? I specifically told the woman on the phone that I want to pay off a loan in the amount of $3,340.30 from when I was a student at a Christian University, and I want it paid off in 58 days, according to the 58 day seed covenant. ?Ok,? she said. Great! I can?t wait. I have had this burden on my back for years, and I would love to get rid of it.
Oh yeah, did I mention I don?t have a job? Hey, it?s a miracle I?m hoping for – would it really be a miracle if I just paid it off by working and making the minimum payments? Besides, by making the minimum payment of 40 dollars per month, it would take me 83 months to pay it off. And that?s not even counting interest. Why would I want to do that, when I can send 58 dollars to Mike Murdock and get my debt removed in 58 days? Besides, neither Murdock nor the woman on the phone said there were any restrictions. Plus, I’m a full-time student, and I need to devote myself to my studies. But if the Lord leads me to get a job, I will. In the meantime, I?m doing this little experiment to see if the 58 day seed covenant really works.
So here it is, my Seed Faith Journal.
‘Seed Faith giving’ is one of many unbiblical teachings of the Word-Faith movement. It is also known as ‘Name-it and Claim-it’ (or ‘Blab-it and Grab-it’).
The Bible does speak about money, but those who promote seed-faith giving schemes studiously avoid the most poignant passages.
As for Mike Murdock, it is safe to say that he doesn’t really need your $58:
• Profit in the pulpit
A Denton televangelist who says his mission is to rescue people from poverty is living lavishly, while the ministry he founded spends most of its money on overhead, an examination finds.
A Christian blogger donates 58 dollars to Mike Murdock and keeps a journal for 58 days to see what happens.
58 dollar seed
The Magnanimous Money Message of Mike Murdock
There was a time when it was only Robert Tilton was galloping in the forefront with the promotion of give a seed to get a harvest. But today there are many galloping right behind him on the trail he has blazed. One of those riders is Mike Murdock. Murdock is probably the most outspoken of the seed faith teachers but certainly not the most well known–yet! Murdock travels in the word faith camp as well as the third wave, he spoke at the pastors conference 2000 at Toronto Airport Vineyard and has been recently with Benny Hinn (he spoke at his Hawaii 2002 crusade). So he is rising to the top with this exposure.
We are told he preached his first evangelistic crusade at the age of 15. He began full-time evangelism at the age of 19, in which he has continued for 35 years. This is something that needs to be questioned, as we will look at what he is currently preaching.
Dr. Mike Murdock has stated he left Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie before receiving a degree (Profit in the Pulpit posted 3/2/2003 Star telegram http://www.dfw.com/). The Mike Murdock Evangelistic Association was established a nonprofit organization in 1973 in Lake Charles, La., by Murdock and then-wife Linda Murdock. In 1979 Murdock filed for divorce. He has traveled and spoken in 36 countries all over the world, including East Africa, the Orient, and Europe. You can see him on LeSea broadcasting and he has appeared on TBN, CBN, and other television network programs. He has a weekly television program called “Wisdom Keys with Mike Murdock.” It is seen on about 50 stations from Atlanta to Hawaii. The ministry recently bought time on the Black Entertainment Television network; Murdock commented that this gives the show a potential viewership of 72 million households. In fact it was reported in a six-month Star-Telegram examination, Murdock’s nonprofit corporation, spends more than 60 percent of its revenue on overhead. like other TV preachers he sends a “Personal letter from Mike Murdock” to names on a mass mailing list. I have several.
Murdock was not always a successful businessman. He tells his audience that he lost everything years ago, his house, wife etc. one day as his eyes fixed on Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you,” He cried to God saying Father your word says I can sow my way out of debt. This has become his story and brought him to where he is today.
Murdock has authored 115 books, most would be considered booklets (some which are double spaced). His top sellers are, “Wisdom for Winning”, “Dream-Seeds”, “The Double Diamond Principle”, “Secrets of the Richest Man Who Ever Lived”, “The Law of Recognition”, and “The Leadership Secrets of Jesus.” His current best seller is Wisdom Keys which is self published.
You will most often sitting behind a piano playing background music to his sermon. He says he has composed more than 6000 songs, such as “Jesus, Just The Mention Of Your Name,” “I Am Blessed,” and “You Can Make It.” His talent on the piano is used it to sing songs to the Holy Spirit, yet he also sings about money (seed) “I believe, I believe in the seed, I believe what you promised: 100 fold is coming back to me” (LeSea broadcasting telethon 1997). 6,000 songs would have him among the world’s most prolific songwriters. He sings “every seed you’ve sown it will soon be multiplied its closer than you can imagine, God’s miracle supply.” Murdock sings, usually on telethons, about seed faith as often as he does about the Holy Spirit or the Lord. In fact if one were to carefully watch his program you will hear the greater portion being about money-how to get it.
He comes across smooth and suave even genuine, but he reminds me of a career politician as he weaves his way toward the goal of every program–money and seed faith. Playing soft music in the background (music like you would often hear in the background of a bar) and speaking softly at times, other times being authoritative, he uses every moment of the telecast to build you up for the punchline; SEED GIVING.
Why write about this? I don’t like manipulation and I certainly will not sit idly by and watch people become part of someone’s plans to make merchandise of them (2 Peter 2:2) to gain riches for them-self. Our ministry is there to help and encourage the down and out, those who have lost their savings, homes and health to word faith prosperity teachers. I really don’t want to see any more people go the way so many others have and learn the hard way. So this is preventative.
He says, What you repeatedly hear you will eventually believe. (Wisdom Key 30); but the question anyone needs to ask is, is it true what they hear? What matters is if its true, is it biblical? You can say something enough times that you have not only convinced others but yourself it will work.
His message is truth mixed with error, Many things he says can have insight and he does have some conventional wisdom, such as “You will never out-grow warfare, you must simply learn to fight.” But some of his words of wisdom are shallow and unbiblical. If one listens long enough and uses the bible, they can discern that he practices psychology along with the Bible. Mike Murdock is in high demand, and it is no wonder he is popular, he teaches self – empowerment! “You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue.” (Mike Murdock, Quote from Words of Promise). “Popularity is when other people like you. Happiness is when you like yourself.” Hmm. (what did Jesus say about self?)
His teaching on the Holy Spirit is basically is orthodox as far as His nature ; he accentuates the Holy Spirit as a person. The problem is what the Holy Spirit is telling him and what he does. He says over and over, “Holy Spirit your sheep hear your voice and another they will not follow.” The Holy Spirit according to Jesus is to point to Him not himself. But we also need to question is this God’s voice that is giving these grandiose promises of prosperity to those who send their seed (money) to him? Is this inspiration from the same Holy Spirit who wrote Scripture or is Murdock lifting Scripture out of its context to make a promise that is not there.
He sings to the Holy Spirit there is no one else like him, as he points to the Holy Spirit as our all in all. What seems to be missing is Jesus, His teachings, and His cross. In other words, he is not preaching the gospel of salvation but money, increase, success and self-improvement. His TV program can be like a condensed success motivational seminar.
Murdock’s success is in ability to make people bond with him but his real ability is his mouth, he will often pause and fix his gaze intently into the camera as if he has noticed you and knows what you are thinking. Not everything he says is off, sometimes he can have good insight, but the things he is off on, is way off the radar screen. Everything he speaks of finds its way back onto seed faith. “Every seed you’ve sown it will soon be multiplied its closer than you can imagine God’s miracle supply.” “The seed leaves your hand and goes into the future where it will multiply.” “Something in your hand will create anything you want in the future” (LeSea April 26, 2002). Anything YOU WANT — by giving money to his ministry! That’s his promise.
One thing you can be assured that you will not get is sound Biblical doctrine. The Bible is not used in the normal way Bible teachers teach from it. He finds verses as motivation for money and blessings. Murdock believes he has a written a financial encyclopedia with his words of wisdom and reads his own books on the program instead of the Bible. He makes it seem as if his words of wisdom are as powerful. Murdock tells the audience to write down his words, they will change your life (Wisdom Keys, Lesea, April 26,2002).
“When you let go of what’s in your hand God will let go of what’s in his hand” (May 14, 2000- this is Wisdom key 46 in his book). Really is that how the Bible says it works? Not at all, but this is how he says God works. This guy is smooth and has enough persuasiveness to talk the spots off a leopard. He has learned from one of the best. Murdock attributes his knowledge of seed faith to his mentor Oral Roberts. He is a Founding Trustee on the Board of International Charismatic Bible Ministries with Dr. Oral Roberts. Roberts was the inventor of seed faith and his disciples have taken it to places he never imagined. He asked Oral Roberts, who is a mentor in his life “what’s the greatest secret you ever discovered in your lifetime?” Oral said without a moments hesitation . “sowing for a desired result, taking something I have been given to something I have been promised. Taking something in my hand and putting back in his hand knowing it will multiply. Letting go of something I can see to create something I can’t see. Letting go of something in my hand expecting he will let go of something that his hand.” This is from the father of the seed faith teaching. As Roberts has stated on his own program “ if your faith grows, if you make it as a seed it will increase. The other word for faith is increase, the other word for seed is increase”(Oral Roberts Miracle Broadcast 1997 LeSea broadcasting). Please go to the Bible and look this up to confirm if this is true. IT IS NOT.
What does Luke 6:38 actually mean when it says: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
First we need to notice it is a genuine generosity, not a give to get something. The bosom was the front part of the peoples garments, so the purchase (often wheat or something like it) could be carried in it. In their trading or buying in the market the seller would not press down the grain and have the buyer’s purchase of wheat filled with air (so they got less). They were to be fair and press the grain down until it ran over the edge. This had to do with fair balances. Micah 6:11 “Shall I count pure those with the wicked scales, and with the bag of deceitful weights?” The application is ones attitude of dealing with or giving to the poor and needy. The man who is liberal and fair in his dealings will find others liberal to and fair to him. They were not to be harsh with trading or money they were not to take advantage of someone who is poor or needy .
Murdock can offer a 1,000 times return on a $58 seed or will ask for you to plant a $1,000 seed into his ministry so he can come into more homes via the TV. He continually asks more people to plant a $1,000 seed (is this the gospel being preached?) so the wheel’s keeps on turning. He asks for people to “sow a $58 seed representing the 58 different types of miracles in the Bible” (Jan.8, 2000). Whatever number he comes up with he finds it in the Bible. Currently 58 is the blessed number for the year 2002 but this is subject to change. Recently, Mr. Murdock had this to say on the number 58. The Lord showed him 58 blessings in the Scripture. So he sowed a $58 seed and in 58 days he got those 58 blessings (June 14, 2005 LeSea Broadcasting). I think Mr. Murdock needs to 86 his 58.
On this Christian blogsite the person donated $58 to Mike Murdock as he asked, he kept a journal to record what happened for 58 days. did it work? http://murdockseedfaith.blogspot.com
On the Jan.3, 2003 program He wanted to say 300 but claims he felt he was being pulled by the anointing to say 70. Magic money formulas are presented as the means of becoming wealthy, so we can receive whatever we desire from the hand of God. He tells the people to write down someone’s name on a $58 check, someone you want to see a miracle for. He then gives stories of within 58 days or exactly 58 days later the miracle occurred that was written down. Associating God answering prayer with the number of dollars given to his ministry.
Murdock sees himself as the prophet of profit “# 28– never rebel against instruction from a financial deliverer God has anointed to unlock your faith.” He then has the audience repeat it out loud.
He says he hates poverty, “its humiliating, embarrassing, its paralyzing. These are all things that come from sin.” This is why he preaches about wealth and prosperity, he thinks money is the answer to all things..
Let me pose a question: which has a more eternal affect on ones soul? Being impoverished, or having unforgiven sin. One can be poor and still go to heaven. In fact the bible says the poor are rich in faith. There is no commission to preach to the poor to be wealthy from Jesus, but to preach the gospel of salvation (Mt.28:18-19), which is mainly absent from Murdock’s telecast. Money is not something we are to strive for nor is there a promise of abundance to the believers. We are to preach the gospel; nothing more nothing less.
He asks for the Holy Spirit to move hearts “to plant a seed to help us carry THIS GOSPEL.” Unfortunately it is not the gospel the apostles preached for the forgiveness of sins, instead it is the gospel for the forgiveness of being poor. Paul counters this use of money in 1 Cor. 9:18: “What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” I understand that God has gifted certain people to teach on particular subjects but you can’t ask to give to a ministry to spread the gospel when it’s missing in his message.
But there is something else lacking, and it is called consistent Bible teaching on the whole counsel of God with the Gospel of salvation for sinners. In its place is another gospel of wealth and prosperity with his own proverbs sprinkled throughout his appeal. He thinks these are insights directly inspired from the Holy Spirit. Now I have heard Murdock come close to giving a portion of the gospel by saying God loves you and has plans for you, but there is no mention of one being a sinner and the substitutionary death of Christ in our place, and resurrection explained as the solution. I’m not saying he never said this, but I have watched for years and not heard it. Even if he may mention this once in a while, it certainly is not the focus of his ministry. An example of this is: just say this prayer “Jesus I want you in my heart” (LeSea Wisdom Keys Nov.17, 2003). Of course this is not the gospel but a mere portion of what happens from it. After he has given his message relating to Jesus, he goes right into an appeal on how many people (ex: 58 people) who can give this amount of money. So the gospel is not the main message but an “add on” to his program that concentrates on money=blessings for those who sow a seed.
Recently Murdock has come up with some spiffy statements that sound like Lao-tzu “What you are willing to walk away from determines what God will bring to you” (Wisdom Keys Lesea Broadcasting Oct. 18, 2002). “Your reaction to someone in trouble determines God’s reaction to you the next time you are in trouble.” Is God is influenced by our actions to do good to us? Sounds like Christianized karma, not grace.
I Decree it so be it
Murdock often incorporates word faith teaching in his prosperity promises “The next 90 days you will see the power and the presence, I decree it, it is done.” (Wisdom Keys LeSea Broadcasting Oct. 18, 2002, repeated Oct.29, 2002)
With a “I decree it” spoken, Murdock can end sickness and bring wealth and blessing to anyone who will sow a seed to him.
“I decree uncommon favor…I decree Deut.8:18.” Another time “I call in your harvest, the seed that you have been planting into the work of God, I wrap my faith around your seed and I speak to the north to give up what belongs to you, the south to give up what belongs to you, I decree that your uncommon seed will create a uncommon harvest, I speak a thousand fold return according to Deut. 1:11.”
You’d might as well be running out your back door and look for fresh four-leaf clover than to practice what he’s dishing out. Go look at the context of Deut.1:11, its about Gen.12, it is about the promise to Abraham, that God would make a great nation, a people innumerable to count. Moses is reaffirming what God had promised. Again Murdock uses this illegally to put it in a blessing he would speak. For those in the word faith movement it doesn’t matter what kind of a promise it is or to whom it is spoken to. They can take whatever they want from the word and apply to themselves. In this respect they would not even notice what Murdock is doing, but for those trained in the word and seeking the correct interpretation they are able to see what he is doing.
One of the things he prays for the seed sower is an uncanny visitation of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches a Christian already has the Holy Spirit in them, so what exactly will visit these persons who give him their money. Would this happen to you if you did not sow a seed in his ministry? How is it that Peter said to the lame man at the gate beautiful, money I do not have, but he had the power of the Holy Spirit to heal him? Murdock also promises uncommon protection around the people and their lives when they sow. In fact one can receive just about everything they need and want from giving the seed at the specific time he asks. Murdock is able to give words of knowledge to people that call in with their seed money to the Lesea telethon. Give a $715 seed you can ask what you need, such as “ legal things against you will be dropped.” Murdock can speak things, decree and make them happen. By positive confession he says “I come boldly to the throne of God today in your behalf and I release the healing of Jesus of Nazareth from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, lay your hand on over your heart or wherever you need a miracle now.” “Kidneys be healed, I speak to your colon, be healed, blood be healed, I command arthritis to leave your hands and wrist… angles, elbows, headaches” etc. nothing is outside Murdock’s authority.
“I decree Isaiah 58 and Isaiah 40, Psalm 41:1, 2, 3 your health shall spring forth speedily.” “I decree that the harvest includes in the year 2000 that sickness and disease shall not come nigh your home.” “From the north, south, east and west I call in the hundredfold blessing to your life, in the name of Jesus amen.” “Now decree this is my year for a happy marriage, say it out loud.”
Despite repetitious statements like these, one has to work at their marriage just as they would at their job, they don’t just claim it and it will be so. There is no counsel like this in the Bible.
Murdock’s talent has been recognized by many including LeSea broadcasting. Each year he is brought in on their telethon with Steve Munsey and John Avanzini whenever possible to raise the funds that they need for the next years broadcasting. It is here where one will hear some of the most outrageous stories and statements made about seed faith and giving to get anywhere on TV. In fact, Murdock seems to have more stories than days in the year.
On LeSea’s telethon to raise the funds he appeals in unusual manners by saying the blessing is only for 120 or for 70 people. Using biblical numbers that people recognize he abuses the context they were used in explaining to them that it is the Holy Spirit that is giving him this number. He prompts a certain number of people to quickly go to the phone. He explains they need to call in now while he is on the program, don’t hesitate now is the time, don’t miss the opportunity (If they hesitate and think about it they may certainly change their mind). Whether they are the 5, 13, 25, 40, 70, 100 or 120; different numbers are used all the time as he says God is leading him to give them a blessing for their seed. He asked the Holy Spirit to show him 120 people who would sow a $200 seed (June 18, 2001). Another time he asks the Lord to give him twelve unusual seed sowers of $1,000 each on his program. I wonder, if more than twelve give a $1,000 seed does he say we can’t accept this money and return it saying the Lord only told me 12? I don’t think so, do you!
After listening to Mike’s pearls of wisdom on the telethon for a few hours, the phones begin to ring off the hook. It worked: the seed salesman offered false promises by a mixture of truth with error and the pledges came in, as everyone wants a blessing, even if it cost $1,000. They are desperate.
Several years ago I spoke to Steve Sumerall of LeSea broadcasting personally at one of their dinners. I encouraged him not to use unholy ways or coercion to raise the funds and told him it was not necessary. He seemed to be open and listened at the time. However, when I discussed with the director of broadcasting the Jubilee anointing that was used as propaganda, he was not so receptive. I pointed out that the Jubilee was every 50 years and that if one counts the years from when they claim Jesus said it was the Jubilee (30 Ad) this could not be a jubilee year. He asked me if I was a prophet, I responded no. He then told me since I was not a prophet he will not listen to me; he will only listen to those who are prophets on this subject. The biblical evidence I presented proving it was not the jubilee year, nor that it was a practice in the church did not matter to him. Unfortunately little has changed, it continues today just as it did then.
While there is nothing sinful about having wealth, to promote chasing after wealth for you to “live the good life” that God has for you is wrong. Murdock believes in Ecclesiastes 10:19, “money answers all things.” From his teaching, one would think that getting rich was the chief aim of being a Christian. Paul warns “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 and miserable perishing “(1 Tim. 6:9-10).
Scripture is misapplied for financial gain, along with misplaced priorities and worldly motivations. His TV show gives the impression of helping his viewers [the club-members] by asking if some want to become millionaires (there’s a line). To be spiritual people once mistakenly took a vow of poverty giving away more than they kept, but there heart was in the right place. Now they take vows of riches, coveting more than any one person needs; there heart is not in the right place. It is focused on the world and all the things Jesus and the apostles warned us of. Why? Prosperity teachers have removed them from the simplicity that is in Christ; contentment. The Bible does not teach poverty or prosperity but Stewardship (in all things not just money).
Plant a seed for your need
It was said of Tetzel’s indulgences in the Catholic church: as the coin in the coffer rings the soul in purgatory springs. Likewise — as the seed is drops in Murdocks soil the harvest blessing will spring to life. By sowing this coin (which is in the hundreds or thousands) you pay for your release from financial bondage.
His revelation and ministry is based on your giving a certain amount (from “a $58 dollar seed” up to $2000) then you will receive whatever special blessing Mike happens to be promising that day on behalf of God. God will do everything for you. From getting you out of debt to success, deliverance, you name it all you need to do is send him your seed. He tells stories of people not having the money but if God gives them the money they will sow it. So money is miraculously placed in their hands in just 24-48 hours by those they do not know to be put in Murdocks hands. He claims, “What I make happen for a man of God happens to me” (Wisdom Keys, LeSea broadcast 12/4/2000). It all works out in his favor.
“If you’d like for God to bring up all the dormant seed that you planted that’s never come up” stretch forth your hand toward the TV and pray “in the name of Jesus I call in my harvest, where I needed it the most” “ say it- I speak to the north give up what belongs to me I command the south give up what belongs to me I command the east and the west give up what belongs to me. Speak it right where your sitting” Murdock uses God’s word out of context and actually puts a band-aid on those who formerly gave their money and it failed, promising them success by their own words.
When the formula fails, he is able to offer his book explaining 31 Reasons Why People Don’t Receive Their Financial Harvest for the answer. Murdock’s book of 31 Reasons will not really answer their questions and I only need to give you one reason, The Bible DOES NOT teach seed faith, its unscriptural and any return anyone gets by their presumption or foolishness is by God’s GRACE ONLY.
He mocks people who say when they give to God they don’t expect anything in return, he says “you idiot I wrote a song for you “how dumb you are how dumb thou art.” He says “the entire Bible is based on the law of you sow you wait and you reap.” Really! This is what the ENTIRE Bible is based on! Then why didn’t Jesus or Paul who wrote most of the New Testament teach this? I thought the entire Bible is about Jesus (Jn.5:39) and God dealing with mans sin to have relationship with him. HMM
He takes a certain scriptures out of its context to formulate a teaching on giving money. “The next 90 days are critical.” He asks for 120 to sow a seed of $20…Can you walk away from $20.” (Lesea Broadcasting Oct. 18, 2002) It may seem like a small amount but with thousands giving this amount it becomes large. “ In 2000, $3.9 million poured into the ministry, though Murdock’s pitch is typically for small amounts. Send $31 a month or $58. Donate $1,000 to “break the back of poverty,” he says. Give sacrificially. (PROFIT in the pulpit Mar. 02, 2003 star telegram By Darren Barbee Star-Telegram Staff Writer)
Typically, prosperity teachers use the Scripture in the opposite way that Jesus interpreted it. Jesus used a physical example such as farming and seed to illustrate a spiritual lesson; Jesus said the seed is the word not money. They use the parable to make the process literal; the seed is the money you give to be planted into their ministry (the soil). Jesus said the soil is your heart, they say it is their ministry, which shows where their heart is.
I’m not saying ministries do not need support, but to twist the word of God to mean something it does not to get this support by promising hundred fold blessings is seditious. A ministry should be valid, focusing on Christ not money. Our motivation is also important; we should not give up something for the purpose to get something better, and neither should we give something to get something.
The 90 days spoken by those proclaiming prosperity is related to a seed taking 90 days to germinate. They promise in 90 days you would have your harvest if you do what he asks you to with your seed (money). But just because a seed germinates in 90 days, does not mean your SEED FAITH will be a harvest in 90 days. If one were to go to the Bible they would find absolutely no teaching on this. Yet Murdock uses the season concept of planning saying “I would never want to plant my seed in the wrong time. I’ve planted many $8,500 seeds in April to May… but you don’t wait til June” (Wisdom Keys aired in July 2002).
He counsels people that because of their seed their husband will be saved in 90 days, expect him to be saved. “I call in the mate that God has for your life” (Wisdom Keys aired 2000). “God said it is not good that man be alone… but this is the first time that the Holy Spirit ever, I felt it last night and I felt it this morning, I thought, lord is that Scriptural, and then he reminded me of all the people.” He then mentions names of those who planted a seed and got a mate. But this didn’t answer whether it was SCRIPTURAL. With the right amount of money to his ministry at the right time you can get ANYTHING you want.
Here’s how Murdock uses the seed concept. “I show you step by step how to wrap your faith around your seed, how to focus it, how to call in a desired harvest.” Murdock’s word faith prosperity teaching comes through quite clearly when he suggests, “What you can’t buy with a thousand, you can sow into existence with a thousand” (LeSea Sept. 25, 2001).
Murdock Preaches unadulterated seed faith doctrine and he’s got stories that would fill libraries with testimonials of the miracles from his anointing of affluence.
Let’s look at what the Bible actually says. When Jesus spoke “the parable of the seed” he gave four examples of the soil. Three of the soils within time lost the life of the seed. It was the same seed in all the soils. There was only one soil that had the seed sprout and grow to become a sturdy plant and be fruitful. Why? They all had the same seed applied, so what made this soil different for it to grow and bear fruit? We know that the soil represents a person’s heart and the seed was God’s eternal word that was heard. It became fruitful because of their understanding of the word of God. It’s about people applying the Word in their life to have the fruit of the Spirit.
The prosperity teachers change this word to mean money; they show that they do not understand what Jesus meant.
Mk.4:13 “And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.” The seed is the word and before this Jesus explains how the people need ears to hear, so they can understand the spiritual meanings of the word and be fruitful. In vs. 37 he explains further that the sower of the good seed is the son of man which is either Jesus himself or those who preach the same message of His word. If you understand Jesus’ word, you can prove it by rejecting the prosperities teachers false interpretation.
He states, “I can sow my way out of trouble, God will provide.” Yet he also contradicts himself, “any fool knows that can’t pay their way out to God.”(Lesea broadcasting Nov.21, 1999) Which is it? If one listens to his tapes of promises for years they will certainly run into self taught contradictions and clear discrepancies with the Word of God. He can say the same statement in several different ways. “What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you” (Wisdom Key 101) Is this like Christian karma. He even says “According to Eph 6:8 what you make happen for others God will make happen for me and you.” “ That’s his word that’s his promise.” Then he reverses it “What I make happen for a man of God happens to me” (Wisdom Keys Lesea broadcasting 12/4/2000). I guess it’s a win win situation with Murdock’s prosperity mix.
Murdock states, “any fool knows they can’t buy a miracle”, but that’s exactly what he teaches in a subtle and sometimes blatant fashion. He sells miracles by telling people that if they sow their seed everything will change in their life. They will reap the harvest. For those who are at the end, desperate, looking for hope, this message seems to come in the nick of time. “If you let go of what you got in your hand, God will let go of what he’s got in his hand.” So if you pay the money God can give you your needed blessing.
“Your seasons of you’re your life will never change until you use your faith, if you keep what you got that is the most it will ever be that is your harvest. Your harvest is anything you keep, your seed is anything that you sow.”
So then you already have your harvest, but he’s playing on your heart not being satisfied with what you already have and wanting more. “If what you hold in your hand is not enough to be your harvest, make it your seed” (Wisdom key 16). It is never enough for those involved in seed faith giving, there is always more. This is not biblical faith – sowing in order to get more but actually a lack of faith, making people covet and be dissatisfied with what they already have.
Murdock even offers upgrades on your seed – on one Telethon “there is somebody who called in the last 24 hours . the Holy Spirit is telling you to upgrade your seed.” “The Holy Spirit is telling you come back to the telephone dial the 1-800 number… The Holy Spirit is telling you right now to upgrade your seed. When you change your seed you change your harvest.” But if you don’t do this quickly you will miss the opportunity. Like a sale at the shopping center people are prompted by Murdock’s advertising to move on this quickly or lose their opportunity for a miracle harvest. Now there are upgrades to seed faith, but its not free. Again I ask if there such a promise in Scripture? He then tells the people “the thousand dollars you keep wouldn’t make you debt free, if you kept the thousand you still owe everything you owe.” Not if you’re saving it to pay off a debt; but the truth is if you give Murdock the thousand dollars you’re way more in debt than when you first started. Something to seriously think about.
Murdock says “Money is merely a reward for solving problems” (Wisdom key 70). The Bible does not reduce this to such a simplistic meaning. In fact money often gets in the way of sound judgment especially when one is desperate for it.
Murdock actually says Ecclesiastes 10:19 has the answer when it says, “money answers all things.” If one reads Eccl. 10:19 carefully we find in context “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.” Yes money is the answer to everything for those who are worldly and unspiritual. Solomon who wrote this was being facetious, he was not giving this as wisdom to live by, but what not to live by. How can we know this? Because the same writer also said in Eccl. 5:10-11 “He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?” As it also says in Prov.28:22 which Solomon put together: “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.” As with the Laodicean church, they are blind to what they need spiritually because of their wealth. Don’t believe me? Go see what Jesus said in Revelation. We can have wealth and still not be blessed by God. But this does not jive with the prosperity message of Murdock or others in the camp of affluence. It has become most unfortunate to those who have kept giving to him to get their blessings.
In fact, there is not one time out of the near hundred scriptures on riches and wealth that it is spoken of by Jesus or the apostles that riches is something to strive for or a promise to the believer, instead the majority of teaching on money is a warning for those who already have it or a warning for those who seek it such as Luke 6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” If that is the reward you seek you will have it but Jesus said to store up your treasures in heaven.
A $1,000 Anointing
People who follow the seed faith teaching look to find the most fertile ground to give to, they find out how much you can get back from God by giving. These believers shop around to see who can give the best returns on the seed. All the word faith manufacturers give a 100 fold return today on the seed, they are even a few who offer 1000 fold. That’s better than any bank offers. The flawed logic of this is if they truly believed in this they too would be practicing it, sowing all they got into another’s ministry to get 100-1000 times the amount back.
Murdock says “There is about 6 levels of sowing that I have had uncommon blessing, one of them was one thousand seed”
Murdock gives a powerful significance to certain amounts of the seed “There’s been 5 levels of uncommon reaping in my life. One was a $58 seed I’ve been telling you about. One was $100, $200, $1,000 and $8,500. The thousand dollar seed broke the back of poverty in my life.” Nobody can sow this thousand dollars for you, you say Mike I never sowed any seed like that. That’s why you never reaped from that kind of harvest.” (Keys to the Kingdom LeSea).
“In the name of Jesus I speak four supernatural uncommon miracles in your life” He then tells the listeners to plant a $1000 seed.
“There is an uncommon anointing even right now on the thousand dollar seed through this ministry.” In my experience I believe there is the greatest anointing on a thousand dollar seed right now that there has ever been on any telethon on any service I’ve ever spoken” (Lesea fund raiser19 97 video tape).
When his convincing has not worked He resorts to manipulate his viewers by thinking it’s the devil who holds them back “Whatever seed stops you, that’s what Satan has purchased your future for, if Satan can stop my giving at $1,000 faith that’s where Satan has found the price tag on my future.”
Each story and every nugget of wisdom he speaks has to do with money. What’s interesting is that all of this is not only extra biblical but much is unbiblical. All this is given for the purpose so that those on the other side of the TV, the viewers will be willing to give a $1,000 seed to his or LeSea’s ministry. And if thousands send it in, well you do the math.
Murdock’s famous line is “I broke the back of poverty with a thousand-dollar seed” which implies that everyone else can do the same, if they listen to him and send the money to him.
“Its important to put Deut.1:11 on your seed when you send it, the one thousand times more principle… there’s an uncommon anointing on a thousand dollar seed. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand what’s behind it all. It’s the obedience.” So he asks for 120 to give.
“There’s 12 out of the 120 that the Spirit of the Lord, I believe will confirm in your heart to plant that extra thousand out of your business or one of your children, that would be a 2nd thousand dollar seed.”
Murdock manipulates people to first be special as only 120 in number, then it shrinks down to 12 who will give an extra thousand. Again if there you were number 13 or more who wanted to give an extra thousand for a greater blessing would he turn you away, saying, sorry the number God told me is filled up. I don’t think so, in fact he is counting on more than 12 to send in an extra $1,000. If one hundred people do this extra $1,000, well you do the math. We are talking big money from one broadcast. And people believe him!
He says this is not for everybody but 120 God is speaking to…Speaking of the $1,000 seed “Something happens at that level that I don’t believe happens at any other level.”
“ I broke the back of poverty with a thousand dollar seed, its what you can walk away from you mastered. If you can walk away from a thousand dollars you’ve mastered greed for the rest of your life. Satan can’t torment you.”
Is he kidding! What kind of a promise is this? Can a thousand dollars given to Murdock or his ministry actually make one free from greed their whole life? Where does Holy Scripture ever say such a thing? I guess for these people who so earnestly give it does not have to be in Scripture but said by the mouth of a prosperity prophet. If someone has a lot of money $1,000 is a drop in the bucket how would this affect their greed? He’s making this all up and the naпve and gullible believe it! Better know your Bible before you give away all your money to people like this.
With soft music playing in the background he tells the story of a woman that approaches him repeating his statements. She looked at me and said you said tonight that an uncommon harvest always requires an uncommon seed “uncommon seed always produces an uncommon harvest” and that “you said you broke the back of poverty at $1,000 faith, I said yes Vicki I did.” She said we don’t have $1,000 but were going to give something precious to us and she reaches and takes off her wedding ring that is precious to her. Murdock tells us he got nervous and scared since he was thinking of people who had a $1,000 seed in their credit union or savings or maybe hidden in the closet somewhere… or put aside for a new house or a down payment on a car because they were going to put God first…
He says he came close to saying no but instead took the ring and prays a hundred fold return… “I took the wedding ring from Vicki and her husband, I wrapped my faith around it cause I know God documents every act of faith.”
Since when does faith go to a seed? Faith is toward God or it is not true faith, every belief was always toward God. It is Him we are to trust, not money! Would the apostle Paul accept something like this? No! But Murdock does without blinking an eye. It has been known that people have given houses, cars, and airplanes. The 100 times blessing works for those giving it to them but it doesn’t seem to work for them giving it to others. Again if what they say was true they would just give everything away without having to manipulate the Christian TV public into giving at a certain time for a certain blessing.
He then states 5 days later the woman testifies that someone she did not know came up too her and said God had told her to bless her with a ring. The appraisal from the jeweler was 100 times her wedding ring. Now either her ring was worth next to nothing, which is doubtful since she gave him something equal to $1000 or someone just gave her a $100,000 ring. Remember it had to be a $1,000 seed. (A ring of this worth would be close to 7 carats clarity h, depth vs2 62.7% depth. The size would be just a bit smaller than a dime.)
What is even most disturbing is that she took it. No questions asked, the woman rejoiced just like Murdock who took her ring. I guess one good turn deserves another. Prov. 11:16 “A gracious woman retains honor, but ruthless men retain riches.” Story after story like this rolls off the tongue of Murdock to prompt people to jump into the blessing he offers, the abundance anointing he has on his life.
“I come into a covenant that this single telephone call of obedience will open the floodgates of heaven and everything you’ve dreamed of having will start flowing toward your house today, it is done in the name of Jesus according to your faith and his word.” He then has the people get up and dial to say “I’m one of the 300 Mike Murdock talked about.” Then he says, “there are at least 20 that God is asking to plant an extra $1,000 seed out of your business.” A thousand for your family for your own life, a separate thousand seed out of your personal business.” Where do we have any apostle ever say such things about money? Did they elicit funding in this manner. People need to THINK Biblically before they get taken to the cleaners.
“Everywhere I go I hear of miracles after miracles from people who chose to believe what I was teaching…” This he attributes to “Because there’s a financial mantle on my life, I don’t understand it, don’t understand why but everything I touch God seems to let miracles take place. Murdock then convinces the people with a story of a preacher who rubbed up against him because he wants his anointing. A few weeks later he calls him telling him that people are walking in my office with $1000 checks even an ungodly unsaved man came and paid for something they needed. Truly the Midas touch (or Murdock’s).
He is so convincing that he tells the story of his own mother who came to him for her financial blessing “My little mother came to me she said… son I never seen anyone in my life time blessed as you are… I don’t understand it but you said you broke the back of poverty with a thousand seed, and she hands me a check she said I’ve been saving my money, don’t tell daddy about this thousand dollar seed, he don’t know I got it. But she says I want the same anointing that’s on you, and she hands me a thousand dollar check, I said oh momma-momma you don’t have to do that God’s blessed me, she said son I want the anointing that’s on you, I want the mantle that’s on you and you said you broke the back of poverty with a thousand dollar seed, mother I did but momma, momma I’ll take care of you don’t you worry, she said no I want what you got. I think it was 9 days later Pennsylvania a pastor and his wife stand on the porch in the mountains tears streaming down their face saying we never met your mother we never met your father but the board had a meeting and said were supposed to bless your parents and hands me a thousand dollar check for my mother and hands me a thousand dollar check for my father and within 9 days from her thousand seed people 1500 miles away who never even met her was giving her money.”
Well its unfortunate that his own mother buys into this and even hides it from his father, but they only got back double of what she gave him. Was there poverty broken by getting double? Why does she need to have poverty broken if her son is so well off, numerous questions come up from a story like this? If the seed faith principle works as Murdock says, why would he be hesitant for her to give to him? Maybe it’s what we don’t hear in the story that counts. It was reported in the IRS reports Murdock’s father was shown having received $13,250 in the year 2000.
What does the Bible say about sowing? Gal. 6:8-9 “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” In other words if you do things for furthering yourself and not for the kingdom it is sowing to the flesh. Motives count, and if your giving to God to get a 100 fold return, to make you rich, consider yourself sowing to the flesh. There is nothing Biblical about this, you have justified worldliness to be a spiritual lifestyle.
Your seed (money given) determines your future
The wisdom contained in the true word speaks out loud Prov.13:7: “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”Is this not the same concept Jesus spoke of about hating ones life, dying to self and picking up the cross to gain your life?
Personal letters are sent from Mike Murdock to names on a mass mailing list. These are form letters can be misinterpreted as personal letters to his viewers. In a solicitation letter Murdock writes, Seed Faith is Sowing What You Have Been Given to Create What You Have Been Promised. He teaches that the seed you plant (money) “The seed leaves your hand and goes into the future where it will multiply.” “What you keep will deteriorate what you sow will increase.”
Murdock teaches “If you bring God a seed of nothing you got seasons of nothing scheduled. A seed of nothing produce a season of nothing. That’s why the poorest of the poor had to bring something to God, a turtle dove, a meal.”
What is he talking about? They brought these as a sacrifice to be covered or cleansed for sin, it was not a seed sown to get something.( it was for cleansing for Mary, Jesus’ mother.)
Is God someone we have to pay for His grace that He has already given? Murdock seesm to think so. “Your seed is the only influence you have over your future” (Wisdom Key 25). “When your seed leaves your hand it forces your future to whimper at your feet like a puppy Your seed is your only influence you have over your future. Your seed is your only boss your future will obey.”(Wisdom Keys, LeSea broadcasting). That translates into money given to his ministry controls your future.
He is saying money sent to his ministry you can change your future. Really, what happened to God, does he have any control over our future or does our money have control of our future? I suggest those who believe him to look this up in the Bible for the truth. If Jesus is your Lord how can mammon be the only an influence over your future? What did Jesus say about serving two masters?
Murdock is quite self confident, “I can sow my way out of trouble, I can sow my way into any future I want. I can give my way out of trouble. If what you have is not enough to pay your light bill, your house note, you say that preacher asked me to give a thousand dollars, thousand dollars wouldn’t pay your house off, it wouldn’t buy you a car, so turn it into a seed.”
What does wisdom say? Eccl. 5:4-5 “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed–Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.” The Bible warns in Prov. 17:18 “A man devoid of understanding shakes hands in a pledge, and becomes surety for his friend.”
I ask you, where did Jesus ever mention how much someone is to give? Did he ever manipulate people and say something to those who are saving to pay off their bills to give it away to him? People have got to stop trusting in mans wisdom and false promises and think biblically.
Murdock can such things as “Delayed obedience is disobedience” “ignoring an instruction is defiance” without blinking. Disobeying whom? Him! And heis capable of talking people out of their money telling them “a thousand dollars would not make you debt free anyhow.” “You can’t afford another year like this last year.” “Your gonna need a lot more than thousands.” Did the apostles teach such things? Luke 6:34-36 “And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you?” It’s no different with the sowing reaping scam. We don’t give to get back more. This is promoting coveting disguised as worship of God.
“All seed faith is, is using something you’ve been given to create something you’ve been promised. God had a son put he wanted a family, he planted his son Jesus on Calvary and got his family, Moses said I can’t talk good, God said shut up you got a rod, David said God I can’t use this armor, God said shut up you got a sling shot. The widow of Zeraphat of 1 Kings 17 said I only have enough for one meal and Elijah said I know but is enough to get a future started. A thousand dollars won’t pay your house off but it will set in motion the most uncommon season of Joy…the greatest 12 months of your life.”
He plagues on people being sick and tired of being broke and unhealthy and prompts them to give to him as their solution using the scripture as a promise out of context. For example “Theres only two ways to get into your future and this is it, your gonna have to use you faith and your gonna have to plant a seed.” “You can take a seed 1 King 17 Elijah looked at the widow and said if you’ll plant a seed you’ll never lack throughout the entire famine, he gave her a picture of something she can sow toward and her seed was vehicle for her faith.”
I King 17:8-16 “Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,” Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.” For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth. “So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
If one reads the Scripture carefully they find that this was God’s specific instruction to Elijah a prophet of Israel, never to be repeated again. God told him about the widow who would provide for him v.9. If one looks carefully we find her so called seed is not money its flour and oil that she had enough for herself and her child. There is no seed or money mentioned in this story. She didn’t use it as seed but used what little she had to take care of another because he told her there would be more if she first made him a portion. The widow gave what she had, not what she did not have and God honored her taking care of the prophet. She was provided for until it rained again. Murdock is counting on you not reading the story. Yet Elijah depended on only one person, and who had little, Murdock depends on many who have little but also many who have a lot. Elijah’s miracle was one of necessity and it was not a spiritual method to be used over and over again as Murdock promotes. The word gives us principles to live by not formulas to get things by. The implication here is clear, Murdock is the prophet like Elijah and everyone who gives is like the widow. Well you’re not the widow, and he’s not Elijah!
“I believe you got to send your seed ahead of you, you got to dig your well before you get thirsty.” You got to sow your seed before you have to have a harvest.” Cliches are too numerous but they all have a goal-money.
“I listen to that siren go by, I thought of an ambulance on the way to the hospital here in Honolulu. I thought you know, Thank God I can send my seed ahead of time I don’t have to wait until I’m in the back of ambulance or my child’s being rushed to an emergency room and say Oh my Lord I should have planted a seed, no, I sow a seed before it ever gets there, I sow a seed ahead as protection.”
Murdock reveals whom he trusts in and makes anyone who does not do this to feel guilty not to do the same.
In fact Murdock states His son was in three car accidents and once the car turned over he came out without a scratch. This I assume would be attributed to his seed sowing for the future, isn’t this wonderful how it works, you get protection by giving money. Maybe we should all drop our car insurance and sow to have these kind of results!
This why he can sing “ I believe I believe in the harvest, I believe I believe in the seed, I believe I believe the seed, multiply one hundred fold for me…. One hundred fold is coming back to me.” Since when are we instructed to believe in the seed (which is money to Murdock). Think of what he is saying? Mike believes in the seed, so much so that he is singing about it. The Bible says to believe in God, don’t trust in the things of the world, (mammon) those things that perish. Have we forgotten Matt. 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Jesus’ words can set you free from the false teaching of seed faith. Jesus said to one rich man Matt. 19:21 “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Treasure in heaven is not the goal of the prosperity teachers, instead, we have them say: give to my ministry to get your riches. Something is seriously wrong here, think about this if you are considering to give to further the prosperity campaign of Mike Murdock.
Living the life of prosperity from the supporters
Murdock explains how it works “What papaya seed produces a papaya plant with 10 papayas. Somebody counted 470 papayas seed in one papaya. If I planted one papaya seed and it produced a plant with 10 and all 10 had 470 seeds that’s 4,7000 seeds from one papaya seed, one plant. If I take the 4,700 seeds out of the 10 papayas and I replant them I now have 4,700 papaya plants and if all of them have 10 papayas and all of them contain 47,000 seeds, that’s 5,000 plants containing 5,000 seeds each, is 25 million papaya seeds from one papaya seed. If he’ll do it for a papaya he’ll do it for Mike Murdock. If he’ll do it for Mike Murdock he’ll do it for Steve Munsey if he’ll do it for Steve Munsey he’ll do it for you” (Steve Munsey is another prosperity teacher but that is a whole other story).
Maybe people should send him a papaya! If Murdock really believes what he’s preaching, then he should be giving all that he has away faster than he can receive it. I wonder if we could look at his records how many houses, cars, piano’s, or anything of value he’s given away in obedience to his own message. No doubt he has given some money to help other pastors who agree with him, yet he is on the receiving end from millions of people who watch. The fact is, these men are paraded on TV and there are thousands even millions watching them, how could any ordinary person have this happen to them in the same way that they do?
One thing for sure Murdock does live what he preaches. Being on the receiving end of the seed he indeed reaps the harvest. The “Star-Telegram” did a six-month inquiry, where three reporters and a research librarian investigated Murdock’s ministry. “Murdock has said he was given the watches, expensive suits, several Chevrolet Corvettes, the BMW and a rare Vetta Ventura sports car — one of 19 made.”
Murdock says he drives a BMW 745, which typically sells for $69,000 to $75,000. He used to prefer driving a Porsche to the ministry. He has had at his disposal a ministry Corvette, Jaguar and Mercedes, Lincoln Continentals and, since August, a corporate jet valued at $300,000 to $500,000. (Federal Aviation Administration documents show that the jet belongs to the ministry.)
Murdock lives in a Spanish-style, 3,177-square-foot adobe house that he calls Hacienda de Paz — or “House of Peace.” He, not the ministry, owns it.
Also on the grounds is a 1,660-square-foot building whose use is unclear. The 6.8-acre estate, east of Argyle, was valued at $482,027 by the Denton Central Appraisal District in 2002, documents show.
Few get a good view of the estate. It is protected by a black wrought-iron fence. The gates are monogrammed with two M’s — his initials. On the well-kept grounds, a path winds near a tennis court and two of at least four gazebos on the property.
At various times, Murdock has had a camel, an antelope, a donkey, ducks, geese, a lion and dogs. Near one edge of his property, he once kept llamas in a paddock. He has also had koi and catfish at the estate. He had 24 speakers wired in trees so he could hear gospel music everywhere on the grounds, he said during a 1998 broadcast.
Inside his home, Murdock has had several fish tanks, including a large saltwater aquarium. In the gym, Murdock can work out with his personal trainer.
He can relax in front of his home theater or in a Jacuzzi. And he can enjoy the fountains in his pool and living room.” (PROFIT in the pulpit Posted on Sun, Mar. 02, 2003 star telegram By Darren Barbee Star-Telegram Staff Writer)
While a number of the things the newspaper reported on may need further clarification, many of these things we have heard from Murdock’s own mouth. For if he doesn’t have these things then we would have to assume the sowing and reaping is not working for him either.
“Job had an enemy God wanted Job blessed, Satan wanted Job poor. Somebody told me one time, Mike Jesus was poor, I said ahh wrong answer. Jesus made the statement the poor you have with you always but not me, Jesus never saw himself that way.”
Really! He reduces Satan’s attack on Job to be financial, when in fact it was because Job was righteous and was following God’s ways and was already blessed. Again Murdock rips the scripture from its context that Jesus was not poor. It was Judas who loved money that complained about the oil being used to anoint Jesus (John 12:5-6) and wanted to sell it for three hundred denarii to give to the poor. Matt 26:9-12 “For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. “For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.” For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Mark adds 14:7-8 “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good.” Jesus is not saying he is rich, Murdock has twisted this to justify his money message. He is saying in context if you want to help the poor there will be ample opportunity, for he is not going to be with them, she is anointing him for his crucifixion, and burial and soon after this He will leave the earth.
This voice who he identifies as the Holy Spirit spoke to him and said “I want you to plant one of those 5,000 dollars you just received for your royalty check for your song writing” I obeyed him though it was… made me nervous I felt shaky, but I knew his voice. I planted that $1,000 seed. The next day I planted another one and I put my sons name on it too. I do believe in giving your seed assignment and telling it where to grow in your future. I King 17 when Elijah looked at the woman of Zeraphat and he said if you’ll plant this seed you‘ll never lack in the famine. Your wheel barrel will never run dry, cruse of oil will never fail. He gave her seed on assignment what it would do.”
I’m sorry but this is not what happened with Elijah at all. Giving your seed assignment is a famous line of his to make people think it will do what you ask. Murdock has gotten more mileage out of the woman of Zeraphat then any other prosperity depleter. The scripture says, “she and he and her household ate for many days,” not as Murdock promised “never lack in the famine, Your wheel barrel will never run dry, cruse of oil will never fail.”
“You say Mike why do you think a thousand is so big to God? I think a thousand is big to God because it big to you, same reason Abraham was requested to give up Isaac anything that’s big to you is going to become big to God…”
Murdock’s attitude and lack of biblical understanding shine through here. God requested Abraham to not just give up something, but to sacrifice his own son; he was going to die. It was a prophetic fulfillment and type of Christ not his just giving up something that is big for him to get more. In fact it proved Abraham’s faith because it was based on what God spoke, that Isaac would fulfill the promise.
Murdock has put together an intricate plan for sowing a reaping through pasting together statements from the Bible, yet you cannot find it taught in the Bible. Benny Hinn was so impressed with Murdock’s statements when interviewing him on his program that he started to write them down. “At some point God has got to have a seed of authorization to return the harvest that you need” (This is Your Day April 4, 2002).
He says, “this is not for everybody, I’d be lying if I told you this is for everybody.” Appealing to people to feel like special chosen ones. “This is for 300 people, whoever wants tomorrow to be unlike today” He is going to ask the Lord to do 300 miracles in 300 homes. He then asks people to “ask the Holy Spirit if they are one of the 300 who will plant a $1000 seed somehow someway in the next 12 months, into this great ministry to feed the hungry and to reach people through Television to minister to souls to do the work of God wherever its needed.”
But like John Avanzini, they are not to call until he prays and releases them to do so. He also states, “this is not for anybody who sneers and laughs at the seed faith principle, you don’t really believe in sowing or reaping.” Ha!
Here he is asking people who do not have the money to give so money will come later. This is not tithing, tithing is giving a percentage on what you make. This is not a freewill offering because they are giving to get more. This is manipulation to make people think they don’t believe in God’s principles if they do not give. This can’t be faith giving, because it’s not a Biblical teaching of the New Testament and it’s not for anything that is about the gospel because his speaking lacks giving the gospel message for salvation.
The Millionaire’s club
“I have asked God for 300 who would like to become millionaires and so far we got 12.”“In my secret place of prayer I keep peoples business card who want to be millionaires, not everybody does.” “There’s people who want to write a hundred thousand dollars to an orphanage, there’s people who really want to do something with their money. There life isn’t a matter of prime rib or a new Lincoln, there idea is what can I accomplish and money is a tool if you understand that.”
Sounds good doesn’t it. The money will be used to do good, what can be wrong with that?
“Everyday when I enter the secret place I ask the Holy Spirit 300 people under our teaching who will become uncommonly successful millionaires for the sake of the gospel to be heard throughout the earth.”
What gospel, what he’s teaching is about money. I have yet to hear him do any expository preaching. Do we see prayers in Scripture to become wealthy like this? Is God looking for millionaires? Did the people who made it into the hall of faith in Hebrews 11 all have a million dollars. Go see…
This is not to say God can give someone wealth in a miraculous fashion, but he deals with us as individuals and it is not a general promise in the Scripture for everyone, despite those who claim God gives you power to gain wealth (through sowing seed scams). Does God give riches to those who have not passed the test of trustworthiness in the smaller things? Certainly it is faith to expect God to do things He promised, such as when we say a prayer for salvation He will save us. However if we say a prayer for another’s salvation they may get saved soon, maybe later, or maybe not at all since it is up to their response. Again there is no general promise for wealth in the scriptures for all believers. Seed faith is not taught as a law or principle. This does not mean you will stay poor if you don’t contribute to Murdock or any other prosperity teacher. The Bible does says what you sow to the flesh you will reap to the flesh what you sow to the spirit you will reap to the spirit. Romans 11:35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?” If you are giving to God as Murdock suggests then you are fulfilling this Scripture and sowing to the flesh, its called coveting in the Bible.
Murdock claims numerous people have come up to him saying “I became a millionaire because of you.”
“I want to help unlock the financial blessings of God into your life. And into your business. If you want to be listed in my uncommon millionaires prayer book- Mike I never heard of such a thing, you don’t have to be a millionaire you can be on welfare, but if you want to be a millionaire for the cause of Christ send you picture you business card a picture of your business I’ll put it in my prayer book and lay hands on it in my home …”
“when you want something you never had you got to plant a seed that you never planted before.”
Here’s the personal ministry, send a picture or a business card and it will go in his prayer book. Really. Can MM unlock the financial blessings of God by his praying? He seems to think so.
He recommends, “sow in proportion to the harvest you desire” for this to happen. He tells a story of a woman comes up to me “I believe God is going to make me a millionaire, I believe its going to happen in 12 months, here’s my seed to make it happen, and she hands me a dollar bill.” My Lord, hundred fold couldn’t catch up with her on that, that’s stupid, that’s stupid if you sow sparingly your gonna reap sparingly.” “don’t drop a dollar bill in the offering plate and think God’s going to make you a millionaire next month (she gave $12).”If I were you I’d aim for $100. don’t expect a dollar to produce a million.” “you got to sow proportionate to the harvest.” I guess the widow’s mite is not part of his formula, but it was acceptable to Jesus. How does this square with Mark 12:41-44: “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” By the way she didn’t give it to Jesus nor did she give it to get something more back.
“What I make happen for a man of God happens to me.” As he enters into a covenant with the sower [by wrapping his faith in their seed] so that whatever their faith is believing, for when they send in their check, it will be granted. It seems Murdock offers a number of things not even the apostles could, nor can anyone find them in Scripture.
“I was preaching for T.D. Jakes Potters house I whirled around I said bishop anybody that hangs around me, money starts flowing, there’s a financial mantle on my life, I don’t understand it I don’t grasp it but everything I touch money flows, its just God’s way of touching my life…I looked at him (T.D. Jakes ) I said anybody ever planted a million dollar seed into your ministry. He laughed his whole church roared, No. I said get ready, I set myself in covenant somebody is going to plant a million dollar seed into your ministry because of this night, this mantle, this anointing.” “I think it was less than 30 days his office called and young man we all know great in football planted, somebody shout- his first million dollar seed in bishop T.D. Jakes ministry.”
This isn’t the Midas touch but the Murdock touch. Even if what he says actually happened, it is presumption to think God does the same thing for everyone else. What is interesting is that Jakes didn’t have to give any money to him, Murdock just promised him a blessing, while others who are less famous have to pay by a big seed. Very interesting indeed.
1 Tim. 6:3-12 Paul says of those who desire to be rich as v.5 “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.”
That’s the word of God and I think it fits perfectly for ministries like these.
If I’m prospering so are you- The wealthy anointing
The numbers may change but the promises from giving never do. “The reason I’m praying for 70 is that number is a anointing number under Moses, And God said whoever the 70 people are that respect your mantle, that respect your anointing, Moses every time I bless you I’ll bless them. What I’m asking God to do is, every time He blesses Mike Murdock he blesses you, every time he gives me a financial idea he gives you one. Every time he silences the Devil for me he’ll silence an enemy for you. Every time God heals my son he heals yours. That’s a Boaz anointing, the anointing you respect is the anointing that grows in your life.”
Wow, what a deal, this is better offer than the apostles gave the church. With an offer like this those who desperate will jump for it. So now we had better hope he’s blessed or the giver will not be.
“The anointing you respect is the anointing that comes towards you…I can’t make fun of a Benny Hinn and wonder why I don’t get healed. I can’t belittle Fred Price and wonder why money not comfortable with me. The anointing I respect is the anointing that grows in my life.” So is Murdock saying that those who do not believe in Hinn and his kind can’t be healed or prosperous? What kind of coercion is this? In other words respect his money anointing to get what he has. “What I make happen for a man of God happens to me” (Wisdom Keys 12/4/2000) what he makes happen, what power is this?
In fact Murdock tells a story about a board meeting he was in with Copeland, Oral Roberts and others. Murdock story unfolds with Benny Hinn holding a meeting in June 1994, telling 800 pastors to plant a two hundred dollar seed for more anointing. Murdock says less than 30 days later July 13 he woke up with the Holy Spirit in his room and he fell in love with him (LeSea Broadcast Dec.15, 2005).
Murdock states, “He comes into a covenant that according to your faith so be it.” He calls “in the harvest where you want it the most” meaning a mate, money. “No you can’t buy a healing you know that, any fool knows you can’t buy a miracle but you can call in a harvest where you need it the most.” “No you can’t buy a miracle, I never said you can buy, nobody, that’s not Scriptural, but you can call in a harvest when you need it the most.”
I fail to see the difference except in the wording of buying or bartering for a miracle. Do we give to God to have uncommon favor? The fact is he can say this all day long but despite Murdock’s refusal to say you can’t buy a miracle is in fact exactly what he is practicing; but Murdock’s not buying he’s selling.
Miracle Money testimonies
He has so many stories one wonders how this walking miracle man has escaped the attention of secular world not just the Christian audience.
He believes the Holy Spirit gave him the master key to unlock the door for his financial blessing and his life has never been the same. “I broke the back of poverty with a thousand dollar seed” Murdock exclaims. With piffy sayings like “What you can walk away from you have mastered what you cannot walk away from has mastered you” sounds just grand. I wonder if Murdock can walk away from his unbiblical seed scheme. Can he walk away from the ministry of money that he practices. Certainly to say such statements to the public should be applied to him as well.
“The following Sunday I went to preach in Dallas Texas for Burt Albritton and that morning in the service the Holy Spirit spoke to me to plant a third thousand to help Burt’s church purchase a PA system. That afternoon I had givers remorse. I was sick just felt like I had missed God (This is after doing this twice already, being absolutely sure he knows God’s voice). He went in to pray asking the Father to stop him if this is not God, since he went from 5,000 to now having 2,000 He spoke back to my heart “When I talk to you about a $1,000 seed I’ve got a future on my mind I’ve got a harvest on my mind. When you let go of what’s in your hand son I’m going to let go of what its in my hand. The seed that leads your life will not leave, or leaves your hand will not leave your life, it just leaves your hand and goes into your future where it will multiply.” “I remember thinking I hope so I was so nervous I was scared I was agitated, but I knew his voice…his sheep know his voice.” Remember he is saying God is speaking.
That night after church someone shows him a collection of pictures of rare automobiles points to one where there is only 19 of them, he has serial number one. God speaks to him to give it to Murdock. Another man comes in to his office saying I here you need a van, go get the best you can buy the Holy Spirit told me to buy you a van for your ministry. The day after a man meets him saying he couldn’t sleep through the night, the Holy Spirit told him to bless Mike Murdock’s ministry and gives him a check for $10,000. If that isn’t enough he says every 90 days the royalty checks for his music increased until he had almost a half million dollars in his hand.
Everywhere he goes he has the anointing (magnetism?) to attract money, somehow people are convinced to give him something. Could it be they heard his statements and were duped into responding. Not since the gurus of the 60’s do we see such tactics. Murdock can easily relieve people of whatever they have to give to him, he knows what to say to get a response, like Pavlov’s dogs they are trained to respond.
Another time he is asked to sow a seed to buy a leased piano for a Church and he “instructed 13 people obey my voice and come anoint them with oil tell them something’s going to happen in their lives that has never happened before.” He tells the people this and explains “the Holy Spirit told me to plant a $1,000 seed because recently I had great miracles happen in my life on thousand dollar faith and want to give you an opportunity the same, 13 people jumped to their feet came forward and stood in line.”
One woman who was in line shared about their being missionaries and arrived back from being overseas been there one week, they heard him preach, they had $1,000 left in their bank account and an old car. They hard him say “something happens at thousand dollar faith that doesn’t happen anywhere else” you said that God was going to give us an uncommon miracle because of uncommon seed always produces an uncommon harvest, an uncommon seed always produces an uncommon harvest.” After 72 hours the woman testifies that the San Antonio newspaper called and said they had won a little contest, the prize was two brand new cars. This ministry seems to pay off like some spiritual slot machine.
The story of Sterling Millers church where he states he was guided and asked for 7 people to “plant a seed of 1,000 according to my voice and my word according to their faith something will happen in 30-45 days that never happened in their life.” He later on meets a woman at another Church who was at the church and made a killing from the stock market crash ($50,000). Does this prove his prosperity teaching, when others who are non-Christian had the same success? It really doesn’t matter if anything actually happens, because it has nothing to do with true spirituality this promise is not found in the Scripture.
Murdock then proceeds to tell the audience after this testimony “when you want something you never had, God will tell you to do something you’ve never done in your whole life.”
Murdock has endless stories of people who just place money in people’s hands who gave money to him. The point is that God will do for them what he has done for Murdock; if they give to his ministry. His stories of abundance for himself are some of the greatest told. Murdock recently told of a story about him receiving the blessing through suits. People began coming up to him everywhere he goes and offered to buy him a several suits. Some couple kept giving him 4 suits every 6 months for a few years, others when they saw him could not resist and also bought him numerous suits. Everywhere that Murdock went a suit was soon to follow. Everywhere he went he heard “God told me to buy you some clothes.” Speaking on visiting another church “He stopped and said I see Mike Murdock. right in the middle of the service the Holy Spirit just spoke to me to receive an offering to buy you some clothes.” I have a real problem with someone who is supposed to ministering God’s word and then is told to bless someone who is more well off then probably most of his members. Murdock is not homeless, or on the street? (I would hope he buys clothes for those who are less fortunate). He stops the bible study halfway through Wednesday night and says I see mike Murdock, he said the Holy Spirit just spoke to me to receive an offering to buy you some clothes.” Another story a pastor leans over to Mike and asks what are you doing tomorrow, I don’t know. God told me to buy you some clothes.” I walked in my hotel room… there’s two brand new gorgeous suits laying on the bed waiting for me” he go to his dads room, “Daddy’s got two suits.” Another pastor takes him shopping in NY, another pastor walks in and asks are you buying Mike some clothes he said yes, he said “I might as well do it to.” “I’m saying this for a reason. I walked away from my clothes money and God has kept me in clothes. These gorgeous boot red alligator boots were given to me.”
“Everything I got was given to me”
Jesus words seem to fit “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Jesus addressed this as well “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22-23).
I highly suspect that everything this man has was given to him. The apostles had very little, especially clothes 1 Cor. 4:11-12 “To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands.” But then they preached the gospel for souls to be saved not prosperity by people giving them money.
Murdock says, “Everything I got was given to me.” It is reported that, “ a $25,000 Rolex adorns his wrist. … he take notes with a $4,500 fountain pen.” he was given the watches, expensive suits, several Chevrolet Corvettes, a BMW and a rare Vetta Ventura sports car.
By the time you count all suits that were given to him it would be near a hundred. Does God give us what we need or what we don’t need? Who needs 100 or more suits, what is the sense of all this affluence? How can people resist when Murdock gives stories like these and people who give him a $25,000 Rolex watch. Since all that he has is from others who gave it to him.
Murdock states without flinching “Possibly the greatest discovery I ever unlocked that the Holy Spirit showed me, why there’s such animosity and hostility toward men of God who preach financial blessing you see its stupid its ridiculous, its illogical to be anti-money, money is too much a tool, moneys a blessing, moneys a weapon.” (Wisdom keys 1997 LeSea)
Can this be what Paul wrote of “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” (1 Tim. 6:5).
There are not many in the word faith camp that have the ability to mock those who challenge their position of seed faith and wealth. “Whoever said money doesn’t make you feel good, never had any” (Dec.15, 1999).
Murdock states, “Well Ecclesiastes, Money answers all things.” Let’s look at what it says in context. Eccl 10:19 “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.” Yes money answers everything to those who are worldly, unspiritual. Jesus warned about money almost more than he did on hell, why would he if it is so necessary to have lots of it.
Ben Franklin stated “He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.” Solomon who put the proverbs together and was at the time the richest man who ever lived wrote: “A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.” (Prov. 28:22)
For his critics Murdock has this to say “There is an anti prosperity cult emerging even in the religious world. An unholy but angry alliance between ungodly media and even unlearned ministries linking together to despise eternal ministers of the gospel who teach that you can receive a supernatural harvest from a supernatural God.”
Murdock vehemently defends his position “The hostility the anger over the entire money message in the Church is the hatred of preachers who preach expect something back. Jesus said in Mk .10:28,29,30 I’ll give back to you hundred fold, when Peter was feeling like a martyr he said I give up everything to follow you and Jesus didn’t say bless your heart I appreciate that, Jesus didn’t say just hang in here I know you have nothing now but someday you’ll get a mansion, Jesus looked to him and said anything you give it up for me you’ll get it back a hundred fold a hundred fold, that’s the word of the Lord.”
Besides Peter never seeing this materialize in his life, Murdock and those who twist this scripture are faced with explaining all the apostle’s failure to receive this very promise that they wrote about.
Murdock’s abuse of Mk.10:29-30 29 is no different than his comrades of prosperity “So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, “who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time–houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions– and in the age to come, eternal life.”
This promise is given right after Jesus told the rich young ruler he had to sell everything that he had and give to the poor to have treasure in heaven; It was given as an encouragement to those who had already left houses, brothers, sisters, wives, lands, etc. They left them behind to follow Jesus’ way of life. They did not give the houses to Jesus to get more. It was not God’s promise for personal gain. When Jesus told them that they would “receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses, brothers, sisters, farms, etc.” No one gave Jesus houses, they left them to follow him. He didn’t mean that we would literally get a hundred farms or houses in return for giving one to a ministry. He meant that He would amply supply all our needs on earth and would repay us richly “in the world to come with eternal life.” Neither money nor giving are mentioned in connection with the hundredfold return spoken of in this verse. As Paul clearly says, “Having nothing yet possessing all things” (2 Cor. 6:10). I challenge anyone to find an apostles example for this to happen for them or anyone else. If you believe Murdock on this and give him your money you deserve what you get, you are making this man rich and he is bragging about it.
A philosophy of Wealth
“An uncommon seed always produces an uncommon harvest.” This is repeated so many times that if one listens long enough they fall prey to this. What does it mean? That you give more than you ever did to get that miracle you always wanted. For those who have an ordinary seed, well your just plumb out of Murdock’s blessing, you didn’t give enough. Murdock declares “I believe an uncommon seed planted into the work of God always produces an uncommon harvest. According to Malachi 3 uncommon protection for your family (ed. Note: Does this mean no one ever gets hurt who tithes enough). According to Lk.6 uncommon favor from a Boaz, according to Deut. 28 uncommon financial ideas”
Murdock rattles all these saying quickly off and says this is all “according to the law of agreement and increase. It works just like the law of gravity.”
(No scientist or Biblical theologian has discovered this. It was left to the modern faith prosperity teachers to invent and promote these principles. Where does it say your family will be protected in Malachi 3? He uses the word and forces into it his own concepts of giving money.)
If one were to look up the word harvest in the New Testament you will find it is almost always used for laborers in the field to bring the gospel and for souls to be saved. Once it is used for judgment (Rev.14:15). Yes, some will reap what they have sowed.
H ear Jesus’ interpretation in the Word of God “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. “For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps. ‘“I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”(John 4:35-38)
Hear Jesus’ interpretation of the seed “The seed is the word” end of discussion, he defines what it means.
Mt. 6:22-24 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.” But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon”
Here Jesus says what is your eye focused on, shows the heart. You can serve God or money but you can’t serve God to get money nor expect money as God’s blessing. The Psalmist wrote 62:10 “ if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.” It is commonplace among “Christian prosperity-seekers,” to become disillusioned – thinking God let them down. Some lose their savings; others abandon their faith, thinking it was God who let them down, believing he does not love them. This has been a disaster for too many.
Much of what Murdock says put alongside the Bibles wisdom does not seem to compliment each other. “When fatigue walks in faith walks out” (Wisdom key 15) This is not true, God said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul said, “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” because it is not our power we trust in, but God’s. In fact we need to die to our self-desires to really have the power of God.
“The quality of your preparedness determines the quality of your performance” (Wisdom key 52) No this is not always so. What of Peter on Pentecost, did he prepare? There are too many examples of the opposite.
This is humanism “You will only have significant success with something that is an obsession (Wisdom key 12). Not so. Many have had success by slowly plowing along and not being obsessed with their purpose.
“You will never possess what you are unwilling to pursue (Wisdom key 20). This is not true, many a saint was given what they did not pursue, Joseph was exalted, Daniel was exalted, Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people and was given wealth as well. In fact to pursue things with an obsession often got the saints in trouble. It seems that the Bible more often teaches the opposite of what Murdock teaches.
“ Those who cannot increase you will inevitably decrease you” (Wisdom Key 10). Where’s God in all this, this is human potential teaching. This influences you to only want to be around people who have something to give and not be around those you can give something to. How genuine is this. This not good advice nor is it promoting living a Christian life.
He also says this statement another way “The worth of any relationship can be measured by its contributions to your priorities (Wisdom key 65).
Think about this, if one does not contribute to your goals their relationship to you is considered worthless! Is this the love of Christ being taught, no it is self love and we need to recognize it for what it is.
“Never discuss your problem with someone incapable of solving it” (Wisdom Key 83).
The Bible says, “In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.” One does not know whom God will use to solve their problem.
“Expectation is the only part of giving that gives pleasure to God.”
Certainly we are to expect God to meet our needs, but if that is our motive when we give than there is something twisted in our heart. Is it true we are to have a motive of giving only to expect back? Is this what Jesus meant when he said it is better to give than to receive? Murdock primes the pump with motivation “Expectation is the magnet that brings multiplication, start expecting something from your seed.”
He uses numerous examples of people’s expectation for their healing to prove we need to expect to receive. But his doctrine fails when transferred over to increase of wealth. There is no examples of people tugging on the hem of Jesus’ garment or crying out to Jesus ‘Son of David make me wealthy or successful.’ What are found in the Scripture are warnings about wealth not promises of wealth to everyone .
2 Thess. 1:4-5: “So that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure. “that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; “ go look up how many of the letters are written about suffering or written in suffering and not blessing, you’ll be surprised. Contrary to the leaders that promise blessings for those who are in the covenant it was the very opposite for those who lived in the power of God. But they would not know about this aspect of the bible as they are living lavishly off the contributions given to their ministries? The only time they suffer is when the money stops rolling in.
“The heart of man is narrow, and cannot contain both loves”(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary).
Not everyone in the Bible that was close to God was rich, neither were they poor. most of the examples can be found with the kings of the nation of Israel. They were bleessed by God not by some scheme or methodology used to bring in their riches. Being rich can be a blessing to others who do not have money or need it to be in ministry such as the forgotten missionaries who work hard, but not to those who have it all already. It is not supposed to be our goal in life or a temperature of spirituality.
Jesus said it is “better to give, than to receive.” The prosperity teachers twists this to mean give to them to get blessed by God but Jesus did not mean give so you can get and get more, but give because it is the right thing to do, give to brethren who are in need, not give to the rich so you can be rich like they are!
The Conclusion of the matter
Murdock states, “Your life will never change until somebody decides to be extra good to you.”
Really, What about God, does he have anything to do with it, are we to depend on people to change our lives? It seems from numerous of Murdock’s statements that his dependency is on a unbiblical method and it necessitates people to work.
The prosperity teachers see Jesus remarkably like themselves, wearing designer clothes, big houses, lots of money; the best of everything. The wisdom of Solomon says “The leech has two daughters– give and Give!”(Prov. 30:15).
Moses only asked once for the giving for the building of the tabernacle and the people gave so much that it is recorded in Ex.37:7 Moses had to turn people away from giving. You think if prosperity preachers got too much money they’ll turn people away? Never happen.
Again, I ask those who have succumb to this methodology offered, do you think when Murdock gets over his special anointed number of 30 or 58 or 70 etc. people to give to get the blessing he puts a stop to it? I wonder after the time limit is up if someone is number 71 and onward, do they tell them on the phone or in the mail they are too late and can’t accept their money and return it; or do they accept it never telling the person they are not part of the number 70 that the “Holy Spirit gave him.” Murdock can bank on the fact there will be more contributing if the amount is smaller, much more. Hopefully many will wake up to this money gathering scheme.
I would think thousands who are desperate and know little about the word are manipulated to send in their money, thousands. The poor want to get rich and the rich get richer. Proverbs 13:8: “The ransom of a man’s life is his riches, but the poor does not hear rebuke.” With the millions coming into ministries like these one should first see if they belong to any Evangelical Financial Integrity organization before giving and giving and giving their money away.
Murdock does say truthfully “Those who transfer knowledge are also capable of transferring error” (Wisdom key 24). We are told “Get Wisdom, Wisdom is the Principal Thing. Riches and Honor shall be in thy right hand. ” Wisdom is better then riches…”It does not say riches are better than wisdom or wisdom is so you can get riches which Murdock teaches. Solomon who asked for neither and got both, that’s grace, that’s God’s way.
Murdock seems to think wisdom is used to get more money, influence or success. People need the real wisdom from the Scriptures so they will not fall for the seed scam of the prosperity preachers whose intention is to preach wealth as the gospel. Here is real wisdom from God’s servant Prov. 21:5-6 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.”
“… the ministry pays Murdock, its 56-year-old president and director, a salary that has helped him maintain a lavish lifestyle that includes Rolex watches, expensive sports cars and exotic animals.”
Murdock often says “Father if what I said about sowing and reaping is just for Mike Murdock’s personal gain may a curse be upon me and my ministry may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if what I said about sowing and reaping is the word of God let today be the beginning of the greatest parade of miracles your people have ever seen.”
Well have we seen the greatest parade of miracles, more than the apostles? No. Murdock is blessed that God has grace enough not to take him up on his challenge. Interesting that James says though our tongue is a small member it boasts great things. Many word of faith teachers give testimony of all the things they received or made happen by speaking words with faith. Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. To promote coveting as spirituality shows what is inside these people’s hearts, but they continue to wag their tongues.
James 1:10-11 “but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.” Pursuing prosperity instead of his kingdom and righteousness brings death. This is exactly what the prosperity teachers focus on, they do not bring life to the Body of Christ. James goes on to say 5:1-5 “You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.” Those who live this lifestyle of abundance on the backs of those who have sacrificed will pay for it in the end.
Let us sum up this matter with the Word of God. Proverbs 28:20-23: “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. To show partiality is not good, because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him. He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.”
Proverbs 8:17-19 “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver.” Its obvious God is not talking about a bank in heaven
We can have a life ruined by bad choices, ungodly ones even under the guise of Bible teaching. There is a simple way to conclude what is right and what is wrong. If someone ’s sermons talk more about money than the gospel or the blood of Christ, then his life revolves around MONEY. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 11:5: “I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge.” He did not preach giving to get God’s blessing but a gospel that is about saving souls from sin, and spending an eternity away from their loving God, we should do no less today.
How can one be released from teaching like this? Plant the seed (the Word of God not man) in your heart to deliver you from the seed of greed. Trust in the Lord to meet your needs without following men’s promises of wealth. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own (or other men’s) understanding.”
58 dollar seed The Magnanimous Money Message of Mike Murdock There was a time when it was only Robert Tilton was galloping in the forefront with the promotion of give a seed to get a harvest.