The Corrupted Version Of The Hundredfold Blessings Teaching


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The Corrupted Version of Jesus' Hundredfold Blessings Teac….pdf


Mark 10:28-30 says: “Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ 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.’” In these marvellous verses, Jesus Christ promises that if we surrender or dedicate our lives to His Lordship:


·         God would give wonderful earthly blessings to us as free gifts. Note verse 30 says the “hundredfold” blessings are received “now in this time” – in this earthly life.

·         we will be persecuted.

·         God will give us eternal life as a free gift.


In this context, these earthly blessings and eternal life are not merited rewards for our good works of prayer, fasting, giving to the needy and so on, but are totally undeserved gifts. They are the unmerited grace consequences of our fulfilling God’s stated condition of surrendering ourselves to Jesus’ Lordship or Kingship. Note the surrendering context relates to how to enter God’s Kingdom (see Mark 10:23-27).

In the parallel passage – Luke 18:29, Christ refers to surrendering ourselves for “the Kingdom of God”. Jesus is the King or Supreme Lord of God’s Kingdom.

Note in Greek, Mark 10:28-30 does not use any of the Greek words for rewards or payments or recompenses. This is further proof that this passage relates to unmerited grace consequences and not merited rewards.


A salesman’s interpretation of Mark 10:28-30


There have been some extremely poor interpretations of Mark 10:28-30 taught in recent years. For example, commenting on this passage, one American preacher wrote: “Give $10 and receive $1,000; give $1,000 and receive $10,000. I know that you can multiply, but I want you to see in black and white how tremendous the hundredfold return is…Give one house and receive one hundred houses or one house worth one hundred times as much. Give one airplane and receive one hundred times the value of the airplane. Give one car and the return would furnish you a lifetime of cars. In short, Mark 10:30 is a very good deal.” Such words have more in common with a salesman than a preacher of God’s unmerited grace through Jesus Christ. This interpretation of Mark 10:30 changes a grace-based Biblical principle into a legalistic meriting formula with a guaranteed enormous interest rate.

The above words remind me of a joke told by a godly leader of a Pentecostal group in India in their missionary magazine: “A young boy swallowed a coin. A little girl standing nearby shouted, ‘Send him to that preacher. He can get money out of anybody’.”



He wrongly treats the New Covenant as a business contract


The above preacher wrongly treats the New Covenant as some type of business contract. But note in the Greek New Testament, the word “covenant” is “diatheke” and not “syntheke” which is the Greek word for a contract.


He uses poor Biblical interpretation principles


This preacher wrongly assumes that every aspect of Jesus’ Words in Mark 10:30 must be interpreted totally literally and contrary to other Biblical verses on the same topic.

Mark 10:30 is similar in its type of wording to Jesus’ comments in Matthew 5:41. Matthew 5:41 says: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” In the latter verse, Jesus was teaching a general spiritual principle, not some literal rule of having to always in every circumstance do exactly double of what a person asks you.

Similarly, in Luke 17:4 when Jesus told us to forgive 7 times a day, He was not imposing a literal rule of exactly how many times we should forgive another person per day: “And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent’, you shall forgive him.” Jesus here was teaching the principle of forgiving always. The same applies to His words in Matthew 18:22. Matthew 18:21-22 records: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times but up to seventy times seven’.”

If we follow the above preacher’s poor method of Biblical interpretation in relation to Matthew 18:21-22, we would have to say that once a person sinned against us 490 or more times, Jesus stated we do not have to forgive the person anymore.

Also, if we adopt this preacher’s method of interpreting Bible verses in isolation contrary to the meaning of other verses on the same topic, we would then have to say Jesus’ words in Mark 10:17-25 mean that every Christian has to give away all their money and possessions to the poor at the time of their conversion in order to receive eternal life and if they do not do this it is impossible for them to be saved: “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?’ so Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, honor your father and your mother’. And he answered and said to Him, ‘Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth.’ Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me’. But he was sad at this word, and he went away grieved, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ and the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”

Mark 10:17-25 expresses some important general Biblical principles about conversion and is not a legalistic and literal command to give all your possessions to the poor in order to earn salvation. This passage teaches us what are the undeserved grace results of our fulfilling God’s conditions in relation to entering the Kingdom of God.

Similarly, Mark 10:30, which is linked to Mark 10:17-25, is not a legalistic meriting formula but instead teaches us the unmerited grace consequences of our fulfilling God’s stated conditions. Mark 10:30 is expressing the general principle that if in faith, we have surrendered the things in our life to Jesus Christ at conversion, He will give us a share in His glorious inheritance through undeserved unmerited grace and not as some type of totally or partially merited reward. Refer to Chapters “Faith is Trust and Commitment to a Person” and “The Greek Words for Faith” to see that the Greek words for saving faith include an element of surrender to God. Also, note the eternal life mentioned in Mark 10:30 is by undeserved grace and is not a deserved reward to believers in Christ. So the whole context of Mark 10:29-30 relates to undeserved grace and faith and not deserved rewards.


Luke’s account shows what Jesus meant by “hundredfold”


Luke’s account of the same event does not use the word “hundredfold” but instead uses “many times” (see Luke 18:29-30). Both Luke and Mark are obviously recording the basic meaning of Jesus’ Words and are not contradictory. The Lukan account confirms the fact the word “hundredfold” in Mark 10:30 should be taken as a general principle and not as a literal specific quantity. Most of the Bible should be taken literally, but only a fool would say none of it contains figurative language. For example, when Jesus said in John 10:9 “I am the door”, He was not talking literally.


These religious sales gimmicks guarantee a 10,000% interest rate?


Many American television ministers and many others interpret Mark 10:29-30 as referring to some supposedly special group of Christian givers who after conversion donate their houses and lands to these television ministers, their local churches or other believers and are rewarded by God with money and material possessions which are 100 times the quantity or value they originally gave. In other words, they teach God offers a 10,000% interest rate payable in this earthly life on any material thing we gave to Him. For example, they claim that if a believer gives $100,000 to the church or some ministry as a one-off gift or over a number of years, God guarantees him a merited reward of $10 million throughout the rest of his life.

It is not only many greedy carnal Christians who are being deceived by the above and similar “Christianised” sales gimmicks. I know numerous Christians who have lived godly lives and have been very zealous for the Lord being deceived by similar religious gimmicks and twistings of the Word of God. [1]





Mark 10:29-30 refers to conversion and its results


Mark 10:29-30 is not just referring to some special group of Christians who after conversion decide to give their houses and lands to other believers or to their local church or to these American television teachers. Instead Mark 10:29-30 is related to what all true believers in Jesus Christ do at conversion and the continuing results of this after conversion. All true believers in Christ surrender their lives to Him at the point of conversion.

Such a surrender is not perfect or complete but does relate to what we own – our house and lands – and those closest to us – our wives, children, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. Our surrender of our possessions and families at conversion is done in our hearts as part of our new-found faith in Jesus Christ and in His Gospel.

Such submission must be outworked after conversion by surrendering our possessions and families to Him in a practical sense in many different situations and times of testing. But the initial surrender of these occurred at conversion when we said sincerely to Jesus Christ, “You are my Lord. I give my life to You.” Matthew 10:37-39 refers to a similar principle to that found in Mark 10:29-30.

Matthew 10:37-39 says: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

If we examine the surrounding context of Mark 10:29-30, we see further evidence it relates to the normal results of all believers’ conversions and not to a super 10,000% interest rate for investing in God’s church.

In Mark 10:28, Peter said that he had left all at the point of beginning to follow Jesus Christ. In response to Peter’s words, Christ spoke the Words of Mark 10:29-30. Peter’s words in Mark 10:28 were said in response to Jesus’ earlier Words in Mark 10:23-26 about being saved and entering the kingdom of God and about how difficult it was for those, who trusted in their earthly riches, to be saved.

Note also in Matthew 16:25-26, Luke 9:24-26 and John 12:25, the Lord Jesus also referred in different ways to the importance of surrendering our lives to Him at conversion in order to be saved. In Luke 14:15-24, Christ stressed that our land, possessions, wife and so on should be surrendered to Christ and not kept under our own rule when He invites us to Himself.

In Mark 10:29-30, Jesus said that because as believers we have surrendered our mother, children, relatives, houses and land to God at conversion, He has given us multitudes of other believers who will be like mothers, children and relatives to us. The houses and lands of these many other believers are ours in the sense all Christians are in the one family of God and what they own is His.

When we become Christians, we give everything in our life to God. But this is not to be done as some sort of business investment. It is done in love and submission to His Lordship.

Mark 10:29-30 is referring to the normal result of our accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His grace. At the point of conversion when we accept the Gospel of grace, we surrender our house, possessions, family and so on to Jesus’ Lordship in a general sense. As a result of this, we receive eternal life and multitudes of spiritual brothers, sisters, mothers and children – fellow believers in Christ – and potential welcome to their homes and lands. All of this is received by God’s grace and not as a deserved reward.

The ridiculous results of such a false teaching


Mark 10:30 shows receiving eternal life is one of the results of doing the things spoken of in Mark 10:29. If verse 29 refers just to giving our houses or lands or family members to our local church or to American television preachers or to others, then this results in the following ridiculous conclusions:


·         Eternal life is a deserved reward for giving our possessions and family members to others.

·         Because giving our houses or lands is a practical literal matter involving us giving possession of these to others, then we must give our family members to others in the same practical literal sense. We must also give our wives, parents and children into the possession of others.

·         In consequence of giving our mother to someone else, we will obtain one hundred new actual mothers on our birth certificate as a reward from God.

·         As a result of giving our wife to the local church or to other men or to the American television evangelists as their possession, God will give us one hundred new wives in return as a reward. This would mean God was encouraging Christian husbands to give their wives to other men in order to obtain a large harem.

·         As a result of giving our say three children to others, God will give us three hundred children of others as our possessions to adopt legally or through our present wife in return as a reward. Are you and your wife ready for this reward of three hundred children? Also are you prepared to give your present children to others for adoption?


Those American television preachers who teach Mark 10:29-30 as an earning-rewards formula may reply, “These verses teach that we must give our wives, children, parents, brothers and sisters directly to God in a heart surrender sense and not to other people as their literal possessions. But these same verses teach we must give our houses and lands not just to God in our hearts but also literally to our local church or us American television preachers or others. God will not give us one hundred new wives in a literal practical sense if we give to Him our wives in a heart surrender sense. But He will literally give us one hundred new houses and one hundred new pieces of land if we literally give to others our house and one piece of land.”

But in its context, there is no reason why we should interpret the giving of our wives and other family members mentioned in Mark 10:29-30 as only in our hearts and not in a literal sense and the giving of our houses and lands to others in a literal sense. These two verses provide no indication that Christ wanted us to treat each of the items so differently, especially when they are intermingled together in His words.

If Mark 10:29-30 refers to merited rewards which are only for Christians who literally give away their houses, lands and possessions to others after conversion, this would mean suffering persecution from unbelievers is a merited reward and God only gives this “reward” to those Christians who give away their house and land to others. But note there is no verse in the New Testament which suggests only this type of Christian will be persecuted.

I have never found one teacher or follower of the meriting-formula version of the hundredfold blessing who wishes to exercise faith for the persecutions Jesus also promised in Mark 10:30. They only like to believe for those parts which seem to suit themselves better. I wonder why? (I say this in jest.)

Most of these legalists preach easy believism also


Many of those who interpret Mark 10:29-30 as an earning-rewards formula for those Christians who give more of their possessions to the church and to others than what less generous believers do, teach an easy believism “gospel”. They say surrendering to Jesus as Lord is not a necessary part of conversion. Therefore, when they read Mark 10:29-30, it is little wonder they do not see it in terms of what all true believers actually do in the hearts at conversion in a general sense. One false teaching leads to another.


The lives of the Apostles


Biblically and historically, none of the Apostles had 100 houses and fields in the years after Jesus spoke these words. The words of Mark 10:30 were addressed originally to the Apostles and possibly some other disciples. Also, note the Apostle Paul never claimed in any of his letters or his recorded words in the Book of Acts to have received 100 houses or great material possessions and large quantities of gold and silver at a 10,000 per cent interest rate as a reward for the material possessions and money he surrendered to Christ. So the New Testament record of the lives of the Apostles provides no evidence for the -meriting-formula version of Mark 10:29-30.


A modern example


I personally know someone who gave $200,000 to missionary work. This person gave this money because of love for God and because God told him to do it. The person did not do this to try to earn his salvation. He regarded the giving of this money as a joy because it was a very small token of appreciation for the awesome love Jesus Christ had shown in dying as his substitute.

In order to give this money, the person had to work very hard for about 15 years. He was not a wealthy person, so he did not have money already saved which could be used for these offerings. According to the meriting-formula version of the hundredfold blessing teaching, he should have received $20 million as a reward for what he did. But he did not receive this.


The main reason for the popularity of this legalistic nonsense


Most Westerners are very materialistic. Even most poorer Westerners would love to be exceedingly rich. A large number of churchgoers are similar. Therefore, it is far easier to preach, “Give $500 to my ministry and God will give you back a hundredfold blessing of $500 x 100 = $50,000.” Such a message will gain the support of many materialistic ears.


They do not totally believe what they preach


The teachers of the greedy hundredfold blessing “gospel” do not really fully believe their own teachings. This is because if they totally believed what they preached they would send hundreds of believers like you say $10,000 each until these preachers had only enough left for their real needs. Then they would wait for their $10,000 x 100 = $1 million return from God on each of these “investments”.

But note these teachers do not do this. They tithe 10% of their income, which in 99% of cases comes from the gifts of other believers anyway. Also, these teachers sometimes give offerings over and above their 10%. But they can easily afford to do this, considering the many millions of dollars others give them. As Jesus said in 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 in and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Him 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’.”

Note these hundredfold blessing “gospel” teachers do not reduce their versions of Hollywood’s “the rich and the famous” lifestyles down to the level of real needs so they can give away most of their money and as a result supposedly receive a much higher 100 times amount in return.

These teachers should send out a letter to all their supporters asking who among them are very poor. Then these teachers should prove they really believe what they preach by sending each of these hundreds or thousands of poor people say $10,000 each. Let us assume they have 500 such people on their mailing list. In reality, they probably have many more. $10,000 x 500 is $5 million. On this “investment”, these wealthy teachers should make $5 million x 100 = $500 million.

These teachers may argue, “But I cannot afford to give such large amounts to poor believers. I must keep it for the ‘work of the Lord’ in my ministry.” But if the hundredfold blessing “gospel” is true, this reasoning is foolish. This is because $500 million for the work of the Lord later is better than only $5 million now. Even the most ignorant know this!

These teachers are exceedingly richer than the very poor mentioned above. In many places, the Bible teaches that the rich should give to the poor (see Psalm 41:1, Proverbs 19:17, 22:9, 28:27 29:7, 31:20, Luke 12:33, 14:13, Acts 4:33-34 and 1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Paul had a far more effective ministry than these modern hundredfold blessing preachers. But note he did not expect the needy believers at Ephesus to make him rich. In Acts 20:33-35, Paul said to the Ephesians: “I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


They dupe the simple and greedy carnal churchgoers


By offering 10,000% interest on giving, these teachers dupe sincere but simple-minded believers and greedy carnal churchgoers into giving to them. These teachers then go in first class by aeroplane from nation to nation and stay at the most luxurious hotels on the money given by the gullible and the greedy. These teachers then say that their own massive wealth gained from the offerings of such people, is proof their false teachings are correct.

Proverbs 14:15 compares simple ignorant people to prudent believers: “The simple believes every word, but the prudent man considers well his steps.” I am continually amazed at how many naïve churchgoers gullibly believe every word of these teachers, instead of Biblically examining their “proof texts”.

Having a godly simplicity in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 1:12 and 11:3) refers to having a simple loving trust in Jesus Christ and God. But this is different from being simple or naïve in the sense Proverbs 7:7, 9:16, 14:15, 14:18, 22:3 and 27:12 refer. In Hebrew, the word “simple” in these verses in Proverbs is “peti” which “generally describes the naïve”. [2]


“Christianised” pyramid selling and the Carnal Fundraising Cult


The hundredfold blessing teaching is a form of pyramid selling. This type of pyramid selling in the Church can be called the Carnal Fundraising Cult. It involves those at the top of the pyramid convincing those lower on the pyramid to give to them with the promise that the latter can become as rich as those at the top of the pyramid. A constant supply of new gullibles is needed to keep the operation running as a success. This success is constantly used as an advertising ploy to attract new supporters.


Devouring widow’s houses


God never intended the “rewards” or wages for ministry received by church leaders to be a means of making them millionaires at the expense of poor widows in their congregations.

In Matthew 23:14, Jesus said many of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law had used dubious means to expand their ministries’ incomes at the expense of poor widows: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.” Jesus here accused the Pharisees of devouring widows’ houses. In Luke 16:14, Christ said the Pharisees loved money.

Some Christian leaders use the hundredfold blessing teaching as a Pharisaic means “to devour widows’ houses” by alluring them with promises of 100 or more houses and so on in return.


[1] Here is another gimmick a pastor recently told me about. An Australian pastor told some millionaires who belonged to his church that if they gave a substantial amount of their money to his church, God would guarantee their millions would be multiplied as a deserved reward.

[2] Harris, Archer and Waltke, page 743.

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