(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).
It’s common among modern-day Pentecostals to see all kinds of gimmicks designed to defraud people when it comes to the impartation of grace and transfer of anointing. Those who believe people’s grace can be transferred or imparted to others can go to ridiculous lengths to covet the grace upon certain ministers of the gospel. The most effective way to “tap” into somebody’s grace, according to some Pentecostal ministers, is to sow huge “financial seeds” into the lives/ministries of those possessing the gifts being sought. Such financial commitments are assumed to be necessary catalysts for the transfer of grace and the impartation of anointing. Is it biblical to seek the transfer of the gift of God in a minister’s life by financial inducements? Does the Bible approve the selling of the anointing for money? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.
When the gospel was first carried to Samaria by Philip (the deacon turned evangelist), it was widely received because of the miraculous signs that accompanied it. Even Simon, a magician who had once bewitched the entire city of Samaria with his sorcery, abandoned his magical art and believed the gospel preached by Philip, seeing the superior signs and wonders that followed the preaching of the good news. Simon was baptised thereafter, and followed Philip closely in his evangelistic campaign at Samaria, having become a disciple. When the apostles at Jerusalem heard the good news that the city of Samaria had received the gospel, they sent Peter and John to lay hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen upon any of the Samaritan believers, who had only been baptised by water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon the laying on of the apostles’ hands, the Holy Spirit came upon the new believers, confirming their faith in Christ with God’s seal (the Holy Spirit). When Simon, the sorcerer turned Christian, saw that the Holy Sprit came upon the people by the laying of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money for the transfer of that power, so that he too could lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. The apostles were rightly outraged by the proposition to impart their grace and gift for money. They were enraged that someone could even contemplate the idea of buying the gift of God with money! Peter’s scathing rebuke of Simon revealed the depth of the apostles’ righteous indignation at someone trying to sway them with money to compromise their integrity. Peter rightly considered Simon’s request as evil and satanic, and urged him to repent and seek immediate deliverance from such demonic thoughts!
The Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.
The Acts 8:6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
The Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.
The Acts 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.
The Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,
The Acts 8:10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”
The Acts 8:11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.
The Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
The Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
The Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
The Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
The Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,
The Acts 8:19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
The Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
The Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
The Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
The Acts 8:24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
The apostles’ abrasive response to Simon’s satan-inspired request was in line with the teachings of their Lord and Master. The Lord Jesus Christ had taught the apostles to freely give the gifts of God they had received, and never to make merchandise of the gospel or the gifts of God. The healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, the casting out of evil spirits and other works of the Spirit are to be done free of charge! God freely bestows his gifts on his servants, and he expects them to use the gifts freely in the service of humanity! The anointing of God is not for sale. The gifts of grace in a minister’s life are not for personal enrichment, but for selfless service. No wonder the original apostles of the Lord, though endowed with extraordinary gifts of the Spirit and power, lived meek and lowly lives, like their Lord and Master. They could have become the richest men on earth if they had wanted, by simply making merchandise of their gifts and power. They could have requested people to sow huge “financial seeds” into their lives, for raising the dead, healing the sick and casting out demons. They could have charged other aspiring ministers to tap the grace of God in their lives by sowing “dangerous” ‘financial seeds’. But they didn’t apply any of these personal enrichment gimmicks. Even when people sold their properties and brought all the proceeds and laid them at the apostles’ feet, the apostles didn’t grab the money and place them in private accounts. They didn’t see such money as meant for their personal and exclusive use, to fund lavish and opulent lifestyles. Rather, they appointed deacons to handle these financial resources and use them to take care of people’s needs in the church, so that they wouldn’t be distracted from their primary assignment of praying and preaching the gospel! What an example of selfless leadership the apostles set for other ministers to follow! Though they had access to so much money, the apostles remained humble and ordinary, like every other church member. Rather than make themselves millionaires, they chose to make sure no one lacked in the church, by distributing church money according to members’ needs. In some instances, rather than depend entirely on the congregation for sustenance, some apostles worked to support themselves and those they ministered to, showing the extent they were ready to go to preach the gospel free of charge. The apostles obviously did not expect their rewards for ministry here. They were looking for eternal rewards for faithful service, which the Lord promised all faithful servants at his appearing.
Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Matthew 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Matthew 10:4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Luke 17:7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?
Luke 17:8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?
Luke 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.
Luke 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
The Acts 4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
The Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
The Acts 4:34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,
The Acts 4:35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
The Acts 4:36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,
The Acts 4:37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
The Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
The Acts 6:2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
The Acts 6:3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
The Acts 6:4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,
The Acts 6:6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
The Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.
1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
1 Corinthians 4:8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!
1 Corinthians 4:9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!
1 Corinthians 4:11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.
1 Corinthians 4:12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
1 Corinthians 4:13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
1 Corinthians 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.
1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
The Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
The Acts 20:18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,
The Acts 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;
The Acts 20:20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,
The Acts 20:21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,
The Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
The Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
The Acts 20:25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
The Acts 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
The Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
The Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
The Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
The Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
The Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
The Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
The Acts 20:33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.
The Acts 20:34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.
The Acts 20:35 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.’”
The Acts 20:36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
The Acts 20:37 Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,
The Acts 20:38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.
1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
1 Corinthians 9:2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 9:3 My defense to those who examine me is this:
1 Corinthians 9:4 Do we have no right to eat and drink?
1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?
1 Corinthians 9:6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?
1 Corinthians 9:7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?
1 Corinthians 9:8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?
1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?
1 Corinthians 9:10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.
1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?
1 Corinthians 9:12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?
1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.
1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
1 Corinthians 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.
In contrast to the selfless leadership style displayed by the original apostles of the Lord, modern-day Pentecostal ministers prefer to reap the full rewards of ministry here and now, as though they’re not certain of making heaven. Whereas the original apostles freely imparted the anointing and gifts they received to others, our contemporary ministers not only expect people to pay for the anointing, they shamelessly manipulate them to do so! Rather than rebuke the Simons of this world who think they can buy the gift of God with money, merchants behind the pulpit openly encourage people to sow huge “financial seeds” in order to tap the anointing and grace upon their lives. Like Balaam, they’re propelled by the prospects of financial gain in giving out prophecies and in praying for those in need. Pentecostal anointing and gifts of the Spirit are now available to the highest bidder! You can now buy the gift of God with money! Once upon a time, godliness with contentment was considered great gain by God’s ministers; now, covetousness and an overflowing bank account are great gain! To the original apostles, the love of money was the root of all evil; now, some modern preachers consider the lack of money to be the root of all evil (I actually heard the general overseer of a mega Pentecostal church say that!). A man’s life now seems to consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. As far as this crop of covetous ministers are concerned, it’s perfectly possible and okay to serve both God and mammon (riches) simultaneously! That’s the new gospel according to Pentecostal rascality! Do we need to think twice to imagine the destination of preachers of such a perverted gospel? Not really. The Scripture is very clear about the fact that destruction awaits all who pervert the original apostolic faith for personal gains. Like Balaam, their end in the hottest and darkest parts of hell is assured. They will hear from the Lord at the end, but it will not be “welcome, faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord“. “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity“, will be the reward for their service of greed, covetousness and deceit.
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
2 Peter 2:12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
2 Peter 2:13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,
2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.
2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2 Peter 2:16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.
1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
1 Timothy 6:4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
1 Timothy 6:5 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.
1 Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
1 Timothy 6:9 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.
1 Timothy 6:10 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.
St. Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
St. Luke 16:14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
St. Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight (NIV).
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:21 I Never Knew You
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
In conclusion, the original apostles of the Lord set examples of selfless leadership in ministry by freely using the gifts of God in their lives to serve humanity, without seeking for personal gains for themselves. Not only that, they resented and resisted the idea of people trying to buy the gift of God with money. To them, the anointing of God was not for sale. In contrast, most modern-day Pentecostal ministers openly instruct people to sow “financial seeds” in order to tap their anointing/grace. The gift of God can now be bought with money, as material prosperity is now seen as the evidence of divine favour and blessedness in ministry. People no longer look forward to the reward of faithful service in ministry at the coming of the Lord, but seek immediate gratification here and now. This inordinate quest for instant reward in ministry has corrupted the gospel and turned it into a profit-oriented business venture, and ministers have become merchants behind the pulpit. Like Balaam who followed the wages of unrighteousness to his destruction, making merchandise of the gospel can only lead to eternal contempt and shame. The reward for ministry should not be sought here, but at the end of a Christian’s journey, when the Lord will reward every man according to his labour.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
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