John Hagee believes that all Christians should be financially prosperous so long as they continue to walk in obedience to God's ordinances. Although he does not subscribe to every doctrine common to the so-called Faith movement, he does agree with the movement's view that "poverty is caused by sin and disobeying the Word of God." Hagee, like most other prosperity preachers, believes that "poverty is a curse."
Turning to the Bible, however, one finds a number of passages that run contrary to Hagee's teachings concerning prosperity. Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. . . . But woe to you who are rich . . ." (Luke 6:20, 24). James underscores this point when he asked, ". . . did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?" (James 2:5). James later follows with stern words to the rich (5:1-6; cf. Mark 10:25).
Haydock Commentary explains Luke 6:20:
"Ver. 20. St. Matthew (v. 3. 10.) mentions eight beatitudes, St. Luke only four; but St. Luke only gives an abridgment in this place of the discourse, which St. Matthew gives more at length. We are also to remark, that in these four the whole eight are comprised, and that both evangelists place poverty in the first place, because it is the first in rank, and, as it were, the parent of the other virtues; for he who hath forsaken earthly possessions, deserves heavenly ones. Neither can any man reasonably expect eternal life, who is not willing to forsake all in affection, and in effect also, if called upon for the love of Jesus Christ. (St. Ambrose) … Blessed, therefore, are the poor, who bear poverty for the sake of Christ: he himself hath already trodden the path before us, and taught us by his example that it leads to honour and enjoyment. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas)"
Haydock Commentary explains Matthew 5:3:
"Ver. 3. The poor in spirit; which, according to the common exposition, signifies the humble of mind and heart. Yet some understand it of such as are truly in poverty and want, and who bear their indigent condition with patience and resignation. (Witham) --- That is, the humble; and they whose spirit is not set upon riches. (Challoner)"
This is not to say that Christians should consider wealth as something inherently evil. The Bible simply tells us that material wealth is not the measuring stick for righteousness or God's blessing; its proper value lies in the purpose for which it is used.
This is precisely why Paul gave the following exhortation to Timothy: "Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed" (1 Tim. 6:17-19).
The power of wealth, however, is such that it can lead people into idolatry. Some, for instance, may become so caught up in matters of finances and wealth that they neglect or completely forget about their duties and responsibilities to God. God, for some of these individuals, may begin to fade out of the picture altogether, being replaced by crass materialism. Rather than grounding their primary concerns on the eternal, they instead devote their lives to that which perishes (John 6:27; Matt. 6:19-21).
Colossians 3:1-4 "Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God: Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory."
1 Timothy 6:3-10 "If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to godliness, He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; from which arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions, conflicts of men corrupted in mind, and who are destitute of the truth, supposing gain to be godliness. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out. But having food, and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content. For they that will become rich, fall into temptation, and into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erred from the faith, and have entangled themselves in many sorrows."
Haydock commentary explains 1 Timothy 6:3-10:
"Ver. 5. Supposing gain to be piety. The sense is the same, that they make a shew of piety only for gain-sake. (Witham)
"Ver. 6. But piety with sufficiency, or when a man hath what is sufficient to support his necessities, is certainly great gain, is accompanied with the most valuable advantages, the treasure of a good conscience, peace of mind, the grace of God, and hereafter a recompense of eternal glory. (Witham) --- That man is certainly rich, however small his possession, if he desire nothing more below, and aspires eagerly after that blessing above, which alone can fill his heart. Mediocrity is an enviable state; it frees us from the dangers of riches, and from the temptations of extreme poverty: with this lot let us be content. Why should we fix our hearts on the fleeting possessions of the day: we had not them yesterday, and to-morrow they will not be ours; for as we were born so we must die.
"Ver. 9. For they who wish to become rich. He does not say, as St. Chrysostom observes, they who are rich; as persons may be rich, and make good use of their riches to God's honour, and the good of others. But such as would be rich, who seek riches, and have their heart and affections upon riches, fall into various temptations of injustice, of pride, and vanity, into hurtful lusts, which drown and plunge men into perdition, &c. (Witham)
"Ver. 10. The root of all evils is covetousness, or the love of money, as it is in the Greek; a covetous man being ready to sacrifice his soul for money. (Witham) --- This truth is verified and illustrated by the example of Judas, in the gospel; of Ananias and Saphira, in the Acts; of Demas, mentioned by St. Paul in his second epistle to Timothy; and many others, who have made shipwreck of their faith through eagerness to gain riches. Whoever seeks visible and terrestrial goods with great avidity, cannot be supposed to retain much faith in things that are celestial and invisible. He quits a future real and substantial good to seek for a delusive happiness that presents itself, but which will prove a source of present and future evils."
And lastly, I will end this section by quoting a chapter from St. Bridget's revelations.
Jesus speaking to St. Bridget: "… There are three kinds of people who serve me in this world: The first are those who believe me to be God, the Creator and giver of all things and mighty ruler over everything. They serve me with the intention of gaining honor and worldly things, but the things of heaven are considered as nothing to them so that they would gladly do without it if they, instead, could gain the perishable and present things. According to their desire, worldly pleasure falls to them in everything and so they lose the eternal things, but I recompense them with worldly benefits for all the good things they have done for my sake right down to the last farthing and the very last moment.
"The second are those who believe me to be God almighty and a strict judge, and these serve me because of fear of punishment but not out of love for the heavenly glory. If they were not afraid of suffering, they would not serve me.
"The third are those who believe me to be the Creator of all things and true God and who believe me to be just and merciful. These do not serve me because of any fear of punishment but because of divine love and charity. Rather, they would prefer and endure every punishment, if they could bear it, than to even once provoke me to wrath. These truly deserve to be heard in their prayers, for their will is according to my will.
"But the ones who belong to the first kind shall never escape from the place of punishment and torment or get to see my face. The ones who belong to the second kind shall not be punished and tormented as much, but will still be unable to see my face, unless he corrects his fear through penitence and amendment." (St. Bridget's Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 14)
Along with the prosperity message, Hagee accepts and promotes the doctrine of positive confession — a foundational teaching of the Faith movement which maintains that Christians can speak (i.e., positively confess) physical realities into existence as long as the believer exercises enough faith to accompany his or her verbal confession. "There is a relationship between your soul and physical and financial prosperity," declares Hagee. "'This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth' [quoting Josh. 1:8 KJV]. That's the spoken Word of God. 'And then thou shalt prosper and have good success.' When? After you speak and act upon the Word of God. And you've been hearing that tonight out of the mouth of [well-known Faith teacher] John Avanzini."
Like his teachings on prosperity, Hagee's reiteration of the Faith movement's doctrine of positive confession runs contrary to the teachings of Scripture. Nothing confessed by believers in faith — verbally or otherwise — automatically comes to pass. Only God has the power to create as He wills (Gen. 1:1). Christians are certainly instructed to pray to God for their requests (Matt. 6:8-13; 21:22). Ultimately, however, all such requests are subject to God's sovereign will; whichever ones come to pass only do so as a direct result of God's will and not the will of the believer (1 John 5:14).
It is not always God's will to give prosperity, or for example, healing. Both the Scriptures and experience teach that God may use afflictions and hardships for refining, correcting, and chastening (Hebrews 12:3-11; Job 23:10). God's Word teaches that He can heal anyone and make anyone rich, anytime, but that He does not heal everyone or make everyone prosper, every time. Paul learned this truth when God explained why his thrice repeated prayer for personal healing was not granted (2 Corinthians 12:1-10); and, also, like when he had suffered the loss of all things, and counted all but dung to win Christ (Philippians 3:8). When we pray for prosperity or healing for ourselves or others, we must never forget that such healing or prosperity is always God's prerogative based upon what He knows is best for each of His children, not upon "demanding" or "claiming" such prosperity or healing as do the Charismatics.
Jesus speaking to St. Bridget: "I am your God who was crucified on the cross; true God and true man in one person who is present everyday in the hands of the priest. When you pray any prayer to me, always end your prayer with the intention that my will always shall be done and not yours. For when you pray for the already condemned, I do not hear you. Sometimes you also pray for some things that are against your own welfare and that is why it is necessary for you to entrust your will to me, for I know all things and do not provide you with anything but what is beneficial. Many pray without the right intention and that is why they do not deserve to be heard." (St. Bridget's Revelations, Book 1, Chapter 14)
Hagee is recognized as a fierce foe of anti-Semitism. An outspoken supporter of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the nation Israel, he has been given the "Humanitarian of the Year" award by the San Antonio B'nai B'rith Council. Hagee has also been bestowed the "ZOA Israel Service Award" by the Zionist Organization in Dallas and honored with the "Henrietta Szold Award" by the Texas Southern Region of Hadassah.
Pope Leo X, Fifth Lateran Council, 1512-1517, Session 9, ex cathedra: "All false Christians and those with evil sentiments towards the faith, of whatever race or nation they may be, as well as heretics and those stained with some taint of heresy, or Judaizers, are to be totally excluded from the company of Christ's faithful and expelled from any position, especially from the Roman curia, and punished with an appropriate penalty…"
Hagee's judaizing for the Jewish people and their cause has led him to commit a most serious, heretical doctrinal error — salvation for the Jews without conversion to Christianity. One newspaper account puts it this way:
Trying to convert Jews is a "waste of time," he [Hagee] said. . . .
Everyone else, whether Buddhist or Baha'i, needs to believe in Jesus, he says. But not Jews. Jews already have a covenant with God that has never been replaced with Christianity, he says.
"The Jewish people have a relationship to God through the law of God as given through Moses," Hagee said. "I believe that every Gentile person can only come to God through the cross of Christ. I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption.
"The law of Moses is sufficient enough to bring a person into the knowledge of God until God gives him a greater revelation. And God has not," said Hagee . . .
John Hagee is a false preacher. He teaches a heresy known as "Zionism." Religious Zionism teaches that God has a separate covenant with Israel and another for the Gentile Church. This is unbiblical and heretical and is sometimes called a "Dual Covenant." Hagee stated to the Houston Chronicle that he believes Jews have a special covenant with God and do not need to come to the cross for salvation. According to Hagee Jews don't need to be converted. Mr. Hagee told the Texas newspaper:
"I believe that every Jewish person who lives in the light of the Torah, which is the word of God, has a relationship with God and will come to redemption" (Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988).
The Houston Chronicle newspaper then quoted Hagee's own shocking words...
"I'm not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith... In fact, trying to convert Jews is a waste of time. Jews already have a covenant with God and that has never been replaced by Christianity." (Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988, sec, 6, pg. 1).
I love Jewish people and desire their conversion, but they will burn in Hell as quick as any Gentile who rejects Jesus as their Christ.
"There are right now Jewish people on this earth who have a powerful and special relationship with God," declares Hagee in one of his books. "They have been chosen by the 'election of grace' in which God does what he does without asking man to approve or understand it. Let us put an end to the Christian chatter that "all the Jews are lost" and can't be in the will of God until they convert to Christianity! . . . there are a certain number of Jews in relationship with God right now through divine election."
Contrary to Hagee, the Catholic Church infallible teaches that the Jewish covenant, or Old Testament Law, ceased when the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that the Old Law died on the Cross; and that Jews need to be converted for Salvation.
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino, 1441, ex cathedra: "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosaic Law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to divine worship at that time, after our Lord's coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time (the promulgation of the Gospel) observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors."
Pope Benedict XIV, Ex Quo Primum (# 61), March 1, 1756: "The first consideration is that the ceremonies of the Mosaic Law were abrogated by the coming of Christ and that they can no longer be observed without sin after the promulgation of the Gospel."
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi (#'s 29-30), June 29, 1943: "And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished… on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [Eph. 2:15]… establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. 'To such an extent, then,' says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, 'was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.' On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death…"
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino, 1441, ex cathedra: "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."
Pope Benedict XIV, A Quo Primum, June 14, 1751: "Surely it is not in vain that the Church has established the universal prayer which is offered up for the faithless Jews from the rising of the sun to its setting, that they may be rescued from their darkness into the light of truth."
Hagee affirms: "If God blinded the Jewish people to the identity of Jesus as Messiah, how could He send them to hell for not seeing what he had forbidden them to see?" He continues, "All people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ. The question is one of timing."
Such rhetoric raises some thorny questions. When Hagee says "all people will gain entrance into heaven through Christ," he is either advocating universalism (literally all people — Jewish and Gentile — will be saved), or he believes that all Jews who will be saved is saved by Jesus, even though they do not believe in him. In either case, both positions are heretical, but the latter is more consistent with his other statements.
The "timing" of the salvation of the entire Jewish nation is actually irrelevant to Hagee's argument since he advocates that it is a waste of time attempting to convert them. At best, then, Hagee implies that even if they are not currently saved, God will save all Jewish keepers of the Law — past, present, and future — at some future point.
The Bible paints a different picture. The apostle Paul demonstrates that Israel had a responsibility to respond to the Gospel, but rejected it. In Romans 10:19-21, he asks, "Did they [the Jews] fail to hear?" The rhetorical answer is "no." Paul relates that, as light and darkness are understood by all, so the gospel has been made known to all, or many, of the Jews (cf. Acts 17:6; 21:28). He continues, "Did they fail to understand?" The answer once again is "no." Since Israel has become disobedient through unbelief (Rom. 11:30), God has delivered the gospel to the Gentiles.
St. Augustine, Tractate 89, on John 15:22-23: "What, then, does He [Jesus] mean by the words, If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin? [John 15:22] Was it that the Jews were without sin before Christ came to them in the flesh? Who, though he were the greatest fool, would say so?... But when He went on to say, But now they have no excuse for their sin, some may be moved to inquire whether those to whom Christ neither came nor spoke, have an excuse for their sin. For if they have not, why is it said here that these had none, on the very ground that He did come and speak to them? And if they have, have they it to the extent of thereby being barred from punishment, or of receiving it in a milder degree? To these inquiries, with the Lord's help and to the best of my capacity, I reply, that such have an excuse, not for every one of their sins, but for this sin of not believing on Christ, inasmuch as He came not and spoke not to them."
After the preaching of Christ, and his apostles, after so many wonders wrought by our Saviour, he at last offers himself to the Jewish people, with stretched-out hands, and yet they cannot be induced to believe in him. They resist him as much as they can, thus verifying the prophecy of holy Simeon, that he should be set up as a sign to be contradicted.
In writing that the "message of the gospel was from Israel, not to Israel," and that "trying to convert Jews is a waste of time", Hagee discourages Christians from sharing the Good News with unsaved Jews who, like everyone else, have need of the gospel if they are to spend eternity with God in Heaven.
Contrary to the apostate Hagee, the Catholic Church prays: "for the perfidious Jews: that Our Lord and God may lift the covering off their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ Our Lord."
In Hagee's theology, the Jews can hardly be faulted for not flocking to Christianity since it was supposedly Jesus who declined their request for Him to be their Messiah. "The [Jewish] people wanted Him to be their Messiah, but He absolutely refused," writes Hagee. "The Jews were not rejecting Jesus as Messiah, it was Jesus who was refusing to be the Messiah to the Jews!"
Suffice it to say, Jesus' explicit claim to be the Messiah (or Christ) during His trial before the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish tribunal (Matt. 26:64), flatly contradicts Hagee's assertion. In that same passage, Jesus called Himself the "Son of Man," an unmistakable reference to the Book of Daniel (7:13) which alludes to the Messiah. Jesus also applied the same title to Himself in revealing His identity to "a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council" (John 3:1, 14-15), as well as to the crowd who questioned His authority to forgive sins (Mark 2:10).
Furthermore, in response to Jesus' question, "Who do you say I am?" (Matt. 16:15), Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah]" (v. 16). Surely, had the Jewish apostle been wrong, Jesus would have corrected him at that moment; instead, Peter received the Lord's blessing (v. 17). Jesus, however, instructed Peter, along with several others, not to reveal His messianic identity until due time (v. 20) — though Jesus did, on occasion, give public indications of His messiahship (cf. Luke 4:17-21; 20:41-44).
Indeed, Hagee's view is made especially ironic by the fact that Jesus Himself said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). Scripture clearly teaches that Jesus' own people rejected Him, and not the other way around (John 1:11; Mark 12:1-12).
2 Peter 2:1 "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction."
Following Martin Luther's excommunication from the Catholic Church in 1520, which marked the beginning of the Protestant movement, over 20,000 different denominations have been created in about 500 years. In 1980, David A. Barrett's World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford University Press) gave the number of different denominations as 20,780. He projected that there would be 22,190 denominations by 1985.
This would mean that there are approximately 25,000 (or possibly 30,000) different denominations today. Even if, for the sake of argument, one were to take a conservative estimate, and give the number as only 15,000 different denominations, this equates to more than one new sect having been created every two weeks.
When we consider the fact that the original founders of Protestantism didn't even agree with each other on major points of doctrine, such denominational chaos shouldn't be a surprise. Protestantism is man-made religion, in which each person ultimately determines for himself what he thinks the Bible teaches. Martin Luther (the initiator of Protestantism) condemned the doctrinal views of John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, two other leading Protestant figures. They all claimed to follow the Bible.
Basically all of these thousands of non-Catholics sects purport to be Christian and claim to follow the Bible, even though they disagree with each other on crucial doctrinal matters, such as: the precise nature of justification; whether human works and sins are a part of salvation; whether men have free will; predestination; whether infants need baptism for salvation; what Communion is; whether it's necessary to confess to the Lord; which books of the New Testament apply to us today; the structure of the Church's hierarchy; the role of bishops and ministers; the Sabbath; the role of women in church; etc. ad nauseam. Most of these groups even claim that the individual "Christian" will be led by the Holy Spirit when privately reading the Bible. The disunity of these sects constitutes an irrefutable proof that their doctrine is not of the Spirit of Truth; and that their principle of operation (i.e., Scripture alone apart from the Church and Tradition) is not the doctrine of the Bible and the Apostles.
Pope Leo XII, Ubi Primum (# 14), May 5, 1824: "It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members… by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism… This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church."
 John Hagee, Praise-A-Thon broadcast, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), 16 April 1993.
 John Hagee, Praise-A-Thon broadcast, TBN, 4 November 1992.
 Hagee, Praise-A-Thon broadcast, 4 November 1992. Avanzini, a leading figure in the Faith movement, focuses much of his message around the theme of financial prosperity. He teaches, among other things, that Jesus was a wealthy individual who "wore designer clothes" and "had a nice house, a big house," while the apostle Paul "had the kind of money that people . . . would block up justice to try to get a bribe out of old Paul" (John Avanzini, Believer's Voice of Victory program, TBN, 20 January 1991).
 John Hagee, Should Christians Support Israel? (San Antonio, TX: Dominion Publishers, 1987), [174-75].
 Julia Duin, "San Antonio Fundamentalist Battles Anti-Semitism," The Houston Chronicle, 30 April 1988, 1.
 Hagee, Should Christians Support Israel?, 124-25, 127 (emphasis in original).
 John Hagee, personal faxed correspondence to CRI, 18 October 1994, 3.
 Ibid., 6.
 Hagee, Should Christians Support Israel?, 61 (emphasis in original).
 Ibid., 67-68 passim; cf. 69, 72.