WHAT DO WE DO WITH DIRE PREDICTIONS?

New York Calamity copy

What do we do with dire predictions?

By Mario Murillo

Charisma magazine dug up an old video of David Wilkerson on the old PTL show with Jim Bakker. They were startled by the pinpoint accuracy if David’s predictions.

Recently a well-known conservative blog found another dire prediction from David Wilkerson and posted this: A respected pastor, best-selling author and founder of a major ministry to teens predicts an imminent “earth-shattering calamity” centered in New York City that will spread to major urban areas across the country and around the world – part of what he sees as a judgment from God.

David Wilkerson, author of “The Cross and the Switchblade,” a book about his ministry to troubled New York street kids that was later made into a movie starring Pat Boone, tells readers of his blog this weekend that he is “compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message” about his prediction.

“An earth-shattering calamity is about to happen,” he writes. “It is going to be so frightening; we are all going to tremble – even the godliest among us.”

Wilkerson’s vision is of fires raging through New York City.

“It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires – such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago,” he explains. “There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting – including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

“God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations,” claims Wilkerson. “He is destroying the secular foundations.”  Wilkerson urges everyone to stockpile a 30-day supply of food and other necessities to deal with the catastrophe he foresees.

“I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off,” Wilkerson concluded in his message. “I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.”

A past vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention is hoping believers pay attention to Wilkerson’s message.

“I have known David Wilkerson for more than 25 years as well as many of his friends and associates,” said Pastor Wiley Drake. “He is a godly man and I believe he is listening to God. I encourage each Christian to read and heed what God is saying through our brother.”

Why have the prophetic warnings of David Wilkerson come to the forefront?   More to the point…what should we do with dire predictions?

Each believer is equipped with discernment.  All of us have access to wisdom.  I know that to reject David’s words simply because they are terrifying is a disaster in and of itself.  You should reject any voice that says you do not need to prepare for possible calamity.

I also know that God has promised a fire wall of protection around His remnant.  Therefore to live in fear or to go into hiding would be an unqualified tragedy.  Therefore you should reject every voice that denies the possibility of revival and restoration.

Even David Wilkerson said, “”God’s last-day church …will be even greater than that [the first-century church,] … mightier, stronger, and even GREATER revelation of Jesus. A greater unction from the Spirit than ever, GREATER EVEN THAN PENTECOST….As I see it, the gospel of Jesus Christ has not been fully preached in this generation!”

Here are three things you must realize:

1. America is being judged for ingratitude. When you take inventory of the sins of America this one gets overlooked but it is the one that ignited judgment.

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Look at these verses: Romans 2: 4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Psalm 78 12 “Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. 14 In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. 15 He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. 16 He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. 17 But they sinned even more against Him.”

Verse 21 sums it up: “Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel…”

How can you deny that America is being judged right now?  For seven years the White House has blasphemously shaken its fist at God daring Him to act.  In that time, we have not repented or even acknowledged our guilt.  Consider all that God has done for America…look at how we repaid Him.

It is utter foolishness for us not to prepare for the violent convulsions that come to any nation that burns the candle of their life for themselves and then blows the smoke in God’s face.

 2. Ask yourself: What is wrong with being prepared? If New York City does not burn I will be at the front of the line rejoicing. However, what is wrong with praying over the words of a true man of God.  What is wrong with checking our hearts to see if we are participating in things that have brought the wrath of God to America?  We have already seen shortages and breakdowns in our culture.  Some food stored is simple wisdom not gloom and doom.

3. You must drench yourself in prayer and ministry. Disasters and convulsions are coming…some are already here. Therefore your best move is to be actively engaged in supernatural warfare to win the lost and to heal the sick.  The glory of revival blunts the pain of persecution!  Pressing into intimacy with Jesus destroys fear and anxiety.

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Seeking a strong anointing and passion to be a source of life to others will cause calamity to go around you.  Psalm 91: 5 “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come nigh unto you.”

Note: The verses talk about terror at night—arrows by day—pestilence that walks in darkness.  It does not say they won’t happen…it says they can go around you if you dwell in God and choose to be one of His anointed ones.

All of Jehovah’s children can minister, heal the sick, cast out devils and even raise the dead.  Chuck the notion that there are only elite vessels that have access to ministry.

Even David Wilkerson said the church would not limp to heaven in the last days: “God’s last-day church …will be even greater than that [the first-century church,] … mightier, stronger, and even GREATER revelation of Jesus. A greater unction from the Spirit than ever, GREATER EVEN THAN PENTECOST….As I see it, the gospel of Jesus Christ has not been fully preached in this generation!”

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The Vatican is wrong Jews do need Jesus

The Vatican Is Wrong: Jews Do Need Jesus

Pope Francis issues statement that Jews don't need to put their faith in Jesus Christ to be forgiven.
Pope Francis issues a statement that Jews don’t need to put their faith in Jesus Christ to be forgiven. (Wikimedia)

An important new statement from the Vatican on the relationship between the Catholic Church, the Jewish people and Jesus Christ makes many praiseworthy points. At the same time, it misunderstands Jesus’ own mission to His Jewish people, thereby undermining fundamental tenets of the New Testament along with the very nature of the apostolic witness.

Issued on the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking document “Nostra Aetate” (“In Our Time”), the new document, titled “The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable,” rightly reiterates the Catholic Church’s repudiation of replacement theology, also known as supersessionism, the teaching that the church has replaced (or superseded) Israel in God’s plan of salvation. It also reiterates the Church’s repudiation of anti-Semitism, quoting the dictum of Pope Francis that one cannot be both a Christian and an anti-Semite.

In addition, the new statement urges deep respect for Judaism and for the historic connection between the Jewish people and the God of Israel—the God whom Christians worship—also calling on Catholic Christians to learn from Judaism’s interpretation of the Scriptures and to join with the Jewish people in standing for justice and caring for the poor.

All this is tremendously positive, as the Church continues to distance itself from the plagues of anti-Semitism and supersessionism, plagues that infected both Catholic and Protestant branches of the faith, in some circles until this day. And so it is right to recall the reality of the Holocaust, as this document does, since the Holocaust could hardly have taken place if not for more than a millennium of European, Church-based anti-Semitism.

Most importantly, the new statement states plainly that the Jewish people do not need to put their faith in Jesus Christ to be forgiven, since their faith culminates in the Torah, in contrast with the Christian faith, which culminates in Jesus. Therefore, we are told, there is no need for the Catholic Church to have a specific mission to convert Jews to Christianity, looking forward to the day when, in the mysteries of God, Jews and Christians will serve God together, shoulder to shoulder.

Not surprisingly, this statement has been hailed by Jewish leaders, in particular for its explicit call for the Church not to engage in an intentional, specific outreach to the Jewish people.

From my perspective as a Jewish believer in Jesus who is deeply indebted to my Christian friends who reached out to me as a rebellious, heroin-shooting, LSD-using, 16-year-old, hippie rock drummer, it would have been tragic had they thought not to share the Good News with me because I was Jewish.

To be sure, the new statement does allow for respectful interaction between the faiths and does not prohibit all Christian witness, but the overall sentiment of the statement, as reflected in numerous headlines, is that “Jews do not need Jesus to be saved,” as if they can somehow be included in His salvific act while explicitly rejecting Him as Messiah.

Certainly, I agree that the Church’s goal should not be to convert Jews to Christianity. Rather, the goal should be to help them embrace Jesus-Yeshua as their Messiah, discovering Him to be the one who fulfilled what was written in Moses and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17-20) rather than the one who came to start a new, somewhat foreign religion.

Yet the very fact that Jesus did come as the Jewish Messiah fundamentally contradicts the new Catholic statement. The reasons are both fundamental and significant.

1. Jesus was recognized by His followers as the one spoken of by Moses and the prophets, not as the founder of a new religion (John 1:45) but as the one who was born King of the Jews and died King of the Jews (Matt. 2:1-6; 27:35-37).
Jesus showed His disciples that the Hebrew Scriptures—the Jewish Bible—predicted His death and resurrection (Luke 24:25-27; 24:44-48) and He rebuked the Jewish leadership for not recognizing Him as the Messiah, saying that if they truly believed Moses, they would believe Him (John 5:45-47).

2. If Jesus is not the Messiah of Israel, then He cannot be the Savior of the world. Instead, He should be repudiated as a false prophet, false teacher and false messiah.

Many Jewish leaders today have great respect for the Christian faith, saying that while Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah, He is the Christian Savior, but this cannot be true. If He is not Israel’s Messiah, He cannot be the Savior of the world.

If Judaism, then, is right in rejecting Yeshua as Messiah, there should be no such thing as Christianity, since the essential witness of the New Testament would be false. If the witness of the New Testament is true, then Jews need Jesus as much as Gentiles do.

3. The Jewish rejection of Jesus in the Gospels and Acts is seen as the culmination of Israel’s rejection of Moses and the prophets.

Jesus warned the Jewish crowds that in the future, Gentiles would be sitting at Abraham’s table while many of them—”the sons of the kingdom”—would be cast out (Matt. 8:10-12), and Peter, Stephen, and Paul all stated explicitly that their people’s refusal to recognize Jesus as Messiah was in keeping with their history as recorded in the Old Testament (Acts 3:13-23; 7:51-52; 13:16-41).

4. Jesus warned His followers—all of them Jews—that they would be put out of the synagogue (John 16:3), and so it was incipient Judaism that first rejected “Jewish Christians” more than the reverse.

This pattern begins to unfold in the book of Acts, as the apostles—again, all of them Jewish—were persecuted and threatened by the Jewish leadership (e.g., Acts 4-7), and in each new city where Paul traveled, it was only after his message was rejected by the synagogue that he began to preach to the Gentiles (e.g., Acts 13:41-48).

5. According to Paul, the gospel is to the Jew first (Rom. 1:16; this echoes Jesus’ words in Luke 24:47; Acts 1:8) and judgment is also for the Jew first (Rom. 2:6-11).

It is significant that the new Catholic statement relies primarily on Paul’s teaching in Romans 9-11, choosing overtly not to emphasize the teaching of Hebrews (addressed to Jewish followers of Jesus), which stated that the old covenant system, which was even then “becoming obsolete and growing old” was “ready to vanish away” (Heb. 8:13). This, Hebrews tells us, is because the new and better covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah (31:31-34) and inaugurated by Jesus (Luke 22:17-20), was now in effect (8:7-12; 10:14-18).

Yet it is in Romans 9-11 that Paul spoke of his deep agony because His Jewish people were separated from the Messiah (9:1-3; he did this while affirming God’s ongoing covenant with Israel in 9:4-5); he explained that both in past times and to this moment, it was only the remnant within Israel that was saved (9:6; 11:1-7); he prayed for the salvation of his people (10:1; why do that if the new Catholic statement is true?); he taught that Israel, on a national level, had been hardened but that in the end that hardness would be removed and his people would recognize their Messiah (11:7-27); thus, he explained, at present, the Jewish people are enemies of the gospel, even while still loved by God, “for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (11:28-29).

Significantly, it is this very verse, Romans 11:29, that inspires the title of the new document, yet it fails to understand what Paul meant when he wrote it. Jews are still loved by God and remain heirs of the divine promises, but outside of Jesus, they are alienated from God. That is why, to the end of his life, Paul engaged in an intentional mission to reach his people with the Good News that the Messiah of Israel had come (Acts 28:16-31).

If we truly love the Jewish people, we should follow his example, both with our tears and with our compassionate and sensitive outreach, recognizing that no other people on earth are so near and yet so far.

Michael Brown is the host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire and is the president of FIRE School of Ministry. His newest book is Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook at AskDrBrown or on Twitter @drmichaellbrown.

Racism: ‘White Men Must Be Stopped’ Says Salon Magazine

Racism: ‘White Men Must Be Stopped’ Says Salon Magazine

The hostile narrative against white men is being fanned by the influential left-wing news site Salon, which just ran an article titled, “White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it.”

Salon even added some art to its twitter link to emphasize the color angle in the article by Detroit labor activist Frank Joyce.

Originally published on Alternet under the equally racist title “The Future of Life Depends on Bringing the 500-Year Rampage of the White Man to a Halt,” Joyce throws punches wildly, using every bit of guilt inducing mumbo-jumbo he can muster up to make his case that white men are biggest problem facing the planet and it’s the white people reading his article who need to do the “restraining” of white people.

Joyce writers that “there is surely a role whites can play in restraining other whites in this era. Beneath the sound and fury generated by GOP presidential candidates, Fox News, website trolls, police unions and others, white people are becoming aware as never before of past and present racism.”

By the third paragraph of his racist screed, Joyce is blaming a Hispanic Senator and a black doctor for white supremacy:

 

To the contrary, given the possibility that Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) , Ben Carson or one of their ilk might become president, white supremacist ideology seems to be digging in harder than ever.

When Joyce hits his stride, he launches a full-fledged attack on facts, such as any non-leftist narrative of the real history of slavery.

This takes an especially pernicious twist when white racism deniers argue that there has always been slavery as though that itself somehow makes it justified. It’s not true that every society over all time has enslaved people. But even if it were true, the kind of slavery on which the U.S. was built is unlike any other that preceded it. It co-evolved with capitalism and it conflated slavery with “race”—plantation capitalism as the Reverend James Lawson calls it.

Talking factually about the actual history of slavery, says Joyce, is racist. Besides, he tells the elitist liberals that make up Salon’s readership, slavery in America was the worst thing ever…because… capitalism.

Facts are stubborn things. Here’s one account of slavery from a website that details the Atlantic slave trade. It is, of course, awful, but don’t hide your head in the sand. Read this account from a slave in the 1800s:

The stocks, which were in the boiler-house, were the cruelest. Some were for standing and others for lying down.  They were made of thick planks with holes for the head, hands and feet. They would keep slaves fastened up like this for two of three month for some trivial offense.  They whipped the pregnant women too. But lying face down with a hollow in the ground for their bellies, they whipped them hard but took care not to hurt their babies because they wanted as many of those a possible.

This was wrong on every level, but don’t tell Frank Joyce that it didn’t happen in the United States. It happened in Cuba.

As bad as slavery was, it was not unique to the United States. In fact, the vast majority of slaves taken from Africa didn’t go to the American South; instead, they went to South America and the Caribbean. And even though the United States ended the importation of slaves in 1808, it persisted much longer outside the U.S. in Latin America, as theInternational Slavery Museum website points out:

Despite the abolition of the slave trade by several European states in the early years of the 19th century and the subsequent attempts to suppress it, illegal slaving continued until the 1870s. Indeed, approximately a quarter of all Africans who were enslaved for the trade were transported across the Atlantic after 1807. The largest proportion of this trade operated directly between Africa and the Americas, notably Brazil and Cuba. The last known slave ship landed its cargo in Cuba in 1867.

One of the reasons for high slave importation in Latin America was that because so many slaves died due to poor living conditions they needed to bring in more replacements. In the United States, the slave population actually grew because life expectancy was longer, so births outpaced deaths.

Obviously, none of these facts justify slavery, an institution which America abolished completely about a century and a half ago. However, nothing justifies lying about slavery or completely dropping historical context either just because Mr. Joyce despises American capitalism.

By the way, Frank Joyce is white.

His Salon article is imploring white people to buy into his biased historical revisionism and feel guilty enough to take a stand against other white people in order to destroy America’s capitalist economic system that has produced more wealthy, successful black people than any other system or country on Earth.

Never one to let facts get in the way of his hate, Joyce encourages white people to take up this cause:

So are many others now writing and speaking honestly and openly about the enduring power of white racism. That is valuable because it strengthens the idea that whites can come to terms with reality, past and present, as opposed to the myths we are encouraged to believe. As we do so, another world does become possible.

The naive on the left—the NPR-bag toting, do-gooder crowd—may believe that when Joyce says “another world does become possible” that he means a world free of racism. He does not. He’s referring to the world of communism and anarchism.

The phrase “another world is possible” is a familiar dogwhistle to those that study the modern left. Unfortunately, most Democrats and mainstream liberals are clueless about the Left’s real goals and history. However, for those that pay attention, they know that the phrase shows up in book titles like Another World Is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism or articles in International Communist Current or even as the slogan of the anti-capitalist World Social Forum.

The left’s “anti-racism” movement language is a ruse Just like the 1960s “anti-war” movement was actually just anti-America and pro-Vietcong, the anti-racist activists on the left are totalitarian far-lefties under their diversity hoods.

The ugly truth is that Frank Joyce, Salon, and the rest of the leftist “anti-racism” crowd love racism – just as long as it’s racism against whites.

Passenger tossed after flipping out over staff’s ‘Merry Christmas’

Passenger tossed after flipping out over staff’s ‘Merry Christmas’

Bah, humbug!

A passenger was tossed off a plane at La Guardia Airport on Tuesday after flipping out — because airline workers wished him a merry Christmas.

The man was waiting to board American Airlines Flight 1140 to Dallas when a cheerful gate agent began welcoming everyone with the Yuletide greeting while checking boarding passes.

The grumpy passenger, who appeared to be traveling alone, barked at the woman, “You shouldn’t say that because not everyone celebrates Christmas.”

The agent replied, “Well, what should I say then?”

“Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” the man shouted before brushing past her.

Once on the plane, he was warmly greeted by a flight attendant who also wished him a “merry Christmas.” That was the last straw.

“Don’t say, ‘Merry Christmas!’ ” the man raged before lecturing the attendants and the pilot about their faux pas.

The crew tried to calm the unidentified man, but he refused to back down and continued hectoring them.

He was escorted off the plane as other fliers burst into cheers and applause.

American Airlines did not return a request for comment.

No, Christmas didn’t take the place of a pagan holiday

No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

jeremy

, Rare Contributor

In the endless back-and-forth about the true meaning of Christmas or the War on Christmas or whatever we’re calling it this year, one of the most persistent and pernicious myths is the idea that Christians stole the holiday from the pagans.

Chastising conservative Christians in the Sacramento Bee, former talk show host Bruce Maiman cited the “fact” that “Christmas occurs on a pagan feast day, Saturnalia,” and alleges that “the earliest Christians deliberately moved the birth of Jesus to December 25, making it easier to sell Christianity to the Romans.”

The only problem with this criticism is that it doesn’t make one lick of historical sense.

Saturnalia was celebrated not on December 25 but on December 17 through 23. December 25 was during the throbbing “Oh please kill me” dry-out period between Saturnalia and New Year’s. It was thus a horrible time for sermons or celebrations – and Christmas was always a mix of both.

If you want to understand the calendaring of Christmas, look not to Rome but to Bethlehem – or, more broadly, to Judaism. The Talmud records a tradition that all especially righteous men die on the day of their conception. This figured greatly in how the church father Hippolytus figured Christ’s birth.

The accepted day of Jesus death was March 25 and so, writes religion know-it-all Michael Voll in Cracked, “Jesus’s conception must have also taken place on March 25th. Then basic biology tells us that nine months after conception comes the birth: December 25th.”

As for the very minor pagan festival of Sol Invictus, which people sometimes throw out when you shoot Saturnalia down, Cracked concedes that it did take place on December 25, but there’s an embarrassing rub. Turns out it “wasn’t created in until A.D. 274 (well after Hippolytus did his hump-math) by the Roman Emperor Aurelian.”

According to Voll, this late date for the smallish festival in fact raises the “good possibility that Sol Invictus was created to provide a pagan alternative to the Christian celebration, rather than the other way around. So hey, there you go, Christians: Go find that hippie neighbor and give him a nice, long lecture about stealing your dang holiday.”

Or perhaps, in the spirit of the day, you could just say “Merry Christmas” – and forward him this article.

David Wilkerson and Kenneth Hagin

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David Wilkerson and Kenneth Hagin

By Mario Murillo

1 Corinthians 12: 4 “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”

Am I one of a few that has equal love and respect for Kenneth Hagin and David Wilkerson?  I hope not!  Both were true men of God.  Both walked in deep prayer.  Both valued the Word of God.  Both had total love for God and compassion for humanity.  Both were prophets.  Both of them made mistakes.

I can already feel my audience choosing sides.  Some who love David’s passionate calls for repentance will attack dad Hagin for being “a prosperity and blessing preacher.”   Some who love Kenneth Hagin will say that David was always angry and negative.

If you love David’s ministry, then you know that he would fearlessly name names and attack false doctrine.  Sometimes—even a few of his most ardent admirers would secretly cringe at his rebukes of the Body of Christ.

If you loved dad Hagin’s ministry then you know that he was just the opposite.  The earth had to shake before he would name names.  Sometimes, his friends wished he would have defended himself but that was not his heart—he walked in love.  Don’t get me wrong…dad could deliver a rebuke when God said to.

Here is the bottom line:  Hagin taught faith and love.  His revelation taught the church to fight back and stand in victory with all of the authority that was provided at the Cross.   Yes, he rightly stated that we can be prospered—we should be prospered—in order to bless others.

Wilkerson was right to correct the church abandoning for her duty to love God with all of her might and to do reach out to all who groped in darkness.   But he also displayed tenderness toward lost souls and wounded Christians that was stunning to behold.  His compassion broke me and put me under the greatest conviction of my life.

Yes, he did often rebuke the church for compromise and spiritual adultery.  So if you are spiritually lazy you can say that David spanked the church and Kenneth taught prosperity.  Here’s the thing…we need the spanking and we need the money.  We need to be right and we need to establish God’s covenant in the earth.  Is that so hard to grasp?

Be careful not to reject either of these men…or you will offend God.  You cannot tell God not to use diverse voices the balance the church and push her to her duty and her destiny.

Stay tuned for Mario’s blog at 5 PM Today:   WHAT DO WE DO WITH DIRE PREDICTIONS?

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Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

Before He died Kenneth Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel.

By J. Lee Grady

Charismatic Bible teacher Kenneth Hagin Sr. is considered the father of the so-called prosperity gospel. The folksy, self-trained “Dad Hagin” started a grass-roots movement in Oklahoma that produced a Bible college and a crop of famous preachers including Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar and dozens of others—all of whom teach that Christians who give generously should expect financial rewards on this side of heaven.

Hagin taught that God was not glorified by poverty and that preachers do not have to be poor. But before he died in 2003 and left his Rhema Bible Training Center in the hands of his son, Kenneth Hagin Jr., he summoned many of his colleagues to Tulsa to rebuke them for distorting his message. He was not happy that some of his followers were manipulating the Bible to support what he viewed as greed and selfish indulgence.

Those who were close to Hagin Sr. say he was passionate about correcting these abuses before he died. In fact, he wrote a brutally honest book to address his concerns. The Midas Touch was published in 2000, a year after the infamous Tulsa meeting.

Many Word-Faith ministers ignored the book. But in light of the recent controversy over prosperity doctrines, it might be a good idea to dust it off and read it again.

Here are a few of the points Hagin made in The Midas Touch

1. Financial prosperity is not a sign of God’s blessing. Hagin wrote: “If wealth alone were a sign of spirituality, then drug traffickers and crime bosses would be spiritual giants. Material wealth can be connected to the blessings of God or it can be totally disconnected from the blessings of God.”

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2. People should never give in order to get. Hagin was critical of those who “try to make the offering plate some kind of heavenly vending machine.” He denounced those who link giving to getting, especially those who give cars to get new cars or who give suits to get new suits. He wrote: “There is no spiritual formula to sow a Ford and reap a Mercedes.”

3. It is not biblical to “name your seed” in an offering. Hagin was horrified by this practice, which was popularized in faith conferences during the 1980s. Faith preachers sometimes tell donors that when they give in an offering they should claim a specific benefit to get a blessing in return. Hagin rejected this idea and said that focusing on what you are going to receive “corrupts the very attitude of our giving nature.”

4. The “hundredfold return” is not a biblical concept. Hagin did the math and figured out that if this bizarre notion were true, “we would have Christians walking around with not billions or trillions of dollars, but quadrillions of dollars!” He rejected the popular teaching that a believer should claim a specific monetary payback rate.

5. Preachers who claim to have a “debt-breaking” anointing should not be trusted. Hagin was perplexed by ministers who promise “supernatural debt cancellation” to those who give in certain offerings. He wrote in The Midas Touch: “There is not one bit of Scripture I know about that validates such a practice. I’m afraid it is simply a scheme to raise money for the preacher, and ultimately it can turn out to be dangerous and destructive for all involved.”

(Many evangelists who appear on Christian television today use this bogus claim. Usually they insist that the miraculous debt cancellation will occur only if a person “gives right now,” as if the anointing for this miracle suddenly evaporates after the prime time viewing hour. This manipulative claim is more akin to witchcraft than Christian belief.)

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Hagin condemned other hair-brained gimmicks designed to trick audiences into emptying their wallets. He was especially incensed when a preacher told his radio listeners that he would take their prayer requests to Jesus’ empty tomb in Jerusalem and pray over them there—if donors included a special love gift. “What that radio preacher really wanted was more people to send in offerings,” Hagin wrote.

Thanks to the recent resurgence in bizarre donation schemes promoted by American charismatics, the prosperity gospel is back under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns and find a biblical balance.

Hagin told his followers: “Overemphasizing or adding to what the Bible actually teaches invariably does more harm than good.” If the man who pioneered the modern concept of biblical prosperity blew the whistle on his own movement, wouldn’t it make sense for us to listen to his admonition?