A question to every man who ever failed: Why did Jesus put the man’s severed ear back on? We know Peter took a sword and cut it off. We know why. We can also guess that Jesus healed Malchus’ ear out of compassion. But there is something way deeper going on here. What does that have to do with every man who ever failed? Everything.
Peter failed in spectacular fashion. He bragged he would stand with Jesus even if everyone else fled. He fell asleep in the Garden. He assaulted the priest’s servant. Though he was warned about it in advance, he went ahead and denied Christ 3 times.
Saturday, the day after Jesus died, wouldn’t hurt so much if Peter didn’t love Jesus. That he abandoned Christ began to torment him. It could for the rest of his life. But right now, he doesn’t believe there is a rest of his life.
Saturday: his day to hide like a hunted animal. A day to let it sink in that there is nothing left to live for. He was a hair’s breadth away from the fate of Judas Iscariot. Worst of all, he lost his destiny.
Destiny is a mysterious thing. The same force that can inspire a man to greatness can—in his failure—torture him. The pain level depends on the size of the destiny. In his case, it was massive.
Peter was minding his own business when Jesus interrupted his whole life. Fishing all night, Peter caught nothing. His hands are red and sore from handling the heavy nets. Every muscle aches. He has nothing to show for a brutal night at sea.
The strange teacher says, “Let your nets down again for a catch.” Peter halfheartedly does as he is asked. The enormous catch terrified him. He begs Jesus to keep his distance, “I am a sinful man.”
That’s when he heard the words about his destiny. “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.” On Saturday, he’s just a fisherman again. It sticks in his throat to say it.
They say that regret is the cancer of life—if so, this Saturday, Peter is terminal. He could have prayed Psalm 69: 1 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, Where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters, Where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary with my crying; My throat is dry; My eyes fail while I wait for my God. 4 Those who hate me without a cause Are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me…”
“I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing” simply means that in the quicksand of despair, nothing that used to help you snap out of it works now. All of your comfort is gone. There is nothing to grab to save you. You will sink until you vanish.
Now it’s dawn on Sunday. Peter can’t know that at that moment, an angel is talking about him. Mark 16: 7 “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” The angel added the words “and Peter.” Why? Because God knew Peter would have disqualified himself if the invitation was “for disciples only.” Wouldn’t you love to have seen Peter’s face when they told him the angel’s message?
So why did Jesus put the ear back on? He knew Peter’s destiny, and Peter couldn’t be in prison on the day of Pentecost. Jesus knew his destiny…like He knows yours.
One of the greatest cruelties—if not the greatest cruelty in history—was done to Mary Magdalene. She was once sold on the streets. She knew the special insanity of demon possession. She knew the yawning blackness of total despair.
Jesus rescued her. Jesus cast out 7 vicious devils—devils she thought would never leave. Once deemed human garbage she is now redeemed, and rooted into a family of indescribable love. Things would never be the same. Her nights of remorse, her days of futility, her shame, her emptiness were all distant memories.
For 3 years, she lived a life she could have never imagined. Crisscrossing Judea, hanging on Jesus’ every word, weeping gloriously over every miracle. Each morning she awakened a more powerful and joyous woman of God! She thought that this would go on forever.
People use the phrase “nothing could be worse…” They use it before describing something unimaginably terrible. I will use it this way: Nothing could be worse than to be in hell, and then taste heaven, only to return to hell.
Then on that fateful Friday it all went horribly, horribly wrong. How could the one who called the dead back to life, and silenced a storm at sea be arrested? How could one who gave words of exquisite beauty, love and wisdom, be tortured and killed. No one wanted to save Jesus more than Mary. No one felt more horror and helplessness than she.
That night, profound hope had given way to even deeper bitterness and disappointment. If only I had never met him. If only he had left me to die in the streets. She slept only after exhaustion became more powerful than sorrow. Too wounded to go on living. Maybe too tired to commit suicide.
Mary matters to me today because her testimony is the best one I can think of on this Good Friday in such a dark time. Mary’s miracle is the one America needs now! Here’s why…
When the first shafts of Sunday morning light stirred her awake, she dreaded it. If ever a heart was broken beyond repair—if ever a soul would rage against the approach of hope—if ever a woman just wanted to go back to sleep and never wake up, it was Mary.
That is why she was shocked when she felt an odd energy. She soon felt an even stranger impulse… to go to the grave of Jesus? How could she return to the only spot on earth that could open her wound wider?
What overruled her despair? What fuel is driving her so completely against her common sense and her broken heart? Paul answers that emphatically! “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”- Romans 8:11
Do you know any therapist capable of rebuilding the ashes and rubble in her soul? Can any drug, any teaching, any relationship, reassemble her heart the way this gentle but powerful influence could?
We all know about the power of the resurrection. It was the greatest display of power the universe has ever known; even greater than the alleged “big bang” that birthed the universe. It sent shock waves through the principalities and powers of darkness. It shattered hell and stripped Satan of the keys of death. Jesus set the captives free in the bowels of the earth and “led captivity captive.”
But the first burst of resurrection power was much gentler. She was the first human to feel the power of the resurrection. Her eyes which were red and sore from sobbing are now refreshed and clear. Her arms which hung limp from heartsick lethargy were now responsive, strong, and full of purpose. She sat up and found hope pumping through her veins. She did not know why!
A notion gently but firmly seizes her. She was to go to the grave. She got going! Washing up, brushing her hair, and quickly getting dressed; all the while the expectancy of some indescribable something is building in her soul. Before she knows it she is out the door and charging toward her worst fear. Only she is not afraid.
She found the tomb vacant. She turned and saw Him whom her soul loved. Many awesome things happened that Easter but none more wonderful than Mary reunited with her Savior.
In the genetically altered, politically charged, drug addicted, violent purgatory that is America, Mary Magdalene stands as a poignant figure. She is the best testimony I can think of for our national dreams that have gone up in smoke. Our culture has wearied itself with perversion…hunted everything natural and replaced it with a disfigured counterfeit… it has marched, protested, boycotted the very color and life out of everything—everything is a cause to take offense.
What happened to Mary is why there is nothing better than the Gospel. America! This is what you need!
Mark 16:9, “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.” HE APPEARED FIRST TO HER! He never forgot her. He knew she was suffering the most so He healed this precious soul first!
A strange thing has happened to Democrats. They suddenly discovered adultery is a sin. Not only that, they now believe it is grounds for a president to be impeached.
Because he is a billboard for liberal hypocrisy, Bill Clinton is scurrying away hoping you won’t see him. He remembers when Democrats defended him for ongoing adultery (not something that happened 12 years ago.) He remembers when the New York Times screamed that it was no one’s business when consenting adults have sex.
He remembers when (as recently as 2016) feminists thought his rapes were okay. Wonkette feminist writer Rebecca Schoenkopf thinks Bill Clinton probably raped Juanita Broaddrick back in 1978 — but that doesn’t make him a bad person.
In a post published in response to Broaddrick’s recent interview about the alleged attack, Schoenkopf explained Bill probably just didn’t know that forcing himself upon a woman was a no-no — because apparently no one told men not to rape 30 years ago.
“I can absolutely see Bill Clinton doing this (then, not now) and not even thinking of it as rape, but thinking of it as dominant, alpha sex,” Schoenkopf writes. “I can see a LOT of men doing that during that time period, before we started telling them in the ’80s, ‘hey, that is rape, do not do that.’ I can see YOUR NICE GRANDPA doing that, back then.”
How did Democrats go from one extreme to another? How did they go from anything goes to nothing goes—and, there is no statute of limitations on what might have gone on. How did they go from saying rape is okay for Clinton, to falsely accusing Trump of rape? Just when you thought they could not get any richer…
Bill Clinton opposed illegal immigration. Bill Clinton made citizenship a question on the census questionnaire. Democrats howl and sue against all of this now. And now…
The all-time double standard bearers—the supreme practitioners of hypocrisy, call Christians hypocrites for backing Trump.
Let me assure you of something. If Trump said, he was a Christ follower, and he was caught cheating on his wife as president, I would be first in line to rebuke the immorality. That has not happened. There’s as much evidence for that as there is for Russian collusion.
I don’t believe Christians who support Trump will give him a pass if he behaves like, say…Bill Clinton. Let me prove it to you in a way that some will hate me for: look at what happened in Alabama. Even if you believe that Judge Roy Moore was railroaded—and there is evidence of that—many Christians could not vote for him because of the moral shadow cast on him.
Again, the real hypocrites gave a pass to president Bill Clinton who defiled the office while in office, but believe Trump should be impeached for what he did years before he was in office.
Every day since my injury I have written an original blog. It’s one way I make the devil pay for attacking me. This the is one I have been waiting to post. But there’s a catch.
The catch is not a lot of people read about this subject. This should not surprise us. Since this is the most powerful way to stop Lucifer, he is trying to bury its very existence. So, if no one wants to hear it, then what made me go ahead and write it? You did.
I have been profoundly moved and encouraged by the growing hunger for the deep things of God in our readers. So what is the most important thing?
To get our answer we must first reach a conclusion about America. Arthur Matthew said, “The central influences of life are being taken over by men from the bottom levels of society in contrast to earlier generations. God’s authority in society is mediated from the top in the punishing of evil and the rewarding of good. But when control is taken over by the men at the bottom, we may be sure that the devil is in it.”
Satan is behind the marches, the media bias, the deepening immorality. The men from the bottom of levels have seized this moment to erase Judeo-Christian values. All of it—taking the guns, destroying marriage, voter fraud, abortion, open borders, are just ploys to bring America under the control of demonic power.
Yes, I am a political conservative. I comment on all those subjects. But I know that ultimately, I must deliver a direct blow to Satan and his minions, by the power of the Holy Spirit, or I will never see America set free. The crisis is the church doesn’t know how to do this.
We wrestle not with flesh and blood but with principalities and powers. Sadly, the church hardly wrestles at all. You know that most Christians around you have no clue how to oppose or pray down the powers that control our culture. I hope you want to learn how—because that my friend is the most important thing I have learned.
Many have come to rely on this blog for different reasons. I am convinced that the greatest service this blog can provide is only now beginning to appear.
It came as I was angry and frustrated spending so much time on my back. I felt helpless to doing anything important—I needed to get back in the battle. The Holy Spirit said I could do the most important thing I have ever done—right here in this room.
I could remove demonic barriers. I could disrupt evil plans from my room. But strongholds and barriers are not removed by God’s omnipotence until the believer takes the initiative and stands his ground in the heavenly places to engage the powers of evil that are causing our national perversion—the forces that are causing all the misery in our culture.
Those who can take their stand between heaven and hell and pray—not like we are praying now, but praying with the full realization of the Cross, and the victory Jesus won there.
Arthur Matthew describes it this way: “they take their position in Christ in the heavenlies and wrestle with and withstand the powers of evil that are manipulating the willing puppets on the streets.”
The kind of resistance that drives Satan back—that cuts off the supply of his puppets here on earth—brings into confusion those who would do us harm, cannot be done arrogantly.
Listen to more of Matthews:
Such resistance against supernatural powers is not done boastfully or presumptuously, but humbly as befits those who realize that they have no might in themselves and t they owe everything to the grace and power of God. The exercise is not a call for self-advertisement as some would make it. It is the ordained function of those who are in Christ and, I think we should add, of those who are filled with the Spirit. God does not commission men not filled with the Spirit to fight his battles. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit when he confronted Elymas the sorcerer and exposed the devil’s attack and defeated him (Acts 13:9). It is not to be passed over that the command to be filled with the Spirit comes in the context of the Christian’s walk on earth and his warfare in the heavenlies.
I am learning to cut off the devil’s power through prayer—prayer in a new and living way for America. I believe that this is what you crave and together we can unleash this great power of prevailing prayer right now.
When I warned about a new law in California, a lady commented, “the Church is awake and powerful in California.” A brother responded, “Then why is California going to hell in a handbasket?” Ouch.
What I am about to say is a cry—a loving cry for leaders in California to wake up and please consider what I say no matter how painful the facts may be. I know I am speaking out a deep love and burden for my home.
I survey the moral devastation and then hear someone boast that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church in California. I have to ask, if the gates of hell have not prevailed then what on earth is going on? If this isn’t prevailing, I’d hate to see what is. The answer is—as is so often the case—to read the verse again.
Matthew 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
I am begging God for this message to get through to my fellow leaders. The first clue lies in the phrase, “I will build.” There are two construction projects going on simultaneously in the church. Men are in charge of one, and Christ is in charge of the other.
That these two branches coexist in the Body of Christ is clear in Jesus’ own words: John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Both branches are connected to Him, but only one abides in Him. Both can grow side by side until the appointed time. It is easy to see the difference.
The churches men build don’t stand a chance against Satan, and Satan doesn’t stand a chance against the church Christ is building.
Man made churches avoid the front line. The one Jesus builds draws its life from engaging and defeating the powers of darkness.
The church man builds, refuses to offend. The church Christ builds refuses to be ashamed.
It totally breaks my heart to say this…California is littered with Christian projects built by man, and for man. This explains how immorality spread, even as churches got bigger. It explains why California government is working so hard to ban Christianity.
It makes me weep to have to say this but…Paul levels a stern warning to all who build “for God” by their own design. 1 Corinthians 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Beloved, there is a terrifying outcome for those who build fake works. They will all stand before God and be judged for their works. 1 Corinthians 3:12 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Beloved, the autopsy on California leaves no room for another verdict!
Let everyone who reads this heed this warning! There are disastrous things about building Christian projects by human power that aren’t readily apparent.
For starters, they persecute the true church in a way that is worse than the world does. How? By making Bible preaching offensive—by giving believers an appetite for fast food—by discouraging true pastors who feel foolish for sticking to their convictions—by leaving them feeling betrayed, when you steal their people, and herd them into a faceless crowd, where they no longer have accountability.
I am praying right now that my cry will be understood by leaders. I am travailing for leaders to wake up while there is still time.
But there is an even more hideous fact: Satan may be actually helping you build. He’ll even give you the money. A hundred million dollars is chump change to Lucifer, if it gets him the prize he seeks: a center where thousands can be disarmed and neutralized.
My precious brothers and sisters, what could be a better trophy of hell that an artificial church? It has all the right features but no power. It is the perfect distraction. The devil can freely defile a culture in plain view of the church and she will be powerless, or oblivious to stop it.
If you insist on defending your empire, and you refuse to see how useless it was to stop the destruction of California, then it is already too late.
But I can’t accept that it is too late. I know there are true men and women of God in California. God wanted to give pastors in California something so much more than a big church—He wanted to give them a giant church filled with giants.
Let’s finish the verses about the branches: John 15: 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. That is the church we are talking about and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.