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 day 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!
President Trump labors to protect people who say and believe the vilest things about him. Think about that.
If you look at what he has accomplished since his election you have to admit he has fulfilled the promises he made to those who voted for him. However, none of that matters to those who hate him. In fact, there is nothing President Trump could ever do that would make them stop hating him. The hatred has become pathological.
Here’s how deep the mental virus is that afflicts American campuses: ask them why they hate Mr. Trump and you will get an emotional outburst, nonsensical phrases, then rage, followed by tears. Often they will get in a fetal position screaming that they don’t feel safe.
The hatred of President Trump camouflages a national disgrace known as the House of Representatives. While Trump gets the job done, those who are absolutely doing nothing for Americans get a pass. That Nancy Pelosi, Adam Shiff, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and Ilhan Omar are not held accountable for their irrational statements is one thing. But the fact that they are doing nothing—I mean zero, zilch, nada for the American people and they get away with it. They get away with it because they are going after Donald Trump.
They are spending your hard earned money on hoaxes. They ignore every major issue that affects your life in their hot pursuit of imaginary crimes. The hatred for Mr. Trump is so thick that they would gladly see America addicted, in debt, weakened and vulnerable to our enemies, than to ever give him a chance or credit him for anything.
President Trump has been more unfairly attacked—more falsely accused—more lied about than almost any leader in history. Yet, he keeps on going, fighting to make life safer and better for you, even if you hate him. Wow.
He is making life better for women even though many on the left refuse to see it. He risks being hated, embraces the hate and keeps working for those who despise him. He is working to make life better for every demographic group that is calling for his removal and even his death.
−Even though only 8% of blacks voted for him and many black leaders vilify him, he is working to reduce crime, fix crumbling streets and buildings, and bring real jobs and real hope to the inner city.
−He is working to improve the lives of women. He built a multi-billion-dollar empire on a system of merit that promoted men and women equally. Because of him, the workplace is becoming family friendly with maternity leaves. Companies are giving women bonuses because of the strong economy.
−He got government off the back of small business—women are the fastest growing group of small business owners. I can see why women don stupid hats, cuss him out, and call him Hitler…
−The President is working for the environmentalists who hate him. Everyone knows the future is in renewable energy but we need a bridge to that future. Environmentalists want to shut down all fossil fuels and create calamity for the rest of us—especially poor people. They remind me of the new-age midwives who want women to give birth cold-turkey just to feel all the pain.
−Elitist environmentalists fly around in private jets polluting the air while they lecture real people about making sacrifices. They are not the poor who have to fight to get to work in the only car they can afford. They don’t have to drive a semi, to feed their family. Refusing to build this bridge to renewable energy is a great way to kill the mother and the baby.
−He is working for poor Americans by securing our borders. When a criminal or a terrorist enters our country where do they go? They immediately set up shop in the inner city. They take the jobs from those who need them most—they plan their mischief in the ghetto.
Social workers know that when they visit a family where abuse is reported, the child will cling to the parent that is beating them and eschew the one who is loving. The same thing is happening with Trump and Obama. The left clings to the abusive parent and despises the loving one.
If you boil down everything they hate about Trump you find yourself looking at a police sketch of Obama. Obama is the one who was racially ambivalent. Obama was hateful toward his enemies, used drones to kill civilians, slept as Americans died in Benghazi. He fought against inclusion.
Obama had eight years to make black lives matter in Chicago. He was more concerned about Syrian refugees than American refugees from violence—I can see why you loved Obama.
Most of you millennials lived in your parent’s basement under Obama. Now you don’t. Obama put way more energy into putting a man into the women’s restrooms than to putting you in a real career. The deal he made with Iran is now producing nuclear weapons.
Government work? Trump didn’t need it. But tell me, where else could Obama have gone? Can you see Barack trying to build a business in New York City? How deranged is the left about Obama? He claimed credit for the economic boom that Trump built. And they believed him!
With all the wacko rage and bias against him—the towering unfairness heaped on him−President Trump still wants to make America great. That is an astonishing act of God. That is perseverance from beyond our world.
I want to end my rant with a simple question to all the pastors who love to condemn Trump as an “ungodly man.” Trump is a billionaire. He owns gorgeous resorts. He has a loving family. He doesn’t need this! Yet he stays.
My question for you is how long would you stay? How long would you stay in a church where half of the members wanted to destroy you? And, took every word you preached deliberately out of context and spread lies to other congregants every day? Would you—knowing there were much greener pastures, a bigger church with a higher salary and more adulation—stay and serve? Yeah, I see why you look down on President Trump.
There are many areas where Donald Trump needs to grow spiritually but in one area he has zoomed ahead of most preachers: Matthew 5: 44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”
This is a huge announcement—the greatest breakthrough we’ve had in 15 years. We have been warring secretly for the right to use one of the most strategic locations ever. It is in a city that fits every category for a Living Proof Tent Crusade.
Boy, did Satan fight this one! In 50 years of preaching I have not experienced demonic resistance like this. I felt as if I were in direct contact with hell. But, now we have won.
The city is Stockton, California. The location is the Weber Point Event Center. Ask anyone who knows Stockton and they will tell you that this is the most visible location in the entire region. And we got it!
We must honor Frank and Kim Saldana who lead Inner City Action. Without their many years of incredible work among the unsheltered and addicted in Stockton, we could not have won this victory.
On our behalf, they have jumped through more hoops and unraveled more red tape in government agencies than I have ever seen. But now we have won! Our tent is going up in Stockton and everyone there is going to know it!
Circle these dates on your calendar: Tuesday May 28th through Saturday June 1st. The location: Weber Point Event Center, on the Waterfront.
Now get this: Stockton has been decimated by gangs, violence, poverty, and homelessness. There is no need to harp on the pain of this community, but there is no way around the gaping need here. If any city in America needs a miracle, it is Stockton. I believe that miracle is on the way!
Here is our great challenge—a challenge I can only explain by comparing it to a moment in the Second World War that involved General George S. Patton and the Third Army. Bastogne was under siege from the Nazis. A hasty meeting of generals was convened 100 miles away. Each general including Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery said that it was impossible to send men on such short notice to rescue Bastogne.
That was when the last man who could even consider volunteering, did so. Patton’s men had just marched 50 miles with little food, in frigid weather. Now he would wake them up and order them to march twice that distance. The other generals told him that he was asking the impossible. And that is exactly what God is asking of us. The impossible.
The combined forces of Inner City Action, Mario Murillo Ministries and the Five30 from Marysville are going to march from Paradise, California straight into another battle in Stockton. We are beyond short-handed. All of our spiritual muscles are strained to the max. We will invade Paradise, California with everything we’ve got, and then with no rest we will turn around and march into Stockton.
What choice do we have? Those dates opened up like the Red Sea, and by God’s grace we will seize them.
My friend, for the very first time, I can say we have the chance to rock a city for Jesus–and we are going to do it!
I am imploring you for help. At the very least, begin at this moment to bombard heaven with prayer for our strength and favor to increase. Pray that the people of God in the Paradise area rise to the challenge. Pray for protection as our workers enter the danger zones of Stockton.
Finally, I need every one who reads this, who is near Stockton, to get involved. We have never done anything this massive on such short notice. There are two events that I need you to be at on Saturday April 27th. I am praying fervently for you to answer this call for Stockton!
Dear Brothers and Sisters who lead big churches in America,
Leaving the truth out to avoid offending is a disaster. When it is wildly successful, it is an even greater disaster. Spurgeon said, “It is a very ill omen to hear a wicked world clap its hands and shout ‘Well done’ to a Christian man.” Even in Spurgeon’s time, the world rewarded preachers for compromise.
The original Twelve were bold. They preached letting the chips fall where they may. No wonder they did. God was confirming their message with signs and wonders. Not only that, their preaching produced new creations of great joy, peace, and power. Our message was once contagious, catching on like wildfire, but now we resort to slick marketing to get society to listen to us.
Truth dispensed in love under the anointing has never needed such inducements. It never will.
The Bible teaches preachers not to offend unnecessarily. But true vessels of God have always understood that their message would awaken fury in some men. They disregarded popularity and even personal safety. They understood the difference between fulfilling a calling and trying to build a career in ministry.
Today we see a great evil in America. Congregations will enrich, yea they will elevate to superstar status any speaker who can eloquently keep the rightful demands of God off their backs.
Someone like me can be easily dismissed. When you take aim at vastly successful, far-flung Christian enterprises, you are easily rejected. People will ask “how can you deny its effectiveness?” Or you hear them accuse saying, “You’re just being petty and jealous.”
But there are disturbing questions. Is it petty to point out that this “success” coincides with America’s fastest moral decline? Is it jealousy to say that atheism and paganism have accelerated even as celebrity Pastors boast of their impact? Is it possible that in cheapening the Gospel we have paid a steep price?
There is another question. What might have been if we would have only trusted the Holy Spirit? What if we had truly consulted and obeyed the One Who was sent to organize and direct the Church? What would we look like now?
Preaching the entire Gospel releases power. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Romans 1: 16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…”
Why is the phrase “power of God” used in two verses that deal with the offense of the Gospel? Because it is the power of God that drives home truth, even when it offends.
Paul understood the plan behind the offense. As a top-flight intellectual, he was keenly aware of the God-designed offense of the Cross. He refused to rely on his formidable skill in debate, saying instead: “4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2: 4-5
The American Church will face a day of reckoning with American culture. It is inevitable because the church and American culture will soon not be able to coexist. Our society has become an open sewer, a bastion of banality where madness has the microphone. We have the one message that should not be hidden or redacted.
With all my heart I believe it is not too late. But it is almost too late. I implore my brothers and sisters to repent. Let us present ourselves without reservation or hesitation to Almighty God.
The Pope showed Saint Francis the wealth of the Vatican. He said, “Well Francis, the church can no longer say ‘silver and gold have I none.’” Francis replied, “And neither can it say, “In the Name of Jesus rise up and walk.””
Likewise, fellow preachers, we can no longer say that churches aren’t growing or prospering. But neither can we say that we have delivered the witness to America that God intended—and that is the only thing that can turn the tide.
November 2018: The fire is consuming the equivalent of 10 Costco warehouses per minute. 14,000 homes are destroyed along with over 6,000 other structures. 88 people die.
Paradise, California is reduced to ashes.
Months later, thousands of the people of Paradise are still waiting in temporary housing in surrounding cities. Experts say this town cannot be rebuilt.
Then God began to speak to us. He told us to get ready to go to Paradise. Honestly, I did not want to go. To begin with, I had no idea if anyone was still in Paradise. What about water and electricity? And how could we ever get a fire permit for a tent in Paradise?
Then I felt a strange relief. We could never go to Paradise unless we were invited. I was off the hook. That is until a few days later when Miriam—a prominent resident of Paradise—called us to ask us to bring the tent. Now we had to proceed, not knowing how it could work out.
I must skip ahead to the point of this blog. Beauty for Ashes was the theme that overshadowed us as we labored to make this miracle happen in Paradise. Through Miriam’s prayers and efforts, we got the tent site and the permit.
Then I had lunch with 40 Christian leaders from the Paradise area. They erased any doubt I had about Paradise being rebuilt. There was a holy resolve in the room. The date was set for Living Proof Paradise. Then the next miracle happened.
God has gathered an army of love to bring hope and comfort.
Right now, many people feel a great expectation for these upcoming nights in Paradise.
What is the gift that we bring to this city of ashes? I was at a loss to answer that question. Then it struck me: EZRA WENT IN FIRST. Before the city of Jerusalem could be physically rebuilt by Nehemiah, God sent in a team to rebuild the people. That’s it! We are partnering with God and with many believers to lay a spiritual foundation before the physical one is laid.
Then I realized what the Word of God meant by Beauty for Ashes. Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:
1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes…
After Jesus quoted these verses, He said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” –Luke 4:21 Beauty for Ashes is an integral part of the Gospel. I believe that it speaks of a literal trade. “Give me your ashes in exchange for my beauty.”
This means the world to me because of the single greatest fear I had about this tent meeting. I didn’t want to be trite, offensive or rude. I could never say to these people, “I know how you feel.” You and I may never know how they feel. To lose everything. To have nights of unimaginable horror. To lose loved ones.
But God is not sending us in there to give intellectual or philosophical remedies. Jesus just wants them to feel His presence in the tent. It is not for us to carry the burden of what these people need. They need peace that passes understanding. They need healing from the Great Physician.
There were people in the audience facing untold misery when Jesus said those famous words. He knew that His Gospel could set them free.
We go to Paradise to set up a tent. We are praying and working hard. But the gift we bring is not just water, food, and clothing. It is something money can never buy. It is something that comes to stay—for eternity. We provide the tent. God will provide His presence…and that my friend is a healing agent far beyond our intellect.
P.S. I need your prayers now more than ever. Help me by inviting those you know from anywhere in the Paradise area including Chico, Oroville or any other location nearby. Call us at 775 238 3473. Do not be surprised if the Lord speaks to you to come all the way to Paradise to see this amazing miracle of love and receive the miracle you need. MM
People love to call me an alarmist. But I know what I am talking about. The radical left has declared a very unusual kind of war on us—a war that Christian leaders will not admit and remain totally unprepared to fight.
The Trump victory has inflamed the left so much that two years later they are still totally rejecting the election and denying the rule of law. Here is are the painful facts you must face:
Fake news: NBC poured 400 million dollars into Buzz Feed. Buzz Feed released a tsunami of fake news that portrayed Trump as a pervert in Russia. Only Trump was never there and we now know the entire incident was made up to destroy his reputation. Buzz Feed is only one of thousands of outlets that live to target you. The chilling part is that NBC, a gigantic company was willing to undermine America.
The California revolution: Behaving as if America had been taken over in a coup, California has declared itself a separate state for the resistance. California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is once again moving for impeachment. She began this impeachment crusade even before Trump took office! Again, Trump is not the real target. California is a rogue state bent on changing your way of life.
What you must understand—the thing you must get—is, they are not just going after Trump—they are going after you. I am talking about 80% of all Evangelicals and 63 million voters…especially young people who voted for Trump. Young conservative Christians are in the cross hairs on campus for a reason. The media will now begin to attack Trump supporters as never before.
Get this! They are not just calling Trump a racist—they are calling you a racist. They are not saying Trump hates Gays, Mexicans, and Muslim immigrants—they are saying you do.
According to them, supporting Trump makes you a despicable racist and hater who must have your rights revoked. They are trying to figure out a way to deny you employment and to deny your children an education.
Their election night 4-alarm leftist hissy fit is only the opening act. Expect strikes, violent demonstrations, and a towering litany of acts of “civil disobedience.” As bad as it is now, just wait till the next election begins in earnest. You will witness a vileness and venom you never though possible in America.
Here is what I said on January 18th, 2017: “Obama is not going away—He will lead the charge. His true mission to undermine America will kick in now that he is no longer restrained by the presidency. He will lead a confederation of movie stars, politicians, billionaires, Muslim leaders and minions in the United Nations. Trump legislation will be throttled at every turn. The media will launch a withering nonstop assault on every word he says.”
Not only did all of that happen, it is only now we are learning of the blind loyalty to him in the deep state and the crimes his toadies in the FBI were willing to perform at his behest. The Democrat Party is feverishly reconstructing America into a hostile land for conservatives and Christians. With Obama’s input they are imagining a post-Christian era. A nation without guns, without the protections of the constitution, and a single party.
As I said, they are not going after Trump they are going after you and me. If this is true how then should we prepare? Here are my heartfelt convictions of what we must do now.
- Don’t let them bully you, learn from history. It is 1776 all over again. An oppressive regime has illegitimately claimed power over us. British rule then is very much like leftist rulers now. Loyalists joined British forces in oppressing the colonists and told them that their elected officials were not valid. Now they say Republicans are not valid.
The leftist elites are not British monarchs or red coats but they are telling us what we can and cannot believe. They are seizing our rights. T.V. Networks and billion dollar companies are working to overrule not just a free and fair election but a God fearing way of life.
The challenge of the church today is the same as it was in 1776. Revolutionary war Christians understood that they could not be on the sidelines as their rights were being destroyed. Their call was to stand for freedom.
- We must fight with the weapons of God! Thank God, we are not waging physical war but we are fighting a spiritual war. To fight, we must pray and speak the Word of God. We cannot afford to listen to those who say we should not speak out against Islam, immorality, or far left totalitarianism.
Some ask “won’t this make us look unloving and turn lost souls off to the Gospel?” On the contrary, when we speak out with the power of the Holy Spirit it will shatter the strong delusion that is pervading our society. The demonic spell will be broken over them.
The early colonists knew they were building a nation that would be a lighthouse of the Gospel to the world. Do we realize what they did? Do you see how the iron curtain that these celebrities and media tyrants are ringing down on us will silence the Gospel and leave Israel at the mercy of all her enemies.
- Build on prophecy: If you believe that Trump is a miracle that is a type of King Cyrus then act like it! Seize this divine opportunity to stand with policies that best reflect our values. Don’t chicken out now that the heat is on.I can’t believe the Evangelical leaders who have their head in the sand. Just because this evil seems fantastic and unacceptable to your sensibilities does not make it any less real.
With the very same breath that we call Satan a liar…we must call falsehood out! Preachers all over America must ring the bell of liberty in their pulpits and call out the intellectual frauds who are destroying our freedom.
They are not harmless actors and singers, they agents of tyranny that are not coming after Trump they are coming after you…but remember, if God be for you who can be against you?
Let’s shed the artificial niceness. It is nothing more than cowardice. There is too much at stake to be fretting over “how we are perceived.” We must understand that we have lost elections for all the wrong reasons. It is because we didn’t unify…it’s because too many preachers have hoodwinked us into apathetic acceptance of this takeover.
The awakened believer must link with other awakened believers. They must dump the religious culture of compromise and huddle with those willing to pay the price to let God use them to transform America back to one nation under God. There are millions of us!
Oh, how the enemy has lied to the American church. If we find our voice—if we don’t break ranks—this leftist lie will die an early death. Come on child of God, what are you waiting for. Don’t say this isn’t your battle. How’s that even possible when you are the real target?