Hagin warned against today’s materialistic gospel

Recent bizarre donation schemes brought the prosperity gospel back under the nation’s microscope. It’s time to revisit Hagin’s concerns and find a biblical balance.  Before he died in 2003 Kenneth Hagin 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…

 

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?

The Midas Touch is available through Kenneth Hagin Ministries  https://www.rhema.org/

Peace Through Victory

The lesson we learn from Trump’s dismantling of Iran’s blackmail is in a simple phrase: Peace through victory.
Look at his critics. They falsely accuse him of making the world more dangerous.  The truth is, Obama—with his foreign policy of weakness and capitulation—made the word dangerous.
Obama continually gave things away, got nothing in return, and increased contempt for America.
By refusing to accept nothing less than victory, Trump brought North Korea and South Korea together.   Trump offered nothing to North Korea to get this peace.
Arthur Matthews saw the future.  It is almost as if he saw Obama.  Look at what he wrote and pay special attention to a question he asks the church:
“Old Testament examples of prayer at work portray most dramatically for us the believer’s authority over all the power of God’s enemies.  There is a finality that will not be gainsaid in the way the superior strength of alien armies is disposed of as God’s servants.
This finality is not seen in the political bargaining that characterizes our day.  Compromises are made, peace treaties are signed, and the peacemakers move to other danger spots; but the fighting still goes on.  Are we allowing our disillusionment with the world’s acclaimed peacemakers to influence our thinking on spiritual warfare?  Are we really convinced our call is to spiritual welfare and peace through victory?”
Obama’s weak approach is the legacy of liberal thinking.  Victory is not possible. The best we can hope for is a tenuous treaty.  Nothing is settled.  The undercurrent of defeatism is in many liberal policies.  Liberalism seeks the half-cure for everything.

Christian leaders need to examine themselves for hypocrisy.  While condemning leftist ideology they unwittingly agree to its defeatism.
 Have we allowed Obama style defeatism to influence our approach to spiritual warfare?
Let’s look at examples in prayer and revival.  We don’t really believe they are forces that can change our world.  It shows in what we are saying and doing.  We really don’t lead prayer as if it had power to change society.  We don’t preach revival because we can’t image our people really being willing to pay the price.
Peace through victory always means calling someone’s bluff.  Trump did that to Iran.  Christians leaders must learn to do that to Satan.  Call his bluff.  Tell him he’s the defeated one!  Behave like Jesus won on the Cross.
Listen again to Arthur Matthews: “In any situation where Satan dominates and threatens, God looks for a man through whom he may declare war on the enemy.  He purposes that through this man Satan be served notice to back up, pack up, and clear out.”

The two greatest enemies of prayer and revival are the preachers who express their unbelief in one of two extremes:
-They are soft on sin because they don’t believe in the power of God to change sinners.  Their gospel is diluted down to the level they believe people will accept.
-They preach gloom and doom—not because they see it in the Book of Revelation—but because they can’t imagine a great revival in the last days.
Peace through victory calls the devil’s bluff on the biggest level.  It declares that the Earth can still be enveloped by a massive act of God.
By holding to a policy of peace through victory, Trump has already seen results no one could have imagined.  It is time for Christian leaders to repent of their defeatism and embrace the power of prayer to make tangible changes in the hearts of men and women and to impact world events.
Once again, Arthur Matthews: “It is the man who prays who exercises supremacy even over international situations.  Men are going to have to acknowledge the peace will not be brought through politicians, but through the intercessor who has learned to wage spiritual warfare and wins peace over the principalities and powers in high places.”

THE DISASTER OF SEPARATING THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE BIBLE

Everything I have been saying has led to this.  I have held back because I had no clearance until now. This will explain why I have been exposing rampant deception.

This is why I have invaded subjects that create firestorms of criticism.  This will expose what Satan used to derail the church on the threshold of revival—true revival.

The drinking, the carousing, and the blatant new age preaching, did not creep into the church overnight.  It insinuated itself slowly, quietly and under the cover of good intentions.

Here’s what happened:  Satan seduced us into separating the Holy Spirit and the Bible—pitting them against each other.  The Bible not only predicted this deception—it exposed the motive behind it.

2 Timothy 4:3 says “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers…”  What they can’t endure is the Bible.  They drop the God card to fulfill their lusts and blame the Holy Spirit.

It began in small doses.  One preacher said, “Why do we trust a book they didn’t have more than the Spirit they did have?”  Another preacher said, “we’re not supposed to worship a book.”

They will tell you they are trusting in the voice of the Spirit more than a book.  What they are really hearing is their own voice…or worse.  They don’t deny the inerrancy of scripture; they simply claim direct revelation from God that’s equal to the Bible.

Bible study has become passé.  Many seek constant prophetic words.  They trust these words without comparing them against scripture.

The Holy Spirit has become on demand.  You’ve all seen the Facebook ads where “prophets” will give you a daily word from the Lord.  Some even charge money to give you a prophetic word. 

A young revivalist claimed to get more from “an angel” than from the Bible.  He even wrote on his website, “I have had experiences in the Spirit that cannot be explained by the Bible.”  Not long after this, he left his wife and children for his secretary.  He is still in ministry defending his experience.

People blame all kinds of things on “leadings of the Holy Spirit.” “The Spirit told me I can leave my husband and children because He wants me to be happy.”  “You may not like the way I dress, but the Holy Spirit does.”  One preacher even compared the Spirit to marijuana and said, “I am toking the Ghost.”

Here’s a typical conversation with one of these:

“I am not just forgiven of the sins I have committed, and I am also forgiven in advance of the ones I will commit.  Therefore, I never need to repent or confess my sin.”

“That’s crazy, 1 John 1:8 says, ‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.’”

“Oh, well that was not written to Christians.”

“No Bible scholar believes that.  You can’t prove that.  Where did you get it?”

“It was revealed to me by the Spirit.”

Addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography and a host of other vices overtake believers because the natural protection of the Bible is erased.  Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

Why am I condemning all of this?  Because the Bible commands me to do so:  2 Corinthians 4: 2 says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Tuning out the Bible to hear the Spirit has flooded the church with the most carnal and self-centered believers ever.  To reject the Bible while seeking a word from God borders on witchcraft. 

The Holy Spirit and the Bible exist in unbreakable agreement.  The Spirit will take you to the Bible, and the Bible will take you to the Holy Spirit.

One of the prime purposes of the Holy Spirit is to help us understand and remember the Bible.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26

You can be sure that if you are not regularly reading the Bible, God will avoid speaking to you through prophecy.  To do so creates a dangerous habit.  Without a biblical foundation, you will have no way to judge prophetic words.

The superiority the Bible over the prophetic is clearly shown by the fact we are told to judge prophecy but never to judge scripture.  2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”

Daily Bible study is a hallmark of those who seek truth.  Acts 17: 11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  True revival is always Bible based.  True preaching will quote scripture liberally. 

We are at a crucial point.  If the Body doesn’t repent of this foolishness, America is sunk.

But, if even a small remnant repent, gets back in the Word, and obeys the Holy Spirit, He will build an army and it can prevail.   1 Samuel 14: 6 promises this: “Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” 

TEARING DOWN STRONGHOLDS OF DEMONS

What can we do about the demons that are strangling America?  Can we dismantle their ramparts?  They have brought bitter division, mass addiction, and total deception.  Can we stop them?  Not only can we, it is our sworn duty to tear them down.

The Bible says “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…2 Corinthians 10:4,5

The Bible says “cast down every high thing.”  Most preaching and teaching today leaves the impression there is very little we can do.  But that begs a question…

If we can’t tear down strongholds isn’t God is guilty of child abuse on a grand scale?  He is guilty of letting Paul awaken a deep hope that can never be fulfilled.  The whole point of 2 Corinthians 10: 4 and 5 was to provoke the church to take up the mighty weapons of God.

 

Want to know why there is so little preached about actually taking ground back from the devil?  Let me give an example.   Remember the woman who shot up the Youtube offices?   Her story will be buried because it doesn’t advance the narrative of the left.  She had Muslim background.  She was enraged over Youtube’s censorship and bias.   Protecting Islam, and hiding their nationwide censorship is a priority.

Likewise, there are two elements in the modern church that must silence the message of victory over demons to stay in business.  They are the therapeutic church, and the gloom and doom church.

The therapeutic church must focus on happy talk and self-fulfillment.  Shaking up their comfort zones with talk of warfare threatens attendance.  To survive, they must distract Christians to lesser goals and lower living.  They are guilty of unwittingly helping the devil to keep the army of God powerless.

Gloom and doom preachers keep the church on the defensive by telling them to take cover.  Fear sells books, conspiracy theories sell survival, not revival.  Gloom and doom prophets—like good democrats—must cheer on global domination, global warming and global disasters to keep Christians buying.  They do not equip you to confront and conquer evil because they don’t believe it’s possible.

Now I want to make you mad—not just mad—I want you to be infuriated at what Satan has done to America.  He has built a machine—an evil, wicked, massive machine. Facebook, Google, Youtube and Twitter are working parts of this hideous mechanism.  Other components include most of the print press and news media.

Another tentacle of this device is on campus.  It’s there to poison young minds.  The toxic cloud of indoctrination goes all the way down to grammar schools robbing children of their innocence.

The machine hates Christianity.  It hates Israel.  It hates the family and every form of Biblical truth.  All subtly is gone.  The Marxist insanity once whispered in back alleys now struts its stuff on main street.

So many preachers today remind us, “it’s all in God’s hands.” While that is a comforting truth it is not the one we need right now.  That has been used to make Christians passive.

But everywhere you look in the Bible it is against passivity and advocates action: “fight the good fight of faith…” “Endure hardness as a good soldier…” “Resist the devil…” “Take the sword of the Spirit…”

God has chosen to act in answer to prayer.  He waits until His people rise and take their rightful place in the arena of battle.  Young David saw the stalemate.  No one challenged Goliath.  David couldn’t stand it. He offered himself to God.  God is looking for someone like that today—someone who can’t live with evil, who can’t stomach the perversion, and is enraged to see God dishonored.  Someone God can use to turn the tide of America.

If there is one question this blog asks it is this:  Are you so filled with holy rage that you are willing to lay down your life in order to provide God with an opportunity to vindicate His name before this blasphemous generation?

 

Mario what should I do?

-Pray different than you do now.  Stand between heaven and earth as a true intercessor.  Invoke the Name above all Names to get to the very Throne of God with your petition.  Do it the way Moses raised the rod of Aaron over the battle. When you pray, pray violently, pray exactingly, detailing the damage you want done and where you want it done. By the Spirit, speak directly to evil powers. Call them out and cast them down.

-Talk about God different than you do now.  Why should you apologize?  What you have works.  What they have doesn’t work.  Arm yourself with your testimony and the blood of the Lamb.  Challenge the double standard.  Why is Jesus the only thing this supposedly open-minded generation won’t talk about.

-Plan events that the Holy Spirit can use to bring revival.  Azusa Street was a small effort that exploded into unimaginable proportions.  How dare anyone think that your small meeting can’t be used in a massive way?

There are many more things we can do to get out of fear and get into a great victory.  Here is the great promise : When God sees someone take up the mighty weapons of God—in the Name of Jesus—and attempt the impossible—God will muster all of the resources of heaven to bring that someone total victory.

AFTER THIS IS OVER, WILL I EVER PRAY FOR THE SICK AGAIN?

By Mario Murillo.  Our crusades focus on winning souls and healing the sick.  We can never stop praising God for the abundance of miracles we have seen.  However, in the depths of my infirmity, the enemy came and said, “look at you, God has not miraculously healed you.  How can you ever pray for the sick again?”
Once again, Satan has made a critical mistake by lying to me.  I received a miraculous touch that greatly reduced my pain.  The rest will come through doctors—which is still a healing.  But that isn’t the real news.  I gained a revelation that will help me for the rest of my life.
Let me explain. This was an attack of the devil.  I have no doubt it was tied to our crusade in Las Vegas.  Something about our coming crusade has enraged hell.   However, God seized the situation for His own ends by turning this into a crash course, jammed packed with one lesson after another.
Paul’s thorn in the flesh has been debated for thousands of years.  Some say it was sickness, others say it was an oppressive spirit.  I know better than to try and shed light on something I know nothing about.  What I do know is the amazing attitude change that it brought in Paul.
Let me say something about attitude: It is everything!  In military language attitude refers to the fighting will of an army.  There are only 4 possible attitudes for an army: offense, defense, desertion, or détente (compromise with the enemy).  Paul’s military attitude was most definitely to stay on the offensive.

Not everyone who reads this will be able to handle what I say next.  Great power rested on Paul.  Some of it was visions, and supernatural visits to heaven…however, a major part of it was the healing miracles that followed his ministry.  He concluded that “in order for me not to get the big head, God allowed things to happen that made me weak.”  (infirmities?)  But why?
Couldn’t it look to people that Paul’s situation is a contradiction?  He was giving out miracles abundantly, even on the occasions when he needed one himself.  Instead of allowing that to be an insult, he wore it like a badge of honor.  “If me being weak is what it takes to see a great flow of miracles so be it!”   Here’s what 2 Corinthians 12: 9 says, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses…”
There needs to be a defiant attitude in us whenever we are attacked.  We need to understand what Satan is trying to stop.  We should resolve to increase the amount of whatever it was that made him mad.
I leave you with a final example:  Peter was ordered to stop healing the sick in Acts 4.  They threatened him with severe punishment.  His reaction leaves no doubt by how he prayed right after they let him go.  Acts 4: 29 “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your Holy Servant Jesus.”
After this is over I will pray for more healings, greater healings, constant healings—so many that the enemy will bitterly regret attacking this ministry.

HERE’S WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID IN PULPITS THIS EASTER

Millions are a captive audience on Easter.  Will the preachers say what they need to say?  Experts say no.  They claim the euphoria of having a crowd will dull the edge of truth.  They claim that someone who has been a motivational speaker all year won’t suddenly become a spiritual reformer.
If they’re right, Easter will be the greatest missed opportunity of the church year.  What needs to be said?  I will brave an answer, not out of arrogance, but out of a broken heart.  I would shed the typical formality and begin this way:
This morning I need to explain how our nation flipped so suddenly, and began calling evil good, and good evil.  This also happened on the day Jesus died.  Pilate was doing everything he could to free Jesus…when things took a dark turn.
Pilate told the crowd he would give them a choice to release a prisoner.  He was certain they would free Jesus.
Many in that crowd heard Jesus teach and their souls were lifted to heaven.  Some gained freedom from their dark past.  Some in that mob had been healed or their children were healed.
Nevertheless, a demon-driven change came over the people to get Jesus on the cross.  Those who cried “hosanna he that comes in the name of the Lord.”  Now scream, “crucify him, crucify him!”
But it is not enough for them to condemn the innocent; they must also release the criminal.  Having called good evil, they must not call evil good.  Who was their choice?  In Matthew 27:16 Barabbas is called a “notorious prisoner.”  In Mark 15:7, echoed in Luke 23:19, he was “in prison with the rebels who had committed murder.
Those same evil spirits have fueled the change that has come over our nation.  Many of our citizens have now gone against all of their former values.
It was not God’s will for the disciples to defeat the mob and save Jesus from the cross.  However, now that He won, we have the right and responsibility to do it.
So, I ask you why then—why are we letting them destroy everything that made us great?  Why do we passively sit back and watch a movement—that claims to be working for justice—create even more injustice?
They make railing accusations: “you are a woman without a mind—you are man without a soul—you don’t deserve to live because of who you voted for.  Even though you are law abiding, we will take what you have because someone else abused what you have.  My need for self-expression outweighs your right to be a child.”
When they tell us they want to silence the church—when they tell us their opinion is the only one allowed—when disagreeing will cost you your rights, your job, and even your life—when they burn buildings, protect killers, and convict innocent people—the church should have no response?  Do we sit back and just lose our freedom of religion and speech?
How can we remain silent about the great evil in our nation, on the very day we celebrate Christ’s victory over evil?  He did not just win, He devastated demonic power.

I am not talking about politics…I am talking about evil.  I am talking about evil your children will live under.  I am talking about evil that will make it impossible to preach the Gospel in our nation.  We should ignore this?
Jesus did not just die for our sins—He died to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8 says, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.  For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
I will go so far as to say that victory over evil is the central theme of the Easter story.  The resurrection of Jesus was an attack that disarmed Satan.  Colossians 2; 15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”
It is the calling of the church to enforce the power of the Cross, and the Resurrection, on the works of Satan.  This is what it’s all about.  Today—above all days—we must realize it!
God is looking for people who will rise up, based on the authority won on Easter, and declare to the powers and principalities in heavenly places, “you must take your filthy hands off of our nation!”
I would tell the relatives and guests that becoming a Christian means forsaking all to follow Christ…and by doing so, they would receive power—power unlike anything they had ever experienced before.
Since Easter was an explosion—celebrating it should also be an explosion!  If only we would repent.  Then we could truly celebrate.  If only the people of God would surrender on Easter.   The power of the resurrection would overtake us.  Great shouts of Hosanna, tears of joy would overwhelm us.  And an inward fire to rise up to change our nation.  Hallelujah!
Let today be the day the song is not just words:  “There is power in the Name of Jesus, to break every chain.  There’s an army rising up to break every chain.”

Mary Magdalene on the day Jesus died

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!