Brother Hagin’s Injury and Prophetic Insights
Rev. Tony Cooke
In his classic work, I Believe in Visions, Brother Hagin shares several outstanding experiences he had with the Lord. One of these took place in El Paso, Texas. Brother Hagin describes how the Lord visited him in the hospital following an accident that took place during a church service.
In that encounter, the Lord taught him about the about the ministry of a prophet in a conversation that lasted nearly 90 minutes. Here is an excerpt from the very beginning of chapter seven (I encourage you to read the entire book as it contains many rich and valuable lessons).
A Hospital Visitor
The sixth time the Lord appeared to me was in February 1959, while I was holding a revival meeting in El Paso, Texas.
I slipped and fell on my right elbow, hurting my arm rather severely. At first I thought it was broken, and because this was about 9:30 at night, I went to the hospital to have a doctor look at it and set the bones, if necessary.
About a block from the hospital, the Lord spoke to me and told me my arm was not broken; I had a fracture and had knocked my elbow out of place. The Lord also said this was the devil’s work, but He would make it turn out for His glory and my good. He also told me He would talk to me about it later, and I should not fear or worry about anything.
At the hospital the doctor X-rayed my arm and confirmed what I already knew to be true…
I recently ministered in El Paso, the city where the above-described incident took place. Pastor Gil Zaragoza of Faith Bible Fellowship was kind enough to drive me to see the church where Brother Hagin injured his elbow as well as the hospital where he was treated and had his extended conversation with the Lord.
As I reflected on Brother Hagin’s experience involving these places, I was a bit shocked to realize that this happened in February of 1959, one month before I was born. It was also interesting to learn from Pastor Gil that his great-grandmother had been a deaconess at the church where Brother Hagin injured his arm. We can’t verify it, but it is very possible that she was at the service when he fell.
My Question to Brother Hagin
Further, I remembered a conversation I had with Brother Hagin when I traveled with him (I accompanied him on several of the ministers’ conferences he conducted around the country from 1989-1993). I had crafted what I thought was a pretty insightful question that went something like this.
“Brother Hagin, you’ve had so many outstanding spiritual experiences. Many of them are quite spectacular and dramatic. You went to hell, have visited heaven, have seen Jesus, have heard the Lord speaking in an audible voice, etc. Many of us haven’t had nearly the number nor the depth of experiences you’ve had. Do you think you’ve had these unusual experiences because of your prophetic calling, or because you became more spiritually sensitive than most because of your extended illness as a teenager, when you were bedfast and even partially paralyzed for such a long season?”
I was pretty pleased with my question and thought he would appreciate such a thoughtful inquiry. I sat back and expected him to share deep, profound wisdom. Instead, he said, “I don’t know, I’ve never thought about it.” That was it. After that, silence. He didn’t even say he was going to think about it. Those who knew Brother Hagin knew that he was often a man of few words (except when he got behind the pulpit), and that was one of those times.
Some Thoughts from the Book of Acts
In Luke’s account of early church history, there are different accounts of what we might call “spectacular” guidance. Here are just a few.
– The Spirit tells Philip to leave a great revival and go out into the desert (Acts 8:26).
– On the Damascus Road, Saul (Paul) hears the audible voice of Jesus (Acts 9:4-6).
– Ananias has a vision in which the Lord tells him to go and pray for Saul (Acts 9:10-16).
– The Spirit tells Peter to go to the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:19-20).
– Paul is directed in a vision to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10).
As I considered all of the times dramatic guidance was given in the Book of Acts, I realized there was usually one of two factors involved. First, God was asking the person to do something that was quite radical, something that would have taken them far outside of their comfort zone. For example, the Lord asking Peter to go inside the house of a Gentile; he would have never done that without some really convincing direction.
Second, in other cases God was asking the person to do something that would result in significant persecution, like the time the Lord directed Paul to go to Macedonia when he ended up being beaten and thrown in jail. As he and Silas sat in that prison cell, bruised and bleeding, Paul needed to know that he was in the right place in spite of some really harsh circumstances.
When I realized these factors, I said, “Lord, I no longer covet spectacular experiences. I’m happy to be led by the still small voice and the inward witness.” Now, if the Lord gives you what some might call “sensational” experiences involving guidance, that’s great. But otherwise, be thankful for the Holy Spirit leading you in more subtle ways and for guidance through the Scripture, through the counsel of others, and through wisdom.
Should We Seek the Spectacular?
When someone like Brother Hagin has profound experiences, some may be tempted to seek similar experiences. I caution against that. We should seek the Lord himself, not particular experiences. In How to be Led by the Spirit of God, Brother Hagin shares the following:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God’ (Romans 8:14). There are sons of God today. And the Spirit of God is still leading sons of God.
So we look into the Acts of the Apostles and elsewhere in the Bible to see how the Spirit of God led them. At times some received guidance through a vision. Others received guidance from an angel who appeared and told them what to do.
Such phenomena, however, did not happen every day in these people’s lives. They occurred once or twice in a lifetime for most. So these are not the ordinary ways God leads. We get the impression that nearly every day an angel appeared to someone and told them something. That is not so.
Too many times while God is trying to bear witness with our spirit, trying to guide us the way He said He would in His Word, we do not listen because we want something such as a vision or an angel to appear.
We have no right to seek a vision. We have no right to ask for an angel. There are no scriptures which say that we should. We do have a right to claim what the Bible promises. If God wants to send an angel, fine. If He wants to give a vision, fine.
As a young minister I did the same thing most Christians have done in the babyhood stage of their Christianity. I heard people talking about visions and angels, and I prayed something like that would happen to me. It never did.
Then I matured spiritually so that I never expected it to happen. I did not pray that it would happen. I did not expect it…
Brother Hagin proceeded to tell how that after this, in 1950, he began to have some of the more dramatic leadings—“revelations and vision.” By that time, Brother Hagin was mature and established in the Word of God, and he always encouraged people to put the Word first and to judge any spiritual experiences by the Word. That counsel still serves us all well yet today.