“BEHOLD THE FORMER THINGS HAVE COME TO PASS, [BUT] NEW THINGS
I [NOW] DECLARE; BEFORE THEY SPRING FORTH [HAPPEN]
I TELL YOU OF THEM”! Isa . 42:9 NKJV
Ah yes, WHAT NEW THINGS INDEED! Dear partners, go with me on an amazing little journey through about the last one hundred years till now.
Around 1900, give or take a few years, my grandparents traveled by horse or by horse and buggy. For you young folks, a buggy was a four wheel box pulled by a horse. Today we call it a “pick-up truck.” About this same time, Henry Ford began making the Model T Ford. Letters and packages were still sent by Pony Express, i.e., a man riding a fast horse. Around 1838, a man named Samuel F.B. Morse began experimenting with a NEW THING called the telegraph. Wow! And the telegraph became the telephone — thank you Alexander Graham Bell, and the telephone became radio — thank you Guglielmo Marconi — and the wireless technology exploded! Of course, Thomas Edison gave us electricity to run all the new gadgets and the next great leap was television and to a few of us pioneers it became, “TELLTHE- VISION”! But, I’m moving a little too fast.
Those early days, beginning about 1950, television pictures were pretty crude. Little boxes with tiny black and white images with a channel clicker — channel 2 through 13! But then came UHF — WOW, with a little black box on top of your TV you could get channels 14 through 69! And wonder of wonders, color TV was here! Yes, some of you are old enough to remember what I’m telling you!
Ah, but here is a sad chapter in the church world. Churches and whole denominations cursed the TV technology and forbade their members to have TV in the home, just like they had cursed motion pictures and theaters years before. So, guess what? The church gave the whole entertainment industry to the devil, and believe me he took it and…you can fill in the blanks. Yes, Christian leaders preached about the many souls that had been damned and sent to hell by movies and TV. So, it took a few pioneers like Pat Robertson and the rest of us to seize this technology and employ it for the glory of God! Yes, a few realized that the medium was not evil. We saw that TV, like the printing press, was another great tool — a printing press can print pornography or Bibles. It depends on WHO OWNS IT!
Pat and the 700 Club went on to found a great Christian network and TBN went on to acquire a great network of wholly owned Christian TV stations: 35 full power in the USA, with over 20,000 affiliated stations, cable stations, DirecTV, and Dish satellite feeders to thousands of small home dishes.
Wow! In all my excitement I forgot the next great NEW THING to which God directed us! Most of you know my testimony of how God brought the satellite world to us — ah, but first:
“Sing unto the LORD a new song, and His praise unto the ends of the earth.” Isa. 42:10 Yes, by a vision from the Lord, one Saturday afternoon in the den of our home, I saw as the ceiling disappeared and the map of the USA appeared with a bright light high above it, raining down streams of light to smaller lights below! I cried to the Lord, “What is this?” And I heard HIS VOICE—“SATELLITE!” I called out again and asked, “When?” God spoke only one more word: “SOON!” And the vision faded away. Within days, the RCA Americom company contacted us and we signed one of the first contracts for satellite coverage of all North America! And the rest is well-known history.
Today, 76 great satellite footprints cover the world! Over 200 nations have called in — yes —
“I the LORD have called thee…and will hold thine hand . . . and will give thee for a covenant… [and] for a light unto the Gentiles.” Isa. 42:6
Ah, but there was another NEW THING the Lord gave us in 2011: iTBN, our new Internet “TV station”! It’s actually more than a station — it is a complete on-demand video library of almost every program aired on TBN for the last 38 years, plus all of our current programs, which are being added daily, as well as all 10 of our networks! Viewers can access iTBN via a downloadable application onto a variety of smart phones, iPads, and computer screens—making it a portable web library of TBN’s programming past and present and bringing the message of the Gospel 24 hours per day on whatever device people use and whenever people need it. This past summer we dedicated iTBN on the Behind the Scenes program, and I got to press the big button (I wanted a big switch) signing iTBN on the air worldwide! As of late last year nearly every nation and principality on earth has logged on to view thousands of hours of TBN programming! Praise the Lord! Yes, we pay for those hours like a “collect call,” but how much is a soul worth?!
“Let the wilderness and the cities…lift up their voice…let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains”! Isa. 42:11
So, what other NEW THINGS happened in 2011? Well, I could bore you with many more pages of statistics until your eyes glaze over! But I must at least tell you of thousands of little satellite receiving dishes given to India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Russia, and the former republics of Russia. Here in the U.S., TBN’s Second Chance prison outreach continues in full force and is available to 1 million prisoners throughout the country. Ah, I nearly forgot 192 prisons in South Africa and Swaziland. By the way, TBN is the only network in the prisons there that is permitted by the government!
We can’t pass up cable TV growth here at home. TBN, the Church Channel and JCTV all grew by more than one million households each! The Church Channel now reaches about half of the homes in the USA! And, WOW, TBN is still the largest Christian network with 101,456,235 households in America! That is about 98%, if we count the 10% that still view throughthe- air free TV with the indoor or outdoor antenna. I had to laugh at some of our young children who were surprised that there was such a thing as free, through-theair TV! Ah, yes — I’m getting old fast!
Dear Jesus, did I forget the new TBN-Russia TV studio and station in Jerusalem?! By the way, keep praying for the Middle East and China — the two great areas of the world God has assigned us to reach!
So, what NEW THING will we see in 2012 and beyond? Only God knows, but one more thing for sure: God has called us to —
“Open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners… and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” Isa. 42:7
Jan and I love you — it will be 39 years long and strong this year! We are alive and strong and still throwing the many switches at home and abroad. Your letters, loving support and prayers keep this great Voice ON THE AIR!
For nearly 39 years, Paul and Jan have kept the
message of TBN the same: “JESUS SAVES,
1973 JESUS HEALS, JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!”