“He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.” Psalm 55:18 [kjv]
How can I describe these awesome years of incredible spiritual battle? The AGONY and the ECSTACY best describe the turmoil of my soul! This great spiritual odyssey began much like the birth of our Jesus — not in a manger, but just about as humble — in a tiny rented studio with one borrowed camera, two folding chairs and a Sears’ shower curtain for a backdrop. MAY 28, 1973 — a day that God had ordained before the foundation of the world! And even more exciting — YOUR NAME was also recorded as a part of this great company of witnesses to whom God has entrusted His GREATEST OFFENSIVE OF ALL TIME into enemy territory! I know some will take issue with this statement, but please show me in all of history a Voice like TBN that can literally cry out to multiplied millions simultaneously:
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”! John 1:29.
Ah the memories . . . the memories of mountaintops and valleys low! As I said in my book, Hello World, why God chose Jan and me, and all of us to this great mission, is a mystery known only to Him! Surely God has “Chosen the foolish things to confound the wise,” so that “NO FLESH should glory in His presence (1 Cor. 1:27, 29). God, and God alone, raised this great Voice up so that He receives all the praise and all the glory.
I have often likened this mantle to the story of Joseph and his “coat of many colors.” Surely this television calling has been our modernday coat of many colors. And, just like Joseph, our coat has spawned the jealous rage of socalled brothers, friends and foes! There have been times, as I said before, when this coat has felt more like a curse than a blessing! I have honestly begged the Lord to “TAKE IT BACK” as the burdens and the attacks from within and without came crashing in upon the shores of our very souls! But through it all we have truly learned the truth of that great hymn, “He Giveth More Grace When the Burdens Grow Greater.”
Yes, through the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father and the support of all of YOU, our great company of witnesses that no man can number, we have a MIGHTY VOICE that thunders the Glory of God — literally around the world!
To our wonder and amazement, God has given us over 20,000 TV and cable station affiliates, 76 satellite channels, long wave radio, wireless cable, direct-to-home (DTH) satellite dishes and Virtual Reality Theaters. TBN continues to be at the forefront of today’s technology and is taking the Gospel to the world through not only TV, but now through TBN Mobile! People worldwide can access all 14 of TBN’s family of networks — including iTBN, our new video on-demand archive of all TBN programs — through Android devices, iPhones, iPads, and other mobile platforms. And to top it all off, we now have the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida — an amazing theme park that looks and feels like the actual Holy Land! YES, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TBN!
So where do we go from here? Ah – I’m glad you asked! First of all, digital and high definition television is here. The FCC assigned all full power TV stations a second channel, which is now on the air. These new digital channels are compressed to broadcast up to 10 different networks at the same time! Yes, as I write this newsletter, the Church Channel, JCTV youth channel, Smile of a Child, Enlace all Spanish channel, plus our regular TBN PRAISE THE LORD channel are all on the air 24/7! Technology is moving so fast it literally takes our breath away. During certain hours, we will broadcast one truly HIGH DEFINITION CHANNEL and air our Virtual Reality Theater features over the air so breathtakingly clear it will look almost three dimensional! We also rejoice that the all Arabic Healing Channel and TBN Nejat TV, our Farsi language channel are invading the Middle East. Response is miraculous conversions from false religions to faith in the true and living God!
Beyond all this, the doors to the nations of the world are bursting open in ways we never dreamed possible. TBN’s long time affiliate, the Russian Broadcasting Network, is broadcasting full time in Israel. Thanks to our Russian TV network, the Israeli Knesset (parliament) issued an official trophy of commendation for service to the many Russian immigrants, as well as all the very mixed ethnic population of the Holy Land. Could this be the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi 1:5?
“And your eyes shall see and ye shall say, ‘the Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel.’”
Only the Lord knows, but one thing I do know: God is breaking down barriers, and is opening up our WHOLE WIDE WORLD to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!
Dear Partners, time and space do not permit me to tell of all the explosive growth of YOUR TBN throughout Latin America, Europe, Africa, and now Asia! Praise be to God, together we are fulfilling the Great Commission of our great Commander-in-Chief — JESUS CHRIST — to preach THIS GOSPEL to all the earth!
Jan and I can never repay you for being our faithful partners, lo, these past 39 years — but Jesus can, and will! Oh what joy awaits us all as Jesus welcomes us home with the most precious words of all:
“Well done good and faithful servant[s] . . . enter into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25:21
And because of our faithfulness, a great host who came to know Jesus Christ as a result of our witness, will arise to call us blessed!
Yes, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear TBN partners! The battles are not over yet. The greatest battles and victories are just ahead! Remember: Our mission is the whole wide world. If you will don your battle gear with Jan and me, ONE MORE TIME, I promise you the VICTORY will be the sweetest ever! And I can also promise you that our next 39h Anniversary will be rejoicing around the throne of God!
Yes, 39 years ago, as the news reached me that the FCC had granted our FIRST TV station — Channel 40 in Southern California — I rushed to my hotel room, fell across the bed and my Bible fell open to this precious Scripture:
“He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.” Psalm 55:18.
Jan and I cannot express in words our love for “the many” that are still “with us” as we enter our final season of labor. We will meet you — if not here, it will be “just inside the Eastern Gate over there”!
1973 – TBN’s first studio
1974 – First “Behind the Scenes” set
1974 – FCC grants license for Ch. 40
1975 – Ground breaking ceremony for TBN headquarters
1978 – Satellite station on the air
1982 – Paul and Matt in Beirut, Lebanon
1983 – New York station on the air
1991 – TBN begins broadcasting in Moscow
1994 – Meeting Pope John Paul II
2002 – TBN broadcasts in India
2004 – Paul and Matt in Baghdad, Iraq
2005 – Paul and Jan with Billy Graham
2012 – Church of All Nations at the Holy Land Experience