“When Satan, strong and fully armed, guards his palace, it is safe — until someone stronger and better-armed attacks and overcomes him and strips him of his weapons and carries off his belongings.” LUKE 11:21-22 TLB
Does the evil one have something that belongs to you? Tragically, most of us would have to say, “yes.” Ah, dear partner, read on! We are going to do some spiritual battle together! But, before we begin, the good news is this: Satan has to give it back! In fact, the Word declares if a thief is caught: “He shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house” (Prov. 6:31). Praise God — we are not just going to get our possessions back. Satan has to pay some interest — seven times what he had stolen from God’s people! Praise the Lord!
Before I give you the KEY to taking back your possession, let me give you a brief testimony that proves this great truth. Some of you were a part of this drama that began in 1978. A group of powerful businessmen filed a competing application against our primary TV station, Channel 40, in Southern California. Back then, we had only two stations: Channel 40 and Channel 21 in Phoenix, Arizona. The enemy knew if he could take our number one TV station from us, it would be the end for our TBN. For five long years we battled. We went through the agony of a formal FCC hearing — thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees. There were days when it looked like all was lost! Jan and I were trailed by private detectives, hoping to catch us in some error or wrongdoing. We actually began to recognize the surveillance team that often sat outside our home and trailed us many times! How silly the enemy acts at times.
I will never forget a Saturday morning, very early, about 5 or 6 A.M. I had recently finished my testimony in court, and the outcome of this hearing and the future of TBN were still very much in question. Suddenly, the presence of the Lord entered our bedroom! Jan was still sleeping, but I was awake and completely aware of her presence to my left. A peace and joy so indescribable overwhelmed me that I actually felt I was floating three or four feet above the bed! The voice of God spoke so clearly, it was the same as audible, “The yoke of the oppressor is broken.” This sentence was repeated several times, after which the feeling of spiritual exhilaration continued for some time. I knew in my spirit the battle was over! The confirmation came the very next week. Facts had come out in other testimony which completely disqualified our opponents and Channel 40 was secure! Praise the Lord!
But, now, as Paul Harvey used to say, “for the rest of the story”!
As I said earlier, we battled five long agonizing years to save Channel 40. Days of labor too painful to describe. Sleepless nights when it seemed morning would never come. Am I reading some of your mail? You’ve been there, too. I know it by the Spirit of God! Well, dear one, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5)!
Praise God, the thief has been caught. He has to give back your health! That son, daughter, husband, wife, or other loved one is yours in Jesus’ name! Your wealth and prosperity is coming back, too. Praise God, “the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous” — hallelujah! “Hold on my child, joy comes in the morning”!
So, did God restore what was stolen from TBN? Remember, in 1978 we had two TV stations. This nightmare ended in 1983. In those 5 years, God gave us over 300 TV stations — praise the Lord — more, much more than seven times over! And, now, TBN has over 20,000 cable and TV stations worldwide, over 80 satellite channels, 26 full networks proclaiming the gospel in the languages of the nations, iTBN covering the world with video-on-demand from TBN’s 40-year library of programs, and TBN Mobile blanketing the globe with 10 TBN and affiliated networks streaming programming to iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. Glory to God in the highest! Yes, praise God, the thief has to restore all he has stolen — with interest!
So, “What is the key,” you ask? Does all of this return of stolen goods just happen automatically for the child of God? No! Let’s read the Word: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). Jesus fully and forever defeated Satan at the cross, but too often we forget that Satan has to be dispossessed and kicked out of our lives and property. Jesus gave us the keys to the Kingdom—Satan is an old illegal squatter! We have to serve papers on him and evict him in Jesus’ name! “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth (Matthew 16:19). So how do we do that? Here it is: We have to give away the very thing we need! If your child is lost, go win some other mother’s child and watch God send a laborer and win your son or daughter! Is your health gone? Go lay hands on a sick person and believe God for his or her healing and watch yours come! Jan came out of depression by obeying God and praying with and ministering to another pitiful young woman who was suffering from depression. Jan did not feel like doing this. In fact, she had to make herself go do it by faith. But, as a result, my little Jan was delivered from deep depression. Do you need finances, a job, a home? It is so simple we often stumble over our answer: We have to give what we need!
“For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more and running over.” (Luke 6:38 TLB)
Some of you are saying, “But, Paul, I don’t have anything to give!” Yes, you do — you can make a faith promise to God. By that, you are simply saying, “God, as you supply my faith promise or pledge, I will be a faithful steward and will give it into your Kingdom.” As I have often said: If God does not supply it, you do not have to give it. But, you see, I know He will! Praise the Lord! TBN was built on faith promises. TBN is proof that it works! As John Avanzini once remarked, “TBN was built primarily by people who had NO money”! Praise God, the Lord supplied it as His people stepped out on the Word of God by faith. But, remember the key to the “KEY.” John Avanzini went on to say, “If your gift or pledge does not impress you, don’t be surprised if it does not impress God!”
“Whatever measure you use to give — large or small — will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38 TLB)
Yes, dear partners, the fight is on! It is time to regroup for another drive into enemy territory this month, November 3 through 10. We will have another meeting of the “special forces”—be sure to tune in for new marching orders! New fronts are opening up with new battles raging at home and abroad. Praise God, no longer are we a ragtag group of mercenaries on the defensive. We have heard the call of our Commander-in-Chief:
“But the saints of the most high shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” (Dan. 7:18)
Jan and I are counting on you to go with us one more mile. The Middle East is calling, and the Arabic language Al-Horreya Network and TBN Nejat TV covering Iran is answering! The Jerusalem studio is well under renovation. We will be taping Praise the Lord programs from this studio in a few days. Our London studio will be dedicated this month and will begin producing programs for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Two new studios are under construction here at home — Kansas City, Missouri and Moline, Illinois. Then there’s Russia, Australia, Asia, Spain . . . time and space does not permit me to list all of the doors swinging wide open!
Begin, now, to pray for this great month of Praise-A-Thon. Ask God what your part should be. Then, fill out your pledge card and make or renew your pledge for the coming months. Yes, the fight is on — come on dear partners — we are “stronger and better armed!” Let’s take it all back in Jesus’ name!
Jan and I love you and will join you in giving our best in Jesus’ name!
Paul, Matt and the TBN team in the new London studio — TBN‘s production hub for Europe and the Middle East.