November 2001 Newsletter

VOLUME XXVIII • NUMBER XI

THE BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS

“FOR NATION SHALL RISE AGAINST NATION, AND KINGDOM AGAINST KINGDOM: THERE SHALL BE FAMINES AND PESTILENCES AND EARTHQUAKES IN DIVERS PLACES. ALL THESE ARE THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS…” Matthew 24:7, 8

“WHY, WHY, WHY?” is the question I think I must have heard a thousand times as the glut of news reports and commentaries flooded our TV screens for days, and now weeks after the terrorist holocaust of September 11. From disbelief and denial, to numbness, to agonizing sorrow, and finally to almost uncontrollable anger – we all went through the entire gamut of human emotions as we gazed at the surreal, almost twilight zone of the most horrific act of terrorist carnage ever perpetrated upon our nation, our America!
It is human nature to want to know more than just WHY, but WHO the guilty culprits are, and rightly so. The answer to who is very clear – Moslem extremists who hate the Jews and also America for supporting the state of Israel. The blood feud between the Jews and Arabs goes all the way back to Isaac and Ishmael, but that is another whole story. The lingering question still remains as to WHY!

Like me, you probably heard the question many times, “Why did God allow such a horrible tragedy?” Some actually accuse God Himself for directly causing the act as judgment upon wickedness and sin in America. Even some Christians were pointing fingers at the gays, abortionists, pornographers, adulterers, on and on, ad nauseum.

Let’s get one thing straight right here – when God finally does send judgment on sin, and He does, there is never any doubt as to who did it! When God got through with Sodom and Gomorrah, all that was left was a crater 50 miles wide! He also sent angels to get Lot and his family out before the fire of God’s judgment fell. Also, the word of the Lord to Abraham was – He would spare the wicked cities if even ten righteous men could be found in them! New York and Washington have multitudes of righteous God-fearing people in them.

We had planned to have a grand premiere for MEGIDDO, but we could never have imagined the tragic events of Sept. 11! Instead of a premiere, we held a night of PRAYER! “The beginnings of sorrows”… yes, but NOW, more than ever, we must GO QUICKLY and share the message of HOPE in Jesus Christ with the world. God is counting on us – He gave us exactly the right TOOL to share His message – MEGIDDO!
No, God did not cause the horror of terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. And by blaming specific sinners, or groups of sinners, we only drive them away in anger, even further from the grace of God that we seek to reach them with.

So, did God know, and could He have prevented it? Yes – so, why did He not prevent it? Ah, dear Partners, this brings us to the gut-wrenching truth of WHY. To put it simply, the Church of Jesus Christ is to blame. Now, before you faint and need the smelling salts and wonder if Paul has lost his marbles or backslidden, let me explain. Yes—

“THE ANGEL OF THE LORD ENCAMPETH ROUND ABOUT THEM THAT FEAR HIM AND DELIVERETH THEM.” Psalm 34:7

As we gathered to pray for our nation following the tragic events of Sept. 11, Dr. Robert Schuller shared a word that resonated with all of us: “This attack on America is NOT from God!” America is the greatest missionary voice and Good Samaritan among all nations. Even THROUGH this attack, God is MULTIPLYING His blessing upon America – uniting our country and much of the world against EVIL, and sending the Good News of JESUS to the ends of the earth (thanks to many of YOU)!
And we also love to read:

“A THOUSAND SHALL FALL AT THY SIDE, AND TEN THOUSAND AT THY RIGHT HAND; BUT IT SHALL NOT COME NIGH THEE.” Psalm 91:7

I could quote many more precious promises of protection and deliverance, but it was our dear brother Benny Hinn, who pointed out that these promises are for those that “dwell in the secret place of the Most High.” Only those are the ones who may “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). If the Church, the true body of Christ, had been ablaze in revival fires, we would not have seen the horror of the World Trade Center fires! “Pretty drastic charge, Paul!” Yes, but I will be first to say I am partly to blame; but so is much of the rest of the body of Christ. The Word of God is clear:

“FOR THE TIME IS COME THAT JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD…” I Peter 4:17
I am confident of one thing for sure – this tragedy will drive us to our knees in prayer, indeed it already has, and will usher in a mighty revival of the Church, and with it, a mighty harvest of souls! Praise the Lord! As I told you the first word of the Lord that came to me, as I heard the awful news, was:

“SURELY THE WRATH OF MAN SHALL PRAISE THEE: THE REMAINDER OF WRATH SHALT THOU RESTRAIN.” Psalm 76:10

So, HOW will this terrorist wrath “praise the Lord”? Let me answer with another short story. When the Roman general, Titus, destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the terror and carnage of that event was far greater than the New York tragedy. A whole CITY was leveled, with thousands, young and old, mercilessly slaughtered. Read the account by Josephus, the Jewish historian, and you will be sick in the stomach! So how did God use the wrath of man in this horror? The Christians in Jerusalem, who escaped, were scattered to the ends of the earth, and, with them, the Gospel message of Jesus Christ!

I truly believe that in the same way, this terrorist attack on America will bring mighty revival and drive our witness as never before! Praise the Lord! Yes, we grieve and sorrow with those who lost loved ones – we pray that God will comfort and heal the suffering. We also pray that the grief of those who lost someone dear will drive them to the only Healer of broken hearts – Jesus of Nazareth. Amen.
And here, dear Partners, is where your TBN enters afresh. Jan and I pledge to throw our whole beings into this great harvest as never before! Dear God, it seems that we are already consumed with the stewardship of over 2,431 stations; 18 satellites; over 200 more permits to build new TV stations; and calls from foreign lands too numerous to mention! BUT WE CAN DO MORE! YOU can do more by praying for your TBN, and giving more to support the awesome new growth and expansion of this great NETWORK – this great VOICE FOR GOD that is touching every nation on earth with the GOOD NEWS! Who could have ever dreamed that God would someday give us TV stations; cable stations, both analog and digital; 18 satellites; DBS satellites; DTH satellites; wireless cable; MMDS cable; long wave radio; shortwave radio; a worldwide Internet station; and, now, a second whole TV network – The Church Channel! Merciful God, where does this explosion of technology end? I’ll tell you where – when the trump of God shall sound, and we, the true body of Christ, rise to meet our Jesus in the air!

Until then, the sorrows and pain of this world will increase. There will be more terrorist attacks. Just as our film Megiddo portrays, the horrors and terror coming will make the recent attacks look like a Sunday school picnic! Read it in Revelation and Daniel. But, precious Partners – LOOK – it is still day! We have just a short time to help bring in the greatest harvest of souls in the history of planet earth! Remember, Jesus said:

“THE NIGHT COMETH WHEN NO MAN CAN WORK.” John 9:4

Yes, the “BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS” is upon us, without a doubt, but also remember that Jesus said:

“AND WHEN THESE THINGS BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, THEN LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP YOUR HEADS FOR YOUR REDEMPTION DRAWETH NIGH.” Luke 21:28

Dear Partners, Jan and I need you NOW, more than ever before! Write us – let us know that you are standing strong with us. WITHOUT YOU, and your prayers and financial support, there would be NO TBN! We love you – our great big beautiful TBN family, and we’ll see see you all in Heaven, someday soon. Yes, for the world, it is indeed “the beginnings of sorrows.” But for us, it is the beginning of our redemption!