Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"With many other words he warned them and pleaded with them" Acts 2:40. How few do that today! Most preaching is of the variety which is scared to warn and plead. What's the root of this? Is it rampant humanism in the body of Christ? Is it compassion turned sour and into "devil petting" or is it a lack of faith and knowledge of the fate of the unconverted? I'm all for compassion...genuinely!. I'd be lost without God's compassion but if we decouple compassion and love from the bloody message of the cross we immediately are in heresy. John 3:16 and 17 shows God's love manifested in the crushing of His only Son...the only way the Justice of Holy God can be satisfied. When I was recently preaching on Grafton Street about this "Bloody Gospel" someone spoke to me after, one to one, and was offended by such mention of violence. He thought this was similar to a radical islam message. I explained that the only blood this referred to was the innocent blood of the Lamb of God and that other human blood was useless as it was unholy and a worthless currency for redemption before Holy creator God.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Today a man in his late forties went to Howth with a single intention: To end HIs life. He was heartbroken over a rejection by his daughter and was also living a life on methadone. He cried out in prayer and then changed his plan. Hours later he was walking in Temple Bar and met myself and 3 brothers lifting up the Holy name of JESUS. He was bitter over a previous church experience but God gave opportunity to minister to him, pray for protection, minister the gospel of salvation, healing and deliverance and invite him to a place of healing to which he promised to come tomorrow. He may come...or he may not but my sincere prayer is that the destroyer would not have him but that he would fall on the rock which is Christ. That is one side of the story...the other side is that thousands of others today looked the other way and rejected Jesus. Who will cry with me over these two stories?
The Photo is of George Whitfield preaching at Leeds in 1749...I look forward to meeting that chap!
Friday, November 14, 2008
We have turned the Church into some kind of hand out welfare programme where people come and Watch! No wonder it's half dead! The five fold ministers job is NOT TO DO ALL THE WORK but to equip the Saints for Work (Read Ephesisans 4:11-13). We should have more activity outside than inside! I am an evangelist and my job is to equip and train people to share their faith...not to have them sit back and watch me do all the work myself. a Healthy body is a functioning body not a "Couch Potato". I love hearing gifted teachers and preachers but God's plan is that I'd be trained by them and get up and out with this training. We need bums off seats not just on seats!!!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Adam and Eve were God focussed before sin and then after sin they became self focussed, becoming aware of their nakedness and hiding from God. What Gospel are we bringing to people today? Is it the message about the holiness of God, the depravity and lostness of man and the sufficiency of the death of the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ...or...is the message that they are beautiful and need only to realise it! I first heard this message from my brother about 25 years ago when he was a Hare Krishna and spoke of the need for "self realisation" that we are in fact gods!! Sadly I am hearing this message again in Christian circles when I should be hearing the gospel!
We are all made in God's image but boy has sin corrupted all and seperated all from Holy God. That's why all religions utterly fail. They all deal with "self improvement" but what improvement to imperfection can produce a holy person whom could live with a Holy God for a second or eternity? Sin has a price and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. The justice of God must be satisfied. I truly deserve eternal hell. Why? Because I broke the perfect law of God! The last unholy guy in heaven got turfed out and took a third of the angels with him. Since that day no more unholy are getting in. We don't need to be telling people they are "good" when they are in fact monstors of iniquity whose only hope is a humble sorrow and repentance and turning toward God in faith in light of Calvary...Anything else is Humanism.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
While I was getting a lift home from my son's rugby match yesterday by my friend he complained about his sore elbow. He even mentioned the possibility of needing surgery to have it fixed. He had been lifting heavy things from his attic following a clear up at the end of a messy divorce. Some object had slipped but his pal was below so instead of instinctively letting go he held on and did painful damage to his elbow.
I said I knew a surgeon who was free of charge, could operate without side effects and could do it all instantly! When we got home and were having a cup of coffee in my house I again asked if he'd like Jesus to heal him now. I showed him Jesus' promise in Mark 16 "they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover" He admitted to being a skeptic on these matters. I said God is not looking for faith from him at this time. He then asked me "what if I don't get healed". I said we'd talk about that later if he didn't get healed.
I then held his elbow and asked the risen Christ to heal him. I felt a small heat and minor vibration then and I knew God was touching him. I then asked him to flex his elbow and lift up something. At this stage he went "Bug eyed" and testified to a complete healing in amazement. It was then that I got to clearly explain the difference between religion and a living faith in the risen Jesus who proved his divinity by His resurrection. To God be ALL the glory. What I learnt from this was the way the heart is opened by the miraculous. Now I'm HUNGRY!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Time itself will vanish in heaven I believe. We only use time down here because we need a measuring stick for the brief "vapour" before eternity so we can wisely rest, plan and be good stewards of the opportunities and resources God gives us. Jesus was never frantically carrying around a massive list of good works to do. NO. He simply acted in obedience. Clearly that's our call too. I don't know about you but I know for me the challenge is HEAR God. How can a kid obey his parent if he can't hear them!
My dear friend Ray Shiels, pastor of Every Nation Church in Dublin went to be with Jesus this week. He was one who recklessly obeyed God and thereby inspired many. I miss him but rejoice at the thought of him in the presence of Jesus. God bless and surround Caludine, Jack and Sam. Read the tributes on Wolfie's blog at http://wolfinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/tribute-to-my-hero-friend-ray-shiels/#comment-1200 (cut and paste this url into the browser window)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Man's plan: Enslave others in debt if you can get away with it. God's plan: The Jubilee (Read Leviticus 25) where debts are purged on a periodic basis. If debts are not purged (wiped) periodically then they will wipe themselves in due course (toxic debt they call it). Like all violations of God's principles there are consequences when ignored. A wee bit of other news caught my eyes recently "The World Health Organisation and UNAIDS, the UN agency that co-ordinates the global fight against Aids, said there was compelling evidence that the operation can reduce infections among heterosexual men by up to 60 per cent." (Times 28-3-07). I'm not suggesting us lads do anything dramatic but I love when "science" thinks they've discovered something new which was already written by God Himself.
Peter the fisherman spoke of nuclear physics (2 Peter 3:10) when under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The writer of Hebrews spoke about quantum physics and the binding force of the atom in Hebrews 1:3. David wrote of "the paths of the seas" in Psalm 8:8 thousands of years before Matthew Maury plotted them for the first time in the 1800's (His inspiration was indeed Psalm 8!). God's word is full of Gems, many yet to be unearthed but the primary gem is the purging not of debt but our sin by the bleeding and dying of a chap who was entirely innocent (indeed the only ever innocent one) Jesus Christ. Wow! He will give you a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Haven't posted much of late.The reason is because I have not been fishing for souls but have been ministered to by God almighty and built up following a number of trials my close friends might know about.
If your cousin and greatest supporter had his head chopped off because a wicked king because he made a rash promise during a moment of seduction and manipulation at a drunken party ...how would you feel? More to the point if you withdraw to a private place and then had crowds following you looking for something would you not be tempted to tell them to get lost for a while?..Not so Jesus (Matthew 14:14) "He had compassion on them and healed their sick". Guys...the pity party is officially over! The needs of the lost have not gone away...and nor has God's compassion towards them. He wishes none to perish but ALL to come to repentance and the knowledge of God through Jesus.
Photo shows Leonidas' wife lifting high His Holy Name in Burundi.
Monday, September 01, 2008
The Creation moments website had a fab article today. Look lads..wake up and smell the coffee!! We have let the athiests and humanists whip the foundation from under our noses as we have let them put Genesis on the same footing as Santa Claus! Lord have mercy on them but they are in for some awful shock when Truth is revealed in person in the clouds!!
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)
What does the Bible's teaching on creation have to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Well, let’s see what happens to Christ's work of salvation if creation is untrue and God actually used evolution. Death in the animal kingdom must have come into the world long before the first man and before sin. If death is not a result of sin, why did Christ have to receive the penalty for sin by death on a cross? So, in challenging man's origin, evolution challenges the origin of sin and its effect on man. Thus, evolution challenges the very heart of Christ’s work! The Bible tells us that all Scripture was given to make us wise unto salvation. That includes Genesis. John's Gospel tells us that all things were created through the Word Who became flesh.
We see that Word in action in Genesis One when we read, “That Word Who made us and everything is the very same Word Who came and purchased our salvation.”
So Genesis, right from the very first words, is actually the beginning of God's revelation to us of the Person and work of the Son of God - our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we reject God's revelation about His Son in Genesis One, we have only part of a Savior - and only part of Christ is no Christ at all!
And the photo... The woodpecker hits the tree so hard and fast that if he didn't have amazing shock absorbers he'd crush his skull. If he didn't have special claws on this feet he couldn't stay on and ...wait for it...if he didn't have an amazing long tongue wrapped around cavities in that amazing shock absorbing skull he couldn't lick up the prey through the newly bored hole!! Now O Evolutionist tell me which awesome bit of these 3 evolved first!! What a designer our God is! Have a fab day. Ant
Monday, August 11, 2008
Here's a wild thought: Jesus rose from the dead! I have had people on the street get all serious and sincere on me, tilt their head and stare at me with "loving" concern while they softly and seductively ask "Do you really believe that?". Oh how the foul breath of the enemy permeated the mind and messages our unguarded thoughts in suggesting that we never really thought deeply enough about this cornerstone of our faith. Then I have felt the warm envigourating breath of God well up inside me as I proclaim to the "enquirer" "I do..really!".
Now fast forward your thoughts to an average religious service in Ireland or the western world where a professional minister with a head education exceeding his heart education, consumed and bedevilled with a philisophy of man centered humanism and a view of "god" created in man's image. Such a man or woman has an authority bestowed on him by fellow unregenerate sin enslaved man as oppose to by a Holy God. I have heard such ministers embrace the ways of this world in a shocking way and misrepresent God almighty with astonishing ignorance of the truth. They believe in the universal salvation of all..a most deadly and dangerous doctrine in the light of the fact that upon death ( a 100% statistic) eyes will be truly open to the depravity of man and the Holiness of God and His address (heaven). If Jesus walked the earth again today like he did before He would be again crucified by the Irish and other nations...don't doubt it or flatter yourself with the thought that we are "better". No we are better at covering up our rottenness, that's all.
We need the message proclaimed: The reconciliation of Love and Holiness. Jesus Himself took God's wrath when he clothed himself with all the sin of humanity. Your judgement was on Him..Aha...now you see why the resurrection matters! It proves Jesus was God, had no sin of HIs own and can forgive you while the justice of Holy God is satisfied. Without the shedding of (His) blood there is no forgiveness...No wonder the devil hates the resurrection!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
From HIV positive to HIV negative...Yes our wonderful Lord Jesus did it last week for Paul in our neighbourhood. He turns our minus to a plus by the cross. Nothing is too hard for HIm. The enemy was defeated by the cross of Calvery when the only innocent man ever Jesus gave His life as a ransom for you and for me. Every demonic power was publicly shown defeated in the spirit realm...be sure of that! Holy God found a way for us to be changed (through repentance and faith) and cleaned up! Dont reject such a wonderful gift. Call out to Jesus now for mercy and new life and dump your pathetic religious efforts to please him.
The photo comes from some UK city where a brother is lifting up a sign I printed from my computer. He must have met Oliver somewhere but I was mightily blessed to find the photo on Flickr. Seed is being sown throughout Europe by this simple sign! John, my evangelist friend,went to the famous San Fermin Bull Running Festival in Spain and after the orchestra finished a piece he boldly came from behind, stepped on stage, sang a hymn, shared a word and left handing out Spanish Gospel Tracts which were printed by his pal Dick in Ireland, with the sound of police sirens in the background...To God be all the glory!
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Value is determined by the price one is willing to pay for something. The Mona Lisa is often called "Priceless" because it is so valuable. A modern abstract canvas painting may seem worthless to many but if it came into your possession you would be foolish to throw it out and not put it up for auction if there were others who were willing to pay hundreds of thousands of Euro for it!
How much is your life worth? You might think its worthless, just a fat unwanted oversized carbon footprint which arrived in a meaning less way and would be better off absent from this sacred planet!...Think again!... You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Wonderful Creator God and just as the value of a work of art is determined by the amount people are willing to pay for it much more your value is determined by the fact that God our Creator BANKRUPTED HEAVEN by sending HIs beloved son Jesus to take your place in suffering God's wrath against sin and purchasing for you eternal life in right clean relationship with HIm. Bin the sin and surrender to Jesus if you have not yet done so!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Temple Bar Square 1am Sat 14th June 08: "Ahh go on let me play your guitar and sing a song" the lady asked. "NO" I firmly said. "She's brilliant...go on let her" the friends asked. "This guitar is only for Jesus...Do you know Amazing Grace?", "I do she said". So I played 4 verses of the awesome hymn and she had a great crowd stopping voice. It must have been around 50 people who were standing by the time she sang the last verse...I knew what was next...but noone else did! Before the applause cut in at the end I raised my voice and spoke of Grace: "God's Riches At Christ's Expense". I spoke for about 3 minutes on how valuable each person was...Value being determined by the price one is willing to pay. I told of how God bankrupted heaven by paying His beloved son for YOU (pointing at a person in the crowd) and you (at another!). He shed his blood to pay the high price for us to come back to the Creator forever. As I began this message at least 2 people tried to stop me. They liked the performance but not the preaching. They thought it was their Gig but they were wrong... it was God's. Only eternity will tell if someone heard the truth that night...For Jesus I'll gladly make an eejit out of myself..Hallelujah! Ant
Friday, June 13, 2008
As we spoke to the 3 street wise lads on Grafton Street this evening we cut straight to the point...This wasn't about religion but Relationship. I could drink all I wanted, take drugs all I wanted, live loosely all I wanted...truth is that when Jesus give me a new heart I didn't want any of that. I then declared that Jesus was alive and can heal the sick today. I asked one chap if he had a sore ear, thinking the Lord had impressed this thought on my mind...but not being sure! He said no but he had larengitus and was amazed that I seem to know he was sick.."How did you know that? " he asked me and then turning to his pal he said "Did you tell him?" . Surprisingly the pal also had a sore throat and was indeed a bit hoarse. I asked them both if they would like me to ask Jesus to heal them and they agreed. So as I lay hands and one and asked Cian to lay his hand on the other we prayed for a miracle. The pal said he felt better and looked a bit amazed while...guess what...the other guy said he felt just the same.
We said goodbye soon after that but as we again gathered to pray for the chaps in their absence we had a sense that God touched them and we again asked our wonderful Lord to touch the chap who was yet to be healed.
Healing is dramatic and wonderful but we all know that the greatest miracle is that of the new birth and the changing of a heart of stone to a heart of flesh...Let God get all the glory! Next fishing trip ? 11pm Temple Bar Friday night. Thanks form your support!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
"He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise across the temple courts" Mark 11:16. How often have I carried "baggage" or "merchandise" into God's presence? God wants me to come just by myself before Him and not to trust in anyone or anything apart from HIm. I have bought the merchandise of "reason" and "the world" and foolishly thought that I can still serve him unfettered! It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Walk free in HIm!
The photo shows Cian on Grafton Street tonight losing his life but getting blessed in the process and making an eternal impact on the Thursday night shoppers! Please note the new "UPCOMING OUTREACHES" Section to the left where I advise on the next time I'm out. Txt me on 087 9795454 and either join in or watch (and pray!). God Bless you. Ant
Saturday, May 17, 2008
"Who is the most important person in your life?" I asked the man after him spending the last 15 minutes forcibly telling me that the message of the Gospel is "Loooove". "My mother" he answered. "That's idolatry...It's good to love your mother but to put her before God is to break the first commandment!". Earlier in the evening I asked another chap "Do you think there was ever a time that Jesus sinned", "Sure he sinned" replid my friend. I then looked him in the eye and with pointed finger said "That a lie and the the devil is the father of lies. He was the innocent lamb of God who was slain for your sins and mine".
When I consider the incredible power and simplicity of the gospel (the innocent dying for the guilty) I realize that we need to make sure that people understand that Jesus was truly innocent as we are all truly guilty. As long as souls are separated don't stop outreaching! Ant
Monday, May 05, 2008
As soon as I mounted my 2 foot high stool at 10.30pm last night in Temple Bar, with the name above all names lifted high and the guitar strapped across my back, I knew I was in for a riotous time. A group of revellers started shouting back but I, with the higher elevation and superior angelic backing, answered them back. About a hundred gathered to hear the encounter and stayed, with great interest to hear that there is no forgiveness... without the shedding of the innocent blood of Jesus. Kenny, the Irishman who preaches daily in Manila Phillipines was with me and he was not used to such irreverence for Jesus. Where sin abounds grace abounds!!
Later on while witnessing to a french atheist who was not short on words about his opinion on all things biblical I quietly listened..not to him but to the Holy Spirit while I asked Him who knows all men for a Word of Knowledge. Was it a sore knee, leg arm or side? " No" I sensed the Lord saying "but his chest". I cut across his speaking and asked "Do you have a pain in you chest". Instantly he went silent and wide eyed as he stared in shock at me. "God knows everything about you and He wants you to know Him personally. Jesus paid the punishment for you." I said, or words to that affect. He then moved on...stunned and silent.
God has His people in various parts of the world bring the gospel to the unchurched on the street...Please join us for the harvest is rich while the labourers are pitifully few. Don't feel condemned by this call but challenged. I asked Kenny how he started evangelising and he said that after he heard his pastor complain that he had so many tracts but no one to give them out he gingerly took 2 and passed them out with great nervousness....the rest is history for this Irishman on the streets of Manila (see photo)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. (Isaiah 43:25 amp). He forgives and gives us new life NOT for our happiness...but...for HIS glory! Let us together wage war on Humanism and all its ugly tentacles which has permeated christendom. Are we guilty of mixing the potent Gospel of Jesus Christ with the nullifying traditions of man in his pursuit of "peace and happiness". Yes God gives this happiness (in HIs time) but if our focus is anything short of His glory are we true servants of God? God is love but if we separate this love from HIs Holiness and Glory than I fear we are not loving but lusting after our own happiness. Remember the difference: lust is self centred while love is other centred.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
God has called us to be Soldiers, Athletes and Farmers...all at the same time. See 2 Timothy Chapter 2. During wartime I dont doubt that battle weary front line soldiers might look at each other and ask "Why?". During those early morning winter training sessions in the lonely pool I'm sure the swimmer said to herself "Why?". When the farmer sees his potato crop ruined by unseasonal rain and finishes plowing the destroyed crop into the ground he must have said "Why?". We are struck down....but not defeated. The dark dark hours at Golgotha were but 39 hours from the glorious ressurection. Hallelujah. Ant
Saturday, April 12, 2008
10 minutes before and 5 yards away from here in Temple Bar this afternoon Jesus healed a chaps sore throat and demonstrated that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Later a young teens sore legs were healed..To God be all the glory!! Ant
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I read today about a debate held years ago in a liberal Catholic school, presided over by a Benedictine monk about God's existence. It read " The evidence was decidedly in favour of the view that there was no God; the arguments went far beyond the obvious: If God was all powerful, he would not have stood by in the face of Auschwitz, Third World Hunger, Hiroshima..." I thought to myself how common this view was but also how Unbiblical and therefore unsound.
After God created He said it was Very Good. Did this involve the Lions savaging the young Roebuck or the horror of a diseased death to man or animal?..I think not. The world we see today is not the world God created but a corrupted version of it. Death is normal in an abnormal world. Yes the beauty does shine through in many ways but the contamination or corruption is the result of man's sin and the resulting entrance of death and decay of behaviour and environment. Many Christians are soft on Macro Evolution. They believe that God used evolving generations to get to Adam and Eve. If this was so then death and decay already existed when God warned man of death being the result of rebellion. It also means that GOD MADE DEATH in the same way he made life.
God is no liar and when he said in Genesis 2:1 "Thus the Heavens and the Earth were created" He meant it. He created the world perfect and he did it before he made the sun, moon and stars. He made the birds before the land animals, and the whole creation in 144 hours. True science supports this as does true application of His word. Denial of this leads to a view of God as the creator of evil who rightly deserves blame when things go wrong. The Gospel is "The innocent (Jesus) dying for the guilty (us)" . the incorrect modern view is that we are innocent and He is guilty....Wake up guys and smell the coffee!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
After an evening of downloading bits, saying yes to a myriad of check boxes and venturing into uncharted electronic waters without a clear map I managed to upload some audio (see sidebar called "Messages the devil doesn't want you to hear"). Pastor John Ahern of All Nations Church, Smithfield, Dublin and Paris Reidhead are the first to grace this new audio section of my ever changing blog. Enjoy and be blessed...
Monday, February 04, 2008
Imagine a city where the people of God come together from different churches and repent of building their own Kingdoms and praying that boats will draw alongside each other to draw in the harvest! Wow!! On Friday night the first Arise Dublin revival prayer meeting was had and hundreds attended. The Photos show 14 leaders of different churches on stage receiving prayer! What a sad sight in hell...the anointings are being mingled and the city will be lost to Satan! GO to arisedublin.com for details on the upcoming meetings from now till 16 March.
We are in a war and a united effort is required to carry out the Lord's victory against the devil and his cohorts. As in the Second world war when the allies united for a common cause so too THE ENTIRE CHURCH need to be motivated to do their part to win the lost. If God's plan was only to bless you he'd have promoted you the minute you were saved but instead He has a call for YOU to reach the lost. Lift your eyes beyond the parapet of your church and see the vast multitude of the walking dead...all in mortal need of new birth. GO!!! In Ephesians Chapter 4 you will see that the Evangelists job is not to do all the Soulwinning but to Equip the Saints for Works of Service. How better can you serve your King than lead somebody to HIm.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Today on Grafton Street the Word of God was proclaimed publicly by way of preaching tract distribution and one on one witnessing. The team was assembled by a series of text messages and mobile phone calls. The organization was simple and lightweight but the message was not! Some listened with interest many ignored and failed to stop. Why I ask myself is there such indifference to a message that will be remembered for eternity either in Hell with regret or Heaven with thankfulness? I often think the spiritual climate needs to change as does the passion and unction of the preachers as does the comfortable arrogant attitudes of many. May God give us grace to make the message of the cross more urgent and vivid and cause the true state of peoples hearts top be expose before a holy and loving God who seeks repentance.
A German brother who joined us today told us after that in Austria there are now more Muslims than Protestants. Immediately I said to him that that was probably because the Muslims are getting out there while the church sleeps. For a fab video on the topic of the complacent church acting as a pleasure boat and not a lifeboat! Cut and paste the following address in your web browser address window http://www.fullflamemovie.com/screening-room-sea.htm Be blessed by Jesus and be a blessing for Jesus. Ant
Sunday, January 20, 2008
God spoke to a brother in Ghana, Africa to come to Ireland, a country he knew nothing of and today I can testify as I laboured for Jesus with this dear brother that God had again prepared a good work (Ephesians 2:10) when we prayed with a science student from UCD who humbled himself before the King of Kings, asked forgiveness and invited Jesus to lead and guide for the rest of his days.
I dearly love evangelism and learning from Jesus as I go. "You can't trust a book written by men" they say of the BIble very often. My answer is "If God is God surely if He wants to get a message to us He is well able to do so" . All scripture is God breathed...but the traditions of man are not trustworthy, indeed Jesus said "You nullify the word of God for the sake of your traditions!" . I know these truths can be learned in a church or classroom setting but they become more vivid when the Spirit of God whispers them to your ear on the street when you need them.
Photo is of Leonidas my street preaching friend who was with us in Galway a few months ago. He is now back in Burundi. Pray for him that he will get work and that God will bless his evangelism ministry. Ant
Friday, January 04, 2008
Certain messages have deeply impacted me and it is with great delight I can recommend and offer this message by Paris Reidhead. Simply go to the "MP3 Audio Downloads" on the left and click on the message. To download to computer or iTunes right click (PC) or Ctrl + click (Mac) on the MP3 tab. Paris Reidhead himself wrote about how this message came to be as follows:
In over fifty years of Bible teaching and preaching "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" is the only message that I feel constrained to explain how it came to be preached.
During a Bethany Fellowship Summer Conference in the mid sixties I was preparing to speak at the Tuesday morning Bible hour. Upon returning to my room after breakfast to meditate and pray about the message for that morning hour, I felt strangely impressed that I could not deliver the message that had been prepared for the session. Instead, I felt that there was some other message that was needed which I was to bring.
After prayer, the message that came to mind was one on which I had begun preparation for the ministry at the church in New York City of which I was pastor at that time. My notes were not with me, but were in a file folder in my study. An empty envelope was on the desk in my room, on the back of which I wrote the scripture texts to be used and one or two ideas that came to mind. With the envelope in my Bible marking Judges, Chapter 17, and my self utterly cast upon the Lord, I went to the auditorium where between four and five hundred people waited to hear from the Lord through me.
I remember praying, "This morning I am utterly cast upon You because I am not really prepared." In my heart I seemed to hear His response, "Well is that so bad, already" (being from New York City it was given in an idiom I would understand.)
I delivered the message and gave an invitation. Shortly the altar across the front of the auditorium was filled with broken people seeking God.
The summer conference was soon over and I returned to New York City and the ministry there.
About ten years later, one of the Bethany Fellowship staff was in Washington, D.C., where we had moved and from where we still minister. His word was, "Paris, I want to tell you that God has repeatedly used your message "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" in my life".
I didn't really know to what he referred, for I had never preached that message again. The substance of it occurs in other messages, but the exact message itself was preached only that once.
A week or two later Harry Conn from Rockford, Illinois was in Washington. He invited me to have dinner with him. In the course of the meal he said, "I buy that message of yours 'Ten Shekels and a Shirt' by the dozen to give to people. God is really using it in lives". My response was that if you have a copy, I would like to have it sent to me so that I can find out what it is I have said. In a few days the cassette arrived.
Since I don't have a tape player in my office, I put the tape into the Sony dictating machine on my desk and listened through the little playback on the hand-held microphone. The element of distance in terms of time, and the distorted sound through the miniature speaker, let me listen to the message with no real awareness of who was speaking. From time to time I felt like exclaiming, "That's right! I wish I had said that!" Then it dawned on me that it was I.... no, not really. I realized that on a Tuesday morning during a summer conference, God had been able to get His message across because of my utter and complete helplessness.
Be sure of this, I take no credit for anything and everything that is good and a blessing from the message. In the past sixteen years several thousands of taped copies of this message have been sold and many more thousands of copies have been made from the ones purchased.
I have never preached this message again, nor will I. This message has not been transcribed and printed, nor will it ever be. Here is the message just as the Lord, Who chose to use Balaam's donkey, was also able to use another who was utterly dependent upon Him.