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  • Quotes By Famous People Who Believed the Bible

    George Washington – “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God or the Bible.”

    Thomas Jefferson – “I have always said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the Sacred Volume will make us better citizens, better fathers and better husbands.”

    Noah Webster – “The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evils which men suffer from—vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression slavery, and war—proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.”

    Daniel Webster – “I have read the Bible through many times, and now make it a practice to read it through once every year. It fits a man for life—it prepares him for death. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible our country will go on prospering.”

    Abraham Lincoln – “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man.”

    Charles Dickens – “The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”

    Samuel Morse (inventor of the telegraph) – “The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible. The grandeur and sublimity of God’s remedy for fallen man are more appreciated and the future is illuminated with hope and joy.”

    Charles H. Spurgeon – “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

    William McKinley – “The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book, and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.”

    Theodore Roosevelt – “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

    Woodrow Wilson – “There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as President, but I expect to find the solution of those problems just in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word of God.”

    Calvin Coolidge – “The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”

    Franklin D. Roosevelt – “We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic.”

    N. T. Wright – “The Bible is the book of my life. It’s the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by.”

    Herbert Hoover – “The whole inspiration of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ and the lessons of the prophets. To read the Bible for these fundamentals is a necessity of American life.”

    Dwight Eisenhower – “The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other Book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.”

    Ronald Reagan – “Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face. The Bible can touch hearts, order minds and refresh souls.”

    Historian Bill Cooper – “I spent more than 25 years digging into the Table of Nations [in Genesis 10 and 11], looking for a fault, an error, a false statement, or an historical inaccuracy. I found not one.”

  • The Most Amazing Book in the World

    Bill Rudge

    The Bible is unique among all books in the world, but it sits closed and silent in many homes. Some consider it outdated and offensive—even dangerous—or only for the uneducated or unenlightened. Yet this Divine Library of 66 books (39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) is anything but mute, archaic or insignificant—and is dangerous only for those who ignore its instruction and scorn its warnings.

    Numerous theologians, historians, doctors and scientists confirm that the Bible is divinely inspired: verified by remarkable historical accuracy, amazing archaeological discoveries, insightful geography, fantastic scientific facts conveyed thousands of years before science learned of them, incredible health and nutritional information, astonishing prophecies concerning Messiah’s first and second comings, undeniable evidence for the resurrection of Christ, eyewitness testimony of those facing persecution and martyrdom—refusing to recant their faith in His resurrection, practical wisdom for living, time-proven morality, perceptive judiciary laws. The Bible genuinely answers life’s questions of who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and solves the dilemmas of evil, sin, suffering, aging and death.

    The Bible provides knowledge and wisdom far beyond what the greatest minds could ever conceive. It is a literary masterpiece, with one central theme of redemption, written over a span of 1500 years by more than 40 authors (including shepherds, kings, priests, scholars, and prophets) on three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three languages (Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic).

    All Scripture “is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16) – literally “God-breathed.” John MacArthur comments: “Sometimes God told the Bible writers the exact words to say, but more often He used their minds, vocabularies, and experiences to produce His own perfect infallible, inerrant Word.” In other words, a Divine Author inspired the authors and oversaw the entire process while allowing them to maintain their own styles and personalities.

    The Bible is truly the most fascinating book in the world. It has held my interest and attention—amazing me for over 50 years. The more I study Scripture, the more I am impressed by its harmony, veracity, wisdom and revelation. Both Testaments bear witness of a promised Messiah—His first coming as our Savior and His return to establish a Millennial and Eternal Kingdom.

    Dr. Blythe Robinson, a friend and colleague now gone on to be with the Lord, said:

    The Bible’s durability transcends the centuries of attacks upon it. Its transforming power for good over the lives of all who accept it, continues. Few realize that it is the most expensive book in the world. It has cost the lives of untold thousands who gave their lives through the ages to preserve it and pass it on unchanged to us.

    The Bible is so easy to understand that a child can grasp God’s promise of salvation, yet so complex that a lifetime of extensive study will not even begin to delve the depths of its timeless revelations or discover the priceless jewels of wisdom contained within.

    The truths in Scripture and coming to know the One who inspired it have provided purpose for the searching, hope for the downtrodden and have transformed the lives of countless people throughout history—including mine and hopefully yours. Only a personal relationship with the Creator can truly satisfy a yearning heart as we await the day of our complete redemption and God’s creation being restored to its intended glory.

    Norman Geisler and Frank Turek wrote an insightful book entitled, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. I completely concur because it would take more faith for me to not believe in Jesus Christ! The miraculous interventions I have witnessed confirm and validate for me the reality of the God of the Bible. I would have to be biased, weak and foolish to deny the Creator and His Word. Surrendering my life to Christ has proven the wisest, strongest and most courageous decision I ever made.

    The Bible’s final authority is demonstrated in the fact that all of humanity will one day be judged by Jesus’ words (John 12:48). Begin today to navigate the depths of the riches of God’s Word. It will provide wisdom and hope throughout the remainder of your life’s journey and prepare you for eternity!

  • Super Shots

    Practice Makes Perfect

    There is so much stress and turmoil in the world today that Bill and his grandson, Lucas, decided to make a lighthearted video. Be assured, every shot was actually made (but we won’t tell you how many tries it took).

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
    For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • God Wants Firstfruits, Not ‘Lastfruits’

    Bill Rudge

    It was on the third day of my January fast, as I was strategizing when to begin my intense Scripture study and prayer time, that the Lord spoke to my heart. I was also contemplating how to focus even more time on Bible study and prayer each day in the midst of a hectic ministry schedule and with many projects we have been attempting to finish for several years.

    Suddenly, and unexpectedly, the Lord spoke to my heart: “I do not want the lastfruits; I want the firstfruits.” It was crystal clear. He was not asking for what was left over after all my deadlines, meetings and helping everyone in need was accomplished. He wants the firstfruits. He desires the “choice portion” of my time each day.

    Life has a way of overwhelming us. But it is good to be reminded to quiet our hearts and seek Him each day. As we make Him the priority of our lives, He will teach us what is really most important and reveal to us new and wondrous things by His Word and Spirit.

  • Achieving Maximal Results from Exercise and Fitness

    Compiled by Bill Rudge

    Motivation, commitment, determination, discipline and dedication are important elements for a successful fitness program. Your goal should not just be to get in shape, but to keep your body in the best condition possible by making health and fitness a lifetime commitment.

    • Before beginning any exercise program, consult your health care provider to determine the best course of action based on your age, level of fitness and health. You may have to use some creativity depending upon your physical limitations.

    Start slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of your workout. Remember, it took time to get out of shape; it will take time to get back into shape. Set goals that are realistic and monitor your progress to keep on track.

    • You can join an organized fitness program, get a personal trainer, exercise alone or workout with a partner. Choose activities you enjoy and use variety to keep your workouts fresh. Design a specialized program that fits your schedule, meets your needs and interests and keeps you motivated.

    Begin with warm-up and loosening exercises. Then do some gentle stretching, flexibility and balance exercises. Progress into strengthening and muscular endurance exercises which are designed to work every major muscle group (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) against some type of resistance. The resistance may be in the form of your own body weight as in push-ups, pull-ups, dips, squats and lunges; pushing your head against a soft ball or your fingers to strengthen your neck; using weights, dumbbells, battle ropes, flipping tires or other innovative exercises. The amount of resistance develops strength and the number of repetitions helps muscular endurance. Both are important. Give your body at least 48 hours to rest between strength-training workouts.

    Get your body moving: Walk or ride your bike in a park. Aerobic activities like walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming benefit the efficiency of the cardio-respiratory system by actually exercising the heart, blood vessels and lungs—enabling them to supply fuel and oxygen to the muscles. In order to improve and maintain cardio-respiratory fitness, a person should participate in aerobic exercises of moderate intensity for approximately 20 to 30 minutes four to six times a week. My personal style is to do brief stretching or cardio in between sets of resistance exercises so I am constantly moving during the entire workout to maximize time.

    Breathe: When lifting weights or doing pull-ups and push-ups for example, inhale during the less strenuous aspect of each repetition and exhale when performing the most difficult aspect. Research suggests that nasal breathing is more effective and better than mouth breathing during exercise. Also, drink lots of purified water.

    Health experts recommend drinking purified water before, during and after a workout. I usually conclude workouts with a recovery drink containing water with a variety of nutrients and protein. Your personal water needs throughout the day depend on many factors such as your health, level of activity and climate.

    • After any form of exercise, have a cooling down time such as gently stretching or walking slowly so your body can gradually return to its normal pace.

    • Consuming more calories than your body uses will result in weight gain. A combination of reducing calorie intake as well as burning excess calories through exercise and increased physical activity is the best way to lose weight, and keep it off. If your weight is satisfactory, then exercise to tone, firm and condition. Realize muscle is denser than fat, therefore, you may initially gain weight on the scale, but you will soon look and feel better. Also, eat a mostly plant-based diet rich in whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.

    • Devices and gimmicks that promise instant fitness with little time or effort, are usually a waste of both time and money. Regular, sustained activity, gradually increasing in intensity, is the best way to get and stay in shape.

    My fitness routine often consists of getting up early, and after Bible study and prayer, working out for approximately 30 to 60 minutes four to six days a week. The various regimens I have designed include stretching, balance, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises. Throughout the week I will implement a variety of fitness routines using natural resistance, weights, dumbbells, battle rope, rings or obstacle course, as well as incorporating bouncing on a re-bounder, punching a speed bag, kicking a heavy bag, jumping rope, walking, swimming or participating in recreational sports.

    Taking proper care of your miraculous body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, will provide numerous health benefits such as having more energy, feeling and looking better, being less prone to injury, dealing with stress more effectively and having a better, more confident attitude. Keeping fit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will also enable you to be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ.

  • Holy Land Pilgrimage ~ April 18-26, 2023

    Mount of Olives – view of Jerusalem from Garden of Gethsemane. Photo by Bill Rudge

    We invite you to come with us on an unforgettable journey to the land of the Bible. This will be Bill’s 11th trip to the Holy Land, and we have personally customized it for what we believe to be the best tour at the best price—maximizing both time and itinerary.

    Several people are already registered but we still have room for some more travelers. Prayerfully consider joining us on our 11th Holy Land Adventure for a life-changing experience. To receive a brochure, including itinerary and registration form, check the appropriate box on the enclosed envelope insert form or contact us at:

    brm7@me.com
    724-983-1223
    Box 108, Sharon, PA 16146

  • Obstacle Course Entry Teaches Most Important Lesson

    Entering the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle and Fitness Course under the pole.

    Bill has been privileged to train various sports teams, military personnel, new military recruits and many other youth and adults on our Ultimate Challenge Obstacle & Fitness Course. To enter the obstacle course, participants must bend down and go under a low wooden horizontal pole supported by two vertical posts. Bill tells them to look straight ahead toward the woods—where they see a cross. After everyone has entered the course Bill comments, “There is not a chance you are here by random chance. There is a God who created the heavens and the earth and He created each of you for a special purpose. The only way to come to know the Sovereign Lord of the Universe is to humble yourself before the cross.” They get this most important message before Bill takes them through many rigorous challenges on the obstacle course with several life-lessons.

    Ringing the bell after completing the obstacle course.

    Unlike Navy SEALs or SWCC (Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen) participants, who only ring the bell when they quit, those on our obstacle course get to ring a loud silver bell when they complete the course—but only if they have done so with courage, determination and a positive attitude!

    Several groups are already scheduled for the Obstacle Course this summer.

  • Motherhood

    by Jim Weikal

    The Bible has a high regard for mothers. From Eve, who is “the mother of all the living” (Genesis 3:20), through Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, Ruth, Hannah, Elizabeth and, of course, Mary, who after listening to the shepherds, “treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). Little did she know that one day she would watch the horrible crucifixion of her Son (John 19:25). After this devastating event, Mary set a Godly example devoting herself to prayer in the upper room with the 11 disciples, other women and Jesus’ brothers (Acts 1:12-14).

    Motherhood is very rewarding but with it comes the unknown and that unknown is the future. Mary did not know her Son’s future, but she had a firm foundation even as a teenager to deal with it. She knew the sacred texts, exalted the Lord, rejoiced in God her Savior, recognized His holiness, His mercy and His mighty deeds (Luke 1:46-54).

    I encourage all you mothers to face your children’s future with a firm belief that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9, 10). A righteous, saved mother is a powerful and beautiful woman in her family’s life!

  • Four Jumping Jacks (Whiz Kids) on Ted Mack 1961-Table Routine

    Four Jumping Jacks (The Whiz Kids with Ken Rudge, age 15) of the F.H. Buhl Club perform an acrobatic table routine on the October 1, 1961 Ted Mack and The Original Amateur Hour show.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
    For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Four Jumping Jacks (Whiz Kids) on Ted Mack 1961 – Floor Routine

    Four Jumping Jacks (The Whiz Kids with Ken Rudge, age 15) of the F.H. Buhl Club perform an acrobatic floor routine on the October 1, 1961 Ted Mack and The Original Amateur Hour show.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
    For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Health Quotes

    “If you ignore your health, it will go away.” Dr. Stan Harris

    “A man whose only goal in life is to seek riches will spend all his waking time finding ways to get more wealth, while neglecting his health. Then later in life he will spend all his wealth to try to gain back his health.” Author Unknown

    “You can willingly change your diet and lifestyle now, or one day you will be forced to.” Bill Rudge

    “Swallow your pride—it’s non-fattening.” David James

    “The best exercise for weight loss is table push-aways.” Author Unknown

    “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it never goes anywhere.” Wanda E. Brunstetter

    “The finest form of exercise is to touch the floor regularly with your knees.” Author Unknown

    “Many people have difficulty modifying the way they eat. Instead, I recommend they modify the way they shop for food. Keep all junk food, processed food, and tempting foods out of your grocery cart and out of your house. Don’t buy these foods. If you don’t have them readily available, you aren’t going to be as tempted to eat them.” Dr. Don Colbert

    “Do you eat fish with high mercury levels, like tuna, King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, or swordfish? If so, consider switching to the ‘SMASH fish’ (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring). Certain foods enhance detoxification, including: cilantro, the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, arugula, bok choy etc.) avocados, artichokes, beets, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, lemons, olive oil, and seaweed.” Shaklee’s Health Quest

    “To neglect the Creator’s instruction of taking one day off a week to rest and rejuvenate is a sure path to physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.” Author Unknown

  • Establish BALANCE for Optimal Health

    by Bill Rudge

    Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” He developed a balanced life. As believers we, too, should live a balanced life. God cares about our total well being.

    Physically, our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and should be “living sacrifices”—totally committed to the Lord in every aspect for His honor and glory. Mentally, we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—thinking about and dwelling on that which is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and praiseworthy. Emotionally, we must not allow negative and destructive feelings such as worry, fear, jealousy, bitterness, hate, revenge, greed, impatience and pride to dominate our lives. Instead, they must be replaced with the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Spiritually, we are created in God’s image and are to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, filled with and walking in the Spirit.

    …May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

    The most important principle of health is to “Fear [reverence] the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7, 8). Seek Him daily—preferably first thing in the morning. Find wisdom and strength for your day and your life in His Word and by His Spirit.

    Do Not Neglect the Physical

    Many Christians believe that exercise is of little value. They base their opinion, in part, on the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:8). When I was a new Christian and thought I would have to give up working out after reading 1 Timothy 4:8, a wise minister said to me, “The little that physical exercise does profit is very important, and not to be neglected.” Exercise is like tires on a car—small in comparison to the rest of the vehicle, but crucially important.
    From the age of 12 (1965) when I was in the seventh grade, I have been involved in some type of exercise regimen (except for the brief period just mentioned). My current fitness routine often begins about 5:30 a.m., and after Bible study and prayer, I workout 30 to 60 minutes, four to six days a week. I also get exercise from outside work at the ministry center, as well as pushing grandchildren around in wheelbarrows or pulling them in wagons on “adventures” through “secret” trails in nearby fields and woods.

    Bodily exercise and nutrition have temporal profit and are not to be neglected, but knowing Jesus Christ and His Word have eternal benefits! Paul counseled Timothy that godliness promises benefits for this present life and for the life to come; so I spend the majority of my time (approximately 40 – 60 hours a week) in Bible study, prayer and ministry and a minority of my time (about 4 – 6 hours a week) exercising and working out. The simple biblical principle that has proven to be of immense value in bringing balance to me is: “Focus on the spiritual while not neglecting the physical.” Since my priority has been making certain my “soul prospers,” the Lord has blessed me in many ways and given me abounding energy to accomplish the vision He placed in my heart. My prosperity is not in material wealth, but in His peace and joy that transcend life’s circumstances.

    A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30). A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22).

    Like an athlete preparing for his next contest, I discipline myself and am constantly training (exercising, eating nutritionally, fasting, praying, studying Scripture and so on) to be a more effective witness for Christ, to better handle the daily stresses of life, to be able to fulfill an oftentimes rigorous ministry schedule, to be prepared for the rigors of my next mission adventure and to participate in physical activities with my grandchildren. My goal is to have the health and vitality to fulfill God’s purpose and finish the race He has called me to run.

    You Have a Choice

    Since the psalmist declared, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it” (Psalm 139:14), why are so many Christians sick and not walking in health? In many cases it is because we violate biblical principles: we lack self-control; have poor health habits; neglect proper exercise and sleep; have unresolved stress issues; overwork or are lazy; expose ourselves to dangerous chemicals, pollutants or too much sun. We allow negative emotions such as jealousy, anger and bitterness to dominate our lives. Time is the great equalizer; one day we will pay for our poor choices. Just remember, the farther you walk down the road of bad health habits, the longer the walk back towards better health.

    Romans chapter 14 and other Scriptures make it clear that we have the freedom to eat whatever we want without endangering our relationship with Jesus Christ or our eternal destiny. Nevertheless, wisdom, spread throughout the pages of the Bible, reveals the importance of avoiding gluttony and other destructive indulgences. The choices we make and the things we do impact the length and quality of our lives:

    • How do you handle relationships, financial and job stress?
    • What foods do you consume?
    • Are you exposed to environmental pollutants?
    • Do you exercise or not?
    • What is your decision on the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs?
    • Do you engage in immoral behavior?
    • Do you allow anger, bitterness, despair and feelings of hopelessness to rule your thoughts and emotions or do you choose love, forgiveness, peace and joy?

    The fallout from these choices accumulate over time and determine the kind of life you will live, and even when and how you will die.

    Considering the toxicity of our bodies, minds and spirits, the fact that we live in relatively good health for as long as we do is a testimony of how wonderfully we are made.

    Optimum health is dependent on each person’s circumstances. It is taking whatever your situation and limitations are and seeking, with God’s help, to improve wherever you can. Some of you may have irreversible injuries or genetic disabilities to deal with. However, we still can choose to trust and honor God and seek, as far as possible, to implement His biblical health principles.

    Greater Health through Biblical Principles

    From personal experience and studying health and fitness for decades, I am convinced that Scripture contains superior principles for obtaining maximal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and the pages of our Bible divulge the ultimate way to gain health in this life, as well as the next! As believers in Christ, we await the blessed hope of the transformation of our physical bodies at the Lord’s return (Romans 8:18-25; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; Philippians 3:20-21).

    Do not settle for imitation or inferior health and healing techniques which could compromise your biblical convictions or seduce you from a pure devotion to Christ. Instead, walk in harmony with, and in obedience to, God’s natural health laws and biblical principles. You will achieve your inherent optimal health, living a better quality of life with increased energy to accomplish His will and be a more effective witness for Jesus Christ! When the world sees how your faith in Christ positively effects every dimension of your life, many will want to know the Christ you represent.

    Remember, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). As stewards of the amazing bodies, minds and spirits God has given us, we are responsible to establish balance by seeking to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit!

    Excerpted from Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ which is being updated and expanded for its fourth printed edition and E-book.

  • Are You Ready for REVELATION?

    The following is a brief visual synopsis of what is ahead according to the book of Revelation. Produced for Bill Rudge Ministries by Rich Miller.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:
    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.
    For Living Truth For Today (BJ Rudge) YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.
    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website: https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Q&A: Why is it important Jesus rose from the dead?

    Question

    Is it really that crucial to believe Jesus rose bodily from the dead?

    Answer

    Photo by Douglas V. Mastriano

    Yes. Jesus’ resurrection is the very foundation of the Christian faith! The Apostle Paul emphasized this point to the church at Corinth where some claimed there was no resurrection of the dead. Paul asserts that without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith:

    But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).

    1. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus predicted He would die and then three days later rise from the dead (Matthew 12:38-40; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 18:31-33; John 10:17-18). If He made these assertions and they had not come to pass, He would have been a liar or a lunatic—either insane or the greatest deceiver in history.

    2. All four Gospels testify to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). If He had not, the Gospel accounts would have lost credibility and been discarded as historically unreliable documents. They could not be viewed as primary records of the things that happened (Luke 1:3-4), but products of later editing and manipulation on the part of the early church.

    3. The central theme and testimony of the early church was the preaching of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-18; 4:10-12; 5:29-32; 10:37-43; 13:27-37; 17:2-3; 26:22-23). If the resurrection had not occurred, it would have been impossible for Paul and others to persist in affirming that it had, in fact, occurred—especially in the presence of hostile eyewitnesses.

    4. Without the death and resurrection, all Christians would still be in sin and under the judgment of God. Paul highlights this point to the Corinthian believers:

    For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).

    5. Finally, without the resurrection, no one would have the eschatological (the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates His authority over death. Those who place their faith and trust in Him have the assurance that death has been overcome and will be ultimately conquered at His second coming. As Jesus said to Martha who was grieving the loss of her brother Lazarus:

    I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (John 11:25-26).

    The resurrection is the crucial point of Christianity which either validates or discredits the Christian faith. This is why the apostle Paul stressed to the Corinthian believers that their faith would be in vain if Christ had not risen from the dead.

    Henry M. Morris and Henry M. Morris III summed it up well in their book Many Infallible Proofs – Evidence for the Christian Faith:

    If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.

    The Christian faith stands firm on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection: The incredible truth that has changed the lives of millions throughout history.

  • Prophecy Update: Examining Where We Are Through the Lens of Scripture

    As we currently face global conflicts, pandemics, and natural disasters, many wonder if we are close to the return of Jesus Christ. Pastor BJ addresses this important issue by providing a biblical perspective on how to understand the times that we live in.

  • Prophecy Update: Is Russia and Ukraine the War of Gog and Magog?

    UPDATE, part 2: Examining where we are through the lens of Scripture.

    As we continue to see war rage in Ukraine, many wonder if this is a sign of a future war foretold by the Prophet Ezekiel. Pastor BJ addresses this issue by looking at the details of this war in light of current events.

  • The Essence of Strength

    Bill Rudge

    Walk the Second Mile

    “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” – Jesus, Matthew 5:41

    Roman soldiers not only had to walk almost everywhere they went, but they had to carry heavy packs. Just as Roman soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross (Matthew 27:32), Roman law allowed military personnel to command those who were not Roman citizens to carry their equipment a prescribed distance, one Roman “mile.” If the civilian refused, he could be prosecuted under Roman law. But having reached the milestone, the civilian had no further obligation.

    The Jews would carry the Roman’s gear down the road exactly one mile. When they reached the milestone marker they would say, “This is as far as I go. I fulfilled what Roman law requires.”
    But Jesus said, “If they ask you to go one mile, go two.” Why? One reason is that when a Roman made them go one mile, the Roman was controlling them, but when they willingly chose to carry the gear one more mile they were saying, “You may have forced me to carry your load the first mile, but now I choose to carry it another mile.” Instead of being victimized, the Christian is showing himself the master of the situation.

    Turn the Other Cheek

    “Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” – Jesus, Matthew 5:39

    Turning the other cheek goes contrary to what comes naturally; unprovoked insult or injury prompts retaliation. It’s interesting that Jesus specified the right cheek. Since most people are right-handed, the only way they can strike someone on the right cheek is with the back of their hand. That is the classic insult or challenge: a backhanded slap on the face. The strike on the right cheek was a most grievous insult in the ancient world. The prophet Micaiah was struck on the cheek by a false prophet (1 Kings 22:24). The ultimate example, however, is Jesus Christ (Isaiah 50:6).

    Speaking of turning the other cheek, Jesus refers to the Old Testament lex talionis (law of retaliation). This law was not given to foster vengeance (the law explicitly forbade that – Leviticus 19:18)—but to limit the revenge one could take on another, preventing a blood feud which could easily escalate into retaliation far exceeding the original injury. In other words, if a man knocked out your tooth you could not break his neck for it (Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:19-20, and Deuteronomy 19:21). But now Christ is teaching us a more excellent way—that a Christian should forgive and show love, mercy, and control. If someone insults or slanders you, take no further notice of it; respond with love. By forgiving the injury you may prevent further hostilities and avert aggression.

    Give Him Your Cloak

    “If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. – Jesus, Matthew 5:40

    Old Testament law forbade a creditor to keep a cloak (outer garment) overnight (Exodus 22:26-27). A poor person might only have one inner garment with the outer garment serving as both coat and blanket. Christ actually advocates assertive behavior here—being in control of the situation. So you think you have control over me because you took my shirt? Well, here is my coat too, given of my own free will.

    There is a limit, however, to giving our clothes away. On mission trips, I usually give everything away that I bring, except what is worn home. During one mission trip to Haiti, outside the mission compound, I gave clothes away to several guys from nearby villages. Before I knew it there were over 20 guys and I quickly ran out of clothes! As I was going back inside the compound, one guy asked for my shoes, so I said, “Here, have my shoes.” Someone else wanted my shirt, so I said, “Take my shirt.” Another guy wanted the muscle shirt underneath my shirt, so I said, “Here, take it.” Then this little kid said to me in broken English, “I go to school and I got no socks,” pointing at my socks. So I said, “Here, kid, have my socks.” The only thing left was my shorts. I raised my hands and said, “That’s as far as I go!”

    Gouge Out Your Eye

    While Matthew 5:39 tells us to turn the other cheek, in that very same chapter it states in verses 29 and 30:

    If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

    We do not follow verses 29 and 30 literally, or we would all be missing a right eye and a right hand. Besides, Jesus did not literally turn the other cheek when an official struck Him in the face, but He did answer him assertively (John 18:22-23).

    Summary

    What is the Lord saying to us in walking the second mile; turning the other cheek; and giving away our cloak? He wants us to walk in love and forgiveness, not hatred, revenge, bitterness, and retaliation. He wants us to walk in discipline, and not be out of control. He does not want us to be victims, nor does He want us to victimize others. He wants us to walk in wisdom, not foolishness. He wants us to walk in victory, not defeat.

  • Evolution is True

    Bill Rudge

    The human massacre in Ukraine (having also prophetic implications) makes one realize that evolution must be true — “reverse evolution” that is!

    While humans definitely did not evolve from animals, it sure seems that some humans have “devolved” into animals. Putin and others will one day stand before the God they do not believe in or honor. However, there is hope even for murderers through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

  • Quotes To Reflect On

    Building Character

    “Character is like a muscle; the more it is exercised and used, the stronger it becomes. Every time we choose to do what is right, we build character and moral courage.” Senator Douglas V. Mastriano, PhD (Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired)

    Face the Worst

    “If you want to be the best you have to face the worst.” Quote from Ken Rudge for a nephew going through rigorous Special Forces training.

    What God Does

    “It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.”

    “It is not what you do for God, rather, it is what God does through you.” Authors Unknown

    Great Things

    “Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.” William Carey

    The Focus

    “You will find your purpose when you make Jesus the center of what you want to do and the focus of what you hope to accomplish.” BJ Rudge

  • Memories of Aunt Lucy

    Mary Green, a longtime supporter of BRM and the mother of Ann Ore who is on staff at the ministry, went home to be with the Lord recently. A few months ago, Mary had sent us the following note and the poem, Faith (following note):

    Dear Bill and Karen,

    Just a note to let you know how much I enjoy your newsletters, and how much I learn from them. This has been a very difficult time for many people, but it is during the stressful times that we grow in our understanding of God’s Word and in growing closer to Him, so I can be thankful for them.

    Enclosed is a poem entitled Faith, written by my dearly loved Aunt Lucy. She had a difficult life. She lived in a log cabin with no electricity or running water. I have so many happy memories of times spent on that farm. Aunt Lucy always sang hymns as she worked in her garden or worked around the house. Her book of poetry is called “Dream Petals” and many were written during World War II. May God be with you both. I continue to pray for you, your family, and your ministry.

    Mary Green, New Jersey

    Faith

    by Lucy Morgan Johnson

    If oft affliction I must bear,
    I do not mind, for God is there
    To strengthen me with faith anew,
    To bear my cross, and weakness too.

    Should darkness hide me from His sight,
    My faith will be a guiding light;
    To feel, and know that He is near,
    To lead me when life’s way seems drear.

    When pain and shadow ’round me loom
    That faith will help me pierce the gloom
    And it will be a beacon light,
    To guide me safely through the night.

    And should my path be rough and steep,
    I pray that faith will help me keep
    Life’s weary way without a sigh
    To feel that God is ever nigh.

    My future though I cannot see,
    Faith makes it seem so real to me;
    With hope, my bright and shining star,
    Enriched by love, that gleams afar.

    May my affliction be for me
    Stepping-stones, to eternity;
    And may I ever understand,
    That faith is but my Savior’s hand.

    And when life’s sun is sinking low,
    That faith will light my way to go;
    And when the veil of death is drawn,
    My soul will rise to greet the dawn.

    If dark the way, I will go on,
    With faith to meet the coming morn,
    And know that when night’s shades have flown,
    I’ll see the sun rise o’er God’s throne.

  • Weather or Not

    by Jim Weikal

    One of my first memories of helping at the Bill Rudge Ministries goes back to August of 1987. The occasion was a “Kids’ Summer Fun Event” on a Friday night from 7 – 11:00 p.m. Bill was reminded at the staff training session the night before that the weather report was calling for thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday. Bill calmly replied, “I’ve heard that before” and assured them that since the Lord had led us to have this outreach, somehow He would also provide good weather.

    By 5:00 p.m. on Friday the rain stopped so we could set up the equipment. By 6:00 p.m. the sun was shining brightly and continued to do so during the outside recreation. I recall that the number of kids was close to a couple hundred. All enjoyed the youthful games and supervised activities.

    Later that evening, Bill asked me to start a campfire for the kids. I remember looking upward with some skepticism because I anticipated raindrops flowing down at any moment. The ominous, menacing and rolling gray clouds hung low over the Ministry Center. It seemed they would burst at any moment. Bill said a quick prayer asking God to hold back the rain so he could finish the outside activities and feed the kids around the campfire before going inside the Ministry Center as previously planned.

    I finished preparing the fire for the kids’ enjoyment. As we answered the call to go inside, the rain started to fall slowly, then progressively increasing in intensity. Amazingly, no one got wet. Bill had on his schedule that at 10:30 p.m. we would go inside the building, and at almost exactly 10:30 it started to rain.

    The experience impressed me so much that I recall it even now, over 30 years later.

  • The Snow Run

    by Bill Rudge

    Keira, a college roommate of Bill’s daughter with a heart for missions, went on the snow run with Bill. Keira’s father is an amazing scientist who persevered through great challenges and obstacles to invent the MRI.

    The infamous Snow Run began one cold and snowy evening many years ago. I was at home, working on a message, late at night, and needed something at the ministry center – a distance of about 100 yards (the length of a football field). Instead of taking the time to put on socks and shoes, I ran barefoot over to the center. It was a challenge, an adventure and a time-saver, so I continued this practice through snow and ice many times. Even now, when guests visit us during the winter, I will ask if they want to do the Snow Run, and a few (especially my grandchildren) have run it with me, but most – though curious – decline.

    I love doing things like the Snow Run because the Lord usually gives me spiritual applications to share. For instance, a believer’s daily walk with Him is like the Snow Run in many ways.

    First, you “count the cost” and mentally prepare yourself for the ordeal that lies ahead. You consider the temperature, terrain and time of day or night to determine the level of difficulty. (Be sure to have the ministry door key ready or are able to make it to the obstacle course and then back to the house!) By way of parallel, Jesus said to count the cost before becoming His disciple. Before embarking on any endeavor in His name, you must be certain of being led by His Spirit and His Word, and that your heart is prepared for whatever might lie ahead.

    Second, as a barefoot runner in shorts and T-shirt, you must run swiftly and make each step count; you cannot look back lest you slip and fall. So too, believers must throw off every sin that so easily entangles and swiftly run the race of faith, making each day count for the Lord. We must forget what lies behind and press on with faith and determination.

    As a Snow Runner, you must not divert to the right or to the left because after a few steps, your feet start burning. In like manner, the believer in Jesus Christ must be focused on Him, not turning to the right or to the left lest the enemy divert, defeat and devour you.

    By the time you are halfway across the snow-covered field, your feet feel like cement blocks, then quickly go numb; you cannot stop or you may have to crawl back. Likewise, for a true believer in Christ, stopping or giving up is not an option – you must stay faithful until the very end.

    Running with little or no snow is even more difficult because the ground is covered with hard, uneven clumps of ice and dirt that hurt the bottoms of your feet. In the same way, living for Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God’s Word will hurt and hinder your witness and effectiveness.

    Although watchers may not realize the true challenge and difficulty of the Snow Run, participants in bare feet, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, quickly understand the fortitude required to accomplish this feat. (At night, when it is below zero, with a foot of snow on the ground and the wind is blowing hard, this is especially true!) Similarly, those who do not know the Lord cannot comprehend the commitment and sacrifice of the true Christian who must often show tremendous courage to face the onslaught of the enemy and stand – sometimes alone – in the midst of opposition.

    Approaching the ministry center parking lot, a burst of energy is needed to leap or climb over a snow bank several feet high left by the snow plow. Likewise, the believer will face many barriers and obstacles left to impede progress, but can be overcome through the energizing power of Christ.
    Jumping over the snow mound, you will slide across an icy parking lot. If you keep your balance, you won’t fall on the blacktop or crash into the steps or front door of the ministry center and injure yourself! As believers, we maintain a biblical balance by avoiding the extremes of legalism on the one hand, and liberalism on the other. We must not slip or fall by compromising our commitment to Christ, nor injure young Christians because of our complacency.

    Upon reaching the front door, your freezing hands will fumble with the key, sometimes dropping it, in an attempt to quickly unlock the door. So too, if as believers, we fumble when facing temptations and tribulations, we speedily ask His forgiveness, get up and press on to maintain our testimony.
    The burning sensation returns as you walk around inside the ministry center, trying to warm your feet on the carpet. You may not want to make the return Snow Run, but you have to. In the same way, once you give your life to Christ and your heart is warmed by His love, you must go out into an oftentimes cold world and share His love and truth with those who may not always want to hear.
    Finally, each step of the Snow Run takes you closer to your destination and the reward of warmth and comfort. Likewise, each day brings us as believers, closer to our eternal destiny and an everlasting reward.

    Since selling the former ministry center, I have modified the Snow Run – making it a little longer and more challenging. Now the goal is to run all the way to the monkey bars in the obstacle course, do a few pull-ups (if possible) then run back to the house with no halfway point to warm our feet! You sprint back to the house as fast as you can to alleviate the intense burning sensation and numbness of your feet; your lungs, straining for every breath, are also burning! At times, spiritual warfare in a believer’s life is so intense that we can feel the fiery darts of the enemy; only the shield of faith will protect us and the Word of God is our source of victory.

    Perhaps you will remember this story of the Snow Run as you see the Day of the Lord approaching or your time draws nearer to go to Him. May you be a conqueror who runs your race for the Lord with perseverance, leaping over every obstacle that hinders, remaining faithful to the very end and joyfully entering His eternal kingdom.

    Postscript: My summer challenge is to run to the obstacle course in bare feet through the hundreds of clover flowers populating our lawn – carefully avoiding bees collecting their nectar – and dodging “land mines” (animal poop). This puts me in mind of the challenge and adventure of living for Jesus Christ every day of my life! There may be unpleasant times, but in the end, we win – which makes all we go through for our Lord Jesus Christ well worth it!

    Excerpted from Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ which is being updated and expanded for its fourth printed edition and E-book.

  • Mountain Peaks of Bible Prophecy – Part 1

    by Bill Rudge

    To download this Podcast please click here.

  • Great White Throne Judgment

    Bill Rudge

    Artwork by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1982, 1992. Used by permission.

    A terrifying encounter – indescribable and beyond comprehension – awaits those who do not receive God’s provision of salvation. It is an inescapable event that every human being on this planet should soberly contemplate – judgment will one day be a reality to multitudes who remain in the valley of indecision, indifference, or defiance toward Jesus Christ, the only means for a restored relationship with the Creator.

    Ultimate and Final

    Scripture informs us that following Christ’s millennial reign on earth (during which believers will rule with Him) the Great White Throne Judgment occurs. The bodies of all unbelievers throughout the ages – even those whose ashes were scornfully spread hoping that God would be unable to judge them – will be re-materialized to stand before Him. Every person who is not part of the “first resurrection” will be part of this “second resurrection” – those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will be raised from the dead to stand before the Great White Throne Judgment:

    Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

    This Great White Throne Judgment is the ultimate and conclusive decision – bringing greater trepidation and eternal significance than any other decree throughout history. White typifies the perfect holiness and purity of God and assures that true justice will be determined and pronounced. There is no rainbow around this throne (unlike the throne in Revelation 4:3) nor any mention of the Lamb because the rainbow and the Lamb exemplify God’s grace, mercy, and redemption. At this judgment the Door of Salvation is closed.

    During the Tribulation period when Jesus opens the sixth seal, the sky recedes like a scroll when it is rolled up (Revelation 6:14). However, before this Great White Throne Judgment, earth and heaven (physical universe) flee away (disappear) from the presence of the One seated on the throne (Revelation 20:11). There will be no place to hide as people do with the opening of the sixth seal when they hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains (Revelation 6:15-17). The contaminated universe will be “uncreated” – going into a temporary nonexistence for God’s final judgment foretold many times in Scripture (Matthew 10:15; 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; Luke 10:14; John 12:48; Acts 17:31; 24:25; Romans 2:5, 16; Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; Jude 6).

    The Books

    Two books will be opened for every individual appearing before the Great White Throne Judgment. First, God will examine each person’s deeds as recorded in the Book of Works containing the record of the thoughts, words, and actions of every unsaved person who ever lived. The truth of the matter is that all have sinned, violated God’s commandments, and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Without Christ, no one is found worthy to enter into the Kingdom of a holy, just, and righteous God.

    Second, the Book of Life (similar imagery to the registry of citizens kept by ancient cities) is opened to see if the names of the condemned are recorded there. Since they did not receive God’s provision of salvation (those before the time of Jesus Christ looking forward to the coming Promised Redeemer and those after the cross looking back to Christ’s sacrificial death for the sins of the world) they must be forever banned from God’s presence (what many of them supposedly wanted anyway). Without having accepted Christ as Savior, they are without hope.

    There will be no excuses, no exceptions, and no exemptions; no future appeal from God’s final verdict. Anyone whose name is not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the lake of fire because they did not believe or receive God’s clear pronouncement:

    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

    Millennia ago the psalmist warned that the ungodly would not be approved in God’s judgment:

    Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous (Psalm 1:5).

    Jesus made an even more alarming statement that should make all of us stop and ponder whether He is truly our Savior and Lord:

    Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7: 21-23).

    Kneel or Stand

    You can kneel before Jesus Christ as Savior now or one day stand before Him as Judge. It will be far more fearful to stand alone before the Creator at the Great White Throne Judgment than it is to live for Him in our world today. When King Belshazzar of Babylon merely saw fingers from God writing of his impending judgment and the end of his kingdom on the wall, “his face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking” (Daniel 5:5-6). What will it be like to see God, your Judge, face to face, knowing that He is about to pronounce your eternal destiny?

    Those who reject Christ’s sacrificial death as their only means of forgiveness will discover the reality of Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Yet, today is still the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)! My prayer for you is that you make certain that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord, and that your name is written in the Book of Life.

    The Invitation

    Immediately following the Great White Throne Judgment, John saw a new heaven and a new earth and the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband (Revelation 21:1-2).

    Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city…. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the bright Morning Star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost (Revelation 22:14-17).

    The preceding is excerpted from Bill’s upcoming book on The Last Days.

  • Overcoming Sexual Immorality

    Bill Rudge

    Overcoming sexual immorality is like engaging in a lethal street fight: It takes courage and fortitude to stand up to such a formidable foe. The struggle is an all-out battle, a warfare so to speak, for your very life – your body, mind, heart, soul, and family.

    The illustrations and biblical truths contained within this book are intended to be like strikes and kicks in a brawl. Some will hit you squarely and hard while others may glance off. In a real fight you may need to use multiple strikes and hit vulnerable parts of the body to defeat a hostile opponent. Similarly, the principles in the various chapters are intended to hit every vital area possible, sometimes repetitively. Results will prove the decisive victory over your adversary.

    This book offers a path to victory for those who desire to be set free from sexually immoral behavior.

    Bill’s recently updated and expanded book on Overcoming Sexual Immorality is available as a free e-book through our website ( https://billrudge.org/store/e-books ) or for purchase through amazon.com.

  • Wimp, Whiner, or Winner?

    Are you a wimp, whiner or winner? Evaluate how you face challenges and difficulties!

    To view more of Bill’s videos on YouTube, visit https://www.youtube.com/billrudgeministries/videos.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • A Mark of True Love

    BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Self-control is a highly esteemed virtue in the Bible, but is no longer in today’s culture, especially regarding sexuality. The motto of our culture is simply to “enjoy the moment,” allowing our passions to control us. “If it feels right, then just do it” has become the defining mark in the expression of “true love” between a man and a woman.

    The tragedy that has resulted from this type of thinking has not only been the proliferation of STDs, unwanted pregnancies, extramarital affairs and divorce, but a culture of people who have never experienced the beauty of truly loving someone or being truly loved by another!

    In contrast to lust that seeks self-gratification, the Bible calls us to live a life of self-control (1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). The Word of God commands Christians to resist “ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12).

    A healthy relationship is not built upon self-pleasing lust, but upon self-controlled love. Self-control is a mark of true love and maturity because it reminds us not to look at another person merely as a means to fulfill our lusts and desires, but to seek in them a worthy and virtuous end.

  • Flee Fornication!

    The following is excerpted from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems from the Greek, Volume II, February 4. Used by permission.

    Paul urged the Corinthian believers to “flee fornication…” (1 Corinthians 6:18).

    “Fleeing fornication” would have been very hard to do in a city like Corinth! Corinth was known for its perversion and twisted sinful activities, as well as for its drunkenness. In short, it had a worldwide reputation for being a “party city” and a center for “sexual freedom,” where one could avail himself to the vilest of human instincts without any fear of others’ disapproval. The entire city was devoted to the sex industry; therefore, any kind of sex was considered acceptable and fair. Some have speculated that after Sodom and Gomorrah, Corinth may have been one of the most perverted cities in human history.

    This was the environment the Corinthian believers faced every day, and because they were so new in their faith, the lure of the world and the flesh still had a strong hold on them. Because there were so many sinful places in Corinth, it took concentration and serious planning for them to obey Paul’s exhortation to “flee fornication.”

    The word “flee” that Paul used in First Corinthians 6:18 is the Greek word pheugo, which means to run, to flee, or even to take flight. Paul is telling believers that they need to make a habit of running from sin! In short, the word pheugo means to run like crazy!

    In order for the Corinthians to obey Paul’s command, these believers had to make drastic changes in their routines. They had to change the places they frequented, the activities they participated in, and the people who surrounded them. If they were going to walk away from sin and stay free from it, they would have to deliberately avoid the situations that previously made it so easy for them to fall into sin.

    How does Paul’s message apply to you?

    For you to stay free, it may be necessary for you to choose new friends. You may need to make a break from the places where you used to spend your free time. You may need to quit watching the TV programs or movies that once were a big part of your life. It is possible that you may need to stop reading the material you once read. It may even mean that you need to discontinue Internet service (or add filters to block those sites) so you won’t gravitate to pornographic sites that keep luring you into their seductive, entangling web.

    Permanently fix your situation by removing yourself from the things and the places that have a negative influence on you. Taking this commonsense approach may be the answer to the prayers you’ve been praying to be free!

    If you are serious about your walk with God, you need to make every change necessary. I admonish you to take Paul’s words deep into your heart and “flee” from those things that have an adverse effect on your soul and on your spiritual life.

  • Woe to Those Who Call Evil Good

    by Bill Rudge

    Photo by Bill Rudge

    Virtually everything we once knew to be wrong is now considered right, and what was once believed to be bad is now deemed good. Our culture has strayed so far from God’s Word that people are blind to the lies that are deceiving so many. The prophet Isaiah accurately commented about such a reversal of morality: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

    In contrast to the corruption today, the apostle Paul admonishes:

    Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you…and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks (Ephesians 5:3-4).

    The apostle Peter admonishes:

    As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all your conduct….Abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead (1 Peter 1:14,15; 2:11; 4:3-5).

    Be Aware: Four Stages of Decline

    There are four stages through which those living an aberrant lifestyle could mislead people:

    Tolerance and Acceptance: Initially, they say they just want us to tolerate and accept their lifestyles.

    Endorsement: After tolerance and acceptance, they push us to endorse their lifestyles – which most have done.

    Celebration: After endorsement, they push hard for us to celebrate their aberrant lifestyles. Many are doing so.

    Punishment: Finally, they want to punish (removal from social media, lawsuits, loss of income, incarceration…) anyone who does not accept, endorse and celebrate their corrupt lifestyles.

    Conquer or Be Conquered

    Sexual immorality is not just a “disease” that will eat you like a cancer, it is sin. It is contrary to God’s intended purpose for His creation and needs to be, as Scripture says, “Crucified” (Galatians 5:24). Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature (Galatians 5:16).
    The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:5-8:

    Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things….

    If you do not overcome the sinful nature, be assured, it will overcome you. Control your flesh or it will control you. Be set free from your vices or be enslaved by them. Conquer your weaknesses or they will conquer you! They will bring you to ruin and hurt the many others you touch through your life and example.

    Path to a Victorious Life

    Why live a life of continual defeat, frustration and guilt when you can live an abundant and victorious life through Christ? God’s path may not always be easy, but it is the most rewarding – both in this life and the one to come. While overcoming sexual immorality can seem daunting, God will give you the strength to tear down the strongholds and to be all that He intended you to be – even in our sex-crazed culture.

    Open your heart to receive that which far surpasses any physical pleasure: a life of purity, peace, and power is worth every effort to obtain it. Sincerely repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Attitudes and actions will change as your mind is renewed by God’s Word (Romans 12:2). The fruit of the spirit – one of which is self-control (Galatians 5:23) – will develop as the power of God’s Spirit works in and through you.

    May your life be transformed to live victoriously – the victor in a great contest!

  • Wait Training

    As believers await our Lord’s return, we are learning a spiritual discipline to exercise patience which may be considered “Wait Training.”

    Several years ago Bill’s sister, Karen, bought him a T-shirt that was most appropriate for his circumstances at the time. On the front in bold letters were the words:

    WAIT TRAINING

    The Ultimate in Strength Training

    They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

    Isaiah 40:31

  • Astonishing Prophecies

    by Bill Rudge

    1880s Bible at BRM. The prophecies and descriptions in ancient Bibles are the same as today.

    Many astonishing prophecies in Scripture confirm divine inspiration and indicate how close we are to Christ’s return. We’ve selected just a few to consider.

    Globalism

    End time Scripture foretells the establishment of a world government (Revelation 13:7; 17:15-18; Daniel 7:23), a global economy (Revelation 13:16-17), and a universal religion (13:8-12; 17:1-2, 15).

    It is obvious that a scenario is unfolding revealing the creation of a global system of political power, economic control, military might, and religious unity. Just as Scripture foretold, we are rapidly heading toward a one-world government, a one-world monetary system, and a one-world religion.

    A leader will arrive on the world scene coming in the guise of peace and unity – supposedly presenting solutions for the world’s dilemmas. The book of Revelation identifies this person as the Antichrist who will take the reins of the world through deception and intrigue, ultimately leading humankind in a unified rebellion against the God of the Bible. The Antichrist’s cohort will be instrumental in uniting the world’s religions into an ecumenical movement tuned to eventually worship the Antichrist.

    Mark of the Beast (666)

    Revelation 13:16-18 makes known how the Antichrist and False Prophet will obtain and maintain control of this global society:

    He [False Prophet] also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast [Antichrist] or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.

    Temple in Jerusalem

    For 2,500 years (since 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple, taking Jews captive to Babylon) there was no independent nation of Israel. Yet the prophets foretold that end time events would focus in and around the tiny nation of Israel, and that in the middle of the seven-year Tribulation period, the Antichrist will desecrate the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul mentions in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 that the Antichrist “sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” John, in Revelation 13:14-15, reveals that an image set up in honor of the Antichrist will be given breath so that it can speak and that all who refuse to worship the image will be killed.

    The Two Witnesses

    What about God’s Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter 11? For centuries people were baffled by these verses about the entire world looking at their dead bodies. Yet the whole world is now capable of seeing their corpses displayed on the latest form of visual media. Revelation 11:7-12 provides the context:

    When they [the Two Witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast [Antichrist] that comes up out of the abyss [bottomless pit] will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified [Jerusalem]. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.

    The Two Witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days until they finish their testimony at which time the Antichrist is able to kill them. For three and a half days their dead bodies will lie in the street of Jerusalem as people from every tribe, nation, and language will look at their corpses. It is interesting that although these Two Witnesses are from God and empowered by Him, the world will be so undiscerning and unrepentant that they will despise and reject them. Many, many people – deep in rebellion against the God of the Bible – will rejoice over the deaths of the Two Witnesses and celebrate by exchanging gifts.

    Amazingly, this prophecy of the entire world looking at their dead bodies can now be literally fulfilled through worldwide television, global satellite transmission, and Internet technology.

    I have been in many villages around the world. Some of the places were so remote that the people stared at me because they had never seen a white person in real life, let alone someone with blue eyes. Yet even in these secluded areas there was usually someone – whether it was in a hotel, business, or someone’s house – who had a television or computer with people gathered around to watch events as they occurred around the world.

    Every Eye Will See Him

    Echoing the words of Daniel 7:13, Revelation 1:7 promises:

    Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

    How could the apostle John in the first century A.D. predict this universal viewing by his own inspiration? It would have been impossible without a true revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Flesh Will Rot

    Zechariah 14:12 gives a horrific description of the plague that will strike all the peoples who gather to go to war against Jerusalem:

    This is the plague with which the LORD will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

    Although this refers to a supernatural judgment by God on the forces gathered against Israel in the end times at Armageddon, it is eerily similar to what would happen to those within the radius of the detonation of a thermonuclear bomb. The faces and skin of the invading armies melt like hot wax dripping down a candle. While prophecies such as Zechariah 14:12 may have seemed like science fiction not too many decades ago, modern weapons now can cause its very fulfillment. And keep in mind that God’s spoken word (by which He brought the universe into being) is far more powerful than any nuclear explosion.

    The Earth Will Be Burned Up

    Second Peter 3:10-14 states:

    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire [melt with fervent heat], and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.

    These verses were once used by skeptics to disprove the Bible. How could there be a fire big enough to burn the whole world? People derided these verses before World War II, but after the emergence of nuclear weapons, able to melt the basic building blocks of matter itself, many began to see the potential for the fulfillment of these prophecies – even apart from God’s supernatural intervention. The nuclear weapons of today are many times more powerful than the two bombs which decimated Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.

    Prophecies Have Not Changed

    Should one think these prophecies are just a modern translation of the Bible or have been reworded to reflect our times, I have an 1862 and an 1880s Bible (long before any reasonable explanation for the fulfillment of these verses came to light) and they say the same thing. Likewise, the prophecies and descriptions in even ancient Bibles are the same.

    The Lord Wants None To Perish

    There is widespread awareness that some amazing prophesied events are happening on the world scene. Those who believe in Jesus Christ know that the Lord’s coming draws near. It would be wisdom for us to commit our lives to the God who inspired these prophecies.

    The Lord has delayed His coming because:

    The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

    Today is the day to make certain your heart and life are right with the Lord. Do not delay – the prophetic clock is ticking and nearing the midnight hour. Always be prepared to meet your Lord by way of death or rapture. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus!

  • A NEW LIFE RESOLUTION

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    The yearly ritual of setting New Year’s Resolutions is in full swing. Spending more time with family, getting into shape, quitting a bad habit or getting out of debt top the list. We make our resolutions with the best of intentions. Early in the new year we are like runners at the start of a race: excited to begin the race toward the finish line. However, a few months later – sometimes only weeks or even days – enthusiasm wanes as motivation diminishes, distractions divert us, pressure and time constraints weigh us down, and apathy overtakes us. What started as a noble endeavor, becomes just another New Year’s Resolution that will have to wait until next year to be achieved.

    While it is admirable to make changes that can affect our behavior and circumstances, as believers in Christ we need to make a New Life Resolution – a resolution that brings internal more than just external change; a change in our attitude – in how we see things – but more importantly, a change in our heart – in what we desire.

    A passage that I believe speaks to the heart of a New Life Resolution is Philippians 3:12-14. Addressing the church at Philippi while imprisoned in Rome, the Apostle Paul writes:

    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

    In this passage, Paul lays out the goal of the Christian life, which is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. He acknowledges that he has not yet attained this goal but details two steps he has taken to grow spiritually and help him in the process of becoming more like Christ. First, he forgets what lies behind. Paul recognizes that failures of the past cannot be hindrances towards achieving his goal of Christlikeness. Second, he presses on (moves forward) toward the prize. The Greek word for press was used of a sprinter, who ran his race with aggressive energy. This is important to keep in mind because most people fail in their New Year’s Resolutions. So we cannot be passive and idle in our efforts, but must press forward and not grow weary in our resolve to be more like Christ.

    Jonathan Edwards

    Many of you are familiar with Jonathan Edwards: he lived in the 1700s and is considered by many to be the greatest preacher and theologian in American history. He also played an influential role in the first Great Awakening, a spiritual revival that swept through the American colonies. What you may not know is that at the age of 18 he became pastor of a church in New York. Recognizing the seriousness of this call, and not wanting to waste the opportunity God had given him, Edwards wrote a total of 70 resolutions for his life. He used these resolutions not as a law to bind him, but as a compass to guide his life and to examine his spiritual progress. While I encourage all of you to read his 70 resolutions, they can be summed up in the following: “Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” In accomplishing these resolutions, Edwards identified two keys. First, he needed God’s help. In his own words, “Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.” Second, he knew that he needed to review them weekly.
    Like Jonathan Edwards, I have set forth resolutions for my life. In upcoming newsletters, I will share the 10 resolutions that God has impressed upon my heart so we can go through them together. Until then, the following are a few simple, but profound, principles to help you begin:

    Live a life of prayer (Colossians 4:2)

    Devote yourself to the study of God’s Word (Joshua 1:8)

    Be imitators of God in your walk with Christ (Ephesians 5:1-2)

    Commit to Him with your whole life (Matthew 22:37).

    Keep the Passion Burning

    Evaluate your priorities and goals right now. Do not let your intended commitment to Jesus Christ become just another resolution, indefinitely postponed. Instead of giving up, feeling beaten down or guilty, get back on track spiritually. Nurture and enhance your relationship with Christ so that even as trials and temptations take their toll, your motivation and enthusiasm do not wane.

    Instead of making merely a New Year’s Resolution, make a New Life Resolution – a lifetime commitment through the power of God’s Spirit, to make Jesus Christ the center of your life. Keep the passion burning throughout the year. If you notice the flame burning low, rekindle it and keep on going – until the very end!

  • Ultimate Challenge Obstacle & Fitness Course

    by Darlinda McDonald

    This past summer, Army recruits, Boy Scouts, Summer’s Best Two Weeks Staff and Volunteers, Boys and Girls Soccer Teams, JV and Varsity Volleyball Teams, Youth Groups, families, and many others, experienced the obstacle course challenge under Bill Rudge’s direction. We are one of a very few ministries that has access to the schools and the opportunity to work with and train military. The following articles describe a few of those experiences.

    Challenges

    When Sgt. Keiuffer Ritter and Army Commander Captain Erin Funkhouser heard about the Bill Rudge Ministries’ Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course, they were excited to have recruits gain a different experience. With rain threatening overhead, recruits from Beaver, Erie, Greenville, Grove City, Hermitage, Meadville, New Castle, West Middlesex, and Sharpsville descended on the obstacle course – and then the weather turned beautiful. Most were preparing to leave for basic training so Bill gave them a taste of what was to come. Other Army personnel present included Sgt. Gregory Armstrong, 1st Sgt. Aaron Evans, Sgt. Jacob Zimmerman and retired Sgt. 1st Class Tim McCall.

    The obstacles required a wide variety of skills and abilities that included strength, balance, coordination and memory. The recruits learned the importance of teamwork as well as competition. As always, Bill explained that the skills they used on the obstacle course – determination, courage, obedience, communication and faith – are the same ones they will need in life. Sgt. Ritter said the day went so well preparing the recruits for their journey in the U.S. Army that they are planning to return – which they did a few weeks later.

    Teamwork

    JV and Varsity Girls Volleyball teams and Boys and Girls Varsity Soccer Teams were led by Bill through loosening and stretching exercises, endurance and speed drills, relay races, navigating through the obstacle course, and other activities designed for physical conditioning and team building. The teams and their coaches enthusiastically and courageously faced each challenge and obstacle as they worked together encouraging each other to accomplish goals and build team unity. The head volleyball coach e-mailed: “It was great! We definitely will do it again and make it part of our conditioning next year. Thank you so much.”

    Mentoring

    When Pastor Aaron Christy of Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church recommended that the 1-to-1 mentoring program at Cray Youth and Family Services check out the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries for a group activity, Program Director Allisyn Wolfe was glad to do so. Each mentor is paired with a child between the ages of 6 and 18 to be a positive role model and friend. Mentoring works to support children as they overcome obstacles, rely on other people, and rise to new challenges; so this was a perfect place to experience all those things.

    The obstacle course provided opportunities for the youth to not only meet physical challenges but also to develop attributes such as trust, like when they were blindfolded and had to walk across a log aided by the adults or were guided along a path holding each other’s hands carefully following the leader’s instructions. Their listening skills were honed, remembering the detailed directions given at each obstacle. Bill encouraged the youth to try things they had never done before. Allisyn stated, “The most gratifying part for me was seeing the kids (and some of the mentors) who were reluctant to try things at first ending up being proud of their accomplishments. We always enjoy the activities and the way Bill presents them.”

    Special thanks to Bruce Adams, Darlinda McDonald, Bob Mild, Eric Nehlen, Mike Roy, Anneka, BJ, Lucas and Moriah Rudge, and Lily and Caeleana Smith for assisting Bill with the obstacle course this past summer.

  • Christmas Memories

    by Bill Rudge

    Merry Christmas from our family to your family!

    Photo by Kathy McGonigle

    It was December 1982. I locked the door to our bedroom to keep Tabitha (9) and BJ (6) out, while I checked out the racetrack we had bought them for Christmas. They were eager to see what presents I was looking at. I told them they couldn’t come in and to go away! A few minutes later Tabitha stuck a note under the door, “May I see one gift? Circle yes or no.” I circled no and said to not ask again!

    A few minutes later Tabitha and BJ were knocking on the door again. BJ disguised his voice to sound like his mother and said, “Bill, this is Karen, please open the door.” I pretended I didn’t know it was BJ, “Okay, honey, as soon as I put your gifts away.” They really got excited! “Karen,” I said, “ I’m almost done putting your presents away; I’ll get the kids’ gifts and lay them out to show you.” BJ said, “That’ll be great, honey!” Then they saw their mother coming, so BJ said through the door, “Hurry up, honey!”

    But it was too late. I let Karen in and locked the door. Almost instantly there was another knock at the door, this time BJ pretended to be his grandfather who was visiting from Arizona. In a deep voice he said, “This is grandpa, I have a cold, please let me in.” After everything was put away I opened up the door and acted surprised to see Tabitha and BJ.

    As the years went by they got trickier but we usually outfoxed them.

  • Conflicting Prophecies

    Bill Rudge

    There are three apparent contradictions concerning the promised Messiah that seemed impossible to resolve. A prophecy found in Micah 5:2 (seven centuries before the event) foretells that Bethlehem was to be the birthplace of the Christ (Messiah). However, we also read that God would call His son out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1). To make matters more complicated, it had been spoken by the prophets that He would be a Nazarene.

    This dilemma was resolved only in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Since Joseph and Mary belonged to the house and lineage of David, they were required to leave Nazareth and travel to their family’s town of origin, Bethlehem of Judea. It was during their time in Bethlehem that Jesus was born (Luke 2:1-7). Then, as a child, He was taken by His parents to Egypt to flee Herod’s massacre (Matthew 2:13-18). After the crisis was past, He was called out of Egypt (Matthew 2:19-21) and was raised in Nazareth, and thus called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:22, 23).

  • Messiah’s Birthplace

    BJ Rudge, PhD

    One of my favorite places in the Holy Land is the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. This place is special because it attests to the historical birth of Jesus and testifies to His true identity.

    Micah 5:2 identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. The uniqueness of Micah’s prophecy is fourfold: First, the Jewish chief priests and scribes recognized this passage in Micah as prophesying the Messiah (Matthew 2:3-8). Second, this prophecy highlights the exact city where Messiah would be born (Bethlehem Ephrathah). This was important because there was another city named Bethlehem (Joshua 19:15). Third, Micah declared this prophecy more than 700 years before Jesus Christ was born. Fourth, this prophecy was just one of many Messianic prophecies fulfilled during Jesus’ first coming.

    Bethlehem was more than just a place where Jesus was born; it helped to identify Him as the promised Messiah.

    The following is from “Turning Point Magazine” (used with permission):

    700 Years Before Christ

    When Jesus was born, there were three major continents known to scholars – Europe, Asia, and Africa. Asia was chosen, but Asia has many countries. Micah selected one country, Israel, with three districts – Judea, Galilee, Samaria. Judea was chosen, but Judea had thousands of villages. Yet seven hundred years before Christ, Micah pinpointed the very town of His birth – Bethlehem.

  • The Greatest Gift

    by Jim Weikal

    My dad worked hard in the steel mill and made good money during the 1950s. I had a loving home and Christmas season was a joyful time for me and my older brother. The one gift that stands out after 60 years is the red 16 inch Schwinn bicycle that leaned slightly to the left on its chrome kickstand. What a beauty! I didn’t even ask for one.

    My attitude towards gifts has shifted over the decades, and I can truly say I enjoy giving more than receiving. Like many of you giving is more about your spouse, the children, the grandchildren, seeing the joy, the smiles, and getting the hugs (my personal favorite).

    God likes giving gifts too. As believers, we know His greatest gift is Jesus Christ, who for the joy set before Him took on the form of a slave and dwelled among us (Hebrews 12, Philippians 2, John 1).

    The world doesn’t get it. They may have a gift, but not The Gift. You have the Gift and more! You possess an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, and reserved for you in heaven (1 Peter 1:4)!

    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christ-centered Christmas season. And always remember to stay prayed up, read up, and focused up because your Redeemer, God’s eternal Gift, is drawing nearer and nearer (Luke 21:28)!

    Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

  • Have a Blessed Thanksgiving

    The photo of this magnificent sky was captured over a small portion of our Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • The Schemes of Satan

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    A survey revealed that over half of those who watched the Super Bowl did so for the commercials. Advertisers are aware of this and are willing to pay millions of dollars for a 30-second spot. The persuasive power behind these commercials is in the images they portray for the manipulation of your mind into thinking you need their products.

    Does this scheme sound familiar? It should, because Satan used this technique in the Garden to seduce Eve. Once he got her to question what God said (“Has God indeed said…” – Genesis 3:1) she was vulnerable to Satan’s lies. She saw the tree was pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wise so she gave in to her fleshly desires and ate of its fruit and gave some to her husband (Genesis 3:6).

    Just like Adam and Eve, many people today fall prey to Satan’s deceptive ways. They allow their minds to be flooded with images that question whether God really knows what is best for them. If you want to avoid being another victim of Satan’s schemes, heed the advice of the apostle Paul:

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

    How do you renew your mind? By studying, reflecting, and applying God’s Word. When you do this you can stand victorious before the schemes of Satan because you know exactly what God has indeed said.

  • A Psalm of Life


    by Lucy Morgan Johnson

    The Lord, my shepherd, is ever near
    To watch o’er me, and I’ve no fear –
    He’ll quench my thirst with nectar sweet
    And give me daily food to eat.

    He’ll make for me a grassy bed
    On which to lay my weary head;
    Beside still waters, cool and bright
    He’ll watch o’er me till morning light.

    In paths of righteousness from sin
    He’ll cleanse my soul, without, within;
    For His Name’s sake, I will obey
    My Lord, my Shepherd, day by day.

    When thru’ the vale of death I go
    And shadows hang quite dark and low;
    I’ll fear no evil, for He is there
    To lead me with His tender care.

    His rod and staff will comfort me
    As I tread life’s path to eternity;
    T’will be my stay in time of need
    My Shepherd’s Hand, to guide and lead.

    And He’ll a table spread for me
    In presence of mine enemy;
    My cup of joy will overflow
    With oils of peace that He’ll bestow.

    And when I rise from earthly strife
    To start a new and fuller life,
    His goodness and His mercy, pure,
    Will evermore with me endure.

    Then with my Shepherd as my guide
    I’ll enter thru’ the gates thrown wide
    And step within my mansion door
    To dwell with Him, forevermore.

    The preceding poem, A Psalm of Life, is from the book, “Dream Petals” (copyright 1943) by Lucy Morgan Johnson and used here with permission from her niece, Mary Green. Mary is a longtime supporter of BRM and her daughter, Ann Ore, is on staff at the ministry. We hope you enjoy this insightful and inspirational poem.

  • End the Fright!

    Filling your mind with bad things,

    dark intruders to your life it brings.

    Terrors in the darkness, fears in your dreams,

    cold sweats at night, rooms filled with screams.

    But come to know Jesus, walking in the light,

    will give you His peace and end all the fright.

    Serve the Lord daily, with all of your might;

    the enemy soon will know he’s lost the fight.

    Bill Rudge

  • Don’t Be Afraid

    by Bill Rudge

    Photo by Bill Rudge

    When my wife and I are in potentially dangerous situations, such as walking down a dimly lit street or walking in a remote area during a mission trip, I tell her, “Don’t be afraid. Just stay close to me. I will protect you.”

    So too, the Lord tells us, “Don’t be afraid. Stay close to Me and I will protect you and be your Helper.”

    Hebrews 13:6 – “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear.”

    Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

  • Dealing With Fear

    BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Halloween is a holiday focused on the emotion of fear. While some people enjoy the adrenaline rush from walking through a haunted house, for others the ongoing daily battle with fear has kept them paralyzed in bondage.

    While occasional fear is something all of us will experience, the question is, how do we prevent this emotion from controlling our lives? Certainly, our mindset is important because what we perceive in our lives through the lens of fear, dramatically impacts how we will deal with reality. Also, realizing the strength and support we can gain from others is vital in helping us overcome our fear.

    The real key in dealing with fear is knowing the LORD our God Who is greater than anything or anyone we will ever face. Joshua was reminded of this as he prepared to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

    The next time you feel the emotion of fear holding you back, remember the words the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

  • Are You Hiding From God?

    BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Most of you are probably aware of the manhunt for Brian Laundrie, who was a person of interest in the murder of his fiance Gabby. Brian had eluded law enforcement until his remains were recently discovered. Many of us try to do likewise with God. Just as Adam and Eve hid in the Garden after they sinned, we try to keep certain sins hidden from God. Brian did not remain concealed forever; so too the hidden sins of our lives will one day be exposed. The Bible teaches that all of us will be held accountable for our words and actions in this life:

    God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad (Ecclesiastes 12:14); …everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light (Mark 4:22)…when the Lord comes, He will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives (1 Corinthians 4:5).

    The key question in those days of accounting (the Judgment Seat of Christ for believers; the Great White Throne Judgment for nonbelievers) is, will you be pardoned? God has provided forgiveness through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

  • A Quote by A.W. Tozer

    Photo by Bill Rudge
  • Make Your Home An Oasis

    Your home should not be laced with land mines – unexpected and shocking images that pop up or scenes which undermine your biblical convictions. Instead, your home should be an oasis and safe haven.

    You must evaluate your sources of entertainment and remove whatever is not profitable or dishonors the Lord. If you don’t, seeds will be planted in your children’s hearts that can grow and lead them down a path you do not want them to go.

    Caution and discernment concerning all forms of media – even “Christian” movies – is vital. We are living in a day and age when it is imperative to evaluate the content and message of every program or movie before allowing them in your home. Remaining faithful to the Lord and His Word must be your preeminent goal.

    Bill Rudge

  • Background on Revelation – 7 – The Millennium and Eternity

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Self Defense Demo by Bill Rudge with Biblical Insight

    Rare vintage footage of Bill Rudge doing impressive demonstrations with life messages at Summer Fest ‘84. A few of the children grabbed a front row seat on the ground while the large audience of teens and adults stood behind during the presentation.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Background on Revelation – 6 – Armageddon and the Second Coming

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • IMAGES in the MIND

    by Bill Rudge

    Everyone has terrifying dreams and frightening thoughts – even King Nebuchadnezzar said, “I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me” (Daniel 4:5). Living in the digital age exposes today’s generation to many undesirable images in our minds from an endless stream of sites and visuals. Feeling lonely or alienated from family and friends, needing to escape the drama of social media, being overwhelmed with the pressures of life, all escort multitudes daily into a cyber-world of movies, games, and virtual reality.

    Gruesome Violence

    Many people from their youth spend a lifetime filling their minds with frightening and disturbing images: graphic visuals of violent crimes, explosions, shootings, beatings, blood splattered people and walls, people being hunted down, tormented, tortured, maimed, raped, and murdered by crazed killers, wild beasts, monsters, vampires, wolf-men, flesh eating zombies, alien space creatures, and demonic-like beings, to list only a few.

    Every imaginable weapon and technique are used to inflict pain, kill, and mutilate. Scenes of terror such as vehicles and buildings being blown apart, horrific car crashes, pools of blood, people dangling over cliffs, trapped in tunnels or graves, or submerged under water are proliferating.

    Added to the amazing special effects of blood and gore are terrifying sounds and intense music. These vivid sights and sounds implanted in our minds can (and will if not immediately, then later in life) adversely affect our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

    The Fear Factor

    Young people and adults love to be scared, especially if they think they are safe. Viewing scary movies can be a badge of courage, so to speak. The scenes and sounds provide a kind of euphoric adrenaline rush from controlled terror in the security of being surrounded by friends in a movie theater or home. But what tantalizes the emotions in secure environments can result in traumatic flashbacks, memories, and nightmares when companionless or in vulnerable circumstances.

    Many youth and adults have told me of frightening images, terrifying apparitions, horrific sounds, oppressive thoughts, unseen presences in their rooms, paralyzing sensations of being touched, premonitions of doom while alone in their bedrooms at night.

    Young children recount being scared in the dark after watching a terrifying movie, a barrage of eerie visuals and words seared into their impressionable minds. Is it any wonder they are troubled by fear and nightmares?

    Some youth and adults have lain in bed in the “twilight zone” state between sleep and full consciousness, or been awakened from a dream with their hearts beating rapidly because of images in their minds, voices or sounds in their heads, or from the sensation of being touched by a person or entity in their rooms. Random involuntary images and words can invade the mind and disturb sleep like unwelcome intruders in one’s house.

    A diet of violent entertainment can have similar effects to the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of soldiers returning from war zones or persons having experienced a traumatic event. Even though most adults and teens claim to be able to handle the images, sounds, and emotions resulting from movies, many are experiencing prolonged negative stress, bouts of chronic anxiety, panic attacks, depression, confusion, and nervousness.

    Parents Beware!

    Besides the violence, there are other unfavorable elements. Consider the occultism, sorcery, mysticism; scantily clad or naked people, sexual encounters, lies and deceit portrayed in a positive way; crude, obscene, and profane language, and you get a glimpse of today’s mental diet through the media!

    The tolerance and acceptance of this is reflective of how far we have drifted as a nation and the lukewarmness of many Christians. God’s commands against sorcery, vulgarity, taking His name in vain, and licentiousness are completely ignored. No wonder so many young people are disrespectful, desensitized to violence, influenced by atheism, have an interest in the occult, and are sexually active. Many parents helped nurture this by neglecting Bible study in their homes and not placing responsible restrictions on their children.

    Parents who purposely, or unknowingly, permit their young children and teens to be tainted and seduced by unrestricted media will one day reap the undesired harvest of rebellion and heartbreak. Not to mention the potential victimization by predators that everyone faces today.

    I know it is a real struggle for parents (especially single parents) but you must rise to the challenge of providing wholesome entertainment and recreation for your children. Joy Lucius writes about the difficulty of doing so back in 2012:

    [S]earch for a book or magazine without profanity, vulgarity, explicit sexuality, new-age propaganda or demonic influences. Decent choices are limited – almost non-existent. The same scenario often plays out when parents shop with children for movies, games, music and toys. The retail world is a culture war zone, constantly attacking the minds and souls of our youngest, most vulnerable citizens. The same culture war constantly rages on the screens of American television, as well. Surf the channels for a family-friendly show to watch with young girls or teens. Violence, nudity, promiscuity in its wildest form, and every deviant lifestyle conceivable can be viewed on almost any given night on most mainstream media channels.

    “Be careful little eyes …”

    God gave you beautiful children with talents and abilities to be used for His glory. When they are repeatedly exposed to philosophies and worldviews that are contrary to His, it becomes increasingly confusing for them. The only way to resolve the dilemma is for their minds and hearts to be molded by God’s Word so biblical truth and principles are the foundation of their lives. Then they will be able to discern truth from error and not be deceived by distorted, perverted, or counterfeit beliefs.

    Melissa Henson states in an article titled “Be careful little eyes what you see” (afaJournal, September 2021):

    We know that what kids see influences behavior, and there are decades of research to support this. Kids exposed to more violent content tend to become more violent. Kids exposed to more sexual content become sexually active at a younger age and have more sexual partners over their lifetime. The advertising industry is premised on the idea that seeing an ad can influence consumer behavior.

    Alarming Trends in Movies

    Reviews of contemporary movies reveal that many are laced with vulgar, obscene and sexually explicit language, sensationalized occultism, sorcery, demonic entities and satanic powers. They display a plethora of suggestive and seductive sexual behaviors and pornographic images that mock, pervert and profane sacred things, and seek to attract viewers with unceasing violence. All of these are descriptive of the end times generation, many of whom according to Scripture will refuse to repent of their evil.

    When I spoke in Trinidad in 1989, the people in the villages were uninfluenced by the secular media. But when I returned 12 years later (one week before 9/11), things had changed drastically. I went to a large shopping mall and was amazed to see hundreds of young people with body piercings and tattoos – dressed like prostitutes and gang members. I asked my host, “Was this here before? Did I miss it?” I was told it only came in the last five years, because now they have cable TV; America’s movies and music completely changed a whole generation of the youth of Trinidad in a short span of time.

    Speaking to young people and adults a few years ago at Manhattan Beach (near Los Angeles) I told them that there is virtually nothing in Hollywood but death, destruction, and a dead end. Romans 1:28-32 gives an amazingly accurate overview of what is often being spewed out of Hollywood:

    God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; … they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    The day approaches when God’s tolerance of the wickedness corrupting this earth will finally cease. God will intervene in the world scene to judge sin and rebellion by bringing people to their knees – either in repentance or judgment. He is calling to His people:

    Come out of her [spiritual Babylon which represents rebellion, immorality, sorcery, and false religion] My people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues (Revelation 18:4).

    Your Soul Is the Prize

    Eons ago Satan rebelled against the Creator. In his rebellion, your eternal soul is the prize he seeks. His goal is to distance you from a pure, holy, and intimate relationship with the One who paid the price to redeem you. Choices made concerning your mental diet play a crucial part in determining who you are and what your destiny will be. So choose wisely! Your attitude, beliefs, worldview, and lifestyle are undeniably influenced by the clear or underlying philosophies conveyed in the movies, television programs, and commercials you watch, the music you listen to, the video games you play, and the Internet sites you visit.

    Let me ask you a few questions: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, why would you want to be entertained by words, images, and behavior that dishonor Him and are inspired by an enemy who opposes God and seeks to destroy His followers? Why participate in that which reflects a philosophy contrary to virtually everything God designed and desires for His creation? Why allow movies and programs in your home which plant wrong images in your mind, lust in your heart, and lead to compromise and harmful consequences? Why degenerate into corrupt cultural morals when you can live victoriously by biblical standards through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit?

    It would be in wisdom for you and your children to adhere to the inspired words of the Apostle Paul:

    Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about [dwell on] these things (Philippians 4:8).

    Replace the negative, fearful, and immoral images in the media today by discontinuing corrupt movies, disconnecting from unprofitable social media, and limiting Internet usage. It’s okay to be informed by the news but not consumed by it; that is a waste of time and energy, and may lead to unnecessary anxiety. Fill your life with positive alternatives and renew your mind by studying the unsurpassed wisdom and wonder of God’s Word. The following promise awaits:

    You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed [steadfast] on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3).

    The person whose mind is “stayed” on the Internet, social media, movies, the news, television programs, talk radio, or video games will be frequently stressed and depressed. The person whose mind is stayed on the Lord will have inner peace – even in the midst of difficult circumstances.

  • Background on Revelation – 5 – The Tribulation Judgements

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • Persistence In Prayer

    by Dr. BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    One of the keys to being persistent in prayer is to be patient. Abraham had to wait about 25 years before God fulfilled His covenant-promise that he would have a son. For me, it took about 15 years of prayer before I saw one of my wife’s family members put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Perhaps many of you who are reading this have also been in prayer about a situation for an extended period of time. Regardless of how long it has been, remember not to put a time limit on God; continue to be patient and persistent! You never know when God will respond, and you do not know what God may be doing right now in that situation. Regarding the family member I was praying for; I never knew until later, all that God had been doing in his life during the time I was praying for him.

    A quick word of caution! Persistence in prayer does not mean we always get the response we want. Paul understood this as he prayed three times for God to remove his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). Despite his pleading, God’s response to Paul is a great reminder to all of us: His grace is sufficient for anything we may face.

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    Persistence in prayer is not about trying to get God to do what we want. Instead, it is patiently waiting upon God to respond according to His will.

  • The Centrality of the Word

    by Jim Weikal

    Many Christian leaders dismiss the centrality of the Word of God; instead the central focus becomes programs – lots and lots of programs. In addition, pastors are counseled by church growth experts to trim the sermon, dismiss the doctrine, fatten the illustrations, lengthen the music, and spice up the visuals.

    But have you ever examined the church at Antioch in Acts? It was founded by men who were “preaching the Lord Jesus” and a large number of Gentiles believed and “turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:20, 21). The mother church in Jerusalem sent Barnabas there to check things out, then he went to find Saul (Paul) who is in Tarsus. He brings Paul back to Antioch and for an entire year the two men teach the Word of God (Acts 11:26). The Great Commission from Jesus is to make disciples of all nations and to teach them all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

    Remember, it is this church in Antioch that sent Barnabas and Saul on their first missionary journey to evangelize the lost, establish churches, and make disciples (Acts 13:1-3).

    I fear for the body of Christ today. If leaders do not return to the centrality of the Word to equip believers for the work, we might as well remove the pews and chairs and install adult-sized highchairs. As Jesus asked, “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

    Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

  • Background on Revelation – 4 – Mark of the Beast and Babylon the Great

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • What Really Matters

    by Bill Rudge

    I have spent time with many people who lay dying on a hospital bed or in their home. They didn’t care about material possessions or past accomplishments. Foremost in their minds and hearts was being prepared for eternity. And that was my main purpose in being there. Likewise, I want to both help prepare you for eternity and to live victoriously in this life.

    When we die – or when Christ returns – all our accomplishments, degrees, credentials, awards, accolades and possessions will not matter. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:8:

    I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.

    All that will really matter at the end of your life is:

    • Do you know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way?

    • Did you honor Him with your life and ministry?

    • Were you a wise steward of the resources He entrusted to you?

    • Did you use the talents and skills He bestowed upon you for His glory?

    • Did you help (by witness or financial support) to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth (family, friends and beyond)?

    • Was the passion of your life to know Christ more and grow in His likeness?

    • Were you a person of faithfulness and integrity and love?

  • Background on Revelation – 3 – Portrait of the Antichrist and False Prophet

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • There Is One I Seek To Impress

    Many years ago, as a result of a trip to India, Netherlands, and Israel, the mileage boosted me to Silver Elite member status and qualified me for free upgrades to first class. On a Continental flight to minister in San Diego, I got that free upgrade. Little did they know I was a “poor” missionary whose miles were from mission trips. The other passengers and the stewardesses treated me like I was one of the elite. (Karen had insisted I take the first class seat since it was earned from my previous mission trip. I would occasionally go back to visit her and ask how my “peasant” wife was doing.) About halfway through the flight a stewardess from economy class brought me a special vegetarian meal and asked, “Are you Bill Rudge who was assigned to economy class seating and requested a special meal?” Everyone in first class stared at me like I had leprosy.

    Although the perception of the other passengers in first class did not concern me, there is ONE whose opinion I am greatly concerned about. He is the One for whom nothing is hidden. He is the One I will one day stand before and give an account of my life. That is why I strive to live for Him with all my heart and live each day as though it may be THE day I go to meet my Lord. ~ Bill Rudge

    “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the LORD.”
    Jeremiah 9:23-24

  • Praise From Man or God?

    A Greater Acclaim

    As a teenager I wanted to be accepted by a group of older guys so I was motivated to lift weights and train in the martial arts until I achieved that goal. However, when I became a Christian at age 18 the desire to be accepted by these guys (which I accomplished) was replaced with a passion to be inducted into God’s Hall of Fame.

    The aim of my life since then has been hopefully to be included one day in what Hebrews chapter 11 refers to as “heroes of the faith.” What an eternal honor that would be – well worth any sacrifice I may make to attain it!
    Athletes and soldiers train hard and give their all just to hear the commendations of their coaches and commanders. Their sacrifices and tremendous efforts result in amazing feats reflecting years of discipline and commitment. But there is greater acclaim than that given by coaches, fans or superior officers – God’s commendation.

    The ultimate goal of my life – that for which I sacrifice, discipline myself and persevere – is to hear my Lord someday say these six words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” ~ Bill Rudge

    Halls of Fame

    Jim Tressel (former head football coach of Ohio State) cited a passage comparing his berth in college football’s shrine to God’s Hall of Fame:

    The Hall of Fame is only good as long as time shall be, but keep in mind God’s Hall of Fame, is for eternity. To have your name inscribed up there is greater more by far, than all the praise and all the fame of any man-made star.

  • Background on Revelation – 2 – America and the World In Prophecy

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • God’s Approval

    by Bill Rudge

    It is not the one who commends himself or herself, or even the one who is commended by others, but the one who is commended by the Lord (2 Corinthians 10:12, 18). When all is said and done, the only opinion that really matters is the Lord’s. He is the One we stand before to give an account of our lives. He is the One who holds our destiny in His hands. He is the One from whom we want to receive praise (1 Corinthians 4:5).

    There is an eternal difference between seeking the praises of men and seeking the favor of God. The first focuses on oneself and temporal recognition, while the latter focuses on Christ and heavenly honor. Both provide rewards. Praise from people may last a lifetime but bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom will last forever.

    As you read the following verses, ponder whether you love the praise from men more than praise from God:

    Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him [Jesus], but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:42-43).

    Will you allow the praises of people, prestige, popularity, personal gain or pursuits of pleasure to undermine your commitment to Jesus Christ? Far better than obtaining recognition from and the praises of people, is to cultivate an attitude and a lifestyle that gain approval from the Lord.

  • True Greatness ~ Join the Great Multitude

    by Bill Rudge

    You may be facing a lot of peer pressure today, and feel like you are in a shrinking minority because almost everyone at school, college or work rejects the Bible as God’s unique revelation of truth. However, one day you will be with multitudes (billions of people!) since Creation – heroes of the faith, prophets, kings, warriors, disciples, martyrs from every generation throughout history, men and women, children and teens from across the globe – who resisted the pressures of their day and became part of the great multitude who will inherit all that the Lord has prepared for those who love and honor Him; believers from throughout the ages will live with God forever. Those already in Heaven will one day be joined by a vast host:

    After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands (Revelation 7:9).

    On that Day when Jesus Christ establishes His eternal Kingdom, those whose names are written in the Book of Life will receive all He has prepared for those who love Him and obey His Word. We will have endless time to enjoy and explore the wonders of a restored paradise on Earth and the countless adventures awaiting us throughout the expanse of the entire universe. We will never cease to be amazed by the glory of our God and overjoyed with the blessings He will lavish on His children.

    In contrast, those who reject God’s offer of salvation in this life, so as to enjoy the conveniences of compromise, pleasure, popularity or prestige will be named among the “cowardly” mentioned in Revelation 21:8. They will forfeit God’s blessed Kingdom, quarantined from His glorious presence.

    Instead of succumbing to the seductive spirit of this age or pressures to compromise your faith and conform your lifestyle to current cultural and popular morality trends, be encouraged by the throngs of people who have gone before you and whose testimonies spur you on:

    Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).

    Be a part of the millions of people alive on this planet today who faithfully serve and honor Jesus Christ in spite of ridicule, oppression, hostility, persecution and even martyrdom. I promise that you will never regret serving Jesus Christ and I assure everyone who rejects or refuses to accept Him that they will eternally regret that decision.

    Believers throughout the history of the Church have fought in the “arena of life” to proclaim the Gospel. Now it is our time to stand strong in the “arena” for Christ. We must not shrink back or cower in fear. That Great Cloud of Witnesses – in fact all of Heaven – is watching and cheering us on!

  • Background on Revelation – 1 – What’s Going On?

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For Bill Rudge Ministries YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/billrudgeministries.

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

  • BRM Overview – Ministry Highlites

  • The Example of the United States

    by Dr. David R. Reagan

    We were founded as a Christian nation, committed to Christian values, and God greatly blessed us. But in the 1960s, we began to thumb our nose at God as a cultural revolution was launched. Our society quickly descended into a cesspool of sexual promiscuity, drug abuse, abortion on demand, legalized gambling, rampant blasphemy and a flood of pornography. Our national slogan became, “If it feels good, do it!” We adopted a hedonistic lifestyle, calling evil good and good evil.

    God responded by raising up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. One of those was Dave Wilkerson, pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. I call him “God’s Jeremiah to America.” In the 1970s he began writing a series of books in which he clearly outlined the sins of America and warned of judgments from God if we did not repent. Like Jeremiah, his popularity plummeted because people – even church people – did not want to hear his “doomsday message.”

    When the prophetic voices were ignored, God began to place remedial judgments on our nation – things like our defeat in the Vietnam War, the plague of sexually transmitted diseases and natural disasters in the form of monster earthquakes, killer tornados and hurricanes.

    So, true global warming is on its way! But, more importantly, the Signs of the Times are screaming that we are on the threshold of the Tribulation. Meanwhile, the Church needs to wake up to the Signs of Nature and all the other signs that are converging for the first time ever. But for that to happen, our nation’s pastors need to get serious about the fact that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return, and they need to start proclaiming that fact from their pulpits.

    The Church needs to stop yawning and start yearning for the return of Jesus. Maranatha!

    Lamplighter, May-June 2020 – Used with permission.

  • If Truth Be Not Diffused

    “If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; if God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy; if the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; if the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness, will reign without mitigation or end.”

    Daniel Webster (1823)

  • Will You Be Ready?

    by Jim Weikal

    “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30).

    In the above verses Jesus warns believers that He, the Son of Man, will return in circumstances similar to the pre-flood days of Noah and the destruction of Sodom. Specifically, He refers to eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. The emphasis of Messiah’s prophetic warning is on the people’s enjoyment of life’s mundane matters so much so that the return of the Son of Man catches them unaware.

    We need to take a look at what the days of Noah were like: “God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’” (Genesis 6:12,13).

    The Hebrew word translated “corrupt” means “to ruin” and the verb “always refers to a ruin effected in the realm of community or individual experience” (Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament). The Hebrew word for violence is “hamas,” which means “wrong, do violence to, treat violently.” The lexicon goes on to state that the word “is used almost always in connection with sinful violence . . . [and] is often a name for extreme wickedness” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament).

    The people living during the time of the flood and the destruction of Sodom had become so involved with, or so tolerant of, corruption and violence that they went on with life as usual. The majority had no idea what was about to overtake them. Eight people were saved from the judgment of the flood and only Lot and his family were saved from the sulfuric destruction of Sodom. Jesus gives us a solemn warning in Matthew 24:44: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

    Do not allow yourself to become so familiar with the corruption and violence of our time that you are not looking for, or are not ready for, the Son of Man’s return! God is a righteous God and He will judge corruption and violence as we have seen in the past. Only a very few people were ready to face God’s past judgments. How about you today?

    Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

  • Speak Blessing

    by Karen Rudge

    “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue …” (Proverbs 18:21).

    “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).

    The world our young people experience everyday is so divided, negative, scary and seemingly purposeless and hopeless. Therefore, our homes must be a place of peace, love and hope. Children should not be told by parents that they are no good, will never make anything of themselves or that they are lazy and useless! They hear enough of these messages in the world from social media, television, movies and even their peers.

    Words have great influence for either harm or good. That is why we need to speak words of Truth and Blessing. When you speak negatively to your children, it tears them down; you are speaking destructively over someone God has created for a special purpose. Instead, nurture them with powerful and positive words from the Word of God.

    At bedtime, when our children were young, Bill and I would say a blessing over them. We would pray a scripture to plant a seed in their life, or claim a promise of God if they were needing encouragement for something they were going through. When we prayed a scripture, we would add their name to make it more personal.

    Young people need positive words said to them that will build them up, inspire and motivate them to excel. They need God’s Word spoken over them to bring healing, peace, confidence and courage. Isaiah 54:13 states:

    All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.

    When you speak or pray a blessing over your child (or anyone), personalize it to their current need or crisis. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you words that will bring comfort and healing. Our words are not only powerful, but what we say shows others who we really are for what is truly in our hearts will overflow in our speech. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45b).

    The apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:29:

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

    So let’s begin today to speak forth blessings and not cursing. Let our speech be pleasant to the hearer and bring glory to our Lord. Speaking blessings will not only bring hope, encouragement and direction to those we speak, it will also bless us as well.

  • Wisdom for an 18 Year Old … and All of Us, part two – Wisdom from My Father

    Recently Bill and BJ Rudge were requested by a father to each send a letter to his son who was about to turn 18. Their advice is relevant to all – both young and old, male and female. The following is BJ’s response.

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    I feel very honored to share with you the realization that I had become a man. I was blessed to have a godly father who taught me to build my life upon the Word of God. This gave me a great foundation and outlook on what it meant to be a man from God’s (and not the world’s) perspective.

    Bill and BJ in the Himalayas.

    When I was 18, I took a class on philosophy. My professor did not have a positive view of religion, and more specifically, had a hostile attitude toward Christianity. From the very first class, he spent much of his energy showing why it was “foolish” to believe in God and the Bible. As my faith was attacked, I spoke with my father expecting that he would tell me to drop the course. Instead, he told me to take on my professor’s challenge by investigating the truth of the faith that he had taught me growing up. This led me on an incredible spiritual journey that moved me from having only a belief to a conviction that Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be and that He had risen from the dead. This process created a powerful transition from being just a boy into a man who could take ownership over what I believed and why I believed it.

    During this process, at age 19, I was hired as boys’ soccer coach at Hickory High School. To set context, this was the school where I graduated and where I played high school soccer, which meant the players on the team were not only my former teammates but my friends. So, literally overnight, I had to shift from being one of their peers to being their coach, placing me in many situations where I had to deal with “grown-up” issues and decisions.

    For example, the very first week of the season one of my players, and very close friend, was caught drinking. As a violation of our program’s policy, this infraction required me, as coach, to not only meet with the player and his parents, but to levy consequences. Just two weeks prior, I was at this player’s house hanging out, talking to his parents as their son’s friend; now I had to meet with all of them as the coach who had to act as judge and jury over what happened.

    Being a high school coach at a young age was a life-changing experience that made me realize that, as a man, I had a responsibility toward others that required me to hold them accountable for their actions.

    Our world truly needs more godly men: men who will stand for what is right – even if it means standing alone – who will spiritually lead their families, who will protect and love their wives, and who will humbly seek to glorify God in all areas. May the Lord’s hand be upon you as He continues to guide you through the steps of becoming the man He wants you to be.

    Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

  • Wisdom for an 18 Year Old… and All of Us, part one

    Recently Bill and BJ Rudge were requested by a father to each send a letter to his son who was about to turn 18. Their advice is relevant to all – both young and old, male and female. The following is Bill’s response; BJ’s response will be posted later.

    I Became a Man When …

    by Bill Rudge

    The age of 18 for me covered all the bases: from rebellious teenager, youngest fitness instructor in this area, hitchhiking cross country (in search for what was missing in my life, and hoping it wasn’t Jesus Christ), to being miraculously saved from death in Santa Fe, then returning to Pennsylvania and giving my life to Jesus Christ after all; running away and getting married, and finally, receiving a call to Bible college and ministry – all at the age of 18!

    So when did I learn to become a man and what did that mean to me? I thought I was a man through all the physical strength and skills I had or from the wild life I had lived; but anyone can achieve those things. I became a man when I got on my knees and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Getting married and heading to Bible college with no money made for a rapid maturing process!

    Applying the biblical principles I learned in God’s Word really taught me how to be a man; they transformed my life.

    Here is a brief summary.

    Examine The Evidence for Faith in Jesus – Know what you believe and why you believe it.

    Total Commitment to Christ as Lord – His Lordship must supersede everything else in your life.

    Obedience to Christ’s Will – Instead of seeking your own will, discover, desire and implement His will.

    Be Surrendered and Available So God Can Mold Your Life – Do not stiffen your neck or harden your heart but allow Him to accomplish His purpose for your life.

    Evaluate Your Motives – Pride ends in destruction; humility in honor.

    Live a Life of Integrity – Your testimony and name are more valuable than precious gold and expensive jewels.

    Establish a Balanced Life – Be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit.

    Exercise Self-Control – Realize that the essence of strength is self-control. Have discipline in every area of life.

    Dare to Be Different – Don’t compromise your convictions or conform because of peer pressure. Be a God-fearer rather than a man-pleaser.

    Have the Courage to Stand Alone – Courage is not lack of fear but standing your ground in spite of it.

    Develop Determination to Never Give Up – You will face many obstacles and challenges but do not quit. If you do fall, get back up and keep going. Remain faithful to the end and I promise that you will one day be richly rewarded.

    Root Out Hidden Sins – Your secret sins will find you out and destroy you, but forgiveness and restoration is only a prayer of repentance away.

    Desire the Lord More than Anyone or Anything Else – Avoid an endless search by realizing that nothing or no one will satisfy you more than a close relationship with your Creator, Savior and Lord.

    Ponder these biblical truths deeply, embrace them thoroughly and review them frequently. You will never regret doing so. The above principles, in harmony with God’s Holy Spirit, will mold you into the man God created you to be!

  • Dad

    What I’d give, if I could say

    “Hello Dad” in the same old way.

    To hear his voice and see his smile,

    to sit with him and chat for a while.

    So, if your Father is still here,

    cherish him with care,

    for you’ll never know the heartache

    until you see his empty chair.

    Author Unknown

  • Contending for the Faith ~ A Study on the Book of Jude

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    As did Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 24:3), we wonder ourselves when Jesus will return. Bombarded daily with headlines of wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters and the spread of diseases, the reality of His return seems closer today than ever before. As I am writing this article, the news headlines of a potential war between America and Iran, the continual global spread of the coronavirus, worldwide crop failures, locust plagues in Africa and China and an earthquake in the Caribbean (of all places) echo Jesus’ words in Matthew 24.

    While every generation since Jesus ascended into heaven has anticipated His return, there is a uniqueness about our generation – especially with Israel a nation once again. However, to avoid falling into the trap of so many date setters, I recognize that no one knows that day or hour, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36). Yet, while we do not know the specific day, we as believers are not ignorant of the signs that will precede Jesus’ return. As we continue to hear of wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in various places, let us not forget the first sign Jesus told the disciples to be aware of – deception. In fact, Jesus even warns that false christs and false prophets will arise showing great signs and wonders to deceive the world. This deception will be so great that Jesus says, if possible, even true believers (elect) will be deceived (Matthew 24:23-26). This theme of deception continues on throughout the pages of the New Testament, as the Apostles Paul and Peter confront the dangers of false teaching that had crept into the church (2 Corinthians 11:1-14; Galatians 1:6-10; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Peter 2).

    To avoid the deception that comes through false teaching, Christians are given numerous commands: We are called to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught by us (2 Thessalonians 2:15), be on our guard (2 Peter 3:17), fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12), encourage and rebuke (Titus 2:15) and contend for the faith (Jude 3). These commands (specifically the call to contend) captures the heart of this study which will take us into an in-depth look at the book of Jude – a book that was specifically written to equip believers to avoid the deception of false teaching and persevere in the truth of God’s Word.

    In our study (future blogs), we will examine the call to contend for the faith as we address the dangers of false teaching, the fruit of false teaching, the identification of false teachers and how to persevere and stand firm in the midst of deception. The intention of this study is to go beyond giving just factual information about the book of Jude. It is designed to enable you to warn others, while at the same time provide safeguards for your own life against false teaching.

    My passion for this study comes out of personal experience in how false teaching has affected people I greatly care about. One dear friend became a spiritual casualty of the false teaching that permeated the church he attended. That teaching led to the destruction of his faith and the spiritual devastation of his entire family. Another has been caught up in the pattern of spiritual addiction. Devoid of discernment, her life is in a constant cycle of trying to find her next spiritual high. These two reflect the need for all of us to contend for the faith so that our loved ones and ourselves may avoid the traps of spiritual deception.

  • Leaving A Legacy

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    One afternoon while walking through the woods, and spending time with the Lord in prayer, I reflected upon my life. Not only contemplating my past, I began to examine where I was in the present; specifically how I was spending my time and how this might impact my future. I thought of my children and what type of legacy I was leaving for them, and asked myself, “If I were to pass away, how would my children describe me? Would they talk about a father who not only loved them, but also desired to continually be in the presence of the Lord? Would they see me as a man who invested his life in prayer and in fulfilling God’s calling on his life? Would they want to follow in my footsteps as a man of integrity and emulate my spiritual walk with the Lord?”

    The reality is that all of us will leave a legacy. Regardless of whether we are married and have children or not, God places people in our lives who are part of our circle of influence. A friend of mine has never been married and has no children, but he recognizes that he has been called by God to be a spiritual role model for his nieces and nephews. Another friend told me that he and his wife were not able to have children. However, he realizes that God has still called him to be a godly example to others. So he invests his time working with the children at his church, and serving as a chaplain at a local hospital to patients who are dying.

    Considering this, ask yourself the following question: “What spiritual legacy am I leaving with the people God has put in my life?” The answer will depend upon how much time you spend in prayer, for it is in the time we spend in prayer that God prepares and equips us for His calling on our lives. As Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones asserts in his studies on the Sermon on the Mount:

    Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when, upon his knees, he comes face to face with God.

  • Walk As Royalty

    by Bill Rudge

    photo by Bill Rudge

    Believers in Jesus Christ have an exciting destiny – to rule and reign with Him throughout eternity! Considering this high calling of serving as royalty under the King of Kings, it is imperative that our words, attitudes and actions resemble His. Princes and princesses in God’s Kingdom should be a reflection of their LORD.

    A few years ago, while speaking at a military memorial service, I sat between two dignitaries. They were both gracious and very complimentary of the words I spoke. However, what I want to emphasize here is that they handled themselves with dignity.

    There is just something different about most dignitaries and royalty in the way they carry themselves. How much more should we, who are “joint heirs” (Romans 8:17) with the very Son of God, carry ourselves with dignity in our public and private lives. We should not be a reproach to His name, but conduct ourselves in a respectable manner.

    Just as descendants of a reigning king are prepared for their royal positions, so believers begin on this side of eternity to prepare for our royal positions which will assuredly become reality during the Millennium and forever thereafter. The following qualities and attributes should begin to be manifest in our words, attitudes and behavior: dignity, integrity, righteousness, self-control, courage, compassion, humility, gentleness, generosity, kindness and faithfulness.

    When I was twelve years old I was very skinny so I started lifting weights. Even though I remained thin for a long time thereafter, I began to walk and handle myself as if I was this strong person – believing I would eventually become like that and a few years later I was. Likewise, I know that one day I will rule and reign with Jesus Christ so I can begin now to think and behave accordingly.

    Just as my thin physique was transformed into muscles as a teenager – one day my mortal body and humble existence will be transformed into a glorified body that will rule and reign with Christ. This will become a reality for those who believe in and commit their lives to Jesus Christ – so let’s begin acting like it in faith and confidence now!

    John, a friend I made while in San Diego, is part Mexican and part American Indian. He has a phenomenal attitude, strong faith in Christ and is very talented. He told me that he used to see himself as skinny, dingy and ugly but now sees himself as lean, tan and distinct. He said that change of perspective has made a tremendous difference in how he carries himself.

    Our High Calling

    Always remember that as Christians, we have the highest calling. No matter what our position in this life, we can hold our heads high because one day we will be dignitaries serving as representatives for all eternity of the KING and LORD of the universe.

    You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

  • Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course

    How It All Started

    Bill Rudge started developing obstacle courses for the youth soccer teams he coached, which have morphed and expanded over the years. The current course was built by many volunteers – primarily using natural materials such as logs and tree stumps. Dick Hetrick and other volunteers cut down trees on-site, then crafted them for the various challenges. Throw in some car, truck, and tractor tires, ropes, and over-sized monkey bars, as well as a balance beam and wall (built by South Py Community Church) and you have the Ultimate Challenge Obstacle Course at Bill Rudge Ministries (BRM). Several individuals, businesses, churches and organizations volunteer their time, talents, and resources toward maintenance, while others assist Bill in running it.

    Challenging Youth & Adults to Reach their Maximum Potential

    Bill and BJ Rudge have set up Obstacle Courses and provided specialized training for individuals and groups in school and church gymnasiums and outside fields – locally, across the U.S. and abroad – since 1986. The permanent Obstacle Course at BRM provides many opportunities to train sports teams, youth groups, church groups, military personnel and new recruits, mission teams preparing for upcoming trips, Scouts, children, teens, adults and families – all free of charge. Over the years Bill has invented several recreational and sports activities which have been published in various magazines and are incorporated into some of his training regimen.

    Various rigorous training routines have been designed by Bill to help prepare new recruits for the challenges that lie ahead at boot camp and beyond. An Army Recruiting Sergeant reported that his soldiers and new recruits loved it and were soaked with sweat – just what he wanted. A Navy Petty Officer said the exercises were great; that the sailors and future sailors really enjoyed it. A Marine Recruiting Sergeant said the course was challenging in multiple ways and that his future Marines had a great time. Some who trained on the BRM Obstacle Course were preparing to try out for the Navy Seals and other Special Forces while others were conditioning to try out for American Ninja.

    Bill customizes every obstacle course adventure to meet specific needs, goals and levels of intensity for each group. Typically, groups are scheduled for 60 to 120 minutes. The shorter time includes mainly the obstacle course while the additional time involves innovative drills, relay races, recreational or sports activities, and individual or team competitions.

    Assistants help Bill and BJ lead participants through the multifaceted course where they face a variety of physical and mental challenges and choices. The obstacle course is great for motivating youth and adults to step out of their comfort zones and for Team Building – improving communication, producing leadership skills, promoting teamwork, instilling cooperation, and enhancing trust and encouragement of each other as groups take on challenges and reach goals together.

    Workouts on the obstacle course are interspersed with verbal coaching by Bill or BJ who interject motivational and inspirational comments on such concepts as: attitude, choices, confidence, commitment, courage, determination, discipline, faith, life-balance, loyalty, nutrition, respect, and self-control (all biblical principles) with the intended purpose of challenging youth and adults to reach their maximum potential: Physically, by developing upper and lower body strength, agility, balance, control, and endurance. Mentally, in remembering the required exercises and options at each station while developing problem-solving skills to make necessary adjustments based on the circumstances. Emotionally, by rising above one’s fears to meet challenges with a positive attitude and confidence. Spiritually, Bill shares his personal experience in discovering true strength; talks with them about how skills developed on the obstacle course can be used in life, and gives copies of his books to those who request them.

    Many notes, letters and e-mail from coaches, players, youth leaders and others testify to the fun, challenge and life lessons gained through the obstacle course experience.

  • I Could Run But I Couldn’t Hide

    By Bill Rudge

    Fifty years ago, on May 16, 1971, I began my hitchhiking quest across the country with my weightlifting buddy to get away from my girlfriend and her Jesus. In reality, I was in search of peace, fulfillment and the purpose of life. The adventures along the way – as well as the dangers – were many but the story took a turn while stranded in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We received rides from all types of people.

    I remember getting picked up by a businessman outside of Akron, Ohio. I thought, “Nice car!” Wouldn’t you know, he began to witness to me about Jesus Christ. I run right into this religious nut who is telling me about this Jesus who I do not want to hear about. He knew I did not want to hear about Jesus so when he discovered I was going to New Mexico he said, “I know some monks out there.” (I later discovered they were born again, Spirit-filled monks).” He wrote a note and said, “I want you to give this to them and they will take care of you.” He sealed it in an envelope and I filed it away.

    I thought, I am never going to see some dumb religious monks, so I later opened the letter. It said something like, “These boys are deeply troubled. Please pray for their souls.” I kept the note just in case we needed to go there and get some food.

    Then in Columbus, Ohio, we hitched a ride with a guy who pulled a Bible out of his glove compartment and I thought, “Here we go again!” But when he opened his Bible, there was a hole cut out of the center pages with a stash of marijuana hidden there. As we all shared a joint, I thought, “How cool; no cop would ever think of looking inside a Bible for that.”

    Albuquerque, New Mexico

    After only two days and nights on the road and many adventures, we reached Albuquerque. I hoped to see my oldest brother who was living in a hippie commune there and to obtain a “hot” [stolen] motorcycle to ride to California. My brother had phoned at Christmas and I told him I might come out to see him sometime. He said he could get me a “hot” motorcycle on which we could travel across the rest of the country. He didn’t really believe I would ever show up.

    At the hippie compound I was told that my brother had left the day before to go swimming at some springs in the mountains a hundred miles away. They had no idea when he would be back.

    Santa Fe, New Mexico

    We decided to hitchhike to Santa Fe, which was about 50 miles north of Albuquerque. After walking about three miles we finally hitched a ride that took us right into Santa Fe. During our ride, the car radio informed us that the temperature was going down to about 25 degrees, a record low for this time of year. I had anticipated warm weather out west in May, so all I had was a short-sleeved shirt and a plastic poncho.

    Our ride dropped us off and we walked the cobblestone streets of Santa Fe to find a place to spend the night. Darkness was settling in and it seemed as though the whole city had closed down. Finally we found an open bar but were not allowed inside because we were underage. We asked again if we could just go inside long enough to find someone to put us up for the night. The person running the bar did not care and assured us that without proper I.D. we would not be allowed in.

    We saw a girl riding by on a bicycle (the only sign of outside life) and yelled at her to stop but she pedaled all the faster and disappeared down a side street.

    We returned to our only hope, the bar, which was now closing. No one leaving the bar was willing to help or put us up for the night. It was very late and the temperatures had dropped drastically.

    I had unknowingly served Satan faithfully over the years but now he knew that God was beginning to move in my heart so he led me here and set me up to freeze to death.

    Hope was diminishing and then, seemingly out of nowhere, down a narrow street came a small, yellow foreign car with several longhaired hippies and a German Shepherd dog hanging his head out of the window. My friend and I began to wave and yell hoping they would stop. All of a sudden one of them started yelling, “That’s my brother, that’s my brother!” and my brother Larry screeched the car to a halt. One of the passengers, Rick, said, “Yeah, we’re all brothers. You and me are brothers. The guy in the back seat is your brother too.” Larry said, “It is my blood brother.” Rick said, “That’s impossible!”

    My brother did not even know I was in New Mexico. He was supposed to be 100 miles away swimming somewhere in the mountains, and there in the small town of Santa Fe, on a narrow street, a God who knew I would one day give my life to Him, intervened and spared my life.

    Larry, his buddies, and a German shepherd dog Larry found had hitchhiked up to Jemez Hot Springs (59 miles north of Albuquerque and 50 miles – by road – west of Santa Fe) and stayed for a couple days. Larry and his friends were thrown out of the Hot Springs after a few nights and were hitchhiking back to Albuquerque when a young female school teacher picked them up. She took them to her home – which just happened to be in Santa Fe – and let them sleep on her floor that night. She said to Larry, “You guys aren’t going to trash my house and steal my TV and other items?” Larry promised they would not.

    The next day this single female teacher left them a note stating she would be back at noon and that they were welcome to wait at the house. She came back home from school at noon and gave Larry the keys to her car saying they could use it to see Sante Fe but to please bring it back that night since it was the only car she had. She asked Larry again, “You guys aren’t going to steal my car and take everything in my house?” Larry promised her they would not. Another schoolteacher who had followed her home at noon drove her back to school and then dropped her off at her house after school. It was later that night, as Larry was driving the car back to her house, that he saw me. Larry later told me they had thought about stealing her car but wanted to keep his promise to return her car since she had been so nice.

    It was on Larry’s way back to her house that God used him to save my life. If the car windows hadn’t been rolled down, Larry would never have seen me. You know why the windows were down in such cold weather? Because they had been feeding Mexican beans to the dog and it had gas. Since the defroster wasn’t working, all the windows would have steamed up, he wouldn’t have seen me, and we would have passed like two ships in the night. So God used the dog’s gas for those windows to be down!

    God uses the foolish things to confound the wise and the weak things to confound the strong.

    We all scrunched into that small car and soon all of us were hanging out the windows. We went to where they were staying and I completely forgot, or cared, about God. We all smoked some grass and shared stories. Larry explained that he would not be able to get us a motorcycle so the next day my friend and I started hitchhiking back to Pennsylvania. Larry, his buddies, and the dog returned to Albuquerque – never to see that school teacher again and wondering not only why she ever picked them up, let them stay in her house, and borrow her car, but also why they didn’t steal it and take off. For many years, Larry was in and out of prison for drug related charges. He told many prisoners about that miracle in Sante Fe in 1971. Years later, Larry was on fire for Jesus Christ. He died of lung cancer and with his dying words He praised Jesus for what God did in Santa Fe.

    Back in Pennsylvania

    We encountered many more incidents along the way but were really happy when we arrived home. The first thing I did when I got home was call Karen and then go to see her. It happened to be Sunday so, after our reunion, Karen said, “Bill, I want you to come tonight and hear this fantastic evangelist speaking in Youngstown, Ohio.”

    The last thing I wanted to do my first night back was to spend it in church hearing about Jesus. I told her, “Karen, take your religion and shove it.” She persisted so I decided to go since we hadn’t seen each other for so long and she looked so beautiful.

    But that night the Holy Spirit was dealing with me in a way I had never known before. The evangelist spoke on Bible prophecy and how we could know God in a real and personal way.

    I had been searching for meaning and purpose in life for a long time. I had tried everything imaginable to find lasting happiness and peace. I now knew that what I was looking for would not be found, no matter where I went or what I did, but only through giving my life to Jesus Christ and fulfilling the purpose God had for my life.

    When he gave the altar call, Karen and her friends asked the usual question, “Do you want us to walk down with you?” I said, “No. This time I’ll do it alone.”

    I stood to my feet and as I walked down the long aisle to the altar, I said, “God, if You prove Yourself real to me tonight, I’ll live my life for You.” That was May 23, 1971. God did, and I’ve never been the same since.

    The next night I went to hear this same evangelist speak in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.

    During the service he pointed to me and said, “Young man, last night there was a battle between heaven and hell. Satan and hell wanted to keep you, but God won!”

    And that’s exactly what happened. I’ve never been the same and I never will be the same.

    God intervened and changed my life in a way no self-realization course, no mind-expansion technique, no latent mental powers, no psychotherapy technique, no martial arts involvement, no weight lifting, no hypnosis, no meditation, no Yoga, no occultism, no Eastern religion, no human potential, no atheism, no self-effort or works of righteousness could! Nothing and no one could change my life, except Him.

  • Consider Carefully

    by Bill Rudge

    The following confessions of faith have heartfelt meaning in my relationship with Christ. They are frequently part of my prayer and fasting time:

    You are the CREATOR and Sovereign Lord of the Universe; ELOHIM, the strong and faithful One; ADONAI, Master and Lord; YAHWEH, the Great I Am; KING of Kings and LORD of Lords …

    You are Holy, Righteous, Just, Faithful, True, Loving, Kind, Merciful, Long-Suffering …

    You are my Source and Strength, my God and King, my Savior and Messiah, my Lord and Master, my Creator and Sustainer, my Rock and Fortress, my Shield and Sword, my Protector and Provider, my Helper and Healer …

    My desire and prayer is to:

    • Walk with You like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24).

    • Be considered Your friend like Abraham (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23).

    • Be considered Your servant like Moses (Joshua 1:2).

    • Have a heart after You like David (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

    • Be obedient like Jesus (Philippians 2:8; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:8).

    • Be a faithful witness like Antipas (Revelation 2:13).

    Now read all the above once again slowly as you ponder and pray about each description of God and what He means in your heart and life. Then give the LORD your praise, thanks and worship because He is truly worthy!

  • Men With Vision

    Men With Vision

    Men With Vision is a group of men who volunteer their time and talents to help where needed in western Pennsylvania. In March, President Bob Ramp and his crew (Tom Anthony, Dave Campbell, Mike Godnich, Dick Hetrick, Ed King, Ron McDonald, Larry Royal and Norm Simons) answered the call from Bill Rudge Ministries to build a ramp.

    Karen Rudge after surgery.

    Karen Rudge had just had an extensive four-hour foot and ankle surgery that entailed a bone graft, three screws, three staples, and 42 stitches and would not be allowed to bear any weight for two months. The ramp would enable her to leave the house for doctor’s appointments and to continue her responsibilities at the ministry center. Karen is a full-time volunteer coordinating various crucial aspects of the ministry.

    Men with Vision supplied the materials at no cost and completed the ramp in only three hours, finishing the task just as the sun was setting.

    Many thanks to Men of Vision and also to all who prayed, visited, brought flowers, made meals, sent cards, and helped in a variety of ways. May God bless you all.

  • The Photo That Started It All

    by Darlinda McDonald

    Photo in Sharon High School yearbook of Karen selling tickets at the Columbia Theatre.

    Who would have thought that a yearbook photo would open the door to a lifetime relationship? Karen Blair went to Hickory High School, Bill Rudge to Sharon. One night, however, Karen was with some friends at a party in Hermitage when Bill and some friends from Ohio walked in uninvited. Apparently, Karen caught Bill’s eye because he invited her for a short walk outside where he said he would “take her on a date sometime,” though he never followed through with his promise.

    Then it happened. Several weeks later, Karen learned that a photo of her selling tickets at the Columbia Theatre to Sharon High School’s senior class vice president and his date was printed in Sharon’s High School yearbook. Wanting to see the photo, her mother took her to the Rudges because both Karen’s and Bill’s sisters were in Debulets (a baton twirling group) together. When Bill saw Karen he said, “Hey, I asked you out at that party. Do you still want to go?” “Sure,” she replied, and that was the beginning.

    In January, after dating regularly for about six months, Karen became a Christian. Bill, however, didn’t want anything to do with God and decided to hitchhike across the country. God, in His faithfulness, pursued him and on May 23, after returning home, Bill gave his life to Christ. A few weeks after his conversion, on June 5, 1971, Bill and Karen ran away and were married. That was 50 years ago, and so the story continues!

    Bill Rudge photo in yearbook.

    Bill’s picture (left) appeared in the football section of that yearbook underneath the team photo. The caption beside his picture exemplified other experiences that shaped Bill’s life: “In late August, the football team began its two-a-day workouts, which lasted for two torturous weeks. The air was filled with the most terrifying grunts and groans as the players were pushed to the brink of exhaustion ….”

  • Dynamic Principles of Prayer

    by Bill Rudge

    After searching Scripture for God’s perspective on prayer, I compiled them in my book Fasting For Sensitivity and Power. You can read these nine dynamic biblical principles on prayer in just a few minutes. It will be worth your time as God’s Spirit enlightens your heart through His Word – giving you insight concerning one of the most beneficial practices in life – Prayer! Be blessed as you engage in some Bible study by looking up each one of the following verses:

    1) Right Motives
    James 4:3

    2) According to His Will
    1 John 5:14

    3) Persistence
    Luke 11:5-10

    4) Do Not Doubt
    James 1:6-7; Hebrews 11:1, 6

    5) Mountain-Moving Faith
    Mark 9:23; 11:23

    6) Do Not Be Anxious – Be Thankful
    Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2

    7) Obedience
    John 14:14-15; 15:7; 1 John 3:21-24

    8) A Clean Heart before God
    2 Chronicles 6:36-39; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15-17; James 5:16-18

    9) Delight Yourself in the Lord
    Psalm 37:4; Psalm 84:11; Matthew 6:33

    The Lord has taught me that I cannot coerce or manipulate Him to give me what I want. However, if I delight myself in Him, seek to Honor His name and walk in obedience, He will grant the desires of my heart (because they will be His desires as well) and abundantly bless beyond what I could ever ask or think.

    Powerful Prayers in Scripture

    Seven powerful prayers (two of which were accompanied by fasting) that should serve as an example and inspiration to us can be found in Scripture. Take time to study them and be inspired by their example of faith:

    • Elijah’s effective prayer during his encounter with the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:36-37).

    • David’s magnificent prayer of thanks and praise to bless the LORD. David acknowledges that everything – including riches and honor – comes from the LORD (1 Chronicles 29:10-20).

    • Solomon’s powerful prayer at the dedication of the Temple, acknowledging God’s faithfulness and sovereignty – His punishment of sin and His forgiveness and restoration for repentance (2 Chronicles 6:13-42).

    • Nehemiah’s persistent prayer for favor in the presence of Artaxerxes, King of Persia (Nehemiah 1:4-11).

    • Hezekiah’s earnest prayer in the Temple after receiving the threatening letter from Sennacherib, King of Assyria, demanding Jerusalem’s surrender (Isaiah 37:14-20).

    • Daniel’s intercessory prayer of forgiveness for the people and for Jerusalem’s restoration after receiving understanding from Scripture – seeking the Lord God by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (Daniel 9:3-19).

    • The early Church’s courageous prayer following the release of Peter and John (Acts 4:23-31).

    For additional information read Bill’s new and updated e-book, Fasting for Sensitivity and Power. It is available free of charge at https://billrudge.org/fasting-sensitivity-and-power-e-book or purchase through amazon.com.

  • Upcoming New and Updated Books by Bill Rudge and Dr. BJ Rudge

    Along with new videos and audio messages on a variety of timely topics, Bill and BJ are diligently writing several new books and updating and expanding the current ones. Some of the books that Bill and BJ are hoping to finish by the end of December 2023 are:

    ABCs of False Teachings – An A to Z Guide to Recognize Unbiblical Phenomena and Teachings

    Adventures in Missions – Catch the Vision – Highlights of Bill’s Mission Trips

    Biblical Leadership – Being an Effective Leader

    The Book of Jude – Contending for the Faith

    Conquering Stress Before It Conquers You

    Death, Dying and Eternity

    Faith Through The Fire – BJ’s Testimony

    Fasting for Sensitivity and Power

    God in the California Wildfires – Protection and Ministry in the Midst of It

    Impact Evangelism – Effectively Sharing Your Faith

    Impacting Our World for Christ – How do we effectively live for Jesus Christ in a hostile environment?

    The Impossible – Testimonies of the Miraculous in Bill’s Life and Ministry

    Karen’s Journal – Her Journey of Overcoming Cancer and Meeting Challenges

    Keys to Biblical Discernment – Avoiding Spiritual Deception

    The Last Days – What’s Ahead for the World, the Church and the Apostate Church

    Living Your Life in the Center of God’s Will – Hearing God’s Voice and Knowing God’s Will

    Not Our Fathers Faith – How Doctrines of Demons Have Invaded the Church

    Overcoming Sexual Immorality – A Path to Victory

    Overcoming the Giants In Your Life – Biblical Insights on Victorious Living and God’s Promised Blessings

    Peer Pressure – Dare to Be Different

    The Power of Words – Are Yours Helpful or Hurtful?

    Powerful and Effective Prayer – God Using Ordinary People to Accomplish the Extraordinary

    Reaching Your Maximum Potential in Christ – Be all God Created You to Be (One of Bill’s most popular books, updated, reprinted and translated several times.)

    Self-Defense from a Biblical Perspective

    Spiritual Warfare and Victory in Christ – Triumphant in the Arena of Spiritual Warfare

    Strength Through Weakness – One of God’s Most Powerful Lessons

    The Taming of Godzilla – Bill’s Life Testimony

    Uniqueness of Christianity and Evidence for the Resurrection

    Where Have All the Christians Gone? – What Happens After the Rapture

    Who Is This Jesus? – Overwhelming Evidence for Those Who Want to Know the Real Truth

    Why I Quit Karate – Five Reasons Bill Discontinued Formal Training

    Please pray for God’s anointing, wisdom, strength and the time to complete this monumental goal by the end of December 2023. Also pray God raises up additional people to help with proofreading, editing, production and funds for distribution of these vital biblical resources. These new and updated E-Books, video and audio messages (always free of charge) will be available through our web site and other venues.

  • Powerful and Effective Prayer

    by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    James 5:16

    After calling his readers to pray in times of trouble and sickness, and to confess their sins one to another, James asserts that, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16). To illustrate, James refers to the prophet Elijah as a person who had a powerful and effective prayer life. Assuming that we can have an effective prayer life like the prophet Elijah, the question is, “How?” Some people would suggest we do things such as recite a verse or a word repetitiously, sit in silence to achieve an altered state of consciousness, walk a prayer circle, or employ other techniques and methods to experience God. However, prayer is not some “magical incantation” or “manipulative tool” we use to control God or conjure phenomena. As Jesus Himself taught:

    And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7).

    Prayer is not looking inward but upward. “Looking up toward heaven, He [Jesus] blessed the food” (Matthew 14:19). Jesus often separated Himself from others to spend time in prayer with His Father. He would slip away to the wilderness and pray (Luke 5:16) or go up on a mountain (Matthew 14:23) or to a secluded place to pray (Mark 1:35). Right after Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer, He told them a parable illustrating the importance of persistence in prayer (Luke 11:5-10). In this parable, Jesus asks His disciples what they would do if a friend unexpectedly showed up at their house and they had no food to give them. In a culture that highly valued hospitality, this parable demonstrates how they could find the means to meet their obligation to feed and lodge their friend for the night.

    For instance, despite the fact it was night and their neighbor was sleeping, the host went to the neighbor’s house and asked for food. Note the response of the neighbor: he did not want to get up to give them food because he would wake his children. This may not make sense to us today, but at this time:

    the children would sleep on mats on the floor of the one-room dwelling; unbolting the heavy bar that was laid through rings attached to the door was a bother and would make noise that would awaken them (The IVP Bible Background Commentary).

    So considering this, we can understand why the neighbor did not want to get up and get the food. Yet, Jesus goes on to explain that the person would eventually get up and do it, not because of his friendship, but because of his persistence.

    The Greek word for persistence carries with it the idea of urgency, boldness, shamelessness, and relentlessness. Thus, just as the friend was not afraid to go to his neighbor, despite the fact it was late at night; so too, we should approach God with that same boldness and persistence. Why should we do this? Because as this parable demonstrates, “if a sleeping neighbor…will act in response to [a] persistent request, how much more God” (Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels).

    Any believer following the Bible can have a powerful prayer life just like Jesus and Elijah. Seven biblical principles on prayer are explained in BJ’s e-book, Powerful and Effective Prayer, which is available free of charge in the store at https://billrudge.org/store/e-books.

  • The Highest Example of Integrity

    by Jim Weikal

    Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness” (Apple Dictionary).

    The highest example of integrity/honesty is God Himself. This quality is important to believers because we represent Him here in this fallen world. Believers are examples to unbelievers every day whether we like this role or not. It’s just the way it is. When we fail to live up to His standard, we sully God’s reputation as well as our own and hurt those in our sphere of influence.

    According to Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

    We need to realize that men and women in the church will disappoint, fail, or even disgrace the name of Christ. But we don’t serve them; we serve God. He does not disappoint!

    In addition, how are you doing in living up to God’s example? Though they may curse you, the world sorely needs Godly examples. (Check out Psalm 89:35; Titus 1:2; Hebrew 6:18.)

    Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

  • Is Progressive Christianity even Christian? Podcast (Part 2)

    What is progressive Christianity? Should we even consider it to be part of the Christian faith? In this podcast we will examine the dangers of progressive Christianity? We will also share ways you can identify if progressive Christian beliefs have infiltrated your church.

    Make sure to watch part 1 of our podcast on progressive Christianity. Also make sure to like, subscribe, and comment below on any topics that you would like us to do in a future video.

    Click on the following link to read the article, “Theological Agnosticism Coming to a Church Near You”

    https://www.billrudge.org/resources/s…

    To see more videos from BJ Rudge please check out his YouTube channel “Living Truth for Today.”

  • Sorrow and Joy

    By Joyce Haslebacher

    He’s gone now, this son we love,
    Called to his home up above.

    The pain, the grief, the woe
    Through which he had to go,

    It’s over now and he’s at peace,
    But we who love him have great grief.

    He was kind and gentle, sweet and dear,
    Oh, how we’ll miss him being here.

    But You know best and do things wise
    And though we hurt, praise does arise,

    That all his suffering now is past;
    He’s in heaven at long last.

    The mantle cell that took such toll,
    Young he was but grew so old;

    At 65 and young at heart,
    Yet You called and he must depart.

    Thank You, Lord, his pain is gone,
    And with You he’s living on.

    Due to Christ and His Calvary,
    One day soon his face we’ll see,

    And all rejoice on heaven’s shore
    With love and peace forevermore.

    No more cancer called mantle cell
    No more misery from devil’s hell.

    Just together in Your heavenly place
    Due to Your mercy, love, and grace.

    Christ shed His blood to end all pain,
    Hell to shun and heaven to gain.

    Amen and Amen

    Joyce Haslebacher wrote the above touching poem in honor of the memory of her son, Charles Haslebacher, who died February 4, 2021 of mantle cell lymphoma. Joyce and her husband Herbert met Bill and Karen Rudge many years ago when Bill spoke at the church they attended in Clarksburg, West Virginia. They have been dear friends and faithful supporters of BRM ever since.

  • Is Progressive Christianity even Christian? (Podcast Part 1)

    by BJ Rudge

    What is progressive Christianity? Should we even consider it to be part of the Christian faith? In this podcast we will examine the key beliefs that are being promoted in progressive Christianity today, and how we can respond from a biblical perspective. Make sure to look out for part 2 of our podcast on progressive Christianity. Also make sure to like, subscribe, and comment bellow on any topics that you would like us to do in a future video.

    To see more videos from BJ Rudge please check out his YouTube channel “Living Truth for Today.”

  • ‘Spot On’

    by Darlinda McDonald

    The Last Days was written in 1999 but is so relevant for today! Bill Rudge is ‘spot on’ as he reveals what’s ahead for the body of Christ, the apostate church, and the world.

    We are living at the most exciting time in the history of the world. Our generation has the potential more than any other generation to see the fulfillment of Revelation. We have had false prophets. We have had wars and rumors of wars. We have had earthquakes, famines and pestilence. But never before in history have we seen such an increase in both intensity and frequency of these and many other signs that indicate Christ’s return is near. This book is an eye-opener. It will stir you to readiness.

    Some topics are:

    • Seven Mountain Peaks of Bible Prophecy
    • Signs of the Times
    • Mark of the Beast
    • Global Society
    • Unity of Religion
    • Increasing Persecution
    • Apostate Church
    • Defeat of Antichrist
    • God Has it All under Control
    • Paradise Restored

    Bill and BJ are in the process of updating and expanding this book on The Last Days. In the meantime, the 1990s edition is available free of charge upon request or as an e-book at https://billrudge.org/last-days-e-book.

  • Age Not a Deterrent for Audrey Colombo

    By Darlinda McDonald

    Audrey Colombo at work in the office of Bill Rudge Ministries.

    Audrey Colombo is a very active person. Over the span of her life this musically talented woman has given piano lessons, played trombone in the Greenville Orchestra and played the euphonium for 20 years in the Mercer Community Band. She was a YMCA camp counselor, a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, and was Chairman of the Shenango Conservancy.

    Audrey lived in Williamsville, New York before moving to Sharon and was married to the famous “Trapper John” Colombo. After he passed away, Audrey moved to Whispering Oaks in Hermitage where she continues her active life by being involved in their activities and taking new residents “under her wing” to help them become acclimated to their new home. If all that didn’t keep Audrey busy enough, she loves volunteering at Bill Rudge Ministries where she says she has been working “forever.”

    In Audrey’s Words

    “Bill Rudge Ministries is just phenomenal. Bill helps older people, kids (going into the schools), overseas’ missions (sends books, pamphlets, CDs, etc. upon request, free of charge) and is so economically solid (stretching every dollar, spending funds wisely, never incurring debt). I love that!”

  • Oh Those Telemarketing Calls

    by Bill Rudge

    Telemarketing calls can be annoying!

    However, I choose to treat telemarketers with respect since they are just trying to make a living. I often turn the call into a witness opportunity by saying, “Before I answer your question let me tell you about the most important thing in my life which is my relationship with Jesus Christ..”

    Some listen, some hang up. But all hear Jesus’ name!

  • Why did Jesus HAVE to die on the cross?

    The death of Jesus has always been a central belief in the Christian faith. Today many “Christians” are questioning why he died and what it means. Watch this video as I provide two important reasons on how we can know with certainty why Jesus died on the cross.

    To see more videos from BJ Rudge please check out his YouTube channel “Living Truth for Today.”

  • Ben Hur

    Lew Wallace (4/10/1827 – 2/15/1905) was a lawyer, governor, Union general in the American Civil War, American statesman and author. According to an article in Israel My Glory magazine:

    He and his famous ungodly friend, Robert Ingersoll, once agreed to write a book that would forever destroy the “myth” of Christianity. For two years, Wallace gathered information from the leading libraries of Europe and America. He got no further than chapter two when he suddenly found himself on his knees, crying out, “My Lord, and my God.” He had found his evidence, and it overwhelmingly and conclusively supported the deity of Christ. He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. So Wallace abandoned his project and became a Christian. Later he wrote one of the finest novels ever written concerning the time of Christ, Ben Hur.

    Instead of disproving the deity of Christ and His resurrection – Lew Wallace ended up defending it in his famous epic Biblical novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, described as “the most influential book of the nineteenth century.”

  • Blessed Are You

    by Jim Weikal

    Belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus is not a secondary issue. Your salvation depends on it (Romans 10:9)! Jesus told His good friend Martha that belief in Him as “the resurrection and the life” meant that a person “will live even if he dies” (John 11:25-26).

    Belief in the resurrection is so important for a person’s salvation that Jesus made a special effort to prove His resurrection to a doubting disciple. Thomas said that he wanted more than eyewitness testimony from his fellow disciples; he needed to see the physical evidence from Jesus (John 20:25).

    Eight days later the resurrected Jesus entered the disciples’ room and presented Thomas with the proof he asked for (John 20:26-27). People today don’t have this opportunity, but listen to what Jesus says about believers: “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed” (John 20:29).

    To be “blessed” is to be especially favored, happy, or privileged. No matter what happens to believers in this world, be comforted that you know Jesus, the resurrection and the life.

    Jim Weikal is a Biblical instructor at Bill Rudge Ministries.

  • The Jelly Beans

    Red is for the blood He gave,

    Green is for the grass He made.

    Yellow is for His sun so bright,

    Orange is for the edge of night.

    Black is for the sins we made,

    White is for the grace He gave.

    Purple is for His hours of sorrow,

    Pink is for our new tomorrow.

    Author Unknown

  • Why is it Important Jesus Rose from the Dead?

    By BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Verification of Christ’s resurrection has been investigated more extensively than available evidence of any other event in history! It has been examined and evaluated by some of the greatest scholars, historians, legal experts, scientists and archaeologists. Anyone who honestly examines the evidence will be convinced that Jesus:

    presented Himself alive [to the apostles] after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).

    It is extremely important that Jesus rose from the dead because the resurrection is the very foundation of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul stressed this point to the church at Corinth where many people were claiming there was no resurrection of the dead. Paul asserts that without the resurrection there would be no Christian faith:

    But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain (1 Corinthians 15:13-14).

    First, throughout the Gospels Jesus predicted He would die and three days later rise from the dead (Matthew 12:38-40; Mark 9:9-10; Luke 18:31-33; John 10:17-18). If He made these assertions and they had not come to pass, then He was either an insane individual or the greatest deceiver in history.

    Second, each Gospel testifies to the fact that Jesus rose from the dead (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20). If He had not, then the Gospel accounts would have no credibility and would have been discarded as historically unreliable documents. The Gospels could not be viewed as primary sources for those things that happened (Luke 1:3-4), but rather as products of later editing and manipulation on the part of the early church.

    Third, the central theme of the early church was the preaching of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22-36; 3:13-18; 4:10-12; 5:29-32; 10:37-43; 13:27-37; 17:2-3; 26:22-23). If the resurrection had not occurred, it would have been impossible for Paul and others to persist in affirming that it had in fact occurred – especially in the presence of hostile eyewitnesses.

    Fourth, without the death and resurrection, all Christians would still be in sin and under the judgment of God. Paul highlights this point to the Corinthian believers:

    For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep [died] in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied (1 Corinthians 15:16-19).

    Fifth, without the resurrection no one would have the eschatological (the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind) hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ demonstrates His authority over death. Those who place their faith and trust in Him have the assurance that death has been overcome and will be ultimately conquered. As Jesus said to Martha who was grieving the loss of her brother Lazarus:

    I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die (John 11:25-26).

    The resurrection is the crucial point of Christianity which either validates or discredits the Christian faith. Henry M. Morris and Henry M. Morris III summed it up well in their book Many Infallible Proofs – Evidence for the Christian Faith:

    If the resurrection did not take place, then Christianity is a false religion. If it did take place, then Christ is God and the Christian faith is absolute truth.

    Christianity stands firm on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. It is an incredible truth that has changed the lives of millions throughout history. I am convinced from a lifetime of research and personal experience that the resurrection of Jesus Christ did occur. Our eternal destiny is determined by whether we accept and believe the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • The Shadow of the Cross

    by Bill Rudge

    While exercising outside in the early morning hours, I noticed the shadow of one of our crosses silhouetted on the lightly snow-covered ground. Looking for the source of this shadow (the security light of our former ministry center – now the Mercer County Area Agency On Aging) it struck me that every person who has ever been born is affected in some way by the Cross.

    The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was determined before the creation of the world. Since the Fall of humankind in the Garden of Eden, God promised a coming Messiah and Savior. Those before Christ’s sacrificial death looked forward to the coming of this Promised One, while those after Jesus’ crucifixion look back to His finished work on the cross.

    Both Sides of the Cross

    Who I was and what I did before coming to Christ is in stark contrast to who I am and what I do after coming to know Him. My philosophy of life, words, behavior and lifestyle have so dramatically changed that they are in diametric opposition to what they were before. Before the Shadow of the Cross passed over my life, my passions were rebellion, violence and pleasure. This side of the cross my zeal is for obedience, compassion and reaching this world for Christ.

    Some thought I was hopeless as a teenager but Jesus knew otherwise. I thank Him virtually every day for His amazing grace to me, received many years ago when I was 18.

    How has the Cross affected you? What kind of a shadow (influence) has it been on your life? Has the cross drawn you closer to God and the Savior or are you still hiding – running from or rebelling against the LORD of all Creation? You do realize that it’s time for you to come home! Fall on your knees beneath the Shadow of the Cross and surrender your life to Jesus.

    Remember, eternity will be determined by your association with the cross. The cross of Christ is our only hope to see our departed loved ones again. For believers, it is a guaranteed promise! As Bill Glass succinctly said, “Christ arose! Your redeemed loved ones will too, and you can spend eternity with them in God’s presence.”

  • Ravi Zacharias Scandal, Part 2 – Questions That Need Answered????

    Podcast with BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    Prompted by the recent revelation about Ravi Zacharias, in this podcast we will address questions that come up when we see spiritual leaders fall. How do we support those who have been spiritually hurt by these failed leaders? Can we still use their materials? Were they ever really saved?

  • The Power of Words

    by Bill Rudge

    Louise Wieneke art specifically designed for BRM.

    When Karen was 17 and I was 18, we committed our lives to Jesus Christ. Less than two weeks later, at that young age, we ran away and got married. We could have easily failed both in our Christian walk and marriage had it not been for the encouraging words of Rev. Guy Bongiovanni and Rev. Roger Shaffer. Both of them and others at Farrell Christian Assembly and First United Methodist Church of Sharon, as well as those from various denominations, encouraged our growth in our faith and knowledge of Scripture. As a result, we have served nearly 50 years in various churches and ministries – 43 of those years here at Bill Rudge Ministries.

    Have we faced times of discouragement and difficulties? A plethora of times! There were those whose goal, it seemed, was to discourage us from obediently serving Christ and to dissuade us from following Jesus’ call into ministry. But the encouragers (through God’s Holy Spirit) superseded them and God accomplished His work in and through this ministry, built from day one on God’s Word and the leading of His Spirit.

    Peter and Paul Versus Nero and Herod

    During the first year of my new life in Christ, I worked with two other young men, considering them Peter and Paul because of their strong commitment to Christ. By word and example they encouraged and strengthened me in my faith. However, after a few months, they moved on and were replaced by two men I regarded as Nero and Herod – constantly seeking through lying words and dishonest behavior to oppose and undermine my faith in Jesus Christ – needless to say, a challenging time in my early Christian life! However, that year revealed to me the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error; between those who love Christ and those who despise Him; and deadly effects of discouraging words versus lifelong benefits of encouraging words.

    From the Beginning …

    Recently, Karen and I reviewed all the names on the plaques of donors for the three ministry centers we built on faith. We were joyfully reminded of all the people who helped us on these and many other ministry projects. We reminisced about the many individuals, families, businesses and churches who have stood with us and supported us throughout the years. Many of those who helped us are now with the Lord receiving their eternal reward.

    None of us knows how much time we have, so we want to thank all the supporters of this ministry (from its very beginning until the Lord comes) for all you have enabled us to accomplish. We say it often, yet never enough, that we appreciate each and every one of you. Truly, you are a vital part in making the dream and vision God gave us 43 years ago become reality. May God bless you in this life and throughout eternity for your faithfulness to Him and your generosity to this ministry.

    … To the End

    The pages of Scripture are laced with those who spoke words of faith and courage, thereby inspiring others to phenomenal achievements. There were also those who spoke words of doubt and unbelief, influencing others toward devastating defeats.

    As a chaplain, I have heard words of faith spoken by many dying Christians which uplifted entire families. I have also been at the bedside of those not knowing Christ’s love and forgiveness, speaking words of doubt and despair – giving no comfort or hope to their loved ones.

    Day by day, how you live your life and what words you speak, will result in the words you speak at the time of your death to those you love the most.

    My Passion

    The following is such a passion of mine that I keep it on my weekly prayer and fasting list:

    May the thoughts and attitudes of my mind, the emotions, desires, goals, dreams, vision and motives of my heart, the words of my mouth, and my behavior and lifestyle be pleasing in Your sight.

    My heart’s longing is to glorify the Lord by being a faithful witness physically (Romans 12:1), mentally and emotionally (Romans 12:2), and spiritually (Romans 8:29). I desire to live by His biblical precepts and reach my maximum potential in all aspects of my life. It is my aspiration to walk in discipline and self control – including the words I speak.

    I do hope you will make a commitment before the Lord today that with His help, strength and empowering, you will seek to speak in such a manner as to bring hope, healing and happiness to others. Use your tongue to positively and powerfully pronounce your faith in Jesus Christ and the assurance of His coming again. Use your words to motivate and inspire believers to remain faithful until the very end. Use your lips to praise the LORD and encourage the downtrodden!

    As the Psalmist proclaimed:

    My tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long (Psalm 35:28).

    Excerpted from Bill’s new E-Book The Power of Words.

  • Ravi Zacharias Scandal, Part 1 – How should we respond?

    Podcast with BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

    The revelation of Ravi Zacharias reminds us of how we need to evaluate our own faith and those we choose to follow.

  • In Pursuit of a Dream

    By Darlinda McDonald

    Carson (left) was commended by the Navy Chief and the Commander for training Navy recruits and providing them transportation for several weeks before he himself left for Boot Camp.
    Carson standing on top of a climbing obstacle at BRM. He has hurled many obstacles and excelled in making great accomplishments.
    Michael, Carson and Lucas with some of the Cub Scouts they led through the BRM obstacle course last summer.
    Carson (on left) leading the Sharpsville Varsity Soccer Team through “Black Tire Pain” – one of the hardest challenges at the BRM obstacle course.

    Carson (Bill and Karen Rudge’s grandson) was born in San Diego one month after 9/11. His family moved to Pennsylvania several years later. Carson graduated from high school during the coronavirus. A dedicated athlete, he played soccer for the Riverhounds in Pittsburgh and played in soccer tournaments across the country as well as in Italy. At age 18, Carson turned down a scholarship to play soccer in college to pursue his dream of special military service in the Navy.

    Carson has been a great blessing to Bill Rudge Ministries for many years. He helped Bill with school assemblies, defense clinics, and the obstacle course for sports teams and military recruits, as well as assisting with grounds maintenance, mail pick-up, delivering clothes, school supplies and household items to local missions and ministries, and loading trucks with boxes of books, sports jerseys, soccer balls, school supplies, etc. for delivery to Third World countries. Carson has been willing to help in any way needed at BRM. He also mentored several peers, assisted an injured Vietnam Vet by moving furniture, doing yard work and various other projects. He delivered and moved furniture for Building of Hope to those in need and for several elderly people.

    Carson is greatly missed by family, friends and BRM staff and volunteers. He continues to support the ministry by having a portion of his pay from the Navy automatically given to BRM. We pray God’s protection for this young man of excellence, a consistent and valued volunteer – never charging anyone for anything he did to help.

    Bill’s Advice To Carson Before Boot Camp

    “Always remember the tetherball battles, hockey games, boxing, obstacle course, sleeping on our couch and borrowing my clothes.

    “Always remember, Carson Brock, that you were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). Never forget that He loves you so much He died for you (John 3:16). Realize that Jesus will forgive anything if you ask (1 John 1:9).

    “Rejoice that your name is written in the Book of Life and one day you will rule and reign with Christ (Revelation 20:6). You may have some lonely times but He will never leave you or forsake you (Matthew 28:20).

    “Have faith, courage, determination, discipline and integrity because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

    “There will be challenges and difficulties but God will use them to make you strong and work everything out for good (Romans 8:28).

    “Through it all you will be molded into the man He intended you to be (Romans 8:29). In the end you will look back and know the truth of God’s Word and that He honors those who honor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).

    “One day we will never have to say goodbye again. Stay safe, healthy and close to Jesus. And never, ever forget how much I love you. I am so proud to have you as a grandson!”

    Papa Bill

  • The ABC’s of False Teachings

    The times in which we live demand safeguards from unscriptural teachings and phenomena through discernment developed in knowing biblical truth. This practical and easy-to-understand guide from A – Z will help you recognize the characteristics of false and extreme groups and whether a belief or practice is of God. This “Awareness Alphabet” makes a difficult subject as easy as ABC! It is my prayer that in the following pages you can make sure you are not being led astray by false doctrines, unscriptural teachings, false prophets, or counterfeit signs and wonders.

    Bill Rudge covers topics like:

    • Absolute Authority
    • Balance Upset
    • Complete Control
    • Deception
    • Emphasis on Experience
    • … and much more

    https://billrudge.org/abc%E2%80%99s-false-teachings-e-book

  • Tragedy to Triumph

    The tragic death of a child leads to an unexpected journey that results in a multi-generational blessing.

    To view more of Bill’s videos on YouTube, visit https://www.youtube.com/billrudgeministries/videos.

    To check out more videos, please click on the following links:

    For BJ Rudge YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd9cewtBcErKSw6M6Fc_T0Q.

    For Bill Rudge Vimeo videos, https://vimeo.com/user11953761.

    For more videos on the Bill Rudge Ministries website, https://billrudge.org/multimedia/videos-and-slide-shows.

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