How Could Jesus Speak to Large Audiences?

by Bill Rudge

Scripture indicates that Jesus spoke to large audiences (thousands of people) by the Sea of Galilee. Skeptics said it would be impossible for Him to speak to thousands of people without amplification equipment.

However, I was in Israel at the site of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The hill forms a natural amphitheater that slopes to the Sea of Galilee and amplifies the speaker’s voice. The air above the Sea of Galilee is very static so that sound waves travel easily. It’s possible Jesus stood at the bottom of the hill and spoke to the crowd who sat above Him.

Matthew 4:25-5:2 gives the following account:

Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him. Now when He saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them ….

While standing on the site of the Sermon on the Mount, I was talking in my normal voice to one of the pastors in our group who was almost 100 yards away, and he could hear me plainly. Then, while standing on the shore, we became very quiet and, although several hundred yards away, we could hear two fishermen talking to each other on a small boat.

Once again the Bible is authenticated and skeptics are silenced.

Victory Comes

A couple years ago Bill Rudge shared with Jim Weikal what often happens when the Lord leads him to do something. First is clear direction from the Lord. Secondly, obstacles arise and thirdly – after persevering in faith – victory comes. True to the pattern, the very day our Holy Land Adventure 9 brochures were mailed out, the conflict between Hamas and Israel began and rapidly escalated. In the midst of this, Bill’s wife, daughter, granddaughter, and mother-in-law all had surgeries. People started asking if the Holy Land Adventure and speaking engagements in Jerusalem might be canceled. We assured them that no matter the circumstances, Bill has never canceled a mission trip. It proved to be a blessed trip. The Lord will always be faithful to fulfill what He leads us to do.

Through the Tragedy of War Comes a Beautiful Love Story

Brittany and Joshua met, and eventually fell in love, while they were both on a military tour of duty in Iraq. Most young couples have challenges during their dating and engagement; imagine being in a war zone.

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BJ, Brittany and Joshua

Joshua’s Comments on the first time he saw Brittany: “She was sneaking into the back of the chapel on Sunday. I will never forget that image. She was both beautiful and peaceful.”

First Date: Joshua asked Brittany to go to the movies — he got down on his knees in front of her friends to ask her to go. Instead of going to a movie Joshua decided to walk around the post so they could talk. Thinking they were going to a movie, Brittany had her friends set up as spies to watch Joshua at the movie to make sure he was not a “player.”

Brittany’s Moment: On another occasion Joshua came to meet Brittany at work to take her to dinner. He took her to an abandoned cement building and surprised her with a candlelight dinner that consisted of a plastic table and chairs and Coke cans to hold the candles. Ten months later, Joshua proposed marriage.

Joshua’s Moment: On his birthday Brittany wanted to make Joshua a cake but she did not have the materials to make it. So she gave Joshua a Reese’s cup with a candle in it. Joshua loved it.

Brittany came to realize that they shared the same basic beliefs, values and goals, which are important in a marriage. She says, “Joshua is my best friend and I am really glad that I am best friends with the person I want to marry and spend the rest of my life with. He has brought me closer to God.”

Joshua’s Comments about Brittany: “When I met Brittany, it was a very confusing time in my life. Everything about my life that was normal and comfortable, everything that made sense, had been taken away suddenly. I found myself in a very strange environment. After I met Brittany I felt normal and comfortable and everything has made sense.”

The Engagement: On May 27, 2005 — Joshua proposed to Brittany on the first level of the Eiffel Tower. Joshua told Brittany that he wanted to show her something. Upon reaching the destination Joshua told Brittany that he loved her. She responded by saying that he only said that because he wanted a kiss on the Eiffel Tower. Joshua then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him, which after asking him if he was being serious, Brittany said, “YES!”

They had a beautiful June wedding in Fort Worth at which BJ and Bill Rudge had the privilege of officiating.

Challenge of the Obstacle Course

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Joshua and Brittany Lozier take the challenge of the Obstacle Course while visiting BRM this past summer. They did a great job on the One Leg Partner Squats which requires communication and cooperation. 

Joshua and Brittany Lozier were in Pennsylvania last summer visiting his parents before leaving for their new assignment in Germany where Brittany serves as a major in the U.S. Army. They spent part of a hot June afternoon at the Bill Rudge Ministries taking on the challenge of the Obstacle Course with Bill and BJ.

Also, congratulations to Major Brittany Lozier, for receiving her Doctor of Nursing Degree. Doctor (Major) Lozier was also recognized as one of six students who are in the National Registry of Who’s Who, for academic excellence and outstanding achievement. She and her husband, Joshua, also an Army veteran, are longtime supporters of BRM.

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BJ and Joshua

Comment about BRM by Joshua

Ten years ago my wife and I had the pleasure of having our wedding officiated in Fort Worth, Texas by Bill Rudge and the ceremony conducted by my friend, Dr. BJ Rudge, who also counseled us prior to our marriage. We are very happy to report that we are more in love and further in our walk with Christ than we have ever been. The counsel and prayers of this ministry have made a big difference in our lives. Thank you and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Bill Rudge Ministries until Christ returns or takes us home.

Brittany and Joshua – We salute you for serving your country.
Please keep them and all our military personnel in your prayers.

 

Incarcerated Minister Learning to Overcome Sexual Immorality

The following was written by A.L.P., Jr., Arkansas:

I am 31 years of age and currently incarcerated at Ouachita River Correctional Unit in Malvern, Arkansas. I was sentenced to nine years in prison for second degree Sexual Assault. I am taking advantage of this time to correct my problematic thinking and behavior patterns. For years, I have struggled with sexual immorality, and as a young minister of the gospel, I had every opportunity to rely on the Word of God as a guide for deliverance, strength, and healing. My failure to believe that as a “Warrior” I could conquer the war that raged in the battlefield of my mind, weakened my spirit and ultimately led to a crime and a nine year prison sentence. I make no excuses for my actions and take full responsibility for the hurt and harm that I have caused my victim and her family – as well as my family and those who were/are connected to me.

I have been blessed to write a book entitled Chronicles of a Warrior: A Journey to Complete Freedom that, not only tells of my struggle with sexual immortality and the spirit of heaviness, but also the internal freedom I am experiencing in Christ.

Bill Rudge’s book, Overcoming Sexual Immorality, has been a blessing to me. Thank you for hearing and obeying the voice of God. I was halfway in the completion of my book when my wife mailed Bill’s book to me. There are good nuggets in Overcoming Sexual Immorality that I would love to use in my book Chronicles of a Warrior. I have found the things Bill said to be true and effective. I would love the privilege and opportunity to share quotes from Bill’s book.

Thanks again, Bill, for your book. Because of your obedience and willingness to write this book, I have been able to use more effective tools in my journey to complete freedom. May God continue to use you and bless you for your obedience.

A Vision Only God Could Fulfill

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Karen and Bill with Gabriel Massey at their home in 1987.

In 1977, at the very beginning of the Bill Rudge Ministries, the Lord spoke to Bill’s heart and gave him goals and a vision that within five years the ministry would be reaching out nationally, and within ten years internationally.

Bill knew he could not fulfill this vision on his own – all he could do is be faithful to the Lord and let Him do it in His time and His way. Ten years later in 1987, through a series of traumatic experiences (described in the Strength Through Weakness booklet), Satan nearly stopped the fulfillment of that vision, but the Lord intervened and brought the victory.

Just as the Lord had provided ministry opportunities throughout the United States during the previous five years, He began to open doors internationally in 1987. Bill was able to go on his first radio station outside the U.S., the Caribbean Beacon, and soon thereafter on other overseas stations (long before streaming over the Internet was available). As a result, we began to receive letters from around the world requesting our books and audio messages.

Looking back, it is amazing how the Lord brought about the fulfillment of the goals and vision He gave Bill when the kitchen table was our desk and others questioned our survival. How awesome and amazing He is!

Gabriel – A Man from India

The Lord used a special man from India as a catalyst to help move this ministry beyond the United States to the world.

In 1986, Gabriel Massey, who was the General Secretary of the Federation of Evangelical Churches of India, was speaking in the U.S. We had never met or heard of each other. Gabriel happened to be in Youngstown, Ohio at a motel. He could not sleep this night because as he said, “The angels were disturbing my sleep.” So he scanned the radio dial for a Christian station until he came across Bill’s broadcast. The Holy Spirit spoke to him that “this man must come to India to minister.”

Gabriel went back to India and wrote requesting Bill to come and speak for their national convention in September 1987. Unable to go at that time because Karen had major surgery in June of 1987, Bill sent a representative. Then in December 1987, when Gabriel was again in the U.S. speaking, he looked Bill and Karen up, once again asking them to come and minister in India. The Lord strongly led them to go and did some phenomenal things in coordinating the plans to begin their world outreach.

Such was the beginning of Bill’s “Adventures in Missions” which would take him on many exciting, fruit bearing and oft-times dangerous ministry trips and missionary outreaches. In the past 30 years, we have been able to share the Gospel throughout India and the Himalayas, Haiti, the West Indies, South America, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

 

The Last Chance

by Bill Rudge

Lynne Patton Stewart called the ministry to see if I could visit her ex-husband, Terry (and father to their children, Eric and Kristin) who was in the hospital. He was an atheist and dying of cancer.

Entering Terry’s hospital room, I saw a man who was mere skin and bones. After telling him that I was a chaplain and that Lynne had sent me, he welcomed me. I sat down beside his bed and spoke a few minutes while he ate, slowly chewing each bite. Between bites he responded to my questions with one or two words. When I asked if he would like to talk about eternity he responded, “Not at this time.” But knowing I would probably not see him again as I was leaving on a ministry trip, I asked if I might say something briefly. He nodded a “yes” but seemed distant and disinterested.

I told him that I had spent a lifetime seeking the answers to three questions: First, Is there a God? I assured him that after examining the evidence I was convinced that there was and that both of us will stand before Him when we die. Second, I wanted to know if there were many ways to this God or only one? And I had become convinced that the Bible truly is God’s Word; that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. Third, I wanted to know what this God requires of me? I discovered I must ask His forgiveness and accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.

He had stopped eating and was listening intently. He said he had been thinking about these things. He thanked me several times for coming and wanted to continue our conversation. I went on to share illustrations of how we can know Jesus Christ and to assure him that God would forgive him and receive him into His heavenly kingdom – even at this late point in his life. He responded, “I guess God is pulling me up by my bootstraps.” Asking him if he wanted to receive Jesus as his Savior, he said that he did. I prayed a salvation prayer and at the end he said a clear “Amen.” Terry died a little more than a week later.

Isn’t God’s love toward us amazing? Even at the end of his life, God snatched Terry from the fire (Jude 23). What irony that earlier, that very day, I had read the book of Jude. Verses 21 – 25 state:

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them…. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.”

World War II Jewish Marine Accepts Jesus

As a new Christian Bill Rudge worked at a quick lube place changing oil. He made sure every car had a tract on its dashboard before it left Pit Stop.

One day a man who just had his oil changed noticed a tract about Jesus on his dashboard as he drove out. He was livid. He turned off his engine and came back in shouting, “Who put this tract in my car? I am a Jew. I do not want to hear about Jesus!” When he got back in his car, it would not start.

A few years later Karen Rudge was instrumental in this man’s daughter Sheree accepting Yeshua (Jesus) as her Messiah. Sheree became Bill Rudge Ministries’ first staff member. (We did not realize until later it was her father, Dexter, who had yelled at Bill years earlier.) Dexter listened in on a conversation between Karen and Sheree as they talked about Jesus. Karen remembers him interrupting the call and yelling, “You will see when the Messiah comes, He will not have nail prints in His hands!”

A few years later, Dexter’s oldest daughter Carolyn attended church with Sheree. During the service Carolyn had a vision of the Messiah. His hands were stretched out and she saw nail prints in them. She accepted Jesus as her Messiah. Both sisters consider themselves “completed” Jews, having accepted Yeshua as the promised Jewish Messiah.

Exactly 40 years later Bill had the opportunity to visit Dexter in the hospital. Bill prayed for him in Yeshua’s name and was invited to visit him in his home after he got out of the hospital. When Bill walked into his house, Dexter extended his hand and said, “You are my friend.” He told Bill he was a Marine during World War II and that he had killed people. He asked God for forgiveness.

Bill shared about the love and forgiveness of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Bill talked about the messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible fulfilled by Yeshua and the ones that will be fulfilled when Yeshua returns and sets up His millennial kingdom. Before leaving, Bill once again prayed in Yeshua’s name, and Dexter invited Bill to come back anytime. Bill had several more opportunities to share with him and his lovely Jewish wife, Florine. They both listened intently as the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament clearly revealed Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah, and they were given hope concerning heaven and eternity.

On Dexter’s birthday, July 22, 2013, a good friend of the family prayed with Dexter and Florine to receive Yeshua as their Messiah and Savior. Two years later, Dexter went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God is amazing and awesome! Forty years earlier Dexter cursed Bill for even mentioning that name and forty years later he allowed Bill to pray for him and proclaim salvation in Jesus’ name.

There is much more to tell about the amazing conversion of this Jewish couple, but that will have to wait for a future time…or perhaps until we meet them in eternity.