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12/31/2014

WHY I AM EXPECTING GREAT SPIRITUAL AWAKENINGS IN 2015

Why 2015 Can be a Very Significant Year

I am convinced that America’s greatest days and the church’s greatest days are still in our future. I know this is contrary to the popular notion that our best days are in the past and that we are in an irreversible, downhill slide into oblivion. This was my view until one summer day in 2010 when I was unexpectedly arrested in my car by the Holy Spirit who showed me a different way to look at the future.
Being a passionate student of revival and having seen so many hyped, man-made revivals in the previous two decades, I had given up hope that America would ever see another great, national Spiritual awakening that would revive the churches of our land, impact our culture and stem the tide of false religion, secularism and immorality. But all this changed that hot July day in 2010 while driving from Tulsa, OK to Kingfisher, OK.
I had been invited to speak at the Church of God in Kingfisher pastored by my friends, Gary and Helen Barnhart. As I pulled onto the highway to begin my 2 hour + journey, and without expecting any such thing, my mind suddenly began to be flooded with exciting thoughts of hope and faith that America could see another great Spiritual awakening. God’s presence seemed to fill my vehicle and I was hardly aware of my surroundings as I drove for the next 2½ hours with these thoughts of Spiritual awakening flooding my mind.
When I arrived at my hotel I could hardly wait to get settled in my room and begin writing down the thoughts and concepts that were continuing to inundate my heart and mind. This visitation continued far into the night and out of that experience came my book, America’s Revival Heritage.
There were two things that were highlighted to me in that experience. First of all, I received the assurance that America can see another Great Awakening. Biblical eschatology, which is doctrine of the end times, does not preclude great revivals as many today assume. The same Bible that speaks of perilous times and the love of many waxing cold at the end of the age, also speaks of the last days as being the time of a great universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh (Acts 2:17).
Secondly, I saw for the first time that there was a direct bearing of the First Great Awakening on the founding of this nation. I had studied and written about this revival that had transformed colonial America, but now I saw, for the first time, that there was a direct link between this Awakening and the founding of the nation. This is documented in my book, America’s Revival Heritage.
Through a series of providential events this past fall, I created a “Revive America” PowerPoint presentation in which I document America’s overt Christian beginnings. I then began doing “Revive America” events in which I present this evidence for America being birthed out of Spiritual awakening and also present a call to God’s people to pray for another Great Spiritual Awakening in our land. Interestingly, the first “Revive America” event was held in the Capital District of Albany/ Schenectady, New York, the area that George Barna recently identified as the most post-Christian area in America.

Yes, I know that new challenges await us in 2015. I am not oblivious to the world in which we live. Nonetheless, I also know that God is still on His throne, Jesus is still at His right hand and the Holy Spirit is being poured out on all flesh. There is, therefore, no reason why we should not pray and expect God to send another Great Awakening in our day.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and Bible teacher. His books, including America's Revival Heritage, can be found on Amazon and at his website at http://www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html

To see the video presentation of this message, click this link.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18rX-OA24yI&feature=youtu.be


12/08/2014

BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT

Compelling Evidence for the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ
There is enough evidence for the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ to convince any open and fair-minded agnostic or atheist of its veracity. This is because there is as much, or more, evidence for the Virgin Birth as any event in ancient history. To deny the evidence for the Virgin Birth and remain consistent, one must then be skeptical of all ancient history. Evidence for the Virgin Birth includes the fact that:

(1) It was documented by a physician and renowned, world class historian.
(2) It was accurately predicted centuries before it happened.
(3) It was believed universally by the earliest Christians.
(4) It convinced a well-known agnostic professor of mythology.
Documented by a World-Class Historian
The virgin birth of Jesus Christ was documented by a physician and world class historian who interviewed eyewitnesses, probably including Mary herself, for his account of this world-changing event—the entry of God into the world. Luke gives the most detailed account of the Nativity and mentions Mary twelve times, more than any other Biblical writer. He also gives special, detailed attention to the birth of John the Baptist and many see his gynecological interests to be a result of his training as a physician.
At the beginning of his Gospel, Luke indicates that he has made a thorough investigation of the things about which he is writing, which included his utilization of eyewitness accounts. He spent extended periods of time with Paul in Jerusalem and Judaea and would have had opportunity to interview those who were closest to the event, including Mary if she were still alive. There is no reliable information on how long Mary lived, but some traditions say she lived as much as 24 years or longer after the resurrection. The detail Luke presents does indicate that he has derived his information from a primary source, either Mary herself or someone to whom Mary had relayed the intimate details of the event.
Luke Recognized in the Scholarly World as a First-Class Historian
Luke’s attention to detail and the accuracy of his accounts of people, places, dates, and events in his Gospel and in Acts have been noted in the scholarly world and gained for him a high regard as a historian. For example, the famous archaeologist and agnostic theologian, Sir William Ramsay, expected to discredit Luke’s accounts by visiting and examining the places mentioned in his Gospel and Acts. Ramsay taught that the New Testament was an unreliable religious treatise written in the mid second century and not an historical document recorded in the first century. He was so convinced of this that he went to Asia Minor to retrace Luke’s account of Paul’s journeys expecting to find the physical evidence to refute Luke's account.
But after years of travel and study, Ramsay completely reversed his view of the Bible and first century history. He acquired a very high regard for Luke as a historian and wrote, “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy, he is possessed of the true historic sense; in short, this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians” (Sir William Ramsay, 81, 222.)
Another famous historian, A.N. Sherwin-White, carefully examined Luke's references in Luke/Acts to 32 countries, 54 cities, and nine islands, finding not a single mistake (Norman Geisler, 47). His research also confirmed the accuracy of Luke’s accounts. In fact, Luke turned out to be so accurate that Ramsay wrote, “You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian's and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment” (Sir William Ramsay, 89).
This begs the question that if Luke was this careful to get his facts right about names, places and dates, can we not be confident that he was just as careful to get his facts right concerning the more important things about which he reported, such as the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. The well-known Greek scholar, Kenneth S. Wuest, writing of Luke’s attention to detail, said, “If Mary was still alive, he, a doctor of medicine, investigated the story of the virgin birth by hearing it from Mary's own lips.” And commenting on accusations by critics that the story of the virgin birth was a hoax, the noted Greek scholar, Professor John A. Scott, said, “You could not fool Doctor Luke" (Kenneth S. Wuest, 52-54).
The Virgin Birth Predicted by OT Prophets
Genesis 3:15.  I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.
These words were spoken by God to the serpent after the fall of our first parents. The “seed of the woman” in this passage is an allusion to a future descendant of Eve who will defeat the serpent and reverse the curse brought on by his deception. The Bible normally speaks of the seed of men but in this case it is the “seed of the woman.” This is a prophecy of hope at a very dark time and clearly anticipates the future virgin birth of Christ--a birth in which the seed of a man is not involved. As the Methodist theologian, Adam Clarke, says; “The seed of the woman; the person is to come by the woman, and her alone without the concurrence of man” (Adam Clarke, vol. 1, 53). This Seed of the woman will receive a temporary wound from Satan—you shall bruise His heel—but the Seed of woman shall inflict on Satan a final and mortal wound—He shall bruise your head. This Messianic promise was fulfilled through the virgin birth and through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Isaiah 7:14. Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. The Hebrew word translated “virgin” in this passage refers to a young woman of marriageable age, but would include the idea of virginity since that was expected of a young Jewish woman being married for the first time. This is borne out by the Septuagint, which translates the Hebrew with the Greek word parthinos, a word that specifically means “virgin,” i.e., a young woman who has never had sex with a man. Parthinos is the word used by both Matthew and Luke in their description of Mary, affirming that she was a young woman who had never had sex with a man when Jesus was born. Incredibly, Isaiah says that this Son that will be born of a virgin shall be called Immanuel, meaning “God with us,” a clear Old Testament prophecy of the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ.
The Earliest Christians Believed in the Virgin Birth
Like Matthew in his Gospel, Luke is clear that the birth of Jesus was supernatural and that He was conceived without the involvement of a man. He records how Mary asked the angel Gabriel how she could give birth when she did not know a man, a reference to her state of virginity and being unmarried. Luke says the angel answered, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the highest shall overshadow you; therefore, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 2:34-35). Interestingly, Gabriel links the miraculous conception of this Child with His deity, for it is because of His miraculous birth that He will be called the Son of God.
That the earliest Christians believed in the virgin birth of Jesus is verified by the “Apostle’s Creed,” an early confession of faith that probably dates from the second century in its earliest formulation. It reads in part:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.
Through the centuries followers of Jesus continued to believe in the Virgin Birth. Note the words of the 18th century hymn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” written by Charles Wesley, an Oxford graduate, Anglican minister and, with his brother John, the leader of the great Methodist revival. Because of the references to the virgin birth, this hymn became a popular carol sung at Christmas.
Christ by highest heav’n adored,
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb!
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emanuel.
Hark the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn king!
An Agnostic Professor of Mythology is Convinced
With the advent of modern skepticism and higher criticism, many began to discount the historical evidence, and speculate that the virgin birth and other miracles of the New Testament are myths fabricated by followers of Jesus who wanted to deify Him. However, C. S. Lewis, an agnostic professor of Renaissance Literature at Oxford University, exposed the shallow arguments concerning the mythological character of the New Testament. Lewis was an expert in mythological literature and he tells of his astonishment the first time he read the Gospels. His surprised response was, “This is not myth!”
Lewis, of course, became a believer and an astute apologist for Christianity. It was at this time that higher criticism was being popularized in seminaries in Germany and certain theologians, such as Rudolph Bultman, were claiming that the New Testament accounts of the virgin birth of Jesus, His miracles, and His resurrection were myths created by His followers. Lewis challenged these theologians, saying, “I would like to know how many myths these people have read!” Lewis went on to explain that he had been a long-time professor and critic of mythological literature and knew how a myth sounded and felt. “And the gospel story,” he said, “is not myth!”
Conclusion
Believing in Christ does not require a so-called “blind leap of faith.” Because of the historical evidence, it is more reasonable to believe in the virgin birth than it is to deny it. Those wonderful Christian carols heralding the birth of our Savior can be sung with zest and confidence because the Christmas story is true. We know it is true because of the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts; but even for those agnostics like C. S. Lewis who do not yet have this inner witness, there is adequate, external evidence that Jesus was truly born of a virgin. And if that part of the story is true, then when can have confidence that the rest of the story is true as well. It is enough to convince any open and fair-minded atheist.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian and Biblical scholar. He is the founding director of "The Revive America Project" and his books on church history and Spiritual renewal can be found on Amazon and at his website at http://www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html.

Works Cited
Ramsey, Sir William M. The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament. Hodder & Stoughton, 1915.
Geisler, Norman. Baker Encyclopedia of Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999.
Wuest, Kenneth S. Word Studies In The Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.

Clarke, Adam. The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with a Commentary and Critical Notes. 3 Vols. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1824.

12/04/2014

SHOULD CHRISTIANS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?

Why I Will Celebrate Christmas Even Though Some of My Heroes Did Not
Monday, the 25th day, we went on shore, some to fell timber, some to saw, some to split, some to carry, so no man rested all that day. But towards night we came on board again. That night we had a sore storm of wind and rain.
This is from the journal of one of the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower who recorded their activities for December 25, 1620, their first Christmas Day in America. There is no mention of Christmas because the Pilgrims, you see, did not celebrate Christmas. They considered it a pagan holiday instituted by the Roman Catholic Church and carried on by the Church of England from which they had separated.
Convictions Matters
I do not agree with the Pilgrims rejection of Christmas, but I do respect and admire their conviction. You and I would not be enjoying the blessings of freedom and prosperity we have known if it had not been for people like them—people of conviction—who were willing to suffer loss in order to stand for their convictions.
It has been said that, “Those who don’t stand for something, will fall for anything.” In other words, unless we have a core set of convictions for which we are willing to suffer and die, we are susceptible to being led astray by whatever is popular and convenient at a given time.
I admire the Pilgrims, not because I agree with them on every point, but because they were people of principle, integrity and conviction. They were willing to be ostracized, harassed and imprisoned in England because of their conviction that Jesus (not the king or the pope) is the Head of the Church and that the Bible (not church tradition) is our primary guide. These convictions eventually led them to leave home, family and friends and begin a new life in a New World. They were people of conviction and we have been incredibly blessed because of their faith and because they were true to their convictions.
Opposing the Current Secularizing Trend
Although my convictions lead me in the opposite direction of theirs concerning Christmas, our motives and goals are similar. They were reformers seeking to purify themselves of all non-biblical religious traditions and to pattern their lives and churches after the New Testament. But whereas they were resisting a religious tyranny that sought to impose a state-run religion on everyone, today we face an anti-Christian state and culture that seeks to impose a secularized Christmas on the U.S. populace.
Just a few days ago, for example, another school, this time in Maryland, announced that there would be no mention of Christmas this year. Instead, it will be the “Winter Holiday.” During this new “Winter Holiday,” school children will not hear “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World,” for such “Christian” carols are not welcome in a secularized setting. Indeed, as Franklin Graham has noted, “Stores, schools and communities across America continue to find new and intolerant reasons to remove any religious references to Christmas.” Even the Whitehouse website is playing down “Christmas,” choosing to call it “Holiday 2014,” with the President and First Lady giving, not a Christmas greeting, but a “holiday” greeting with no mention of the real reason for the season.
In spite of the culture trend, Christmas offers for Christians of conviction a wonderful opportunity to proclaim the Gospel in both overt and subtle ways, with nativity scenes, Christmas hymns, and other expressions of our faith. It is a time when we can remind the world that, at Christmas, we celebrate the coming of God into our midst in the person of Jesus Christ.
Let’s Be People of Conviction
It doesn’t really matter that December 25 is not the actual day of Christ’s birth or that Constantine “Christianized” a pagan holiday; just like it doesn’t really matter that the former owner of my Gibson Dove guitar may have used it to play ungodly music in ungodly places. The guitar is now sanctified and holy because I now use it for the glory of God. In a similar way, Christmas this year will be what you and I choose to make of it.
I am convinced that we as Christians should seize the opportunity and shout it from the housetops that Christmas is a reminder that God came to the world in the person of Jesus Christ, not only to reveal His love but to also confront the world about its wayward rebellion from Him. Paul expressed this to the intellectual elite of Athens when he recounted to them their various misconceptions of God and then declared;
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.

Just as it took people of conviction to open the New World and lay the foundations for a great new nation, the current national crises requires people of a similar conviction. Such people of conviction will carry the church (and the nation) forward into our God-given future. And this is why I am celebrating Christmas this year!

Eddie Hyat is an author, historian, Bible teacher and founder of "The Revive America Project." His books are available from Amazon and his website at http://www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html.

12/01/2014

Should America Reconsider Calling itself "America"?

by Susan C. Hyatt (www.icwhp.org)

A friend shared a diagram that suggests the United States of America should reconsider calling itself "America" because several nations occupy the American continents and therefore, The States should not lay exclusive claim to the name "America."
So, here is my perspective as a CANADIAN by birth and natural citizenship, and by choice, CHRISTIAN in terms of eternal citizenship and AMERICAN in terms of legal immigrant residential status..

I call myself Susan, Sue, Suzie, Susan Stubbs Hyatt, Sue Hyatt, Susan Hyatt, Susan Christian Stubbs Hyatt, Mrs. Hyatt, Dr. Hyatt -- and on and on and on. It's really up to me. It's MY name. I retain the right to call myself by whatever name I choose. In the same way, I believe that the United States of America has the right to call itself by a variety of names, including "America." If other countries in The Americas want to call themselves "America," that is their option. No one is stopping them. So why knock The United States of America? By the way, I love the song "America the Beautiful" and the book by Dr. Ben Carson by the same name.

Personally, I call he United States of America by various names, including, for example: AMERICA, THE STATES, THE USA, THE US, and "Our Neighbor to the South." When I was a kid growing up in New Brunswick, Canada, we referred to the nation to our south as "The States." And those who lived in "The States," we called "Americans."

Eddie and I have a book called "America's Revival Heritage" that shows the undeniable Christian roots of the nation's founding documents and the Christian motivations of those who established the nation. We could have called the book "The Revival Heritage of The United States of America" or "The Revival Hertiage of 'The States.'" I much prefer "America's Revival Heritage." Here's the link to the book:  http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Revival-Heritage-Eddie-Hyatt/dp/1888435240/ref=sr_1_2_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417485462&sr=1-2&keywords=eddie+hyatt

Also we have a 30-minute TV program called REVIVE AMERICA that airs weekly on Cable Channel 99 in Paris, Texas. It is also available on one of our YouTube channels:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAkm7eHwjuIQS7pw3-tYcNw


And we have an educational project called REVIVE AMERICA. You are welcome to contact DrEddieHyatt@gmail.com or to visit the FB group for details: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reviveamerica.eddiehyatt/

Sidebar:
I was born and raised in the DOMINION OF CANADA (the title being derived from Psalm 72:8), and as a native born Canadian, I care deeply about my homeland. So, Eddie and I have an organization called "The Christian Historical Society of Canada, Inc." that educates interested individiuals concerning the Christian roots of the Dominion of Canada.
WEBSITE: www.christianhistoricalsociety.ca
BLOG: http://www.chscdrsuehyatt.blogspot.com/


PS: Just wondering -- when "illegals" speak of the United States of America, I wonder what they call this land to which they which to escape. Somehow, I think they most often call it "America."
I say let's use our energy to facilitate the Peace, Unity, and Blessing that we have available to us all through the Lord Jesus Christ and not get sidetracked by what a nation chooses to call itself.


I consider myself blessed to live in America.