In Memory: Pat Robertson
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.
Today, June 08, 2023, my father, Pat Robertson, has gone home to be with his Lord. My dad was at home, surrounded by his family when he entered glory and met his Savior face to face, whom he loved and served with his whole heart, mind, and being. My father was an extraordinary man by any standard. He was an evangelist, a humanitarian, an entrepreneur, an educator, an author, a statesman, a television personality, a man of global influence and tremendous vision. Perhaps most important though, he was a dearly loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. For many of us, he was also a spiritual father, guiding us and teaching us to love the Lord and live lives worthy of the Gospel. In his final days, he often talked about heaven and his desire to be with Jesus. During one of these times of reflection he shared this with his two daughters and three of his granddaughters:
“I tried to listen to the Lord.
I loved you all.
I walked with the Lord.
I hope I’ve passed that on to you.”
We can only imagine the rich welcome my father experienced as he stepped into eternity. Perhaps millions from many tribes and nations came to greet and thank him for his part in sharing the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ with them. And I imagine my dad said to them the same thing he has said to us many times, “I was just an unworthy servant and have only done my duty. The Lord did it all, not me.”
My family and I thank you immensely for your prayers during this time as we grieve. We will always treasure the way my father encouraged us to trust in the Lord, no matter our circumstances. He recently recorded a message to share with his 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, and I know it is one that he believed with all his heart.
“I want you to know that you can always trust in God. He will never fail you. He’s never failed me in my whole life, and He’ll never fail you. So, I want you to know that you can trust in Jesus Christ all the way through. Don’t ever doubt His goodness because He will always be there for you.”
We are strengthened by this message and the eternal hope that we have in Christ. Though we will miss him, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. As 1 Thessalonians 4 reminds us:
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
A memorial service will be held in the coming days. More details will be provided as they are available on CBN.com. Please visit CBN.com/Pat to learn more about my dad’s life and legacy.
As the CEO and President of CBN over these past 16 years, I remain deeply grateful for your prayers and support. The work of the ministry will continue, just as my father began it, preaching the Gospel to the world and preparing disciples in all nations.
Yours in Christ,
Director of “Oracles of God” Discusses First Movie Installment
THE ORACLES OF GOD
“What advantage has the Jew? Much in every way! For to them were committed the Oracles of God.” – Romans 3:1-2/
Order your copy of Oracles of God now!
The Oracles of God is a series of feature-length docudramas about the creation and canonization of the Bible. Featuring expert interviews, a cast of hundreds across three continents, and narration by actor Iain Glen (Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones), the project follows the history and archaeology behind the best-selling book of all-time. CBN Films is planning four parts:
- The Story of the Old Testament (now available)
- The New Testament (filming Summer 2023, release tentatively scheduled for Fall 2024)
- The Canon (Fall 2025)
- The Manuscripts (Fall 2026)
THE OLDEST WRITTEN LANGUAGE
The Bible, spanning 1,500 years and written in multiple languages by various authors, is believed to be guided by the Holy Spirit to convey God's truth on theology, history, and ethics.
The Hebrew Bible, known as the Old Testament, consists of three sections:
• The Law: The first five books, also called the Torah/Pentateuch.
• The Prophets: Including Joshua, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and more.
• The Writings: Wisdom Literature containing Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc.
Moses is traditionally credited as the author of the Law, with evidence supporting his familiarity with the world's first alphabet. However, Moses couldn't have been the sole author, as his death is recorded. It is likely the Torah originated with Moses, with later editors adding their own contributions.
Around 1000 BCE, during King David's time, the Torah and Hebrew traditions were compiled into book form. Scribes recorded the songs of David, including many Psalms attributed to him. King Hezekiah continued editing and compiling sacred texts around 800 BCE.
The world's oldest biblical text, dating to this period, contains the Priestly Benediction found in Numbers 6:24-26:
"May the Lord bless you and keep you...
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace."
In 587 BCE, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar exiled the Hebrews to Babylon. During the exile, scribes copied manuscripts extensively due to the availability of materials.
After 70 years, the Jewish people were allowed to return from exile. Ezra, a skilled scribe, copied the Torah and collected historical, prophetic, and other writings. Ezra aimed to revive Hebrew language, customs, and knowledge of the laws.
The Torah was translated into Greek in the 3rd century BCE, known as the Septuagint (LXX). It became the Bible for Jews outside the Holy Land and was often quoted in the New Testament. The Greek Orthodox Church still uses the LXX.
And while the Septuagint was probably the biggest translation job ever undertaken in the world, it brings up the question about accuracy. No translation is ever completely accurate, but a scholars will note that a word-for-word translation wasn’t necessarily the goal of the Septuagint project. Some parts are, in fact, very literal and close to the original Hebrew as could be rendered into the Greek. Others have been paraphrased to make the Hebrew text more intelligible or understandable. Scholars will also point out that the first Christians believed that the Septuagint was an accurate and faithful representation of what was said and what was meant in the original texts.
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
In 1947, Bedouin shepherds discovered scrolls and fragments in Qumran caves. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to the 1st century BCE and 1st century AD, provide insights into Jewish beliefs during Jesus' time. Comparisons with later Biblical manuscripts reveal remarkable similarities, indicating the accurate preservation of language.
The authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls formed a community in Qumran. Every letter and word in a scroll was counted, allowing up to three mistakes per page. Failure to correct them led to burning the entire manuscript.
Despite Roman campaigns against the Jews, the Dead Sea Scrolls survived while other artifacts were lost.
The discovery began with shepherds selling fragments to a shopkeeper. Professor Sukenik, an archaeologist, recognized their significance in 1947, coinciding with the UN vote for Israel's independence. His son later remarked, “It’s as if these manuscripts had been waiting in caves for two thousand years, since the destruction of Israel's independence, until the people of Israel had returned to their home and regained their freedom.”
Order your copy of Oracles of God now!
For more information regarding Oracles of God please visit www.cbnfilms.com.
NBA Player Stands Tall for His Faith
“One player turned towards me and asked, ‘Are you going to kneel, Jonathan?’ And I said, ‘Fellas, I'm not going to kneel and I'm not going to wear that T-shirt.’ And that was the day before it happened,” says Jonathan.
During the summer of 2020, protestors took to the streets after the killing of George Floyd. On July 31st, the NBA returned from Covid lockdowns. Like other NBA teams, the Orlando Magic players knelt in protest. Magic forward Jonathan Isaac stood alone. Afterwards, Jonathan faced backlash on social media and from reporters.
Reporter at press conference: “Do you believe that black lives matter?”
Jonathan: “Absolutely. I believe that black lives matter. A lot went into my decision and part of it was my thought was that kneeling and wearing a t-shirt doesn’t go hand in hand with supporting black lives…Everything that plagues our nation, that plagues us as a society I think the answer is the gospel.”
Jonathan is the author of a new book, “Why I Stand,” detailing his faith journey and standing for what he believes in. His confidence in his convictions might come as a surprise to those who knew him as a boy. Jonathan Judah Isaac was raised in church in the Bronx. However, after his parents divorced, Jonathan moved to Florida with his mother.
“Coming from Bronx, New York, a predominantly Black community to Naples, Florida, a predominantly white community, different is exactly what I was,” says Jonathan. “That was the first time that I started to develop a sense of anxiety and really, self-awareness that I was different from the other kids and I wasn't fitting in. And so that led me towards basketball and starting to refine my skills there.The girls started to talk to me, the guys wanted me to be on their team. And so that drove me to put every single ounce of time and practice that I could into basketball, into becoming better.”
His game improved through high school and Jonathan captured the attention of college scouts. Still he had an intense fear of failure.
“I always just felt insignificant and always having to work for somebody else's approval or somebody else's love.”
The hard work payed off. Jonathan accepted a full scholarship to play at Florida State University. However, his anxiety followed him on campus.
Will Dawson: “When you get to Florida State, by all accounts, you had a great season. But behind the scenes, sometimes you would barely even hold it together. Why was that?”
Jonathan: “I had several moments at Florida State of like passing out, of just you know, having panic attacks, anxiety attacks, and not really being able to diagnose them until the coaches found out, and then we kind of dealt with it to where I was taking anxiety medication to practice and to play.”
After one season in college, the Orlando Magic selected Jonathan in the first round of the NBA draft, the sixth overall pick. What should’ve been a night of celebration, to Jonathan, felt even more like an opportunity to fail.
“Everybody else that was there almost felt like they expected to be there, they expected the night to go the way they wanted it to. But for me, it was just passing me by because of that same fear and anxiety that was going on in the inside of me,” says Jonathan.
While Jonathan’s nagging anxiety continued, something else happened his rookie season. A teammate invited him to a chapel service. The pre-game message challenged Jonathan’s thinking in a very profound way.
Jonathan says, “The chaplain started the message and he quotedthat says, ‘Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I say?’ And the verse hit me like just a ton of bricks. I started to reflect on that verse even in the game, at nighttime I'm thinking to myself, that's me.”
His spiritual life was further challenged when he met Dr. Hepburn, a pastor who began discipling him.
Dr. Hepburn: “I looked to him and said, ‘I could tell you how to be great. And I know that God can lead us all into our greatness.'”
Will Dawson: “What was his response to you?”
Dr. Hepburn: “Jonathan responds uh, ‘I already know Jesus.’"
Jonathan: “Oh, I did say that.”
Dr. Hepburn: “And he kept it moving. He – but he didn't know Jesus. He didn't know. He was doing his thing.”
Over time their friendship helped Jonathan consider a relationship with Jesus. Dr. Hepburn prayed for him after an injury his rookie season.
“And I'm thinking to myself, I've never heard anybody pray like that,” says Jonathan. “I get home that night and I hadn't knelt down to the side of my bed since I've been in Orlando at all. But I knelt down and I was like, ‘God cares about me.’ And that was something that was so big for me because I was so used to working for love, working for acceptance, working for attention to where I was like, I know that I had nothing to do with all of these coincidences and circumstances, but somebody had to be looking out for me.”
Jonathan gave his heart to God. With the help of his mentor Dr. Hepburn he began growing in his faith.
Will Dawson: “But the anxiety didn't go away after that. How were you better equipped to deal with it?”
Jonathan: “He would always talk about speaking the Word and saying it out of your mouth so your ears could hear it, developing your relationship with Christ. I think for me, the thing that helped me and is still helping me conquer anxiety time and time again is being able to look back on these small moments of when I did choose to fight, I did choose to stand, I did choose to, even though I was afraid, to do it anyway and seeing that God was there for me in those moments. That has helped me to, if I come against another moment like that, I'm like I know that God has me.”
This season, Jonathan’s goal is to stay healthy and take the Magic back to the playoffs. Even more than that, under the microscope of fans and media, Jonathan’s focus is no longer on himself and his anxieties, but on others.
“I want to be an advocate for the people who do struggle with anxiety and fear and give them a blueprint that you can defeat it and you can combat it with the Word of God, with the love of God, and with having the right people around you,” says Jonathan.
“I think the biggest thing for me that I wanted people to see from the book is to get that. For me, it was a journey. I didn't come to having this one courageous moment just because I developed that courage right then and there. It was a process. And to really put Christ on display that it's evidence that He really can transform your life because He's doing that – He's done that for me. I want my NBA career to just be a platform for Christ.”
To purchase Jonathan's book, "Why I Stand," please visit: https://www.amazon.com/Why-I-Stand-Jonathan-Isaac/dp/1956007067/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3EX61YJH2HJPW&keywords=jonathan+isaac+book+why+i+stand&qid=1662735341&sprefix=jonathan+Issa%2Caps%2C64&sr=8-1
Little Girl Births Unstoppable Faith for Parents
“During the last five minutes of my labor and delivery was when I noticed something was wrong because their faces said it all. And they kept saying, 'Her heart's dropping, her heart rate's dropping, what are we going to do?'" Emily recalled.
In 2019, Emily Wise and her husband, Bruce, were expecting their daughter, Riley. It was a normal, healthy pregnancy. “We had no indications that there would be any issues or complications,” she said. “We weren't expecting anything besides having that healthy baby in our arms.”
On the day of her delivery, however, things turned horribly wrong. “They had to use a vacuum to deliver her because they said, ‘We have to get her out now!’" Emily recalled. “And my heart was just racing.”
During the delivery, Riley was deprived of oxygen. “They put her on my chest and right away they took her away and she wasn't crying and she looked sort of gray,” Emily added. “And they started putting a breathing tube in her. And that's when my heart just sank.”
Bruce, her husband remembered, “The tradition where you get to cut the umbilical cord and everything, I didn't get to do that. And I knew something was going on.”
Riley was diagnosed with H.I.E.-- hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. “I was just devastated,” said Emily. “I didn't know if she was going to live or die. I just saw her get intubated and I knew that that was bad. Then they came back in the room and said she's had a brain injury and we need to take her to Children's for a cooling protocol."
Bruce said, “I was in shock at the time. I didn't quite understand what was going on. I didn't have time to register it. So I immediately jumped into the ambulance and accompanied Riley to Nationwide Children's Hospital."
“We were left not knowing how this would affect her. It's a very wide--it could be mild. It could be severe,” Emily said. “She could have cerebral palsy or just maybe she's at 10 times more risk for autism."
“They explained some of the risks that she might encounter so I didn’t have a lot of time to register the severity or understand it,” Bruce said. “I took some time to research it and it was pretty alarming.”
Emily also said, “They told us that her eyes weren't responding to light as they should and that can show a cognitive delay. And that's when I really started praying, ‘God, please let her mind be okay.’”
Although Emily considered herself a social Christian at the time, she began praying and crying out to God. One day she was channel surfing when something caught her eye. “I turned on the TV, and just randomly flipping the channels, here's CBN," Emily said. “And they said at the end, you can call in for prayer. There was no solution to a brain injury. What could I do? But here was this show saying, 'God can help you.' And it really lifted me up. It gave me that little bit of hope I needed at the time.”
“Everybody told us that she's okay, that she's okay, everything's fine. And all the data and the doctors, they were telling us otherwise,” Bruce remembered. “So we kind of felt like we were very alone for a while.”
Emily began calling the prayer partners at CBN on a regular basis. “They helped me learn how to pray actually,” she said. “And their prayer partners said prayers with me. And they were the nicest, honest, just beautiful prayers that we prayed for my daughter together. One time on the phone, talking to one of the prayer partners, I could feel this presence overcome me. And it was just like this strengthening and peace. At that moment I knew her body was going to be okay.”
The couple began attending First Baptist Church in Grove City, Ohio. Emily said, “Pastor Dave, he was really just instrumental in every Sunday when I felt so hopeless. His message felt like it just spoke right to what we were going through, our situation, because he just kept talking about the power of prayer. He kept saying, be persistent and God is big enough. There's no problem that God cannot fix for you.”
Pastor Dave Earley recalled, “They responded for an opportunity to come and receive prayer. I remember they came down on my left and they wanted us to pray for baby Riley and it was one of those days when you're praying and you know God's going to answer.”
On Easter Sunday that year, Emily gave her life to Christ. “I started feeling like, ‘Ok I can give this to God and see what He can do with it.’ And that's what I did. I raised my hand at the end of service and I committed my life to God and accepted Jesus. And then after that, I really felt like things started moving even more so. I felt like my prayers were starting to get answered. I could see her eyes start to shift and she was making some eye contact with me.”
Over the coming weeks and months, Riley’s condition improved rapidly, which shocked the medical staff. “We took her back to physical therapy and she hit all her goals way faster than they ever imagined. She went from being behind to advanced for her age, and they discharged her. We took her to the eye doctors, and they said, 'Hey, it looks like her eyes are right where they should be.’ And I said, ‘Praise God. She can see!'"
By her second birthday, she was testing normal in nearly every area. Bruce said. “Primarily, when I got to see her in play groups with other children, she acted like them. She didn't have any limitations. She looked just like the rest of them. And I knew that something was up there. I knew it was God's hand.”
Today Riley is a normal, active, four-year-old. Bruce and Emily say this experience had a profound effect on them. “I can never deny the power of prayer,” she added. “I would always just say pray and pray more, and just keep trusting God.”
Bruce added, “This primarily changed me to be a better leader for my family, to have faith in God, that He's got a plan for us.”
Pastor Earley added, “When I see Riley come in on Sunday smiling, and she's such a healthy, vibrant, happy little girl, it just brings great joy to my heart. We have a God who loves children and a God who hears and answers the prayer of His people.”
“Psalms 34:4--I sought the Lord and He answered me. He delivered me from all of my fears. His Word is true,” Emily said. “Because He saw me through all the bad things I thought would happen to my daughter and He healed her.”
CBN’s impact around the world
Daily prayers for people across the country
CBN’s prayer team prayed with over 1.2 million callers in 2022 alone, while also praying with people through email, social media channels, live chat on the website, and written correspondence.
Highlighting testimonies of God’s faithfulness
Vida Dura or “Hard Life” stories are sourced throughout Latin America and produced in Spanish to reach a region with testimonies of people who hit rock bottom and turn to God for change. CBN has a prayer center in Latin America to support people through prayer and faith resources.
Serving in the wake of natural disasters
CBN's Operation Blessing was on the ground quickly in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, providing much-needed food, relief supplies, and medical aid. After large-scale natural disasters, Operation Blessing strives to be the first to arrive, and the last to leave, tending to the needs long after the news cameras leave.
Ukraine and Poland
For 30 years, CBN has been serving the people of Ukraine
Through CBN’s Orphan’s Promise and Operation Blessing, we were able to quickly provide valuable resources soon after the conflict began, and we continue to support Ukrainian refugees.
Projected 135 million* watched a CBN program in 2022
CBN partners are reaching children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus through Superbook, a Bible-based animation series. In 2022 alone, children in 139 countries watched at least one episode of Superbook.
Bible Reading for the Day
Read or listen to today's Old and New Testament Bible readings. Each day is portioned to give the entire Bible to you in a year. Start anytime. Scroll forward or backward if you miss any days or want to get ahead.