“In a loud voice they sang: ‘Worthy is the Lamb,
who was slain, to receive power and wealth and
wisdom and strength and honor and
glory and praise!’ ” (Revelation 5:12)
Of course, Wake Up Reports! will continue. However, after 28 years of writing monthly Bible studies, this could be my final article. If health permits, I may write more, but time will tell. How does a person say goodbye to a dedicated and loyal staff, a glorious message and mission, and thousands of wonderful people who have been my life and joy for the past 32 years? After some consideration on this question, I thought my last article should be a tribute to Jesus, as Thomas said of Jesus, “my Lord and my God.” (John 20:28) Even if I used every word in the dictionary, I could not explain all that Jesus is or express all that Jesus means to me. It has been my greatest joy and privilege to answer His call and I am looking forward to spending eternity with Him and those who love Him!
I am not excluding or diminishing the Father and the Holy Spirit with this tribute for I would not know Jesus if it had not been for them! The Bible teaches the Father sent Jesus into the world so that we might know the truth about both of them, and the Holy Spirit never rests from His mission. The Spirit is constantly revealing spiritual insights to those who seek truth and also conveys whatever Jesus wants said to individuals. In 1970, Jesus spoke to my heart in Houston, Texas and after a few weeks of internal struggle between my desire for self-direction and God’s call to obey His direction, I surrendered. (This approach to life and method of living doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but it is how faith in God is lived.) Ever since I surrendered to the supremacy of God’s will in my life, Jesus has done and continues to do amazing things for Shirley and me. Worthy is the Lamb! Great things He has done and will continue to do!
If a person digs into the Bible with an open heart, the result will be life changing. The Holy Spirit will reveal God and His truth and those who embrace them are changed. The Bible is like a diamond mine – full of precious gems, but only for those willing to dig for them. Soon after I started digging in the Bible, I began to understand that the Father sent Jesus to Earth to live a sinless life so that Christ’s righteousness (His perfect life) can be given to anyone willing to live by faith. (Romans 1:17) The Father also sent Jesus to Earth so that through His death, the guilt of repentant sinners could be legitimately transferred from the sinner. When I investigated Hebrews 11 to see what living by faith was all about, I found that faith in God is much more than going to church and having a religious life. Living by faith is a 24/7 experience. You never know what Jesus will say! He told Noah to build an ark and He told Abraham to move away from home. By faith, Noah and Abraham obeyed. According to Hebrews 11, faith is not a religious ritual. Instead, faith is obeying Jesus as He speaks to us through the Spirit!
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit does not speak on His own. It is Jesus who speaks through the Spirit. (John 16:13,14) Therefore, whatever I hear the Spirit say, that is Jesus speaking to me. Living by faith means obeying the Holy Spirit and leaving the consequences with God. Of course, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is a mystery to those who have not connected to Him. Paul wrote, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 1:14)
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) One of the most amazing absolutes of this statement is each story involving faith is timeless. Jesus responds to the faith of people today just like He did in Bible times. Because Jesus has done so much for Shirley and me, I want to share a few faith stories. As you read them, remember the old gospel song, “It is no secret what God can do, What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you!”
In the fall of 1970, Jesus gave me an appetite for Bible truth. Prior to being born again, I respected the Bible, but I did not read it very often. After Jesus changed me, I could not read the Bible fast enough. I also read different commentaries to better understand some passages that were difficult. For over a year, I learned new things almost every day. It was so exciting! At that time, I was trying to find my place and purpose in life. The job I had was not fulfilling. During the spring of 1972 an impression came within my heart that I could not shut off. I was convicted that I should work for the Lord in some direct way, but I had no idea where to start. Shirley and I discussed various things and one day, Shirley said, “I think the Lord is calling you back to school to get a degree in theology.”
I responded, “I hate school and I don’t want to be a pastor.”
She said, “I don’t know what God wants, but I think He is calling you. You have three years of college already, why not finish with something that you enjoy?”
Two months later, Shirley and I loaded all our earthly possessions in a truck and headed off to school. After we unloaded, filled up the gas tank and paid for the truck rental, we had one dime left. We started a new life in faith with a total of ten cents. Should we need to make a collect phone call, we kept that dime in a safe place. We had enough food to last the three of us (our daughter was about 14 months old) for about ten days. I quickly found a minimum wage job and trusted God that we could make it until payday. Then a wonderful thing took place. The company I previously worked for sent a check for wages that I was due. Since the company had gone out of business, I did not anticipate getting paid. Just when our cupboards went bare, a check for over $300 arrived! Needless to say, we three paupers were overjoyed! We knelt and thanked Jesus for blessing us and providing for us. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
A few weeks later, one of the guys at work asked if I would be interested in trading cars. We had a very nice 1967 four door Ford sedan and he had a 1966 Datsun that looked like he had been transporting grizzly bears. The interior was totally trashed and held together by duct tape that had left sticky residue everywhere. He added a substantial amount of cash with his car and we made a deal. We desperately needed money for school books and bills. Shortly thereafter, Shirley and I went to a large junk yard in Fort Worth to look for seats and hubcaps. It so happened that the junkyard had a Datsun identical to ours and the seats were in perfect condition and it also had four hubcaps. (Shirley wasn’t going to ride around in a car with missing hubcaps. ☺) We bought everything for $100 and were overjoyed! Once again, we knelt and thanked Jesus for blessing us with money for books, school bills, and a “nice enough” car.
An evangelist came to the area that summer preaching on the importance of tithing. Shirley and I were already tithing so we didn’t expect what would happen next. The evangelist challenged the congregation to conduct an experiment in faith by returning a tithe to the Lord and he said, “If you already tithe, then conduct an experiment in faith by giving a second tithe.” The word “faith” caught my attention. I had not really thought of tithing as a matter of faith. Shirley and I felt impressed that we should try this and having no money, we decided to dive into the grocery jar and give the Lord our grocery money for the last week of the month. This would give the Lord two weeks to reward our faith. If nothing happened, I would borrow $25 from someone to get by. ($25 was our weekly grocery budget at that time.)
The next week, we gave our $25 when the plate was passed. After church, a stranger came up at church and asked for my name. I told him and he put an envelope in my hand and said, “There’s a note inside for you.” I thanked him, put the envelope in my coat pocket, and forgot about it until bedtime that night. When I opened the envelope, there was $60 and a note which read, “Larry, you loaned our son $300 when you lived in Houston. He has been unable to repay you, so we are repaying his loan at $60 a month.” Shirley and I were blown away. We gave the Lord our $25 this morning and now the Lord is giving us $60 for the next five months! “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 1:6)
After graduating from college, we moved into a parsonage in Dallas and I worked as an associate pastor, giving Bible studies all over the city. During this time, I met with an elderly man who wanted to have his Bible questions answered. I could not answer every question, but I did my best. One day he said, “I would like to help you financially. Do you need anything?”
I responded, “No, we are doing fine.”
“Do you have a school loan?” He asked.
“Yes, I owe about $3,500, but payments do not start until I’m out of school for nine months.”
“Well, your payments are over,” he exclaimed. He paid my debt! I couldn’t believe it! Once again, God’s grace overwhelmed me. I saw a striking parallel: Jesus paid my debt on the cross for no other reason than love!
Zoom forward through fifteen years of many wonderful blessings. I now worked for a hospital in Dayton, Ohio as director of the “Center for Health Promotion.” Even though I was working at a hospital, my core interest was still in the Bible and giving Bible studies. One day after church, some friends came to the house and after lunch, I gave them a Bible study (whether they wanted it or not ☺). After a couple hours, they became excited and suggested that I conduct a seminar and share my views on the book of Revelation. They wanted to hear more. So, I held my first seminar in October 1986 and ironically, those friends never attended. The seminar was well attended and consisted of six weekend meetings. After that seminar ended, I conducted more seminars. The seminars went well and interest (and opposition) grew. Then, a strange thing began to occur at work. Each time I would start a new seminar, our department would be blessed with a new contract. This was exciting because for years, our department had been a great expense for the hospital. My employees noticed a correlation between the seminars and our contracts and from time to time, someone would say, “Larry, it’s about time to start another seminar.” Later on, I realized this correlation was deliberate. The Lord was showing me His ability to provide financially. When we are willing to do what He wants done, He makes it possible to accomplish the impossible! These insights and lessons in faith prepared Shirley and me for the next step. The rungs on the ladder of faith are not ten feet apart, but they are far enough apart that stretching is required.
During 1988, the Lord called me to give up my church, my career, my employment, and my friends. He wanted me to create a non-denominational ministry and tell the world of my discoveries in the Bible. I struggled with this calling for several months. I knew the consequences would be painful for my family. I also questioned my sanity. Was this my imagination or was it the Lord calling? After a while Shirley and I sensed the Lord was calling; I noticed the same restlessness that I had felt with His first calling in 1972. When I finally reached a point where decisive action was required, I made a promise to the Lord. I would go forward in faith and establish a ministry that never asked for money! I had read about the life and faith of George Mueller. If Jesus were really calling me to start a new ministry, we would depend on Him to provide for our needs through unsolicited donations and gifts just like George Mueller. I reasoned that if Jesus had not called me, the ministry would fail and I would find another job. Can you believe that Shirley agreed with this wholeheartedly? We sold our house to reduce living expenses and Shirley went to work to meet our personal expenses. It was a scary step for both of us, but we took it!
From the beginning of Wake Up until now, the gracious hand of Jesus has been upon us. Three people and numerous volunteers appeared in my life around 1987 who would become very special people. My immediate boss at the hospital was Marty Purvis. We became friends and when Marty showed interest in some of the prophetic things I had discovered, our friendship grew into a partnership. Marty helped me incorporate Wake Up America in 1988. Even though he worked for other companies until 1994 (Marty is a CPA), he oversaw Wake Up’s financial matters from the beginning. He joined Wake Up as a full time employee in 1994 and he has made many essential and wonderful contributions to the mission and message that Wake Up represents.
I met Suzy Gray at a seminar in 1987. She was a nurse, a studious Christian, and very interested in Bible prophecy. Later on, Suzy came to work part time in the office helping with various projects. Suzy also has a gift for proofreading and once she began to help with proofing, she became our “go-to” person before publishing anything.
I also met Shelley Betts in 1987. Later, in 1990, when we established the office, Shelley agreed to work for Wake Up, making one third of what she formerly earned when working at another Dayton area hospital. The hospital offered her more money to return, but she had a calling to serve the Lord. She faithfully served as our office manager for 25 years! Shelley was just the right person for the job. She loved the Lord and her bubbly personality and quick mind enabled her to deal with all kinds of people (some, not so nice) and thousands of questions. Shelley was never too busy to pray with callers who needed prayer.
Currently, Diana Johnson is our office manager and as of June 1, she has served three years! Her husband, Rex, also works part time helping us with web traffic and development. Rex gave his life to Jesus in the 1990’s after reading the purple book titled, “The Revelation of Jesus.” Later, he would meet and introduce Diana to the story and the rest is history!
To get the ministry started, Shirley and I loaned Wake Up all of our savings. We loaned $30,000 with the understanding that if the ministry could not repay the loan, the money would be a gift to the Lord. I used the money to purchase video and audio equipment, duplicating equipment, postage, video tapes, and for publishing books and materials. The first edition of the Warning! book (written in 1987) cost $10,000 to print. Just before Marty and I began to incorporate Wake Up as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and open a corporate bank account, I received a surprise donation from a stranger for $10,000!
Months earlier, I had published a booklet and sent out a few hundred copies. The donor had received a copy from a friend of a friend and the Holy Spirit impressed him to send an unsolicited contribution to support the message in that booklet. When the check arrived, confirmation occurred. I knew in my heart the Lord would sustain the ministry without asking for money! Looking back, I know why the Lord has done this. The Bible has a message for this hour called “present truth.” The book of Daniel has been unsealed. The four rules of interpretation are known. The end is here, Jesus is about to return, and He wants people to know of His plans (if they care to know).
One day in the spring of 1991, Shelley received a phone call from Zimbabwe. The man’s order totaled $348.05. When Shelley asked how he would pay for these items, he said he could not pay. The Lord would send someone to pay for them. Shelley put the call on hold. She called me and asked what to do. I could not tell if this was a scam or genuine. After a moment, I felt we should take the risk and Shelley told him we would ship the items. Shelley boxed the materials and took it immediately to the post office. When she returned to the office, a lady was waiting outside because the office door was locked. Shelley invited her in and she said she had stopped by to drop off a contribution. The lady gave Shelley an IRS tax refund check of $348.05 which was the exact payment for materials sent to Zimbabwe a few minutes earlier! This and other similar events confirmed to us that Jesus knows our need even before the need appears! The IRS check was issued several days before the phone call came from Africa!
A few years ago, we created a booklet called “The National Sunday Law Revisited” and wanted to share it with as many people as possible. We found a large mailing list containing 460,000 names. The cost for printing and mailing would be $167,000. We wondered what Jesus would do. About a week after completing the booklet, a lady called to inform me that she had sold a property and she would be sending $100,000 to Wake Up for whatever our needs might be. She did not know of our plans. After her call, I thought, we have not told anyone of our plans and financially, we are more than halfway there! Her check arrived within a few days, but we did not have the funds to complete the project. We had to wait on the Lord. About two weeks later I received a phone call. An attorney was on the line, wanting to verify some information. He told me that a lady had died and in her will, she gave half of the proceeds from the sale of her house to Wake Up. The property had been sold and he was disbursing the funds. After answering his questions, I asked him for the amount of the donation. He told me the donation was going to be $67,000. I smiled because once again, I knew that Jesus had provided! Consider the timing of this project. The lady had passed away long before we had considered creating the booklet and the $67,000 came from property that had been for sale for years. When God is ready to do something, timing is everything! The booklet along with its funding, and distribution came together at just the right time!
Although I have written about the goodness and grace of God and the importance of living by faith, I want to put this tribute to Jesus on a higher plane. Wake Up exists to prepare people for the return of Jesus. The most important and valuable blessing this ministry has received over the past 32 years are the testimonies of changed lives! I have witnessed amazing transformations. I have seen people transformed, from hostile to humble, from rebellious to surrendered, from addicted to drugs to addicted to Jesus, from having no knowledge of Jesus to rejoicing in the revelation of Jesus, from living in a religiously indifferent state to eager to learn and share! I have been amazed at how the Holy Spirit has used Revelation’s story to attract people to the gospel of Jesus from all over the world. One of the most fascinating aspects of this ministry has been to see who has interest and who does not. You can never tell. Jesus had the same experience, “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.’ ” (Luke 10:21)
Since 1990, Wake Up has pursued every known avenue to get our message before the world. We have a message that runs deep. It requires diligence and patience to understand. It’s complicated given the four rules of interpretation and the five essential Bible doctrines required to understand them. We have had good results and greater results are coming. I am so happy that a group of informed and faithful people now exist. You know the story. You have been permanently changed and transformed by the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Over the years, Wake Up has spent a lot of money to sow good seed. Even now, we see increased interest in our website and on YouTube. Present truth is now available to millions of people for free. We are waiting on the Lord to send them our way when the time comes. Or, better yet, when the Lord selects and empowers the 144,000 and shuts down the internet! Either way, every one – everywhere – will soon hear the story of the revelation of Jesus that means so much to all of us.
I hope this Tribute to Jesus inspires you to look back over your life to see how Jesus has blessed you. Because Jesus is changeless, stories of faith are timeless. Jesus hears our prayers and He generously provides for our needs according to His infinite love and wisdom. Shirley and I are still living by faith. We need the comfort and peace which the Lord offers more than ever! We continue to grow in faith through trial and tribulation. As Moses said in his last speech to Israel, we must be careful that we do not forget how the Lord has provided for us in the past. (Deuteronomy 8) The Bible teaches the saints will soon be trapped in trial and tribulation. Recalling the Lord’s former providences will be extremely important. It has been our greatest joy to serve the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in this ministry and I know that Jesus will continue to bless it until the end. Shirley and I eagerly look forward to meeting and greeting each of you in Heaven!
This issue completes 15 full years of the Wake Up Report!. You can download a file containing all Day Stars and Wake Up Reports (2000-2018) at https://www.wake-up.org/media/2000-2018-Wake-Up-Report-Articles.pdf