Updated with correct audio link - our apologies!
Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call hosted by T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael; it’s great to have you with us! In today’s program, Tom begins a two-part series with guest Tim Berends, radio host and evangelist at large, as they address the topic: The Gospel to Las Vegas. And now, here’s Tom.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Today and next week I have the privilege of interviewing a man I’ve known for a long time, and this is a very special interview, which you’ll hear. But why would you ask that? Well, because I get to interview someone who has interviewed me a number of times in the past. And now, I don’t want you to think that this is payback. No, there’s not even a thought of that, because Dave Hunt and I have gotten this gentleman into more trouble, and vice-versa, which we’ll talk about in this session and next week. My special guest is Tim Berends. He is the host of Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas, which is broadcast on KKVV 1060 AM and KKVV.com. Tim, it’s a pleasure. Thanks for joining me on Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Tim: Tom, it’s such a joy. You and Dave have been such a blessing, and Gary, too, over the years. I’m just thrilled to be on with you. I couldn’t be happier.
Tom: Yeah. But, Tim, before we get into your history with Dave and me, tell our listeners what Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas – tell us what it’s all about.
Tim: Well, I like to do the program, because I like to deal with issues, like you fellows, that normally are not heard on Christian radio: dealing with Catholicism; I’ve had the Bobgans on (it’s been a while now); to deal with Mormonism. We have 102 Mormon wards here in Las Vegas. I go to Mormon wards the first Sunday of every month, generally, and share my testimony. I’ve done it in 26 different wards, and they haven’t killed me yet. But I just – I try to take a different approach to air things that normally aren’t aired on Christian stations, and it’s also a chance to keep people abreast of what Mike and I are doing. Mike Cahill’s a pilot. What he and I do in our different outreaches to the Central and South American countries, we’ve gone to Israel nine times together, and we’ve been handing out tracts to the Orthodox Jews, we’ve been in Muslim areas handing out pictures of me handing a tract to Obama wearing my “I Love Muslims” shirt, and on the back of the picture it says “To read ‘Allah Had No Son,’ go to chick.com.” So we’re out of Ramallah, or Jericho, or Hebron before they go to their computers. So it’s just a real opportunity to get into these different areas and get the gospel out.
Tom: Tim – well, actually, Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas, what you’ve just laid out, it’s perfect for that city, although there are some people who complain (we’ll talk about that a little bit later) how a Christian could possibly hang out in Las Vegas. But we’ll talk about that.
But, Tim, I remember a time when you interviewed me – it’s impossible to forget, actually, because it was so surprising, and delightfully so. I remember you called me about 15 minutes before the program started and asked if I would do you a big favor, and of course, “Tim, hey, whatever you want, Tim, you got it.”
Tom: Then you said, “Would you pray for Barbra Streisand at the beginning of the program?” Well, yeah, that was a surprise. I don’t know Ms. Streisand, but I did sit – I did sit at a table next to her at the 20th Century Fox commissary when I worked for the movie studio, and I confess that I spent most of my lunch time eavesdropping on her conversation with a couple of producers, and although I’m not a fan of her politics, I am a great fan of her musical talent.
So tell our audience why you wanted me to pray for her other than the fact that she needs Jesus.
Tim: Well, it just dawned on me: she sings this song “Higher Ground.” It’s a Christian song. She heard it at Bill Clinton’s mother’s funeral, and it just dawned on me that I might have had you pray for her before she went to that funeral and recorded that song. Now, she doesn’t mention Jesus name in it, but you have never heard anybody sing that song any better! And I’m thinking how in the world can you sing this and not think about Yeshua HaMashiach?
Tim: Oh, my goodness! And so I look at Barba Streisand as a female Saul of Tarsus. I’ve said that to Penn Jillette; I’ve told Penn Jillette, I said, “You’re a Saul of Tarsus.” But I just – I look at a person like that and I’m thinking, “If God could save Saul of Tarsus, he can save Barbra Streisand.”
Tim: And a lot of people would look at Barbra Streisand: “Why even pray for her? She’s so lost.”
But then I’m thinking, “They said the same thing about Saul!” So I…God’s not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Tom: Tim, it was a surprise, but it was a blessing. I was totally thrilled to do it. And then, you know, I think about a couple of friends of mine who are missionaries in North Korea, and when they were asked, “Why would you be a missionary in North Korea?”
And their response was, “Well, we believe the North Koreans need Jesus.” That’s what we’re about, right, Tim? Come on!
Tim: That’s right. “Don’t worry about him who can kill the body, fear Him who can cast body and soul into hell.”
Tom: Exactly, yeah.
Tim: One of my favorite verses – we were going into Hollywood, and we were going to be standing in front of a massage parlor, which are nothing more than whore houses, and this had been owned by the mob, and we had been threatened by them. And the Lord gave me Luke:10:19: “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” And we read that out loud 25 times. I mean, that was 1975. I still remember that verse from repeating that 25 times. But the Lord has been so good. There have been times when Mike and I went into Ramallah two years after we had been to Jericho, handing out those pictures of me and President Obama at the wax museum – I just did it as a joke, because we have that t-shirt “I Love Muslims” that we wore in Dearborn at the Arabic Festival with John:9:35-38 on the back where Jesus says He’s the Son of God, and I just thought, “Boy, if people in Jericho had given anybody in Ramallah that picture, they could be pulling our fingernails off of our fingers by the end of this day.” And yet the Lord brought us out of there, and so just like He did that for us, He can do that for that couple in North Korea, although I thought when I heard that, man, oh man, that is such…going into North Korea! Boy, oh boy! But the Lord can be with them. You know, you can’t threaten a Christian with heaven!
Tom: Right, and the thing of it is that right now in my devotions I’m going through Luke, and Jesus is talking about, “Come on, the harvest is white! It’s ready, but where are the laborers?” And indeed, these are the last days. Why are we holding back?
Tim: I know, I know.
Tom: And, you know, again, I’m saying that, I know about you, Tim, you know about me, and with other people, it’s between them and the Lord. But wait a minute, here are His instructions; here are His exhortations.
So yeah, anyway, Tim…
Tim: One of the things, Tom, one of the things that frustrates me more than anything else is to be on the bridge, the Excalibur to New York, New York Bridge, or the Cosmopolitan to Planet Hollywood Bridge, and have Christians hand the tract back to me and say, “I’m already saved.” And that’s when I tell them, “I predict in the next 24 hours you’ll run into a lost person here in Las Vegas. Would you give this to them…”
Tom: That was a wild guess! No need to be a prophet for that one.
Tim: No, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. That’s so frustrating.
Tom: Yeah, one of the things, among a host of them, that I can remember is that you never restricted the things Dave and/or I wanted to speak about on whatever station, whereever you were broadcasting.
Now, tell our audience how did that affect your job security?
Tim: Well, they didn’t give me a hassle on it, and I’m just so grateful to the Lord for that. I work for Crawford Broadcasting, and I think he…see, Crawford’s dad, Percy Crawford, was a great evangelist, and he was quite outspoken, and I think that in part is why I got away with what I did, because we sure angered a lot of people when we’d come against Rome. And yet here, you know, in 1948, Billy Graham said the three greatest threats to our society are communism, Catholicism, and Islam. Back then they called it Mohammadism. And I heard…I was telling Gary that I heard a message by Ironside, who was a great evangelical speaker in the late ‘40s, accepted by everybody, coming against Rome, and I thought, “Man, oh man, he sounds like Dave Hunt or Jack Chick! This is unreal!”
But that’s the way it was in the late ‘40s, and apparently 1 Timothy:4:1-4 has been cut out of the Bibles because it says, “In latter days, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.” Now, I failed woodshop, but I know enough to know that that’s talking about the Roman Catholic Church, and people just don’t see it.
You know, people will say, “Well, they believe in Jesus. They love the Lord.” So did the Judaizers! The Judaizers believed that Jesus was born of a virgin; they believe He died on a cross; they believe He rose from the dead. They just added one thing to salvation: that you had to be circumcised, and that’s why Paul said in Galatians:1:6-9 that “If I or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than what’s been preached to you, let him be accursed.” So there was the concern I had about Walter Martin: He had a great book on Kingdom of the Cults, and he came against Islam [or rather] he came against Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and then I’m thinking, Well, why can’t he apply this to Rome? Rome has added so much more than the circumcision…well, they don’t have the circumcision – but so much more to the gospel, and why can’t people see that? I just…it amazes me.
When I run into Catholics, I ask them seven questions now. I saw this in the Charles Chiniquy book Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. I ask them, “Who came into the world to save you and me? Was it Jesus or Mary? Who loved sinner more when they were here on earth, Jesus or Mary? To whom did sinners go when they were here on earth, Jesus or Mary, for salvation? Jesus said, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ Do we have anybody saved through Mary’s intercessions in the Bible? No. The dying thief on the cross, who did he turn to, Mary at his feet or Jesus at his side? Jesus at his side. Did he do well? Yes, Jesus said, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’” And then I close by saying, “If my most faithful, loving friend 2,000 years ago was Jesus. Now that He’s seated at the right hand of the Father, can you show me that He’s lost any [of] what He had, and what He’s lost has been gained by anybody else?” I was able to lead a Roman Catholic woman to the Lord a couple of weeks ago just by those seven questions, and they don’t have an answer for them.
Tom: No. Tim, as you know, I was 30 years a Roman Catholic, so all I can say to what you’ve just said is “Amen and amen and amen.” But I’ll tell you, within Catholicism, Catholicism is changing, and not for the better. It’s moving from the obligations pre-Vatican II to mysticism now, to the things that are so subjective that they can get along with anybody. I mean, when you’ve got Pope Francis chatting with and inviting Kenneth Copeland and his brood to Rome, you know there’s big things going on. So I applaud your standing up for the Word of God with regard to Roman Catholicism, because as you said, “Come on, man, they love Jesus!” Well, the question is which Jesus?
Tim: Yep, exactly.
Tom: The Jesus that I know is no longer hanging on the cross. Go into any Catholic Church, He’s still hanging there. Why? Because He didn’t pay the full penalty; we’ve got to do it – we have to do it, they believe, in purgatory, or here on earth to expiate their own sins. So it’s a tough one.
Tim: I picked this up from Dave Hunt years ago. He wrote about it, maybe you wrote about it, but he said on page 31 of Mother Teresa’s last book, A Simple Path, she wrote “My job is to make Hindus better Hindus, Buddhists better Buddhists, Catholics better Catholics.” And I tell people, I say, “That is not Christianity. Jesus said in John:14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When I read that, and then when I heard about how she died, and what a horrible deathbed experience that she had, I thought, “She did not have the assurance of salvation.”
Tom: No, because that’s a sin. That’s the sin of presumption within the Catholic Church.
Tim: The sin of presumption, exactly.
Tom: No, Tim, is there anyone…well, if there’s anyone who gives out more tracts than you, I haven’t met him or her. How did that get started? And tell us the number. What are we talking about here?
Tim: Oh, probably close to a million here in 12 years and all over. My father was a Baptist minister, and he believed in handing out tracts. He didn’t hand out a lot, but we’d pull into – I remember we pulled into a gas station one time, and Dad said, “Tim, get a tract out of the glove compartment for our gas station attendant friend.” And I turned to him – I was about 14 or 15 – I said, “Do we have to hand a tract to everybody?”
And here I am all these years later, everywhere I go I hand out tracts. And I tell people, I say it’s so simple to do: take some tracts, you’re going into the supermarket, and as you’re checking out, you say to the person in front of you in line, “This is free for everyone in front of me in line.” Or, “This is free for everyone behind me in line.” Or, “This is free for everyone who has a good-looking dog.” People are walking a dog. People love their dogs to be complimented. Everyone who has a good-looking dog gets a free one of these. And John Wesley said a tract is the easiest way to approach a sinner. You can’t argue with a tract.
Tom: Let me throw this in here, because I’ve been under conviction: we’ve talked about this before, because, for example, and here’s something for our listeners, I’ve designed a tract, okay, and it kind of has my personality, which may be – that’s a restriction here. But nevertheless, it’s something, you know, like Dave Hunt, he did Seeking and Finding God. He wanted a tract and then a booklet that he could hand to people that he sat next to on airplanes, and so on. But here was my mistake: you know, when I take my wife out to dinner, I always put the tip on my credit card. No! We don’t do that. I don’t do that anymore. What I do is I have this tract that I designed, and, folks, you can write and ask for it, and we’ll send you as many as you want, and see what you think of it. So I have this tract, and I put the tip inside the tract, showing, and I usually say, “Hey, look, I’m a writer, and here’s something I’ve written. What do you think?” And of course they’re looking at their tip, and I try to make it a nice tip, really nice tip. Come on, man, we’re talking about the eternal life possibly of the person that reads it. So anyway, they’ll receive it, because…
Tim: That’s a great idea!
Tom: Well, you know, I’m telling you, I was under such conviction to do that, and it’s just one more thing that we can do. You know, a lot of people are not bold or whatever, but just as you said, “Hey, here’s something. It’s free. Take a look at it.”
Now, look, it could end up as the lining for their birdcages or just in the trash, but nevertheless, that has that opportunity. You know, someone cleaning out the birdcage might pick it out and read it! Who knows? I don’t know. It’s up to the Lord.
Tim: Let me just say this about Christians going into restaurants: I’ve talked with waitresses before, and they’ve told me their worst customers are Christians, because they’re very demanding and they leave very little for a tip, or they’ll leave a tract and no tip. And so what I do if I – if good service, I say, “Thank you so much for this service. Is your boss available? I want to say something to them.” And then I compliment them, and then I leave a tract with the tip more than 15 percent, and say, “Thank you so much. I hope you’ll read this before you go to bed tonight. It’s real important. And on the back here, I’d like you to give me a listen. Just go to jesusandtim.tk, and you can hear my program.” And then I leave. So just trying to make up for all the Christians that have been jerks. And I was a jerk!
Tom: Oh, and myself, as well. Tim, I’ve been referred to by family members as being cheap. Now, you may not know this, but I had to come up with a new word to get that onus off: the new word is “frugalicious.” You see? I’m frugalicious. What could be wrong with that?
Now, Mr. Frugalicious has to remember that these, especially these ladies, some of them are single parents, they’re working this extra job, you know. So Jesus said, “If you have the opportunity to minister.” So even if it just has to do with the amount, but now it’s the amount plus something that, if they receive, could mean where they’re going to spend eternity and so on. So it’s…anyway.
Tom: So you encourage me, brother. I’m not up to a million yet, okay, but I’m starting, and I’m working it. Okay.
Tim: Also, when you have phone solicitors call your house, the temptation is to just slam the phone and say, “No, I’m not interested.” Just say, “Thank you so much for calling. I wouldn’t be interested, but listen, before you go to bed tonight, would you go to 180movie.com,” or something like that, and it’s not a…I tell them, “It’s not a multilevel, but before you go to bed tonight,” or something like that. Just leave them with that.
Tom: It’s not a multilevel, but it’s a higher level, isn’t it?
Tim: High level, there you go! Yeah, yeah.
Tom: Tim, I remember someone suggesting to me that Dave and I were pretty bold in our ministry, and I have to laugh at that, or at least I’m amused, because, you see, that never comes to mind: When somebody puts the calling on your heart, you do what the Lord has called you to do. But on the other hand, when I think about boldness, I think about Christians who go to a place where Muslims are the majority (now, see if this is ringing true; you’ve already talked about this) who wear a T-shirt that says “I Love Muslims” splashed across the front, you know anybody like that? Well, I guess we do know. Our audience knows. But fill us in: why would you do that?
Tim: Well, we were just trying to think and we were praying about how the Lord could use us. We thought going up there and handing out tracts; okay, what else? And then the Lord gave us the idea of having a t-shirt that said, “I Heart [a big heart] Muslims.” And then on the back to put “John:9:35-38.” I’ve heard that more Muslims have come to Christ through that passage of Scripture than any other, because Jesus says He’s the Son of God. Nine times in the Qu’ran it says, “If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God you’re going to hell.” But here, you ask a Muslim, “When do prophets lie? You say he was a prophet; when do prophets lie?” And so I have a picture of a girl in Dearborn, she’s got her hijab on and she’s looking at the tract smiling, and I’m thinking, She wouldn’t be smiling if I didn’t have that t-shirt. She saw that…there were five of us that went in there with the t-shirt, and I’m just so grateful. And it just – we did it for five years in a row wearing those t-shirts, and we never had any problems. We had a couple people – but then, because I thought, How can they rough us up? Because they can’t say we’re Islamophobic, that we hate Muslims, because the t-shirt says that we love them! So we can hand out literature which exposes Islam with this t-shirt and just get away with it. It just blew my mind.
Tom: Yeah. Now, but, Tim, on the other hand, were there times when you really felt that your life was in danger, that you’d kind of pushed the envelope?
Tim: Not…well, yeah. Not at Dearborn, but absolutely. When we went to Ramallah, in Jericho we had handed out the pictures of me…you see, the picture with me and Obama, I just did it as a joke. I just thought, “This’ll be cute. I’ll make it look like I’m showing Obama Allah had no son.” And then I thought, “What if we went into the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, giving this out to the Muslims in those towns, and on the back write “To read Allah Had No Son, go to chick.com.” So we went in, and I was so scared, I confessed every sin I’d ever committed twice. I mean, there were three of us that went into Jericho, and we had 500 of the pictures, and we could not give them out fast enough. The Muslims would say, “You? Obama?”
I’d say, “Wax museum.” I didn’t go into detail; they had no idea what a wax museum was. But we couldn’t give them out fast enough. They love Obama. They weren’t taking them because of me, that’s for sure! But it just amazed me how God will give you ideas on how to get these things into – He cares more about these souls than we do, and it’s fun following Him.
Tom: Yeah. So tell us about you bumper sticker. We now about the t-shirt, what about the bumper sticker?
Tim: Well, my dad had two bumper stickers on his Plymouth Station Wagon: “Jesus Saves” on the back, and “Stop shopping on Sunday” on the side. And I was so embarrassed. You know, here you’re a teenager, you’re like, “Oh, my Baptist preacher father, oh…Dad, don’t pick me up at school today. I’ll walk all the way..” “…it’s five miles.” “I’ll walk all the way home, Dad. Please just do not pick me up at school.”
Well, I counted the bumper stickers on my car the other day – I’ve got 56 of them.
Tom: Oh, brother.
Tim: And I call it the “Offend mobile,” or one fellow calls it the “Convict mobile.” But here are some of the bumper stickers I have on the car: “World Atheist Day…”
Tom: Well, wait a minute, Tim, Tim, hold on one second here. We’re out of time on this segment, so, folks, you know, I hate to drop something…no, I don’t hate it at all. Now, if you’d like to know – and we’re not going to get all 57 bumper stickers next week…
Tim: No, no.
Tom: …but we’re going to get a few, so, folks, again, my guest has been Tim Berends. He’s the host of a terrific radio broadcasting program. It’s called Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas, and it’s on KKVV 1060 AM, and if you’re not in Las Vegas you can go to KKVV.com and get his interviews. He’s got a few on there with me.
Tim: Or they can go to jesusandtim.tk. T as in Tim. K as in Krushchev.
Tom: Okay, Tim, it’s been terrific. I can’t wait till next week, so here we go.
Tim: I can’t either, brother! Thank you so much.
Tom: Okay, all right, God bless you, brother.
Tim: God bless you. Bye-bye.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon, 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638. Or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael, thanks for joining us, and we hope you can tune in again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.