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What is Revival?
1. Revival is not a week worth of meetings.
2. Revival is not started in one day.
3. Revival is not controlled by man.
4. Revival is a heart thing.
5. Revival is always brought on by REPENTANCE.
6. Revival is renewed zeal to obey God
In England, most radio and television stations are run by the government-operated British Broadcasting Service (the BBC). There are some independent stations today, but 40 years ago, the BBC ruled the airwaves alone in England. In 1965, a free-spirit named Roy Bates, decided to set up his own, independent, illegal, pirate alternative – Radio Essex. Operating a radio transmitter on English soil was clearly against the law, and he was quickly arrested and fined £100.
Not willing to give up his radio voice, Mr. Bates moved his operation offshore. England’s territorial waters at the time extended only 3 miles off the coastline. Roy Bates, once a commercial fisherman, knew of an old abandoned fort six miles off the coast, just far enough to lie within international waters. Rough’s tower, as it was known, was a military platform built during WWII to protect the Thames Estuary – the harbor at the mouth of the Thames river, where large and vulnerable convoys of shipping were assembled. It housed up to 200 men, and had a helipad. These sea forts were equipped with radar and heavy armaments, and housed enough troops to man and maintain artillery designed to shoot down German aircraft and missiles. The fort, built on a barge which was later intentionally sunk, was originally intended to be built within English waters, but was moved to it’s current location at the last minute to take advantage of shallow waters in the area. After the war, the platform had been abandoned and had lain derelict ever since. Roy set up his radio station on Rough’s Tower, safely in international waters, and broadcast his own brand of entertainment over much of England.
Were this all there was to the story, it would still be quite interesting, but what happened next makes it truly epic. In 1967, realizing that his home was in international waters claimed by no country, Roy Bates decided that he could, in fact, claim it as his own sovereign realm. He and his wife Joan declared the tower to be the “Principality of Sealand,” and a independent country. They crafted a constitution, named themselves Prince Roy and Princess Joan of Sealand, and swore loyalty to their new country, using their newly created flag and national anthem. They designed their own passports, postage stamps, and minted coins (about 25 coins of each denomination). The official language is English, and the currency exchange rate is fixed at one Sealand dollar equal to one US dollar. The Sealand national motto is E Mare Libertas, or "From the Sea, Freedom".
Sealand offerred to join the coalition of nations supporting both the first and second Gulf Wars, and issued statements of condolences and offers of assistance to the United States after 9/11. In 2003, Sealand also appointed its first official athlete - Darren Blackburn of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Blackburn has represented the Principality at a number of sporting events, including marathons and off-trail races.
By late 1968, the British navy had become aware of the new situation and dispatched a naval cruiser to quietly resolve the situation. Prince Roy took exception to this invasion of his territorial waters and fired warning shots – basically plinking the side of the naval warship with a shotgun loaded with bird shot. Since Prince Roy was still an English citizen, he was accused of several serious crimes against England and was summoned to a British court. In this widely publicized lawsuit, the court decided that it could not exert any jurisdiction outside of British national territory, which many interpret as the first de facto recognition of the Principality of Sealand. English law had ruled that Sealand was not part of the United Kingdom, nor did any other nation claim it, hence Prince Roy’s declaration of a new Sovereign State was upheld. Prince Roy has been called to British courts several times since to face charges ranging from more incidents between his shotgun and British warships to not paying taxes. In each case the Court ruled that they had no jurisdiction in international waters, strengthening Sealand’s claim to statehood. A well-recognized international precedent known as the Montevideo Convention states that one test of the legitimacy of a nation is when it is recognized by other states. England, by specifically NOT claiming it, was recognizing it.
Prince Roy now claimed Sealand as his own based on de jure (based on law – because the fort was abandoned in international waters) and de facto (based on facts – recognition by other states) precedent.
What would you do with a country of your own. What laws would you pass?
Sealand instituted an international ferry service consisting of a rubber Zodiac. In order to board the Sealand vessel at the dock in England, you had to present your Sealand passport and submit to customs inspection. Smoking and swearing were both subject to banishment, as was taking more than three five-minute showers per week. Sealand printed international postage stamps and used them to post letters in England, which the British postal service subsequently delivered, again recognizing Sealand’s existence and rights.
But dark days soon fell on the brave new country…
SEALAND GOES TO WAR (AND WINS)
In August of 1978, a number of Dutch men invited Roy to continental Europe. It was later found that the men represented organized crime families interested in the possibilities of owning a country beyond the reach of other nations. They stated their purpose was to discuss the possibilities of paying Prince Roy a large amount of money to relinquish Sealand to their control. Roy left Sealand under the control of his Prime Minister (the German night shift disc jockey, who was later discovered to be in league with the Dutch criminals. While Roy was away in Britain, armed men boarded Sealand and staged a coupe, imprisoning Prince Roy’s son the His Royal Highness Prince Michael in the toilet. Prince Roy became suspicious of the delaying tactics employed by the “business men” and returned to his country. Discovering what had happened, Prince Roy declared war on both Germany and the Netherlands, went back to Europe and hired a mercenary unit, and led the helicopter assault to retake his country. They were quite successful. No lives were lost, and the traiters were declared prisoners of war and imprisoned.
During the time that he held the prisoners, the Governments of the Netherlands and Germany petitioned for their release. First they asked England to intervene in the matter, but the British government cited their earlier court decision as evidence that they made no claim to the territory of Sealand. Then, in the most definitive recognition of Sealand’s sovereignty, Germany sent a diplomat directly to Sealand to negotiate for the release of their citizen.
Roy first released the Dutch citizens, as the war was over, and the Geneva Convention requires the release of all prisoners. The German disc jockey was held longer, as he had accepted a Sealand Passport, and therefore was guilty of treason, but was later released as well. He claims to this day that his government was entirely legal, and now claims to be the ruler in exile of Sealand, living in Spain.
On 1 October, 1987, Britain extended its territorial waters from 3 to 12 nautical miles. The previous day, Prince Roy declared the extension of Sealand’s territorial waters to be a like 12 nautical miles, so that right of way from the open sea to Sealand would not be blocked by British claimed waters. No treaty has been signed between Britain and Sealand to divide up the overlapping areas, but a general policy of dividing the area between the two countries down the middle can be assumed. International law does not allow the claim of new land during the extension of sea rights, so Sealand’s sovereignty was safely "grandfathered" in. Britain has no more right to Sealand’s territory than Sealand has to the territory of the British coastline that falls within its claimed 12 nautical mile arc.
In 1997, forged Sealand passports started tuning up around the world. Some of these were used to open bank accounts under false names in various countries. Since few people have ever seen a legitimate Sealand passport (less than 300 exist today) it was difficult for these to be easily detected as forgeries. The source of these forgeries was traced back to the same German disc jockey who was involved in the earlier attempt to take Sealand by force. His Minister of Finance had created a fake Sealand Business Foundation and boasts that he has sold over 150 000 fake Sealand Passports to all comers. Thus there are now unfortunately 500 times more forged Sealand Passports in circulation than real ones. Many of the forged passports were apparently sold to people leaving Hong Kong at the time of Chinese reoccupation for USD 1 000 each. These passports, which were not authorized by the Bates family, were involved in several high-profile crimes, including the murder of Gianni Versace.
Whilst Sealand has been the pride and joy of Prince Roy and his family for well over 30 years, his recent poor health has caused him fundamentally to review the arrangements which have been in place for decades and to look to the future of his Principality. Consequently, his son Prince Michael was appointed Prince Regent as Sovereign pro tempore by Royal Decree in 1999. Since that time, the Royal Family has struck a deal with HavenCo Limited, and that company now leases exclusively its offices in Sealand, where it offers, and is able to offer, unparalleled security and independence to users who wish to take advantage of its Internet services. The presence of an active and rapidly growing high-tech internet industry in Sealand has changed the character of the Principality; once more, Sealand rings with the sound of voices, boasts regular support ferry services, and is host to a growing and dynamic population.
The point of all this? Roy Bates is an extreme example of a man who set up a kingdom for himself here on earth. As cool as that sounds, the Bible tells us that we have a kingdom in Heaven. We are citizens of that country, not this. We are just strangers here.
To Think About:
I Refuse to be Discouraged.
I refuse to be discouraged,
To be sad, or to cry;
I refuse to be downhearted,
and here’s the reason why . . .
I have a God who’s mighty,
Who’s sovereign and supreme;
I have a God who loves me,
and I am on His team.
He is all wise and powerful,
Jesus is His name;
Though everything is changeable,
My God remains the same.
My God knows all that’s happening;
Beginning to the end,
His presence is my comfort,
He is my dearest friend.
When sickness comes to weaken me,
To bring my head down low,
I call upon my mighty God;
Into His arms I go.
When circumstances threaten
to rob me from my peace;
He draws me close unto His breast,
Where all my strivings cease.
And when my heart melts within me,
and weakness takes control;
He gathers me into His arms,
He soothes my heart and soul.
The great "I AM" is with me,
My life is in His hand,
The "Son of the Lord" is my hope,
It’s in His strength I stand.
I refuse to be defeated,
My eyes are on my God;
He has promised to be with me,
as through this life I trod.
I’m looking past all my circumstances,
To Heaven’s throne above;
My prayers have reached the heart of God,
I’m resting in His love.
I give God thanks in everything,
My eyes are on His face;
The battle’s His, the victory’s mine;
He’ll help me win the race.
Only A Risk Away! (08.26.05--Under Pressure!--Judges 6:25-30)
Is it worth Risking? It used to be that life was a matter of “this I will risk” but “this I will not.” Risk was something that was weighed on a daily basis. It was a part of life. You picked one thing over another because you had weighed the risk and come to a conclusion that one risk was more palatable than another.
For example, farmers traditionally have walked a risk-filled path in that daily they had to weigh whether this day or that day would be the better one to disc the field. Because the weather was something out of their control and all that they had was their “folk” prognostication and intuition for predicting rain or sun, farming had traditionally been a pretty risky business. Sometimes you decided correctly and others you didn’t. It was a matter of risk and faith and most farmers were attuned to that because that was the only choice that they had. That is, of course, until the advent of modern weather forecasting. Today risk is far less of a factor in farming. The person we once knew as the weather-bitten and feisty guy in the bib jeans who kibitzed down at the mill each morning speculating on whether the skies would be dark by noon or not, is rapidly becoming an image of the past.
Although we live in society that is no less “risky” than in the past, we live under a governing system that has made it its job to secure us from as much of it as possible. Seat belts, helmets, social security, even weather forecasters who tell us to go down to our basements just because the conditions are “right” for a tornado. With all this “help”, it seems we are rapidly becoming obsessed with living safely over living faithfully. I recently read where a bowler who was one pin away from bowling a perfect game just couldn’t bring himself to play the final ball. Instead he silently packed his shoes and ball and walked out -- and never again set foot inside a bowling alley!
Does God want us to take risks? Certainly not foolhardy ones. Yet, when h...
Sermon Central Staff
A country church was having their annual revival meeting. On the first night the preacher preached a message about repentance and the need to return to the Lord. At the altar call, a man came down the aisle saying "Fill me Lord, fill me".
The next night the preacher challenged the congregation with the need to totally surrender their lives to Christ in complete obedience. Again the altar call was extended; like the night before the same man came down the aisle saying "Fill me Lord, fill me".
The third night of the revival preacher warned his congregation of the evils of sin and urged the congregation to live lives of holiness. Again at the invitation was made to give one's life to Christ, the same man came up the aisle saying "Fill me Lord, fill me".
To which someone in the back of the church yelled; "Don't do it Lord, He leaks!"
The truth of the matter is we all leak from time to time. We all lose our way, we tend to lose our first love or we wade in the pool of the lukewarm.
(From a sermon by Alan Tison, Remember What We Are To Do, 8/7/2010)
Inside each of us is a well of strength that you could call upon if you're only willing to reach inside and get it.
Pointed Sticks! (10.31.05--Faith That Flies!--Judges 6:25-30)
“If you walk around with a pointed stick you are liable to hurt yourself.” There was something about a pointed stick that just put mothers on edge. Pointed sticks weren’t risky from our perspective at all. As boys we were willing to take the risk.
Nonetheless, running with pointed sticks was a way of life for me as a little boy. Although the cautions were many, they simply weren’t ardent enough to persuade a little boy that pointed sticks were something to be avoided. All of this nearly changed, however, one summer day when during a game of army, a bunch of us decided include pointed sticks in our arsenal. So, before the sides were chosen and the battle of dirt clods and “dow-dow-dow” began, we went looking for just the right sapling branches to turn into pointed sticks. With the whittling done and the sticks strategically hung from our belts loops, appropriately armed for battle, we chose up sides and launched our battle.
Everything went according to plan; sticks were waving in the air and boys were shouting and heaving dirt clod grenades. When, all of a sudden, a different sound could be heard above the din. One of the troop was crying. Someone got hit in the head with a clod? As quickly as we entered into the fray, it just as quickly unraveled at the sound of real hurt. We looked around to find Lonny, one of the smaller kids in the group, lying on the ground crying. He had tripped and fallen on his pointed stick and stuck himself in the forearm. We looked at each other and to a boy knew exactly what we would hear upon getting Lonny home. “You know you boys shouldn’t run with pointed sticks!”
We did get the lecture and, for a time, the pointed sticks disappeared. But it was just a matter of time before, throwing caution to the wind, they reappeared again. Pointed sticks were dangerous. But there was another truth, one that moth...