|FMH Children’s Club International
–– A Company Of Prophets ––
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, that’s the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
10 October, 2004
What an awesome God I serve! This is the fourth straight week in a row that I’ve been empowered by the Almighty to produce yet another sermonet for His glory! I mean being in jail for four (4) whole months, and likewise not being allowed to write for God, kinda like really made me “hungry” to just get back with the program. In fact since the miraculous jail-break of 8/20/04 the Lord has used me to pen Jesus Was An Outlaw…And So Am I! (9/19/04), The Monster Within Jimmy Swaggart Threatens To Kill Gays! (9/26/04), and of course last week’s message of A Prisoner For Christ! (10/3/04).
And seeing how two of those sermonets were parts I and II of the series “Jesus Was An Outlaw…And So Am I!”, what do you say we continue right along with part III of the series in “Jail Break - Busted Out By Jesus!” Because it was in part I that we gave you the basics of my becoming an “outlaw for Jesus” (how and why), and then in part II (A Prisoner For Christ!) we gave you the inside scoop on what “life behind bars for Jesus” is really like. So quite naturally, it’s in today’s message (part III) that we’re going to tell you how Jesus, against all odds, set me free from the chains of bondage!
So where do we start? Well how about a refresher course on my two days in Family Court, after having been arrested on the 29th of April, 2004, for doing what “thus saith the Lord!” Because it was on the 23rd of May, 2004, that the judge sentenced me to one hundred and eighty (180) days, with no hope of an early release, for not paying the court-ordered child support and alimony granted through my ex-wife’s very unjust and evil divorce. And then it was on the 3rd of August, 2004, that the judge sentenced me to another one hundred and eighty (180) days for not signing over half of our eighty-acre farm to my ex-wife Annie. God said “Don’t sign the papers!”, and I didn’t, but the judge wasn’t any too happy about it! I mean the judge said he was going to keep right on adding six more months to my time until I did what the court ordered me to do. In other words the judge said he was going to keep me in jail until I signed the papers…but my God had other plans!
I mean without a doubt Almighty God will work in some Mighty strange ways if we’ll only “trust Him and obey Him”! And even though I had made up my mind that I would “rot in jail” before disobeying Father God’s command of “Don’t sign the papers!”, it was all along my journey in jail that the Lord threw out a few subtle hints about how I wasn’t going to be there too awful long. In fact it was probably in the month of July that one of the inmates (one who had a calling of “evangelist” but wasn’t walking in it) just flat out told me that I shouldn’t be in jail. I mean even though he didn’t admit it as being from God, he said that something woke him up in the middle of the night and then the thought came that I shouldn’t be there.
Then there was the Detention Officer, who, after hearing the stiff sentence resulting from my 8/3/04 trial, commented that I wouldn’t even be there for six (6) months… much less a year. Now that was encouraging! But the question still remained as to when and how God would set me free?
Now as to exactly “how” God arranged for my early release, I really can’t tell you. I just don’t know! However, what I can tell you is that the paperwork from my first trial stated that I must spend all six (6) months in jail without the normal work credits. In other words for those who work in Minimum Security the “norm” is to work one day but get two days credit for time spent in jail. It’s called “two for one” and the resulting time spent in jail is one-half the time actually given by the judge. That’s the way it’s suppose to work for normal inmates, but seeing how I was such a “hardened criminal” the judge decided to punish me as severely as he could by having me work “straight time” without getting any credit.
Well even though the judge decided to be “mean and nasty” to me, the Good Lord decided to “bless” me. Because it was on the 20th of August, 2004, that, after having been locked up for only ninety (90) days, the Horry County Detention Center’s jail-house doors swung wide open for me to go free. However, even though the officers in charge said “Go!” I questioned them with great uncertainty by asking “Are you sure?” In fact my very unusual behavior completely threw them off guard. I mean they were so confounded and confuddled that they responded back to me with “You’re the first fellow we’ve ever seen that wasn’t absolutely ecstatic (overjoyed) having been released from jail!”
So why do you think I didn’t run over the guards getting out the door? Well to tell you the truth, I really didn’t believe it was all happening. I mean this jail-break caught me completely by surprise. And if that wasn’t enough already, there I was in Conway, South Carolina, more than 1500 miles from El Paso, Texas, with less than $30.00 to my name, and only a J. Reuben Long Detention Center “brown paper bag” to carry my Bible and meager belongings. “I mean just what do you want me to do Lord?” was my urgent and desperate prayer!
Well as I proceeded through the process of “checking out” I continued seeking the Lord as to what He would have me to do next. I mean I knew that I shouldn’t be getting out of jail, and as far as the law was concerned I figured that I would become a “fugitive of the law” the minute I walked out those jail-house doors. And with all those concerns running through my little old mind the Lord told me to just “Walk out that door and don’t look back.” That’s what He said, and that’s exactly what I did. I booked!
But now that I was out of jail, the question still remained as to where in the world would I go from here and how would I get there? I mean Horry County Detention Center (J. Reuben Long) is not exactly what you would call “downtown” Conway. In fact HCDC is really what you would call “out in the sticks”. So my prayer of desperation was “Where do I go from here Lord?”
That was my prayer, and thank God for His answer! Because what He told me to do was call some friends and let them know that I was out of jail. And once I made that call it was those same folks who actually invited me to go stay at their house. In fact after taking a shuttle bus ride to the Conway bus station I found that I wouldn’t be able to catch the next bus to my friends house until noontime the following day. So what was I going to do until then?
Well as God had planned it, my friends took care of my needs by sending me $125 by Western Union… which just so happened to be enough money to rent a room for the night and buy a bus ticket to their house the next day. So Friday night (8/20/04) I settled down at the Conway Motor Inn, after having just been miraculously delivered from the hands of my enemies. But before I got too settled I dropped to my knees and gave God the thanks for doing what only He could have done that day.
Very shortly thereafter I called John, my Messianic Jewish friend back in El Paso, Texas, and let him know what had just taken place. Well John was beside himself to say the least. Words can’t describe how happy he was that I was no longer having to suffer behind bars. I mean from the day that I met John he has been a friend who truly cares, but it was his reaction to my release from HCDC that help me see his friendship at it’s best.
From there I called my friends to let them know I was settled in for the night, and a little more than twenty-four (24) hours later I was at their house living in the lap of luxury. What a change a day can bring! And that’s exactly where I’ve been “hiding out” until the writing of this letter.
Now, after having given you my short but never-the-less awesome account of having been “busted out of jail by Jesus”, what do you say we check out a similar story from the Holy Bible in the life of Peter. I mean after all, I’m quite sure there are a few of you having a hard time believing that the “God of Heaven” actually breaks people out of jail! In fact by reading from the 12th chapter of Acts we’re gonna see how the God of the Universe did the same for Peter:
“Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.” (Acts 12:1-4 KJV)
So, as the story opens we can begin to see the truth of a very evil man who seeks political gain through the slaughter of innocent Christians. His name was Herod, and he was king over God’s chosen people, but the god he served was not God Almighty. In fact I’m sure it was unbeknown to him, but the god he served was none other than Satan himself!
But anyway, in order to appease the Jews and likewise win favor with those who didn’t believe the “crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected” Jesus was the Son of God, Herod began to capture and behead some of the key leaders in the Christian church. And you see it was because of the great applause King Herod received for taking off the head of James that he made up his mind to do the same with Peter.
And seeing how the Lord wants me to tie this Acts chapter 12 “jail-house epic” back in with mine, I guess now is as good a time as any to start the process. Because you see my real-life story has it’s Herods too. In fact going back to our sermonet Jimmy Swaggart And The Accursed! (12/30/01), it was in that message that the Lord instructed me to use the following excerpt from my ex-wife’s divorce in order to show how she kinda like did the same to me. In other words my ex-wife Annie and her lawyer used “religious persecution”, just as Herod, as a means of winning favor with the Horry County Family Court and thereby winning her very unjust and evil divorce case against me:
“…Because what I found in her Affidavit was the following third and fourth reason for her divorce: ‘In the last several years Bruce has become a devoted follower of the evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart. Bruce moved to Texas several years ago and has continued to become more and more involved with the teachings of Jimmy Swaggart’ and ‘...He hears voices. I went to the Probate Court to have him committed, but he left the state before the order of detention could be carried out.’ (See A Christian's Divorce! (6/19/01) for the entire uncut version of Annie's demonically inspired divorce.)”
So are you starting to see the similarities? Well let’s not stop there, because it gets even better (worse):
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” (Acts 12:5-11 KJV)
And now that we’ve read that, just what do you think was the “expectation of the people of the Jews” concerning Peter? Well that one’s easy! The “people of the Jews” wanted to see all the “fanatical followers of Jesus” with their heads whacked off…and that’s exactly what they were hoping would happen to Peter.
And taking that part of the story back to my situation with Annie, well maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t her sincere desire to actually see my “head whacked off”, although I really don’t know for sure. However, what I do know is that it was her sincere desire to see me locked-up in a mental institution and made completely useless in my ministry for Jesus. That’s a fact! I mean she not only admitted it but also documented it for the whole world to see in her third and forth “reasons for my divorce”!
But anyway, Annie and her “partners in crime” had me bound up in prison sorta like “Herod and his henchmen” did Peter. And even though this evil was meant to do the both of us harm (Peter and me), it only served as a tool to accomplish God’s Divine Plan for our lives. I mean after all, that’s the way God does it time and time again:
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20 KJV)
And talk about God doing it time and time again! Well that particular Scripture goes back to the story of Joseph, and how his brothers sold him off as a slave to Egypt. You see he too was locked up in prison for all the wrong reasons. They did it to hurt Joseph (for the sake of evil), but God used it to put Joseph in a place of authority so that millions of lives could be saved. After all that Joseph went through in prison, the Lord really blessed him by making him second in command over Egypt… and all because of the evil that he suffered for his good. Understand?
In fact it was in last week’s sermonet A Prisoner For Christ! (10/3/04) that we shared God’s Scriptural promise to me concerning how I must suffer, much like Joseph, in order to be blessed too:
“He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” (Psalms 105:17-22 KJV)
But anyway, let’s get back to Peter. Because the reality of being a follower of Christ is that every Believer (Joseph, Peter, you, and me) can expect to suffer for Jesus in order to get to where we’re all trying to go: Heaven! In fact this thing about suffering for Jesus can be “looked at” on several different levels. We’ve just read about the physical chains that kept Peter locked behind bars in prison, but in a deeper sense there were also chains inside Peter that kept him all bound up in sin. And going back to the message in The Journey Of Fear! (3/10/02), it was in that particular sermonet that we uncovered the facts of how the Scripture of Acts chapter 12 actually paints a very clear picture of what happened inside of Peter (at the cellular level) when he finally died to some of his sinful nature and became born again.
So you see when Peter’s chains fell off, and the prison doors sprang open, he was free from a sin that had plagued him for so long. And just what was that sin? Well remember when Peter denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed? You see that simple act of denial meant that Peter really hadn’t given himself totally to God. There was one thing keeping him from being “sold out to Jesus” and it just so happened to be the fact that he wasn’t willing to be crucified for Christ. So what did it take to overcome this sin nature within Peter? Would you believe being locked up in prison and sentenced to die?
Peter overcame his fear by facing his fear head on. So that when the Holy Spirit set him free from the chains of prison he was also set free from the chains of “fear” that kept him from being willing to die for Christ. When Peter walked out of that jail he was a new man in Christ ready and willing to die for Jesus!
And of course the same applies to me. Because you see before I spent my “time in the can” I was terrified at just the thought of having to be locked up for Jesus. Well that was then, and this is now. And because I was willing to face my fears head on for Jesus, the day I walked out of HCDC I had been set free from the chains of bondage that were trying to hold me back in my walk for Christ.
Now where we left off in Peter’s story was: “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” This was what Peter finally realized after the “reality shock” had finally worn off. Herod and the people had meant to do him evil, but the Lord had turned it around for his own good! So now that Peter was busted out of jail, but yet still an outlaw for Jesus, just what was he going to do?
Well it all goes back to the same question I had: “Where do I go from here Lord?” And amazingly enough, the answer I got was the same answer Peter got: “Go to the house of your friends”:
“And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.” (Acts 12:12-17 KJV)
So what was the reaction of Peter’s friends when he kinda like just all of the sudden dropped by their house? Well they couldn’t believe it was him. I mean one day Peter was locked up in prison, awaiting the removal of his head, and the next day he was walking the streets as a “free man”. They couldn’t believe it was happening…and come to think of it, neither could my friends.
And now for the final few verses in Peter’s story. Because you see this is where the truth is brought out concerning those who “desire to do evil for Satan” to those who “desire to do good for God”:
“Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode. And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied. (Acts 12:18-24 KJV)
So was Herod the king pleased to see the Hand of God set Peter free from prison? Not on your life, or for that matter the guard’s lives either! Because you see Herod was only concerned about himself and nobody else. (After all, Satan’s motto is “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.”) And of course that’s why the first one’s who “lost their heads” for not making sure that Peter lost his was the guards who were suppose to be watching him. But Herod didn’t stop there! I mean if he couldn’t get the local Jews to worship him for cutting off Peter’s head then he’d just have to find somebody else to worship him.
You see Herod was depending on Peter losing his head so that he (Herod) could get all the glory! I mean in all actuality Herod wanted to be worshipped as god, and he was willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. So you see this all goes back to what I said in the beginning of this message: “…he was king over God’s chosen people, but the god he served was not God Almighty. In fact I’m sure it was unbeknown to him, but the god he served was none other than Satan himself!”
And as the story goes, it was right about the time Herod persuaded a few of his loyal subjects to worship him as god that the One True God smote him! So do you really understand what the word “smote” means? Well this word “smote” is the same word that described what God did to Peter right before his chains fell off. You see when God “smotes” anything, He actually sends down His Power from on High to do an amazing work in the thing being smitten. And when it came to Peter (the one who was doing good by worshipping the Almighty God with his life), what happened to him when he got “smote” was that he became very much so alive as his sin nature became very much so dead. However, when it came to Herod (the one who was doing evil in his efforts to be worshipped as god), it was altogether a horse of a different color! I mean when Herod got “smote” he became very much so dead even though he was still alive…and the ones who really knew it were the flies. Because you see the worms that started eating on him before he fell over dead were none other than fly’s larva, worms we call maggots, the same ones that feed on dead rotting flesh.
So now that we’ve compared the story of Peter’s imprisonment to mine, are you starting to see some of the similarities? Well let me take the similarities just one step further. Because you see it was on the 3rd of August, 2004, as I walked into the Horry County Family Courtroom, hands and feet shackled in chains, that I came face to face with the Herod of my life. You see I was being brought to trial to prove my “contempt of court” for not obeying the Court’s order to sign over half of our 80 acre farm to my ex-wife Annie. They were right; I had obeyed God and not the Court! And as I was taking my seat at the table in the courtroom a woman walked over, placed a paper in front of me, and then requested that I sign it.
Well the paper that was put before me was the same paper that God Almighty had forbidden me to sign, and the woman who presented it to me was none other than Herod herself; Deborah B. Dantzler, my ex-wife’s attorney. And what I saw when I looked into her eyes was nothing less than what I would have seen if I had been there to witness the maggots eating Herod’s flesh before his death. I mean the minute I looked into her eyes the Lord impressed on me that she was already dead!
And in order to help you understand the Power of that “moment of time” when I looked into Deborah B. Dantzler’s eyes, let me relate the following real-life story to you. It was back in 2003 that I went along with a pastor friend to pay a very unpleasant visit to his attorney. You see my pastor friend had been in an accident that was no fault of his own, and likewise injured rather badly. Well the court awarded him a nice sum of money to compensate his medical bills and disability. However, this rather large sum of money was sent to my friend's lawyer who likewise convinced the pastor to let him hold it for a short time.
Well the short time turned into a long time and my friend desperately needed the money. So the day I went with my pastor friend was the day he was going to set the ultimatum by telling his attorney “either give me the money or I’ll take you to court.” Now it was during this visit to the attorney that I had the most unpleasant opportunity of meeting him (the attorney) face to face. Because what I saw in his face, and likewise confessed to my pastor friend shortly thereafter, was that this man (his attorney) had “death” written all over his face. I mean I knew that I knew that I knew that this man didn’t have long to live!
As it turned out the attorney didn’t give up the money until my pastor friend filed a complaint with the Texas Bar Association. And it was shortly after the check was in my friend’s hand that this attorney drove to a secluded spot and ended his own life by firing a bullet into his brain.
So, you see, when it comes to seeing the maggots eating on a person before they’re actually dead, I’ve sorta like been there and done that already. And when I saw the same thing happening to the “Herod in my life” it really and truly blew me away. But the question that remains is “Will the life of Deborah B. Dantzler end in tragedy too?” I certainly hope not! And even though she, just like Herod, tried to bring evil against me for her own good, I pray that if there’s any hope remaining for her to receive Jesus as her Lord and Saviour she will.
And, on an ending note, let’s read a real eyewitness’ account of Herod being smitten by God. The reporter on the scene at the time was named Josephus, and this is his story of the death of Herod as found in Josephus, a Jew, Antiq. 19.343-350:
“That Herod came down to Cesarea, to celebrate a festival in honour of Caesar; that the second day of the festival he went in the morning to the theatre, clothed with that splendid robe mentioned before; that his flatterers saluted him as a god, begged that he would be propitious to them; that hitherto they had reverenced him as a man, but now they would confess to be in him something more excellent than a mortal nature. That he did not refuse nor correct this impious flattery (so the historian expresses it); But, presently after, looking up, he saw an owl perched over his head, and was at the same instant seized with a most violent pain in his bowels, and gripes in his belly, which were exquisite from the very first; that he turned his eyes upon his friends, and said to this purpose: 'Now I, whom you called a god, and therefore immortal, must be proved a man, and mortal.' That his torture continued without intermission, or the least abatement, and then he died in the fifty-fourth year of his age, when he had been king seven years.”
In closing, let me just give out a fair warning to all those looking to receive gain by doing evil to God’s followers: “Don’t do it!!!”
Endure the suffering and pain for a season so that you too can “keep on keeping the faith in Jesus!!!”
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
P.S. – Seeing how it’s God’s Will that everyone receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, the following letter along with today’s sermonet has been sent out to Ms. Dantzler…and all for the Love of Jesus:
FMH Children’s Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
10 October, 2004
Dear Ms. Dantzler,
I’m sorry that you have been the one who’s been used to bring such evil against me. I’m truly sorry that you are the one who’s gotten yourself in such a position as to oppose the Almighty God. Because you see Ms. Dantzler I am a child of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, and you through your legal profession have come directly against my Father and me.
As you know I write and speak whatever the Lord gives me to write and speak. And it’s in this week’s message for the FMHCCI Ministries that you’ve been included. The title of the sermonet is “Jail Break – Busted Out By Jesus!” A copy is enclosed and I pray that you take the time to not only read it but also meditate on it. Let the Words sink into your conscience, absorb the Truth of what’s being said. Whether you believe it or not there is life after death; there is a Heaven and there is a Hell.
Your everlasting life depends on the choice you make today in this lifetime. You have done a terrible injustice to not only the Father and me but also to the legal system by pushing through a divorce based on lies and half-truths. Admit your sins, Ms. Dantzler, confess them before God and trust in the Blood of Jesus to save you from the burning fires of Hell..
Although you have wronged me in a terrible way I do not hold it against you. I would love to be the one to lead you in the sinner’s prayer as you turn away from your sin unto salvation. Please contact me Ms. Dantzler if our ministry can be of any assistance to you.
In the Lord Jesus Christ,
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