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Most Recent Update
Jan. 17, 2012
Camel Bag Time - (Object Lesson)
It's Camel Bag Time!
Nathan: All right, you must be between the ages of seven to seventeen and now standing. Now we're going to give you a little Bible question and the first person that I hear giving me the right answer will come up and help me. That's very easy. You all know the answer because I'm going to tell you. But you have got to shout out the answer so I can hear that you're first. The question is: who's the father of Zebedee's children? No help parents. Who is the father of Zebedee's children? Who is the father of Zebedee... Come on. I was trying so hard to tell you. (Nathan and the audience began to laugh.). How did you know?
Anneliese: You said it. (Anneliese laughed.).
Nathan: All right. Your first name. (Nathan could not understand her pronunciation of her name. So he had her spell it.).
Nathan: Oh, you can spell too. All right. Anneliese. All right. How old are you?
Nathan: Do you go to school?
Nathan: Take a look in the camel bag now, will you? Oops! We better open it up. Hold it open. Don't take anything out just look. Now everybody wants to know, what's in the camel bag and you're the expert tonight so you tell them.
Anneliese: (Anneliese just looked. She did not say anything.).
Nathan: Now you know. (The audience laughed.). Anneliese, tonight we're going to take out this thing (the whale's tooth). Hold it up and show everyone what you have, and tell them what it is.
Anneliese: I don't know. (Anneliese and the audience laughed.).
Nathan: Well I can give you a hint. It (the tooth) comes from an animal. Any guesses?
Anneliese: (Anneliese just looked at the object. She did not say anything.).
Nathan: I'll give you another hint, biggest animal in the world. What would that be? What's the biggest animal in the world? I'll give you another hint. It swims in the ocean, spouts water up in the sky, it's longer than this church sometimes.
Anneliese: I don't know. (I think Anneliese was afraid to speak.).
Nathan: You don't know what swims in the ocean and spouts water in the sky? Oh, sure you do. Kids help us, what is it? (The kids in the audience said, "A whale.") What did they say?
Nathan: Do you think they are right?
Anneliese: I don't know. (She laughed.). (Nathan laughed too.).
Nathan: Well, they are right. That's what we're talking about, a whale. Did you ever hear of a whale?
Nathan: OK! Now, Anneliese, we're going to have a Bible lesson. What's the name of the man in the Bible who swallowed a whale?
Anneliese: (Anneliese laughed real hard.). (The audience laughed too.). Nobody!
Nathan: Nobody. Good. All right. You got that one right. Nobody, he would've really had a tummy ache if he would have done that. So I'll rephrase the question, what's the name of the man in the Bible who got swallowed by a whale.
Nathan: God said to Jonah, "Jonah, I have a job for you. I want you to go off to a big city and I want you to do something there," which I'm going to do in that pulpit in a little while when I hold my Bible up and tell the people what God says. What do we call that?
Nathan: Preach. Right. God said, "Jonah, I want you to go and be a preacher for me." And Jonah said,...
Nathan: Right. No! Not me. Not me! He certainly did not want to be a preacher. And he thought to himself, "I better get out of here. Or God isn't going to let me have any rest. He wants me to be a preacher and I don't want to be a preacher. So I'm going to leave God sitting here on the shore by Joppa. And I'm going to go off on the Mediterranean and take a boat ride and leave God behind." But he forgot who made those tough seasoned men and they were used to storms, but they knew this one was supernatural, and that proved that somebody was in the boat that didn't belong there. And they said, "We've got to cast lots and find out who doesn't belong in this boat." And they cast lots, and the lot fell on...
Anneliese: (Anneliese said softly.). Jonah.
Nathan: Is it a secret? Nope! Tell the whole world, who? You're right.
Nathan: Jonah. Right. They said, "Sorry Jonah, but you have to go." And Jonah said, "Yep, I'm guilty." And they took Jonah and they...
Anneliese: Throw him into the water.
Nathan: Throw him into the water and that was the end of poor Jonah. Right?
Nathan: Wrong! What happened? (The audience laughed.)
Anneliese: He got swallowed by a whale and in three days he...
Nathan: Ah! He got swallowed by a whale. He began waving his hands and along comes a big whale, and he says, "Oh, am I hungry.", and the whale swallowed him right down. But you know, the whale didn't feel so good. He said, "Must have been something I ate." (The audience laughed.). And he went back to the shore and throw up the contents of his stomach on the bank where Jonah started his boat ride and God was waiting for him. And God said, "Hello, Jonah. How did you like your boat ride?" No, God didn't say that. I would've said that. (Nathan laughed.). God said, "Jonah, are you ready to go preach for Me now?" And Jonah said,...
Nathan: He didn't want another whale ride. So he said, "Yes, God. No more. I'll go. I'll go." And he went off to the big city of...
Nathan: Hey, you know all the answers. Any kid that knows the name, Nineveh, knows them all. Nineveh! And there he preached. Now, you go to school you said. What grade are you?
Nathan: In sixth grade they give exams, don't they?
Nathan: Ah, they don't. What school do you go to?
Anneliese: Blair County Christian School.
Nathan: And they don't give exams?
Anneliese: Not till seventh grade.
Nathan: Ah, not till seventh grade. Well you don't know what an exam is. I'll have to give you one because you'll love them. They're so interesting. I'll give you a little exam now and I'll make it real easy by giving you what we call multiple-choice. That means, I give you three answers and you pick the right one. The statement is, when Jonah preached in Nineveh, how many people got saved? There are three answers, one of them is right, two of them are wrong. First one: (How many got saved?) Nobody got saved. Second one: Everybody got saved. Third one: Half the people got saved. Which is the right one?
Anneliese: Half the people.
Nathan: Ah, you know that one too. How many did you say?
Anneliese: Half the people.
Nathan: Guess again. That's the wrong one.
Anneliese: All the people.
Nathan: Right! Hundreds of thousands of them there were. It was a big city. You'll have to think about that. And I wonder what that whale did for Jonah. It sure made a preacher out of him. Do you know that hasn't happened since? Even when Bill Graham preaches the whole city doesn't get saved. They get lots of people saved, but not a whole city that I ever heard of in my life where all accepted the Lord when a man preached.
I was with the missionaries in Kenya, East Africa, and the missionary took me out in the bush country, we went through a village, and he said, "Do you know that as far as we know everybody in this village is saved." I said, "That is wonderful. I never heard of that before. But how many years did it take to accomplish that?" And he said I don't know. (Nathan did not remember.). Many years, the African missionary was working there. They didn't do it all in one summer.
Jonah went up there to Nineveh and he preached and every man, woman, and child, hundreds of thousands of them, all accepted the Lord. When I think of that I think, "Boy, that whale did something for Jonah." Maybe if seminaries could get a whale to put some of the young men through and make preachers out of them. Well, no, don't tell them I said that. But the lesson we want to learn from this, Anneliese, is that God has a job for each one of us to do. He doesn't want everybody to go out and travel from church to church like I'm doing and preach. Doesn't want everyone to be a pastor like your pastor is. He doesn't want everyone to teach school. He doesn't want everyone to be a banker or business man or a farmer. But He wants each person to do that which He equipped them to do. Some people are real good at one thing. Some people are real good at another. And every person here has some special talent. Now if you haven't found anything that you're good at then you just haven't looked long enough. You are good at something. Whatever it is, do it for the Lord in the place where the Lord puts you. Maybe you are real good at praying so we can have a good meeting. Maybe you are good at talking on the telephone. Well, if you are, use that talent. You didn't know that was a talent. Use it to call up your neighbors and tell them what good meetings we're having over here, and tell them to come early so they can get a seat. Invite them to come. Whatever talent the Lord gave you, use it for the Lord. That's what we want you to remember from tonight's lessons. Now, Annaliese, look in here (the camel bag). You are holding... Ah, I forgot, I forgot all about it. What part of a whale is that? It's no toenail. (Anneliese laughed real hard.). And whales don't have tusks.
Anneliese: A tooth.
Nathan: Tooth! You're exactly right. That is a whale's tooth. Now, I was told that when it was in the whale's jaw it was about that (about 1¼ of an inch could be seen). And I didn't pull it. I bought that in a curio shop on the Pacific coast many years ago when I was preaching in Oregon. But I had an interesting experience sometime back in Atlanta, Georgia. I was preaching there and when I finished this particular lesson, after the service, a dentist in the audience rushed up to take a look at that tooth. Maybe he thought he would get a job filling it. I don't know. (The audience laughed.). But he said to me, "May I look at that tooth?" And I said, "Of course." And I showed it to him. Then he said to me, "Did you know that's ivory?" I said, "No I didn't know that." I had no idea that the Lord made some whales with some pieces of pure ivory. No wonder there were no cavities, and the whale never brushed. Ivory cannot decay. A pure ivory tooth, I didn't know I had that. Just another of the wonders of God's creation.
But now, Anneliese, not only did I bring the tooth of the whale I also brought the whale. (Nathan took the whale out of his camel bag.). How about that? Now don't ever tell anybody you don't know what a whale is anymore because there one is. Well you knew all the time what it was, but there it is. See there is the blow hole. I watched these when I was, I almost said fishing. I wasn't fishing. I was preaching, fishing for souls up in San Diego, California. They took me down to the harbor and I watched these going up the Pacific, swimming along. They looked like they were having a lot of fun. They were playing and they were swimming around. Then they would spout water up in the sky. There's their little spout hole. And look where the teeth are? I like to talk about these things because this animal, the whale, gives the evolutionist a hard time. The evolutionist says, "All life on earth, animal, vegetable, and human all came from one original spark somewhere, perhaps, in the slime of the Nile. The sunshine caused a process to begin which produced one living cell and that developed over billions of years and now we have all life." Now those of us who know the Bible know that's a lot of poppycock, total nonsense. And yet, most of the people who call themselves scientists believe in that. And they say, "Everything is changing all the time." Well, a lot of things are changing, but they have a problem with the whale. The oldest fossils on earth are just like the ones that are swimming around in the Pacific Ocean today. They haven't changed in all the history of fossils. I think that's a beautiful creature. When I said the largest animal on earth that's what I meant. If you go to the museum in Washington D.C. you will see the carcass of one of these creatures hanging above your head if you walk along in the museum a hundred and twenty feet long, the bone structure of the blue whale. And then some people think that a whale couldn't swallow a man. By the way, Anneliese, we told the story about Jonah, do you believe that story? (Jonah, chapters 1 - 4)
Nathan: You do? How come?
Anneliese: Because it tells you in the Bible.
Nathan: Hey, you're a smart girl. I bet you get all A's in school, don't you?
Nathan: Well you better. I should talk to your teacher. Any girl that knows all those answers should get all A's. I had a little boy in Manheim, Pennsylvania, up helping me on this particular object lesson and I said to him, "Do you believe that story?" And very emphatically he said, "No!" And the audience roared with laughter. And I knew it was funny and he was cute, but I didn't know it was that funny. They didn't want to stop laughing. They must have laughed for five or ten minutes. They wouldn't stop. And finally, after I got through with the object lesson the little boy sat down on the front row and the pastor stood up. And the first thing he did is pointed at that little boy and said, "You do believe that story!" It was his son. (The audience roared with laughter.). A very fine preacher, a very fine boy, it was funny. (Nathan was laughing.). Then we all laughed again. The next night when the pastor opened the service he started by saying, "Guess what? We had a Bible lesson at our house last night." And he didn't need to tell us what it was all about. Well, we believe the story because why?
Anneliese: Because it's in God's Word.
Nathan: Some people think we're foolish for believing the Bible when they think we don't have any proof, but the truth is that we're the only ones who have proof. They don't have any proof of their theories, but we have proof for our truth. It's the only book in the world that has never been proved wrong. The Bible says, Jonah got swallowed by the whale, he did. Right?
Nathan: Right. OK. Take another look in the camel bag, will you? And now, the reason you raised your hand, you would like to have one of those little creatures (a donkey). Right?
Nathan: All right. Tell us, where did that little donkey come from? Hold it up so that people can see it. Where did it come from?
Nathan: What happened in Bethlehem?
Anneliese: Jesus was born.
Nathan: Right! Do you know how far Bethlehem is from Jerusalem? Jerusalem is where He died. Bethlehem is five miles to the south and a little bit higher than Jerusalem. I'll talk about it on Thursday night (during the slide presentation). Do you know what kind of wood that is you are holding?
Nathan: Olivewood. You were listening. That is very hard wood. And it took a lot of work to carve that. It was carved in Bethlehem, and it's yours, all yours. Thank you for helping me. Anything else you would like to say?
Nathan: All right. You may go now.
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