Thirty-three thousand saved in only 28 days
...In God's perfect timing, harvest arrived
with a magnitude of Salvations beyond the
projection of a Billy Graham Crusade...
"The Miracle in Modesto"
With Bill and Janae Cooksey
Calvary Temple Assembly of God ...Grandmas
and gangs standing together...
Taken From "Cooksey's
American Carousel Radio Classics"
TWELVE MEN WITH A PASTOR'S HEART
The last three pastors in our TWELVE MEN WITH A PASTOR'S HEART series are all tied together by a powerful Evangelistic Drama entitled "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames". This production had faithfully traveled across North America for eighteen years before coming to Modesto, California in the Winter of 1995 to Calvary Temple. In God's perfect timing, harvest arrived with a magnitude of Salvations beyond the projection of a Billy Graham Crusade. You'll discover what an awesome God we serve as you enjoy the testimony and praise reports from Pastor Glen Berteau. Our interview was only a few days before the exciting drama returned to Calvary Temple in 1996. You'll love the enthusiastic way Pastor Berteau relates the victories of the previous year's performances. It's no wonder the documentary made about the 33,000 salvations is entitled "The Miracle in Modesto".
The second interview in this closing trilogy is with Pastor Scott Bauer, Senior Associate Pastor of one of Southern California's most beloved worship centers, "The Church On The Way", in Van Nuys. Pastor Bauer shares how his church was preparing to present "Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames". In a very sincere and eloquent manner, he reveals the desire of their leadership and members to bring an evangelistic offering that would encourage thousands to accept Jesus Christ as Lord.
Thirdly, Pastor Jack Hayford addresses his response to the overwhelming results of this dynamic drama. The play's effect on those who attended the performances inspired Pastor Hayford to present some of his strongest messages he's ever preached concerning The Judgment in his nearly quarter-century at "The Church On The Way". For those of us who have been nourished and blessed by Pastor Jack's many years of practical, Biblical teaching, it is indeed refreshing to hear such a tender hearted servant point directly back to the Cross and the fate of those who refuse God's redeeming Gift of Salvation.
This trilogy of these evangelistic-minded shepherds' interviews shows the impact one play or special program can have on the local church as well as the entire Body of Christ. These three pastors truly have a heart for souls. And God has honored that desire He put in their hearts with an abundance of Salvations and an almost endless open door to ministry to the lost and hurting. Hopefully, the message conveyed by all three pastors will give credence to the idea of dissolving the traditional myth of the necessity for denominations. Let's get our priorities straight. First, get all the lost saved and then spend the rest of Eternity worshipping Jesus Christ our Savior
JANAE: Why are we having to be in the control room with Rich to do this interview?
BILL: There's no time to hook it all up in the production room at the table. Pastor Berteau is stretching it to give us this much time as busy as he is this week.
JANAE: You're right. The play starts in 2 or 3 days. Last year it was a zoo over at Calvary Temple.
BILL: I want our listeners to hear the documented figures on last year's drama from the horse's mouth.
JANAE: I know. Eighty-one thousand attended and thirty-three thousand got saved.
BILL: Better yet! All this happened in little old Modesto, California. It was a miracle.
JANAE: You can't blame them for wanting to bring it back this year during the same season.
BILL: Since Calvary's only a few blocks from where we live, I remember last January when every street for six blocks around the church was jammed up with cars from 3:00 PM daily for three weeks.
JANAE: But Calvary's giant auditorium's only been opened since 1986. Pastor Joe Wright spent over 20 years trying to encourage his congregation to get that large facility erected.
JANAE: Well, everybody loves Joe Wright. And he's a real administrator. He was definitely God's man for the hour.
BILL: You know, for decades there's been much prophecy about a big revival in that church. But the Lord knew all along when it would happen.
JANAE: I remember when we were visiting another Pastor here in Modesto in 1990. I think it was around the first of July.
JANAE: Someone told Pastor Wright you played and sang for the Lord. He even asked you to sing three different times during Campmeeting Week.
BILL: That was great!
JANAE: The morning of the day you were scheduled to perform, I woke up in our friend's guest bedroom to find you already up and quickly writing down lyrics to a new song.
BILL: Well, I couldn't decide what to sing. So, when I prayed the night before, I believed the Lord would put the right songs in my heart. And I woke up with some lyrics that really fit that Campmeeting spirit.
JANAE: And when you sang it on stage, the people responded instantly with enthusiasm. I think they picked up on the lyrics the Lord gave you.
BILL: In fact, if Pastor Wright hadn't asked me to song at that 1990 Campmeeting, I probably would never have written the song that stirred everyone up. And we wouldn't have had a theme for our first radio program together on KCIV.
JANAE: Yeah! With a program named "The Modesto Report", what would be better than a theme song entitled "We Need Revival In Modesto".
BILL: People did like the lyrics and about the only thing they ever seemed to mention about our KCIV 5:15 AM show was the song.
JANAE: We've got a few minutes before I'm supposed to call Pastor Berteau. Why don't you sing it for RICH?
BILL: No. He's busy setting the levels on the board. I don't have a guitar or anything to sing it with. Besides, he doesn't want to hear it.
RICH: Sure I do. Go ahead, Bill. Let's hear it.
BILL: Okay.....but it's kind of embarrassing just standing here in the control room singing after my wife has put me on the spot. Let's see. It started out with a medium guitar strum and.....
JANAE: Come on. I want Rich to hear it before the interview.
BILL: Well, it went like this. "We need revival in Modesto....Lots of folks just need to get saved....Filled with the Spirit....No longer be enslaved....Shout it from the rooftops....From the street corners too....All our friends can get to Heaven....If we do what we should do." Then the chorus went----"Let'em hear about Je-sus...God's only Son...And feel the Spir-it...Fall on everyone...Just worship the Fa-ther...For all that He's done...And celebrate the Victory that's al-ready won."
JANAE: That's neat. Isn't it, Rich?
RICH: Yeah. That's catchy.
BILL: Well, I couldn't get it out of my mind last year when those 33,000 souls came to the altars at Calvary Temple during the 28 performances of that drama. I recall the "goose bump" feeling I had in 1990 all three times I sang that song from the Calvary stage. I mean, the lyrics really presented exactly what needed to be done for thousands of souls to be snatched from the pit of hell. We have to let people hear about Jesus...the Truth. Janae, do you remember in Acts, chapter 8...when Philip went down to Samaria and the Bible says, "He just preached Christ", what happened?
JANAE: Well, people got saved, healed and delivered. Oh, Boy, Rich. We've got him fired up now. Don't get him started on Acts 8. That's his favorite.
BILL: You know, Janae, we got to proclaim that same message in that same song in every radio program and radio promo spot we did on KCIV in 1990 and 1991....even during the Gulf War conflict. I can't help but get excited when I see how God brought such an awesome fulfillment of victory at Calvary Temple less than five years later. To me it just proves you have to believe it and then confess it before it's going to come to pass.
JANAE: Well, God sure set the stage for Pastor Berteau to come in and bring in this powerful drama he was familiar with before he came to Modesto.
BILL: That's what's so wonderful about serving such a Loving, All-Knowing Heavenly Father. The Lord has a part for different members of the Body to play in defeating the devil. The bottom line is God gets the Glory, if we'll all just be obedient.
JANAE: Hey, look at the time. Rich, I'll just go ahead and dial the number for you since we're all so snugly in the control room today.
BILL: Okay, but then come stand by me so we can both share this "boom" mike. And don't forget to move into the microphone and speak up when you ask Glen a question.
JANAE: Alright, I'll remember....Hello, Glen. This is Janae. We're ready to start the interview. Please listen to our Producer, Rich Woodruff, for the countdown.
RICH: Stand by.......Cooksey's American Carousel interview with Pastor Glen Berteau begins in three...two...one.
COOKSEY: Hello, Pastor Berteau. How are you doing?
BERTEAU: I'm doing great, Bill.
COOKSEY: Janae and I are just excited! We've got our tickets here for this play that's coming to Calvary Temple. When does it start now?
BERTEAU: Well, it starts Sunday night at 7:00 PM. That's tomorrow night. Monday and Tuesday nights too at the same time.
COOKSEY: Now, what happens if this program continues on? Is it possible to continue on with it?
BERTEAU: It's possible to continue. You know, it's kind of the thing like last year, we were only going to be playing three days. And, if we see that in the second night it's full, we don't want anybody to miss it. We want everybody to be able to make it. But even last year, we still had people after the 28th night of which 85% were brand new people that had never seen the drama.
COOKSEY: How did you do that, Glen? How could you possibly get that many different people? I mean new ones every night?
BERTEAU: I think what happened is that it was something so beyond a human effort. It was so beyond what man could do. It was honestly a sovereign move. God just captured a city. We're humbled that He used our place to do it, really.
COOKSEY: Yes, He did!
BERTEAU: We had a lot of preparation, Bill. There's a lot of stuff that goes into this. Most people just show up and say, "Wasn't this great?" We had parking lot attendants. We had trained 600 altar counselors out of our church here. What we're going to do his time is a better job of distributing all of the names to various churches around the area. And, last year we sent out names to over 250 different churches.
COOKSEY: What kind of response did you get from those churches last year?
BERTEAU: Well, we had responses such as, "Don't send us anymore. Our church is full!" It was unbelievable! The people were just excited. Some small churches in the area were saying, "You know what, Pastor Berteau? We baptized five people in water baptism." And you know we're Assembly of God and we just preach the Bible. We love everybody. I think God's tearing the whole denominational thing apart anyway.
COOKSEY: That has to be true, because the Body of Christ is not denominational.
BERTEAU: Really, it's got to be a gathering together in the last days. That's the way I see it. I don't really say that I'm just going to take care of one denomination or whatever. This is the Body of Christ and all of these people that get saved...I'm going to encourage them at the altar calls to write the name, if they are from a church. But most of the people, Bill, didn't have any church affiliation...the majority. Most of them didn't have any kind of church they could think of to put down. They'd never been to church.
COOKSEY: Now that's the Lord.
BERTEAU: Oh! It was incredible to see Grandmas and gangs standing together.
COOKSEY: Sounds like a song. Doesn't it?
BERTEAU: Grandmas and gangs! I might even write one about it.
COOKSEY: You know what? I want to ask you now for those people who are listening and want to know...what in the world's all this "Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames" stuff? For those people who never saw it and for those who must have been on another planet, if they didn't hear about it....Please tell me why anyone who's just hearing about this for the first time would want to bring their unsaved loved ones to this play?
BERTEAU: Well, I think, Bill, the one thing as to why we don't see more people saved is because as the Scripture says, "Their eyes are blinded by the god of this world". They're blinded, meaning we need to open their eyes. They need to be in a place to have their eyes opened, because each of these people have needs. If we as Christians have needs, imagine the needs of people who don't have God at all. The one thing that I've encouraged the churches and I've encouraged our church is do not come without bringing somebody. If all of the Christian population listening to me right now would hear what I'm saying? This is one of those type events that you have always prayed for. "Oh, God, if You would bring this to our city. Oh, God, that I might be able to get Bill there. I can get my neighbor there." This is that type of event. This is the type of a meeting that you have been waiting for to get out your top ten most unsavable list. And to bring those people. And I'll tell you what. We've seen some Hell's Angel people, heroin addicts....I've got the needles sitting here in my office. I've got gang rags. We've got crack cocaine. We've got weapons. I've got knives and stuff that were handed in. We had homosexuals come to the Lord. We had Mormans..Jehovah Witnesses. We had one, Bill...I've got to tell you. I was at an altar one night and there was this little girl down there. This was last year. I said, "Honey, what happened to you?" She said, "Well, I accepted Jesus. "I said, "That's great. Who is this lady standing next to you?"
And it looked like her mother, you know. She said, "That's my Mama." I said, "Did anything happen to her?" She said, "Yes, she accepted Jesus too." I said, "Well, who's this lady here?" She said, "Well, that's my Grandmother and she accepted Jesus." And I said, "Well, who's this other lady next to your Grandmother?" She said, "Oh, that's my Great Grandmother." Four generations standing at the altar. All of them saying, "I don't want to be separated throughout Eternity from my loved ones."
COOKSEY: Now you should tell them now that if they'd like to get there to see this, they'd better get there a tad early. Don't you think?
BERTEAU: I would say you definitely need to come early. I tell you with the weather like it's been here the last couple of days with some sun out. Last year, if you remember, it was pouring down rain. And, we were still turning away thousands of people.
COOKSEY: Well, what time should they come, Glen?
BERTEAU: Now, it starts at seven o'clock, but there's no telling. It could be full at 5:30.
COOKSEY: I heard you had tailgate parties in the parking lot last year.
BERTEAU: When we went on the weekend, we moved it to a Friday, Saturday, Sunday so we could take care of all the different people that wanted to come. You know, let me back up and explain to the listeners if they didn't know how long this was. It was "Heaven Gates and Hell's Flames" at Calvary Temple. And over 81,000 people came in 28 days with 33,000 documented salvations. We're not boasting numbers and not saying anything that's not true. We have a documentary that is out now and has gone all over the world.
COOKSEY: Can they get a hold of it through you?
BERTEAU: If they call our church at (209) 529-7346, they can ask for the video, "The Miracle In Modesto".
COOKSEY: Is that a long video?
BERTEAU: It's an hour video. We've had pastors take it and show it in their churches on Sunday nights. And people are getting saved. The people are actually getting saved just watching the video. Because we show the testimonies. I'm interviewing these people. You see some of the scenes. And here's the most exciting part. You see these people from all walks of life. All sides of the track. It was like God showing He was no respecter of persons. The ones that had money..the ones who didn't have any clothes..the other ones that had. It was every kind of person imaginable there standing at the altar every night.
COOKSEY: Now before you started the very first performance...And you'd prayed about it...And you had all these hundreds of pastors praying for it...What did you think was going to happen that first night? Did you think it would be as much response as you got?
BERTEAU: Well, I'll tell you, Bill, on the first night driving to the performance, I'm driving in the rain. I'm trying to sidestep some puddles and flooding in my car. And think, well ,you know what, I planned this big thing. It's like having an outdoor concert and it starts raining. And you're saying it's going to kill the people here, because Californians don't come out in the rain. I drove up and could not get into the parking lot. I said, "I'm the Pastor here. Can I get in?" They finally got me in. They were holding my spot. There was not one parking place in that whole parking lot. People were parking a half a mile down the road and they're walking with their family in the rain.
COOKSEY: That's the first night? It's like Elijah saying let me pour some water on this thing. We'll set fire to it.
BERTEAU: It was just amazing. And the first night we were set up for like 300 to get saved. Not just people to show up...no, we felt we'd have a good crowd. But not to overflowing, to where I had to ask the kids to come out and sit on the floor, so we could get more adults in.
COOKSEY: Any pastor listening would just be crying thinking why can't I have this kind of thing happening in my church. But it's the anointing of God that does it. Right?
BERTEAU: Well, there's definitely an anointing on it. The play's good. It's not the greatest thing. The actors are our church people. So you don't have Hollywood actors. I think the thing that hits people is the idea that they'll be eternally separated from their loved ones. You will never see them again. And that message is throughout the drama. You have those that go to Heaven and those that go to Hell. That's real life. Somebody said, "I hear you've got scare tactics." No, that's reality tactics. I said, "That's the reality of it all." The reality is that there is a Hell, just like there's a Heaven. And good people if they don't know Jesus, they're going to go there. When they see the visual...that's the thing I think the people need to hear right now. We've talked to them and might have shared that if they don't get right, they're not going to make Heaven. But when they see the visual of everything they have heard all their life, it's just a consummation of all of this that has been taught to them over the years.
COOKSEY: Now, Glen, I understand that the Calvary Temple stage is all set up differently with all kinds of professional lighting and special props and effects. Will people think they're coming to see "Broadway Comes To Modesto"?
Berteau: Well, when they come in, the whole stage where they've started to build will be the most elaborate set that they've put up in the eighteen years this ministry has been doing this production. Eighteen years this group has been traveling. And they have not seen the magnitude of what took place in Modesto last year. And Modesto is now known all over the country and across the world because of what happened. Now, there's always been great crusades and things like that overseas. But you don't see this happening in the United States in local churches and in cities to this magnitude.
COOKSEY: You know, Glen, Modesto does have a special anointing on it. One of Billy Graham's first crusades was right here in Modesto. At his TV station here, Chester Smith played an integral part in helping Pat Robertson in establishing the 700 Club on the West Coast in the early days. And now this awesome revival that hit Calvary Temple last year!
BERTEAU: When I got here. You know, I'm an old southern boy from Louisiana. When I came out, I said, "God, out of all the places, why Modesto? Why send me here?" When friends from back East would call me, they'd ask, " Where is Modesto?" I'd tell them, "Well, you've heard of Gallo Winery?" They'd say, "Oh, yeah!" And I could tell them, "That's where Modesto is." That's kind of your landmark. Everyone will know Gallo. And I said, "God, I'm tired of this city being known for a wine factory. God, we need some new wine." I said, "God, what do you want to do in Modesto?" He says, "Let me tell you something, Glen. Had you ever heard of Lynchburg, Virginia until Jerry Fawell went there?" I mean who ever thought of going to Lynchburg in your life? Now today it's the biggest Baptist college in the country. I mean, whoever thought of going to Virginia Beach, Virginia until Pat Robertson came along.
COOKSEY: You know, Glen, I remember the old Calvary Temple sanctuary where Pastor Wright was holding services. The first time I ever went to a meeting it was in what is now your Youth Sanctuary with those old theater seats. And Brother Wright was talking about that big building he wanted to see built. And then it came to pass. Then the next thing you know, it's all taken off. And God knew all along what was going to happen. On the side of that building is a plaque that says it is dedicated to the Glory of God. And I believe that's what it's for.
BERTEAU: I tell you God has done something unbelievable in our city. There is a spirit of evangelism upon our church. This event is tremendously anointed. We fasted three days this week and we called out the names of hundreds of people that have been given to us. We're just standing in the gap praying for these people. The difference this year is that the other churches in the area are aware of it. It took everybody kind of off guard last year. This year the churches are prepared and are sharing it with their congregations to get over there and bring somebody. So after what happened last year, maybe this year will even be bigger.
COOKSEY: Glen, we have many that listen to this program and are unsaved . They call us on the phone and tell us that they want to come to Jesus. But many are unsure where they can go to touch base. Would you just speak to them, Glen, right now as the Lord leads.
BERTEAU: You know, Bill, my heart is to help people and their needs. There's a lot of hopelessness in our society. People have just lost hope because they need a Savior. That's why Jesus came. What this drama will present to them is more than salvation. It will be deliverance. What you'll see is marriages that will come back together again. We saw marriages restored at the altar. I won't even mention some of the prestigious people in our city whose children got saved standing next to their parents at these altars. And people need to realize that their friend will never get saved if no one puts out any effort. How can we expect anything to happen in our friends' lives if we don't do anything? So there's a challenge here. The devil is challenging us saying, "Don't do anything. Don't worry about it." We procrastinate with, "Hey, I don't think I want to go over to that church. Hey, I think I got to get the kids ready. I've got to get the family ready. It's kind of an inconvenience to my schedule." Blow your schedule! Garbage that, right now! We've got people that are hanging in the balance right now that are in the multitude of decisions. What are we going to do? Are we going to build more prisons? What are we going to do with the gang thing right now? The difference in all this is going to be the Lord coming into a city and taking over. And for a city to fall on their knees and cry out to God. How does that take place? Well, it starts with something within the city. A nucleus of the remnant of those that are crying out saying, "God, give us revival." I'm not content to live without revival. That's where I'm at right now. And I believe that in our city as much as happened last year, we still have not touched thousands upon thousands of people. Those of you who are listening. I want you to think about it. It's not just old Bob that works at Tri-Valley or so and so that works at Oakdale. That person is either saved or lost . You need to see them as a person that has an eternal soul that is going to die one day and face judgment. And God has called you if you're a Christian to reach out to that person. If you care, then you'll speak what you care about. So, if you care for the lost, then you'll do it. You say, "I don't know how to witness." I'm not asking you to witness. I'm telling you that all you've got to do is say, "Hey, let's go to this thing. I've got some tickets and let's go see this drama. Man, 81,000 people went last year. So there's got to be something to it."
COOKSEY: Well ,Glen, how do people get tickets?
BERTEAU: You know what, Bill? They don't really need a ticket to get in. You just need to get there early enough to get in. The tickets are used to pass out to those who don't know the Lord. And when you give them a ticket, it's kind of an obligation and it reminds them of the event and the times and where it's at. And, I would recommend you don't tell anybody you're going to meet them there. Because it's one of these things that is big and massive. It would be best to rendezvous someplace. Get in the same vehicle and then come together. That would be the best thing, so you can sit together.
COOKSEY: Just get you a large van and pick up the ten meanest looking people you can find and bring them out there. Alright?
BERTEAU: Well, they'll already be there. You get the other ten that we missed. Bill, this is one thing that has an opportunity to change the complexion of the morality within a whole area and a whole city.
COOKSEY: Brother, we will be praying for you. I know you are one busy fellow these last few days, and I really want to thank you for taking the time to talk with us about this big event. Please just keep on doing what you're doing for the Lord.
BERTEAU: Well, thank you, Brother. It's good talking to you.
COOKSEY: We'll see you at the drama. Bye, now.