Has Everything Been Invented?


January, 2001

Dear Ministry Friends,

In 1899, Charles Duell, the Commissioner of the U.S. Office of Patents, said, "Everything that can been invented, has been invented." How could an expert on inventions think everything had been invented by 1899? Because people tend to think that whatever they know is all there is to know. It is an interesting truth that we don't know what we don't know. And as everyone has discovered when they tried to present new truth, "people are down on what they are not up on." There is a tendency to doubt some new idea and be negative about it when we are first presented with it. Consider some of these true statements by people who were first confronted with a new idea in an area they were already familiar with:

  • "Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground and try to find oil? You're crazy." replied some well drillers in 1859 when Edwin Drake tried to hire them for a first-time attempt to drill for oil.

  • "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." said Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at the University of Toulouse in France in 1872.

  • "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon." according to Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, who was appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria in 1873.

  • "This telephone has too many short-comings to be seriously considered as a means of communication." was concluded in a Western Union internal memo in 1876.

  • "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." said Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society of England, in 1895.

  • "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." stated Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre military school in Paris.
  • "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction... He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools." wrote a 1921 New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work.

  • "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value." replied David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urging for their investment in the radio in the 1920's.

  • "Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?" said H.M. Warner, of Warner Brothers, in 1927.

  • "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." stated Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, at Yale University, in 1929.

  • "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." replied Thomas Watson, who was chairman of IBM, in 1943.

  • "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." commented Decca Recording Company on why they were rejecting the Beatles in 1962.

  • "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." stated Ken Olson in 1977, who is president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation.

  • "$100 million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft." according to IBM, in 1982.

Many American Christians are like these "experts." They think all that can be discovered in God's Word has been found, and they must already know it. And many think that miracles and healing stopped with the death of the last of the 12 Apostles, when people are receiving medically documented healings all around America and the world each week! (I have "before and after" medical test results of a healing of one of my sons mounted on the wall of his room as an on-going testimony of God.)

Too many Christians are content to keep hearing worn-out sermons and misconceptions about God repeated Sunday after Sunday. They are afraid to find out something new — perhaps because it might require some kind of change. Perhaps it's because it might imply they were somehow "wrong" for a period of time. But just when does any Christian finally know everything perfectly? It will only be when we get to Heaven! So we should never stop learning in this life.

Americans are spiritually hungry, but too many times the "spiritual bread" is "stale." People have gone to church, but fell away because they were not "getting anything out of it." There was no revelation, only religion. In Matthew 16:17-18, Jesus said His church would be built on this "rock" — petra in the Greek language — which in context was the principle that His disciples would get revelation from God. They would get something "solid" as they got revelation from the Spirit of God, and the gates of Hell would not prevail against it. Too many times the messages from American pulpits are wet noodles that would not prevail against even the competition from Hollywood. People have gotten bored in church, sometimes fallen asleep, and couldn't wait to get home to their television, computer, or CD player. There are entire denominations in America that are growing smaller each year. This is not God's will — He wants vibrant, alive, Spirit-filled congregations feasting and growing each week on His Word.

In the Old Testament tabernacle and temple, the priests were supposed to bring in fresh bread every day! They were not to bring in leftovers that had been served over and over. We have stores and restaurants in America that stay open 24 hours a day because of demand for their product, but many churches have trouble attracting people for one hour a week. Why aren't churches needing to stay open more hours of the week to minister to the spiritually hungry? Too many times it is because we haven't been truly serving the Bread of Life — only stale leftovers from previous days when God's revelation was fresh. A minister said that sometimes all we have is crumbs left in the carpet. He said our churches are like bakeries that are open but have no bread inside! There has been a famine of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11). Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem means "house of bread." When churches minister "fresh bread" more often, people will be attracted, born-again regularly, and nourished to grow up spiritually.

It is not surprising that the 50 largest churches in the world are outside of America. I know of a pastor that went to an international minister's conference. They had a workshop for pastors of churches with congregations of over 100,000 members! This American pastor I know of stuck his head in the door, and saw 20 or 30 pastors in there! (But of course, none of them were American.)

And concerning an individual's desire for God's Word, people often lose their "appetite" when they are ill. Too many believers are "spiritually ill" and have lost their appetite for God's Word! Some of them have been "spiritually burned" by a person in spiritual leadership. We need to realize that we need to keep "eating" to keep our strength up — even if we do not have any taste or appetite left. A great medical discovery was that burn victims need twice the calories of a normal person! If people will recognize their spiritual hunger, and once again seek God in His Word, He will again give them "manna" daily from Heaven to supply their spiritual calories. Resolve to grow spiritually this year, expand your intellectual and spiritual horizons, and increase in the wisdom and knowledge of God through His Word!

Serving fresh Bread,

Dale Leander

P.S. — If you have not used our Daily Bible Reading Guide, it would be a great tool to help you keep getting "fresh bread" each day. Also, the tapes that are offered are full of fresh revelation, information, and application to help you keep overcoming in life. Why not order them today?


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