Tie a Yellow Ribbon graphic

The heroic and daring rescue in Iraq of 19-year old PFC Jessica Lynch gripped the hearts of the Nation and the world. People were glued to their television sets as they witnessed this remarkable, almost Hollywood-style rescue in the dead of night by Army Rangers and Navy Seals. Although there were conflicting reports of the ambush and the dramatic rescue, it was still sensational for it touched our hearts and lifted our spirits during those dark days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As we all know, PFC Lynch's convoy from the 507th Maintenance Company deployed from Fort Bliss, Texas, was ambushed on 23 March 2003 after taking a wrong turn near Nasiriyah. During the ambush, eleven soldiers died in the attack including her best friend and roommate PFC Lori Piestewa. Five others were taken prisoners. Later in the war, these five prisoners were made a public spectacle when they were interrogated, paraded, and humiliated on Iraqi television and the Arab television network Al Jazeera. Some of the footage were picked up by other networks and aired in many parts of the world. This action was in violation of Article 13 of the Geneva Convention which clearly states that prisoners of war must at all times be protected. . . against insult and public curiosity.

Since the war in Iraq, the capture of the POWs and ultimately their release, our neighborhood is peppered with yellow ribbons tied around, not only oak trees, but maples, cottonwoods, poplars, elms, willow trees, you name it. Yellow ribbons are even tied around mailboxes and hung on doors. This is a patriotic jester to show appreciation and support for our troops and a reminder that freedom is not free. Many have been in harms way and have put their lives on the line to protect our country and secure the freedom that we have so often taken for granted. Many have died in the line of duty. Protecting us from our enemies is a job they do best. Click here for The Real Hero of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

You know something, there's an enemy much worse to be feared than the Fedayeens and Saddam's other loyalists and supporters who are still causing problems in Iraq. The enemy is Satan, the Devil. There's a place much more dangerous and deceitful than Iraq. That place is the human heart. Unless we have given our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are all under the power and spell of Satan. We are under his captivity and, in a sense, his prisoners of war. See Battle for the Mind.

"Not only man but the earth had by sin come under the power of the wicked one. . . At his creation Adam was placed in dominion over the earth. But by yielding to temptation, he was brought under the power of Satan. 'Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage' (2 Peter 2:19).  When man became Satan's captive, the dominion which he held, passed to his conqueror. Thus Satan became 'the god of this world' (2 Cor. 4:4).  He had usurped that dominion over the earth which had been originally given to Adam." --God's Amazing Grace, Page 41.

"Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. 'If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'  'The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus'  sets us 'free from the law of sin and death.' Rom. 8:2."

"In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan's control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God." --Desire of Ages, Page 466.3,466.4.

Satan is subtle. He is cunning. "His plans and devices are soliciting us on every hand. We should ever remember that he comes to us in disguise, covering his motives and the character of his temptations. He comes in garments of light, clad apparently in pure angel robes, that we may not discern that it is he. We need to use great caution, to closely investigate his devices, lest we be deceived.

"Satan has his evil angels around us; and though they cannot read men's thoughts, they closely watch their words and actions. Satan takes advantage of the weaknesses and defects of character that are thus revealed, and presses his temptations where there is the least power of resistance. He makes evil suggestions, and inspires worldly thoughts, knowing that he can thus bring the soul into condemnation and bondage. To those who are selfish, worldly, avaricious, proud, faultfinding, or given to detraction--to all who are cherishing errors and defects of character--Satan presents the indulgence of self, and leads the soul off upon a track that the Bible condemns. . .

"For every class of temptations there is a remedy. We are not left to ourselves to fight the battle against self and our sinful natures in our own finite strength. Jesus is a mighty helper, a never-failing support. . . None need fail or become discouraged, when such ample provision has been made for us.

"The mind must be restrained, and not allowed to wander. It should be trained to dwell upon the Scriptures, and upon noble, elevating themes. Portions of Scripture, even whole chapters, may be committed to memory, to be repeated when Satan comes in with his temptations. The fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is a profitable one for this purpose. Wall the soul in with the restrictions and instructions given by inspiration of the Spirit of God. When Satan would lead the mind to dwell upon earthly and sensual things, he is most effectually resisted with 'It is written'.

"'Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Cor. 2:11.'" --Our High Calling, Page 88.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6:12.

"The Lord would have our minds aroused regarding the influence of evil angels. Christ does not tell us of the danger threatening us from the attacks of the apostate foe without furnishing us with power to resist every attack. . . Angelic agencies, both good and evil, are striving for the mastery, and every influence that is now exerted is to be closely investigated.

"Satan is ever on the alert to deceive and mislead. He is using every enchantment to allure men into the broad road of disobedience. He is working to confuse the senses with erroneous sentiments, and remove the landmarks by placing his false inscription on the signposts which God has established to point the right way. It is because these evil agencies are striving to eclipse every ray of light from the soul that heavenly beings are appointed to do their work of ministry, to guide, guard, and control those who shall be heirs of salvation. None need despair because of the inherited tendencies to evil, but when the Spirit of God convicts of sin, the wrongdoer must repent and confess and forsake the evil. Faithful sentinels are on guard to direct souls in right paths.

"Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men. Our minds are given to the control of God, or to the control of the powers of darkness; and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today--whether under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel, or under the black banner of the powers of darkness.

"So long as the people of God preserve their fidelity to Him, so long as they cling by living faith to Jesus, they are under the protection of heavenly angels, and Satan will not be permitted to exercise his hellish arts upon them to their destruction.

"It is the greatest joy of the angels of heaven to spread the shield of their tender love over souls who turn to God." --Our High Calling, Page 92.

We need to break the power of Satan in our lives. How is this done?

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal. 5:1.

"The repentance of one soul sends inexpressible joy through all the host of heaven. Melody is called forth from every harp and every voice in glorious anthems because another name is registered in the book of life, another light is kindled to shine amid the moral darkness of this corrupt world. The very same event spreads consternation among the fallen angels and humiliates the great leader in the rebellion against God's holy law. The prince of darkness, seeing a soul whom he has counted his own escaping from under his control as a bird out of the snare of the fowler, and making Christ his refuge, works with hellish intensity to again entrap the one escaped.

"We must dwell more on the results of genuine conversion. Not only is the sinner forgiven when he repents and confesses his iniquity; he becomes a child of God, . . . an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ to an immortal inheritance. . . The power of Satan is broken. Man is brought into sacred unity with Christ.

"There is not a soul won to Christ . . . without defeat to the tempter, and bruising of the head of the serpent. This will arouse the malice of the adversary to greater activity. . . Alarmed because he is losing his prey, Satan will first seek to deceive, next to oppress and persecute. Evil men, rebuked by the precept and example of those who come to the light of Bible truth, will become agents of the great adversary of souls and will leave no means untried to draw them away from their allegiance to God and induce them to leave the narrow path of holiness.

"But none need to be alarmed and afraid. God's word is pledged that if they are true to principle, if they believe and obey all God's requirements, they are members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. They are certain to have enlisted in their behalf the agencies of heaven and to come off victorious through the merits of Christ--more than conquerors through Him that loved them." --Our High Calling, Page 89.

"The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. 'The truth shall make you free;'  and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is 'the law of liberty.' James 2:12." --Desire of Ages, Page 466.

Just as PFC Jessica Lynch and the other POWs needed to be rescued from their captors, we, too, need to be rescued from Satan's grasp. Christ came to free us from Satan's snare. "He offered himself as a willing sacrifice in our behalf. He stooped from his high place in heaven to rescue human beings from the slavery of sin. The Son of God gave up his honor and glory, and tasted the bitterness of death, that men might become partakers of the divine nature. He died that all might have an opportunity to choose God as their leader." --Youth Instructor, January 3, 1901.

Instead of parading and humiliating us before the whole Universe, Jesus took our guilt, our shame, our despair and covered them at Calvary.

Calvary Covers it All

Far dearer than all that the world can impart
Was the message that came to my heart;
How that Jesus alone for my sin did atone,
And Calvary covers it all.


Calvary covers it all,
My past with its sin and stain;
My guilt and despair Jesus took on Him there,
And Calvary covers it all.

The stripes that He bore and the thorns that He wore
Told His mercy and love evermore;
And my heart bowed in shame as I called on His name,
And Calvary covers it all.

How matchless the grace, when I looked in the face
Of this Jesus, my crucified Lord;
My redemption complete I then found at His feet,
And Calvary covers it all.

How blessed the thought, that my soul by Him bought,
Shall be His in the glory on high,
Where with gladness and song I'll be one of the throng,
And Calvary covers it all.

--Mrs. Walter G. Taylor

Tie a Yellow Ribbon graphic

"Jesus in the synagogue spoke of the kingdom He had come to establish, and of His mission to set free the captives of Satan. He was interrupted by a shriek of terror. A madman rushed forward from among the people, crying out, 'Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee who Thou art; the Holy One of God.'

"All was now confusion and alarm. The attention of the people was diverted from Christ, and His words were unheeded. This was Satan's purpose in leading his victim to the synagogue. But Jesus rebuked the demon, saying, 'Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.'

"The mind of this wretched sufferer had been darkened by Satan, but in the Saviour's presence a ray of light had pierced the gloom. He was roused to long for freedom from Satan's control; but the demon resisted the power of Christ. When the man tried to appeal to Jesus for help, the evil spirit put words into his mouth, and he cried out in an agony of fear. The demoniac partially comprehended that he was in the presence of One who could set him free; but when he tried to come within reach of that mighty hand, another's will held him, another's words found utterance through him. The conflict between the power of Satan and his own desire for freedom was terrible.

"He who conquered the archenemy in the wilderness, wrested this writhing captive from the grasp of Satan. Jesus well knew that although assuming another form, this demon was the same evil spirit that had tempted Him in the wilderness.

"The demon exerted all his power to retain control of his victim. To lose ground here would be to give Jesus a victory. It seemed that the tortured man must lose his life in the struggle with the foe that had been the ruin of his manhood. But the Saviour spoke with authority, and set the captive free. The man who had been possessed stood before the wondering people happy in the freedom of self-possession. . . The eye that had so lately glared with the fire of insanity, now beamed with intelligence, and overflowed with grateful tears." --The Truth About Angels, Pages 184-185.

Yellow ribbon graphic

Then Jesus Came

One sat alone beside the highway begging,
His eyes were blind, the light he could not see;
He clutched his rags, and shivered in the shadows,
Then Jesus came and bade his darkness flee.

When Jesus comes the tempter's pow'r is broken;
When Jesus comes the tears are wiped away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.

From home and friends the evil spirits drove him,
Among the tombs, he dwelt in misery;
He cut himself as demon pow'rs possessed him,
Then Jesus came and set the captive free.

"Unclean! unclean!" the leper cried in torment,
The deaf, the dumb, in helplessness stood near;
The fever raged, disease had gripped its victim,
Then Jesus came and cast out every fear.

Their hearts were sad as in the tomb they laid him,
For death had come and taken him away;
Their night was dark and bitter tears were falling,
Then Jesus came and night was turned to day.

So men today have found the Saviour able,
They could not conquer passion, lust and sin;
Their broken hearts had left them sad and lonely,
Then Jesus came and dwelt, Himself within.

--Oswald J. Smith

Tie a Yellow Ribbon graphic

The popular song Tie a Yellow Ribbon that you are hearing now (if your speakers are turned on) tells of a man who's been sent to prison. He's served his time and is now coming home on the bus. But he admits that his wife has every right to reject him. He's to blame. So he's written to tell her that if she forgives him, she should "tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree."  If there's no yellow ribbon, he'll just stay on the bus and pass by.

As the destination approaches all the man thinks about is that oak tree. When he gets home, will there be a yellow ribbon on it?

The song ends in triumph with all the people in the bus cheering as the man sees not one but a hundred yellow ribbons on that old oak tree! His wife not only forgives him but exuberantly welcomes him home.

Jesus not only forgives us of our sins, but all Heaven rejoices and welcomes us to the fold. When we come to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour, we have been freed from the captivity of Satan and everyday is a yellow ribbon day--the ribbon is tied securely and attached to our hearts; the key is in His possession.

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Heart graphic

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

I'm coming home I've done my time
And I have to know what is or isn't mine
If you received my letter
Telling you I'd soon be free
Then you'd know just what to do
If you still want me
If you still want me

Oh tie a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree
It's been three long years
Do you still want me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree
I'll stay on the bus, forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree

Bus driver please look for me
'Cause I couldn't bare to see what I might see
I'm really still in prison
And my love she holds the key
A simple yellow ribbon's all I need to set me free
I wrote and told her please

Oh tie a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree
It's been three long years
Do you still want me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree
I'll stay on the bus, forget about us
Put the blame on me
If I don't see a yellow ribbon
'Round the old oak tree

Now the whole bus is cheering
And I can't believe I see
A hundred yellow ribbons
'Round the old, the old oak tree

Tie a ribbon 'round the old oak tree
Tie a ribbon 'round the old oak tree
Tie a ribbon 'round the old oak tree
Tie a ribbon 'round the old oak tree

Russell Brown/Irwin Levine
Irwin Levine Music/
Larball Publishing Co. Inc. Plat.

Johnny Vegas and The Johnny Vegas Orchestra
Email: vegas@jvegas.com

Midi is sequenced by Tommy Williams III.

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Tie a Yellow Ribbon - Freedom to Dream

Calvary Covers It All Midi
Then Jesus Came Midi
Tie a Yellow Ribbon Midi