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Why Billy Graham Was a Modern Moses: Anne Graham Lotz Points to Powerful Prophetic Significance of His Death

03-02-2018
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WATCH portions of the service above including comments from Graham's only living sister and his children - including Anne Graham Lotz talking about the spiritual significance of her father's death.

CHARLOTTE, NC – In a final farewell on Friday, the family of Billy Graham honored the man known as America's pastor. More evangelistic outreach than funeral service, they aptly called it the evangelist's last crusade.

Thousands, including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, filled the canvas cathedral, a reminder of the 1949 Los Angeles crusade that sparked the rise of a man who fueled the rise of Christianity in America. While neither Trump nor Pence spoke at the service, they met privately with the family beforehand.

WATCH FULL FUNERAL COVERAGE BELOW: CBN News' FAITH NATION team provided LIVE coverage of Billy Graham's "Last Crusade."

On the grounds of his library, more than 2,000 guests, including a wide variety of evangelical leaders, honored Graham in a service he helped plan himself, featuring songs from Michael W. Smith and the Gaither Vocal Band.The service also included tributes from his family, specifically his five children, who shared intimate moments from their father's life while unabashedly relaying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of the more poignant tributes came from his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, who explained the date of her father's passing, Feb. 21, held spiritual significance that was "strategic" from "heaven's point of view."

That was the day, she explained, that Jews were focusing on reading scripture about how Moses led the people of Israel out of bondage – much as her father had led millions of people out of bondage to sin.

"Moses was the great liberator," she explained. "He brought millions of people out of bondage to slavery, got them to the edge of the Promised Land and God took him to Heaven. God brought Joshua to lead them into the Promised Land to take them home."

"And my father also is a great liberator," Lotz continued. "He brought millions of people out of bondage to sin and gets us to the edge of Heaven, the edge of the Promised Land and then God has called him home."

"Could it be that God is going to bring Joshua to lead us into the Promised Land, lead us to Heaven and – you know what the New Testament name for Joshua is? It's Jesus. And I believe this is a shot across the bow from Heaven. And I believe God is saying: 'Wake up church! Wake up world! Jesus is coming!" she declared.

"I pledge to you, Daddy, that in view of His appearing, and in front of all these witnesses, I will preach the Word! I will do the work of an evangelist and I will share the Gospel and I will run my race and live my life so that five minutes before I see Jesus I have no regrets. I will live my life to glorify and exalt the name of the Lord Jesus Christ," she concluded.

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Often called "counselor to the presidents," Billy Graham was also a simple man with a family left to mourn his death.

Boz Tchividjian – one of Graham's grandchildren – called him "Daddy Bill."

"That's what we all called him, and we all called grandma "Tete" which means old woman in Chinese," he explained.

As a teenager, Tchividjian says he learned about faith and humility when he found his grandfather alone in a New Orleans hotel room after praying at a political convention.

"I knocked on the door. Daddy Bill is in his pajamas, and I never will forget looking out of the corner of my eye on his bed and there you could tell he had been sitting and his Bible was open," he remembered.

He says that's just who his grandfather really was.

"It was a glimpse of the authentic Billy Graham, that when left alone, if he had the choice of spending time with Jesus or going out spending time with the influential politicians, he chose Jesus. And that memory has always stuck to me, because I left that night feeling a bit convicted but remember leaving going, 'Man, that's the real deal. Lord, help me to know and love you in that way,'" he said.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE IN-DEPTH COVERAGE ON BILLY GRAHAM

It was a sentiment Rev. Graham's son, Franklin, reiterated at the close of Friday's service before extending the call to repentance and salvation to those present and those watching the service on television.

"The Billy Graham that the world saw on television, the Billy Graham that the world saw in the big stadiums was the same Billy Graham that we saw at home. There weren't two Billy Grahams," he said. "He loved his family. He stood by us. He comforted us. He left us an enduring legacy: His uncompromising testimony of God's great love."

BELOW: CBN News has compiled a montage of the events honoring Rev. Graham on Capitol Hil

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