Following are the top April Fool’s Day pranks ever played on the public:
1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a huge spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a strand of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
1996: The Taco Bell Corporation announced it had bought the Liberty Bell and was renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell. Hundreds of outraged citizens called the National Historic Park in Philadelphia where the bell was housed to express their anger. Their nerves were only calmed when Taco Bell revealed, a few hours later, that it was all a practical joke. The best line of the day came when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. Thinking on his feet, he responded that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold. It would now be known, he said, as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
1998: Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, “many others requested their own ‘right handed’ version.”
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they “spend the winter basking in the tropical sun.” A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.
1975: Australia’s This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to “metric time.” Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face. The thumbnail (found at TelevisionAU.com) shows TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck posing with a smaller metric clock. TDT received numerous calls from viewers who fell for the hoax. One frustrated viewer wanted to know how he could convert his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
No one knows the exact origin of April Fools’ Day – lots of theories
- Controversy over the calendar year beginning on April 1 instead of January 1
- Julius Caesar, in 45 B.C., instituted Jan. 1 as the beginning of the new-year – when the new senate took office.
- The Gregorian/Roman Calendar became the Western/Christian calendar – started Jan. 1, which was a combination of lunar cycle and Julian calendar
- From Ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian Cultures in B.C. times to Mid Evil times, many cultures celebrated the beginning of the New Year at the end of March (several of the celebrations would end on 4/1) or like the Assyrians – on 4/1 (Feasts of Fertility – New Birth)
- The Christians would call these people “fools” for believing the year started in Spring
- At some point those who had adopted the Roman/Christian calendar would play practical jokes on the “ignorant” people who still held to “heathen” calendars.
The Enemy is constantly trying to pull April Fools pranks on us:
Jn. 8:44 – Jesus pointed out that satan is the father (originator) of all lies
Gen. 3:1-5 – we find satan tempting Adam and Eve: “Did God say…”
Matt. 4:1-11 –satan tried to fool Jesus in the wilderness – – “If you are the Son of God” (2x) – challenging His identity
If the enemy can “fool” us into thinking that God did not really mean what he said, then he can derail us from our destiny.
How we deal with the lies will determine how we live out our destiny
2 Corinthians 2:10,11
“I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes…”
Jesus used the Scriptures to counter the lies being told him – 3x He said, “It is written”
Jn. 8:32 – Jesus said,
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
Following are what I think are the top ten lies that the enemy has used to try and fool Christians:
1. God made you sick, injured, impoverished – causing you suffering –April Fools!
The truth: That would be the devil causing these things
John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy – I have come that they may have life!”
1 John 3:8 “For this reason Jesus came – to destroy the works of the devil”
Isaiah 61:3 – Jesus came “to proclaim the Day of Vengeance of our God”
2. God is sending an earthquake, floods, tornados, or hurricanes to judge people – April Fools!
The truth: God stops storms that the devil creates
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…” – He still loves the world
3. God is in a bad mood – April Fools!
The truth: God is in a good mood
Ps. 119:68, “God is good and all that He does is good”
4. Your prayers are not working – April Fools!
The truth: Your prayers are powerful and effective
James 5:16 “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective”
You are righteous because Jesus has become your righteousness
5. I can’t overcome this character flaw, habit, addiction, sin – April Fools!
The truth: You are powerful in Christ
1 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
1 John 4:4 “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
We are more than conquerors
Romans 8:37 “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
6. You mess up, and the enemy says that, “you are disqualified” –April Fools!
The truth: God takes junk and turns it into gold
Rom. 8:1, “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ”
1 Jn. 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse of all unrighteousness”
7. You are not making a difference in your environment – April Fools!
The truth: You are a world changer
Matt. 5:13,14, “Your are the salt of the earth… the light of the world”
8. You’re not gifted – April Fools!
The truth: You are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and with that anointing comes giftings
1 Cor. 12:7 “To each one is given a manifestation of the Spirit”
1 Cor. 14:1 “Desire the gifts, especially prophecy” – we can have them all
9. God is going to be mad at you if you take risk, and it doesn’t work out well – April Fools!
The truth: God rewards risk not performance
Heb. 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…”
10. God does not like it when we laugh in church – April Fools!
The truth: Laughter is part of our inheritance
Ps. 2:4, “He who is enthroned in the heavens laughs”
Lk. 6:21,“Hugely happy are those who weep now, because they will laugh”
So then, don’t be fooled on April Fool’s. Know who you are, know what God thinks and says about you. Counter the lies with the truth, and like Jesus, we will fulfill our destiny as world changers and history makers.