light shines in the darkness

That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1

I have a friend who still dabbles in involvement with Churchianity. He does so, in search of loving fellowship and opportunity for Christian service. He continually gets hurt and confused, yet he keeps going back to Churchianity-sponsored events, like a battered victim going back to an abusive lover/spouse, in hope that things will be “different this time”.

He is a light in the darkness. The darkness brings discouragement and rejection yet the light brings joy and love. He is a bringer of Light’s joy and love, even in the darkness of Churchianity’s corruption and dishonesty.

He wants to serve. He wants to help. He wants to give. In the name of Christ, and in the love of Christ. These are his simple, loving and profound gifts to the world.

He went to a big Church ministry event, offering himself as a servant helper. He also has ideas to contribute. The leader of the ministry berated him, chewing him out verbally, putting him down and in his place for overstepping his bounds and not keeping his “place” as obedient mindless volunteer. (His crime was offering a few ideas for how to do the ministry in a more effective manner.)

But that day, he also had the opportunity to lovingly, gently minister to the spiritual needs of one family and he was a blessing to them. His light shined in the darkness of the hypocrisy of this big well advertised, well attended, Church-State, pop “outreach” event.

He went up to The City to join a popular ministry organization, to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of San Francisco’s poorest people.
When he went online to sign up, he found out he had to pay $25. for the privilege of working with this organization in their holiday outreach event. This was money he did not have to spend. He can’t afford to pay a fee to a 501c3 Incorporated business, in order to freely give what he has (love, kindness, help) to others.  He also knows that we sheep should not have to pay the “Clergy” or any business for the right or privilege of doing evangelism, encouraging others or feeding the hungry, or using any other spiritual gifts for that matter. He sadly went elsewhere and found some other place where he could feed dinner to the homeless on that day, without paying a fee to do so.

Another week, he signed up with that group in The City for a ministry day that was offered for “free”, ie no fee required. On that day, he (and two other men) together as a team physically and spiritually blessed and helped a gentleman who lives in a tiny SF Tenderloin apartment. His light shined in the darkness of the hypocrisy of the famous Evangelical Famous Pastor led, “serving the poor” group.

His joy overcomes his sadness. The Light within him, encouraged him. His light still shines. The darkness did not overcome it!

more encouragement to women who witness for Jesus

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples” Matt.28:18-19

In response to this blog post article:
http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2014/03/17/learn-to-discern-can-women-read-scripture-aloud-to-men/#comments

Any professing Christian “leader” who tells any disciple of Jesus, that they “should not” or “must not” be obedient to Christ, evangelize, speak of Jesus, preach the gospel, proclaim the Truth, or make disciples of Jesus, (which is part of loving your neighbor as He commanded) is a false teacher and is not speaking for Jesus Christ but is very much working against Christ. Woe.

To make evangelism and proclaiming the gospel about being obsessed with sex (that is, male roles, female roles) authoritarianism, power, control and domination over women, is to create a cult.

Jesus Christ Himself is the power and the authority. His Spirit indwells the female saints as well as the male saints. HE has given His authority also to the daughters of God (the sisters in Christ) to witness and speak of Him, or read scripture, to any person, as HE leads and empowers them by the Spirit.

heed not the motivation of fear

Hear My voice, I am the True Shepherd of the sheep, the thief comes to kill and destroy, but he comes as an angel of light!  from John10 and 2Cor11

I accepted an invitation from my girl friend, to go to a Christian conference at a Church building. I went because I wanted to spend time with her, and hear news of the suffering saints. I was given liberty from the Lord, to go, to hear what was being said these days, to Christian people at Church.

It was the VOM regional conference; the subject was persecuted believers in communist and Muslim countries. There were videos, pictures, testimonies
of these saints, and stories the speakers told, of their lives and suffering. I am always glad to hear of them, it is a sweetness and bittersweetness at the same time, the believers in hostile lands are so dear and sweet, but it is so sad, their suffering. I wanted to participate in remembering them, and learning of their plight.

But there were some things I noticed that grieved me. I really went, with an open heart, assuming the best, hoping and trusting I would not hear anything that would grieve me, but alas, I did. But I’m not surprised (though I’m saddened) because the Church System really is Babylon….. and she cannot be healed. Thus fleeing and forsaking her is the only way……. it’s not safe because the truth is tainted and muddied with bondage or lies (or both!).

The main speaker (from Iran) said all kinds of concerning things, though he is very eager to reach muslims in Iran as a missionary. Now he did report that many Iranians are coming to Christ and are assembling secretly, quietly in homes and such, and are doing a lot of evangelism. But this man defined the sharing the gospel as getting someone to “pray the prayer” for God or Jesus to “come into your heart”.  That was concerning.

He basically pushed for political and religious Dominionism in Iran. His words and style reminded me of Campus Crusade for Christ and YWAM, as far as the ministry catchphrases.

He boldly promoted the 7 Mountains Dominionism! That is where the 7 Mountains of society will be ruled by a cultural and political Christianity. He said Iran will become a Christian country!  He said 2 kingdoms are clashing and Islam is a spirit. But then he said, “You can’t come against it (the spirit of Islam) with the military, well sometimes you have to use the military.”

With that statement, he went against Jesus’ words and promoted war and killing “if it is necessary”.

Further, he said that we want to evangelize the muslims and convert them for these reasons:
1. because if not they will kill us all
2. because they want to take over the world and make every nation Muslim, (submit to Islam) thus we must stop them by converting more of them to Christianity.

This is NOT to be our motivation. His motivation was unfortunately pure FEAR— fear of being killed, fear of jihad, fear of being forced to submit to Islam, fear of our country being taken over, etc. This is NOT of Christ.
That attitude is the spirit of the Holy Roman Empire of Christendom, which wanted to preserve the culture, earthly kingdoms, lands and power holdings of State-Christianity (Christendom).   This is not of the Spirit. This is of earthly Churchianity or what we call Babylon Church.

The motivation he promoted, is the same motivation that sent men to the Crusades to kill and shed oceans of so-called infidel or heretic blood (Christian, Muslim and Jewish blood, and also pagans of other indigenous local religions). This motivation is satanic, it is not of Love, it is not of Faith, it is not of Hope. It is not loving God and loving neighbor. It is pure fear, and determination to hold on to what we “have in this world” (lands, nations, freedoms, rights, our lives, our culture etc). This is not of Jesus Christ who told us to die to self, follow Him and make disciples.

The man did promote evangelism and making disciples, but for the wrong motivation, not out of obedience to Christ, not out of love for God and people, and not out of gratitude to our beloved Christ Jesus for our salvation, not out of compassion for the lost, not out of the willingness to die if need be, not to serve others and love enemies, to give to others, like Christ gave to us.

So his message of what motivates us to reach Muslims, was entirely political and carnal, fear based and worldly. And it feeds into satan’s plan to get us warring and killing, (Christians and Muslims) that the synthesis/ solution of world government and global syncretic religion might be implemented as the solution for world peace. Political-military Dominionist Christianity is being used right now to help this global plan along.

So the man was either knowingly or unknowingly (we don’t know) helping the plans of the wrong side, so to speak, rather than encouraging us: to NOT FEAR and LOVE NOT YOUR LIFE and LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR ANOTHER, and to LOVE UNTIL YOU DIE in your service of bringing Christ to the lost world WITH JOY AND HUMBLE TRUST IN THE LORD. We do not try to save our life, lifestyle, limb, culture or physical nation. We lay it down, and love like our Father loves.

I would have been so edified to hear that from this Christian Leader.

The teacher  taught that the motivation (to try to convert them) is:
1. because of terrorism growing
2. because they want to take over nations and plan to take over all nations including USA
3. because Islam is the greatest threat to the world, to world peace.
4. because Islam wants to wipe (political-geographical) “Israel” off the map.  Yes he said this. This motivation seems entirely fleshly, earthly and political.

Then he said: Iran will be a Christian nation! Christianity will rule the (7 Mountains) business, government, family, religion, media, education, entertainment (the 7 mountains exactly as taught by Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham!). There you go folks, straight up Dominionism.

He said, The future of Iran and Israel are united! He had scripture to back this up. He was quite serious that he meant this literally, in the physical-political. !!

He said, over 25,000 documented “decisions” for Christ. (This sounds identical to Billy Graham and CCC).

His definition of sharing the gospel, shown repeatedly over his speech, was leading ppl in prayer for God to come into your heart. Salvation was praying “the prayer”.

He taught that 9 11 was done by muslims. He showed pictures of the “twin towers” in a ball of flames and other scary pictures.
He had a lot of power point pics and charts that fanned the flames of “fear of Muslims”,  and reiterated that the main reason for his evangelism was to hold back the tide of Islam and prevent them from ruling nations.  weird. This is not the motivation Jesus gives us.

Also, this statement, “You can’t come against it (the spirit of Islam) with the military, well sometimes you have to use the military”,
is a statement that reveals an unstable DOUBLE-MINDEDness.

It’s either one or the other.

We either obey Jesus Christ’s instructions and love our enemies, and war in the Spirit with Holy Spirit power against principalities (spirits), OR we war in the flesh with physical war machine weapons, against flesh (literal physical men).

One or the other.

The Earthly Church has no qualms promoting warring in the flesh, and killing enemies. “Fight the enemies and kill your neighbor.”

The spiritual church, those led by Jesus, does what Jesus says:  “Love your neighbor, love your enemy.”

Babylon Church has lied for far too long to the Christians, about this. It does mislead the sheep.

It is a lie that it is “God’s will” that we as Christians must war and kill in the flesh in order to survive or take out the enemy or save the country or Christendom or take back the ‘Holy Land’ for God.

Let God (JESUS) be true, and every man a liar.

I have heard this also, on Christian “God N Country” Crawford Broadcasting and Salem Communications radio stations, back when I used to listen to them. I heard very clear messages of “fear of Muslims” and promotion of politics and “war and killing” being necessary to deal with this scary “greatest threat” to us.  This is not of the instructional words of Jesus, nor of the Spirit of Jesus.

Dear friends, let us encourage one another in this time, to heed the voice of our Shepherd Jesus and do what He says, doing the will of our Father.

Let us not operate in the flesh, but in His Power.

Let us not live because of fear but because of Love.

Worth the Wait

How can I describe it to you? Friday night was basically an answer to one of my longest held prayers; it was the gracious gift of God after years and years of hoping and waiting. For what you ask? To see this happen: A group of about 22 Christian brothers and sisters (half local, half from out-of-town) and I gathered in a home to pray and then we went out on the streets of my city downtown. In small groups or pairs we headed out for witnessing conversations with people hanging out by the clubs, cafes, fast food restaurants and the movie theater. One very exciting thing about this outreach was that about half the people in our group had no previous experience in evangelism to people you “don’t already know”.

It was great to hit the same city blocks I have previously tread alone, but this time with so many young brothers and sisters. It was very exciting watching these young college students give out their first gospel tract, and share the gospel with someone on the street for the first time. Their nervousness turned to encouragement and joy when they realized they were speaking with a guy, or a couple, or even whole group of friends, who actually wanted to hear it. I am very sure one of the young men may end up a street preacher. This brother was quite filled with the Holy Spirit. I thank God He let me live to see a large group of English-speaking saints at last go out on the streets of my city to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost, and to sow the written Word of God. I’m so glad I got to see some young believers give it a go for the first time-right in my city. It was awesome to see their compassion for people, their love for Christ, and their zeal to make Him known. It was wonderful to hear them witnessing and sharing the gospel on the street for the first time. I hope it happens again soon! All thanks, praise, glory and honor to Jesus Christ our Lord.

From the Streets

Here is a report from Larry DuBois who is traveling to various cities, witnessing and street preaching.

Seattle, Washington

September 15, 2010
I have been able to preach the Gospel several times here in the downtown area of Seattle. It has gone very well as I have favor with the police concerning the amp. I have experienced both friend and foe. The highlight was a gal named Jen who came up and tapped me on the shoulder and said that she was listening to me from around the corner. She shared about her addiction. I asked if she heard me share the part about my heroin addiction in the past and she said no. I prayed with her to be free from her heroin addiction and that she would be saved. Afterward she mentioned that she had seen me before. I wouldn’t know how since I have been down here a couple of times and the last time before that was last year. She then remembered that she saw my video on heroin addiction a couple of years ago. Small world or big God don’t you think. Please remember Jen in your prayers and me of course as this has been very exciting so far.

I have been doing some one-on-one evangelism as well as preaching. On Saturday night me and a friend came upon about 25 hell’s angels in Pioneer Square at a bar. My friend preached and I handed them tracts. They were very upset and didn’t receive the Gospel message. This was certainly out of my comfort zone. I also have been able to teach in some home Church groups too. So far this has been fruitful. Much more is happening but I just wanted to share the highlights.

God bless and thanks for the prayers!

Larry

http://lawrencedubois.wordpress.com/itinerary/



Teens Talking

This was sent in by Claire in Half Moon Bay:

Hey, I’m Claire. I’m 17, and I teach kids Bible clubs with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). I came to Covolo to teach the Sunday school class for the Faith Tabernacle Church on one Sunday. Afterwards, I was sitting in Loretta’s car with my friend and fellow teacher Tamara when Israel, a 19 year old guy we had just met a short while ago, came over and asked what we were doing. I responded “Just baking in the car”, because it was a really hot day, and although we had the car doors open, it was still stuffy. He asked if he could join us, sat in the back seat with Tamara, and promptly asked us what kind of drugs we were doing. I didn’t realize until later that “Just baking in the car” could be taken as a drug reference, so it’s important to watch what I say. After it was straightened out that I don’t do drugs we talked about church and how to get to heaven.

His understanding was that you won’t get into heaven if you do bad things. Of course his standard of right and wrong were relative and came from himself, not God. The conversation led away from morality, to personal life and I got to know a little more about him, but I was praying for it to transition back to God so I could give him the gospel. It finally did, and since he thought morality led to salvation, I took him to the law.

I pulled out my Bible and went over the 10 Commandments, in order to prove that mankind cannot be made right with God on our own. From there I explained how Jesus fulfilled the law, and died to take the punishment on Himself that we deserved. I used the example of a courtroom, with God as the judge, Israel as the guilty, and Jesus stepping forward to fulfill this undeserving teenager’s sentence. Loretta also helped explain the atonement, and how God is merciful to us, yet just because sin must be punished. It was hard to keep the conversation centered on the gospel because he was clearly interested in Tamara and myself, so we ending up talking for more than a half hour. He had a lot of questions which I did my best to answer, but I had to leave before I could finish the message of the gospel. We gave him a New Testament and encouraged him to read the book of John. I haven’t heard from him since then, but I keep praying. God brought him right to us, and I know what I said made him think. It was such a blessing to give him the truth in a confident, straightforward way! God is so good!!

5 Day Club Outreach in the Park

Here’s a wonderful way to get the gospel out: host a 5 Day club for children at a local city park. Jesse, Claire and Camilla (who happen to also be natural sisters), hosted such an outreach for more than 40 San Mateo children. Each day the young ladies led games and songs, and taught the gospel to the children. No this was not the Candy Cane gospel. The girls taught about sin, judgment, and the blood atonement and the love and grace of God. They preached Jesus Christ crucified for sinners– to the little ones! The kids learned scriptures such as, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

This summer, these young ladies also taught this same “5 Day club” outreach in Half Moon Bay and Oakland.

SF Outreach ’10

Tamara (on R) witnessing at Civic Center

I’m thankful I could go out this year for the annual SOS outreach in SF and Berkeley, (July 16-24) to work with other believers, bringing the gospel to the lost sheep. I did not get many pictures of the people on our team this year though. I mostly took pictures of some of the people we shared the gospel with– they (the people) are all so beautiful and I wait with joyful anticipation to someday know what shall become of the seeds that were sown. Let me know if this link does not work; I’ll post more pics.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=257288&id=561034376&l=bccca166e4

Street church: After the Bibles were given out, the conversations ended and the gospel proclaiming was done, worship with song and music finished the outreach. These two were walking by, stopped, sat on their suitcases and joined with us. Praising the Lord with reverence and joy!

Car Conversations

My car has become the site of some interesting witnessing conversations over the last year as I give my kids’ friends rides home from the high school and various teen activities. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as I fondly recall that God revealed Himself to me when I was in high school. Here’s a peek into some of the conversations in my car.

‘Susan’ asked me out of the blue what how I became a Christian and wanted to hear my testimony and the gospel. She then asked me heartfelt questions. Now she wants her own Bible to read.

‘Tony’ wanted to know what the difference between “going to church” or “church traditions” and a relationship with Jesus was all about and why.

‘C.J.’ questioned me about my belief in God, in a mocking- scoffing sort of way, as he is a proud atheist, evolutionist, modern intellectual.

Two boys on campus. There was a t-shirt wearing “outreach” event that the kids had at the school. The shirt features the Greek phrase, “He Gives”. So the kids are supposed to wait until someone asks them what the shirt says, and “what that means”, and then they can witness with their answer. (By the way, according to the instructions, they were not to be didactic or preachy, and only positive.) So two fifteen year old boys were wearing the bright orange “He Gives” t-shirts in the student parking lot. I was in my car waiting to meet up with one of my students, and so I gave the boys the opportunity to “practice” on me. I called them over and we chatted at my car window. I asked them what the shirt says, and then, what it means. I played “average inquiring person” for them, trying to get them to think and tell me the Gospel, until they figured out I was a Christian who was teaching them some doctrine. (So much fun!)

They proceeded to repeat the modern cotton candy gospel, which they have heard at church, Christian Club, and youth group. I kept asking them “why” Jesus was given. They were not really sure. They suggested felt needs. They told me part of the good news, but they were not sure why it was good news. My child was delayed in coming out to the car, so I had lots of time to tell these boys the “other parts” of the gospel, and teach them how to witness biblically. It was exciting to observe the lights going on. “Now it makes sense!” And they say you can’t evangelize on the high school campuses…

‘Cora’ was telling me from the back seat, how she is a “student leader” with a local parachurch youth ministry. I asked her some basic questions about her relationship with God and beliefs and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. She went on about all the fun they have in their group. I hope to chat with her again sometime.

‘Lily’ is a “pastor’s kid” (…her mother is the pastor…)and I’m not sure she’s heard the gospel. I asked her some questions about her view of God, and she admitted that she is not sure she “has a clue” or “gets it”. She started crying due to news that a fellow classmate and friend of hers died in a tragic accident during a music department trip to Canada. I think we made relational contact (and I hope, seeds were planted) as she listened to me relate my testimony of how this exact situation– a classmate dying in a tragic accident when I was in high school–was what God used to ultimately bring me to the place where He revealed Himself to me as the REAL, saving, forgiving, redeeming, healing and powerful God.

Most teenagers in our culture have not been taught or told much of anything real by parents, schools, campus ‘Christian Clubs’, churches, youth groups, and even many “Christian leaders and ministries”. Most ‘churched’ kids have not heard the true gospel. They are being brought into youth groups for fun,”belonging to the group” and socialization. What they really need is the real Hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Related post: Educate Me

The Power of the Gospel

Daniel from Better Than Sacrifice brings us the follow up to his post, ‘The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Gospel’, in which he issues the clarion call to declare Christ crucified. In this time when many church systems, “Christian organizations” and parachurch ministries have as their decided rule and practice to NOT proclaim the actual gospel, this article serves up witnessing encouragement.

Here is a snip:

There’s nothing wrong with Christians showing love in such practical ways, of course. In fact, this is a good thing! But this is not the means that God uses to save people.

No, Paul tells us plainly: ‘it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe’.

And which message is it that saves? Which message is it that is a stumbling block and foolishness? Which message is it that is ‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ to those who are being called?

It is the message of ‘Christ crucified’.

‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’ comes through the preaching of this message.

If you would love your neighbour, bring him ‘Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God’. Tell him of how, without Christ, he is under God’s wrath and will receive the eternal punishment that he has earned by his rebellion and sin. Tell him of the Christ crucified for sinners such as he. Tell him of the Christ who was buried, and who rose again on the third day. Call him to repentance. And give him the offer of forgiveness of sins in Christ to all those who put their trust in Him.

This is what it means to love your neighbour as yourself. This is what it means to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Christ.

Read the article here: The Power of the Gospel by Daniel Neades