Thursday, September 3, 2015

Encouragement From Our Savior 8/15/2015

Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:19-21, 32-33)


International Man of Mystery

In previous posts we have referenced a traveling evangelist from Scotland, by the name of John O'Neil, who was joining our team for evangelism outreaches over the past few weeks. Perhaps everyone has heard by now about the incident that took place on the morning of Sunday, August 16 at Grace Community Church when a man jumped onto the stage during a service and began to call John MacArthur a heretic because of his cessationist doctrine regarding gifts of the spirit. The man was arrested and taken away by police.

Much to our shock it turned out this was the same young man. I discussed this with brother Mark and he agreed that there was no obvious indication that this man was capable of such an action. Indeed, he presented himself to us as a passionate evangelist with a simple and scriptural gospel message, albeit delivered in a rather abrasive style. 

Mr. O'Neil had been attending Grace Community Church since June and he also attended Sunday service at Calvary on 8/2 and 8/9.  I spoke to Tony Miano on the 16th and he believes that this fellow was a "wolf in sheep's clothing" who ingratiated himself to us and to the evangelists at Grace Church in order to gain access to John MacArthur. Brother Mark wrote: "Wow, I finally watched the clip and feel great sorrow for John O'Neil. Let us be lifting him up in prayer that he would repent and turn to God." 

The fact is that he deceived us. Both Mark and I asked him questions about his beliefs, and he even referenced his belief in the continuation of the gifts of the spirit. But there was nothing in his demeanor to indicate, nor did he reveal that he had a problem with John MacArthur, nor that he was a self-proclaimed prophet lying in wait for the Pastor to return to the pulpit so he could publicly confront him. Indeed there were several at Grace who were caught off-guard by this fellow (see linked article), as evidenced by his free access to approach the stage. Our brother in Christ, Eric, who often encourages us and who regularly and graciously contends with the Jehovah's Witnesses at NoHo, and who had kindly provided lodging to O'Neil, was among those who were terribly used and deceived by this man.

To their credit several of our team members, including both Richard and Razmik, as well as Dean, expressed their concerns about John's tone of preaching and his use of questionable language when he was talking to a heckler. Not sure we will ever fully understand why O'Neil chose to act out in this way, but it is evident that he is not the person he claimed to be. Neither friend, nor prophet.


Saturday Outreach

Burbank 8/15/2015

Brother Vinny personifies the "tough love" approach. Some might claim that his style is too offensive for the genteel streets of Burbank. But the hardness of heart and gross indifference to the things of God that we observe on the street is the real problem. Indeed, as tough as Vinny calls it, he gets a lot of response, breaking through the narcissistic shell and nihilistic irony of even passing teenagers. Lest we forget, the gospel is an offense to those who are perishing. Not that we should seek to offend, but let us not fear the unrighteous umbrage of those who through wicked works are alienated and enemies of God. (Colossians 1:21)

"Each person we meet on a daily basis who does not know Christ is hell-bound. That may make some folks bristle--but it's a fact. When we refuse to warn people that their actions and lifestyles have eternal consequences, we're not doing them any favors. If everybody feels good about his or her sin, why would anyone repent?" -Franklin Graham, from The Evidence Bible, p. 1711.

Vinny (Whitefield voice): The Bible says that an honest witness does not lie. But a false witness breathes lies. The Bible says that all scripture is inspired by God. I am not here to hand you false pamphlets like the Jehovah's Witnesses. I am here opening up the word of God to you, and proclaiming the truth. The Bible says that not many of us should be teachers for we will be more heavily judged. So if what I am telling you is not the truth then I should be fearing and trembling for opening up my mouth. But if what I am telling you is true from God's word, then it is you who need to fear and tremble, because this is God's word! We're not here to witness to a false Christ, and tell you a false gospel, and tell you that there is a mother in heaven that you should worship, NO! Jesus said that there will be many false prophets, and many false teachers proclaiming a false Christ. (Calls out some cultists) That's right, you guys! Right there! You know who I'm talking about! Stop telling people that there is a mother in heaven, if you can't back it up with scripture. We are to worship only God. And God the Father said, let all of the angels worship Him, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a heaven and there is a hell, and God has given you a choice today that you can choose to repent of your sin. You can choose to believe in the Son of God. You can choose to live away from sexual immorality, pornography, hate, anger. You can choose to stop worshipping false idols. If you do not know who Jesus Christ is, I fear for you. because this could be your last day. The bible says that the reason that we all die is because of our sin. And some of you claim that you know God because you go to Church, or because you got baptized, or you did your communion, or you did your sacraments. Let me tell you that no amount of going to church, no amount of whatever else you do will get you into heaven. It is only by God's grace, not by works, that you are saved. Grace is God giving you what you don't deserve. None of us deserve God's love and forgiveness or his mercy. All of us deserve judgment in hell.  Mercy is God withholding the punishment we do deserve. For God so loved the world . . . 

Mark: Where did sexual morality come from? It came from the Bible. Where did marriage come from? It came from the Bible. God instituted marriage. He set it up as a covenant between one man and one woman.

Heckler: Why?

Mark: Why?? Because He said it! Why can't we marry three people, four people, five people at a time? Because God said we marry two, a man and a woman. This has been set up because this is a picture of what it is like in heaven. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb, when He marries His church. It is about Christ and His Church. That's why gay marriage is an affront to God. It's a perversion of what's going to be in heaven. You can change civil law, but you cannot change the word of God.

Richard: Repenting doesn't mean that you say, "Oh, God forgive me of my sins," and then you run back to your sins. There are a lot of false converts out there. I was one of those people who believed that I would say a little prayer, I went to the altar, the pastor laid his hand on me, put some oil on my head, and said, "you're forgiven of your sins, you're going to make it to heaven." And that's a lie that I believed for many years, but I still went out there and did the wrong things. But the Bible says that once you receive Christ that you are a new creation in Christ! He will give you new desires, for things of the Spirit and not the things of the flesh. What are your desires today?

Morning Shift - NoHo Metro Station  8/12/2015

Please stand with us on Wednesdays at 6:00 AM at the North Hollywood Metro Station on Lankershim Blvd. It's a great opportunity to share the truth with the thousands of commuters who pass through this area. Please watch for text announcements on Tuesday evenings. Please always RSVP if you plan to join us on Wednesday mornings.

Abortuary Duty  8/15/2015

You can join the effort at the Mission Hills clinic, 10200 Sepulveda Blvd., 91345, every Saturday and Wednesday morning from 8 to 10 am. No experience necessary.

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1 comment:

  1. That last picture with Roger, Steve and Dr. Jack is CLASSIC! It was like a time warp for me.