On the Street, 25th January 2014

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John Preaching by Piccadilly Gardens

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

As street evangelists we have purposed not to draw people’s attention to ourselves.  For this reason we do not tell people to come to any of our meetings, nor do we tell people to come to us.  We believe that it is only by coming to Jesus Christ can anyone come to God.  As He is the ONLY way, and as His name is the ONLY name under heaven whereby we must be saved, and as He is the ONLY mediator between man and God we do not want people to be under any illusions as to the role of the Church and its ministers in the salvation of the lost.

There are few who actually come to the streets to declare the Gospel openly.  Some who do come have ulterior motives, seeking to proselytize rather than simply bare witness to the Gospel.  Often these groups hand out cards and/or leaflets that do not even bare the name of Jesus Christ but simply the name of their particular church or ministry.  These invite people to come to a music concert, a BBQ or some form of entertainment but not to Christ.

If challenged they become unsettled and quote Jesus’s words, “Do not judge”!  But how are we to test the spirits, as the Holy Spirit has instructed, if we are not to judge?  Sadly there are some churches out there who have more in common with the cults than they do with the New Testament Church!  They operate under the rule of heavy handed leaders, often organized in a hierarchical fashion.  In the Book of Revelation the Lord Himself denounced such:

So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. (Revelation 2:15)

As John F. Walvoord explains in his book The Revelation of Jesus Christ (published by Moody Press):

Some have interpreted their name as meaning ‘conquering the people’ from nikaō, meaning ‘to conquer’ and laos, meaning ‘the people.’ This view considers the Nicolaitans as the forerunners of the clerical hierarchy superimposed upon the laity and robbing them of spiritual freedom.”

Jay Atkinson wrote,

The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was mentioned in the Apocalypse of John to the churches of Pergamos and Ephesus of the seven churches of Asia in Revelation 2. It was a symbolic name of a party that represented those who established a ruling class over the rest of the people that exalted fleshly leadership by developing a “pecking order.” (Jay Atkinson, Nicolaitans)

Today in Manchester the team met with people from two ends of the extreme.

As John was nearing the end of his preaching two ladies approached him to shake his hand and congratulate him for what he was doing.  They declared that they thought he was very brave to be doing what he was doing.  They stated that they were “Street Pastors”.  One thing that this group emphasize in their publicity is that they “do not preach to people”.  Their modus operandi is to be on the street to help people, such as late night revelers who are drunk.  They will give them bottles of water and flip-flops (beach sandles) and help them get safely to their bus or taxi.  If people ask them about Jesus they will speak about Him.  Street Pastors are made up of people from many different churches, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholics to name a few.

Street Pastors are typical of the modern church’s disdain for the preaching of the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit moved upon Paul who wrote:

For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
(1 Corinthians 9:16)

The second group came from a church that has long been criticized for its abusive approach to leadership,  The Potter’s House.  This particular group is part of an umbrella organisation called Christian Fellowship Ministries and was founded in the US by Wayman Mitchell.  Not to be confused with the church of the same name that was founded by Word of Faith/ Prosperity Pastor T.D. Jakes.

We have received numerous emails from people around the world expressing concern about family members who are in the PH or from people who have left.  These people tend to speak of having the same experience which can only mean one thing–there is a problem.  They relate experiences similar to John and Amélia’s own experience with another cult. Miguel was approached by several ex-members from different countries asking him to highlight this group on the Apologetics website.  These people provided audio/visual materials of various PH pastors and teachers some of which we found to be quite shocking to say the least.  After publishing our research Miguel received even more emails from many other people thanking him for the information.  Miguel has also received other emails from PH leaders and members either threatening him, placing curses upon him or calling him names and using some very vile language.  (These emails are logged and are published to give people an idea as to the nature of this group).

For further information see:

http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/thepottershouse.html

 Amélia was approached by an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who asked her if she knew anything about the JW’s.  As she and her family had involvement with the JW’s when she was younger she answered that she did and that they were a cult.  She also mentioned about their refusing blood transfusions.  He became defensive which showed her that his thinking was still influenced by their doctrines.  She then spoke about their belief that there is more than one God. (This can be proved because in their version of the Bible it states in John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was [a] god.  So that if the word was A god then by deduction there must be another god besides Jehovah).  He agreed with her on this point.  Then he asked her which Bible she read to which she replied that her husband reads the King James but that she read the Portuguese version by João Ferreira de Almeida–which was first published in 1681.  He said that the Jehovah´s Witness Bible is always being re-written and never says the same thing and he didn’t understand why.  Since leaving the JW’s he did not attend any church and asked which church she went to.  Amélia explained how that we meet as a home based church, meeting to pray and study God’s Word together, as well as for fellowship.  We welcome others to  fellowship with us but we did not oblige anyone.

He asked her what she believed about Jesus.  She responded that He is the Son of God.  Then he got onto the subject of the Trinity.  She pointed to the baptism of Jesus by John when the Holy Spirit came upon Him and the voice of the Father spoke. He admitted that he struggled with the idea of the Trinity because if Jesus is God’s Son, how can He also be God?  Amélia replied that when Mary conceived she gave birth to Jesus who was the very image of God, without sin.  She explained that Jesus declared, “I and my Father are one!”(John 10:30) and by this He was saying that He was God.  She spoke of people who came to her claiming all kinds of things about Jesus, such as he was “gay”, she stated that He could not have been “gay” because He was without sin.  He replied that he wouldn’t believe that.  Amélia then introduced him to Miguel who began explaining the Trinity to him.  The man was surprised by this as he and Amélia had just been speaking about it.  Miguel also mentioned that the JW’s Interlinear New Testament was based on work done by the Jesuits in accordance with this publication.  He took our details and left thanking them for speaking with them.

Miguel also spoke with a young man who was Anglican and convinced that he was a “Christian” because he was baptised as a baby.  Miguel pointed out to him that even though he was baptised as an infant this did not make him a child of God.  He became very upset with Miguel who pointed out that unless he was born once more he could not enter into God’s Kingdom.  There are so many who pin their faith on religion to save them, including Christianity.  The Bible is very clear on the subject–Salvation only comes via Jesus Christ and He alone!

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