JACOB WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
CAL WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
CAL WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
MIKE WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
CAL PREACHES AT DOLORES PARK
THE BAND "PRISCILLA" AT UN PLAZA
MAY WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA
MARY PREACHES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
- JACOB WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- CAL WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- CAL WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
- MIKE WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
- CAL PREACHES AT DOLORES PARK
- THE BAND "PRISCILLA" AT UN PLAZA
- MAY WITNESSES AT UN PLAZA
- MARY PREACHES IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
Friday February 9, 16, 23 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. February 10, 24 5th St. and Market SF 12 – 4 PM
Sat February 17 Shattuck and Center St. Berkeley 12:30 – 4:30 PM
Beginning of Wisdom
Dear Christian friends,
Recently, I watched a video of the revival that is taking place in China. In the midst of tremendous persecution, millions of people are coming to Christ in that nation. These people pray for hours with great intensity and faith, and are seeing many miracles, including reports of people being raised from the dead. Thousands have been imprisoned for their faith, under conditions that we can hardly imagine, and some are still being martyred.
But the thing that impressed me most about this video was seeing many of these Christians holding church right out in the street, worshiping the Lord openly and witnessing boldly to others. How strange! In China, Christians witness openly and boldly, even though they may go to jail or die. But in America, Christians are afraid to witness.
Dennis Balcombe, the missionary who made this video, gave the reason for their boldness. The Chinese Christians fear the Lord. Jesus said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” Matt. 10:28. The Chinese Christians do not fear the police who can imprison or kill them because they fear God. American Christians are uncomfortable with the concept of fearing God. We tend to think of this as an Old Testament concept.
But the concept of fearing God is as much in the New as in the Old Testament. The Greek term “phobio/phobos” is as strong as the Hebrew word “yare/yirah.” Three times the word is translated “terror.” “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” 2 Cor. 5:11.
What was Paul talking about here? First, he knew that those who do not know Christ are headed for the torments of Hell, so he persuaded them to avoid that horrible fate. Second, he was concerned about his own fate when he would one day appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). In an earlier letter, Paul had written, “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 Cor. 9:16. And surely he remembered the words of Jesus who said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father” Mark 8:38.
It is Paul who said “I am not ashamed of the gospel” Rom. 1:16. He warned Timothy that “God has not given us the spirit of fear…be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of the Lord” (2 Tim. 1:7-8) and “preach the word of God urgently at all times, whenever you get the chance, in season and out, when it is convenient and when it is not” (2 Tim. 4:2,5 LB). Timothy, like many of us, was often fearful of witnessing to others, and Paul had to encourage him to witness boldly and consistently, even when it was not convenient.
A person who is truly saved will show an enduring change in his life that will be demonstrated by good works (Eph. 2:10). The scriptures teach that the truly saved person will consistently confess Christ before men, with his words as well as his life style. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before the Father…but whosoever shall deny me before men, him I also deny before by my Father” Matt. 10:32. The Greek verbs for confess and deny are constative aorist, indicating an entire life of confessing or denying, not a single one-time event (such as a sinner’s prayer or baptism). “If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus…you shall be saved…with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture says, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed” Rom. 10:9-11.
When we truly fear God, we will walk in holiness and will boldly witness to others. We will not fear persecution, imprisonment, death, loss of reputation, or allow any obstacle to prevent us from reaching as many people as possible with the gospel. “Fear of man is a dangerous trap, but to trust in God means safety” Prov. 29:25. God, forgive us for the many times we have been ashamed of you, and failed to confess you before men. Put your fear in our hearts, that we will obey you and persuade others to turn to you!
On the Streets
On Friday Sept. 22, we witnessed at 5th St. and Market. Dave witnessed to Jeremy, who had just gotten out of jail. He had read the Bible there. Dave explained about the new birth, and prayed with him. Dave also witnessed to Tiaki, an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia who didn’t know if she was right with God. Dave shared the gospel with her, and she thanked him. Dave also witnessed to Adam, who sells marijuana. He said he knew something is real about Christianity. Jacob and Cal witnessed to Matthew, who was raised Catholic but didn’t think the Bible was historically accurate.
The next day, we witnessed in downtown Berkeley. Our usual spot was not available because of construction at the BART station, but they gave us a good spot across the street. We were limited to one speaker and one musical instrument. A lot of people passed by, including hundreds who were attending a football game. Mike witnessed to Noble, 80, who was a deacon in church but not saved. Dave witnessed to Fernando, who attends a Pentecostal holiness church but did not understand the new birth. He also witnessed to Jordan, 17, a devout Catholic who realized he was not good enough to get to heaven through his own works. He was very thankful to hear the gospel. Jacob witnessed to Ethan, who had a born-again Christian roommate in college who never witnessed to him. He said he was not convinced that Christianity was true. “No matter what you tell me, I won’t believe.” Cal witnessed to Michael, from Germany, whose father is a believer. He didn’t think Christianity is logical. He wanted more information and they exchanged emails. On the way home from the outreach, our ministry van broke down once again and we had to tow it to our house.
On Sunday Sept. 24, I was walking in a redwood park near our house. I heard music, so I walked over to where it was coming from. About 15 people were wearing white, dancing in a circle to the sound of drums. As I sat down to watch, Gabriel, 11, approached me. He started talking about what they were doing. The group is a Brazilian cult and they were getting themselves in a state where spirits would take over their bodies. His parents were in the group. I warned him that what they were doing was very dangerous. I asked if he had a Bible. He said he did. I shared the gospel with him and encouraged him to read the Bible, especially the New Testament. He seemed to agree with everything I was saying. Before he left, I prayed with him that God would protect him.
On Fri. Sept. 29, we witnessed at 4th and Mission St. Cal witnessed to Kim and John, both Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). Both asked him questions and seemed sincere. Mike ministered to Solomon, a Christian from Pakistan. Mike used to live in the same building where Solomon now lives. Dave witnessed to Faith, a male attorney from Nigeria. He grew up in a Christian home but had problems with the church. After they spoke, he said “I needed to hear this.” Dave and Sean also witnessed to Ben, who was listening to my preaching and was studying different religions.
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for the ministry. We have a new member of our evangelism house, Matt Dumanovsky. Matt, 26, grew up in Denver, but recently got a job in Berkeley and contacted us about our house. His mother, Vicky Ilyin Dumanovsky, lived in our ministry house and served as our ministry secretary for several years in the 1980’s before she was married. This is a first for our ministry – the child of a former ministry house member now joining us!
Yours in His love,