Week 13 - Nov 17-21

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***In this Journal, I am trying something new. With a lot of photos, the load time for the Journal gets excessive. So, all the photos are thumbnail versions of larger photos. To view the full photo, click on the thumbnail.

Left over from last week - Penn State University

I obtained a photo courtesy of the Penn State Atheists of the "worship incident". My camera was not on for that event, but here it is. The suspenders were a nice touch, don't you think? But the worship was unconvincing and really lacked commitment. I've seen better actors on Sesame Street.

The Daily Collegian Article and Video of the "Much ado about Nothing" incident

Monday - Penn State University

Winter is here at Penn State, and the crowds are smaller. Gary was doing a fine job when I got there. I sat on the sideline till later, but then had very little drawing power compared to the temperature and snow. Had one good conversation with Yasik about the nature of Hell.

He accused God of being evil because Hell is eternal torment. He can not understand how a good God can torture souls for eternity. I pointed out to him that God does lay out perfect positive motivation (heaven and all good things) and perfect negative motivation (hell and all things bad), and then tells us to choose. How we choose is not His fault but ours.

Yasik disagreed with that point saying that if that were true, everyone would choose heaven. I said ironically "You'd think so, wouldn't you". Then I pointed out to him that the reason everybody does not choose heaven is because they are waiting for a third choice - being able to sin and yet still go to heaven. But the problem with that is that God is holy and CAN NOT DWELL WITH EVIL. He will not allow sin into heaven.

Hell is so bad because the only ones there are the evil ones. Since the restraint of death and God are no longer operative, the wicked will spend eternity acting out all the evil they wanted to do on earth. The inhabitants of Hell will be doing the torture, not God.

In fact the same fire that torments the souls of the lost is the same fire in which Christians rejoice. The fire that torments sinners purifies saints. Our God is a consuming fire that consumes all impurities. If one loves his sin, that consuming fire is infinite torment as it threatens to purge the very things the heart desires and loves.

Without a question, suffering only occurs when the thing being removed is loved. If the thing being removed is despised, then removal is not torture but wonderful deliverance. Hell is torment because sin is chiseled into the hearts of the wicked and can not be removed after death. Oh the delightful irony of God's righteous judgment.

Tuesday - Penn State University

Back to Penn State, when I arrived on campus, Gary had something unusual going on. The fellow standing on the wall we have nicknamed Shane the Kiwi. He is from Australia, and has that thick Aussie accent that sounds so cool! He has been hanging around the preaching a lot recently but he usually is carrying a cardboard sign. He seems to espouse some strange positions based upon his understanding of scriptures.

Lately he has been beating the drum for legalizing marijuana for medicinal uses, and has been trying to justify it from scripture. Up till today, he has just been a side show to the general circus atmosphere at the preaching. Today was a little

different. Today the great spiritual truth was abstaining from blood, and he escalated to actually trying to preach it. Gary has engaged him many times on his predilection for espousing floating flotsam and jetsam doctrines. The funny thing is that he seems to have been invigorated by the preaching. He certainly has the zeal and the courage to take a stand. Now if only he had a clue about what must be preached.

He won't talk to me. He thinks I am a false prophet. Last year, I prophesied to the crowd at PSU that if my understanding of the universe was correct, there will be lighter elements that will suddenly turn radioactive. Last week I read an interesting article that said that two new elements had been discovered to have naturally occurring radioactive isotopes. Shane the Kiwi, asked me if God told me to prophesy that. I said yes, so instantly I became a false prophet. I asked him if he thought God stopped talking to mankind. He never answered.

I doubt that I will be able to help channel Shane's efforts into a more useful mode, but please pray for Shane that as Aquila and Priscilla instructed Apollos - "expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" - Gary might be able to break through his religious works oriented viewpoint and make of him someone who will prosper the Kingdom of God

I chose to not preach today because I wanted to talk to Shefeer, who I first mentioned back in September. Shefeer is a Muslim who is considering the claims of Christ and comparing these new ideas with Islam. We talked for about an hour, and plan to continue the conversation over dinner on Thursday. In the enlarged photo above, Shefeer is the one farthest left.

Shefeer is caught in the flurry of spiritual flak that the enemy sends up to distract a person who is heading for the truth. I hope to be able to explain to him some of the spiritual struggle that he is in. I don't know why, but the church does not seem to equip the saints on how to identify spiritual warfare, and how to triumph in it. Shefeer needs your prayers to finish counting the cost (both cultural and familial) and to push off on the path to truth. He is very close.

Today I received a letter from a very old friend whom I have not spoken to for 25-27 years.

Bro,

I got your email about needing support. I am going to help, and see how it goes from here.

I enjoy reading your reports, and I support what you are preaching! I do have a slight problem with name calling and a few of your statements on politics, but I will leave that up to you! (You could explain a little to me about the name calling!) I do believe street preaching is the Bible way to spread the Gospel! It is too easy to hide on the inside 4 walls of church buildings!

You may remember me from your past! I used to hang with you and Steve in State College back in the 70's.

I have a real problem with where to give! A watered down Gospel is no Gospel at all. Please use my gift as God would have you! Thanks and God bless!

D.

Dear D.

I well remember you. Those are days that will always stay with me. I have come back to where I never should have left. I also have been running into quite a few people from that time period. It is good to hear from you. I think my last remembrance is visiting you at your new house in Boalsburg. Am I correct or was that someone else?

I really appreciate the help you sent and the promise to help more. It came at a time when the enemy was wearying me with accusations that God would not provide. I thank the Lord for you.

About name calling. I will tell you all about it. Let me first say that over the years, even though I was not full time in the ministry, I was continuing to learn many truths. The Lord taught me for 23 years mostly out of Matthew 10. It is hard for me to imagine how much God showed me out of that one chapter. To me it may be the most important chapter in the Bible concerning street preaching. The entire chapter covers when the Lord sent out the disciples to preach. In it, He told them what to expect, He told them what He desired the preaching to do, He told them what His purpose in the preaching is.

Jesus was not the one to pioneer name calling. The prophets did that. God, through the prophets called Israel stiff necked, rebellious, whores, wicked, and perverse, to name a few. But Jesus also called people names.

Mt 15:26-27 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

Mr 7:27-28 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

These are not the same incident. In Matthew it was a Canaanite woman, and in Mark it was a Syrophenician woman. Jesus in both instances indicated He was sent only to the lost children of Israel. Was he being mean in referring to them with the pejorative "dogs". To this day, in the middle east calling someone a dog is considered an extreme insult.

MT 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. (Also Lu 9:41)

In this instance, Jesus called His own disciples faithless and perverse. Apparently He was also angry at them. The phraseology "how long shall I suffer you" indicates that He was very annoyed. Other translations use the word "endure you"

MT 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Here Jesus called Peter Satan, and that Peter offended Him. He was not addressing Satan, because the next sentence can only be understood as being said to a man. Satan never savors the things of God NOR of man. It can only have been made to the man Peter.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Joh 8:55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

Here Jesus was calling the scribes and Pharisees murderers and liars.

MT 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

Also MT 16:3, MT 22:18, MT 23:13 -15, MT 23:23,25,27,29, MT 24:51, Mr 7:6, Lu 6:42, Lu 11:44, Lu 12:56, Lu 13:15)

Apparently Jesus really liked the name hypocrite. He used it all over the place.

Lu 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

MT 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.

MT 16:8 Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Lu 11:40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

Here the word translated fool is aphron:

878. afrwn aphron, af'-rone
from 1 (as a negative particle) and 5424; properly, mindless, i.e. stupid, (by implication) ignorant, (specially) egotistic, (practically) rash, or (morally) unbelieving:--fool(-ish), unwise.

Lu 11:44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

Finally, there is the big smack down in Matthew 23.

MT 23:17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

MT 23:19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

In this passage, the word translated fools is quite a bit stronger. It is moros.

3474. mwrov moros, mo-ros'
probably from the base of 3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (morally) blockhead, (apparently) absurd:--fool(-ish, X -ishness).

This word means BLOCKHEAD. Moros is the same root from which we get moron.

Main Entry: mo∑ron
Pronunciation: \mor-šn\
Function: noun
Etymology: irregular from Greek mo-ros
foolish, stupid
1 usually offensive : a mildly mentally retarded person
2: a very stupid person

Jesus called them morons! I am sure that this list is not exhaustive. In addition, the apostles also called people names.

Ac 23:3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?

Ac 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

The necessity of using hard hitting words is in the commission to preach.

Isa 58:1 ∂ Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

We are required to spare not. That means do not soft peddle, do not soften the blow, do not compromise in any way. We are not to fear them but to tell them in as blunt of terms as we can that their sins will kill them. I usually choose my words in such a way as to convey the maximum loathsomeness and perversity of the sins that they do. I won't use terms like "promiscuous". That is a euphemism. God uses the term whore. I won't use the term "gay". I use the term sodomite. I want my words to carry with them all the condemnation that the Bible heaps on those who do such things. I want my words to prick their consciences. I want to awaken their consciences. I want them to know that what they are doing to God and themselves by their sin is very grave. I choose words that sting.

There is another reason though, and it is just as important as conveying uncompromised truth. It has to do with Jesus' expected and desired results from preaching. When He sent them out in Matthew 10, He told them what to expect. They were to expect rejection, persecution, hatred, beatings, and even death. But in telling them that, He also said that was the desired result.

MT 10:34-36 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

"For I am come to..." This is of monumental importance in understanding the street preaching ministry and what it is to accomplish in the world. Jesus said this is what I came to do - to divide, to polarize, to separate God's people from the world. There is very much to be said about this, but I don't want to cover it now.

What I want to focus on is the purpose for name calling in the Division that the preaching is SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE. It has to do with one of the major problems that the world is in. Most people everywhere see themselves as good people that God loves. Most people in their sins believe that God will not send them to Hell. They have believed the first lie in the Garden - "You shall not surely die" - meaning that sin is not deadly.

Consequently most people are comfortable in their damnation. They see themselves as good people. That is the most dangerous place in the universe to be. Condemned, headed for Hell, but convinced that they are safe. Doubly damned. To the church of Laodicea, Jesus addresses this same problem.

Re 3:15-16 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

See that? Jesus can work with hot. Jesus can work with cold. Jesus CAN NOT work with lukewarm. As a preacher, since it is Jesus' stated purpose to bring division by the preaching, I had to understand why Jesus used pejoratives when addressing those whose hearts were self-righteous and confident of their own goodness.

A preacher can not force a man to make any particular choice concerning salvation. The Bible says that it is out of the heart are the issues of life. But what a preacher CAN do is to force a person to declare the choice that is already in his heart. Since the most dangerous place in the universe is that place of complacent lukewarmness, that is the last place I can leave them.

Whether they are leaning toward salvation or away, I can not make one or the other happen. But by my preaching, I can make them make the choice. The bad names fall into this category of action. If someone decides to go toward the Lord, I push them in that direction. If someone decides to go against the Lord, I push him even harder to force him as far away from the Lord as I can. I can not leave them in the place where they think of themselves as good little people without any danger.

I want to elicit every speck of rebellion and hatred of God that is in their hearts. I want to bring it out into the open. I want them to declare the fullness of the evil that their heart is treasuring.

MT 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

In so doing, I am giving them the opportunity of seeing what really is in their hearts. You see, they don't know what is there.

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

By forcing out what is really in their heart, they can no longer deceive themselves that they are good little people that God loves and will not send to Hell.

I use name calling to increase the offense and to drive them as far away from where they think they are at. It does not mean they are lost. Jesus said,

Joh 6:37-39 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

What the offense does is strip the sinner of self righteousness and get them moving. Get them out of the danger zone! Remember that Jesus can work with hot and He can work with cold, but He can not work with lukewarm.

Think of the name calling as one final kick in the butt as I aim them down the road out of their complacency. If you have any questions, please ask them and I will answer.

Bro

Wednesday - Penn State University

Day off. All day trip to the VA hospital in Pittsburgh for my semiannual check up.

Thursday - Penn State University

Today was a quiet day. Tuesdays and Thursdays usually are. I failed to get any photos, sorry. I preached once, and did get a small crowd to gather. My subject was what the future holds for this country in judgment. Two students began to ask good questions concerning the Lord's ability to free a believer from sin. Both were Catholics, and repeated the standard Catholic positions on the sacraments, original sin, and the effectiveness of the confessional.

One asked me if I practiced the Eucharist. I replied that I did take communion. Then he asked that if I no longer sinned why would I need t take communion. Apparently the Catholics believe that communion is a sacrament necessary for forgiveness of sins. Please, if I am wrong on this, someone correct me. He asked me what I believed the purpose of communion was.

I explained to him that my understanding of communion is that Jesus had told them of His impending death. He was betrayed that very night. He was making a pact with His disciples - a death pact. He had already told them in Matthew 10 that their preaching would subject them to death. He had just finished telling them that He would be betrayed to death that night.

He was asking His disciples to make a commitment to Him to willingly follow Him all the way to death. I explained to the student that when I take communion, I am again making a commitment to follow Him all the way to death. My life is His to do with as He see fit. I could see that my view of communion seemed to move him. We finished the conversation cordially when Gary and I had to leave for a radio show on WPSU, the student radio station.

The show was a great success. We were asked about how we began preaching, our motives, and our methods. The phone lines lit up when we got rolling. The questions were all respectful, and the response from the audience was very positive. The moderator thanked us for such a great show. I am getting a copy of the radio show, and will send a copy of the show in mp3 format to anyone who contributes $15 to my ministry. I will pick up the S&H. I believe the radio show will show a side of the ministry that can not normally be seen in the confrontational venue. We actually are reasonable and pleasant people!

If you would like a copy of the radio show, please send a check to the address at the bottom of the journal, or use the Paypal option and include your name and mailing address in the accompanying note.

After the radio show, I went out to dinner with Shefeer. Earlier this week, Shefeer told me that lately he had been feeling more "lost". We talked about the struggle he is going through coming from a Muslim family. The calling of God is so strong on him that I could feel it. I told him that it was my opinion that the Lord was calling him to be a prophet. I also explained that the prophet seldom foretells the future, but normally spends his time relating what God is doing in the current time. The prophet is the spiritual equivalent of the telephone line repairman. His job is to diagnose communication problems between God and His children, and to fix it. Usually the problem is a lie being believed.

He said that it was amazing that I should say that because he had been thinking a lot lately of becoming a preacher - an Islamic cleric. When he told his father of his interest in Christianity, after the explosion, his father told him before considering Christianity, he ought to at least investigate Islam. I said that is a reasonable request from the father's perspective, but that the more he pursued that goal, the more "lost" he would feel. The lost feeling was the manifestation of the draw of God on his heart. We left on great terms with the agreement that we would go out to dinner the next time I was in the area.

When I got home, I had a letter from South Carolina informing me that I had made an mistake on my 2007 tax return. I owe them $3000. "Ouch" raised to the third power.

Friday - Penn State University

Last day of classes until December 1st. Not much happened. Really quite dead. Most students were gone.

Gary was in the lobby of Willard Building holding forth to a small group of students. I joined in and expounded on a number of scientific theories that explain some of the apparent problems of creationism - things like how we can see the light from distant galaxies, and the nature of the decay of all of creation that the Bible says will end in one gigantic fireball. The student I was talking to was a Christian whose faith was being shaken by his (mis)education in class. I think I gave him enough to encourage him in his resistance to the hegemony of the evolution camp.

The only other event of the day was a couple of editorials in the Daily Collegian.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/11/21/cattell_lets_students_share_th.aspx

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2008/11/21/preachers_threats_distract_fro.aspx

I am going to respond to the second article, which will be in next weeks journal. It contains several misconceptions that I face every day on campus. I am going to ask the Daily Collegian for a full column to do the response, rather than a letter to the editor. If it is published, I will send you the link also.

See you next week,

Bro

Once again please consider supporting my ministry.  If you can't support me yourself, would you be able to give me any contacts you have of churches that might be open to my ministry as I travel? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.    
Bro Cope
3598 N Atherton St, Apt 1
Port Matilda, PA 16870
814-883-9183
Paypal Acct: jbaber@prodigy.net