"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honestwhatsoever things are of good reportthink on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
We bring you a true, honest and good report of what the Holy Spirit is doing on the streets and in the communities of New York City. The summer workers are now returning home, but the tremendous ministry of the Holy Spirit goes on. Now comes the all-important work of follow-up.
Gwen and I are now living in this city and the rest of our ministry staff are in the process of joining us here. The spiritual anticipation is mounting as we draw near to the opening of Times Square Church - October 1-4.
Already we have met numbers of people who tell us they have been fasting and praying for years for such a church here in the heart of Manhattan. Also, we are pleased that a goodly number of concerned friends on our mailing list are planning to be with us for the opening meetings. They are coming from all over the nation. We believe it is going to be a glorious time and the beginning of an important center of worship at what is call[ed] "the crossroads of the world" - Times Square.
So many have written to us, promising to pray for this new endeavor for Christ; and even though they can't come to be with us in person, they have pledged to hold us up in prayer. How encouraging this is to us! How grateful we are!
From my diary and memory, here are some of the highlights and miraculous conversions during the street meetings. These meetings were held in Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
The Bronx [DeKalb and 212th Street]
This very week, two were murdered in this same area - both as a result of drug running [crack]. A police van stood by with officers to assure us of a peaceful meeting.
An older man who confessed he was an alcoholic "for more years than I can remember" responded to my altar call, weeping, confessing, "I need Jesus! I need delivered! Years ago I remember going to a Baptist church - it's just a faint memory. But only tonight have I felt the call of God - His drawing. Please sir, pray with me!" He was articulate and obviously wanting help. He was visiting his daughter when he heard our music, so he lingered to hear me preach, got convicted, and ended up calling on the Lord.
A Jewish Husband and Gentile Wife
My associate Bob Phillips and I were amazed when we were approached by a Jewish man who brought to us his wife, who was ill. She spoke no English, but through an interpreter told us why she was holding her stomach. The doctors had discovered two cysts in her abdomen and she was in pain. She told us of a dream she had of meeting a man of God on the street who would show her how to become a believer in Christ. Also, this minister on the street would place a hand on her, pray for her and she would be healed. Then she said, "My dream is coming true right now." She asked Christ to receive her, forgive her and heal her. We believe God answered those prayers.
Then her Jewish husband told us an amazing story. He admitted he was not a "religious Jew," but that he had often prayed to the Father. One night he went to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and was shocked to see the outline of a man standing in the dark in the kitchen. At first he thought an intruder had broken into their apartment. He was too stunned to react. But suddenly a calm, quiet voice whispered, "Don't be afraid. I have come to reveal Jesus Christ as Lord to you! You need to follow Jesus! Call upon His name!"
I told him of Cornelius who saw an angel and of others in the Old and New Testaments who were visited in such a supernatural way. It was a great joy to pray with them and to introduce them to a local pastor for follow-up.
A Backslidden Minister
He stood before me with a friend, asking for prayer. I found out he was once pastor of a nearby Methodist church. Bitterness, rejection, family problems - it had all been too much, and he had never known Christ in His fullness. But tonight, on the street, in the presence of a convicting Holy Ghost, he was truly receiving Christ and being restored. Please pray for this precious brother. I have invited him to come to be a part of our congregation at Times Square Church. He promised to come for counselling and to sit under our preaching until a door of service opens for him.
Brooklyn [evening street rally]
She is just nine years old, with beautiful black hair and blazing blue eyes. She was one of the first to come forward for prayer. It seemed her heart would break - such sobbing!
"Please pray for my daddy; he's in jail. My mommy is some place else. I live with my grandmother. But I want Jesus to save daddy and make him a different man." I hugged her, prayed just as she asked, and I know Jesus was touched by her prayer, her tears and her brokenness. So many little children are broken hearted over drunken, drug-addicted and jailed parents - especially fathers. Pray for dear little Joslyn.
A Mother and Demon-Possessed House
A Pentecostal mother brought three precious little children for prayer. She had a frightened look on her face. She told of furniture moving about mysteriously, of her children jumping up and down in the beds in the middle of the night, screaming, and waking up worn out and nervous. The children would suddenly shake uncontrollably. I asked about the children's grandmother and was told she was into witchcraft and, in fact, was a witch herself.
We prayed for the mother and the children - and cast out all lying, demonic spirits. We sent three precious believers home with them to cast out all demon spirits from the house. Those spirits were there as a result of the grandmother's witchcraft - and were commanded to depart in the name of Jesus!
The mother needed deliverance in her life over sin; it was because of her own compromise that she had no authority over these evil spirits. We believe God has now put a wall of fire around those children so there will be no further involuntary manifestations.
Those who scoff at demonic activity in the lives and homes of people who once delved into witchcraft simply are blind to the ways of Satan. But Christians, who walk in repentance, trusting God's Word, need never fear! Satan has no power, no hold, no place-when believers stand on the Word of God.
Manhattan [Lower East Side]
He had been in and out of jail and was on the third day of kicking drugs cold turkey. He was walking down an East Side street, homeless, carrying a small suitcase with the few clothes he had left. He was robbed and stabbed in the hand just a few minutes before he came upon our street meeting.
Now he was homeless, penniless and in a lot of pain. It began to rain, but he stayed with me in the rain, asking for prayer. The Lord saved him and we took him to Teen Challenge Center. Pray for this boy; he really is wanting to change.
One of the dirtiest men I've met
He was so ragged, so smelly, so unkempt, I thought to myself. "This must be the dirtiest man I've ever prayed for." Actually, I had a fleeting thought that such a man was beyond help - too far-gone. But there he stood, tears in his eyes, wanting to be saved from sin.
What a shock I was in for. The man was a jewel in disguise - very intelligent, a college graduate. He had at one time been a director of another drug rehabilitation program in New York City. He had fallen into drugs himself, lost his family, his job, his self-respect and had virtually given up on life.
Tonight, hope came flooding back. We hope to see him in our Times Square Church - a new man! It proves that you can't judge from outward appearances.
These are just a few of the many miracles we witness daily in the work here. What great needs! How messed up the lives of so many become. It would be overwhelming if we did not know and serve an almighty God and all-powerful Saviour!
This has been the best street out-reach in all our years in New York - because of a supernatural moving of God's Spirit upon the hearts of hurting people. There is an openness, a spiritual hunger, a cry for help - in spite of all the hardness and arrogance of certain groups.
There has been more ministry on these needy streets than ever before, more volunteer workers coming from all across the nation. There are Christians from overseas coming here to witness and to pass out literature. More street rallies, more street preachers, more young prophets. Truly, the Lord is giving this modern-day Sodom one last call. Judgment is at the door - but first the Lord is sending forth a loving call to repentance.
A Word About The AIDS Plague
It's now an epidemic - everywhere. It is not just a curse upon homosexuals - it is a curse against a godless, pleasure-mad society. It is worldwide, reaching beyond the Iron Curtain. Millions upon millions will die! We have seen just the beginning of what will soon be a raging plague - totally out of control. It has been estimated that over 55 million will die from AIDS with the next ten years [one-fourth of the population].
Will the AIDS epidemic draw victims to the Lord? Some predict it will - but I don't believe so. One of our converted addicts lay dying of AIDS in a New York City hospital, and in the same ward was another terminal AIDS victim. Our patient encouraged everyone who came by, and he drew closer to the Lord the last days of his life. The gay AIDS victim died cursing God - even though our Christian patient lovingly witnessed to him. At death's door, he only grew harder and more belligerent.
If an AIDS victim is a hardened sinner, he or she will only grow more sullen, bitter and God-hating as the disease ravages his or her body. The Bible verifies this conclusion:
"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Proverb 29:1).
When God sends "great hail out of heaven" to fall upon mankind in the final judgments, they will not repent and turn to God, but rather they will "blaspheme God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague will be exceedingly great" (Revelation 16:21).
The horrible plagues poured out upon Egypt only hardened Pharaoh's heart. It stiffened his wicked resolve. When he finally did let Israel go, neither he nor the Egyptians turned to the true God - nor did they repent! After a short time, Pharaoh pursued them in an attempt to recapture them
John the revelator speaks of the kings of the earth and their armies, gathering together "to make war against him that sat on the horse [Christ], and against his army" (Revelation 19:19). This hardhearted army going forth to fight God comes out of great and terrible judgments, plagues and woes. Judgment by plagues only hardens the wicked.
What I take to be conclusive proof that judgment does not soften men's hard hearts is found in the account of the homosexual attack on Lot's house, as a frenzied mob of perverted men attempted to force themselves on two visiting angels - sent by God to assess their wickedness.
These sex-crazed Sodomites tried to "break in the door" (Genesis 19:9). The angels "smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness" (verse 11).
Why didn't they get the message? Imagine, if you can , a multitude of lust-driven men, stricken with blindness, stumbling over one another, each one, "both small and great" calling out: "What happened? I'm blind!"" They knew they were all blind; they were all groping, without fear.
Did they repent? Did they even acknowledge they were under judgment? How can an entire population of man go blind all at one time and not recognize something supernatural has happened?
Though stricken blind, "they wearied themselves to find the door" (verse 11). They wore themselves out trying to appease their lust - even though judgment had fallen on them.
So it is today - so it will be when the AIDS plague destroys millions of lives. While God's people see in it His hand of judgment and retribution, and as they humble themselves before His majesty, the wicked will go on groping in their lusts, mocking God, denying His judgments and stiffening their hard necks.
The death angel's shadow is falling upon this nation and upon the whole earth. The cures of Deuteronomy are being fulfilled even now before our eyes [Deuteronomy 28:59-63]. Tremendous, long-lasting plagues - with consumption, fever, inflammation, extreme burning - all as a result of "the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou has forsaken me" (Deuteronomy 28:20). Also see Daniel 9:11.
Along with the AIDS plague is coming a great and massive hardening of hearts. The afflicted are going to "crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:6).
The revived remnant of these last days are not going to be awakened by plagues or judgments of any kind - they have been awakened by the wooing of the Holy Spirit. They live without fear, knowing that they belong to Him, live or die! They can stand on this glorious promise of their Beloved:
"Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh they dwelling" (Psalm 91:9-10).
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This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly post these messages on its web page. You are free to download, copy, print and distribute this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference these messages.
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This page was last updated May 24, 2002.