Report back – ‘Halloween’ Project Ezra & ABSA Currie Cup Outreaches

11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. ~ Matthew 5:11

Saturday morning, October 30th, at about 10h00, brother Thulani Mkhize and I joined up with Greg Peel, a brother in Christ who is physically blind, who hands out Gospel tracts, preaches the Gospel of Christ boldly and has been blessed with a wonderful voice who praises and worships God in hymns and spiritual songs.

In Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, the Project Ezra reading of Revelation 20-22 for ‘Halloween’ was read by me and the preaching of the Word expounded upon warning all not to follow after the evil deeds of darkness, and all were warned that they are opening themselves up to the dark forces of Satan and his demons. Much urgency was placed on the Ten Commandments showing that man has a deceitfully wicked and evil heart above all things and that by partaking in a pagan occultism celebration like Halloween they are partaking in the evil works of the demonic world, with much emphasis on Revelation 22:15 ~

15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Greg Peel singing praises to Almighty God

Once the Law and the Gospel of Grace were preached, continuously, to awaken the spiritually dead foot-traffic, brother Greg sang some praise songs to our Great King Jesus, who is both Lord and God (see John 20:28), and he also preached the Good News of Christ. I went over and spoke to a teenager, who attends the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, who I had witnessed to last week. He had come back to visit us on the streets this week and ask some more questions about Christianity. Praise God. Another youngster, Sakhile who is 14 years, was standing nearby so I engaged him in conversation and found out he is a brother in Christ. He told me that he is persecuted by his peers at school when he witnesses to them about Christ and he also told me that he is very different to those in his family as they don’t quiet believe what he believes about God and Jesus Christ. Sakhile also has Scripture memorized and he is very meticulous when quoting chapter and verse – something that I think we all should aspire to. During our conversation he referred to the opening portion of Scripture here-above being Matthew 5:11, which I shared with Thulani who had returned after he had gone walking the streets evangelising anyone who he could get a Gospel tract into their hands and engage in conversation. [Please note, Thulani is a recent graduate of an evangelism course we conducted recently and he is on fire to get out there every opportunity he gets to share the Gospel of Christ. Praise God for this servant.]

Around 13h00, Thulani and I also had a conversation with a SADTU (South African Democratic Teachers’ Union) unionist, who professes to be a Christian. This conversation will be addressed in another blog post at another time.

                                VS.               

At about 13h30, Thulani and I travelled to Durban and arrived there shortly after 14h30 and we met brother Peter Clover outside the Shark Cage shop just on 15h00. This event would be very eventful. Buckle up for a rollercoaster ride. We handed out tracts and as the crowds picked up I preached open-air, using my voice our Lord has blessed me with. People were taking Gospel tracts and I prompted them also to get their “Free Million Dollars.” Some took, some avoided and some rejected the offer. The Power of the Gospel of Christ went forth and we know that the Word of God never returns void (see Isaiah 55:11). We also know –

12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~ Hebrews 4:12

The crowds coming

And the crowds going

Some listened and many heard the warnings of man’s sins, God’s Judgment Day, hell for unrepentant sinners and heaven for repentant born-again saints (not by works, but by grace and mercy from a Good God). People were warned of their reprobate lives in rebellion to a Holy God, and people were pleaded with to come to repentance and receive God’s forgiveness of their sins by faith and trust in Jesus Christ and to receive Him as Lord and Saviour of their lives. In faith we were trusting in God and in His strength we were sowing the seed of His Word to a prideful generation. We had some “Amens” and we also had some “one finger salutes” and we were reviled (verbally abused) with filth that spewed from a few mockers and scoffers’ hearts. There was a lady who blasphemed our Father’s Holy Name and was rebuked who surprisingly looked to her friends for support, but appeared to receive none. It was a wonderful and privileged time of proclaiming God’s Word to this generation. All this was done in the presence of a policeman who listened to the preaching of God’s Word without closing us down.

Proclaiming God's Word

Joyfully we continued. I took a short break and then decided to use amplification – to give my vocals some relief and also to reach a greater distance as the sound levels from inside the stadium were picking up. The Word was going forth when I was heckled by a man who called from the side that all that I am saying is in our head – he was eluding that it is not a heart condition; we just think these things are true. I responded that God’s Law is upon his heart and that he has a conscience and that his conscience bears witness against him – as I explained to him that conscience means “con”= with and “science”= knowledge – so that every time he sins it is with knowledge, I was making reference to 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 – in part, saying, not verbatim: “The Word of God says no liar, no thief, no adulterer, no idolater, no murderer and no homosexual offender will inherit the Kingdom of God, but that all will give an account of their life upon this earth on Judgment Day.”

And they walked on by ...

The preaching continued for a while before I was approached by Peter saying that I must stop preaching. While I had been preaching it would appear that Peter must have been in discussion with the Durban Metro Police behind me as the first I knew that I was being “shut down” was when he approached me and told me the authorities want me to stop. I paused for a brief moment when I then heard over their vehicle’s loud speaker a Captain “G” address me for the first time: “You have one minute to stop, then we will arrest you.” I climbed down and made my way over to the vehicle and queried: “While I pack away the sound equipment, can I ask you which laws I am violating?” He responded that I was breaking a By-Law to which I queried him which By-Law – which particular one. At first he never gave us the exact By-Law but threatened me again with arrest if I did not move on and told me that we cannot preach the Gospel here. I did voice my concern that my “constitutional freedoms of religion and speech”* were being violated and then he said, he could name three transgressions on my part:

  • No permit for amplification (I agreed and submitted to this and told him that is why I had packed the sound equipment away while speaking to him)
  • Causing a disturbance (no one had warned me of disturbing anyone prior to this – if anything people walking by with alcohol in their hands openly in a public forum who possibly would be driving later after the game would be more of a disturbance – and this in full view of the Durban Metro Police without any warnings. Were we being singled out for “special treatment?”)
  • And something about crowds (?) (I wish we had a crowd drawn – it was obvious there had to be crowds present, after all it is a sporting event)

It would also appear that my mention of the H-word – Homosexual – could have been the catalyst to what was to follow. The Captain made mention that I couldn’t come and stand around and make comments about liars, thieves, and things [If more people lived by the Moral Law of God we would have less crime. Maybe the police should encourage the preaching of God’s Holy Law and not mostly shutting it down]. Was there a complaint? I don’t know, although there is alluding from Peter that the man I addressed in response to his heckling the preaching of God’s Word, was a “homosexual”. Can I be 100% sure he was? – only God knows. By the way he spoke, could I be sure? – in my sinful nature I would think he could be. All I know, if this was the reason for being “shut down” and the man lodged a complaint against me for the H-word, I was not made aware of it, and if he was convicted – it was because of God’s Word. Praise is to Almighty God. This is when things really started happening. Thulani had arrived from handing out tracts down the road, when we told him what had happened. He then spoke to the officers, and I told him, “Come let us go,” when he sat down on one of the black “seats” along the roadside next to the police vehicle and said he was going no-where. He spoke to the one officer in Zulu and also said that he had fought for this country and that he is going nowhere. That is when the police officers threatened Thulani with arrest. I told him again, “Let’s go,” but by now the officials had radioed for a paddy-van and when it arrived they were all getting ready to arrest him. Struggles ensured and Thulani was bundled into the vehicle. It was during this time that force was used and Captain “G” – who is a Hindu** (red string bangle) – sprayed pepper spray in Thulani’s face. At this time another passer-by voiced his concerns what was taking place and he said to the Captain that he cannot believe they are arresting someone for the sharing of the Gospel. The official responded that this was a police matter.

And they came on by ... even with some "Spook 'n Diesel" (Brandy)

At this point a woman dressed in black (name not obtained) who would appear to be employed at the stadium came over from the direction of the Shark Cage shop and spoke to Captain “G” within hearing distance of me and said that “this guy” (reference to Thulani) “is a troublemaker – he has been causing trouble here for weeks.” I interjected and questioned her and said, “Lady that is a lie. You are lying to the police. How can this be possible? We are from Pietermaritzburg and we have come down here today for the first time to witness.” You could see on her face the guilt that she was lying as she disappeared towards the Shark Cage shop. Not only was she uttering all kinds of evil against Thulani falsely, as Scripture reads, she was also breaking the Ninth Commandment: Do not bear false witness against your neighbor. This was a false witness to a policeman, for Thulani has never been to hand out tracts outside the ABSA Stadium before. Never!

Peter Clover speaking to the Durban Metro Police

Peter spoke to the officers who agreed that they would not be charging Thulani and they would let him go later. Praise God for He is Good. They then drove off and Thulani was taken to the police station. Peter and I waited around at the stadium and spoke to other policemen – one was also a Captain from Durban Metro Police, who is a Christian, who advised us that there is no such By-Law against the preaching of the Gospel. However, he did give us – especially me – sound advice that in future I should apply for a permit for amplification at special events and also possibly next time don’t engage a heckler. [Hecklers are good for drawing a crowd.]

While waiting for Thulani’s return, I witnessed to five young African guys on there way back home to KwaMashu Township. What a wonderful day, all to the Glory of God.

When Thulani arrived back he seemed alright, although his face was burning from the pepper-spray, and he told us that the policemen wanted him to sign a document stating that he had violated a By-Law. He said he duly refused and they brought him back to the stadium. Praise God.

Thulani Mkhize after his "trip downtown" and being re-united with us

We would like to say, we do forgive all those who uttered all kinds of evil against us falsely on Jesus’ account and the persecution endured for the preaching of the Cross, and our plea is to those who heard the heralding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that by God’s grace they too will come to repentance because of their evil and wicked deeds against a Holy and Righteous God, and by faith believe and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, who died upon the Cross taking God’s wrath upon Himself, the wrath that should rightfully fall upon you, the unrepentant sinner. On the third day Christ took up His life and He lives forever more and you too can receive new life by the mercy and grace of God in His Sovereignty – if God is granting you repentance, repent and believe and you will receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ and the inheritance of eternal life. That is His promise.

God’s Word says:

12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~ Matthew 5:12

41Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. ~ Acts 5:41

_________________________________

Footnotes:

* This is a man-made constitution. God’s Holy Word, The Bible, takes precedence over every man-centred constitution. The only freedom I have is in my Lord Jesus Christ.

** Hindus worship thousands of gods and idols in violation of the True God of Creation Who has given us the First and Second Commandments in Exodus 20:3-6:

3“You shall have no other gods before Me.

4“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

† Captain”G”‘s name withheld (amendment)

By the way, the score was – The Sharks 30 vs. Western Province 10.

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