Sunday, January 6, 2013


Last week we had a number of open-air preachers arrive to Las Vegas for another SOPA convention, the acronym for SOPA is “Southeast Open Air Preachers Association” which started in Georgia and has been hosted in Virginia Beach, Miami and twice in Vegas and we are looking into one in New England in 2013.

As we yoked the convention with our yearly New Years Eve outreach, so we had teaching and exhorting from morning till evening then preaching at night on the streets of sin city, where we did let our LIGHT SHINE as bright as those casinos shine and display their blinking flashing lights that will attract your eye. 
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:19
Every night we went out we led everyone around us to the Lord, now what they do with that information is on them and we pray God send laborers to harvest our work, reap that labor and God give growth as per John 4:37-38; “And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into
their labours”

We had a full house in the convention room we rented and it took four days to almost hear everyone give a 10 minute testimony of who they are, where they are from, how they got saved and how they started preaching in public. What a God we serve, to deliver us from sin, to wax us strong and shape us into what we do.  The testimonies were all over the board and will soon be on youtube as one can never place an open-air preacher into a box.

Brother JK kicked off the meeting as we had speaker after speaker teach and exhort us unto good works as found in Hebrews 10:24; “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works."  I had the chance to speak in between each speaker and give commentary.  This was the first year the convention had NO-Theme, as every speaker spoke on a subject that he considered would edify the class.  So in the spirit of 2 Corinthians 3:17; “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” ever speaker had much freedom with their subject.

This event was liken to Samuel’s school of prophets, where we would teach, admonish and judge each other for the task of speaking for God in public as per 1 Corinthians 14:32; “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” 
What is our prophecy you ask? 
Jesus is coming back, Be Ready!!

Brother Kevin from San Francisco did not make the event but had his fingerprints there as he gave one large box of free Christian t-shirts and a smaller box for my personal use.  Those shirts were gone within two days.  Brother Dick from Atlanta did not make it but we all benefited from his labor of putting the event together, complete with cheap hotel rates and conference hall.     

We had ‘Preacher Ray’ from Portland who preached with ‘Holy Hubert’ in the 1960’s and his son is now a street preacher.  What a blessing to have a father and son team. 

We had a ‘free Speech’ lawyer there who taught us not to ‘yell fire in a theater’ but how we can say ‘Its getting smoky in this room” or “I think I see a flame”  but never yelling “Fire!!”

We also had ‘bob Bible’ from Long Beach CA., who’s Church at that time started flying banners via Jeremiah Christian, Christian t-shirts via Paul Mitchell in the late 60’s and started the task of Christianizing cars and going to events.  These ideas have been modified by Jim Webber and Kevin and now other men are even perfecting those tools we use in public.  And on the last day of the conference we had a panel, where Preacher Ray, bob Bible and myself took questions from the audience.  That was over 125 years of open air preaching from that three man panel, not years saved but actual years preaching in public.  We answered questions, gave commentary on Bible verses as the older ox trained the younger ox in plowing the field.   

The first night out preaching we stood on Las Vegas Blvd and made a gauntlet of preachers and banners as everyone that walked by heard the message of sin and salvation.  Even Vegas itself amplified the birth of Jesus as they played “Oh Holy Night” when we stood by the ‘Bellagio” with banners flying.  This luxury hotel is known for its aquatic production. A large water fountain synchronized to music every half hour as crowds would line up to watch.  No pun intended, but a great watering hole where humans to gather.   

The second night, we were in Old Vegas or Freemont Street and again we took over a small section of the sidewalk and later expanded into a larger gauntlet as there was an assemblage of banners on display and tracts to those who wished to engage in conversation.  Freemont security was on hand and Metro-Police was there to watch but we had much liberty with our banners and mega-phones. 

This is Brother Daniel from Nevada

On the third night it was Las Vegas Blvd again as the crowd on the streets were large but nothing compared to what the next night will be.  There was also another group that preached at the local nude bars. The weather was cold and windy at times but the Word of God was echoed in sin city.  Where almost every type of sin is legal, which only means we get to preach harder as we have much more grace as per Romans 5:20; “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”
At times, we have more liberty rebuking sin in darkness without a problem than one might have on a street corner in Hicksville USA where there is not much public sin and every officer or sheriff is called out to stop a street preacher.
I ended the SOPA convention with a gift.....
It may not be much but a token of acknowledgment.  That one particular man inside that meeting was going to be recognized and rewarded.  For his labor, his obedience, his conviction, his time served in jail for preaching, his issues with local Church in his city, his name slandered, his family in order, all his money spent, his sacrifice, his willingness to not preach but film and edit, his compliance to work with others and his hands to the plow without looking back.

My gift was my old preach shoes I have worn for years.  Those shoes have preached too many millions of people, from coast to coast.  Outside religious events, big sporting events, sinful venues of every type.  Hollywood awards shows, college campuses, street corners, beaches and standing in all types of weather, from the heat, rain, wind, snow, at night, day and noon.  Those shoes have sat in several jail cells and has been in two countries.  Worn out, dusty, old and I have NEVER dusted them against anyone, any event or city.  Only because I know the repercussion of such action.
And this is the only way of saying ‘THANK YOU’ to a special Brother for their hard work of plowing in the field. 
The winner was street preacher Jeremy from New Mexico, as it ended with a few tears.

 “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” Ephesians 6:15 
Not a glamorous part of the body, those feet.  And something tells me, those feet back in the day were dirty, with sores, cuts, callous, bunions, hammertoe, ingrown toe nails and dry skin.  Not glamorous, yet God considers such ‘beautiful’ as found in Romans 10:15.
At the end of the meeting street preacher JK read a Bible verse as he was used to start the convention and end the convention. 
Good word from Brother JK as he read from 1Corinthins 1:26-31; “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord”
That evening was New Years Eve as we ended 2012 and started 2013 standing for Jesus.  We stood in the middle of the street and took up most of Las Vegas Blvd as police barricades were behind us and the Vegas Metro Police decided to place another two rows of barricades in front of us to keep the angry heathen from attacking us.  Mounted horses would come out with officers blowing whistles as the horses would move the drunken crowd away from us, then return inside the barricades behind us. This mating dance would continue all night as the mob would rush the metal barricades again.  
Even at this the crowd would throw bottles at us and the police would arrest them.  They hate the light neither cometh to the light as their deeds were exposed.  Yet, many stood for hours watching and listening and they say no one listens to us, what a lie from the pit of hell.
Sin is only for a season and in a city given over to sin, it gets old and sinners will stand and watch.   

We will have video of this night as it is under production and will have the link at a later time.

After midnight and the New Year has begun, your problems are not over.  As you will have the same problems you had before midnight and after the celebration is over. 
What has changed?
You are still a sinner as you were before midnight.
If you owed money that money is still owed.
If you had a warrant for your arrest that warrant is still valid.
If you had an illness before midnight, that infirmity remains in your body.
If you had a broken marriage, your marriage is still broken.
We still have Obama in office even after midnight, OWE unto us.
If you were addicted to drugs, alcohol, or internet, you will still be addicted.
If you had rebellious children, those children are still rebellious beyond midnight.
Nothing has changed, so we promoted HOPE in public.  That one can be a NEW creature in Christ this NEW Year and one can be a NEW man with all things passed away, with the only cost…..their WHOLE LIFE…..their WHOLE MIND…..their WHOLE BODY….what a deal. 
I do not know what it is like to party for New Years as I started preaching in 1980 at the Rose Parade at night, so I do not know what it is like to have a pointy hat, drinking champagne, popping poppers and singing “for old ang zine…la-la laaa….” bidding farewell to the old year.  All my Christian life I have ended the year and started the year preaching somewhere, with 2013 no different. 
Preaching somewhere on New Years Eve is like prayer and Bible reading in the morning, those acts can effect your entire day and preaching New Years Eve can effect your entire  year.    
Here are a few pictures taken from those who had a chance to teach during SOPA

Brother JK from CA. had two slots
Brother Mark from CA.
Brother Tracy from Kentucky
Brother Jeremy from New Mexico
Brother Petar from Norway who gave a GREAT message on Free Speech, that is IF you allow God to have Free Speech in you?

Brother Isidro from CA.
Brother Josh from New Mexico had two slots
Preacher Ray from Portland OR.
Brother Nate From Memphis

Ruben Israel CA. also brothers Bobby and Doug both from CA. were among the teachers.

All of these teaching clips will be downloaded on youtube soon, for those of you in the cheap seats that never came to Vegas to shine your light.
“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 4:6
Here are a few emails from men who replied to SOPA Las Vegas 2013:

“Dear Bro. Ruben
I am back in Norway and all ready missing the good fellowship with the brethren. First of all I must say I thank God for being able to attend this Soapa convention. For me it was the best Soapa convention I have ever attended for a few reasons.
1. It was the end of the year and a wonderful way of coming together listening to cutting edge spirit filled messages and getting inspired, filled, recommited and saying "here am I send me" for the 2013.
2. We were able to hear every brothers testimony, and it is very humbeling to hear and witness how our heavenly Father has delt with each and one and still deals with us, despite our theological minor or mayor differences. I must add that I am not for a ecumenical church, but when there is a enemy at the gate ready to destroy what ever is left of the Church. The natural born again believer/soldier has to charge and attack the enemy. We are soldiers and that is why we stick together as men and should handle each internal thing orderly.
3. There's were brothers gathered with different convictions clashing together, but it was all delt with in a biblical way, as God raised up wisdom, truth, justice and discernment among us. I have never seen that at level like this before. As open air preachers very seldom back down, great love was displayed among us and I was able to see the brothers in a new perspective.
Brother Ruben you did a great job through your leadership and keeping us all in line. I do not know anyone who would be capable of doing that like you. You deserve the due honor for that. You are a good General for our Commander in Chief: "The Lord of Hosts, Jesus Christ".
I love you brother and as always I am looking forward to see you again.
In Christ

“This is street preacher Josh, just writing in to thank the Lord for a great SOAPA! This year's Vegas New Year and SOAPA was an excellent combination. All the testimonies and preaching was priceless. Over 30 street preachers gathered to share in the faith and preach in the public. This was my 1st SOAPA and I was not let down.
Thank you Bro. Ruben for putting on a great event.”

“I was really encouraged by the unity of the brethren, and how everyone worked together as a team. The messages were anointed and the preachers were full of the fire of God.
This is a great conference for new preachers, as the content is very fresh and there are many seasoned preachers to glean from. And for the experienced preacher, it is a time to impart and even learn a few things from the really really old preachers.
Hope that helps Bro, and thanks again for hosting the conference, we will be returning next year Lord willing.