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Saints Alive

Witnessing to the Cults

Ed Decker

We are besieged by heartsick Christians around the world who have lost a loved one, a child, a parent, a spouse or a friend to one of the many cults that abound in the land. Of course, we get just as many inquiries from Christians who have made the acquaintance of a Mormon or Freemason or Muslim and want to know the best way to share The Good News of Jesus with them.

There are as many variations to the questions and needs as there are groups out there. The New Age, for example, has about as many definitions as it has followers. But there are significant base parallels to every cultic group.

In every case, every attempt is made to humanize God,deify man, minimize sin, and separate you from the authority of Holy Scripture. The last is often done by adding to the Bible, that group’s own created scripture of higher authority, usually given by mystical means to that group’s spiritual leader. They will also make every effort to convince you that salvation is only available through that group and its special plan for your step into eternity.

This tells you then, that in order to witness to someone in any of the cultic groups, it will be necessary for you to deify and glorify God, reveal mankind as lost to God through sin, demonstrate the validity of the Bible and point the way to the cross as the only way of salvation for mankind.

Simple! No, not at all. Well, if someone shows up that you know is head over heels into some cultic theology, and you know absolutely nothing about it and you don’t have time to run to a library, then you can always start from the above premise and you will never go wrong. Trust me, the newly arrived cult member will quickly set you straight on his/her doctrine in any of the above areas.

But, assuming you do have some time to prepare, I strongly suggest that you learn the simple basics that separate that specific group from orthodox Christianity. Then you are ready to proceed. Almost.

With an acknowledgment and thanks to JEWS FOR JESUS for an old tract I carried around until it was unreadable, here it is rewritten with some of my own pointers on witnessing that I consider vital to your success on being a really effective witness :

1. Be a Real Friend. There are a zillion spiritual scalp hunters out there who want to win a lost soul for Jesus, but are completely unaware of the person who is attached to that soul. Try to have an honest and well rounded relationship with your friend before you attempt to witness.

Pray about your own motives and make the association a real one. It is the intensive person to person witness through which most cultists are being won to Christ. It’s really true that what you are usually speaks louder than what you say.

Be ready to love that person just exactly as they are and where they are, even if they never leave that cult. I am convinced that the vast majority of these people are where they are because they really want to serve God with all their hearts. These people are not God’s enemies nor are they ours. They are victims of false teachers. The Scriptures say “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” (Isa. 9:16 )

2. Encourage Discussion on Life issues to get some insight on how your friend perceives and understand things. Listen to where his (her) heart really is. Get him to talk about the things which concern him and lead him into a discussion about what his group means to him. People are in cults for many different reasons.

In no way let him come to the understanding that you only care for him as long as you might convert him. Love that person right now!

3. In Some Way Give Your Own Testimony. A good place to begin is to tell specifically how God has answered prayer in your life. Avoid testimonies that talk about the peace and joy you have in the Lord.

Remember, those who follow Eastern religions and any number of the new cults will give just as fervent a testimony. Like the Mormons who use their burning in the bosom as a test of truth, each group has its own subjective method of instilling a counterfeit sense of security.

4. Answer all questions and objections from Scripture. But remember, you don’t have to answer every question when it’s asked. In fact, your friend will feel a whole lot more comfortable with you if you can’t. You can say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll find out”, or “Let me think about it a little more and I’ll give you an answer the next time I see you.” Then, find the answer, be sure you understand it and bring it back!

5. Get your friend to study the Bible with you. Don’t concentrate only on their theological problem areas. There is power in all the Scripture. A good beginning point is the first chapter of The Book Of John.

6. Offer to pray for your friend’s needs. While an apologetics kind of ministry is not always welcomed, few people will decline prayer and God seems to be particularly pleased to honor prayers as evidence of His love and concern in these cases.

7. Try to bring your friend into the communication sphere of other Christians who are former members of that cultic group. Such a meeting might be painful at first, but it does bring persons to the place where they can see that there really can be a God centered life after the cult.

8. Emphasize that Christ is the sin bearer for you and your friend alike. Remember that your friend has been programmed to think that he has to carry his own sin until it can be released only through his cult group leadership. It’s up to you to show him that is not true!

9. Ask for a decision. As a general rule, it’s not good to continually press for a decision, but you will prayerfully know when the timing is right in the matter.

10. Remember the areas that the cult cannot deal with and bring your friend to an understanding of these important matters; the power of the shed blood of Jesus, the Cross and the nature of salvation by grace. Be able to give a good, clear definition of the doctrine of the Trinity, an area of confusion with every cult.

11. Always pray before your visits. Going into this sphere of spiritual contact without the Holy Spirit is dangerous for both you and your friend. The Scriptures promise us the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us at times such as this.

Realize that your friend is under spiritual bondage which can only be broken through intercessory prayer. It is vital that if you have a burden for this person that you be involved in persistent, aggressive prayer directed against the principalities of powers of darkness over him. Pray according to the Bible that the strongman be bound so that his captive can be set free. Pull down those strongholds and cast down vain imaginations and “every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God…” (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

Ask for the intervention of the Holy Spirit to draw this friend to the Cross of Jesus for salvation. Also, solicit the assistance of the prayer group at your church and/or among other believing friends and family.

This bondage can be broken through prayer in the name of Jesus. Many have been set free through the love, intercession and fellowship of committed friends and relatives.

12. If you need help, email usand we will be glad to help!

Find Ed Decker’s website HERE

Ed Decker, founder of Saints Alive, was a Mormon for 20 years of his adult life. He was a member of the Melchizedek priesthood, a Temple Mormon and active in many church positions. Through a crisis in his life, Ed met the real Jesus and his life was changed forever. An active author, speaker and evangelist, Ed has brought the light of Biblical truth to uncountable thousands of those lost in spiritual darkness. Today, the work of Saints Alive Ministries has expanded worldwide and includes ministry to other groups such as the Masonic Lodge.

I loved the following excerpt from Dave Hunt’s – Search the Scriptures Daily 

The Day of the Lord…When and How Long?

He said, “Don’t lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, thieves break in and steal, but lay up treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

Now, that’s not easy to illustrate and you stop me if I already told this story of the lady that died and went to heaven, you remember? And, Saint Peter is showing her around and she comes to, what looks like the Beverly Hills of heaven, if there were such a thing—such a fabulous mansion and she says, “Well, who is that for?” Peter says, “That’s your maid, Jenny.” And then she comes, if there is such a thing, to the slums of heaven and there is this little shack there that is so pitiful she can’t resist asking, “Well, who does that belong to?” Peter says, “That’s yours.”

This was a very wealthy lady on earth. She says, “Well, how could that be?” Peter says, “Well, we can only build with the material you sent up here.”

So, I think this is what Jesus is saying. “Lay up treasures in heaven where moth and rust doth not corrupt.” How do we do that? Well, we do that through winning souls for Christ, through our steadfastness in the faith and serving others…..

source

http://www.thebereancall.org/node/865

        witnessing
 
The Rapture vs. Witnessing

   

By Ron Graham

source: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/g58.html


The end times are approaching and the signs spoken of by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 are spilling out continually onto the scene today and are pointing dramatically to Christ’s soon return. Believers can see the signs if they are alert and watching. As Dr. Chuck Missler* puts it “We must be well versed in the scriptures to accurately ascertain the time of the signs”. There is a preordained time that the signs are going to appear, and what we see happening all around us are the birth pangs that are so aptly spoken of in the scriptures.

 

I for one can’t imagine this world going on the way it has in the past. Signs that point to the end time when Jesus will return aren’t just subtlety appearing on the scene, they are exploding with a fierceness that’s unparalleled in mans history. We can watch this explosion on our television sets, radios, internet, newspapers, and from every other direction one can imagine. This was not the case even ten years ago; the birth pangs have arrived. 

 

 So just what are our options as believers now that we are beginning to witness a plethora of recurring signs which we are assured will occur just before Jesus return? We have many options. They include such things as witnessing fervently to our family and friends. Being in constant prayer is an admonishment from the Apostle Paul, maintaining a close relationship with our Church family. Create and maintain an atmosphere of love and support for those who are shut-ins and especially provide for those who lack provisions. 

 In these last days all Christians should be intent on always keeping abreast of whatever intrusions the enemy might devise against the brethren. In these last days Satan is going to hit hard against anyone who promotes the name of Jesus and diligently proclaims His message. The last thing any Christian will want is to be caught alone and off guard when the evil comes down, and it is coming. Solitude creates evil bedfellows. Continue in fellowship, the breaking of bread together, encouraging one another.

None of us know when Jesus is going to remove His Church from the wickedness this world offers. It could be within the next few days, weeks, or even years. I know what you’re going to say, “Well, if we are seeing the time of the signs as you’ve suggested could the Rapture of the Church still be years away”? Yes, but everything is lining up perfectly (prophetically speaking that is) and this gives us tremendous optimism that our remaining days here on earth are indeed few.

 Here’s the rub. Believing the truth of the Rapture view and believing that the time for the Rapture is near has led some to become complacent in their duty to Christ. Believers should not ease up on witnessing. Complacency is of the devil, he would love it if those who are born again would all just sit back and relax and wait on the Rapture. In the meantime Satan will be hard at work convincing the lost that they are in good shape and not to worry or take seriously what those wacky Christians are promoting.

 Satan knows the Rapture will occur at some point in time, but similarly to believers he hasn’t any idea of exact moment when this will happen. God has kept it a mystery. More intense persecution of Christians on his part will become commonplace in the near future, which will attest to very fact that the Rapture is close at hand.

 As believers we must combat the lies put forth by Satan and those who follow him. Jesus, at one point, speaking directly to the Apostle Peter said, “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”. Matthew 16:23. Whenever we hear someone spouting off against believers, and most importantly against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can know without a doubt that we are hearing Satan speak. I can tell you this, the Holy Spirit has a louder voice and can drown out Satan at every turn if Christians will only speak up.

Faithfulness is adhering to Jesus’ strict set of commandments in every aspect of our lives. As believers we all have our own miniature world to evangelize. You are a Christian and that means that no matter where you go you are to spread the Gospel of Christ. If you are out on a business trip to another state that doesn’t mean you leave your Christianity at home. When you’re on vacation or you’re just out watering the lawn, remember your Christianity. Our lives should reflect our faith in Christ. We never know when God’s going to ask us to step out in faith and talk to someone about their salvation.

 You may feel you’re without sufficient resources or knowledge to speak to others about your faith. If this is the case, you’ve probably been neglecting a regular Bible study routine. Our boldness to witness is provided by the Holy Spirit through prayer and study. You receive more boldness as you become more familiar with God’s word. If you’re willing, know this, the Holy Spirit will move you into position to confront the next person that you encounter with the Gospel of Christ. If you’re not willing then you’re not following Christ’s commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. John 14:15. Do you love Him or are you just play acting?

 The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was the most important event in history, and now we are rapidly approaching the second most important event in history, in the believer’s life, and that is the Rapture. Christians must step out in faith to follow Jesus’ commandment to spread His Gospel to the entire world. There is no doubt of the many extreme measures which will be coming against His Church. I believe some huge obstacles will be thrust directly into the lives of those Christians who are faithfully following through with Christ’s commandments. Satan isn’t just going to sit idly by whilst we take away his followers. Not at all, and you can take stock in the fact that you will be battered and bruised by his minions of evil. Like Paul, as he was being pummeled by the enemy over and over again, you too will feel the heat of battle.

 Witnessing can be one of the most daunting tasks for believers especially now days when it seems people are so repulsed by and demonstrate such violent tendencies toward our Christian faith. Nevertheless we aren’t to shirk from our duty and keep silent. Paul was persecuted by a “thorn in the flesh” but still continued evangelizing. He prayed for relief, but didn’t let this “thorn” stop him. As you face the barriers that Satan has in store for you, you too can be comforted by Jesus’ words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Non-believes are blind to the truth, they aren’t able to understand the consequences surrounding their decision to reject Jesus until those blinders come off. You and I can help remove those blinders. 

 God will be glorified by our witnessing efforts because He is certainly able to equip us with all we need to complete our task. If we use the strength of Christ as we confront the lost, the enemy won’t be much of a hindrance, but relying on our own strength will be our Achilles heel.

 If we allow the current events we see going on around the world to affect our witness in that we become silent, we are allowing the enemy to get the upper hand. Can you just imagine what would have been the outcome of the Apostle’s ministry if they had simply gone about their pre-Jesus routine after the Lord had ascended into Heaven instead of spreading the good news of His Gospel as they were commanded to do? No Gospel proclaimed throughout the world, no Christian movement, and no Christian Church, just a world of lost sinners vying for whatever scraps of meaningless existence that could be grasped.

 Today Christians are standing in the sandals of the disciples of yesterday. It’s our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all nations. We must not retreat from our assigned task. Think about this, someday we’ll stand before Jesus Christ face to face. How can we possibly explain to our Savior our apathy? “I was too sacred”, “I didn’t trust You to protect me”, “My faith was too small”, “I didn’t care about others just myself”. Which of those excuses will you use?

 Certainly the Rapture of the Church is nigh, and we rejoice in knowing that soon we will be taken up to be forever with our Lord Jesus. We read and study our Bibles and those commentaries posted on various websites that all proclaim the end is in sight. Every day we grow more and more assured of what we believe about the times of the signs because of what we see happening around us. But if the majority of Christian believers continue in their stubborn refusal to spread the Gospel of Christ many of their family members and friends will be left behind to fend off the wiles of the devil without the help of the restrainer which is the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is removed hell will break lose on earth.

 If your family is anything like mine, you have some relatives who, in their current state of mind, aren’t going to spend eternity with Jesus. They remain in unbelief. You’re okay though, you’re doing just fine. If that is your attitude you may very well be living in a false sense of security. As Charles Spurgeon puts it “If you have no heart for the lost you may not be saved yourself”, and you may find yourself spending eternity with your unbelieving family members after all. 

 Don’t let the ever nearing Rapture of the Church keep you from your assigned task. We should be witnessing now more fervently then ever before. Christians are to be salt and light to a lost world, but if that salt loses its saltiness then it’s absolutely worthless. Are you absolutely worthless? Say NO!

 God bless you all,

 

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

 

******

* I do not endorse Chuck Missler and knew little about him when I posted this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understand The Times
Radio Commentary
 by Roger Oakland

www.understandthetimes.org

WHY WITNESS

When it comes to being a witness for Jesus Christ, the Bible gives us valuable principles and guidelines. It is also important to recognize that the keys to successful evangelism are not held in our human hands. A witness is someone who partners with God. What does it mean to be a partner?

……………………………………………………………

There are two major factors to consider when it comes to evangelism: one involves human effort, the other depends totally on the sovereignty of God. Do you recall what Jesus said? “No one can come to me, unless the Father which hath sent me draws him.” [1]

This statement that Jesus made does not require any explanation. The “how to” aspect of witnessing refers only to the human factor in Christian witnessing. The rest is up to God’s sovereign plan that unfolds according to His will. God uses human vessels to be messengers of the gospel, but the blinds of deception can only be lifted by Him.

When discussing the subject of how to be an effective witness it is important to note that the Bible teaches there are only two categories of people – those who are perishing and those who are not. The apostle Paul, when writing to the people of Corinth could not have made it clearer: “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” [2]

It is not a pleasant thought to think about friends, relatives and loved ones who belong to the category of the “perishing.” The decision they make about Jesus’ finished work on the cross, will determine where they spend eternity.

When writing to the believers in Thessalonica, Paul created a vivid description of what would happen to those who willingly rejected God’s plan of salvation for man. He wrote:

The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”.[3]

Perhaps we need to be reminded that there are people all around us that are perishing. Although they may think that their life is in order and that they are on their way to heaven, they are living in a world of deception. A witness is someone who is willing to make an effort to be a messenger of the good news so that people can hear about God’s saving grace.

Do you know someone who has never asked Jesus Christ to forgive them for their sins? If you do, then that person is perishing? Have you taken the time to consider the consequences they will eventually and inevitably face? Take a moment right now and ask God what you can do to share the “good news” of our Lord Jesus with them or with others like them. How wonderful it is to be a vehicle to share the message of salvation that will guide a lost soul into eternal life! 

I am Roger Oakland. This has been a biblical perspective to help understand the times.

2660

source:

http://understandthetimes.org/transcripts/jan2009/2660.shtml


[1]  John 6:44

[2]  1 Corinthians 1:18

[3]  2Thessalinians 1: 7-10

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