Test the Spirit

sentThe Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle John to warn believers about false doctrine and false teachers in chapter four of his first epistle. In these last days, scripture teaches that both will escalate to the point where counterfeit religions and doctrines of demons will become widely accepted by the masses. For this reason, believers are told to “test the spirits, whether they are of God.” The word “test” is a metallurgist terminology used to assess metals in order to determine their authenticity. The Berean’s mentioned in the book of Acts (17:11-12) are an example of individuals who examined the teachings or theology of others in order to approve or disprove whether it was from God.

My recent (predetermined) encounters, with a Jehovah Witness and two Islamic Saudi Arabian students, supports John’s admonition. Both religions deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh (not God), and insist that He was but a mere man or prophet of Allah. The Bible describes Satan as the father of lies and is responsible for promoting error regarding the true identity of Jesus Christ our Lord. According to scripture Lucifer uses false prophets, religions, doctrines, and more to propagate satanic lies in order to blind the eyes of unbelievers from the truth of God’s Word. In this same chapter, John describes the work of the Holy Spirit as “spirit of truth” and the activities of Satan as “spirit of error.”

The elderly Jehovah Witness man demonstrated, during our two hour conversation, that he was influenced or controlled by “deceiving spirits.” This was clearly evident by his attempt to use chapter eight in the book of Proverbs to support the concept that Jesus Christ is a created being. “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way…From everlasting I was established…” According to the Watch Tower organization, verse twenty-three confirms that Jesus was created by Jehovah.

This is clearly not the case! A basic “testing” or exegesis of the chapter and verse will lead any unbiased reader to conclude that throughout the chapter Solomon is referring to wisdom.

“Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?…At the entrance of the doors, she cries out…To you O men, I call And my voice is to the sons of men, O naïve ones, discern prudence; And, O fools, discern wisdom…I wisdom dwell with prudence…”

Chapter eight of the book of Proverbs credits wisdom for everything that God created in order to illustrate that wisdom was first, as God was eternally first. Sadly, Jehovah Witnesses begin with a premise that Jesus is not God; therefore, they attempt to find verses in the Bible that confirm or support their erroneous view of Christ. In this case, the “spirit of error” is easily refuted or exposed by simply testing, plus properly exegesis the text in order to extract the intended meaning of the passage.

The Saudi men have also fallen prey to doctrines of demons promoted by false teachers and prophets. Mainly, due to the fact that they have never heard the truth about Christ, because Bibles are forbidden in Saudi Arabia and the truth about Jesus Christ is distorted by clerics. These men were told that the Bible is corrupted and cannot be trusted. However, when asked who corrupted it, and when it was tainted, neither man was able to respond. According to the Koran, Muslims are instructed (by Allah) to believe the Bible.

 “O you who have believed, believe in Allah and his messenger and the book, which he has sent down on his messenger, and the book which he has sent down before.”(The Woman, 136)

Muslims are instructed or commanded by Allah to believe in the Bible and its prophets. It is evident (from the above mentioned passage) that at the time of the writing of the Quran, the Bible was referenced, plus believed by Mohammad. Therefore, I was able to apologetically present Biblical truths about: Deity of Christ; Incarnation; Atonement, Propitiation; Crucifixion; Conception; Sinlessness; Death; Burial; Resurrection; Attributes; Creator; Inerrancy of Scripture; and more during our three hour conversation. I was also able to use polemics to refute the teachings of Islam.

Christians must understand that Islam allows no other religions or faiths to exist peacefully beside them. Stay tuned: we are scheduled to meet again next week. The Apostle Paul writing to the church in Romans admonishes believers in the city to witness or share the gospel with those who had never heard it.

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent…” (Roman 10:14-15)

The point of Paul’s rhetorical question is to emphasize the fact that a clear gospel presentation must proceed saving faith. Those who have fallen prey to “deceitful spirits” and “doctrines of demons” can still be saved from hell as well as error by hearing, plus believing the truths of scripture. Ron Carlson and Ed Decker write in their book titled Fast Facts On False Teaching, “In the light of Allah’s actual origin and his radical difference from the God of the Bible, we must conclude that Allah is not God. Nor is the name “Allah” a generic Mideast name for God, as many Christians think. Allah is the name of a false god who cannot save anyone from anything.

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One-on-One with a Tanzanian Muslim (Part Three)

Hajj

Hajj

Scripture teaches that man is incapable of coming to God on his own because of moral depravity and enslavement to Satan. The world and all its fallen inhabitants are held tightly by sin and in the devils grip. The apostle John writes, “…and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” Paul Washer addresses this point in his book titled ‘The Truth about Man.’  He states, “It is the sure testimony of Scripture that there is only one true God. But in this passage, Satan is referred to as the “god of this world” in the sense that he is working with great power in this preset evil age, and fallen men have made him their “god” and live according to his will.” (Washer, pg. 71)

“…whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe…” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

The affinity (they have much in common) between Satan and Islam (lying, murder, stealing, etc) mentioned in previous articles reveals the compatibility of fallen man with the Devil. Paul’s response to these truths was similar to most—denial. Many people reject the idea or concept that all unredeemed men are ‘followers of the devil,” yet scripture indicates that all men are born into the world under his dominion.

“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, “that He might destroy the works of the devil…” (I John 3:8)

We soon began discussing the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’ and their inability to provide an acceptable sacrifice or substitute for sin.  The faithful Muslim who diligently practices the five pillars of Islam will receive from Allah a gracious welcome of “Peace,” and enters into the garden in order to sit on a cushioned throne in the shade where he eats fruit in abundance. He is also able to drink from rivers which produce milk, honey, and alcohol. Throughout eternity he will have beautiful women to enjoy sexually and produce children who will serve him.  (There is no reward mentioned for women in the Quran)

Therefore, in order to enter Janna good works must outweigh the bad according to the Quran. “Surely good deeds drive away the evil deeds. This is a reminder to those who remember. And be patient, so surely Allah will not waste the wages of the doers of good.” (Sura 11:114-115) Evil is wiped away by successfully performing or adhering to these actions:

  1. Shahada (Confession of the Creed) A testimonial that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. It must be repeated daily in a certain tone of voice in order to be valid. It must be honored or practice until death, otherwise denial of it nullifies any possibility of Paradise or Janna.
  2. Salat (Prayer) Repeated prayers from the Quran must be said five times a day in Arabic at certain periods of time. Before sunrise, at noon, in mid-afternoon, at sunset, and in the evening. Friday prayer at the Mosque at noon is mandatory for adult males who must practice the ritual of purity. Prayer is viewed as an expression of submission to Allah and not a communication or relationship with Allah. The Du-aa (supplication) is when Muslims prayers are given the opportunity to be accepted by Allah. Even then there are limitations (Late night, after the crowing of a rooster, beginning of war, and during Ramadan) Islam Awareness, Dawah
  3. Zakat (Alms-giving) A certain percentage of income is given at the end of the year to help others. Muslims believe that helping others purifies their own wealth, increases its value, and reminds them that everything they have is a trust from Allah. Every adult Muslim man and woman who possesses wealth of a certain minimum amount must give to the mosque leader who then distributes resources to the poor.

 Sadaqah (Truth and Honesty) In addition to the required alms, Muslims are encouraged to give in charity at all times        according to their means.

   4. Sawm (Fasting) Muslims abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset during the month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim calendar. Ramadan was the month during which Muhammad had his first encounter with the spirit in Cave Hira. The Quran is read and recited the entire month.

   5. Hajj (Pilgrimage) All Muslims, men and woman who are economically and physically able are to travel to Mecca at least once in their life time. The completion of this practice gives the Muslim both a satisfying feeling and a respected status in his or her community

Paul and I read the verse from chapter two of the book of Ephesians that states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) Mankind is incapable of please God, therefore, the Lord provided a sacrifice for mans iniquity. John MacArthur writes in the MacArthur study Bible, “God the Father using the principle of imputation, treated Christ as if He were a sinner though He was not, and had Him die as a substitute to pay the penalty for the sins of those who believe in Him…One the cross, He did not become a sinner, but remained as holy as ever. He was treated as if He were guilty of all the sins ever committed by all who would ever believe, though He committed none. The wrath of god was exhausted on Him and the just requirement of God’s law met for those for who He died…The righteousness that is credited to the believers account is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, God’ Son.”(MacArthur, pg. 1772)

After an hour and fifteen minutes of discussion, Paul concluded our conversation by stating, “I will continue to practice the Five Pillars in hope that I will be accepted by Allah.” We agreed to meet regularly in order to compare and contrast the two belief systems. The responsibility of the believer or evangelist is to preach the Word and pray that God will give the increase!

Through Much Tribulation

e4l5Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in chapter twenty-one of Luke’s gospel presents many warnings regarding the state of the world prior to His return to the earth. Not only are wars, plagues, famines, terrors, and false prophets spoken of, but He informs us that the religious persecution of Christians will be common. He states, “But before all these things they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you delivering you to the synagogues and prisons bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.” (Luke 21:12) Notice that He refers to believers being delivered to “synagogues” or taken captive by the devout or pious leaders in order to stand trial for their faith in Christ.

Soul Liberty is defined in a book written by Henry C. Fish titled “The Price of Soul-Liberty and Who Paid It” as the liberty to think and act in religious matters without human dictation or control. God has given men freedoms and liberties to choose and live according to his/her dictates. Scripture is the guideline given to believers to assist in discerning good and evil in relation to decision making pertaining to the will of God.  True believers will not or at least are hesitant to violate not only their conscience, but more importantly the Word of God while making assessments. Biblical convictions will most certainly cause conflicts in the world, but surprisingly, Jesus warns us struggles will also occur within the church. This is clearly demonstrated by the skirmish in the fourth century over Sacramental Efficacy. The Baptist opposed the idea of “clinic or sick-room baptism” as well as baptizing unconscious children in order that they might be saved. In response to this (unbiblical) soteriological view, the Baptist protested and were denounced by the Roman Empire.

According to Fish, they were persecuted by religious leaders as a result of holding their views. “In the following year, the council of Carthage, of which Augustine was the President, thus decreed: “We will that whosoever denies that little children, by baptism, are freed from perdition and eternally saved, that they be accursed…Thus early did Baptists begin to pay the price of Soul Liberty…And ever suffering for their faith, is it strange that they should have been first and foremost in denouncing religious tyranny, and proclaiming the sanctity of conscience?” True believers can expect similar responses from world governments and religious leaders comprising the twenty-first century false church. Especially, in relation to topics pertaining to marriage; false religions; homosexuality; the deity of Christ; the inerrancy of Scripture; biblical roles; government policies;  and soteriology.

A quick assessment of viewpoints, laws, and regulations recently implemented regarding those who oppose such hot topics as same sex ‘marriage’, public schools, abortion, homosexuality, Islam, and governmental policies  proves the truth of Jesus’ aforementioned predictions.  As a result of this increasingly more hostile environment, Believers have and will spend more time before judges and courts answering for our faith and convictions.  One example of secular opposition is the recent discovery of the illegal activities within the Internal Revenue Service.  Reports have been uncovered that expose the practice of opposing or denying certain non-profit organization’s request for 501c 4 status in order to block political influence.   Nevertheless, we see similar antagonism developing amongst religious leaders towards the concept of the God of the Bible being exclusive. Jesus states, “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…” (2 John 9)  Many multi-faith or ecumenical leaders are attempting to unify world religious by laying aside doctrine in order to come together for the sake of a humanitarian effort.

In an article titled, Is Pope Francis Laying The Ground Work For A One World Religion the author writes, “Does Pope Francis intend to help the global elite achieve their goal of uniting all of the religions of the world under a single banner? Will he be instrumental in establishing a single global religion for the glorious “new age” that the global elite believe is coming? After he was elected, the cover of Time Magazine declared Pope Francis to be the “New World Pope“, and since his election Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he is going to make ecumenical outreach a top priority. He has spoken of his “determination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue“, and he has already held a number of very high profile ecumenical meetings. Not only has he worked hard to reach out to leaders from various Christian traditions, he has also made it a point to try to acknowledge the mutual bonds that he feels with all other religions. For example, in one recent address he made it a point to say that he believes that Muslims worship and pray to the “one God” that he also worships.

This “all roads lead to the same God” philosophy is a hallmark of the one world religion that the global elite have been slowly building toward for decades. The global elite know that even with a one world economy and a one world government, humanity will never be truly united until there is a single global religion. Unfortunately, this one world religion that they are seeking to establish is diametrically opposed to the Christianity that we find in the Bible. By throwing out Biblical truth for the sake of “friendship between men and women of different religious traditions“, is Pope Francis fundamentally betraying the faith that he claims to represent?

Christian persecutions

The biggest similarity between Islam and Catholicism is that both religions have a long history of persecuting and murdering Christians. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs written by John Foxe records not only the labeling of Christians as apostates but numerous murders occurring because of believer’s opposition to idols and satanic rituals practices by the papacy. Again, we are warned by Christ about the practices of religious leaders, “They will make you outcast from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God…” (John 15:2) So, how should believers respond? “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony…for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” (Luke 21:13, 15)

Jesus’ solution to this problem is to witness, testify, or preach the gospel to our persecutors!

Only through hearing the “Good News” can men be saved. Therefore, Christians must not only be ready to preach the gospel but be ready to suffer for their faith. We are reminded in the book of Acts that through much tribulation, suffering, persecution, distress, rejection, we are to enter the kingdom of God. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b)

House-2-House

houses in Prague

© Peter Szucs | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Let me begin by first putting to rest the myth that door- to-door evangelism doesn’t work! If that were true then God would not have given us the command to “Go” into the entire world and preach the gospel (Matthew 10:7; 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 9:2, 60; Acts 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2). Our responsibility is to obey our Lord’s instructions leaving the end results up to the Lord. If the objective is to see immediate mass numbers of conversions, baptisms, and increased church attendance, then I would agree that it is not effective.  In reality, most bible- based outreaches do not produce results like the one we read about  at Pentecost in chapter two of the book of Acts. However, an unbiased evaluation of scripture will lead any objective reader to conclude that preaching or teaching the gospel to lost people is the message emphasized or communicated in the Bible.

“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15)

These rhetorical questions asked by the apostle Paul stress the importance of believers communicating the gospel to lost people wherever a witness is needed. A clear presentation of the gospel must occur in order for unbelievers to believe in the One True God. Darrell W. Robinson writes in his book titled Total Church Life

“Each church has adequate personnel to evangelize its community. The personnel are those in the pews every Sunday. You in Acts 1:8 is plural. Jesus is speaking to the entire membership of the church. His call to every Christian is to witness. There is no choice. We have no option. Every Christian is to witness for Jesus. The only choice is to obey or disobey. A Christian may be a disobedient witness or an obedient witness. His witness may be negative or positive, but he is a witness.”

How does the church accomplish this task in a time or epoch when scripture describes men and women rejecting the truth in the last days? Believers must continue to obey the command or instructions given to them by our Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ. That is “Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” (Luke 14:23) Jesus began His ministry by commissioning and assembling men to “Go” where the lost people were! “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come” (Luke 10:1) and to reach them with His gospel. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). After His ascension into heaven, His apostles, empowered by and filled with the Holy Spirit, carried the “Good News” to the surrounding cities as well as to the world.

“Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven…Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:5, 36)

  • “And every day in the temple and from house to house they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:42)

  • • “And Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them.” (Acts 8:5)

  • • “…And were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.” (Act 8:25)

  • • “Arise and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza…And Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this Scripture he reached Jesus to him.” (Acts 8:35)

  • • “But Philip found himself at Azotus; and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.” (Acts 8:40)

  • • “…Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying He is the Son of God.” (Acts 9:19-20)

  • • “…And it became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.” (Acts 9:42)

  • • “And they said, “Cornelius a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well-spoken of by the entire nation of the Jews, was divinely directed a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and hear a message from you…and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household…” (Acts 10:22; 11:14)

  • • “…So then those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose…to Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews alone…But thee were some of them men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also preaching the Lord Jesus…” (Acts 11:19-20

  • • …Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul…And when they reached Salamis, they began to proclaim the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews…And when they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos…Then the proconsul believed when he saw what had happended, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord” (Acts 13:2, 4-5, 12)

  • • “…But going on from Perga, they arrived at Pisidian Antioch…And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to our fathers…And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region…” (Acts 13:32, 48)

  • • “…And it came about that in Iconium they entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a great multitude believed both of Jews and of Greeks.” (Acts 14:1)

  • • “…they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, and Derbe, and the surrounding region; and there they continued to preach the gospel.” (Acts 14:6-7)

  • • “…And the next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe. And after they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch…” (Acts 14:20-21)

  • • “…And when they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia…” (Acts 14:25)

  • • “And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them…to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia…” (Acts 16:10, 12)

  • • “…they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Pauls custom, he went to them and reasoned with them from the Scriptures…” (Acts 17:2)

  • • “…And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea…for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily…”(Acts 17:10-11)

  • • “…Now those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens;…So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.” (Acts 17:15,17)

  • • “…After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth…And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks…” (Acts 18:1,4)

  • • “…And they came to Ephesus and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jew…So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing…” (Acts 18:19, 19:20)

  • • “…how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable and teaching you publicly and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20)

  • • “…Brethren and fathers, hear my defense…And they listened to him up to this statement…” (Acts 22:1,22)

  • • “…And Paul looking intently at the Council…And as he said this there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and Sadducees…” (Acts 23:1, 7)

  • • “…And Agrippa said to Paul, You are permitted to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense…but I utter words of sober truth…” (Acts 26:1, 25)

  • • “…and thus we came to Rome…And he stayed two full years…preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.” (Acts 28:14, 30-31)

The cities mentioned throughout the book of Acts are a reflection of God’s purposeful objective of reaching all people groups, nations, and tongues. Those who heard and believed the gospel were not only saved but added to new church plants in Jerusalem, Philippi, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Thessalonica, etc. The disciples of Christ were adamant about the gospel reaching the world and were willing to endure hardships (stoning, imprisonment, beatings, death, being shipwrecked, persecutions, ostracism, prosecutions, and more) so that the name of Jesus Christ might be heard. Not only must there be a willingness to preach the “Good News” to strangers but the message must be truthful and direct.

The goal is not to add notches to an evangelism belt or members to the church roll but to allow the Holy Spirit convict men of sin, righteousness and judgment. This is simply done through a presentation of the gospel. No tricks, gimmicks, entertainment, or strategic moves are necessary for men to be saved. Robinson states, “The Holy Spirit equips the witness to share Jesus Christ with others. Apart from Holy Spirit power, the presentation of the gospel is accompanied by a dreadfulness that kills. It is the Spirit who “makes alive.” The flow of Holy Spirit power through the life of a church and an individual is directly proportional to obedience in witness. Where witnessing is minimized, there is little evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“…but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulteration the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God… And even if our gospel is veiled it is veiled to those who are perishing…” (2 Corinthians 4:2-3)

The idea conveyed by the apostle Paul is the common business practice of dishonestly diluting wine with water. Paul was falsely accused by false teachers of perverting the teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament. Similar warnings must be issued against modern day evangelists about reducing the potency of God’s Word by adding block parties, rock music, food or clothing, and other enticements to lure people to faith in Jesus Christ. Not one of the above mentioned scriptures suggest the use of any ploys to appeal to the lost. The Lord makes it abundantly clear to the evangelist in chapter ten of the book of Romans “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Roman 10:17)

How to begin a door2door conversation? (Example)Brick Archway Number 51

Evangelist-My name is ________, and I am a member of ________ church. We are in our community today inquiring about where people will spend eternity at the moment of death. Considering all the death, murders, and killings reported in our newspapers and television broadcasts, death is not only common but often it is unexpected. (Boston Bombing)
Do you know where you will go if you were to die today, tomorrow, next week, etc.? If you have a moment I would like to explain to you from scripture important information about God and eternity. May I come in?
Begin by praying for the individuals involved (Believer and Unbeliever) and spend some time learning about their spiritual background, use the first five verses in chapter thirteen of Luke to initiate an eternal conversation.

The Heart of the Matter

The apostle Paul writes a second letter to a church located in Thessalonica as a forewarning to believers about a futuristic leader who will one day deceive the masses by leading them away from the truth of God’s Word. He is described as the “lawless one.”

“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming that is the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan…” (2 Thess 2:8)

However, before his arrival the world will be characterized by a blasphemous spirit (among the people) or attitude that blatantly opposes God, His Christ, His Word, and His people. His success in the near future is attributed to the fact that

“… they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved…For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2:10-12)

Charles Spurgeon addresses man’s relationship with God’s truth (in his day) in a book titled “An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to ministers and students,”

“Beloved, I notice that God imports His messages to those who have a complete subordination to Him. I will tell you what has often crossed my mind when I have talked with certain brethren, or have read their lucubration’s; I have wondered which was the Master, and which was the servant, the man or God. I have been sorry for the errors of these brethren, but I have been far more distressed by the spirit shown in those errors. It is evident that they have renounced that holy reverence for Scripture which indicated by such an expression as this, “that trembleth at My Word.” They rather trifle than tremble. The Word is not their teacher, but they are its critics. With many, the Word of the Lord is no longer enthroned in the place of honor, but it is treated as a football, to be kicked about as they please; and the apostles, especially are treated as if Paul, and James, and John, were Tom, and Harry, with whom modern wise men are on terms of something more than equality. They pass the Books of Scripture under their rod, and judge the Spirit of God Himself. The Lord cannot work by a creature that is in revolt against Him. We must manifest the spirit of reverence, or we shall not be as little children, nor enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

My recent experience at an ecumenical or inter-faith meeting confirms that we are also living in these days. The group of people assembled during this particular evening was comprised of Hindus, Buddhist, Muslims, Universal Unitarians, United Church of Christ leaders, and Agnostics. I intentionally left out the mentioning of Christians because the views or statements made by those claiming to be followers of Christ, usually contradict the teachings of Scripture. The Bible categorically labels any person who rejects the teachings of Christ as an individual who has not nor knows God. “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…”

Why do I attend?
You may be wondering why I attend? I was selected or invited (by a Muslim) to the group for the sole purpose of presenting or bringing to the table an evangelical theological perspective. This organization meets regularly in order to discuss or comment on topics (from their religious perspectives) pertaining to everyday living. The most recent gathering dealt with the theme or subject of the recent killings, plus injuring of innocent people in Boston, Massachusetts. Emphasis was not concentrated on who, what, where, and why someone would do this, but on how each of the above mentioned belief systems would respond if placed in a similar situation. In other words, what form of compassion or humanitarianism would they practice or implement in time of tragedy?

In a group where absolute truth is irrelevant, it stands to reason why the subject of Jihad is overlooked and replaced with a less weighty topic. The goal of most ecumenical groups is to unify over commonalities and avoid doctrines that divide or cause disunity. The subject of sin and the depravity of man’s heart is not only avoided but denied. (That has been my experience in each of the meetings I have attended) My purpose for attending these meetings is to discuss absolutes and not to ignore or deny facts. It is a fact that the Quran teaches death to the non-Muslim. Plus, it is also commonly known among all faiths that the Bible describes the heart of all men as being desperately wicked. According to the Bible, “there is none who does good.” (Rom 3:12) So, it stands to reason that someone would address the obvious, because man is capable of doing good deeds, because at the core of his inner being is only evil.

Walter A. Elwell writes in a book titled Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “The Bible teaches this concept of total depravity in many places. The Lord recognized good people (Matt 22:10), yet he labeled his own disciples as evil men (7:11). The mind is affected (Rom 1:28), the conscience is unclean (Heb 9:14), the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9), and by nature mankind is subject to wrath (Eph 2:3).” In an attempt to emphasize this point those in my small group were immediately at odds with this point. In logic, the starting point of an argument is called a proposition. When we use propositions, we are either asserting the truth of the statement or denying the truth of the statement. Those individuals involved in the bombing of blameless marathon runners and spectators displayed by their actions that God’s Word is true in regards to the condition of the human heart. (To ignore these points would be considered illogical). Note that this is a technical meaning of “deny,” not the everyday meaning. To deny in this context means to gather evidence to show that the proposition cannot be true, not just that it is wrong. Further evidence to support my propositional statement is located or revealed in the human heart. The apostle Paul writes, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, no having the Law are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience being witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Rom 2:14-15) God has placed in every human being a conscience that gives them knowledge of right and wrong. So when an individual sins (murder, lie, steal, lust, etc.) he/she does so with knowledge. (Con-with, Science-knowledge). To begin a discussion on the compassionate nature of human beings is completely irrational, because out of the human heart comes only iniquity. Jesus Christ our Lord states,

“For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders, etc.” (Matthew 15:19) It is amazing that humanity is capable of any good! Consider the fact that God sent His only begotten Son, the long awaited Messiah, to the nation of Israel, and their response to His innocence, sinlessness, miracles, compassion, redemption, propitiation, atonement, justification, and sacrificial death on the cross was to crucify Him. (Matthew 27:22)

Let’s examine the nature or condition of man by examining a little known fact about the most recognized saintly women on the planet, Mother Teresa and her organization Missionary of Charity. An anonymous author writes in an article titled Hitting Bedrock, “…Says Susan Shields, former Missionary of Charity: As a Missionary of Charity, I was assigned to record donations and write the thank-you letters. The money arrived at a frantic rate. The mail carrier often delivered the letters in sacks. We wrote receipts for checks of $50,000 and more on a regular basis. Sometimes a donor would call up and ask if we had received his check, expecting us to remember it readily because it was so large. How could we say that we could not recall it because we had received so many that were even larger?

Shields doesn’t suggest how much that might add up to, but Hitchens has it that there were at least $50 million in the New York bank account of the Missionaries of Charity, and figures that, this being but a part of the organization’s wealth, there must be several times more all told. So let’s place the MoC’s wealth in the 9-10 figure range. Now, it would not be correct to say that all this money belonged to Teresa. I take it that she herself owned next to nothing. I’m just saying that she controlled this money. It didn’t belong to her personally, but, if she’d really wanted, she could have used it, on behalf of her organization, to buy all sorts of medicines, pay all sorts of trained medical personnel, and maybe even keep her facilities stocked with clean new needles on a regular basis.
You may be able to guess what’s coming up next. Fact: Mother Teresa used only a tiny fraction of that money to improve the lives of the sick and the poor. Shields continues: We received touching letters from people, sometimes apparently poor themselves, who were making sacrifices to send us a little money for the starving people in Africa, the flood victims in Bangladesh, or the poor children in India. Most of the money sat in our bank accounts. The donations rolled in and were deposited in the bank, but they had no effect on our ascetic lives and very little effect on the lives of the poor we were trying to help. Well, who cares about the lives of the nuns: they got what they signed up for, right? That bit about the poor, though, that’s a little worrisome.

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0


Here are some examples of how the MoC failed to spend its money. Shields gives one: in Haiti, “the sisters reused needles until they became blunt”. Out of the MoC’s bloated bank accounts, no money could be spared for new needles. Likewise, in an article in the British Medical Journal (a review of Hitchens’ book), Mary Loudon reports visiting the MoC’s facilities and seeing “syringes run under cold water and reused, aspirin given to those with terminal cancer, and cold baths given to everyone”. No money for oncological care beyond aspirin, no money for hot water, and, again, no money for new syringes, or even proper sterilization for old ones.

And in an article in the Lancet (9/17/94, Issue 8925), Robin Fox reports having visited the Home for the Dying in Kolkata, and describes the medical care there as “haphazard”: no trained medical personnel are present unless some happen to drop by to volunteer their time, and the sisters themselves are not given any proper training in medical care. “How about simple algorithms that might help the sisters and volunteers distinguish the curable from the incurable? Again no.” Out of the millions or billions, not enough for the salary of a single Kolkata doctor, or any other way of ensuring minimally consistent medical care.”

Therefore, when God says, “There is none who does good” He bases this scripture verse not on ones actions but His knowledge of the human heart. This article as well as the incident in Boston only stresses the importance of being born again. The Lord promised that He would place into those who believe in His Son a new heart that would give regenerated human beings the ability to demonstrate genuine compassion that will allow them to demonstrate good works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8) Salvation is the catalyst to good works and evidence of being born again is that a believer serves others. His or her sanctification has been designated with kindhearted actions before time began. Therefore, the logical starting point of our conversation would not be to ignore the truth of God’s Word but to address the topic of sin and it’s resolve through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Usama Dakdok : The Dangers of Islam, Part 2

Show Information
Air Date: April 12, 2013Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: Usama Dakdok

Listen: MP3 Order

Usama Dakdok is the founder of The Straightway of Grace Ministry. He travels throughout the United States equipping Christians to be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ to their Muslim neighbors as well as ministering to Muslims directly. Usama was born in Egypt, the son of a Baptist pastor. He became a Christian at the age of eleven yet learned about Islam in school. He eventually studied Islamic law in college.

Usama Dakdok,Founder

Usama Dakdok,Founder

My name is Usama Dakdok. I was born in Egypt and I grew up in a Christian home. But as I grew up in school in Egypt, a government school, and through all these years that I was in school, I learned about Islam, like every other student in a Muslim country. I came to America in 1992, and I found out that there were many Muslims in America. I said, “What a great ministry for me to do right here.”     With all the knowledge that I have about Islam, I can reach out to the Muslim people with the word of Jesus Christ. That is why we began The Straight Way of Grace Ministry.

Vic began this edition of Crosstalk noting two important news stories that highlight the problem of Islam:

–Christian pastor Saeed Abedini has been given an ultimatum by Iranian authorities to deny Jesus Christ or face a longer term in prison.
–A mosque in Cairo has installed a torture chamber to terrorize Christians.

Usama then revealed an important truth about Islam. It’s the claim we hear in America about “moderate” Muslims, a claim that is false because “moderate” Islam is not contained within the text of the Quran or the Hadith.

Other aspects of Islam touched upon by Usama included:

–The various pillars of Islam.
–The merging of Christianity and Islam known as
“Chrislam.”
–Women in Islam.
–The tradition of honor killing.
–The infiltration of Islam in America through acceptance
and ignorance.

You can obtain even more information by attending Usama Dakdok’s presentation called, “Islam: What You Need to Know” tomorrow evening at 7pm during the VCY America rally at the Waukesha Expo Center.

More Information:

The Straight Way of Grace Ministry
www.thestraightway.org

Usama Dakdok : The Dangers of Islam, Part 1

The Crosstalk Radio Talk Show is heard each weekday on over 90 radio outlets across America and worldwide on the Internet. Crosstalk covers the issues that affect our world, our nation, our families and the Christian church from a perspective centered in the Word of God. Whether we discuss the economy, the political scene, the continuing moral collapse of our nation, legislation that affects the family, or the state of evangelicalism, our authority is found in the unchanging standard of the Holy Scriptures. Veteran co-hosts Dr. Vic Eliason and Jim Schneider have worked as a team for over 20 years to bring solid information to the body of Christ.

Show Information

Air Date: April 11, 2013

Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: Usama Dakdok

Listen: MP3 Order

Usama Dakdok is the founder of The Straightway of Grace Ministry. He travels throughout the United States equipping Christians to be effective witnesses of Jesus Christ to their Muslim neighbors as well as ministering to Muslims directly. Usama was born in Egypt, the son of a Baptist pastor. He became a Christian at the age of eleven yet learned about Islam in school. He eventually studied Islamic law in college.

 

Usama Dakdok,Founder

Usama Dakdok,Founder

 

 

 

 

 

My name is Usama Dakdok. I was born in Egypt and I grew up in a Christian home. But as I grew up in school in Egypt, a government school, and through all these years that I was in school, I learned about Islam, like every other student in a Muslim country. I came to America in 1992, and I found out that there were many Muslims in America. I said, “What a great ministry for me to do right here.”

     With all the knowledge that I have about Islam, I can reach out to the Muslim people with the word of Jesus Christ. That is why we began The Straight Way of Grace Ministry.

 

During the above referenced program,  Usama noted that people are victims of the teachings of Allah in the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad in the Hadith. This is playing out in various headlines such as the following: 

–Canada asks how middle class boys became jihadists.
–A Muslim mob, angered by Christian youth, attack
residents of a city in Pakistan.
Egyptian Christian funeral ends in violent clashes while
police stand by.
–A teddy bear named Muhammad causes controversy.

We should not be surprised by this as Usama told listeners that Allah commands Muslims to lie, attack and to kill Christians, Jews and non-Muslims.

So where is this “Allah” talked about? Allah is talked about in the Muslim holy book known as the Quran. 87% of Muslims worldwide don’t speak the Arabic language so many of them, despite their anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments, haven’t even read the Quran. In order to expose more people to the full impact of the errors and contradictions of Islam, Usama has produced an accurate English language translation of the Quran with study notes.

We are losing our freedom, lives and existence because of political correctness relating to Islam. Find out why and what’s next when you listen to this along with tomorrow’s edition of Crosstalk.

 

Islam and Women

islam-womenThe Apostle John writing in his second epistle encourages a group of believers to continue walking in the truth. “I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth…” (2 John 4) This is so very important because of the danger of false teachers entering into the church in order to intentionally mislead  members. This tactic is commonly used by Satan to confuse, weaken, and scatter the sheep. “Be on guard for yourselves…I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock…” (Acts 20:29) Holding fast to sound doctrine prevents or allows the flock to be discerning. Just recently, I had an opportunity to attend an introductory to Islam seminar at a local Presbyterian church. The guest speaker was a female Doctrinal Student from the local University invited to discuss and dispel myths about the teachings of Islam. Topics addressed by the spokeswoman included such topics as dress, culture, history, women’s rights, practices, customs, Geography, belief systems, language and more.

The goal or objective of this missionary appears to have been to normalize Islam and to encourage Christians to embrace its teachings. The role of pastors (according to scripture) is to protect their sheep from wolves seeking to devourer them. Sadly, the woman elder and church leadership were attempting to establish common ground with the Quran and the teachings of Islam. During the session the presenter readily admitted that Muslims reject the teaching of the Bible that Jesus is God. In doing so, John classifies her as a deceiver and an anti-Christ. “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist…” (I John 2:22) Anti-Christ purposely intend to interject teachings that replace or oppose the biblical truths regarding the identity of Christ.

This is not uncharacteristic of those who follow the teachings of the Quran. This is actually in alignment with his nature according to Sura 3:54. “And they deceived and Allah deceived and Allah is the best deceiver.” In an attempt to mislead hearers regarding the true nature or practices of Islam, many other misrepresentations occurred, especially pertain to the role of women. S. Michael of Call to Love Minstries writes in his book Dare To Explore “Muslims all over the globe have contradictory convictions about women. Those who are exposed to western civilizations are more liberal in their views towadrs women. These Muslims adopt the West’s beliefs and claim that these come from the true origin of Islam, Mohammad and his teachings. They choose the Qur’anic verses and Hadith sections that please them, but ignore the one that specifically contradict the principle that women are equal to men.”(pg. 90)

Below is a list of some degrading attitudes towards women in Islam.women_eyes_green_eyes_muslim_islam_scarf_2544x1680_wallpaper_Wallpaper_1680x1050_www.wall321.com

  • Can be beaten by her husband for any reason. (Sura 4:34)
  • Can expect up to three additional woman to share her husband (Sura 4:3)
  • Is half in witness (Sura 2:282)
  • Lacks in intelligence (Hadith Sahih Number 2658)
  • Is inferior to man (Sura 4:34)
  • Is most likely heading to hell (Hadith Volume 4, Book 54, No. 464)

Sadly, even in the West, Muslim women must practice these above mentioned requirements. According to Michael, “The majority of them do not have a voice or an opportunity to oppose the men in their families, or to find help from their religious leaders, leaving them with no safe means of escape.” (pg.94)

In an effort to address these issues with the speaker, I along with two other colleagues was verbally opposed by members of the congregation. Did the deception work ? Yes! By embracing or defending the teachings of Islam John states, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house…for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deed…” (2 John 11) The reason is that false teachers seek to destroy the basic fundamental truths of Christianity. Hospitality only encourages them in their deception of the spreading of heresy, along with the appearance of acceptance or sanctioning it.

After a long discussion with members of the church leadership, it was made clear that they were victims and participants in the Islamic masquerade. Statements were made by women from the church that “There is more than one way to heaven” and “Don’t force your beliefs on her.”The ecumenical movement in Ohio and throughout the world is moving full speed ahead. Those who are willing to compromise scripture in order unify with other faiths will not only be prone to deception but demonstrate evidence of never being born again. “…and does not aide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.” (2 John 9) Please continue to “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict.” (Titus 1:9)

Do We Have A Creator Who Rules Or Not?

Kevin Douglas, Guest Columnist

Kevin Douglas,
Guest Columnist

The Heart of the Abortion Debate: Do We Have A Creator Who Rules Or Not?

(My thoughts following the Abortion Debate at the University of Toledo on 4/2/2013)

I’ve never been to an official debate on abortion before but I decided to attend the one held at the UT Law Center this past week. It didn’t go as I had expected.

I rightly figured the pro-choice proponent would argue for the freedom, rights and welfare of pregnant Mother’s, however I didn’t expect the pro-life defender to do the same. It became apparent early in the contest that God and unborn babies were not going to be the primary focus of debate from either side. The debate was very civil and respectful (which is to be expected when you take away the two controversial figures involved in an abortion exchange.) I was taken back that arguments for the long term physical and emotional welfare of the mother as well as the rights and empowerment of women was the main case for the PRO-LIFE proponent! I thought she did a good job of making a case but I don’t believe the war will be won on that battlefield.

I very much appreciated the honesty of the pro-choice proponent. She said that she used to work in abortion clinics and would “mislead” pregnant mothers into believing that they were not really carrying a living person. Having gone thru an abortion herself, she said that every mother knows that they are carrying a living person inside them. She now regrets having been dishonest then. The pro-life proponent quickly seized this opportunity to say that organizations like Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider) are doing exactly the same thing today – misleading women – explaining the reason for the deception is money. Abortion is a billion dollar industry. The pro-choice proponent did not protest these assertions.

It dawned on me that the center of the debate used to be about whether or not unborn fetuses were living persons. Advances in science and technology have forced the pro-choice movement to now focus on speculating about the future of unwanted birthed babies, but more importantly the mother’s future quality of life. This was the debate last Tues. in a nutshell. Both sides did a decent job arguing for and against, but should the welfare of the mother have really been the heart of the debate for the pro-life side? I’m not saying that pro-lifers shouldn’t defend against the rhetoric propagated by the other side that we are against and do not care about women, most particularly expecting unwed mothers. This lie was well defended in the debate and is easily proven in the real world by example after example. One example is all of the pro-life pregnancy clinics and other charitable organizations across the nation, including NW Ohio, that help pregnant women before, during and after pregnancy at no cost. Having said that, the pro-life position should be defended the same as it always has, otherwise the body count of 55 million since Roe vs. Wade will continue to grow.

The fight should be to contend that we have a God Who has determined human life, created human life in His image, defined human life and distinguished it above any other form of life. Because He has determined and formed life in the womb (Psalm 139:13,14), He gets to choose what happens to it. God has very clearly outlawed murdering innocent human life. God didn’t even come up in the debate until the Q & A session at the end. During this time, the pro-choice proponent made another stunning admission that I believe is truly the heart of the abortion debate. She said that she understands why those who believe there is a Creator, responsible for creating human life, are pro-life. When I thought about her honest statement, I have to admit that if there were no Creator, no Supreme Authority to be accountable to, then I would agree that abortion is permissible. In fact, if God doesn’t exist there wouldn’t be any reason not to kill all kinds of unwanted people, people groups or those who can’t take care of themselves (elderly, sick, handicapped, mentally challenged, etc.). Everyone would be free to make all kinds of decisions to suit themselves which would ultimately lead to survival of the fittest.Science, statistics, studies and logic that support protecting babies are necessary but are not winning the war. The abortion debate ultimately comes down to whether or not the Bible is true. Do we have a Creator God Who rules or don’t we? Is Evolution true or is Genesis true? People believe abortion is OK because they don’t believe in the God of the Bible. If they did they would understand the importance of submitting to His authority. The pro-life movement’s only chance is by winning the hearts of men with the truth about God.

Science, statistics, studies and logic that support protecting babies are necessary but are not winning the war. The abortion debate ultimately comes down to whether or not the Bible is true. Do we have a Creator God Who rules or don’t we? Is Evolution true or is Genesis true? People believe abortion is OK because they don’t believe in the God of the Bible. If they did they would understand the importance of submitting to His authority. The pro-life movement’s only chance is by winning the hearts of men with the truth about God.

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:16)

Kevin Douglas

“Now is the time for God’s people to do the hard work of biblical apologetics, embracing the full message of the Bible, beginning in Genesis, in order to rightly defend the Scriptures and compassionately persuade men, that some might be saved.” -Jason Lisle Ph.D

Apologetics Evangelism Conference

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