Test the Spirits II

 

The Masquerader

The Masquerader

Why test the spirits?  Because Satan masquerades as an angel of light and specializes in deception. Lucifer understands that the war for the souls of mankind or human beings begins in the mind. Therefore, he diligently works to create avenues to promote teachings, philosophies, doctrines, religions, etc. that contradict God’s Word. Reading a book, listening to the radio, viewing television and movies, formal academic studies, casual conversations, theological teachings and more are all various methods used by God, Man, and Satan to influence thought patterns. The Apostle Paul writing in his second letter to the church in Corinth addresses the concept that principalities and powers war for the minds or thoughts of men.

Paul begins chapter ten by addressing the (false) accusations that he walked in the flesh or had some type of moral flaw in his character.  The term “flesh” is used by his opponents to refer to man’s creaturely weakness which is prone to sinful passions. Paul refutes his antagonists who were making this accusation by admitting that he was a mere human being of flesh and bone, but shunned the allegation that he was dominated by sin. Paul lived, and walked, in the Spirit. Evidence of this fact is that he waged war against Satan with the supernatural artillery supplied by God.

 

Paul understood that the battle is for the minds and souls of both believers and non-believers. Worldly weapons such as guns, knives, philosophies, arguments, eloquence, propaganda, organizations, etc. are powerless against principalities and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. These principalities (Satan and demons) have ensnared men, placing them in bondage to sin. This is what is meant by strongholds. He uses this word as a metaphor to put forth an imagery of a fortress. People could take refuge behind the walls of a city when attacked because they were solid, high, and impenetrable. Satan and demons develop these strongholds through the use worldly or demonic philosophies, religions, propaganda, arguments and organizations, in order to entrap or ensnare the mind.

 

An anonymous author wrote:  “The mind is the taproot of the soul”

 

I once again met with the two Saudi Arabian students, and one of their friends in order to discuss the topic of science as presented in the Bible and the Quran. According to these Muslim men, Mohammad had supernatural revelation given to him by Allah which revealed such ‘science’ as pre-born humans in the womb as “clots” and “sperm” being stored in the backs of men. These are both addressed in the Quran:

 

“So let the man look to what he was created from. He was created from gushing water. It comes out from backbones (of the male) and breast (of the female). (Surah 86:5-7)

 

“The We made the nutfah (male and female sexual discharges) a clot of blood, the We made the clotted blood into a piece of flesh, the We clothed the bones with flesh, then We made it another creature. Blessed therefore be God, the most excellent of Creators.” (Surah 23:14)

 

Modern science proves that each of Muhammad’s above mentioned attempts to explain the reproduction process is incorrect. Yet, these men view these inconsistencies as proof that Muhammad received this revelation directly from Allah. The Bible’s claims of supernatural elements can in fact be supported by empirical science (reproducible). According to Dr. Harold Wilmington in his book titled Willmington’s Guide to Complete Bible Knowledge “It claims far more specific scientific statements than one might realize.”

  • The fact that the earth is spherical (Isa 40:22)
  • The fact that the earth is suspended in space (Job 26:7)
  • The fact that the stars are innumerable (Gen 13:16; 15:5)
  • The fact that there are mountains and canyons in the sea (Jon 2:6)
  • The fact that there are springs and fountains in the sea 9gen 7:11;8:2; Prov 8:28)
  • The fact that there are water paths (ocean currents) in the sea (Psalms 8:8)
  • The fact of the invisible atom structure of matter (Col 1:17)
  • The fact that all living things are reproduced after their own kind (Gen 1:21;6:19)
  • The facts involved concerning the human bloodstream (Lev 17:11)
  • The fact involved in the two laws of thermodynamics (Gen 2:1-3; PSA 33:6-9;102:25) Second law (Psa 102:26; Rom 8:18-23)

 

I presented this evidence to these men regarding the Bible’s accuracy in order to disprove the lie that the Bible is corrupt. Only the One True God, who made the heavens and the earth, could reveal these scientific supported truths to the various writers in both the Old and New Testaments. Many other Biblical concepts were presented or addressed (Grace, Hell, Jesus the Creator, Sin, etc)

The concept that consumed the most time of discussion was the idea of love. The Quran does not mention love other than the fact that Allah does not love the infidel (unbeliever).  This is found in Surah 30:45. Nowhere in the Quran does Allah demonstrate or express his love for the Muslim. Allah is unapproachable as well as unknowable. However, God’s love for mankind is demonstrated from Genesis to Revelation in the scriptures. His greatest gift or expression of His love is found in the writings of the Apostle John.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life…He who believes in the Son has eternal life…” (3:16,36)

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world…IN this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:9,10)

 

Paul writing to a young pastor warns him that people sitting in the church will be led away from truth by deceitful spirits promoting doctrines of demons. (I Tim 4:1) Apostasy will escalate as the church age draws to a close and the coming of Christ draws near. Demonic influence will reach its peak during the tribulation period under the dominion of the anti-Christ.  Demonically inspired teaching will lead people away from their original position in the Christian faith. (Unbelievers) Satan uses deception to make people believe that they are saved; on their way to heaven; have a relationship with God; doing the will of God; serving God; Good enough to please God, etc. The only way to expose his lies is to wage war with the truth of God’s Word!

 

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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.

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!

One-on-One with a Muslim from Tanzania, Part 1

Fisherman

In order for the end to come Jesus stated, that “… the gospel must be preached into the whole world for a witness to all the nations.” In these last days, the Lord has enabled the church to fulfill the Great Commission by bringing various people groups from around the world to North America. Believers have been given the opportunity to engage these ethnic groups in one-on-one apologetic conversations. My recent encounter with an Arabic speaking Muslim from Tanzania confirms this point to be true.

‘Paul’ (not his name) agreed to meet with me so that he might be given the opportunity to dispel myths pertaining to Jihad and to find common ground among the two faiths. However, at the onset of our conversation, ‘Paul’ admitted that he was not a scholar in regards to the teachings of Islam and might have difficulties answering my questions. Though he is fluent in Arabic and is able to read the Quran in its original language he felt inadequate in his ability to interpret the Qu’ran. The purpose of Imams and clerics is to teach Muslims to overcome their weaknesses and to live in the straight-way.

In response, I emphasized that the Bible teaches that the role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal scriptural truths and to allow believers to live accordingly. Therefore, all Christians are able to read, as well as understand the Bible without the assistance of a church leader (pastor or teacher). Our conversation turned to the topic of the Qu’ran’s revelation of Allah. According to its teachings

“And they deceived and Allah deceived And Allah is the best deceiver.” (Surah 3:54)

‘Paul’s’ interpretation of this verse was in complete contradiction to the text as well as other verses that confirm this point. He stated, “The meaning is that Allah knows if a Muslim is lying…”

I interjected that multiple verses in the Qu’ran imply that Allah not only deceives but encourages his followers to emulate his example.

“Do you desire to guide those whom Allah has led astray? And whomever Allah leads astray, so you will not find for him a way.” (Sura 3:88)

“Allah will not hold you responsible for the mere utterance in your oath, but he will hold you responsible in regard to an oath taken seriously.” (Sura 4:89)

I also pointed out that all prophets of Islam do not lie. Case in point,  (according to the Qu’ran) Jesus is only a prophet and not God,  and (according to Scripture) He stated that Satan is the father of lies.

“Your father the devil…because there is no truth in him…Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature for he is a liar and the father of lies…” (John 8:44)

He along with other Muslims attempt to ascertain common ground by ignoring these truths and searching for less controversial passages that mask the teachings of Islam.

Nevertheless, the evangelist must be dogmatic about the fact the Quran contradicts the Bible.

They are complete opposites. Our discussion regarding the practice and teachings of Jihad lead to the opportunity for me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I will address this part of our encounter in the next part of this series discussing my evangelism appointment with a Muslim from Tanzania.

How to witness to a Witness (Jehovah)

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from ...

English: Picture of Joseph F. Rutherford from the 1911 Bible Students Convention Souvenir Booklet. At the time this picture was taken, Rutherford was serving as chief legal counsel for Pastor Charles Taze Russell. Rutherford became President of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in 1917 and later renamed the movement Jehovah’s Witnesses. Rutherford died in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beth Sarim was built in San Diego, California ...

Beth Sarim was built in San Diego, California in 1929. Rutherford died at the property in 1942. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916).

Charles Taze Russell (1852–1916). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Background:

Most people in America have encountered people from the Watchtower organization who claim to represent Jehovah, God. The origin of Watchtower doctrine did not originate from the Bible but from Charles Taze Russell, its founder.  It was in 1879, while reading scripture that Smith formulated an unbiblical opinion regarding Hell, the Trinity,  and the Deity and Personhood of Christ. He began promoting his teachings world-wide by publishing the Watchtower Magazine.  In addition, Smith produced a series of commentaries (to the Bible) called Reason from the Scriptures and these are used by Jehovah Witness to interpret scripture.

Approaching the Jehovah’s Witness

An effective approach to Witnessing to Russellites is to begin the conversation with the history of false predictions by its founders.  Russell , Rutherford, and Knorr have made futuristic predictions that were proven false over time. For example, Charles Taze Russell predicted  at least twice (in 1874 and 1914)  that Jesus would return to the earth in those years. This didn’t occur resulting in a new claim by Russell that He came spiritually and established His theocracy or rulership.

Following his pattern of prognostication, Joseph Franklin Rutherford predicted the return of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to earth between 1925-1929. To prepare for their arrival, a home was built in San Diego, California to house them. However, when his prophecy failed to occur as predicted, Rutherford lived in the home until his death in 1942. Not to be outdone, Nathan H. Knorr became President of the Watchtower Tract Organization  and envisioned Armageddon occurring in 1975. Obviously, he too spoke presumptuously and was proven to be a false prophet.

Dealing with False Prophets

According to scriptures found in Chapters 13 and 18 of the book Deuteronomy, false prophets were to be put to death for speaking presumptuously and leading God’s people astray. “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you saying, ‘ Let us go after other god’—which you have not known and let us serve them, you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams…but that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3,5) Evidence that a prophet has heard from God is that his words or prophecies are 100% accurate, and in each of these cases the opposite is true. “How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?—when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken…” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

The purpose for discrediting the founders of the Watchtower organization is to prove that their writings, statements, conclusions, and the like cannot be trusted or believed.  Jehovah Witnesses will primarily refer to the Reasoning from the Scriptures to interpret or understand the Bible. It is best to suggest that all extra biblical sources be restricted from use because of its lack of creditability.

When Did Jehovah Die?

The best way I have discovered through trial and error to refute their claims regarding the Deity, Resurrection, Visible Return, Trinity, Angelical, Creation of Jesus is to point out that Jehovah said “I was dead and behold I am alive…” (Revelation 1:18) To help illustrate that Jesus is in fact Jehovah-God, have them read Revelation 1:8, 21:5-7, and 22:13. Each time after they read the verse from their New World Translation, politely ask them the question “Who is the Bible referring too?” Their response will be Jehovah. Once you have established the point that the Alpha and Omega, First and the Last, and the Beginning and the End is Jehovah, ask one final question. Verse 17-18 of chapter one of Revelation refers to the death of Jehovah. Ask them,  “When did  Jehovah or God die?” and wait for their response. They will either respond with shock or anger that Jesus cannot be Jehovah.

From this point on it is up to God to remove the blinders from their eyes and lead them to repentance of their blasphemies.  “And the Lord’s bond servant must not be quarrelsome…with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (2 Tim 2:24-25)

In my most recent encounter with 2 JW’s I did all of the above  in order to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these souls.  In my case, they both yelled that Jehovah didn’t die and immediately left the restaurant!

To God Be the Glory!

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)

Pentecost to Passion Prayer Plan

Thanks to  all of you who have agreed to join together with us to pray this year.

Praying hands

Week 15  8/18-8/25/13  Pray for the people of Egypt especially the Christian believers who are finding themselves the target of much of the aggression.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

e4l5

Week 1 5/19-5/25/13  Pray for our evangelists and missionaries.  Pray for their Health and Protection.  Pray for their Peace of mind.  Pray for Wisdom and Direction.

Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 6:9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.  

Week 2  5/26-6/1/13    Pray for revelations about the Word of God and the work.  Answers may come as you pray just as Gabriel came to Daniel.  

Daniel 9:20-22   20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Week 3  6/2-6/8/13    Intercede for the Lost in the NW Ohio area.  Faithful saints of God have committed to door-to-door and street evangelism in the area.  Please pray for hearts to be changed and that God will draw them to Himself.

In the book, A Passion for Prayer,  author Tom Elliff  points that Genesis 18 is a clear example of a believer interceding for another.  If you will recall this is when The LORD and His angels visited Abraham and revealed to him that He was going to destroy Sodom.  The Bible records that, “the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.” (v. 22)

When Abraham heard that Sodom and Gomorrah was to be destroyed because of  ‘their sin is very grave’ (v. 20) he stood before the LORD and began to intercede for the welfare of his relative Lot and his family.  Through persistence in prayer for the people, Abraham received assurance from the LORD that He would not destroy the land for the sake of ten righteous people. (v.32)  As we know the land and inhabitants was destroyed but Lot and his family was delivered.   Pray this week for the Lost. “Intercession requires aggressive cooperation with God along the lines of His revealed will” and it involves “Imploring God on behalf of a specific person or persons.” (Elliff, pg. 20) 

Luke 11:5-9 

5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 

6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 

7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you

Week 4  6/9-6/15/13   Pray that the LORD of the Harvest would send forth laborers into the field.  Pray that He would open doors for ministry to Evangelize4Life workers and give us increased opportunities to equip, train and encourage those with a heart and call to do evangelism.  

Ephesians 4: 11-13

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Week 5  6/16-6/23/2013  God Is Always Working…

Please pray that true believers will assist in sharing the gospel and in discipling both unbelievers as well as new converts.  The Bible reveals that God is always working.   God the Father ministered or labored through His Son while on earth and now operates through Spirit filled Christians to reach the lost, plus (disciple) new believers.


My Father is working until now and I Myself am working…As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…”  (John 5:17, 17:18)

Week 6 6/24-7/1/2013  Weary Of Well Doing

Evangelism for some can or could be very discouraging especially if individuals are looking for immediate results.  The proper perspective must be directed towards God and His supernatural work in the lives of unbelievers.  The sower of the gospel is but a vessel used by the Lord to  scatter the seed, but ultimately God gives the increase.

“So then neither the  one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but God who causes the growth.”  (Corinthians 3:7)

Weeks 7-11 7/1-7/29/2013   Praying for Missionaries & Evangelists and their Personal Devotion Time

Pray for time of personal devotion.  As Christians we need to spend time in the Word of God and with our LORD every day.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who are on the front lines and on the field that you would give them the heart, desire and time to prioritize their time in personal devotions.  Pray that the Lord would give them quiet time each day when they can meditate and be strengthened.

Week 12  7/29-8/3/2013  Praying for the families of Missionaries & Evangelists.  

Often times, missionaries and evangelists are required for the sake of the call to leave their families for periods of time to be on mission.  Please pray and ask God to provide for their families while they are absent.  Pray also that these men and women will easily adjust to their surroundings while they are away from their homes.    Mathew 28.

Week 13  8/4-8/10/13  Pray for the children and families of those who are ministering to the Body of Christ and for the Missionaries/Evangelists who are preaching the gospel to men, women, boys and girls on the field.   The enemy knows that attacking the missionary/pastor’s family is an effective way of distracting or interfering with the work.  

Job 1:10, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Peter 4:11, Psalm 103:5

1 Peter 4:8

King James Version (KJV)

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:11

King James Version (KJV)

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Related articles

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

Contending for the faith

Contending for the faith

I witnessed personally the identity of Jesus being redefined during an ecumenical meeting held at a local Mosque here in Toledo. The local newspaper announced a Universalist meeting of all faiths to gather together down the street from my home in an Islamic temple. I had been concerned or troubled in my Spirit regarding the subtle infiltration of people of the Muslim faith buying up businesses and property in my community. I am quite aware of a technique used by Islam referred to as a silent Jihad.  This is a technique in which Islam advances its teachings through assimilation. Once they become dominate, then Islamic leaders petition the American Government to allow implementation of Sharia Law within their communities.

S. Michael writes in Dare To Explore, “We also have an obligation to protect our children and grandchildren from the westernized version of Islam which tries deceptively, to present a friendly and peaceful Islam. Muslims have a mission to Islamize the whole world because they believe that Islam is the only true religion. Knowledge about Islam and its true agenda sets us free from our fears and protects us from these false teachings.”   Within the past couple of years a once hidden mosque in the inner city recently placed Arabic writings on the outside of its building. Many Americans are unaware that whenever a mosque is established in a community, that neighborhood or city is claimed for Allah and Muslim governance.

This particular meeting was comprised of various pastors, imams, and church goers from various congregations. The purpose was to discuss whether or not Muslims and Christians served the same God. The assembly or service began with a prayer in Arabic which was later translated into English for non-Arabic speaking people to understand.  The format consisted of two presentations, one from a local United Church of Christ pastor, and the other from the temple Imam. Shockingly, each speaker began and concluded their messages by denouncing the Deity and ministry of Christ.

The pastor of the UCC church gave an inaccurate summary of the origin of the church and misrepresented her relationship to and with Muslims over the centuries. For over an hour, this individual attacked and denounced Christianity by associating the body of Christ with the  activities of the apostate Catholic Church.  Those in attendance agreed with and applauded his condemnation of Christ, and his exaltation of Islam. Likewise, the Imam indicated his disdain for the Church, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.  He also offered praise for Mohammad, the founder of Islam.

After two hours of lies, heresy, and rhetoric, the opportunity to address the panel (through the use of index cards) was presented.  Audience members were directed to submit their written questions to the panel and they would then respond. However, my evangelism partner (Jared) and I were no longer able to contain our outrage regarding the denunciation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we spoke out immediately against the biased proceedings. Our first step was to address their efforts to deceive the people and to present what Scripture teaches is the true identity of Christ. I read a few verses aloud from chapter one of the book of Colossians where the apostle Paul records that Jesus is not a created being but the Creator.

A multitude of corrections were necessary in light of the plethora of lies perpetuated by both men.  Among these fallacies were such declarations as:

  • Jesus is not God but only a prophet;
  • Incarnation does not refer to God but to man;
  • Mohammed is referred to in the Bible as the Holy Spirit (John 17)
  • The prophet to come mentioned in Deut 18 is Mohammad;
  • Jihad means struggle, not the killing of infidels and Jews;
  • Infidels is not mentioned in the Arabic Quran, only in bad English translations;
  • Jesus’ purpose for coming was not to redeem mankind but to illustrate how humans are to live;
  • There is no original sin;
  • Catholicism and Christianity are the same and responsible for the inquisition;
  • The Bible is corrupt and the Quran is accurate;
  • Jesus’ words are only in red letters, etc.

The atmosphere was energized by our direct confrontation or rebuke of those enabling this masquerade and subterfuge. Even so, the gospel was clearly presented in the midst of this gathering and the myths about Christ were countered with Truth.

I was informed a day later by Jared that his friend from Nigeria stated, “If that would have occurred in Nigeria, you would have gone in but not come out.” He knows first-hand that Christians are dying for their faith in Nigeria.  I suggest that more believers witness to Muslims while they can still express their right to free speech and religion.

The evening concluded with one-on-one discussions with the Mosque’s Imam, Muslim women, church leaders, and other associates of this ecumenical agenda. Many of them arguing against our message and denying the teachings of the Quran, especially the sixth unwritten pillar of Jihad.  My purpose for going was to expose the lies of the enemy and to attempt to present biblical truths to those being deceived. In addition, we are instructed in the Bible, “to contend earnestly for the faith” and “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Stephen was stoned; Paul was beaten, plus left for dead; and Jesus Christ our Lord was crucified for exposing heresy.

In America, believers are currently protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution. However, I believe that our activities will eventually lead to imprisonment for what will be labeled as hate speech. Therefore, believers must be adamant about preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity.  We must be willing to experience minor suffering including that of ridicule and criticism.

What Think Ye of Christ?

Contending for the faith

Contending for the faith

I witnessed personally the identity of Jesus being redefined during an ecumenical meeting held at a local Mosque here in Toledo. The local newspaper announced a Universalist meeting of all faiths to gather together down the street from my home in an Islamic temple. I had been concerned or troubled in my Spirit regarding the subtle infiltration of people of the Muslim faith buying up businesses and property in my community. I am quite aware of a technique used by Islam referred to as a silent Jihad.  This is a technique in which Islam advances its teachings through assimilation. Once they become dominate, then Islamic leaders petition the American Government to allow implementation of Sharia Law within their communities.

 

S. Michael writes in Dare To Explore, “We also have an obligation to protect our children and grandchildren from the westernized version of Islam which tries deceptively, to present a friendly and peaceful Islam. Muslims have a mission to Islamize the whole world because they believe that Islam is the only true religion. Knowledge about Islam and its true agenda sets us free from our fears and protects us from these false teachings.”   Within the past couple of years a once hidden mosque in the inner city recently placed Arabic writings on the outside of its building. Many Americans are unaware that whenever a mosque is established in a community, that neighborhood or city is claimed for Allah and Muslim governance.

 

This particular meeting was comprised of various pastors, imams, and church goers from various congregations. The purpose was to discuss whether or not Muslims and Christians served the same God. The assembly or service began with a prayer in Arabic which was later translated into English for non-Arabic speaking people to understand.  The format consisted of two presentations, one from a local United Church of Christ pastor, and the other from the temple Imam. Shockingly, each speaker began and concluded their messages by denouncing the Deity and ministry of Christ.

 

The pastor of the UCC church gave an inaccurate summary of the origin of the church and misrepresented her relationship to and with Muslims over the centuries. For over an hour, this individual attacked and denounced Christianity by associating the body of Christ with the  activities of the apostate Catholic Church.  Those in attendance agreed with and applauded his condemnation of Christ, and his exaltation of Islam. Likewise, the Imam indicated his disdain for the Church, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.  He also offered praise for Mohammad, the founder of Islam.

 

After two hours of lies, heresy, and rhetoric, the opportunity to address the panel (through the use of index cards) was presented.  Audience members were directed to submit their written questions to the panel and they would then respond. However, my evangelism partner (Jared) and I were no longer able to contain our outrage regarding the denunciation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we spoke out immediately against the biased proceedings. Our first step was to address their efforts to deceive the people and to present what Scripture teaches is the true identity of Christ. I read a few verses aloud from chapter one of the book of Colossians where the apostle Paul records that Jesus is not a created being but the Creator.

 

A multitude of corrections were necessary in light of the plethora of lies perpetuated by both men.  Among these fallacies were such declarations as:

  • Jesus is not God but only a prophet;
  • Incarnation does not refer to God but to man;
  • Mohammed is referred to in the Bible as the Holy Spirit (John 17)
  • The prophet to come mentioned in Deut 18 is Mohammad;
  • Jihad means struggle, not the killing of infidels and Jews;
  • Infidels is not mentioned in the Arabic Quran, only in bad English translations;
  • Jesus’ purpose for coming was not to redeem mankind but to illustrate how humans are to live;
  • There is no original sin;
  • Catholicism and Christianity are the same and responsible for the inquisition;
  • The Bible is corrupt and the Quran is accurate;
  • Jesus’ words are only in red letters, etc.

The atmosphere was energized by our direct confrontation or rebuke of those enabling this masquerade and subterfuge. Even so, the gospel was clearly presented in the midst of this gathering and the myths about Christ were countered with Truth.

I was informed a day later by Jared that his friend from Nigeria stated, “If that would have occurred in Nigeria, you would have gone in but not come out.” He knows first-hand that Christians are dying for their faith in Nigeria.  I suggest that more believers witness to Muslims while they can still express their right to free speech and religion.

The evening concluded with one-on-one discussions with the Mosque’s Imam, Muslim women, church leaders, and other associates of this ecumenical agenda. Many of them arguing against our message and denying the teachings of the Quran, especially the sixth unwritten pillar of Jihad.  My purpose for going was to expose the lies of the enemy and to attempt to present biblical truths to those being deceived. In addition, we are instructed in the Bible, “to contend earnestly for the faith” and “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Stephen was stoned; Paul was beaten, plus left for dead; and Jesus Christ our Lord was crucified for exposing heresy.

 

In America, believers are currently protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution. However, I believe that our activities will eventually lead to imprisonment for what will be labeled as hate speech. Therefore, believers must be adamant about preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity.  We must be willing to experience minor suffering including that of ridicule and criticism.