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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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.

Apologetics Evangelism Conference

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The Importance of a Biblical Worldview

One of the key components to thinking biblically and living out your life as a dedicated and committed Christian is the development of a Bible-based worldview. Your worldview, or the lens through which you view your world and everything in it, ultimately determines your choices about who God is, who you are and how you will live out your time here on earth.

World Religion Symbols

World Religion Symbols

In their book, Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?, authors John Hay and David Webb point out that ‘when a particular worldview is held by a large number of people, it becomes highly influential, swaying many through media, entertainment, education, and corporate behavior.”

For Christians who are actively involved in missions and evangelism, it is very important that we understand the subject of worldview. The more widely held worldviews of the twenty-first century include Secular Humanism, Socialism, Marxism, New Age, Post-Modernism, Islam and Christianity.

As you interact with others it is important to assess their worldview so that you might be able to understand more about what they perceive to be true. This is another reason why we must be serious students of the emerging global village that is encompassing North America and the world. As Christians we are being faced with the critical questions of both How do we know the truth and in light of that truth, How must we live our lives in relation to that truth?

The truth that Jesus Christ is both Creator, Savior and Lord is foundational to the professing Christian. This is a point that the Bible clearly supports and that the Evangelist/Apologist must drive home to the unbeliever. We must remember as we go that God is Truth and that He reveals His truth to people. We must continue to pray that the Seed of the Word of God find fertile soil in the hearts of men and women and that the truth of Scripture which chronicles the Christ as the One who Was and Is and Is to Come be preached to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Maranatha!

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Modern Methodologies and Evangelism

One thing that I have learned from years of experience and through the study of  Biblical patterns laid out for us by both Jesus and the Apostles is

that a clear gospel presentation must
precede true saving faith.

The methods and programs developed by evangelists in order to
communicate God’s Word have certainly changed throughout the centuries but our immutable God’s desire  to save lost people has and will remain the same. Read more of this post

Evangelism Encounters

The Great Commission was given by God to the church in order that unbelievers might be given the opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved. In order for the lost to hear then, believers must go into the world and preach. Scripture states, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? Evangelize4Life missions corp. stresses street witnessing and one-on-one engagements as one of our core principles of ministry. We believe this is important due to the fact that most lost people do not attend church. Therefore, I have established the habit of setting aside one day a week to share the gospel in the market place. It was during one such evangelismencounter that I had the opportunity to witness to a young man walking down the street on his way home from work.  The Lord had already been working in his heart because he was willing and ready to discuss eternity having had a friend murdered earlier in the week.

 

The Father Draws (John 6:44) and the evangelist shares the gospel

“Deliver those who are being taken away to death. And those who are staggering to the slaughter, Oh hold them back.” Proverbs 24:11

Marvin (not his real name) has lived a similar life of immorality, drug abuse and drug dealing as had his friend.  He realizes that he too will die one day.  This was a divine encounter as the Lord had spoken to him about his own eternity on that very day as he walked toward home.

I presented the gospel of Jesus Christ to Marvin, using the Bible as well as gospel tracts, and upon the hearing of God’s Word, this young man soon realized that he was destined for hell. His immoral life confirmed that he was a candidate for the lake of fire if judged by God that day. He was encouraged to cry out to God and ask for His forgiveness from the Father God, through His Son Jesus Christ.

Within a couple of days of our meeting, Marvin separated from his live in girlfriend and moved back home until he could rent his own apartment. Over the past couple of months, he has continued to read scripture and to pursue righteousness. Sadly, his walk with Christ has been negatively influenced by both his older and younger brothers with whom he is now living. It was during a follow up visit that I encouraged this young man to shun evil by turning away from marijuana use and be filled with the Spirit. Neil T. Anderson in his book titled The Bondage Breaker writes:

“Christ has set you free through His victory over sin and death on the cross. But if you have failed to stand firm in the faith or you have willfully sinned, it is your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to maintain a right relationship with Him. Your eternal destiny is not at stake, but your daily victory is.” (Anderson, 199)

Jesus has the power to set men free from the bondage of sin.  Scripture reveals men, women, and children being delivered from demons, sickness, physical afflictions, etc. through faith in Him. The apostle John writes, “If therefore the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) This young man must learn that sanctification (to make holy) is necessary in order to become like Christ. Elwell writes, “Persons and things devoted to his use must be ritually clean, not merely set apart by taboo, decree, or tribal caste…the meaning of holiness is then worked out in philanthropy, love for God, clean living, compassion, commercial honesty, and love. (Elwell, 1051) Submission to God then gives believers the ability to resist the devil, causing him to flee.

Cover of "The Bondage Breaker (Walker Lar...

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Our Daily News

Evangelize4Life Daily Catch

Exalting, Equipping and Evangelizing Everyday

Check out our daily newspaper.  There are two editions, morning and evening, and we hope to be able to present you with world news that is relevant to the Christian evangelist.  You can sign up to receive a copy free of charge online at: Evangelize4Life Daily Catch.

An Invitation to Listen to Our Radio Program: Evangelize4Life with Steven Glover

Hello everyone,

Just a quick reminder to encourage you to listen or call in to my daily radio program. You can listen online, download as a podcast or call in using your telephone line. I address topics related to evangelism along with tips that might help believers reach the unsaved with the gospel of Jesus Christ. My blog radio (topical) program is archived, so you are able to hear any program at anytime.

The format includes a reflection on scripture, evangelism techniques, current news events, quotes from biblical scholars, and much more. Please tune in to the program, and if lead by His Spirit, write a word of encouragement or leave a suggestion for improving the program and/or my website.

Again, thank you for following Evangelize4life!

God Bless,

Steven Glover

 

Listen to internet radio with Evangelize4Life with Steven Glover on Blog Talk Radio

Why Evangelize?

Jesus said follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. (I will make you into men that can do it.)

The word evangelize is used 53 times in the New Testament.  Someone has well said:

  •  “Evangelism is the job of God.”
  •  ” Evangelism is the anguished cry of Jesus as He weeps over a doomed city.”
  •   Evangelism was the cry of Paul when he says, “I wish myself were accursed from Christ for my brother and my kinsman according to the flesh.
  •  ” Evangelism is the heart-winning plea of Moses who said, “Oh these people have sinned, yet now if Thou wilt forgive their sin, if not block me, I    pray  Thee, out of the book, which Thou has written.”
  • Evangelism was the cry of John Knox, who said, “Give me Scotland or I die.”
  •   It was the cry of Wesley who said, “The world is my parish.”
  • ” Evangelism is the job of parents in the night weeping over a lost son.”

Personal evangelism is God’s redemptive purpose to bring men to Christ. The first lifesaving crew ever gathered together is seen in Matthew 4. This is where Jesus Christ officially began His earthly ministry. He selected the right partners because He never intended to do it alone nor was it His intention to only evangelize from the pulpit. Read more of this post

New Season!

Liberty Champions!

May was a big month around the Glover home. My wife and I reached another milestone and I have now officially completed my Master’s Degree at Seminary receiving a MAR with an emphasis on Evangelism & Church Planting.

I began a talk radio program in May and it is my hope to be able to reach many people–including you– with needful information that is good for the equipping of the saints and the building up of the body of Christ. I will continue to deal with topics that are relevant to those interested in and involved in evangelism, street witnessing, preaching and door to door visitations.

I am looking forward to sharing many more lessons and resources with you as you endeavor to make a difference with God as you evangelize for life.

God Bless,

Steven