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   ENDTIME WITNESSING : Winning The Sheep And Waging
The Warfare



Copyright 1994 - 2011 Endtime Prophecy Net

Published On : November 2, 1997

Last Updated : January 3, 2009



In the Old Testament we are told that a time would come in
Israel when there would be a spiritual famine for hearing
the words of God:

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send
a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst
for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:" (Amos 8:11)

It seems likely that the above prophecy probably had a
partial fulfillment during the several hundred years prior
to Christ's first arrival on Earth. During that time,
following the written prophecies of Malachi, the Lord
stopped the mouths of His Prophets due to the fact that the
spiritual Elders of Israel had hardened their hearts and
refused correction. A typical utterance from the mouth of
the Prophet Jeremiah prior to the Babylonian invasion was:

"Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but
hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers."
(Jeremiah 7:26)

As the old adage goes, if there is one thing we learn from
history, it is that we never learn from history. We humans
have a tendency for repeating our errors. In reading the New
Testament, we discover that the same spiritual conditions
which existed in Israel several thousands of years ago, were
prophesied to likewise exist in these current end of years.
Sadly, these conditions not only exist within Israel, but
rather are spread the world over. Even within Christendom
there are some who have either fallen away from the True
Faith, or else who have embraced doctrines which are clearly
in contradiction to the Holy Scriptures. This falling away
from The Truth is referred to as the Apostasy being as it is
derived from the Greek word 'apostasia'. The Apostle Paul
tells us exactly how bad conditions will be just prior to
the Second Coming of the Lord:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

In the Gospel of John, Jesus emphasized to His First
Disciples that the harvest of souls was not just some future
event that they should look forward to, but rather that it
is something which is going on all the time, all around us:

"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh
harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look
on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."
(John 4:35)

This verse still applies today, and probably even moreso
since there are many more people in the world. A new
generation of souls is constantly being born which needs to
be reached with the Gospel. In thinking about this harvest,
the spiritual condition of the world today, some of the
problems we encounter as Christian witnesses, etc., I
decided to put together the following list of tips and
verses based on my own experiences over the years. I hope
this list will assist you in your personal ministry for the
Lord as well. I do want to suggest that, time permitting,
you endeavor to read the verses surrounding those listed
here. In some cases they were extractd from a conversation
which dealt with another subject. I felt their spiritual
significance was relevant to the topic of this article so
have presented them thusly. This list of tips and verses is
by no means complete, but it should answer some of your
common questions regarding witnessing and avoiding some of
the pitfalls associated with it.

GENERAL TIPS AND VERSES ON WITNESSING:
-------------------------------------

One of the first questions one might ask is, 'Well, where
and when are we supposed to witness? As the following verses
will show, we should do it anywhere and anytime that we have
an opportunity to do so. Sadly, with so many international,
national and local laws being passed restricting our
proselytizing activities, it is becoming increasingly more
difficult for us to let our lights freely shine; but the
Lord can still open doors if we are willing and able. As
Jesus said:

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
(Matthew 5:16)

As far as the witnessing methods to use, that is entirely up
to your personal faith, and how you feel led by the Lord. Do
whatever works. Do whatever bears fruit. Visit parks and
other public places where people gather, go door-to-door,
pass out tracts, sing songs on a street corner, start a
newsletter, begin a Christian youth club, use your artistic
abilities to uplift the Lord. The way to witness all depends
on your personal talents and motivations. Personally, I
don't do nearly as much public witnessing as I used to do
when I was a young single Christian. I am now more dedicated
to trying to help others through my writing ministry which
reaches people the world over. I am also training my family
to carry on the Lord's work. As Paul tells us in his epistle
to Timothy:

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many
witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall
be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2)

In addition, I have made it a regular practice that when I
go out in public, I carry a plastic folder in my back pocket
full of Gospel tracts which I created on my computer. They
contain a simple Salvation message plus my mailing address,
my BBS phone number, and my webpage URL. I pass them out at
stores, at bus stops, while walking on the street, etc. When
I am really bold, I might even pass a few out inside the
devil's strongholds like government buildings. I do advise
caution in doing something like this though. You don't want
to cut your ministry short by doing something foolish. As
James wrote in his Epistle:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be
given him." (James 1:5)

Some folks argue that passing out Gospel tracts isn't as
effective a means of witnessing because you really can't get
into a deep conversation with a person that way. This is
indeed true, although there have been occasions where I have
met extremely hungry sheep this way and have spent hours
answering their questions and sharing the Scriptures with
them. What it really boils down to is being Spirit-led so
that when the Lord does send that special sheep your way,
you are in tune enough to recognize the Lord's setup and
feed His sheep accordingly. On the other hand, sometimes
extended witnessing can just be a works trip or a pride
trip. Some people are just interested in showing off their
spirituality or how many Bible verses they know. This is not
true witnessing; this is vainglorying. It is exactly what
the Scribes and Pharisees were doing in Jesus' day:

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites
are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in
the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward."
(Matthew 6:5)

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in
lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than
themselves." (Philippians 2:3)

Part of being a good witness is being a good listener. In
this day and age, it seems many of us have the bad habit of
being rude and cutting in when another person is talking.
Sometimes, in our own zeal to witness, or possibly because
of our spiritual pride, all we want to do is rattle off a
list of verses we have memorized, or which we might have
marked in our Bibles. There are occasions where people
really feel a need to talk to us; but instead of allowing
them to do that, we just push our program across on them. In
witnessing, in order to be able to help someone, we have to
know where they are coming from first. Sometimes it can be
difficult to sit patiently while a person pours their heart
out to us, but sometimes this is what we are called to do:

"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is
folly and shame unto him." (Proverbs 18:13)

Once we have heard them out, then we must rely, not upon our
own strength or carnal wisdom, but upon God's Spirit to give
us the answers they need. We must know our Bibles so that we
can give them God's answers and not our own, in a spirit of
meekness and love:

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
(1 Peter 3:15)

What we need to remember is that we are to go in wisdom and
in love, and NOT in a self-righteous condescending attitude.
That is the quickest way to ruin an effective witness. If a
person feels you are looking down on them, they will just
harden their hearts and quickly classify you as 'just
another one of those hard-selling Bible thumpers'. Remember,
we are all sinners. We are all saved by the grace of God
and not because of something that we did to deserve it:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
(Romans 3:23)

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;" (Titus 3:5)

Jesus said over and over again that we would be known by our
love; not only by our love towards each other, but by our
love towards lost souls as well:

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye
have love one to another." (John 13:35)

"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his
sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:6)

"So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon,
son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto
him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto
him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time,
Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea,
Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed
my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of
Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said
unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto
him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love
thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." (John 21:15-17)

"Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three
years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with
tears." (Acts 20:31)

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the
greatest of these is charity." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Another important thing to remember is that we cannot lead a
single person to the Lord no matter how much talking we do.
All of our talking will accomplish nothing if the Lord's
Spirit isn't behind it. In fact, some folks will go along
with you and pray a prayer, or whatever your witnessing
technique happens to be, just to shut you up or to get rid
of you, even if they really don't believe in what they are
doing. If you happen to go door-to-door, some will even give
you a buck (dollar) just to get you out of their face so
they can get back to whatever they were doing. We are simply
called to be faithful messenger boys and girls:

"Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found
faithful." (1 Corinthians 4:2)

Instead of working so hard in our own strength to bring
someone to Christ, maybe some of us need to learn to trust
the Lord more. After all, He is the One who brings the
fruit, not us. Tract-passing is kind of like a machine gun
type witnessing. You really do have to trust the Lord to
bear the fruit. In fact, you may never even see the fruit.
You might plant the seed, and someone else will come along
later and reap the harvest. In tract-passing you fire into
the enemy's territory hoping that some of your tracts will
find receptive hearts. You just never know where those
tracts might end up. Some will surely end up in the trash
can, or along a street curb; (and I hope you do take the
time to pick them up), but you might give one to someone who
might read it and then leave it in a place where another
person will find and read it. Maybe that first person will
ignore its contents, but that second person will accept the
Lord. Who knows, you might even give one to somebody who
will take it home and twenty members of their family might
end up reading it and accepting the Lord. Consider what
Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew:

"But he that received seed into the good ground is he that
heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth
fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty,
some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)

So never under-estimate the power of the written word. It
might go many places where you never can and accompish
things which you never could:

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it
shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that
which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I
sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

In a way, tract-passing is a more quiet more humble means of
witnessing compared to being a fiery pulpit preacher or TV
evangelist. There is no glory in it. But who cares? Our
rewards are in Heaven anyway, right? That's what Jesus said:

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and
steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not
break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there
will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

Having now shared all of the above, here are some general
verses concerning witnessing:

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it
after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight;
for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If
the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the
earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the
north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall
be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that
regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not
what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in
the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not
the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy
seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou
knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or
whether they both shall be alike good."
(Ecclesiastes 11:1-6)

"Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out
devils: freely ye have received, freely give."
(Matthew 10:8)

"He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good
seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good
seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the
children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the
devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers
are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and
burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall
gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them
which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of
fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then
shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of
their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
(Matthew 13:37-43)

"I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me
not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled." (Mark 14:49)

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the
highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my
house may be filled." (Luke 14:23)

"And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit
unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that
reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying
true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap
that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and
ye are entered into their labours." (John 4:36-38)

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your
fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is
come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

"And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat
with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and
having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the
church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:46-47)

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they
marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had
been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)

"And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased
not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." (Acts 5:42)

"And so were the churches established in the faith, and
increased in number daily." (Acts 16:5)

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that
they received the word with all readiness of mind, and
searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were
so." (Acts 17:11)

"Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and
with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them
that met with him." (Acts 17:17)

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things which are mighty;"
(1 Corinthians 1:27)

"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he
that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that
planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall
receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we
are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye
are God's building." (1 Corinthians 3:6-9)

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season;
reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and
doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day;
lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of
sin." (Hebrews 3:13)

TO WHOM SHALL WE GO?
-------------------

Having now discussed witnessing in general, let's take a
look at some verses which explain exactly who we are to try
to reach with the Gospel. As will be seen by the following
verses, we are to seek out the lost, those who are hungry
for The Truth. One thing I have learned over the years is
that you cannot shove the Gospel down the throat of someone
who doesn't want to hear it. As with Pharaoh of Egypt, the
more you try to convince them, the harder and more
rebellious they will become. As long as a person thinks they
are alright, as long as they think they are doing okay and
don't need the Lord, you are just wasting your time on them.
Until they realize their sinful condition and their need for
a Savior, all the preaching in the world is not going to
make a bit of difference. The Lord has His time for
everyone. Salvation is a matter of free choice. Only in rare
instances has the Lord ever strongly intervened in someone's
life. One good example would be the Apostle Paul who was a
Christian hater until the Lord knocked him off of his horse
and blinded him for three days while on the road to
Damascus. Normally speaking however, we are NOT to waste our
time with the goats. There are plenty of lost hungry sheep
out there. As a general rule, as long as someone is still
listening, there is hope. It is when they stop listening,
start arguing, turn away, or close the door, that it is time
to bring your witness to a close. Here are some verses on
the matter:

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6)

"But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy,
and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance." (Matthew 9:13)

"But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
(Matthew 10:6)

"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto
the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
(Matthew 15:24)

"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How
think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be
gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and
goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone
astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you,
he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine
which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your
Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones
should perish." (Matthew 18:11-14)

"When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are
whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick:
I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." (Mark 2:17)

"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance." (Luke 5:32)

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of
them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness,
and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when
he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and
neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have
found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise
joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more
than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no
repentance." (Luke 15:4-7)

"Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of
the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."
(Luke 15:10)

"For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost,
and is found. And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:24)

"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in
themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee,
and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus
with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men
are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this
publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all
that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would
not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon
his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell
you, this man went down to his house justified rather than
the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be
abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
(Luke 18:9-14)

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
was lost." (Luke 19:10)

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow
me:" (John 10:27)

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the
beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst
of the fountain of the water of life freely."
(Revelation 21:6)

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
(Revelation 22:17)

WE ARE IN A SPIRITUAL BATTLE FOR LOST SOULS:
-------------------------------------------

One very important point which we all need to remember is
that we are involved in a spiritual warfare:

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
places." (Ephesians 6:12)

When you are out there witnessing, you are on the
battlefield invading the Devil's territory, and he doesn't
like it one bit! The minute you stick your head out of the
ditch, he is going to start firing, so you need to make sure
you are properly prepared for battle:

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye
may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done
all, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13)

[Please read the entire chapter of Ephesians six when you
have time.]

Being as we are in a spiritual warfare, we need to choose
our battles carefully. Don't start a battle unless you are
sure you can win it, or at least that you are prepared to
suffer the consequences if you lose it. This is precisely
the counsel Jesus gave when He said:

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not
down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have
sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the
foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it
begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was
not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against
another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether
he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against
him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a
great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth
conditions of peace." (Luke 14:28-32)

Personally. I have been harassed by the police, by store
owners or managers, by foreign governments, by communists,
by atheists, by close-minded church religionists, and more.
We are not to compromise our message, but sometimes it is
wise to tread a little lighter so we can last a little
longer in a certain witnessing field before the enemies of
Christ finally give us the boot or make it impossible for us
to continue our witness. Choose your battles wisely. Know
when it is time to fight, when it is time to exercise
patience, and when it is time to quit and go elsewhere. This
is exactly what Jesus did. On one occasion, after having
performed the miracle of the fishes and the loaves, they
wanted to make Him their king, so He departed from them:

"When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and
take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again
into a mountain himself alone." (John 6:15)

On another occasion, after He preached at the synagogue in
Nazareth, they attempted to throw Him over the edge of a
hill:

"And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these
things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him
out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill
whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down
headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his
way," (Luke 4:28-30)

Paul likewise had a nighttime escape in a basket in the book
of Acts when he had to flee from Damascus:

"And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took
counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of
Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by
the wall in a basket." (Acts 9:23-25)

"In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the
city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to
apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let
down by the wall, and escaped his hands."
(2 Corinthians 11:32-33)

These are just a few examples of the harrowing incidents
experienced by the Lord and His followers. The Old Testament
is full of them as is the book of Acts. As Jesus said, we
need to learn to count the cost and make sure we can
complete the battle before we start it.

As I said previously, we must be led by the Spirit. Don't
waste your time on the goats, but rather look for those who
are truly spiritually hungry. The Devil's crowd just loves
to waste our time in pointless arguing while God's true
sheep pass us by un noticed. Try not to become upset with
those who oppose you in the flesh. Pity them for their
ignorance and realize that they are just doing their
master's bidding. The best you can do is to pray that the
Lord will work on their hearts. Commit them to the Lord.
Afer all, He knows how to deal with them; and sometimes He
can deal rather hard with a person. Sometimes it may take
years, but the Lord may eventually get through to them. As I
have explained in other articles, it really comes down to
personal choice. In this Age of Grace, God will not force
anyone to believe if they don't want to. While it is
sometimes hard for us, remember one of Jesus' final
statements:

"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not
what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots."
(Luke 23:34)

Another point we ought to remember is that it is not
important if we win every single battle, as long as we are
winning the war; and we are winning it because Jesus has
made sure of that:

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might
have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be
of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and
this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our
faith." (1 John 5:4)

We are bound to face casualties, especially as things
continue to get darker in this current world. Consider that
most of the original Apostles suffered martyr's deaths.
Consider also Stephen, Paul and others. None of us knows
what the Lord has in store for us in the days ahead. Some of
us may be called to give our lives as a witness for the
Lord. There are plenty of verses to support this, such as:

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not
greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will
also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will
keep yours also." (John 15:20)

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he
that endureth to the end shall be saved." (Matthew 10:22)

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall
kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's
sake." (Matthew 24:9)

"And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for
his name." (Acts 5:41)

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall
suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12)

We need to remember though that we are not to purposely go
out looking for trouble. Believe me, if you are a faithful
witness, trouble will find you soon enough. Sometimes it is
better to back down rather than face persecution and
possibly even lose your freedom to witness. He who fights
and runs away, lives to fight another day. To fight back may
just be human pride. If they call you a coward, who cares?
Another day, another battle. Don't go out of your way to be
a martyr. The Lord needs each of us here as long as
possible. If you do something stupid to cut short your
ministry, you might miss people who you were supposed to
reach, and the Lord just might have to send along someone
else to finish the job for you.

On the other hand, one thing we don't want to do is to
compromise The Truth in order to save our own necks or our
reputations. As Paul told the servants, we are to be
God-pleasers and not man-pleasers:

"Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of
Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;"
(Ephesians 6:6)

In his letter to the Romans, Paul also said in part:

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that
good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
(Romans 12:2)

We are to be as courteous as possible; we are to try to obey
and respect man's laws as much as possible, (at least as
long as they do not conflict with God's laws); however, we
are not to water down the Message so as to appear nice, or
so as to try to blend in and be accepted. We are in a
spiritual warfare and NOT in a popularity contest as some
modern churches seem to think we are. The Apostle Paul said
a number of things on both ends of the spectrum which show
the paradoxical nature of our Ministry of Truth:

"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself
servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the
Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them
that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain
them that are under the law; To them that are without law,
as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the
law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I
am made all things to all men, that I might by all means
save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might
be partaker thereof with you." (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do
all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the
Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as
I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit,
but the profit of many, that they may be saved."
(1 Corinthians 10:31-33)

Basically, Paul taught that we should do all we can to try
to reach the lost, go the extra mile with them so-to-speak.
In spite of this, look at what he also says:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to
confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base
things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God
chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought
things that are:" (1 Corinthians 1:27-28)

"We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ;
we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we
are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger,
and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no
certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own
hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer
it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of
the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this
day." (1 Corinthians 4:10-13)

As can be seen, even though we give our lives daily to reach
the lost, ultimately, just like Jesus, we are and will be
looked down upon and despised. Some of us may eventually be
persecuted, and possibly even killed by those we are seeking
to save as shown in previous verses.

WHO WE SHOULD AVOID OR BE WARY OF:
---------------------------------

Realizing then that we are involved in a spiritual warfare,
it is good to know who our enemies are. Of course, we know
that Satan is our primary spiritual enemy:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your
father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and
abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a
liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not
ignorant of his devices." (2 Corinthians 2:11)

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to
stand against the wiles of the devil." (Ephesians 6:11)

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as
a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
(1 Peter 5:8)

"Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil
he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against
him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."
(Jude 1:9)

If Satan ran around in a red suit with a pitchfork in his
hand, he'd be easy to identify; but that is not the way it
works. He does not normally confront us in face to face
battle. Instead, he uses his human emissaries. It is
important to realize that these enemies are found not just
outside of Christianity, but inside of our very fellowship
as well; and these can be the most dangerous as they are the
most deceptive. Some of them pose as sheep when in fact they
are wolves and perverters of The Truth. Consider the
following verses:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
(Matthew 7:15)

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:
be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
(Matthew 10:16)

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and
shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
(Matthew 24:24)

"And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his
sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his
right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King
say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my
Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world... Then shall he say also unto them
on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into
everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"
(Matthew 25:32-34,41)

"Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before
me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear
them." (John 10:7-8)

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous
wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of
your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29-30)

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as
God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
(Romans 1:21)

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their
knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do
those things which are not convenient;" (Romans 1:28)

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also
be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end
shall be according to their works."
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye
henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of
their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being
alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is
in them, because of the blindness of their heart:"
(Ephesians 4:17-18)

"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the
concision." (Philippians 3:2)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in
hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
(1 Timothy 4:1-2)

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall
come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection,
trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce,
despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady,
highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep
into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins,
led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to
come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and
Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth:
men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith."
(2 Timothy 3:1-8)

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to
themselves teachers, having itching ears;"
(2 Timothy 4:3)

"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny
him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good
work reprobate." (Titus 1:16)

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even
as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily
shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that
bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of
whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."
(2 Peter 2:1-2)

"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days
scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where
is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning
of the creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)

"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard
that antichrist shall come, even now are there many
antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They
went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had
been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but
they went out, that they might be made manifest that they
were not all of us." (1 John 2:18-19)

"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?
He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
(1 John 2:22)

"And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and
even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little
children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that
is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the
world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world
heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us;
he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the
spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (1 John 4:3-6)

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the
common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you,
and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the
faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there
are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old
ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the
grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only
Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." (Jude 1:3-4)

"But these speak evil of those things which they know not:
but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those
things they corrupt themselves." (Jude 1:10)

"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast
with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are
without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit
withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the
roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;
wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of
darkness for ever." (Jude 1:12-13)

"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own
lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having
men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But,
beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of
the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told
you there should be mockers in the last time, who should
walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who
separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
(Jude 1:16-19)

"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers,
and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and
maketh a lie." (Revelation 22:15)

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ERRANT AND/OR UNREPENTANT:
----------------------------------------------

Exactly how are we to deal with those who err in The Way, or
who those who creep into our midst preaching another Gospel,
or those who continue to resist the Holy Ghost despite
repeated attempts to help them see the Light? The Bible is
very clear on this matter. Here are some verses to assist
you should you ever find yourself in such a situation:

"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast
ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under
their feet, and turn again and rend you." (Matthew 7:6)

"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and
tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall
hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not
hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the
mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it
unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let
him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I
say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be
bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two
of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they
shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is
in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in
my name, there am I in the midst of them."
(Matthew 18:15-20)

"For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit,
have judged already, as though I were present, concerning
him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit,
with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an
one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the
spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
(1 Corinthians 5:3-5)

"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema
Maranatha." (1 Corinthians 16:22) [anathema = accursed]

"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of
two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
(2 Corinthians 13:1)

"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you,
let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again,
If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye
have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9)

"Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two
or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that
others also may fear." (1 Timothy 5:19-20)

"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that
he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to
convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain
talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses,
teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's
sake." (Titus 1:9-11)

"This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that
they may be sound in the faith;" (Titus 1:13)

"But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and
contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are
unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the
first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is
such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself."
(Titus 3:9-11)

"Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one
convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the
sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from
death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." (James 5:19-20)

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess
not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a
deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose
not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive
a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in
the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the
doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If
there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil
deeds." (2 John 1:7-11)

"And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the
ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:18)

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear
them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:47)

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
God...For our God is a consuming fire."
(Hebrews 10:31, 12:29)

CONCLUSION:
----------

This has indeed been a rewarding study in God's Word for me
personally. I pray that you too will find wise counsel in
the Scriptures I have shared in this article. May God bless
you richly as you continue to share your spiritual wealth
with those in your area of the world. Let's all hope that
one day soon we will hear:

"...Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been
faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many
things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
(Matthew 25:23)

It won't be long!

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