Marks of a Cult

Why are Baptists properly considered Christians, but Mormons are not? Why is the Jehovah’s Witness religion classified as an anti-Christian cult while Presbyterians, Wesleyans and Pentecostals are simply seen as denominations within the Christian faith? How does one differentiate between true Biblical Christianity and an aberrant religious movement? And just what are the marks of a cult? Watchman Fellowship, a great anti-cult ministry, states that there is an easy way to differentiate a cult from a church. The marks are as simple as add, subtract, multiply and divide. Add: Cults add to Scripture. The revelation of God provided in the Bible is never sufficient for a cult. Thus they must add to the written revelation of Scripture, usually with additional scriptures or with their own translation of the Bible. In this way we have books such as The Pearl of Great Price of the Mormons and the New World Translation of the Bible produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since the Bible claims exclusivity as the written revelation of God, we must see that other books, even if the followers of cults claim that they are equal to the Bible, must actually be over and above the Word of God. Subtract: Cults subtract from the person of Christ. Cults cannot tolerate the divinity and exclusivity of Jesus and thus usually reduce Him to being a created being. In some cases they make Jesus only a manifestation or mode of God. In either case, the role of Jesus as revealed in Scripture is diminished. Multiply: Cults multiply the requirements of salvation. Salvation, as it is presented in the Scriptures, is by God’s grace through faith alone. Cults continually add to the requirements of salvation, always adding human works as a necessary prerequisite to salvation. No cult teaches or endorses justification by faith alone. Thus all cults reject the very heart of the gospel. Divide: Cults divide the loyalty of believers. Each cult believes that it has exclusive revelation and understanding of God that ensures its followers are either exclusively God’s people or are somehow more blessed than others. Cults always seek to divide believers against each other based on the previous three marks. Thus cults are, by their very nature, divisive. Each one is proven to be true within the belief systems of several different cults including the Seventh Day Adventists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, The Moonies, and Oneness Pentecostals (or the Jesus-Only Movement).

Questions & Answers About Evangelism, The Bible, Missions, and Cults

Q In today’s world, how do I approach someone in public that I feel God has called me to witness to without alarming them? A It is always important to follow Jesus’ example. Pray and ask the Lord to soften their heart, and give you the wisdom and the words to speak; then follow Jesus’ example and gently move the conversation from the natural realm to the spiritual realm. Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit throughout the day is so important. When you daily make yourself open, available, and ready for the LORD to use, HE WILL! Remember, God’s not looking for ability, He’s looking for availability. He will supernaturally bring people across your path who need Jesus and you will see a side of GOD that you could never imagine (Psalm 37:23; Proverbs 5:21; 16:9; 20:24; 2 Chronicles 16:9). If you are observant, you will find that there are countless opportunities to share Jesus daily. A bee will fly from flower to flower until he finds nectar. When he finds it, he then goes deep into the flower. In the same manner, we will be moving from person to person, looking for open hearts. As you meet people throughout the day, you will be putting out little feelers in your conversation. If the person responds to the feelers, you have the nectar of an open heart! A perfect example of this can be seen in John chapter 4. Jesus started in the natural realm with the woman at the well, and then moved the conversation to the spiritual. When you meet someone, you might talk about the weather, kids, sports, school, their new job, etc. You might tell a joke as you gently move the conversation from the natural to the spiritual. For example: You might be at the park sitting by a person watching the kids play. You notice the person is laughing at the kids. You chuckle also as you say, “Kids sure are a blessing from the Lord.” The person responds back, “They sure are.” You have an open heart, so you continue to move the conversation along. You say, “Jane, I notice your kids are having such a great time. We’ve got a great kids program at our church and your kids would love it.” She says, “That’s amazing! My husband and I have been talking about how we need to start taking the kids to church.” You respond back, “Jane, we’d love to have you come! But Jane can I ask you another question, If you should die today…” It’s so simple! Be friendly, be transparent, be real, and be you! If they’re not interested, don’t feel bad. The Lord just hasn’t opened their heart yet, so move on to the next person. Remember, it’s God’s responsibility to draw and convict, it’s our responsibility to go and share the good news! Q How do you distance yourself from a scoffer in public after they learn of your desire to witness to them? A Proverbs 22:10 says, “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” It’s usually not a good idea to waste your time on a scorner. As you speak to them, pray and ask the Lord if He would have you to continue. He will show you! Sometimes a person might seem to be a scorner, but they have been deeply wounded in the past (possibly by a Christian). You can lovingly ask them questions to help diagnose where the pain is coming from. They cannot combat the love of Christ so let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how to answer every man (Colossians 4:6). If they continue to scorn, give them a salvation tract, pray for them, and look for someone else to share the Gospel with. Q As a pastor I find it difficult to motivate my congregation to share their faith. How can I teach them to want to do so? A Where the head goes the body follows. Evangelism is the cure for church boredom so put it on the front burner of the church. Jesus’ main priority in coming to this earth was to “seek and to save that which was lost.” It can no less be our priority. When the pastor consistently shares fresh witnessing and salvation stories from the pulpit, it ignites a fire in the church! You cannot expect the people to do what the pastor is not. The pastor should not be saying “Go get them”, but “Let’s go get them!” He must lead them by example and the sheep will follow. Also, it is imperative to have a consistent type of evangelism training where the flock is always encouraged and equipped to share the Gospel. This brings great excitement to the church! Q I try to reach children for Jesus and I wonder how to allay a parent’s fear of my presence with their child? A It’s always best to ask the parent if it would be alright if you could tell them an exciting story from the Bible. A great tool to use is the Wordless Book or the EvangeCube as it really captivates them and keeps their attention. When they see these, you usually won’t have to worry about the parents as the kids will be begging the parents to let you share. Also, if you’re in a house, NEVER be alone with a child in a room! ALWAYS be where the parent can see you. You always want to be above reproach; so be wise, exited, and loving and you will have the time of your life sharing the Gospel with these kids. One side note, don’t overlook the parents need of hearing the Gospel. Whenever I speak to a child and a parent at the same time, I’ll always primarily focus on the child; for Jesus said that a person has to have faith of a child to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Q How do I share Christ with the opposite sex without displaying the wrong image to those who may see us? A Again, be above reproach. Don’t put yourself into questionable situations that might look bad. Never go into a house alone, even if invited in. When sharing the Gospel, don’t ever put your hands on someone of the opposite sex (even if praying). Always look into their eyes and be careful of your eyes. As you share the Gospel, be very cordial, being conscience of their personal space. Q Our youth group suddenly wants to start neighborhood soul-winning outings. How can I, as their Sunday School teacher train them? A There are many easy tool you can use. Simple ABC tracts can be used; but it is best to property train and equip them in a simple plan like the Romans Road. Other tools like the EvangeCube or Wordless Book are excellent tools that the youth can easily use. Once they’re trained, select a good time every week to go out. Make it fun, exciting, and then let them share of their exciting stories when they come back. This will light a fire under the youth and could very easily start a revival in your church. Q As a retired pastor I have been approached by a small group of younger pastors to train them in evangelism. Can you train me to train them? A Absolutely! Not only can we, we would be honored to! We specialize in training pastors all over the globe and as these pastors are trained, they are then encouraged to train others (2 Timothy 2:2). Just contact us and we will be more than happy to put training materials into your hands and get you started. We also will be praying for you and are there to assist you in any way we can. Q My pastor has challenged me to put together a missions trip to an economically disadvantaged area of our state. None of us, myself included, feel we know enough about reaching the lost. Can you train us? A Yes! Yes! Yes! We train pastors and share the Gospel in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world and are very familiar how to do so. Contact us and we will get you equipped and ready! Q Is there a ‘right way’ to approach someone’s door without alarming them? A Yes! When going out to share the Gospel, it’s best to go in groups of no more than two. Jesus sent the 70 out in two’s in Luke Chapter 10. Any more than that can be overwhelming to the person on the other side of the door. Also, when approaching a house, don’t be talking, joking around, as this could bring a wrong impression of who you are and why you’re there. A good rule of thumb is, after you knock on the door or ring the doorbell, as soon as the person begins to open the door, immediately step back or step down a stair. This shows them that you are harmless and aren’t there for any ill purposes. Then smile, introduce yourself, tell them why you’re there and share Jesus with them. Q My 13-year old daughter wants to go on a mission’s trip overseas with her Life Group from our church. How and what do I pray for as a parent for her and their group? A Pray with and for them for open doors to share the Gospel; for God’s wisdom, anointing , and power; for safe travel; for good health; for many souls to be saved and ministered to, etc, etc. Remember, it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit that lives will be transformed (Zechariah 4:6) so, pray, pray, pray!   Are you always in need of questions you can use to strike up a conversation with a prospect? You are sitting next to someone on a plane, a bus, or almost anywhere and the Holy Spirit has just prompted you to talk to the person beside you about their Eternal Destiny. Here are some opening questions you can use that will not only start up a conversation but will help you lead them into questions about their salvation: OPENING QUESTIONS FOR SOUL-WINNING PROSPECTS.

What Are They?

Cult = “a group religious in nature which surrounds a leader, or a group which either denies or misinterprets essential biblical doctrines.”

Characteristic traits that can be found in cults as a whole

Cults will always:

1) Deify Man

They teach that man may become a god or is part of God. They often teach that man needs to become part of a certain organization or church to increase in knowledge and revelation. Someone (usually the leader of the organization) will say they are God or has the Christ Spirit in a greater way and will boldly proclaim that they are commissioned or appointed by GOD to be their leader.

2) Cults humanize GOD

They proclaim often that God’s nature or state must be understood to be true. If finite man cannot understand something about GOD then it is not true. By doing this, it elevates man’s mental ability to that of GOD.

3) Cults minimize the importance of the Bible.

Most cults use “anointed” information, books, magazines, or scriptures. These are believed to be just as or more important than the Bible itself. These materials are indispensable in understanding the Bible. Believe it or not, some cults actually discourage their members from reading the Bible alone. Some don’t even believe that the Bible is the Word of GOD. Other cults use the Bible with their own unique interpretation which deviates from Biblical Christianity.

4) Cults minimize or eliminate sin.

The true Biblical concept of sin is not taught and some cults actually eliminate sin altogether (such as Christian Science, mind science, new age groups). Biblical meanings are altered to their own personal interpretations.

5) Cults have a different way of salvation.

It is usually through works, or grace plus works. By the way, anytime you try to mix works with grace, it ceases to be grace. Romans 2: says, “

6) Cults have a different Jesus.

Virtually all cults deny the Deity of Jesus Christ. They teach that Jesus Christ is not GOD manifested in the flesh, but something less such as a created being, an angel, a prophet, an ascended master or just “a god”. Some cults even claim tht we can become the same as Jesus, changing the clear teaching of the Bible.

7) Cults have a different spirit.

Most cults teach that the Holy Spirit is no GOD but an impersonal force or energy that emanates from GOD to perform certain functions. It’s kind of like electricity flowing from your car battery to start your car. Jehovah Witnesses are a perfect example of this.

Cults believe that they are the only true church.

One mark of a cult that is the most common is their claim to be the only group or church ordained by GOD. They alone are the spokesman for GOD on earth today. GOD works only through their specific organization or church.


Watchman Fellowship, a great anti-cult ministry, states that there is an easy way to differentiate a cult from a church. The marks are as simple as add, subtract, multiply and divide.

Add: Cults add to Scripture. The revelation of God provided in the Bible is never sufficient for a cult. Thus they must add to the written revelation of Scripture, usually with additional scriptures or with their own translation of the Bible. In this way we have books such as The Pearl of Great Price of the Mormons and the New World Translation of the Bible produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since the Bible claims exclusivity as the written revelation of God, we must see that other books, even if the followers of cults claim that they are equal to the Bible, must actually be over and above the Word of God.

Subtract: Cults subtract from the person of Christ. Cults cannot tolerate the divinity and exclusivity of Jesus and therefore usually reduce Him to being nothing but a created being. In some cases they make Jesus only a manifestation or mode of God. In either case, the role of Jesus as revealed in Scripture is diminished.

Multiply: Cults multiply the requirements of salvation. Salvation, as it is presented in the Scriptures, is by God’s grace through faith alone. Cults continually add to the requirements of salvation, always adding human works as a necessary prerequisite to salvation. No cult teaches or endorses justification by faith alone. Thus all cults reject the very heart of the gospel.

Divide: Cults divide the loyalty of believers. Each cult believes that it has exclusive revelation and understanding of God that ensures its followers are either exclusively God’s people or are somehow more blessed than others. Cults always seek to divide believers against each other based on the previous three marks. Thus cults are, by their very nature, divisive.

Each one is proven to be true within the belief systems of several different cults including the Seventh Day Adventists, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists, The Moonies, and Oneness Pentecostals (or the Jesus-Only Movement).

The next time you confront someone who has questionable doctrine, listen carefully to what they are saying, and see if they add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

Cult of Family and Friends

Witnessing to Family and Friends

Although witnessing to family and friends might not seem to fit in the cult profile; it very well could. Often family members or friends have fallen prey to a specific cult or the occult. We all know that one of the most difficult groups of people to share the Gospel with is family and friends. Why is that? Because they know us, have watched us, have seen our weaknesses, failures, attitudes, etc. Jesus even said this in Mark 6:4 that “a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” With this in mind, there are some things that we can do to reach lost family members and friends:

  • Pray! Pray! Pray!

Remember, GOD loves them more than you ever could, and desires to have an intimate personal relationship with them. HE is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The great theologian RA Torrey said that prayer is the key that unlocks the storehouse of God’s unlimited power. So pray believing and continuously pray for them. Put them on your prayer list. Have your church and other believers pray for them. Then watch what the LORD does!

  • Live godly.

Since our family and friends know our many weaknesses and failures, strive to always live a godly, holy, and blameless life. Be transparent about your weaknesses and failures. Be quick to ask for forgiveness when you’re wrong. Never let filthy communication come out of your mouth, but that which is encouraging (Colossians 3:8). If there’s any inappropriate talk or conversations, don’t take part or respond affirmatively to it. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid (Matthew 5:14)! They will see that you’re different then you used to be.

  • Speak clearly.

The LORD will open the door at some specific time for you to share the Gospel, so be ready (1 Peter 3:15). Don’t chicken out! GOD promises that HE will give you the wisdom and the words you need to speak when you need to (Luke 12:11-12).

If possible, speak to them alone, especially where there are no distractions. When the LORD opens the opportunity, gently move the conversation from the natural to the spiritual (SEE Session 2).

It’s often a good idea to speak in the first person when sharing the Gospel. For example, “John, I used to think that GOD had this big scale, and if I did more good than bad, HE would eventually one day let me into Heaven. But then I read in the Bible, that we’re all sinners and our sin has separated us from GOD…”

  • Make an agreement with a friend.

Since it’s often difficult speaking to your own family, make an agreement with a friend. You can speak to his family member(s) and he can speak to yours. Make sure you’re practiced up and prepared to share Jesus. You can make it a planned event (like dinner or meeting in the park, etc.) or you can make it a spontaneous visit (like visiting them in the hospital, nursing home, coming by the house, etc.) When you visit them, you might tell them many people love them and are praying for them.

  • Be rich in good works.

When your family or friends see a changed life, they will take notice!

They don’t need to hear sermons from you, they need to see “a new creature in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Look for opportunities to serve them, bless them, and encourage them. Remember important events in their lives, then call them, write them, visit them. Bring them flowers, go to important events, be there during discouraging times (1 Peter 2:15). They will see Christ living in you (Galatians 2:20) and will be thinking, “What’s going on, this person is different!”

  • Be full of joy.

The Bible says, “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). The old saying, Happiness comes from happings, but joy comes from Jesus is so true. When your family or friend(s) see a transformed life by JESUS, a life full of joy, optimism, and full of peace, they will take note. Let all of your thoughts sift through the screen of Philippians 4:4-8 and 2 Corinthians 10:5.

  • Be Faithful!

Learn to share the Gospel and be a faithful lifetime witness for JESUS!

The Bibles says, Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). If the main priority of Jesus was “to seek and to save that which is lost”, can it be any less our priority? Jesus said, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men (Matthew 4:19. If we’re following Jesus, we will be fishing for men. So let’s be faithful to our Wonderful Awesome Savior till we see Him face-to-face. Oh, to hear those words, well done thou good and faithful servant, it will be worth it all! Hopefully these principles will assist you in sharing the Gospel with this precious group of people. Let’s go fishing!


When I enter that pearly white city, and all the saints around me appear;

I want to hear somebody whisper, it was you that invited me here!

Cult of Mormonism

Millions of dollars can create any image through beautiful television commercials and can convey that they are beautiful Christians, but the reality is that Mormonism is far from being Christian.

By the way, if you want to get a great video tape, I want to encourage you to pick up the video entitled The Godmakers. This video is excellent at conveying exactly what the Mormons believe and goes into great detail. It will change your life. You can pick it up at many Christian bookstores or you can get it online.

The Mormon church utilizes 4 books to form their doctrine. These are known as “The Standard Works”: the Bible (King James Version), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Below you will find a plethora of false beliefs, doctrines, and quotes that the Mormon church adheres to. Although far from exhaustive, this will give you a glimpse into some of their false doctrines and teachings:

THE BIBLE
The eighth Article of Faith of the Mormon church reads, “We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly”. Although Mormons believe the Bible is the word of God, they believe that the text has been corrupted by the errors of copyists and translators. Thus they deny that the Bible is wholly trustworthy and reliable.

By the way, The Bible says that GOD’s Word is settled forever in Heaven. It’s a good idea to ask the Mormon to show you exactly where the errors exist.

THE BOOK OF MORMON
First published in 1830, the book of Mormon was supposedly translated from “reformed Egyptian” (an unverified language) inscribed on golden plates, this book alleges that the resurrected Jesus Christ visited the Americas. It also contains selections of the history of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas discussing two groups of people: the Nephites, who were faithful to God; and the Lamanites, who were enemies both of God and the Nephites. As these two groups battled, the Lamanites gained victory over the Nephites. One of the last living Nephites, Moroni (the angel who allegedly appeared to Joseph Smith), buried golden plates in the hill Cumorah—located in upstate New York. These plates contained the Book of Mormon.

THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
First published in its present form in 1870, the Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of modern revelations, primarily received by Joseph Smith.

Unlike the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants presents several distinctively Mormon doctrines. For example, it teaches there are three levels of heaven (Section 76); the Word of Wisdom (Section 89); the practice of baptism for the dead (Sections 124, 127, 128); that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone just like humans (Section 130); the necessity of temple marriage (Celestial Marriage) for all eternity (Section 131); polygamy and godhood (Section 132); and missionary work in the spirit world (Section 138).


THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

The Pearl of Great Price is a compilation of several different writings: selections from the Book of Moses (a reworking of Genesis); the Book of Abraham (allegedly translated by Joseph Smith from ancient papyri; also a reworking of Genesis, teaching a plurality of gods); a brief extract from Joseph Smith’s “translation” of the Bible; Joseph Smith—History (which contains accounts of Joseph’s alleged visions and early persecutions); and The Articles of Faith (a vague summary of Mormon beliefs).

JOSEPH SITS IN JUDGMENT

“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses,, Vol. 7, p. 289)

“If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him; if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him.” President George Q. Cannon, quoted in 1988 Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, p. 142.

“If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them.” Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 116.

MORMONISM SAYS ALL OUR CHURCHES ARE FALSE

“I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; and those professors were all corrupt.” Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:19.

“This Church is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.” Doctrine and Covenants 1:30. “There is no salvation outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670.

“All other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord’s Supper from their hands will highly offend God; for He looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people. Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the whore of Babylon.” Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255.

In reality, The church is the spiritual body of Christians with Jesus at its head. The true church is not an organization, it’s an organism that is alive with Jesus as the Head! (Ephesians 1:22-23, 4:11-16; I Corinthians 1:2, 12:12; Matthew 16:18).

The NEGRO WAS CURSED

“Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness, he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel.” Joseph Fielding Smith (Prophet), The Way To Perfection, p. 102.

“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.” Brigham Young (Prophet), Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 290.

“Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man…mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” B. Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p. 110.

While the LDS god “forgave” blacks in June, 1978, their firm doctrine still is that this whole race of people are “cursed with a black skin” for sins committed by them before they were born.

The new revelation announced that worthy blacks could now receive the privileges of the LDS priesthood and secret temple rites like the whites. May all true Christians flee from such hypocrisy!

SUN & MOON INHABITED

“Nearly all the great discoveries of men in the last half century have, in one way or another… contributed to prove Joseph Smith to be a prophet. As far back as 1837, I know that he said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do; that they live generally to near the age of a 1000 years, He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.” (O. B. Huntington, Young Women’s Journal, Vol. 3, p. 264, 1892)

“Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?… So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it” (B. Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 271)

COUNCIL IN HEAVEN

“The head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world…In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 348, 349)

SAVIORS OF THE DEAD

“We are the only people that know how to save our progenitors, how to save ourselves, and how to save our posterity in the celestial kingdom of God; that we are the people God has chosen by whom to establish his kingdom and introduce correct principles into the world; and that we are in fact the saviours of the world…” John Taylor (Prophet), Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 163.

TOTAL PERFECTION DEMANDED

“We also have to forsake the sin and never repeat it, not even in our minds…In order to remain forgiven, we must never commit the sin again.” ( Uniform System for Teaching Families, pp.35,36)

“In other words, If there is one divine law that he does not keep he is barred from participating in the Kingdom, and figuratively guilty of all, since he is denied all.” Joseph Fielding Smith (Prophet), Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.3, p. 26.

MORMON LEADERS’ VIEW OF THEMSELVES

“The living Prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.). The living Prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet (David, Moses, Isaiah, etc.). Those who would remove prophets from politics would take God out of government.” LDS prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, address at Brigham Young University, Feb. 26, 1980.


Below is a comparative chart to help show the vast differences between Mormonism and Christianity:

  • MORMONISM
    • Many Gods
      Joseph Smith taught, “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).
  • CHRISTIANITY
    • One Trinitarian God
      The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead—not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4).
  • MORMONISM
    • God, Once a Man, Progressed to Godhood
      Joseph Smith taught, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . .” (Ibid., 345, 346; italics in original).
  • CHRISTIANITY
    • God Has Always Been God
      God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 21-22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.)
  • MORMONISM
    • Heaven(s)
      There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Mormons argue for this belief from 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 and 2 Corinthians 12:2 (where the apostle Paul says he was caught up to the “third heaven”).
  • CHRISTIANITY
    • Heaven
      The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 is the contrast between resurrection (celestial or heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial or earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23;8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).
  • MORMONISM
    • Hell
      Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, “Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133-134).
  • CHRISTIANITY
    • Hell
      One’s abode in hell is as eternal as one’s abode in heaven (Matthew 25:46). There is no second chance after death (Hebrews 9:27). At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29)—they are assigned either to heaven or hell.

WHERE ARE YOU?
In order to be equipped to witness to our Mormon friends we need to know what we believe. It is one thing to focus our attention on what Mormons believe, it is quite another to understand clearly what the Bible teaches. In light of this, it is important that you, as a Christian, are in a habit of studying God’s word, attending a strongly biblical church, and praying for God to grant you wisdom in your witnessing opportunities.

YOUR MESSAGE AND DELIVERY
It is easy for Christians to become overly defensive and negative toward Mormons and their claims. But this temptation must be avoided. Second Timothy 2:24-26 provides clear guidelines for us: “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 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.

DEFINING YOUR TERMS
Mormonism, like other pseudo-Christian religions, uses Christian vocabulary but does not use a biblical dictionary. For this reason, confusion can arise while witnessing. Always be prepared to ask, “What do you mean by that?” Christian need to be able to explain what they mean by what they say. It has been said, that if a Mormon continually agrees with you, either they do not know what their church teaches or you have not defined your terms. Clear definitions of terms are essential for good communication.

ASKING QUESTIONS
An important skill in witnessing, is asking probing and insightful questions. By asking questions you can find out if an individual Mormon agrees strictly with the church’s teaching or if he has a personal twist on Mormon doctrine. Also, because Mormons often feel persecuted, it is important to avoid blunt or direct statements as much as possible. These will only cause them to become more defensive. Finally, by asking questions, you help Mormons arrive at their own conclusions, rather than forcing conclusions at which you have arrived.

SEEKING TO UNDERSTAND THE MORMON
Seek to understand Mormon culture: the importance of family, church authority, and personal perfection must be understood. It is important as you witness to Mormons that you seek to understand what they believe, why they believe it, and exactly how they believe it. It is best to simply ask individual Mormons about their beliefs. For example, find out how he or she became a Mormon, if their family members are Mormons, how they determine truth, and if they understand the differences between Christian doctrine and Mormon doctrine.


In conclusion, Mormonism is a counterfeit with:

A different “Jesus”

A different “God”

A different “Gospel”!

Read what God thinks about different “gospels” and to those who try to bring them in Galatians 1:6-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-15. Read what God has to say about false prophets in Deuteronomy 13:1-11, 18:20-22; Jeremiah 23:16-22 and what Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-20; 24:3-26.

When witnessing to the Mormon

One of the biggest difficulties when witnessing to a Mormon is maintaining focus. It is extremely important to pick a topic and stick to it. It’s good to focus on issues such as the validity of LDS prophets or the plan of salvation. Whichever issue you pick, try to stay on topic.

The best way to spot counterfeit money, is to become thoroughly familiar with real money. Likewise, to spot heresy, and to guard your heart against deception, it is vitally important to:

1) Study the Bible.

Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Study the Word, so you can “test the spirits. (1 John 4:1)” Be so familiar with the truth, that when a counterfeit pops up, you are ready to share truth with them (Luke 12:11-12; 1 Peter 3:15).

2) Pray, pray, pray!!!

Cult of Jehovah Witnesses

  • What they believe vs. what Scripture says about what they believe
Scaling the language barrier is of utmost importance when witnessing to a Jehovah’s Witness. Often Jehovah Witnesses (as other cults) will use the same words as Christians, but the meaning behind the word is often radically different. Before any significant Biblical dialogue can take place, a Christian must know the meaning behind the cultists’ terms. This list will show you differences between the Jehovah Witnesses and Christianity. These definitions should help give you an inroad when dialoguing with the JW’s. God- Watchtower– Jehovah, the Father. Christianity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:18-20) Jesus Christ- Watchtower-First created being by Jehovah, a god, Michael the Archangel. Christianity-Fully God and fully man, equal to the Father in nature, Eternal, Omnipotent Creator. (John 1:1, 5:18, 20:28) Holy Spirit- Watchtower-God’s active force, impersonal. Christianity-Third member of Trinity, fully God, personal. (Acts 5:3-4, 8:29, 13:2, 1 Co. 2:10-11, Eph. 4:30) Trinity- Watchtower– False doctrine originating with Satan, stems from Babylonian and Greek Mythology. Christianity- The essence and Nature of God, One God manifested in 3 Persons, all equal in Nature but different in position. (see above verses) Hell- Watchtower– The common grave of mankind, no conscious existence and/or punishment. Christianity– Eternal separation from God, conscious everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:41,46) Death- Watchtower– A state of nonexistence, soul sleep, deny an immaterialsoul and/or spirit. Christianity– Soul and spirit remain conscious after physical death.(Matt. 10:28, Luke 23:43, 2 Co. 5:8, Rev. 6:9) Resurrection of Christ- Watchtower– Rose as an invisible spirit being. Christianity– Rose bodily and visibly. (John 2:19-21, Luke 24:36-39) Atonement (Ransom)- Watchtower– Jesus’ death paid for Adam’s (inherited) sin only. Christianity– Jesus’ death paid for all sins, personal and inherited. (1 Peter 2:24, Galatians 1:4, Isaiah 53:5) SalvationWatchtower– Living forever on a restored earth, or Paradise. Christianity– Eternal life in heaven in the presence of God. (Phil. 3:20) Second Coming of ChristWatchtower– Occurred invisibly in 1914. Christianity– A future event that will be plainly visible. (Matt. 24:27,30 ; Rev. 1:7)
  • What is the point? – How to evangelize to these cultists
It’s always best to define terms and find out exactly what they mean by their terms. Remember, context, context, context! Usually they will take verses out of context or twist them to their convoluted doctrine. Focus in on Jesus. This is the most important factor. Focus on who He is, His blood, and His atoning work on the cross.




My audio notes on the Cult of Jehovah’s Witness












Cult of Evolutionists

In June’s eBlast, we focused in on the religion of atheism. The atheist (“a” = no; “theos” = God) is the man or woman who dogmatically proclaims that there is no God. The Bible tells us in Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” It is interesting that the Bible proclaims the fool says in his heart; not his lips that there is no God. The atheist just reveals his immense ignorance when he opens his mouth!

Without exception, I have found that all atheists are evolutionists. The fallacy of evolution requires more faith to believe in it’s ludicrous premises than it does to believe in God. Evolution completely violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics; The Law of Entropy, which states that everything is moving from a state of order to disorder. Everything is wearing out. My blue jeans, my car, my fence, everything is wearing out. The earth is slowing down, the sun is burning out, stars are dying, etc. The theory of evolution (which is just that, a theory), diametrically opposes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and states that man is continuously evolving and getting better. Over the years, I have never once found an atheist who was not an evolutionist. Is it any wonder, for if he doesn’t believe in God, how can he believe in the intelligent design of all creation?

Evolution is a direct attack on the foundation of Christianity. The Bible tells us, if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do. Evolution dogmatically proclaims that intelligent design had nothing to do with creation, only chance and circumstance. As we discussed in June’s eBlast, design requires a Designer. When I go to downtown Orlando and see all of the buildings, I don’t think, “Wow, through millions of years of time, chance, and succession, the winds swirled sand and metal particles all around just happened to form these incredible structures. That would be ludicrous! I immediately would think, “Wow, I wonder who made this?” If I had five rows of ten apples; each row perfectly lined-up on my front porch, I wouldn’t say, “Honey, come here, you won’t believe this! Over the night, a tremendous tornado must have ripped through an apple grove in the state of Washington, sucked these apples off the trees all the way up into the Jetstream, and then placed them right here in five perfect rows on our front porch.” No, my first thought would be, “I wonder who put these here?” Why, because design requires a designer. Likewise, God has put His eternal Godhead on display by the incredible ingenuity all around us. From the complexity of a simple cell to the incredible beauty of a butterfly, the magnitude of His ingenuity is staggering to say the least.

Often we hear of the “missing link”. Over the years, millions of fossil remains have been found. The missing link is a fossil that has been found that is in a transition period. For example, finding a fish with legs; a dolphin with legs, etc. Out of the millions of fossils that have been uncovered, NOT ONE fossil has ever been found to be in the transition form. The only problem with the missing link is that it’s missing! A cockroach is a cockroach, a dog a dog, a fish a fish.

Yes, but what about all of the transitional forms of humans that they’ve found? What about Cro-Magnon Man? What about Neanderthal Man? What about all the others? Consider the following:

Lucy: Nearly all experts agree that Lucy was a 3 foot tall chimpanzee.

Heidelberg Man: Built from a jawbone that was conceded by many to be quite human.

Nebraska Man: Scientifically built up from one tooth, later found to be the tooth of an extinct pig.

Piltdown Man: The jawbone turned out to belong to a modern ape.

Peking Man: Supposedly 500,000 years old, but all evidence has disappeared.

Neanderthal Man: The first Neanderthal remains were found in France in 1908. Considered to be ignorant, ape-like, stooped and knuckle-dragging, much of the evidence now suggests that Neanderthal was just as human as us, and his stooped appearance was because of arthritis and rickets.

New Guinea Man: Dates back to 1970. This Species has been found in the region just north of Australia.

Cro-Magnon Man: One of the earliest and best established fossils is at least equal in physique and brain capacity to modern man. Cro-Magnon man is indistinguishable from modern humans … so what’s the difference?

Modern Man: This genius thinks he evolved from a monkey.

Cult of Personalities: Oprah Winfrey

One would have to live in a cave to say they have never heard of Oprah Winfrey. There are many faces that Oprah wears:
  • Oprah the celebrated talk show host
  • Oprah the book club queen
  • Oprah the magazine maven
  • Oprah the philanthropist for her work in Africa
  • Oprah the actress
  • Oprah the financial supporter of President Barrack Hussein Obama
One would also be remiss to think that Oprah doesn’t carry a considerable amount of clout and persuasion among her many, many faithful followers. And her followers are diversefied; they are the rich and the not so rich, black and white, female and male, and (unfortunately) Christian and non-Christian alike. So our first question is whether this would earn Oprah and her new age protégés the title of “cult”. First and foremost, let’s examine the word ‘cult’ and its roots. The literal and traditional meaning of the word cult is derived from the Latin cultus, meaning “care” or “adoration.” Now ask yourself how people act when Oprah is around, on television or any of the many special appearances she makes. And how about her showing up for Barack Obama’s gathering in South Carolina? CNN.com’s own headline reads: “Thanks to Oprah, Obama camp claims biggest crowd yet”. So ask yourself if Oprah has the power to cause people to care for her to excess or even adore her. One can only answer a resounding “yes”.

The Church of Oprah:

Along these very same lines there is the largest “church” in the world. On March 3, 2008 this same “church” had an attendance of over 300,000! Recent numbers indicate the attendance is well over 2 million! On March the 17th of 2008 these people conducted their first mass trance.

ETI YouTube(tm) Cult Video Series on Oprah

 

The Church of Oprah Exposed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF-vvZAS5GI  

Dont Drink The Kool-Aid: Oprah, Obama and The Occult

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgkFfogwINA
Some of their doctrine states:
  • There is no sin.
  • A slain Christ has no meaning.
  • The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.
  • Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross’.
  • The “Name of Jesus Christ”, as such, is but a symbol. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.
  • God is in everything.
  • The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.
  • The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity, and your limitless power.
  • The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need for salvation.
  • The era of the Single Savior is over.
Only two words can describe their doctrine: blasphemyheresy. This heretical church leaders name? None other than Oprah Winfrey who, years ago on public television, denied that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven. Just recently Oprah has endorsed a book titled “The Secret” which is no secret at all but simply the same old new age philosophy. The queen of television is now using her impressive book club to propagate the works of yet another enlightened person named Eckhart Tolley. Eckhart’s latest work, titled “A Course In Miracles” is being used to promote the Church of Oprah and her latest sidekick. Remember this: if it’s new, it’s not true; if it’s true, it’s not new. Our Eyes Are Open Get the book “Don’t Drink The Koolaid” and help fight the power of this woman and her followers. Your Internet search brought you to this page on our web site because one or more of the following keywords are contained in these search terms: oprah winfrey, new age religion, deny christ, antichrist, harpo, Eckhart Tolle, New Earth, awakening to your life’s purpose, mass trance

Cult of Atheism

Cult Profile – Witnessing to Atheists The Bible tells us in Psalm 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” The atheist (“a” = no; “theos” = God) is the man or woman who dogmatically proclaims that there is no God. It is interesting that the Bible proclaims the fool hath said in his heart; not his lips. The atheist just reveals that he is a fool when he opens his mouth! Atheists are one of my favorite people to share the Gospel with since the evidence is so overwhelming. Usually, when witnessing to an atheist, I will use the following introduction, and then focus on three points. For the introduction, I will lovingly tell the atheist that God speaks about him in the Bible, and that he probably wouldn’t want to know what God thinks of his belief system. The atheist will usually be intrigued and say, “What does God say of me?” I will reiterate that he probably doesn’t want to know. At this point, he definitely wants to know. Then, I will turn to Psalm 14:1-3 and read it to him. This establishes the correct authority and sets the foundation for the rest of what is being said. I try to focus the following three major points: First, I tell an atheist that God says to “Look Up.” The Bible says in Psalm 19:1-3, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” Most people, unless they’re blind, have gone out on a star-lit night and gazed with wonder at the splendor of the starry heavens and mused within themselves how small they are in relation to the vastness of the cosmos. Second, God says “Look Around.” Everything is in perfect order. The sun rises and sets with precise accuracy. The seasons change, the earth rotates, and the earth and planets revolve around the sun with incredible accuracy. Look at the complexity of the human eye; the intricacy of the flower, the beauty and ingenuity of the animal kingdom, the uniqueness of each creature or thing that was made is mind-blowing (to say the least)! Design requires a Designer. When I go to downtown Orlando and see all of the buildings, I don’t think, “Wow, through millions of years of time, chance, and succession, the winds swirled sand and metal particles all around just happened to form these incredible structures.” That would be ludicrous! I immediately would think, “Wow, I wonder who made this?” If I had five rows of ten apples; each row perfectly lined-up on my front porch, I wouldn’t say, “Honey, come here, you won’t believe this! Overnight, a tremendous tornado must have ripped through an apple grove in the state of Washington, sucked these apples off the trees all the way up into the jet stream, and then placed them right here gently in five perfect rows on our front porch.” No, my first thought would be, “I wonder who put these here?” Why, because design requires a designer! Third, I tell the atheist that God tells them to “Look In.” God has given every man, woman, and child a conscious (Con = with; Science = knowledge). Every person on earth, God has hard-wired us with an internal alarm clock the goes off when we violate His holy commandments. Every person knows that it’s wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to commit adultery. A dog doesn’t have a conscience. A cat, a monkey, a fish, or an amoeba doesn’t have a conscience. God has given man a spirit, and within that spirit the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, some people continually harden their heart and ignore this alarm clock, or break it altogether. There can actually come a point where they can no longer hear this internal alarm clock going off. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with tears and couldn’t find it (Hebrews 12:17). Without exception, all atheists will be evolutionists, and often I will discuss the fallacy of evolution, and how it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Evolution completely violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics; The Law of Entropy, which states that everything is moving from a state of order to disorder. Everything is wearing out. My blue jeans, my car, my fence – everything is wearing out. The earth is slowing down, the sun is burning out, stars are dying, etc. The theory of evolution (which is just that, a theory), diametrically opposes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and states that man is continuously evolving and getting better. We will discuss the theory of evolution at a later date. Dr. Ron Rhodes who is a phenomenal apologist articulates some excellent strategies for witnessing to atheists: No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist. When dialoguing with atheists, it is helpful to point out the logical problems inherent in their belief system. If you succeed in showing an atheist the natural outcome of some of his (or her) main claims and arguments, you are in a much better position to share the gospel with him. Let us consider two prime examples here. (1) “There is no God.” Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible. A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time – with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe – can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God. This point can be forcefully emphasized by asking the atheist if he has ever visited the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Mention that the library presently contains over 70 million items (books, magazines, journals, etc.). Also point out that hundreds of thousands of these were written by scholars and specialists in the various academic fields. Then ask the following question: “What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?” The atheist will likely respond, “I don’t know. I guess a fraction of one percent.” You can then ask: “Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?” Even if the atheist refuses to admit the possibility, you have made your point and he knows it. (2) “I don’t believe in God because there is so much evil in the world.” Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist. They often say something like: “I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have let Hitler murder six million Jews.” A good approach to an argument like this is to say something to this effect: “Since you brought up this issue, the burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system. After he struggles with this a few moments, point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle). The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it. At this point, the atheist may raise the objection that if God does in fact exist, then why hasn’t He dealt with the problem of evil in the world. You can disarm this objection by pointing out that God is dealing with the problem of evil, but in a progressive way. The false assumption on the part of the atheist is that God’s only choice is to deal with evil all at once in a single act. God, however, is dealing with the problem of evil throughout all human history. One day in the future, Christ will return, strip power away from the wicked, and hold all men and women accountable for the things they did during their time on earth. Justice will ultimately prevail. Those who enter eternity without having trusted in Christ for salvation will understand just how effectively God has dealt with the problem of evil. If the atheist responds that it shouldn’t take all of human history for an omnipotent God to solve the problem of evil, you might respond by saying: “Ok. Let’s do it your way. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that at this very moment, God declared that all evil in the world will now simply cease to exist. Every human being on the planet – present company included – would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?” The atheist may argue that a better solution must surely be available. He may even suggest that God could have created man in such a way that man would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. This idea can be countered by pointing out that such a scenario would mean that man is no longer man. He would no longer have the capacity to make choices. This scenario would require that God create robots who act only in programmed ways. If the atheist persists and says there must be a better solution to the problem of evil, suggest a simple test. Give him about five minutes to formulate a solution to the problem of evil that (1) does not destroy human freedom, or (2) cause God to violate His nature (e.g., His attributes of absolute holiness, justice, and mercy) in some way. After five minutes, ask him what he came up with. Don’t expect much of an answer. Your goal, of course, is not simply to tear down the atheist’s belief system. After demonstrating some of the logical impossibilities of his claims, share with him some of the logical evidence for redemption in Jesus Christ, and the infinite benefits that it brings. Perhaps through your witness and prayers his faith in atheism will be overturned by a newfound faith in Christ. Remember the three principles: Look Up, Look Around, and Look In! He even says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” Our God is a God of order, and He wants to share His reason and love with the atheist as much as any other person on His earth. Second, God says “Look Around.” Everything is in perfect order. The sun rises and sets with precise accuracy. The seasons change, the earth rotates, and the earth and planets revolve around the sun with incredible accuracy. Look at the complexity of the human eye; the intricacy of the flower, the beauty and ingenuity of the animal kingdom, the uniqueness of each creature or thing that was made is mind-blowing (to say the least)! Design requires a Designer. When I go to downtown Orlando and see all of the buildings, I don’t think, “Wow, through millions of years of time, chance, and succession, the winds swirled sand and metal particles all around just happened to form these incredible structures.” That would be ludicrous! I immediately would think, “Wow, I wonder who made this?” If I had five rows of ten apples; each row perfectly lined-up on my front porch, I wouldn’t say, “Honey, come here, you won’t believe this! Overnight, a tremendous tornado must have ripped through an apple grove in the state of Washington, sucked these apples off the trees all the way up into the jet stream, and then placed them right here gently in five perfect rows on our front porch.” No, my first thought would be, “I wonder who put these here?” Why, because design requires a designer! Third, I tell the atheist that God tells them to “Look In.” God has given every man, woman, and child a conscious (Con = with; Science = knowledge). Every person on earth, God has hard-wired us with an internal alarm clock the goes off when we violate His holy commandments. Every person knows that it’s wrong to kill, wrong to steal, wrong to commit adultery. A dog doesn’t have a conscience. A cat, a monkey, a fish, or an amoeba doesn’t have a conscience. God has given man a spirit, and within that spirit the discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. Unfortunately, some people continually harden their heart and ignore this alarm clock, or break it altogether. There can actually come a point where they can no longer hear this internal alarm clock going off. The Bible says that Esau sought repentance with tears and couldn’t find it (Hebrews 12:17). Without exception, all atheists will be evolutionists, and often I will discuss the fallacy of evolution, and how it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God. Evolution completely violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics; The Law of Entropy, which states that everything is moving from a state of order to disorder. Everything is wearing out. My blue jeans, my car, my fence – everything is wearing out. The earth is slowing down, the sun is burning out, stars are dying, etc. The theory of evolution (which is just that, a theory), diametrically opposes the Second Law of Thermodynamics and states that man is continuously evolving and getting better. We will discuss the theory of evolution at a later date. Dr. Ron Rhodes who is a phenomenal apologist articulates some excellent strategies for witnessing to atheists: No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist. When dialoguing with atheists, it is helpful to point out the logical problems inherent in their belief system. If you succeed in showing an atheist the natural outcome of some of his (or her) main claims and arguments, you are in a much better position to share the gospel with him. Let us consider two prime examples here. (1) “There is no God.” Some atheists categorically state that there is no God, and all atheists, by definition, believe it. And yet, this assertion is logically indefensible. A person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent to be able to say from his own pool of knowledge that there is no God. Only someone who is capable of being in all places at the same time – with a perfect knowledge of all that is in the universe – can make such a statement based on the facts. To put it another way, a person would have to be God in order to say there is no God. This point can be forcefully emphasized by asking the atheist if he has ever visited the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. Mention that the library presently contains over 70 million items (books, magazines, journals, etc.). Also point out that hundreds of thousands of these were written by scholars and specialists in the various academic fields. Then ask the following question: “What percentage of the collective knowledge recorded in the volumes in this library would you say are within your own pool of knowledge and experience?” The atheist will likely respond, “I don’t know. I guess a fraction of one percent.” You can then ask: “Do you think it is logically possible that God may exist in the 99.9 percent that is outside your pool of knowledge and experience?” Even if the atheist refuses to admit the possibility, you have made your point and he knows it. (2) “I don’t believe in God because there is so much evil in the world.” Many atheists consider the problem of evil an airtight proof that God does not exist. They often say something like: “I know there is no God because if He existed, He never would have let Hitler murder six million Jews.” A good approach to an argument like this is to say something to this effect: “Since you brought up this issue, the burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system. After he struggles with this a few moments, point out to him that it is impossible to distinguish evil from good unless one has an infinite reference point which is absolutely good. Otherwise one is like a boat at sea on a cloudy night without a compass (i.e., there would be no way to distinguish north from south without the absolute reference point of the compass needle). The infinite reference point for distinguishing good from evil can only be found in the person of God, for God alone can exhaust the definition of “absolutely good.” If God does not exist, then there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something (or someone) as being evil. More specifically, if God does not exist, there is no ultimate basis to judge the crimes of Hitler. Seen in this light, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God, rather than disproving it. At this point, the atheist may raise the objection that if God does in fact exist, then why hasn’t He dealt with the problem of evil in the world. You can disarm this objection by pointing out that God is dealing with the problem of evil, but in a progressive way. The false assumption on the part of the atheist is that God’s only choice is to deal with evil all at once in a single act. God, however, is dealing with the problem of evil throughout all human history. One day in the future, Christ will return, strip power away from the wicked, and hold all men and women accountable for the things they did during their time on earth. Justice will ultimately prevail. Those who enter eternity without having trusted in Christ for salvation will understand just how effectively God has dealt with the problem of evil. If the atheist responds that it shouldn’t take all of human history for an omnipotent God to solve the problem of evil, you might respond by saying: “Ok. Let’s do it your way. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that at this very moment, God declared that all evil in the world will now simply cease to exist. Every human being on the planet – present company included – would simply vanish into oblivion. Would this solution be preferable to you?” The atheist may argue that a better solution must surely be available. He may even suggest that God could have created man in such a way that man would never sin, thus avoiding evil altogether. This idea can be countered by pointing out that such a scenario would mean that man is no longer man. He would no longer have the capacity to make choices. This scenario would require that God create robots who act only in programmed ways. If the atheist persists and says there must be a better solution to the problem of evil, suggest a simple test. Give him about five minutes to formulate a solution to the problem of evil that (1) does not destroy human freedom, or (2) cause God to violate His nature (e.g., His attributes of absolute holiness, justice, and mercy) in some way. After five minutes, ask him what he came up with. Don’t expect much of an answer. Your goal, of course, is not simply to tear down the atheist’s belief system. After demonstrating some of the logical impossibilities of his claims, share with him some of the logical evidence for redemption in Jesus Christ, and the infinite benefits that it brings. Perhaps through your witness and prayers his faith in atheism will be overturned by a newfound faith in Christ. Remember the three principles: Look Up, Look Around, and Look In! He even says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” Our God is a God of order, and He wants to share His reason and love with the atheist as much as any other person on His earth.

Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing

A Warning About False Prophets

God’s Word tells us that the “god of this world” (satan) has blinded the minds of those that believe not. We live in very tumultuous times where false religions, cults, and the occult are running rampant. Jesus and his apostle warned us explicitly and told us to be on guard at all times; to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. God takes very seriously His Word, the proclamation of it, and the distortions thereof. This month, let’s look at just a few verses pertaining to these warnings: Col 2:8-9 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Matt 7:15-16 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matt 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Luke10:3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Acts 20:29-31 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. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 1 John 4:1-6 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 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. 2 Peter 2:1-3 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. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. Jude 1:14-16 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 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. Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 2 Cor 11:13-15 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 John 1:7-11 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. 1 John 2:18-23 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. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.