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Subtitle: "Ye Shall Be Witnesses Unto Me" (Acts 1:8)


If someone stopped you on the street and told you they were a Boston Red Sox fan and urged you to become one too, would that not strike you as just a wee bit odd? Would their enthuiasm and sincerity in telling about the team being last year's World Series winner impress you? And is it likely that their wearing a tee shirt with the team logo on it make you want to embrace that particular baseball club as your own? Shuuurrre it would! Most of us would quickly become annoyed by such behavior and if it took place in the middle of New York City there would probably be some animosity aimed at the misguided zealot!

So is this how we are supposed to witness for Christ--going forth with unbridled exuberance and telling everyone in sight about the Lord? Are we to be billboards with our clothes and cars covered with cutesy sayings, pictures and slogans advertising His worth?  Must churches compete with each other to see who can have the most clever comments on the signs out front? Please excuse me for being blunt, but that kind of "witnessing" often does more harm than good! Advertising techniques that pander to human nature produce results, but so will shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater! Prompting people to herd together has been reduced to a science and ministries are taking full advantage of it. But based upon a half century of observation, it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that the herds contain far more goats than sheep--Satan's plan to sow tares among the wheat is working perfectly.

Please note the Lord's Words of Acts 1:8 in our subtitle above: "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me." This is a statement of certainty and in no way dependent upon man's devices. The Holy Spirit literally resides within every genuine child of grace and He is the witness for Jesus Christ--we just provide the vehicle. That is precisely the reason why all believers are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit (Eph.5:18). Because when a life is filled and controlled by Him, it is empty of self and exhibits supernatural power (dunamis in the Greek--from which the English word "dynamite" is derived!). And all who come in contact with that tremendous power will be affected to the degree God intends. Even if no words are spoken, each and every individual will  be attracted to the power or be repelled by it!

"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 (KJV, emphasis mine).

Witnessing for Jesus Christ involves a 24-7-365 (366 in the case of a leap year) life of obedience to Him and is not defined by filling one's pockets with Gospel tracts, carrying a big Bible and pestering people. High pressure sales techniques produce results, but seldom truly satisfied customers--because those who succumb to the pressure usually have a nagging sense that they have been conned by the salesman. Numbers of people continue to be "converted" by the application of psychological pressure via confrontational evangelism and while it is true some turn out to be genuine, the spiritual fallout caused by the false majority is contributing greatly to the downward spiral of Christendom.

To catch a fish without resorting to a net requires the right bait. Bass are highly unlikely to bite a hook baited with a dough ball while Redhorse suckers will not intentionally bite an artificial lure designed for bass. And this analogy applies where believers are concerned: we are supposed to live in such a manner as to be good "fish bait."  To the degree we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit is the degree to which He exerts His supernatural influence upon others through us. To witness for Jesus Christ involves talking to others about Him, but be careful not to get the cart before the horse. Telling fish about fish bait is absurd, because they must see it before they will eat it.

"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven"  Matthew 5:16 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).

"No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day" John 6:44 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).

Good fish bait appeals to fish at a fundamental level. They do not have to be taught how to recognize it or urged to partake of it because it meets a basic need. And depraved men have a similar need in that there is a vacuum in their hearts where the knowledge of God once existed. It is an itch they cannot scratch--a hunger they cannot satisfy on their own--and  when God casts a yielded believer in front of them, they will always react to the bait! But unlike fish, humans can "see the hook" and the majority will back away because they do not want to be caught. As a consequence, only a relative few will overcome their built-in aversion to God and be drawn by the Holy Spirit to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

"But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it"  Matthew 7:14 (Parallel Bible, KJV, Amplified, emphasis mine).

Then referring back to our anology of the Red Sox fan, what would we think of him/her if they were observed rooting for another team? HYPOCRITE!!!! Right? Claiming to be a fan of one team while actually being loyal to another is "two-faced" and frowned upon by most of us. People should show their true colors so all will know where they stand! And that principle definitely applies where our testimony for Christ is concerned. Very few things in this world will upset people as quickly and to a greater degree than seeing someone act in a manner totally contrary to what they profess to believe. And only God knows how many people have been, and continue to be, repelled by the hypocrisy of professed believers--especially those who are so careful to carry around "flashing neon signs" advertising their loyalty to Christ and then fail to be consistent with that profession. Under the best of circumstances Christians living under the microscope of public scrutiny will occasionally fail to live up to the high standards required of us because we are still sinful humans. And for that reason we must strenuously avoid the temptation to call attention to ourselves by "blowing our own horn":

"Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven. [2] Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already. [3] But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly. [5] Also when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already" Matthew 6:1-5 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified, emphasis mine).

In other words maintaining a godly Christian testimony through thick and thin is a powerful witness to a world filled with lost and dying "fish." The life of every genuine believer--without exception--is a testimony to the saving power of  Jesus Christ. But unfortunately some lights do not shine as brightly as they should. Hypocrisy and indifference, like moss or millfoil in a lake choked by excessive growth of those aquatic weeds, will cover the bait and render it ineffective. To get the job done, it must be seen before it will be eaten. And it must be presented as naturally as possible, because much talk and making a big splash are not conducive to good fishing.

So do not be deceived--the devil's pond is grossly overstocked with what fishermen call "trash fish" (not game fish such as bass, walleye, muskie, trout, etc.)--and they correspond to the tares among the wheat of Matt.13:24-30. They pretend to be trophy game fish and are relatively easy to catch! Whereas by contrast, to bring home a desired species requires patience and diligent effort. Bass weighing ten pounds or more are occasionally caught by accident, but such instances are definitely the exception and not the rule.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is being cheapened by apostate religious hucksters who are marketing the message for prestige and profit--just as the Apostle Peter said would be the case:

 "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. [2] And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. [3] 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. 2 Peter 2:1-3 (KJV, emphasis mine).

The Greek word translated "make merchandise" is emporeuomai,   Strong’s number 1710--pronounced  em-por-yoo'-om-ahee; from Greek 1722 (en) and Greek 4198 (poreuomai); to travel in (a country as a peddler), i.e. (by implication) to trade :- buy and sell, make merchandise.

No better word could be used to describe modern day evangelism. In the eyes of the spiritually undiscriminating, a big string of fish equates to a successful ministry and they want to know "where and how they were caught!" Then the Super Fishermen are only too happy to oblige (with costly seminars, programs, etc., supposedly to teach others how to catch them. Which reminds me of a friend of mine who, when asked where he caught a large bass, replied, "In the side of its mouth." (He defiinitely was not going to reveal the location of his favorite fishing hole!).

My friends, I respectfully submit to you that when the Lord made the following statement, the meaning was far deeper than is generally perceived by most evangelicals:

"And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. [19] And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" Matthew 4:18-19 (KJV, emphasis mine).

John 6:44 defines Who is actually doing the fishing! Unless or until the Holy Spirit exerts His supernatural influence upon a specific individual and draws them to Jesus Christ, they can not believe and be saved. And no amount of casting and reeling by those with good intentions will produce the desired result.

"No one is able to come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me attracts and draws him and gives him the desire to come to Me, and [then] I will raise him up [from the dead] at the last day" John 6:44 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).

But psychological pressure skillfully applied by overzealous preachers/soulwinners is like fishing with sticks of dynamite. The explosions are indiscriminate and all sorts of dead fish will float to the top. And that is why thousands of churches have such a distinctive odor about them today.

If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.

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God bless you.