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Text Sermons : R.A. Torrey : HOW TO DEAL WITH THE DELUDED

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I. ROMAN CATHOLICS.

1. Very few Roman Catholics have assurance of
salvation, indeed very few understand that it is
our privilege to know that we have forgiveness of
sins and eternal life. A good way then to deal
with a Roman Catholic is to ask him if he knows
that his sins are forgiven. Very likely he will
say that he does not, and that no one else knows
it either. Then you can show him that it is the
believer's privilege to know that he has
forgiveness of sins. For this purpose use Acts
13:39, "By him all that believe ARE JUSTIFIED,"
etc. and Ephesians 1:7:

"In whom WE HAVE redemption through his blood, THE
FORGIVENESS OF SINS, according to the riches of
his grace." Ephesians 1:7.

In a similar way, you can show him that it is our
privilege to know that we have eternal life. For
this purpose use 1_John 5:13. Oftentimes when he
is brought to see that it is our privilege to know
that we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life,
he will desire to know it too, and will begin to
see that we have something that he does not
possess. There is one point at which we always
have the advantage in dealing with a Roman
Catholic, namely, there are a peace and a power in
CHristianity as we know it, that there is not in
Christianity as he knows it, and he can be made to
appreciate the difference.

2. Another good way to deal with a Roman Catholic
is to show him the necessity of the new birth, and
what the new birth is. When the one with whom you
are dealing tells you that he is a Roman Catholic,
it is well to ask him if he has been born again.
Very likely he will say that he does not know what
that means {139} (though oftentimes Roman
Catholics do talk about the new birth). Show him
John 3:3-5,7, and emphasize what Jesus says, that
we must be born again. If he asks what the new
birth is, show him the following passages:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature: old things are passed away; behold, all
things are become new." 2_Corinthians 5:17.

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and
precious promises: that by these ye might be
PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the
corruption that is in the world through lust."
2_Peter 1:4.

"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye
shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from
all your idols, will I cleanse you. A NEW HEART
ALSO WILL i GIVE YOU, and a new spirit will I put
within you: and I will take away the stony heart
out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of
flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and
cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall
keep my judgments, and do them." Ezekiel 36:25-27.

Many Roman Catholics understand the new birth to
mean baptism, and oftentimes if you ask a Roman
Catholic if he has been born again, he will say
"Yes," and if you ask him when, he will tell you
at his baptism. It will then be necessary to show
him that baptism is not the new birth. For this
purpose use 1_Corinthians 4:15:

"For though ye have ten thousand instructors in
Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in
Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the
gospel."

Here Paul tells the believers in Corinth that in
Christ Jesus he had begotten them through the
Gospel. If the new birth meant baptism, he must
have baptized them, but in 1_Corinthians 1;14 he
declares he had not baptized them.

Or you can say, "No, baptism is not the new birth,
for I can show you a person who we are told was
baptized, and yet St. Peter told him he had not
been born again." Then turn to Acts 8:13:

"Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was
baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered,
beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

When you have made it clear that Simon had been
baptized, turn to Peter's statement in the 21st to
the 23rd verses, to show that he had not been born
again. It is well to go a step further and show
the inquirer what the Biblical evidences of the
new birth are. For this purpose use the following
passages:

"If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that
every one that doeth righteousness is born of
him." 1_John 2:29. {140}

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for
his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of God. ...

"We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren. He that loveth not
his brother abideth in death. ...

"But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his
brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God
in him?" 1_John 3:9,14,17.

If the inquirer is sufficiently interested, he
will now want to know how to be born again. This
question is answered in:

"But AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name." John 1:12.

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of
incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth
and abideth forever." 1_Peter 1:23.

"Of his own will begat he us WITH THE WORD OF
TRUTH, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of
his creatures." James 1:18.

3. A third way of dealing with a Roman Catholic is
to use Acts 3:19.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out, when the times of
refreshing shall come from the presence of the
Lord."

This shows the necessity of repentance and
conversion in order that our sins may be blotted
out. What repentance is will be shown by Isaiah
55:7 and Jonah 3:10:

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the
unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return
unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

"And God saw their works, that they turned from
their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that
he had said that he would do unto them; and he did
it not."

In a similar way Acts 16:31 can be used to show
that the way to be saved is by simply believing on
the Lord Jesus Christ; then to show what it is to
believe on the Lord Jesus Christ use John 1:12 and
2_Timothy 1:12.

4. Another good text to use in dealing with Roman
Catholics, and one which comes right at the heart
of their difficulties, is 1_Timothy 2:5:

"For there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR BETWEEN
GOD AND MEN, the man Christ Jesus." {141}

The Roman Catholic, if he is a true Roman
Catholic, is always seeking some mediator besides
Jesus Christ, and this verse declares expressly
that there is but "one mediator between God and
men, the man Christ Jesus," and not the priests or
saints or the Virgin Mary or anyone else.
Sometimes it is well to follow this up with
1_Timothy 4:1-3, but it is not well as a rule to
use this passage until one has made some headway.

It is also well to show the advantage of Bible
study, for as a rule the Roman Catholic does not
study the Bible at all, and in many cases is
practically forbidden by the priest to study it.
For this purpose use John 5:39; 1_Peter 2:1-2;
2_Timothy 3:13-17; James 1:21-22; Psalm 1:1-2;
Joshua 1:8; Mark 7:7-8,13; Matthew 22:29. These
texts, except the one in 1_Peter 2:1-2 are all
practically the same in the Douay or Roman
Catholic Bible as they are in the several
Protestant translations.

5. Still another way to deal with these people is
to use the same method that you would with any
sinner who does not realize his need of a Savior,
and has no real concern about his salvation (see
Chapters Six and Seven), that is to awaken a sense
that he is a sinner and needs Christ. This as a
rule is the best way if you can get the Roman
Catholic to listen to you.

However, many people think there is no use talking
with Roman Catholics, that they cannot be brought
to Christ. This is a great mistake. Many of them
are longing for something they do not find in the
Roman Catholic Church, and if you can show them
from the Word of God how to find it, they come
very easily, and make some of the best Christians.
Always be sure of one thing, do not attack the
Roman Catholic Church. This only awakens their
prejudice and puts them in a bad position to be
helped. Simply give them the truth, and the errors
in time will take care of themselves. Not
infrequently our attacks upon the Roman Catholic
Church only expose our ignorance for oftentimes
they do not believe just what we suppose they do.
It is frequently desirable to use a Roman Catholic
Bible in dealing with a Roman Catholic. Of course
if one is going to do that, he should study up the
texts beforehand in that version. Very many of the
texts are for all practical purposes the same in
the Roman Catholic version of the {142} Bible as
our own. One of the chief differences is that they
translate "repent," "do penance."

II. JEWS.

A great many Jews today are inquiring into the
claims of Jesus the Nazarene, and are open to
approach upon this subject. The best way to deal
with a Jew is to show him that his own Bible
points to Jesus Christ. Among the most useful
passages for this purpose are:

Isaiah 53, the entire chapter.

"And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah
be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of
the prince that shall come shall destroy the city
and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be
with a flood, and unto the end of the war
desolations are determined." Daniel 9;26.

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace
and of supplications: and they shall look upon me
whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for
him, as one mourneth for his only Son, and shall
be in bitterness for him, as one that is in
bitterness for his firstborn." Zechariah 12:10.

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be
little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of
thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be
ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from
of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2.

If the Jew objects that these passages are
different in his Hebrew Bible, do not allow
yourself to be put off in this way, for they are
not. He may say that Isaiah 53 does not refer to
the Messiah. In that case ask him to whom it does
refer. If he is a well-posted Jewish
controversialist, very likely he will say, to
suffering Israel. If he does say so, go through
the chapter and show that it cannot refer to
suffering Israel, because the one who suffers is
plainly suffering for the sins of another, Isaiah
53:4-5 and 8, and the other for whom he is
suffering is God's people Israel, so of course the
sufferer cannot himself be Israel.

The whole book of Hebrews is excellent to use with
a Jew, especially the ninth and tenth chapters,
and the seventh chapter, the 25th to the 28th
verses.

The great difficulty in the way of the Jew coming
out as a Christian, is the terrific persecution
which he must endure if he does. Undoubtedly it
costs a great deal today for a Jew to become a
Christian, but if he brings up this question as he
undoubtedly will, show him the passages already
given under the head of those who are afraid of
persecution, Chapter Seven, Section XII. {143}

There are a number of good tracts prepared
especially for Jews which can be had from various
missions to Jews in London, New York. Chicago, and
other large centers of population.

III. SPIRITUALISTS.

Many people who call themselves Spiritualists
claim to believe in the Bible. Such persons make a
great deal of Samuel's appearing to Saul, 1_Samuel
28:11-20. It is not necessary to deny that Samuel
really appeared to Saul, but to show the one with
whom you are dealing what the result was to Saul
of thus consulting one who had a familiar spirit.

A good passage to use in dealing with all
Spiritualists is 1_Chronicles 10:13-14:

"So Saul died for his transgression which he
committed against the Lord, even against the word
of the Lord, which he kept not, and also FOR
ASKING COUNSEL OF ONE THAT HAD A FAMILIAR SPIRIT,
to inquire of it; and inquired not of the Lord:
therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto
David the son of Jesse."

Another excellent passage is Isaiah 8:19-20:

"And when they shall say unto you, SEEK UNTO THEM
THAT HAVE FAMILIAR SPIRITS, and unto wizards that
peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek
unto their God? For the living to the dead? TO THE
LAW AND TO THE TESTIMONY: if they speak not
according to this word, it is because THERE IS NO
LIGHT IN THEM."

1_John 4:1-3 is also a useful passage, as it
brings out how not all spirits are to be believed.
2_Thessalonians 2:9-12 is also useful. All these
passages can be followed up by:

"Regard not them that have familiar spirits,
neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them:
I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:31.

"And the soul that turneth after such as have
familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a
whoring after them, I will even set my face
against that soul, and will cut him off from among
his people." Leviticus 20:6.

"There shall not be found among you any one that
maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the
fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of
times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer,
OR A CONSULTER WITH FAMILIAR SPIRITS, or a wizard,
or a necromancer. For all that do these things are
an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these
abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out
from before thee." Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

"Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to
reign, and reigned fifty and five years in
Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah.
{144} And he did that which was evil in the sight
of the Lord after the abominations of the heathen,
whom the Lord cast out before the children of
Israel. ...

"And he made his son pass through the fire, and
observed times, and used enchantments, AND DEALT
WITH FAMILIAR SPIRITS AND WIZARDS: he wrought much
wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke
him to anger." 2_Kings 21:1-2,6.

These passages all show how God regards consulting
spiritualists and mediums.

IV. CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS.

Many people in our day are being led astray into
Christian Science, and we need to be ready to help
them. Most Christian Scientists claim to believe
the Bible. Take them to 1_John 4:1-3:

"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 the spirit of antichrist, whereof
ye have heard that it should come; and even now
already is in the world."

This passage strikes at the very foundation of
Christian Science. Christian Science denies as one
of its fundamental postulates, the reality of
matter, and the reality of the body, and of
necessity the reality of the incarnation. Show
them by this passage that the Bible declares that
every spirit that confesses not Jesus Christ COME
IN THE FLESH, is not of God, but is the spirit of
antichrist. Christian Science also denies the
doctrine of substitution. Of course many Christian
Scientists are not aware of this fact, for it is
the common practice in leading one into Christian
Science, not to let him see at once, all that is
involved in it. Therefore take the one with whom
you are dealing to such passages as the following:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of
God in him." 2_Corinthians 5:21.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
Galatians 3:13.

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on
the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live
unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were
healed." 1_Peter 2:24. {145}

"And almost all things are by the law purged with
blood; and WITHOUT SHEDDING OF BLOOD is no
remission." Hebrews 9:22.

In these passages the doctrine of substitution is
clearly brought out.

The average Christian Scientist in defending his
position, makes a great deal of the fact that the
Christian Scientists have physical cures. Of this
there can be no question. Many people are better
physically because of Christian Science treatment,
so it is neither necessary nor wise to deny the
reality of all their cures. Admit the cure, and
then show that the fact that one cures sickness
proves nothing for the truth of the position he
holds, or for his acceptance before God, Use for
this purpose the following passages:

"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have
we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name
have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
work iniquity." Matthew 7:22-23.

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the
Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth,
and shall destroy with the brightness of his
coming: even him, whose coming is AFTER THE
WORKING OF SATAN WITH ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND
LYING WONDERS." 2_Thessalonians 2:8-9.

"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 11:14-15.

V. FOLLOWERS OF FALSE PROPHETS.

New false prophets are constantly rising, and it
is impossible to mention them all by name,
furthermore they oftentimes disappear as rapidly
as they appear, but practically the same method of
treatment will serve to help.

1. First show the deluded one Christ's own warning
that false Christs and false prophets would arise.
For this purpose use Mark 13:22-23:

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it
were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed:
behold, I have foretold you all things."

Dwell upon the point that the fact that they heal
the sick and perform other wonders is no proof at
all that they are not false {146} prophets, that
Christ distinctly foretold that the false Christs
and the false prophets would do these things.

2. Then give them the following five rules by
which they can escape every snare of the false
prophet.

(1) The first rule is found in John 7;17, A WILL
WHOLLY SURRENDERED TO GOD.

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the
doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak
of myself."

Make this point very clear, for many of these
people claim to have wholly surrendered their
wills to God, but question them unsparingly on
this point, and oftentimes you will find that the
will is not surrendered.

(2) The second rule is found in 2_Timothy 3:13-17.
This rule is _a careful study of the Word of God,
and a thorough comparison of any one's claims to
be a prophet, or a Christ, or the Messenger of the
Covenant, or John the Baptist, or anything of that
sort, with the teachings of the Word of God._ The
followers of false prophets generally make a hobby
of some few verses in the Bible, and do not study
the book as a whole.

(3) The third rule is found in James 1:5-7, PRAYER
TO GOD FOR WISDOM.

"If any of you lack wisdom, lit him ask of God,
that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth
not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in
faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is
like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed. For let not that man think that he shall
receive anything of the Lord."

Of course the prayer must be sincere, with a
readiness to follow the leading of God. Many pray
for guidance and still go on in delusion, but the
prayer is not sincere. They ask for guidance, but
do not utterly renounce their own wisdom and wait
upon God for His wisdom. Very many have been led
out of the error of following various false
prophets when they in utter self-distrust have
gone to God for light and guidance.

(4) The fourth rule is found in Matthew 23:8-10,
CALL NO MAN MASTER.

"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your
Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And
call no man your father upon the earth: for one is
{147} your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be
ye called masters: for one is your Master, even
Christ."

Call no man Master, acknowledge no man as an
absolute and final authority, accept the authority
of no one, and nothing but Christ and the Bible,
in matters of faith and religion. It is well to
dwell upon this point, for this is the very point
at which many are led astray, the swallowing of
some man whole, with all his arrant pretensions.
The natural, selfish heart of man craves some man
to do our thinking for us in matters of religion,
and this makes men ready to swallow whole the
teachings of some man. It is this that gives power
to popery, priestcraft, Christian Science,
Mormonism, and all similar delusions.

(5) The fifth rule is found in Proverbs 29:25, BE
AFRAID OF NO MAN.

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso
putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe."

Many a false prophet keeps his power over people
through fear. While they do not more than half
believe in him, they are afraid if they leave he
will in some way bring sickness or some other
curse upon them. Very likely the one with whom you
are dealing will be in this very position. Show
them how clearly they are in a wrong position, the
very fact that they are afraid of the man proving
this. Show the deluded man that the Holy Spirit is
"not a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind." If the deluded person
insists that the false prophet does his work in
the name of Christ and succeeds, and therefore
must be accepted of God, turn him to Matthew
7:22-23. This shows very clearly that one may even
cast out devils in the name of the Lord, and yet
be one whom He never knew.

It is well in dealing with those who are under the
spell of a false prophet to be able to show them
what the marks of a false prophet are. The first
and most common of these is a greed for money. To
show this, use Titus 1:10-11, and 2_Peter 2:3:

"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."

"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." {148}

Make it very clear if the pretended prophet is
trying to get money from the people (as usually he
very clearly is), that that in itself is a mark
that he is a false prophet. A second mark of the
false prophet is vaunting one's self. To show the
deluded one this, use Jude 16 and 1_Corinthians
13:4 RV:

"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."

"Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth
not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up."

A third mark of the false prophet is the claim to
an authority that Jesus Christ forbade any man
ascribing to himself. To show this to some person
who is in the snare of the false prophet use
Matthew 23:8,12.

A fourth mark of a false prophet is a false
application of Scripture either to himself, or to
places with which he is connected. Thus, for
example, the Mormons take passages which apply to
Israel, and apply them to their own Zion. When any
place under the false prophet's control is named
for some Bible place, and Scriptural promises
referring to the literal Bible place are applied
to the place under the prophet's control, just
show the one who is being deceived by this sort of
thing how utterly unwarranted such an application
is.

Fifth, there is usually an untrue note somewhere
in the doctrine taught by the false prophet. He
may teach a good deal that is Biblical and true,
but somewhere he betrays his Satanic origin. The
points at which this false note of doctrine are
most likely to be found are on the doctrine of
future punishment, the matter of the use of meats,
or upon legalism of some form -- the observation
of the seventh day, the matter of tithes, or
something of that sort. In the matter of future
punishment, false prophets generally go off sooner
or later into either annihilationism or
restorationism or a combination of the two.

After all the most important thing to do in
dealing with one who is under a delusion, is to
bring forward the fundamental, saving truth of the
Gospel, salvation through the atoning work and
upon the single condition of faith in Jesus
Christ. Oftentimes error, like typhoid fever, has
to be left to take its course and work itself out.
I know many men today who are out in a clear
Christian experience, who for a while were
completely under the control {149} of some of
our modern false prophets, even thinking that all
who did not agree with them were utterly wrong,
and saying so in the most bitter terms; but in
answer to prayer, and the study of the Word of
God, God has led them out of the darkness into the
light.






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