One of the reasons that makes witnessing to churchgoers both difficult and unpleasant is because they have not yet heard from the Lord in a revelatory way. Most of the religious believe that if your argument is not bible-based, then it is not worth listening to. So, a way to get through to them is using the scriptures in red. In other words, “What did the Lord Jesus say?” Use the Lord’s own words to reveal the truth to them.
The Lord Jesus presented a group of kingdom of heaven parables, most of which He did not explain, but he left some clues. One of the clues as depicted in Matthew 13, is the birds. Therefore, when you’re keeping things very general, your focus is to rely on what the Lord said, what the Lord shared. Consequently, ask your religious churchgoer,” what do you think that parable means?” Listen to what they say. You also ask questions. First of all Ask them, “what do the birds represent?” They won’t know. So remaining focused and patient, you highlight the verse which most people know by taking him, her or them to the parable of the mustard seed that grew into a large tree.
The trunk of that tree is the Catholic church, and the branches of that tree that come out of that trunk are the plethora of Protestant denominations and non-denominations that have been formed since the 1500’s. . Protestantism are the branches of that tree. There should be no argument that the tree is the system of the Institutional Church. So in this context, you can also clarify that the Body of Christ is not the Institutional Church where believers gather together for Sunday morning worship. So it will be relatively easy to distinguish the difference between the Body of Christ and the Institutional Church. It follows that you should be able to get agreement that the body of Christ consists of every born again person who ever lived, who’s living now, and who ever will live. Clearly, the body of Christ and the institution of church and religion are not the same.
Once these matters are clarified, then continue to interpret the mustard seed parable. Next consider the birds, nestling in the branches. Now you can make the point that the non-Catholic denominations have the devil as well as the Catholics. The trunk is the Catholic church! The people who started the Protestant churches were themselves originally Catholics, believers who left Catholicism who started a whole new branch of religion. Your major point is this. the Catholics are the trunk of the tree and Protestants are the branches. . In the Protestants we have the denominations and the non-denominations. Simple. Keep it simple.
Now, some believe that the Catholic church is of God , but it’s the branches that spoiled things. Others believe that God set up the branches , therefore it’s the Catholic church that is demonic. “Oh, forget about the Catholics, they’re all about witchcraft, with their worshipping the saints and all that, they bigtime got the devil. But the denominations, I mean, these are the ones, this is the true church.” No. Make it plain that one comes out of the other. In fact, there is a movement going forth today to unite the Protestants back with the Catholics.
Then ask the question, ” who are the birds?” THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!!
Once Jesus used a symbol, it makes sense that the symbol will have a similar meaning when He uses it again. In Matthew 13, known as the parable of the Sower, the Lord is metaphorically discussing the reasons why some hearers of the word do not become born again. Jesus shared that the one who hears the word by the wayside do not become born again because the birds come and eat the seed. Later on in that chapter, the Lord interprets His parable to the apostles, revealing that the birds are wicked beings. They are evil spirits: fallen angels and demons.
So, go back and look at the mustard seed parable concerning the birds in the branches of the institutional church system. Keeping things simple, if the birds were demons in the parable of the Sower , than Jesus is giving us a clue that the birds up in the branches of the mustard seed parable are evil spirits also. So if the birds up in the branches are demons. believe me, the Catholic church is also run by fallen angels. In other words, in His office as a Prophet, the Lord revealed that Fallen angels and demons would one day be in control of the Institutional Church.
Perhaps you will be asked if you believe God ever been involved with Institutional Church? To answer this question refer to the first two or three chapters of the book of Revelation, where a message is sent from the Lord , not to the church, but to the angel of the church. Clearly, God’s angels play an important role in the operation of the Institutional Church, and seeing as it was a Roman emperor–Constantine— who started the Institutional Church in 313AD, it doesn’t take too much common sense to realize that the angels who are in control of the Institutional Church today are fallen, they’re not God’s angels.
From the book of Revelation, God’s angels were involved in the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Philadelphia. For example, point out that the Churches at Pergamos and Thyatira reads a lot like the Catholic Church as Laodicea clearly represents the Protestant churches of our times. So it would be beneficial if you spent with those seven letters.
Churchgoers, both traditional and charismatic tend to leap from topic to topic. In this case, you must stay focused by making only a few points. . The major point you should make is God’s relationship to the institutional church according to the words of Jesus in His parables and in the book of Revelation. The average committed churchgoer is going to defend THEIR local church and their pastor., with defenses like “oh, well my church doesn’t do what these charismatic churches do, they don’t ask for tithes, they don’t teach this, they don’t teach that.”
You have to point out that certainly there are righteous, sincere people in some of the churches, both pastors and laity. The question is “Do you want to be in a church that regardless of how committed and faithful the people seem, their organization is run by fallen angels and demons?” The birds in the branches is the bottom-line to consider! Until a religious, deceived person comes to the realization that Satan, the god of this world, is in control of their beloved church edifice and system , is it really safe to worship there? The next question to address is “what about the plagues that the Lord mentions in Rev 18:4 when He warns “Come out of Her My People, less you partake of Her sins and receive of Her plagues.”
In fact, where are God’s people for the most part? Let the churchgoer answer that question. The very first place even an atheist will think of is “the Institutional Churches. “
This is all very simple. The enemy keeps the confusion complicated so that churchgoers will protest with all kinds of explanations, rationalizations and excuses for continuing to do what the Lord has warned them not to do.
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