—A Fishing Manual for Fishers of Men!
—MOMay 1975GP 344
(Compiled by Apollos & MO Ed. Dept.)
© Copyrighted May 1975 by the Children of God, P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX England or B.P. 752, 75123 Paris, Cedex 03 France
OUR JOB: MK.16:15
1. "GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD, AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE" is not an option! It's a commandment! The message is clear! There's no denying it‚ or excusing ourselves! We must simply have the faith to obey, even if it means going out not knowing whither we go!
2. JESUS MADE IT QUITE CLEAR THAT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE ORDAINED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL when He said in John 15:16‚ "Ye have not chosen Me‚ but I have chosen you, and ordained you that ye should go and bring forth fruit"
3. THEREFORE, IT IS NOT JUST A NICE THING TO DO WHEN WE FEEL LIKE IT, OR CAN FIND THE TIME, BUT IT IS THE GOD-GIVEN JOB AND RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL HIS TRUE CHILDREN, as Paul expressed, "For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me: yea‚ woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!" (See also Ezk.3:17-19.)
4. THIS IS WHY WE ARE BANDING TOGETHER AND SPREADING AROUND THE WORLD: to devote our full time and energies to preaching the Gospel to every creature and winning their souls to Jesus Christ and their bodies to His service for others!
5. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE FOR: TO WIN YOUTH FOR CHRIST! For "herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples."
MAN'S GREATEST NEED: MT.9:36-38
6. REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY, COUNTRY‚ COLOUR, OR CREED, THE HEART OF MAN IS THE SAME THE WORLD OVER, and his heartaches and sorrows and sins and pains and fear of death are the same! His longings‚ loves, and hunger for God and His Truth, for joy and happiness and peace of mind, are God-created, and the same in men the world over!
7. EVEN THOUGH MANY OF THESE POOR FOLKS ARE REALLY SEEKING genuine love, they seldom, if ever, find it. For there are so few of God's people who are willing to show them His real Love.
8. AS JESUS HIMSELF SAID, "THE HARVEST TRULY IS PLENTEOUS, BUT THE LABOURERS ARE FEW. Therefore," He commanded, "pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest"—His vast harvest of multitudes of frozen‚ cold, hungry people, wandering around in darkness without God.
GOD'S GREATER SOLUTION: ACTS 1:8
9. ONLY THE SUPERNATURAL MIRACLE-WORKING POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD HIMSELF CAN REALLY DO THE JOB and really win their hearts, bring them to a decision and cause them to be born again as new creatures!
10. THEREFORE, GOD HAS PROMISED AN ANOINTING OF THIS VERY POWER TO HIS WITNESSES TO HELP THEM LEAD OTHERS TO HIM. "Ye shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And ye shall be witnesses unto Me! ..." The purpose of the power is for witnessing!
11. WE'VE GOT NOTHING BUT GOD, SO LET'S SHOW THEM HIS SPIRIT! As Paul said‚ "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."
12. IT'S THIS FIERY ANOINTING THAT COUNTS! If you haven't got the fire, I don't care how "good" a witness you are; it's just cold, dead icicles of facts and figures, and you'll never set anyone else on fire without it! As Jesus said, "Without Me ye can do nothing."
13. BUT IF YOU DO YOUR PART, AND "ABIDE IN THE VINE" TOTALLY YIELDING YOURSELF TO HIM in submission and humility, then the Lord will do His part, and inspire you‚ or fill you with His Spirit, so you can "bear much fruit"—new-born babes into the kingdom of God! (See Jn.15:1-8.)
MOST EFFECTIVE METHOD: 2TIM.2:2
14. AS A YOUNG PREACHER WITH A REAL LOVE FOR THE LOST AND A SINCERE DESIRE TO TRY TO WIN THE POOR LOST SHEEP THE CHURCHES FAILED TO REACH‚ I TRIED EVERYTHING I could think of‚ dreamed up every method I could imagine to try to carry the Gospel to them.
15. I PREACHED ON THE STREETS and in the parks; I sang at the top my voice; I showed pictures and movies anywhere I possibly could—to reach the people outside of the church with the message of God's Love! But it was still the meeting method and the mass evangelism approach, which only had moderate success.
16. THEN, ONE DAY I FOUND OUT THE EXCITING TRUTH AND THRILLING FACT THAT YOU COULD WIN MORE SOULS WITNESSING INDIVIDUALLY to individual people wherever you could find them, without a church or a pulpit or a meeting of any kind, anywhere, any time, and all the time, everywhere to everybody!
17. THE LORD HIMSELF FOLLOWED THIS TACTIC. Jesus and His handful of disciples kept moving and out of sight as much as they could, doing most of their witnessing personally to individuals! The only large crowds they had were not planned meetings!
18. THEIR METHOD WAS ALMOST ALWAYS INDIVIDUAL‚ PERSONAL EVANGELISM ON A SMALL SCALE, depending on the effectiveness of a thorough personal witness and intensive individual training to multiply the number of converts by making everyone a soul winner, and not all in the same place!
19. TRUE, SACRIFICIAL DISCIPLES ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN AND ARE HARD TO FIND! You have to search them out individually‚ personally, with tender loving care and personal attention. Jesus said that the good shepherd "calleth his own sheep by name (personally, individually) and leadeth them out."
WHO ARE WE TRYING TO WIN? LK.5:38
20. AS THE CHILDREN OF GOD, YOU SHOULD HAVE LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR EVERYONE, not just your own—young or old, rich or poor‚ strong or weak, hippie or Systemite, even if you don't like 'em—"every creature!"
21. HOWEVER, GOD'S SPIRIT WILL LEAD YOU ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO REALLY NEED YOUR LOVING HELP, and who will respond in loving appreciation, just as it will also lead them to you.
22. GOD GOES WHERE THERE ARE OPEN AND RECEPTIVE HEARTS THAT ARE HUNGRY: He seeks the low and the humble and the contrite heart‚ but resists the proud. His Word says, "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich (or full) He hath sent empty away. For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
23. THERE IS NOT MUCH HOPE FOR THE OLDER GENERATION. For "No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, the old is better." They have become satisfied with life, and are taken up in their material pursuits of the competitive, hypocritical society!
24. BUT FOR THE YOUNG WHO ARE SEEKING, HUNGRY, UNHAPPY AND YEARNING FOR THE SPIRITUAL, THIS IS THEIR DAY! As Jesus Himself said, "New wine must be put into new bottles."
25. HE HAD TO POUR HIS VERY NEW WINE INTO VERY NEW BOTTLES who could expand their receptivities sufficiently to take it, accommodate it‚ and even rejoice in it, for it spoke their language and helped Him to reach the drunks and harlots and the publicans and sinners and the radical young zealots and hippies with whom He associated.
26. IT IS FROM THE RANKS OF THESE THAT MOST OF OUR DISCIPLES COME, MOST OF WHOM HAVE ALREADY DROPPED OUT of society and home in heart or in mind or in spirit or literally, and who already hate the money-mad, science-worshipping, earth-polluting, and hypocritical churchy system!
27. SO THEN, WHO ARE WE TRYING TO WIN? FIRST, I would say, these poor lost kids! They are our primary target to try to reach with our good sample to save them from the System!
TIPS TO USE WHEN WITNESSING: PR.11:30
—On Relating and Adapting—
28. IN WINNING PEOPLE, YOU HAVE TO INSPIRE THEIR FAITH IN YOU BEFORE THEY CAN BELIEVE GOD. You are their link with God. You are a priest to them and their mediator. As Jesus said, "He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me." For "ye are (right now!) a royal priesthood."
29. YOU MUST ESTABLISH POINTS OF CONTACT WITH THEM. There must be something in common in order for people to communicate. Use the kind of language that will win them. If it takes strong language to get the point across—use it! If it takes sweeter language, even church language, use that! But if you use churchy platitudes to the poor, lost, wandering hippies, they will puke! Ask God for wisdom! (Ja.1:5)
30. ONE OF THE MOST NEEDED ABILITIES IN WITNESSING IS ADAPTABILITY: being able to be anything to reach anybody and to become all things to all men. This tactic of adaptability was largely responsible for much of the Apostle Paul's soul-winning success.
31. HE SAID, "TO THE JEWS‚ I BECAME AS A JEW; THAT I MIGHT GAIN (WIN) THE JEWS; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them. ... I am made all things to all men‚ that I might by all means save some."
32. SOMETIMES, ALL SOME PEOPLE NEED IS FOR SOMEBODY TO LISTEN, and that's half the job of being a witness! Let's not fail them in showing them we're willing to listen to their troubles. Often they're really hungriest for fellowship and companionship and real love and sympathy, just somebody to talk to‚ to relieve their loneliness and to feel like somebody cares and shares their misery and their needs and problems.
33. (Prophecy): "CAN YOU NOT HEAR THE HEARTCRY OF THEIR BOSOM? ... To love is to weep with them, to cry with them, to suffer with them that suffer‚ and to feel the agony of heart with them whose hearts are broken!"
—On Staying Simple—
34. I WON LOT OF PEOPLE TO THE LORD WITH ONLY JOHN 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." That's all you really need to know to win souls. You shouldn't try to cram the whole Bible into the guy you're witnessing to anyhow. Just harp on a verse or two until he's got 'em so memorised he can't forget 'em; otherwise, you'll just confuse him.
35. BEWARE LEST YE BE LED AWAY FROM THE SIMPLICITY OF THE GOSPEL! Except ye be as a little child ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven! You gotta be a baby! And babies don't waste most of their time arguing over theoretical‚ theological, doctrinal shibboleths!
36. REMEMBER, THE WORDS THAT THE PHARISEES SPOKE WERE WELL-EDUCATED, but they were flesh and they were death! Why? Because they spoke from their heads, but Jesus spoke from His heart—from the Spirit. That's the difference!
—On Desperation, then Salvation—
37. YOU CANNOT GET A GUY SAVED UNTIL HE FINDS OUT HE'S A SINNER and just can't make it without the Lord. It is not until you recognise you're a sinner that you're desperate enough to seek salvation. And that's when people really find God: when they are really desperate! As He says in His Word, "Ye shall seek Me, and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."
38. SO YOU FIRST HAVE TO SHOW THEM THAT THEY'RE A SINNER before you can convince them that they need a Saviour, and give them the happy answer of Who He is. As Jesus said, "They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." It's the pitiful, hopeless, lost, humble, loving, sinful sinner who knows he needs God that He came to save!
—On Answering Questions and Feeding Sheep—
39. ANSWER SINCERE QUESTIONS HONESTLY AND SHOW THE SINCERE THE TRUTH, and if they really wanna know‚ God will show 'em. "My sheep hear My voice. ..." You don't necessarily have to always give them the answers they want, but the answers they need.
40. BUT BEWARE OF THOSE THAT ASK QUESTIONS NOT BECAUSE THEY WANT THE ANSWER, BUT BECAUSE THEIR MINDS ARE ALREADY MADE UP and they don't want to be confused with the facts, but are only trying to trap you‚ like the self-righteous Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with His Own Words.
41. "AND THE SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES BEGAN TO URGE HIM VEHEMENTLY, AND TO PROVOKE HIM TO SPEAK OF MANY THINGS; laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him."
42. DON'T TRY TO CRAM THE TRUTH DOWN THE THROATS OF THOSE WHO DON'T WANT IT! Jesus never went a step out of His way to argue with the hypocritical, self-righteous church people. In fact‚ He advised His followers to "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind!" He only answered their pestering when He had to, for the sake of the sheep, or when they actually and sincerely came to Him for help.
43. SEEK OUT THE HUNGRY SHEEP WHO GOBBLE IT UP AND BEG FOR MORE. Jesus walked miles out of His way in the heat of day to love and win one wicked woman at a well! "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
—On Your Personal Testimony—
44. THIS LOWLY LADY AT THE WELL WAS SO THRILLED about her experience with this stranger named Jesus, that she "Left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 'Come see a man that told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?'" And as a result of her personal testimony, "many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman."
45. SO WHEN WITNESSING‚ ALWAYS GIVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL TESTIMONY. They can hardly deny that without calling you a liar‚ and they're not likely to do that if you present it with earnest sincerity‚ love and power of the Spirit—real conviction!
—On Staying on the Main Line—
46. STAY ON THE MAIN LINE! Try not to get sidetracked! If they don't want to discuss Christ or the Bible or the main issues—that loving God and your neighbour is the solution to everything, then why waste time arguing?
47. LIFT UP JESUS, Who said, "If I be lifted up. I will draw all men unto me!" Preach Christ! As Paul said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ." If they don't want Him, forget it!
—On Performing Miracles (Musical)—
48. REMEMBER ALSO THAT THE REVOLUTION WAS WAGED AND SOULS WON WITH OUR MUSIC! For music is the language of this generation! Our music is the miracle which attract so many to our message about the Man. So don't neglect it!
49. IT IS INDEED A MIRACULOUS GIFT FOR THE HEALING OF MANY SOULS AND BRINGING LIFE TO MANY LIVES AND PEACE TO MANY MINDS AND HEARTS. Even David of old knew the power of inspired guitar-playing and singing, as he used it to minister to poor Saul, who was troubled by an evil spirit.
50. "AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN THE EVIL SPIRIT FROM GOD WAS UPON SAUL, THAT DAVID TOOK AN HARP (guitar)‚ and played with his hand: So Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."
51. SO, IF YOU CAN PLAY AND SING, "STIR UP THE GIFT OF GOD WHICH IS IN THEE," and use it! Or learn how! For your inspired songs are like the key of love which unlocks hearts to find a responsive chord that longs to harmonise with you!
—On Destroying Delusion in Order to Build a Firm Foundation of Truth—
52. YOU MUST BEAR IN MIND THAT MOST PEOPLE TODAY HAVE BEEN UNWITTINGLY MENTALLY CONDITIONED BY ALL THE PREACHERS and teachers and false teachers, and their dandy bad example, which is so contrary to the plan of true Christianity. As result‚ they cannot help but identify God with the religious system who was supposed to be giving them God.
53. SO WHEN THEY BECOME EMBITTERED AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS SYSTEM, THEY USUALLY BECOME EMBITTERED AGAINST GOD. "Because," they say, "if that's what God's like, I don't want anything to do with Him!"
54. THEREFORE, A MAJOR PART OF YOUR WITNESS IS TO DESTROY THE GOD-DAMNED LIES (preconceived churchy misconceptions) by the Word of His Truth, tearing down the Devil's spiritual strongholds in the hearts of men! As in the Words of God through Jeremiah, "to root out, to break down, and destroy" the damnable doctrines and delusions of the devil‚ so that you can begin "to build and to plant" the beautiful, Christ-loving Kingdom of Peace.
55. YOU MUST SHOW THEM THAT HE'S NOT THE TRADITIONALLY MANUFACTURED GOD OF HYPOCRITICAL CHURCHIANITY, Who's always the System-supporting lover of only the rich and Who is seemingly worshipped by most of the rich churches and rich people!
56. NOR IS HE A NAMSY–PAMSY, SUNDAY-SCHOOL-POSTER-TYPE of kindly old gentleman with bushy grey hair and a long white beard, a Santa Claus that brings everybody presents, especially the church people!
57. LET THEM KNOW THAT THE TRUE GOD IS A GOOD GOD WHO IS KIND AND LOVING AND CONCERNED ABOUT HIS CHILDREN, and Who hates war and its rich perpetrators, and deplores the poverty of the poor and their suffering‚ and is determined to set things right soon!
—On Your Greatest Witness: Love—
58. YOUR GREATEST WITNESS IS LOVE, FOR THE ONLY LOVE OF GOD THEY CAN SEE IS THE LOVE THEY SEE IN YOU. If you don't show them the love they can see and feel, they're going to have a hard time believing that there is Someone up there Whom they don't know and that He really loves them.
59. SO YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DROP A LITTLE LOVE INTO THE HEARTS OF THOSE YOU PASS BY, even if only with a word, a smile, or a look of sympathy, and they will know that God has loved them that day! His Spirit will tell them so!
60. YOUR EYES ARE THE FIRST TO SHOW LOVE. AS WELL AS THE FIRST TO RECEIVE IT. Therefore, your eyes are your most potent witnesses of God's love‚ as they are the most deeply sincere communicator of all your senses. If you don't know their power‚ you'd better start learning how to "use it!"
61. FOR FEW CAN RESIST SUCH LOVING LOOKS WHICH REVEAL THE LOVE OF JESUS! For your loving looks have the loving answer to the needs of every hungry heart—the look of love which unlocks the doors of many of the hardest and heaviest hearts.
62. IT NEVER FAILS, BECAUSE "GOD IS LOVE‚" AND IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO FAIL! And He will help us not to fail if we are willing to woo and win them with the kind of love that led Jesus to the cross to lay down His life for you, to die that you might live.
63. THAT IS THE ONLY KIND OF LOVE THAT'S GOING TO WIN THE WORLD: THE LOVE OF JESUS! "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
64. IS THAT THE KIND OF LOVE YOU HAVE FOR HIS LITTLE LOST SHEEP? If so, nothing can stop you, not even death‚ for "The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
—On Prayer Power—
65. ALWAYS HAVE PRAYER WITH THEM, if the occasion warrants, if they get that interested. Never underestimate the power of prayer! There are very few people who don't respect prayer, or at least your right to pray.
66. SHOW THEM THAT JESUS SAID, "BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR (of their heart) AND KNOCK: If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him . ..." In other words, they can have Him and ask Him to come into their heart with all His Love‚ life, liberty, truth, peace, plenty, and happiness—here now‚ and forever!
67. SOMETIMES I HANG ONTO MY SUBJECTS HAND WITH BOTH OF MINE FOR A WORD OF PRAYER, or to try to get them to make a decision, and often they really break and accept the Lord! There's something electrifying about prayer! As Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."
—On Making Disciples of All Nations—
68. WHEN JESUS WALKED BY THE SHORE, HE CALLED TO THE FISHERMEN WHO HAD JUST CAUGHT THE BIGGEST HAUL OF THEIR LIVES, "COME, FOLLOW ME and I will make you fishers of men." This is God's first test for every disciple: to see if he loves Him enough to put Him first by forsaking all immediately to follow Him now! For‚ "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple."
69. JESUS DIDN'T GIVE'EM ANY TIME TO THINK IT OVER. He told 'em it was now or never!" And as a result they "straightway left their nets"—and "immediately left the ship and their father, and followed Him!"
70. GOD HAS HIS TIMES! Let me tell you; you'd better obey God in that split second of that golden opportunity, when the Spirit is hot and heavy on them and you can strike while the iron is hot and malleable, before they cool off and the Devil changes their mind!
71. DON'T HESITATE TO HAVE FAITH TO OBEY GOD and say to people, "If you really want to love God and live for Him and serve Him, you can come with us, work with us‚ join us, live with us, and help us."
72. A LOT DEPENDS ON THEIR MOTIVES. If they want to do it for Jesus, we'll take almost anybody, or should try. We just need to make sure that they have the same Salvation‚ the same Power of the Spirit, the same Motivation, the same desire to Forsake All‚ and the same total Dedication to serve Jesus!
73. AND REMEMBER, ALTHOUGH JESUS' DISCIPLES WERE UNLEARNED AND IGNORANT MEN, THEY WERE EVERY ONE A POTENTIAL LEADER, as was proven afterward. Likewise today, we also are looking for leaders and workers who are willing to sacrifice their lives to bring the love of Jesus to other young people around the world.
THE RESULTS AND REWARDS OF SOUL–WOOING: DAN.12:3
74. SPIRITUALLY, EVERYONE YOU WITNESS TO, YOU'RE WOOING THEM IN THE SPIRIT—wooing and loving and sowing the seed of God's Word in the Spirit. You should enjoy witnessing in the Spirit as much as you do wooing in the physical! When the soul is receptive, the seed just pours in, and then you bear a spiritual baby!
75. THIS IS THE END RESULT AND GREATEST GOAL OF SOUL-WOOING, A NEWBORN BABE IN THE FAMILY OF GOD, a whole new created soul made by the hands of God for all eternity to enjoy—the only thing we can take with us from this world!
76. AS PAUL WROTE TO ONE OF HIS FLOCKS, "We preached unto you the Gospel," and "Ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us." (They got saved!) Then referring to Jesus' return, he says, "For what is our crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye (the souls he had won!) in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?"
77. THESE ARE THE GIFTS THE LORD IS MOST PLEASED WITH: THE LIVES AND HEARTS OF MEN! There was always a glorious presentation of gifts before the conquering king. We‚ God's victorious army, will lay at His feet—the feet of the conquering King—the souls we have recaptured from the Enemy!
78. SO GET OUT AND DO YOUR BEST FOR JESUS AND LOST SOULS! AND GOD HIMSELF SHALL REWARD YOU with everlasting souls and joy of the Lord for a job well done which has reaped much fruit, whose fellowship we shall enjoy in God's Family, both now and forevermore, and for which both you and they will be eternally thankful and God everlastingly grateful! "Well done," He'll say, "thou good and faithful servant. ... Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" Hallelujah! They that win many shall shine!
79. (Prophecy): "GO NOW, FOR NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION ... for behold‚ we are here, now, at this very day. We have come to preach the Gospel to the poor, to open the eyes of the blind‚ and loose them that are bound! To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
80. "FOR THERE IS YET MUCH PEOPLE IN THESE CITIES THAT I HAVE GIVEN THEE, that I have called by My Name, that I have called; and they shall follow Me, if thou shalt call them in My Name! They shall be thine and Mine, and there shall be one Shepherd and one fold for My sheep!"