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--By Maria.       Maria #164 DO 2790

       1. Whenever you're out witnessing, at some time or another you're going to run into problem people who are either full of the Devil & really evil, or people who are just wasting your time because of their ornery spirit! Even when some of our own Family were first witnessed to, they presented quite a problem through their arguing, their scorn, their sarcasm, maybe even trying to get you off the subject by bringing up some weird mind trip or something. So I wouldn't class everyone who doesn't want to get right down to the point of talking about Jesus & Salvation as "full of the Devil" or "a goat." But if they are being a problem, the Devil is using them in one way or the other. Either they're full of the Devil & really anti-Christ, or they're being used by the Devil, even though they may be potential sheep.
       2. When you run into this kind of thing, you need to take control of the situation & take command & not let yourself just be bullied by someone, or interrogated or harassed or led off the track on to some subject that you don't even want to get into discussing.--Some head trip or complicated situation. There are all kinds of ways that the Devil can distract you in your witnessing & get you off the track & off the main point of sharing the Lord & Salvation with others. "But I fear, lest by any means, as the Serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."--2Cor.11:3.
       3. You do, of course, have to try to answer their sincere questions & questions that do relate to the Christian life & to Salvation. You have to be led by the Spirit & not just say, "Listen, forget these questions!--Do you want Jesus or don't you?!" You don't want to do that unless they're really being antagonistic. Then, of course, like Dad's story about the bum he met on the street in Miami who just wanted to argue with him, you might have to say, "I don't have time to argue--if you don't want to receive Jesus right now, I've gotta go!" In that case, the bum answered back & said, "Then I'm going to go down & throw myself in the Miami River & commit suicide! Nobody loves me, nobody cares, you won't even talk to me!" And Dad said, "I'm talking to you now! Do you want Jesus or not?" "Not now, not now!" So Dad finally said, "All right, then go to Hell then! You might as well go down & throw yourself in the river!"
       4. If you feel in the Spirit that things aren't going right, that they're leading you off into some discussion that is not related to Jesus & Salvation & that is not going to lead them to the Lord, then you need to take control of the situation & bring it back to where it belongs. Or if they are harassing you in any way or making fun of you or scorning you, you need to manifest your authority in the Spirit & take charge of the conversation! Or if they are interrogating you & asking you personal questions that you don't want to answer, take control!
       5. Or if someone is teasing you, flirting with you, making sexy comments or saying off colour distasteful things to try to rattle, embarrass & upset you, answer back firmly & with conviction that you are not there to play around! Or if they are baiting you in a mocking or teasing spirit, claiming to be "too bad for God" or "already lost & going to Hell," or showing off how rebellious they are to amuse their friends who may be listening, take command of the situation & bring the conversation around to what you want to talk about.
       6. Sometimes people can even lead you in a conversation about the Bible or religion that is a waste of time. For example, if someone just wants to argue about doctrines, Biblical interpretations etc., in an obvious "my-mind-is-made-up already" attitude, then you should get the upper hand in the conversation & simply tell them straight out that you don't want to waste time arguing over minor insignificant little shibboleths, but you'd rather just talk about Jesus. (This type of time-wasting religious arguer is often a very narrow-minded church systemite.)
       7. There are also nonreligious people who can waste your time arguing about the Bible--like atheists or agnostics who want to talk about complicated philosophies or all the supposed "contradictions" in the Bible etc. You should not get intimidated & let such people dominate the conversation, but instead show the authority of the Spirit & preach the Truth.
       8. Of course, if you're talking to someone who is getting very upset or threatening you, or if someone seems to be a little crazy or like they might get angry & even cause you bodily harm, then you don't need to carry on a long conversation at all! But you do need to pray desperately & take control in the Spirit at least enough to get out of the conversation & get away from any such angry, unpredictable, dangerous people.
       9. Sometimes even very kind & polite people can dominate the conversation by wanting to talk about your home country & what it's like in America, or by wanting to practice speaking English etc. Don't be so worried about offending this type of people or hurting their feelings that you allow them to direct the conversation wherever they want to take it. Just sweetly take the reins & explain that you only have a little time & you would prefer to talk to them about Jesus.
       10. In our Family we've been taught to be quite bold, to go where some Angels fear to tread!--To seek the lost sheep in the highways & the byways & compel them to come in!--Luk.14:23. Our people aren't afraid to be gate-crashers at parties or to get up on stages wherever we can & grab the mike!--To take control of situations! We've done pretty well on taking control of large situations, such as going right into political rallies & handing out tracts, bypassing authorities in order to meet celebrities etc. We're pretty bold when it comes to getting into places & situations & giving people our lit.
       11. But on a personal basis, when it comes to one-on-one witnessing I think we need to have some of the same kind of guts & gumption, & not be quite so sweet & meek & mild & ready to let them push us around & walk all over us. We need to display the same boldness & confidence in our personal witnessing as we do in getting into places, taking over situations, crashing parties & giving out our lit! We need to display that same confidence & outgoingness, & not cower & be intimidated by people.
       12. Maybe it's because we want to give people the benefit of the doubt, we want to give them every chance possible, but I think we need to stand up for our rights more in our witnessing, to take the authority in the Spirit that the Lord has given us & to act like the important people that we really are, the important messengers that the Lord has made us, to bring the most valuable Truth in the World to people! We should not cower & allow ourselves to be bullied, harassed, intimidated, pushed into a corner or robbed of valuable time that the Lord could use better on someone else.
       13. You may come across some real devils, even people with familiar spirits who will come up & start questioning you & asking you where you came from & what you're doing.--Or there may be others who will just make fun of you & mock you. Well, instead of just meekly taking it & letting them go on & on, I think you really need to stand up to them! You don't have to yell at them, or scream at them, or get angry at them & red in the face, but just confidently & firmly say, "I think that's out of line & I don't think you should be talking to me that way." Or, "Please, you're being very rude & I'd appreciate it if you would stop. I don't like this line of questioning. If you don't want to talk about Jesus, then you'll have to excuse me." Or, "I'm sorry, but I came to tell you about Jesus. If you don't want to hear about Jesus, then I'll have to go & talk to someone else." "I'm sorry, but that's my private personal life & I prefer not to talk about it." (Remember, we're talking about difficult people here. Some people will ask you questions just because they're being friendly & are sincerely interested in you & your lifestyle. These questions you can answer briefly if you feel led, especially if you can use the answers as part of your witness & testimony. See "Wise Witnessing Replies!")
       14. We're just going to have to stand up & take our authority in the Spirit as children of God, & as princesses & princes of the King of kings, & not let people get away with wasting our time, annoying us, harassing us & making us feel bad. We need to stand up & discipline these people & correct them! If you do this with some people, you may be surprised to see that they right away calm down & say, "Oh, I'm sorry. No, I would like to talk about Jesus." But if you let them continue unchecked you'll get nowhere & you'll end up discouraged & frustrated. If you don't stop them, they'll keep being bad. Aren't we the same? If we don't have limits, we'll just do whatever we can get away with.
       15. If you're witnessing to someone who may be sheepy, the Devil is going to try his hardest to get them not to listen.--And one way he may try it is to get them to be foolish, or to go on & on about themselves & their own trips, or to talk too much about you, or to get them off on some other track.--Or even to yield to the temptation to make fun of you & be sarcastic. So unless you take your authority in the Spirit & correct that situation & tell them to stop, you may be failing them terribly. They may be really sheepy & the Lord may want to get through to them, but unless you stop them from going in the wrong direction, you may just give up in despair & never get anywhere with them. You owe it to them, & you owe it to the Lord to stand up & stop them from doing the wrong thing. You may find out that they're really receptive & sheepy after all. They may feel very bad & say, "Oh, I'm really sorry! No, I do want to talk about Jesus!" You called the Devil's bluff!
       16. Some people are well-meaning, but just get tripped-off into wanting to have a normal System conversation about you or themselves, about the time of day or your clothes or rock stars or movies. If you can't bring these things into your conversation in a useful way where you can use them for witnessing, it would be better to say, "Well, this is a very interesting conversation & I'd like to talk to you more, but my main reason for being here is that I need to tell you about something very important in my life & that can be important in yours, & I just have so much time. So if you don't mind, I'd like to continue talking about Jesus." You have to be led of the Spirit how you handle individual people.
       17. Or if the people wasting your time are full of the Devil & anti-Christ & don't want anything to do with Jesus, the sooner you find it out the better!--And the sooner you stop them the better. You don't want to be "casting your pearls before swine" (Mat.7:6) & continuing to try to fight with somebody who is hateful & isn't going to accept your message. You need to stand up with the authority of the Spirit & say, "I'm sorry, I don't like that kind of talk! If you're going to talk to me, you're going to have to be more civil & more respectful. I'm telling you about the greatest Gift that was ever given, & the greatest thing in the World, but if you are going to mock & harass me & be sarcastic, I'm going to stop right now! So please excuse me."
       18. Then they have to make the choice! You've called their number & they have to either stop & just let you go & you walk away from them, or they're going to repent & be sorry & say, "No, please forgive me, I'm sorry! I want to hear what you have to say."
       19. You need to take the authority of the Spirit & be the Ambassadors that the Lord has made you!--And not cower & be intimidated & be backed into a corner & waste God's precious time with all these discouraging things that are designed not only to take your time, but to make you feel bad, & make you feel that you failed in your witness, & a host of other negative feelings.
       20. You need to just come right out & tell people where you stand! Don't get angry, don't get red in the face. Just say sweetly but firmly, "I'm sorry, but if you don't want to talk about Jesus, then I have to go, because that's what I'm here for, & that's my job. I can't take my time with other non-essentials, because there are other people who would give anything to have what I have to offer! And if you don't want it, I'm going to go to somebody who does!" I think you're going to have to do that, & if you don't do it, you're failing the Lord, & you're failing in your witness.
       21. Of course, we have to be patient with people, & we have to be prayerful & be led of the Spirit, but these are some general principles. If you feel in the Spirit that something is wrong & the people are leading you off the track, trying to discuss something else & they're definitely working against you in some way or another, you're going to have to correct them on it & tell them, "Well, we do want to see you find Jesus, & we want to give you this priceless Gift, but if you're going to act like that, we're sorry, we'll have to go."
       22. You need to explain this to them--don't just turn your back on them & walk off. You owe it to them to tell them why you're leaving, & then give them a chance to repent & tell you they're sorry. And then if they do, you've won a victory & you can give them the Lord without the Devil's distractions.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family