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•Topic tonight is: “Cults and Caterpillars”
–how to avoid being deceived–by cult

•Noted French naturalist–Jean Henri Fabre

–spent years studying–interesting little creature
–called–processionary caterpillar.
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–So named for tendency
–blindly follow–caterpillar–front of it.
•In–very unusual experiment,
–Fabre placed–group–these little caterpillars
in–circle around–rim of–flowerpot.
–Large clump–pine needles,–favorite food–
–placed in–center of–circled pot.
–You–probably guess what happened.
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–They followed each other around
–full seven days–nights,
–They starved–death while
–abundant supply–food
–less–six inches away.
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•When–comes to some things–can be
–or even fatal–blindly play–childhood game
–No matter how convincing–leader–seem–be.
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● What if–YOUR religious leader
–leads you–wrong direction?

● Today–cults exploding–around the world

–What if leader–you’re following
–leading you in–wrong direction?
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● What if–leader
–leading you–away from truths
–recorded in Scripture?
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● What if you follow a false religious teacher?
–How can you identify–truth from error?
–How can you–identify
–counterfeit and genuine?
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● One thing–certain
–Lucifer is–the master deceiver
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● Suppose–column of numbers–to add up
–7, 3, 4, and 1–How many right answers? One
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–What’s the answer? 15
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–How many–WRONG answers are there?
● Devil is happy–many cults arise
–teaching partial truth
–there is ONE truth–many lies
–one genuine–many counterfeits.
–Many false teachers
–How–know if- what someone–teaching–true?
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● Today, colleges–universities
–focus of intense cult recruiting efforts
–How can parents prepare
–college-bound children–for this threat?

● Best way–recognize–counterfeit
–be thoroughly acquainted with–genuine
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–Best way to recognize–counterfeit $20 bill
–know every detail–genuine bill

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–And best way–recognize
–false messiah–false christ–cult leader
–be thoroughly familiar with
–real Messiah–real Christ

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● Impossible to know–genuine Christ
–yet be misled by cult leader
–claims to be messiah

–Worldwide deception coming–Bible warns us:

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–Revelation 12:9:
“So the great dragon was cast out, that
serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan,
who deceives the whole world;…”
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“…he was cast to the earth, and his angles
were cast out with him.”
● Devil–a deceiver–tries to deceive–whole
–just as he deceived angels in heaven
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● Revelation describes
–Satan’s final attempt–deceive human race
–before Christ returns.
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● Revelation 13–describes beast–rising–out of
–What does a beast represent?

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–Remember–Daniel 7:17: “Those great
beasts...” which you saw, Daniel, “are four
kings,..” or kingdoms

● In Bible prophecy–beast represents

–king–kingdom–political or religious power.
Remember–Daniel 7:
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–lion represented Babylon
–bear represented Medo-Persia
–leopard represented Greece
–dragon-like beast represented Rome
● So–in Revelation 13–end of time
–we find–devil will try–deceive whole world
–with–master cult: church-state union.
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● Revelation 13:3 says:
“I saw one of his heads as if it had been
mortally wounded, and his deadly was

● We’ll study this part–the prophecy

–another lecture
● Notice–next sentence:

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“...And all the world marveled and followed
the beast.”
● Let’s see the principles involved here...
–Satan–great deceiver
–was cast out of heaven
–He is conditioning–minds–thousands–follow–
beast power
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–a false religious leader at the end of time.
● Cults–growing today–new cults
–appearing regularly
–just a foretaste–beast’s cult–come at the end
–Urgent–you and me–know from
–Bible–how–identify a cult

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● Cults and false religions are exploding in
–In the United States and Canada
–Eastern and Western Europe
–many other parts of the world
● Eastern Europe–Hare Krishna–growing rapidly
German and Hungarian governments
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–deciding–if Scientology–a religion or a cult

● With all these false religions

–all these persuasive, charismatic
false religious leaders
–trying to deceive us and our children,
–It–urgent for us–carefully study Jesus Christ
–His teachings
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–Tonight, we look at–Bible–at life of Christ
–We’ll compare what we find with
–popular cults–cult leaders–cult teachings
–I assure you–contrast will be amazing!
● Good news–Bible–outlined
–way to avoid Satan’s deceptions.
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● Jesus promised–John 8:36:
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you
shall be free indeed.”
● Free from deception–falsehood
–from the counterfeit

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● What is a cult?–many definitions of a cult
“From the Christian perspective, a cult is
any group that does not accept Christ as Lord
and Savior and the Bible as the foundation of
● Any guide or Savior besides Jesus–it’s a cult

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–Teachings of humans–take place
of the Bible–a cult

● So one sure way to identify a cult or false

teacher is this:
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1 - A cult will substitute a human teacher for
–whether–“Christian” cult–“New Age” cult
–substitute human teacher for Jesus

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● Some New Age cults–will say, “I am God”
–many teach–as you meditate
–develop god in you
–but–you need a guru–teach you
–find God–in you?
● Jesus was the only Divine Son of God.
–He is–only one–was with–Father in–beginning.
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If you turn–from Jesus–from simplicity of the
–mind is open–manipulation and deceptions
● Let’s sweep curtain open
–see what “New Age” thinking teaches
● Once–TV host–interviewed–New Age
cult spiritist channeler
–said–spirit–Ramtha–speaking through him
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● Mr. Griffin asked, “What is your most
important message that you want everyone
on this planet to hear?”

Spiritist–Ramtha said: “What is termed God is

within your being...And that which is called
Christ is within your being... And when you
know you are God, you will find joy.”
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● Famous Actress Shirley MacLaine
–a New Age proponent–beliefs–featured on TV
–one scene–stood on California beach
–arms flung open–shouted
–“I am God, I am God, I am God!”
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● What does Bible say? Isaiah 45:22:
“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of
the earth! For I am God, and there is no
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● New Age cults repeat the age-old lie
–deceives people–three points

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1. There is no death
–They teach Bible–wrong–when–says
–wages of sin–death
–If there–no death–no need–for–Savior

2. Man is God–but if man is God...

–no moral responsibility–no accountability

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–no judgment–no sin
–no need–for a Savior

3. Knowledge of yourself is salvation

● For cults–and New Age movement
–no need for cross–for a Savior–for repentance
● So New Age teachings–not in agreement with
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–Bible in several important areas
● But some cults even go so far as
–claim their leader–divine
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–A young man named Vernon
Howell in Waco, Texas
–took–name David Koresh
–Name–a messianic title implying
he was Christ
–Called his group “Branch Davidians”
–Koresh put himself in place of Jesus

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● David Koresh said:
“I am the Lamb. You are not Branch
Davidians, you are Koreshians.”
–in the Bible Jesus is called the Lamb of God.
–Vernon Howell claimed to be Christ
–Claimed all women were his wives
–Would create a super race on the earth
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● But salvation–not found in David Koresh
–not found in his name
–Only one name in–universe that saves
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● Bible says–Acts 4:12:
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there
is no other name under heaven given among
men by which we must be saved.”

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● Jesus Christ–only Savior of the world
–No priest–minister–bishop–cult leader–human
–can stand between you and Jesus
● Anytime you...
–put any human being between you and Jesus
–preparing–mind to accept deception
–you are in danger

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● Only one–nails through hands
–thorns on His head–can save us
● Salvation–coming–Jesus–repenting
–confessing –accepting Jesus’ grace
● Cults will have–form of substitute Christ


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–At the end–the Antichrist–substitute for Christ
–church-state union
● Cults not only claim–substitute Christ–
–they teach substitute, counterfeit gospel
–Replace teachings of Jesus with their own
–Yet Jesus Himself held forth–Bible as
–test of all truth
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–That doesn’t stop cults
–teaching human ideas as truth
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2 - A cult will substitute human teachings for
the Bible
● In a cult–word of leader–is supreme
–takes place of the Bible
–becomes law for that group.
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● November–1978–terrible cult tragedy
happened–jungles of Guyana, South America
–Jim Jones–cult leader of “People’s Temple”
–Claimed divinity–claimed his
teachings greater than–Bible
–His followers gave up their minds to him

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–On November 18, Jones ordered them
–commit mass suicide by drinking poison
–911 men, women, children died with him

● Anytime–substitute–word–another human
–for words–Bible
–You’re on very dangerous ground
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● One reason–youth–caught in cults today

–society–turned away from God’s Word
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● Jesus says–John 17:17:
“Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is
● If you reject God’s word...
–have no trustworthy basis to identify truth

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● We may talk about the second coming of
–in the clouds–every eye will see Him
–Then people go to their pastor
–he says, “Oh, but the secret rapture is true”
–Are you accepting God’s Word, or pastor’s
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–You see, even religious teachers
who are not part of–cult
–can lead people astray–away from God’s Word
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● Thousands–learn of Bible Sabbath
–Jesus says–John 14:15: “If you love me, keep
my commandments.”

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–God wrote–commandments–own finger–stone
–He said: “Remember the Sabbath to keep it
–Jesus kept Sabbath–disciples kept it
● Some go to pastor

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–Pastor says, “We’re not under the law, we’re
under grace, so we don’t need to keep the
–Some–learn Bible truth–yet–say, “...but my
pastor says...”
● Friends–dangerous–place word of person
–above–Word of God
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● Bible says–2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11:
“And with all unrighteous deception among
those who perish, because they did not
receive the love of the truth, …

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“that they might be saved...”
Verse 11 adds:
“...And for this reason God will send them a
strong delusion, that they should believe the

● If I reject truth–refuse to follow God’s will

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–doing what I’ve always done
–I prepare myself–for a strong delusion–to
believe the lie
● In the end–there’s only truth and lies
–only God’s Word or Satan’s counterfeit
● Cults–substitute–human teacher for Jesus
–substitute human teachings for the Bible,.

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3 - Work miracles to establish their claims.
Some cults appear–work miracles as support for
–claims to be from God
–Jesus worked many miracles,
–but to relieve suffering, supply people’s needs,
–teach spiritual lessons


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–Jesus didn’t work miracles to create sensation
–build fame–satisfy curiosity
–God still works miracles today
–but not all miracles are from God

● Some believe–if a miracle is worked

–must be God that’s working it
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–they believe–impossible for–devil
–work miracles
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● Jesus made it clear–this was not true
–in Matthew 24:24:

“For false christs and false prophets will

arise and show great signs and wonders to
deceive if possible, even the elect.”
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● Satan will use signs–wonders–to try to deceive
–God’s own people
● Look–Revelation says–devil working miracles

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● Revelation 16:14:
“For they are the spirits of devils, working

● Suppose–being–dazzling brightness
–appeared–great cities of the world
–tens of thousands–went
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–healed–cancer–heart disease–diabetes
–being said–not necessary–obey God’s law
–Will God work miracles–contrary to the Bible?

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● Isaiah 8:20–save you from being deceived–
“To the law and to the testimony:...”
–That’s the Bible.
“To the law and to the testimony! If they do
not speak according to this word, it is
because there is no light in them.”

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● How much light? None.
● Does Bible say–no power in them? No.
–may be power there
–may not come from God
–but from the evil one
● Would devil heal–if he could deceive people
–who would then be lost?

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–Of course.
–Devil loves to mix–good and bad
–truth and error.
–he mixes–error with the truth
–poison with the soup

● Bible says–compare teachings–to Bible

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–to the law and the testimony
–if they disagree–NO LIGHT in them
–in other words–don’t go there

● Cults substitute . . .
–substitute human teacher for Jesus
–substitute human teachings for the Bible
–work miracles to establish their claims, and
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4 - Urge group conformity
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● Jesus encouraged individuality–enjoyed
–differing personalities of His 12 disciples
–Jesus enjoyed their differing opinions
–wanted them each–think for themselves
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● Early church–no strong central leader
–dictated his will–for everyone else–follow
–Early believers studied, prayed,
discussed together
–Believers’ unity was in heart
–not in everyone thinking alike
–In contrast….
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–Cults often urge group conformity
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● Many cults practice–form of mind
● Have a group mentality–must conform to the
–follow the rigid rules
● Cult members–puts pressure on individuals
–exert pressure–coerce uniformity

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● But Bible says–Romans 14:12:
“So then each of us shall give account of
himself to God.”

● Where does moral responsibility lie before

–With yourself–individually
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● Joshua put it clearly–challenged
–children of Israel

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–in Joshua 24:15:
“...Choose for yourselves this day whom you
will serve...”

● Beware of pressures from...

–ONLY one trustworthy way to eternal life
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–Come to Jesus–Bible–guide your life
–have courage–make decision on that basis

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● Story: Truck drivers–climbing mountain pass–
United States–dark and foggy night–each driver–
following lights–truck in front–first truck–missed
turn–drove off cliff–2nd, 3rd, etc.–followed–seven
trucks drove off–simply because followed one
● We need–courage–stand for God’s truth


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–only His Word–shape our thinking
–only way–not be deceived by–cult–in future
● I will not follow any earthly leader–only Jesus
–Not let–group–family–church form my values
–only hope–follow Christ
● Bible says–we should no longer be children
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–What are children?
–must be told–what to think–what to do
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● Ephesians 4:14 says:
“That we should no longer be children,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every
wind of doctrine…
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“… by the trickery of men, in the cunning
craftiness of deceitful plotting.”

● How can I keep from being tricked?

–Bible gives answer–plain and simple
–One text–keep you from being deceived

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● Revelation14:12:
“Here is the patience of the saints;
[addressed to believers–end of time] here are
those who keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus.”

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● These end-time believers
–love Jesus–come to the cross–forgiven
–they have–grace–mercy–the faith of Jesus

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● Because they love Him–they obey Him
–By grace–they keep commandments of God
–including the Sabbath
–no 10 percent discount
–not follow–beast leader–with masses–at end
–put pressure–to break commandments
● Bible says–God’s end-time people...
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–keep the commandments of God
–have–faith of Jesus Christ

● Cults
–substitute a human teacher for Jesus
–substitute human teachings for the Bible
–work miracles to sustain their claims
–urge group conformity
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5. - Attempt to establish heaven on earth

● Cults–confused about second coming of

–saying–God will establish heaven on earth
–have Armageddon–earth will be destroyed
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● New Age cults–talk about heaven on earth
–teach–age of euphoria–of Aquarius
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● Doomsday cults–talk about Armageddon

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● Leaders–doomsday cult in Uganda, Africa
–predicted–end of – world on December 31, 1999
–World did not end, but–least 924 cult members
–either committed suicide or were murdered
–300 of them were burnt to death in this
church building

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● Some leaders–like David Koresh

–stockpile guns–other weapons
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● Order of–Solar Temple
–Said–end of the world was approaching
–Only a few would survive
–Attempted–begin that fire–burning themselves
–few survived–fiery death of 53 people

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● Japan’s Aum Cult
–Very New Age–very high tech
–Attacked Japan’s subway–nerve gas
–thought–unleash Armageddon

● Jesus will destroy this earth,

and will make a new earth.
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● But – is not job – human beings – try
–to usher in doomsday
–God–in charge–final events–earth
–in charge of when they will happen
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–Our job not to–try–bring on end of–world
–Our job–our privilege
–to tell–whole world wonderful news
–Jesus–coming again!
–Bible says:
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● Titus 2:13:
“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious
appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus

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● Bible teaches–when Jesus comes again
-sky illuminated–righteous dead–resurrected
-righteous living–changed–together
–go to heaven


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● Friends–signs show–return of Jesus – very
–Rise of cults–false religious leaders
–one of signs of the end
–We will be saved–following Jesus,
not–following–cult leader
–We will be saved–following–truth of Jesus
–not man-made teachings of–cult

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● Do you know Jesus tonight? Are you
determined–listen to His voice–and His voice
–Only person in entire universe you should
allow–control your mind is Jesus, through Holy


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–Only voice safe to follow to find road to
heaven is–voice of Jesus

● Would you like to say to this Lord and Savior

–Lord, I am yours
–Lord, nobody else–can forgive my sins but you

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● New Age theories–do not lead you to
Christ can come into your life tonight. There is no
other Savior in the world but Jesus. And this
divine Christ can enter your life, and He can
change you.


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Would you like to tell Him tonight...?
–Lord, I’m giving You my life–Your Word is my
only guide
–I’m not going to listen to the teachings of men–
pastor or priest
–I have–courage–step out from my family
–even if–husband or wife doesn’t agree

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–It’s wonderful when the husband and wife
make decisions together
–but there are times God asks to us make
decisions alone
What is God asking to you to do?
–to make Christ first in your life–to make the
Bible central in your life

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–to open your heart to Him...and to sing all the

“Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. Just to take Him

at his Word”
As we pray–do you sense–for you–there is no
Savior but Jesus?

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–Do you sense–your only safety is in following
the Bible?

Would you like to tell Jesus tonight...?

–Lord, I don’t know what other people are going
to do
–I don’t know what others in my family are going
to do

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–but for me, I’m going to follow Jesus–to accept

the Bible
–Lord, tonight I’m committing myself to You–
because I love You.

If that is your decision, would you raise your


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hand? Just quietly raise your hand, wherever you
are tonight. You need not be deceived by some
cult. You can say, Jesus, I’m accepting You. I’m
accepting your Word. I’m making a decision to
walk individually with You. Just lift your hand.

Oh, my Father, deep within our hearts, we want


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to follow You. We sense that there is no other
Savior but Jesus, our Lord, so humbly, we put
our lives in His hands, because it is so sweet to
trust in Jesus. In Christ’s name, Amen.