Witnessing and Undershepherding
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the [accurate] knowledge of the truth. – I Timothy 2: 4
The text reads “... an accurate knowledge of the truth.”
Christians need to understand that it is not God’s Will for people to have just a knowledge of the truth, but to have an ACCURATE knowledge of the truth. There is a big difference.
Witnessing and undershepherding is an extremely important part of a believer’s walk with God. It has been said that there are two qualities of a committed believer. One of them is he or she witnesses God’s Word and the other is that the Christian man or woman tithes.
Witnessing is really a joy and a responsibility that we have of bringing deliverance to people and giving them power for abundant living. There is a great secret in the world today and that is that the Bible is the revealed Word and Will of God. In this teaching, we will be concerned with the art of witnessing and undershepherding – the how, when, where, and why of both.
Remember that natural man has only body and soul – no spirit. That means he cannot understand spiritual matters.
But the natural man (the man of body and soul) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. – I Corinthians 2: 14
When a man becomes born again of God’s Spirit, he now has a spiritual connection with God.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. -- Romans 10: 9, 10
Also, a most important Scripture tells us that God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. He has committed it unto us and it is our sole responsibility to carry it out. He tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ. God tells us this clearly in three Scriptures in II Corinthians.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit (to know), that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you (delete ‘you’ – it’s in italics) in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. – II Corinthians 5: 18, 19, 20
God clearly states that the ministry/word of reconciliation was given to us and committed to us.
II Corinthians 5: 20 tells us that an ambassador is one who is sent and delivers a message verbatim for the one who sends him. That is why we are never to argue the Word with anyone. We are to witness to it because truth needs no defense.
There are three (3) major features of an ambassador:
1) He represents
2) He is sent
3) He speaks
A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health. – Proverbs 13: 17
1. We represent as is stated in II Corinthians 5: 20:
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. – II Corinthians 5: 20
2. We are sent as is stated in Mark 16: 15:
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (to all people). – Mark 16: 15
3. We speak as is stated in Ephesians 6: 20:
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. -- Ephesians 6: 20
You also witness with your example. They will read you before they read the book. But when you have their attention, you should witness with the Word of God. Witnessing should become a way of life as ambassadors to the people of the world.
Again, witnessing is an art and it is fun. The keys to becoming adept at witnessing are to learn how to witness, practice it, and then it becomes an art and any art can be mastered. The reason a believer will not witness is always because of fear. Action cures fear; non-action strengthens fear. You must get out there and witness the greatness of God’s Word. You will see that any fear you feel will just seem to disappear. Witnessing allows you to RELEASE God’s Word. It is very important to receive, retain and release. You should refer to that teaching which is available to you.
Remember, we are ambassadors for Christ so we should also dress appropriately. This is important. We should be clean inside and out. Our hair should be well-groomed. We need not get carried away by wearing a suit and a tie. (That’s for the counterfeits and you know who they are). The people who see you will always read you before they read the book (the Bible). And to a great extent, it is true that you do not get a second chance to make a good first impression. Dress in normal apparel cleaned and pressed. Take a look in the mirror from top to bottom before you go out witnessing.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by Spirit of the Lord. – II Corinthians 3: 18
Strangely enough, at times, when one looks in the mirror, whatever seems to be bothering us, goes away! So often, we worry about nothing. So as we see our image, we are thankful for the more important things – such as our health. That phrase in the above Scripture “with open face beholding as in a glass” literally means “beholding ourselves continuously as in a mirror”. I found this to be most interesting.
Now there are THREE BASIC STEPS TO WITNESSING:
1) ATTENTION (to the point they are listening)
2) HOLDING IT FORTH
3) FOLLOW THROUGH WITH UNDERSHEPHERDING
1. The greatest attention-getter is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation). -- I Corinthians 13: 13
Everyone on earth is searching for the love of God. If you think about it, that’s what drew you to the Word of God. It was the love of God from the person who first witnessed to me, that I could see, for the first time in my life, was genuine. You should read I Corinthians Chapter 13 which speaks of the love of God and so many of its attributes, in great detail.
If a man is in a cave and wants to get out, he looks for the light – you are that light. Also and again, people will read you before they read the book.
Here are some other tips about witnessing:
Reach out with the arms of “Christ in you”.
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: -- Colossians 1: 27
Don’t forget the love of God; build hunger in people - salt their oats; be yourself (the new man); be patient with people; don’t come on like a bull in a china closet; let the spirit of God work within you. Make sure you are a good listener and not a constant talker. People get that out in the world all the time. Don’t make that mistake. Stay in control of the situation – expect the usual and the unexpected. If there is an unbeliever present, try to get them away from the situation as politely as possible. Don’t let spectators run your performance. And one very important fact: REMEMBER, you are pulling people out of a pit – DON’T LET THEM PULL YOU IN WITH THEM. Stay sharp. Remember Philippians 4: 8 and stay positive.
It seems like a lot to remember, but it’s really basic common sense. Think about it.
2. Holding Forth The Word Of Life is a great joy and privilege.
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. – I Thessalonians 2: 4
Hold forth God’s Word with boldness and the love of God. Many people misunderstand the word ‘boldness’. It simply means acting without fear. This was a great revelation to me when I first understood this.
Boldness, access, and confidence are ours.
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. – Ephesians 3: 12
Let’s study some more of the attributes of boldness:
It is not a feeling; it is not being especially loud or boisterous; it is acting without fear; it is speaking the Word on the lips of believing; it is walking through open doors that God will open for us.
The reason the first century church moved with such power is that they believed in the manifestations of the spirit and they walked boldly on what they knew. When we rightly divide the Word of Truth we are not blown about by every wind of doctrine. [You should read Ephesians 4: 11 – 16]
Here are a few more keys to Holding Forth the Word of God:
-- Keep it simple (the simpler the better).
-- Answer a question by asking a question. This is an art used because they don’t yet understand what we represent. You need to stay in control of the situation.
-- Don’t ever argue with people. Remember, truth needs no defense. Error has to be defended.
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. – Titus 3: 9
3. Follow through with undershepherding.
Ok, we have someone’s attention, we held it forth – NOW WHAT DO WE DO?
We must make sure to follow through, RIGHT AWAY, within 12 hours. We must make personal contact. I cannot stress this point enough. When the enemy sees a person who belonged to him all his life, he will move as quickly as he can to steal the Word from that new believer’s mind or lose him for good. If you don’t follow up with undershepherding every day, you may as well hang it up. Let me tell you a true story of my own life.
When I was first witnessed to, this believer came to visit me EVERY DAY! We did things together and I also spent time with many of the other believers sent to my area. I was one of the first ones who got seriously involved in God’s Word and the movement of that Word. I was told that the leaders of an area were called out first. Glory to God – it’s His power. I’m no better than anyone else.
Well, lo and behold, ONE DAY this believer who was undershepherding me did not call me and neither did he visit. I cannot begin to tell you the thoughts that went through my mind that day. It was terrible. I thought the person really didn’t care. I thought that I was lost and alone again etc., etc., etc.
The very next day the believer contacted me and I told him how I felt. He sincerely apologized to me and realized he had made what could have been a very serious mistake. He told me that he had learned something from this that he would never forget. And this was only ONE DAY! Everything worked out after that, but I too had learned a crucial lesson about undershepherding that I was to use often in the future. You must understand that, at first, we walk on the feet of the person sharing the Word with us. Until we can walk on our own feet, we must depend on the believer(s) that have introduced us to God’s Word and is responsible for teaching it to us rightly divided.
You will surely run across a number of different types of people as you undershepherd someone who you ‘think’ is really turning on to the Word. Be prepared, for some of the reactions may really surprise you and completely catch you off guard. The adversary likes to do this and will try to hurt you as often as he can. Don’t take it personally. If you witness FOR GOD, you cannot get hurt. You only get hurt when you allow yourself to be hurt.
In the process of undershepherding, you will basically run across three different types of people:
And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. – Acts 17: 32
1. The mockers -- A so-called friend of mine who was first witnessed to at the same time as myself decided not to follow through and go to meetings and fellowships as I did. I thought, for me, at that time, that he would be a good place for me to learn how to witness. It turned out that he actually began to mock the Word of God. He used to laugh and say “Hey, let’s go fellowship with some darkness”. While I have everything a person could dream of having, his wife left him, he lives alone, he has a very high pressure job and his recreation is spent in a bar every night. God requires believing which requires action. When you, by your own free will, turn your back on God, He has no choice but to turn His back on you. He still loves you, but you have your foot on the hose by refusing to believe. I don’t rejoice in iniquity, but let me tell you something. There is one thing you don’t want to experience and that is THE WRATH OF GOD. A woman, who I believe, worships Satan did everything in her power to cause me serious problems, for no reason at all, even with the police department making up lie after lie about my behavior. She recently took a stroke. God ALLOWED that to happen. He did not and cannot harm anyone. God doesn’t allow anyone to mess around with His kids. You better believe it. The wheels of God grind slowly but they grind finely.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. – Romans 12: 19
2. We’ll hear you again – These are the people you must also be extremely careful of. The design of the enemy could be to get you to WASTE YOUR TIME. Then again, they might turn around and become very strong and dedicated believers. Only God knows, and if you are skilled in the manifestations of Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom, God will tell you what is going on. And by the five senses, you could never figure it out. So don’t forget to go to God in prayer and ask Him about the situation. This is a situation where you can get hurt. It happened to me more than once. Be careful here. How many times have I said this? If you think you can’t be tricked, you already have been.
3. Believers – these are people that God has called out before the foundation of the world.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame. (According to the text, the verse ends here) -- Ephesians 1: 4
God knows who will believe and He will send you to those people. That’s what happened to me. I searched for years and years and when I found the rightly divided Word of God, I was thrilled beyond explanation. That was in 1974 and I’m still here.
AND REMEMBER, WHEN YOU RUN ACROSS A BELIEVER WHO IS JUST WAITING TO HEAR GOD’S WORD, MAKE SURE YOU ARE IN PERSONAL CONTACT WITH THAT PERSON EVERY DAY.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. – Matthew 10: 16
Remember, there will always be these three types of people. This does not mean that a person will stay his “type” the rest of his life. As I said before, sometimes people will fool you and turn on all of a sudden. That is why you must treat all people with love and wisdom. You are responsible to God for that person’s life.
Here are some more keys to effective undershepherding:
-- Watch for growth and when you see it, water it with the Word.
-- Always magnify strong points, and not weaknesses.
-- Comfort the feeble-minded.
-- Support the weak.
-- Be patient and understanding.
-- Never criticize and condemn.
-- You cannot believe for someone.
Finally, and in conclusion, always remember the following:
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. – Matthew 10: 8