Discernment Questions / View PDF Tract / The Older The Bolder – Marshall Almarode
Today at work, I was lamenting about my son-in-law and my foster son discussing the problems of life with a driver named “Donald.” As we talked, he chimed in and it sounded in every case like I had just met a fellow Christian. We were sharing Bible verses back and forth in total unity and harmony. We talked for probably five minutes, without me asking him one discernment question. Finally, I could stand it no longer. I asked my favorite generic discernment question, “So, what church do you attend?” This question helps me decide which type of uncloaking question he needs to be asked. He stated that he was a Christian attending the Seventh Day Adventist Church [SDA]. The Adventists “cloak” their false gospel and their teachings that Ellen G. White is their source of truth from the public. It was only when I asked him SDA discernment questions about his gospel that we disagreed strongly. He immediately was disappointed that I knew about his beliefs concerning the 1843 and 1844 sanctuary doctrines taught by Ellen G. White. Had I not been aware of the false gospel of the SDAs, I would have never been able to uncloak him and his false teachings. I could have easily believed that this person was a true fellow Christian and accepted him in full fellowship. If I had not asked him a discernment question to uncloak him, I would not known that I needed to witness to him about his false gospel. Others who were listening might never have known that he believed in a false gospel and a false prophetess and was therefore not a true Christian. (Matthew 24:24)
The Problem of Inclusion
I occasionally encounter Christians and pastors who will rent the churches and chapels of the Seventh Day Adventists for church on Sunday mornings. Some go further and consider the religion as “just another denomination.” These types of actions lend the appearance that the SDA religion is “okay.” This sends false signals to fellow Christians and to the public. The same thing happens concerning other faiths.
In 1983, I found two pastors who told me, “Mormonism is just another Christian denomination.” I was told, “We agree that they are Christians like we are, but we just don’t agree with everything they teach.” I needed to have a discernment question to ask these pastors and also to ask the Mormons. Unfortunately, I didn’t have one yet. Mormons told me that they believe in the Trinity. They told me that they believed in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As far as I could tell by this, they seemed to have the right answers. They wanted to rebaptize me and I wasn’t sure why. Something didn’t seem quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
Has anything like this happened to you? How would you like to know some questions to ask someone so that you could determine whether they are teaching and professing the true gospel or a false one? The following discernment questions have helped me as I witness to the lost, and I pray that they will be helpful for you.
Uncloaking the Seventh Day Adventists
- What did Jesus do in 1844?
- Did Ellen G. White teach that all who go to heaven get there by the Sanctuary Doctrine, or by the Investigative Judgment?
- Is the Investigative Judgment a method by God’s Grace through faith or by God’s grace through worthiness?
- Do you believe that Ellen G. White was a true prophet of God?
- Is the mark of the beast a mark in the forehead and in the right hand, or is it Sunday keeping?
- Are Ellen G. White’s writings sources of truth that can be trusted?
Discernment Questions – Uncloaking The Mormons
- Was God once a man?
- Can you become a god?
- Was Jesus born in Heaven from God the father having sex with his wife?
- Was Jesus born on earth from God having sex with the Virgin Mary?
- Is the Book of Mormon correct when it says we get grace after all we can do?
- Did Jesus atone for our sins more in the garden than on the cross?
- Did Joseph Smith receive new revelations that became scripture?
Discernment Questions – Uncloaking Roman Catholics
- Can you eat your Jesus?
- Is the priest really Jesus when he holds up the bread and during confessional?
- Did Jesus’ death on the cross pay for both venial and mortal sins?
- Is Mary a co-mediator with Jesus?
- Did Mary also live a sinless life, and did she suffer for our sins?
- Are all the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church required for salvation?
- Is purgatory part of the gospel?
- Is there a depository of graces including the graces of Jesus, and of Mary and of the saints, which we can draw from for forgiveness of our sins?
- Are the teachings of the Council of Trent and Vatican Council II a source of true Christian teachings?
- Is the Pope inspired when he pronounces a Papal Bull, or sits in the chair of Peter?
Discernment Questions – Uncloaking The Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Is Jesus a little god? Is he a true little God? How many true gods does that make?
- Is the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society a source of truth that can be trusted?
- Has “Our Lord” been present on earth since – 1873, 1874, 1914, 1918, 1925, or 1975? What happened in 1914?
- How do we get to Heaven and who are going?
- Are Watchtower publications a source of reliable truth, or does new light contradict old light?
- Is the Watchtower organization God’s true Church?
These questions will force the cultist to deal with the false doctrines at the core of his or her faith, which the church leaders have taught as God’s truth. The core areas covered are:
- Who is God? – How is he defined?
- How are we saved? (How we get to Heaven.)
- Where do we go for our source of truth?
With the big four, they have redefined who Jesus is and what he did. They have also redefined how we get to Heaven. They have done this by creating a different source that we must go to for God’s truth. They cloak their mistake by stating, “We believe in the Bible, but no one can understand it without God’s anointed organization, or Ellen G. White’s “Inspired Commentaries,” or “The Pope is in the direct succession of Peter,” or “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.”